You may love the state where you live, but you could also want out.

That appears to be the sentiment among many Garden State residents, according to survey results released Monday by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

As part of a list of questions to create Monmouth's exclusive Garden State Quality of Life Index for 2022, 64% of New Jersey adults rate the state as a good or excellent place to live. A strong majority give positive marks to their municipality, their local schools, and the quality of their local environment.

But close to 60% of Garden Staters in the same poll say they would like to move out of New Jersey at some point. And more than two-thirds claim it's very or somewhat likely that they will exit New Jersey for good in the future.

"It's a bit of a head-scratcher," said Patrick Murray, director of the polling institute. "One possible explanation is that residents appreciate the benefits that New Jersey has to offer, but the cost of living does not make it sustainable in the long run."

Among those who are likely to move out of New Jersey, residents blame property taxes more than anything else.

"Basically, people are saying that New Jersey is a great place to live, if you can afford it," Murray said.

Responses from New Jerseyans combined to form a Quality of Life Index score of +27, on a scale from -100 to +100. That's in line with last year's rating, and much higher than readings from 2019, 2018, July 2015, September 2014, and April 2013. Monmouth created the index in 2010.

"Other than the huge jump during the pandemic to +37, the +27 is pretty close to the prior historical high of +31," Murray said.

The index also divides responses by region of the state. Scores dropped since last year in the northeast and in the "urban core counties." Scores increased in the Central Hills, Northern Shore, Delaware Valley, Garden Core, and Route 1 Corridor regions.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We're coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we're running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: