Is South Jersey Getting its ‘Fair Share’ of Public Goods?

Conducted by WRI Faculty Fellow Shauna Shames and her assistant Spencer T. Clayton, this report investigates multiple differences between counties in three New Jersey regions: North, Central, and South. The report finds striking differences in the provision of public goods across regions, with South Jersey counties on average receiving less state assistance, a smaller share of transportation infrastructure, fewer educational opportunities, and lower rates of public health and safety rates, even when controlling for population, tax rates, demographics, voter turnout, and other key possible causal variables.  The report’s accompanying slides and data-set are available as well..

Don't Sugarcoat ItDon’t Sugarcoat It: Diabetes Prevention Services in Southern New Jersey

Conducted by WRI Faculty Fellow Janice M. Beitz, this report acknowledges how New Jersey, especially Southern New Jersey, and the United States are facing a tsunami of diabetes mellitus type 2 development in the next decade.  The core of the report offers busy primary care providers with a resource via a targeted scrutiny of easily identified diabetes prevention services in the region along with extant management services. It can be used by policy makers and other advocates to target needed planning initiatives.  The accompanying presentation slides are available here.

ACNJ Kids Count Report – South Jersey 

Based on a 2016 report from Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s, WRI has reviewed and localized data relating to the eight South Jersey counties, revealing a strikingly different profile from the state at large.  This publication covers factors based on demographics, economics, health & safety, and early care & education.


South Jersey PARCC Results for the 2014-2015 School Year

This year, the New Jersey Department of Education has replaced the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) with a test from the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Our municipal infographics focus on the results of the PARCC test for fourth and eighth graders across all eight of our focal South Jersey counties. Because the 2014-2015 school year was the first year that the PARCC test was given, this report does not focus on comparisons across years. As a result, this analysis demonstrates how school districts in South Jersey perform relative to their counterparts in North and Central Jersey.

South Jersey Health Data: Snapshot

Last month, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released their annual County Health Rankings.  The rankings are based on a model that categorizes variables as either Health Outcomes or Health Factors. Health Outcomes include variables that measure length and quality of life. Health Factors include variables that measure health behaviors, clinical care access, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.  Paul Smith, a Research Project Coordinator at the Rand Institute utilizes charts and graphs to provide an overview of the health rankings for the 8 Southern New Jersey Counties.

Changes in Property Value and Property Tax in South Jersey from 2013 to 2014

The United States Census Bureau has issued the 2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. WRI Graduate Assistant Spencer T. Clayton summarizes the data and offers an analysis of what it might mean for communities in South Jersey.


South Jersey Communities Recognized for Improvement in School Breakfast

Advocates for Children of New Jersey recently released their 5th Annual New Jersey School Breakfast Report. Paul Smith of the Rand Institute analyzes the text and notes significant changes in the data over the past year.


Public-Health-Coalitions-in-SJ-coverPublic Health Coalitions in South Jersey

Dr. Bernadette West, Associate Dean for the Stratford/Camden Campus at the Rutgers School of Public Health, reviews key findings in the extant literature on coalitions and examines it as an organizing strategy to address public health issues within the seven counties of Southern New Jersey. She reports on the alignment of the goals and successes of these coalitions to the trends in key health indicators and notes priorities for the region. To accomplish this, she draws on information from the County Health Rankings, as well as community health assessments for each of the seven southern counties. Her research also includes interviews with key coalition leaders reporting on areas of both successes and challenges in addressing health outcomes. Dr. West concludes her report by recommending that coalitions “work smarter” together by sharing resources, avoiding duplication of efforts, and communicating a clear mission and vision that can be understood by more than public health professionals involved in the coalitions themselves. 

2012 Southern New Jersey Industry Employment Presentation

Featuring data from 2012 on South Jersey industry clusters, this presentation gives an overview of employment percentages by industry and geographic concentration of business sectors (e.g. administration, construction, health care, etc.) and draws appropriate conclusions based on the aggregated data.


SJ-Poverty-Paper_081514coverPoverty Dynamics In South Jersey:  Trends and Determinants, 1970–2012

Christopher Wheeler, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University–Camden tracks significant changes in levels of poverty across the region and looks at the economic and population shifts that influenced these changes.


Changes Across the Region: People, Economy and WellbeingChanges Across the Region cover

Dr. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn’s paper focuses on the demography, economic state, and overall health of the eight-county South Jersey region. Using public data from the Census Bureau, Department of Labor, and numerous other sources, Dr. Okulicz-Kozaryn paints a vivid picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each county in South Jersey through a series of complex charts and tables. He concludes his paper by stating that South Jersey’s strength lies in its agrarian roots which led South Jersey’s counties to be far less densely populated than their northern counterparts and more appealing to new homeowners and industries based on the availability of land.

Urban Regime Theory Revisited: The Case of Smaller, Distressed Cities

This report by Richard A. Harris, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy & Administration, and Alex Kremstein, MPA, former WRI student employee, proposes a new understanding of the structure of urban regimes in Camden and other, smaller distressed cities like it.  With historical analysis alongside original research, the report looks at the ways in which policy agendas are set both within and outside of municipal governments and how such motivations may see community development regimes take the place of older, weakened governing systems.

Smart Growth PublicationSmart Growth Forecast for the Counties of Southern New Jersey

In 2005, the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs completed a Smart Growth Forecast for the counties of Southern New Jersey to assess the effects of urban sprawl in the region. The study assessed current land use practices in an effort to establish the need for better land use management in Southern New Jersey. This assessment involves the collection of data and creation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps to illustrate possible development scenarios in the region.  

Towards Metropolitan ComplexTowards a Metropolitan Complex: The Camden HUB Smart Growth

Written at a critical time for Camden County, “Toward a Metropolitan Complex: the Camden HUB Smart Growth Report” describes the looming peril of a decreasing tax base and increasing health and social service demands in Camden County.  Dr. Richard Harris, Director of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, considers the current and impending state of affairs in this report, and offers a sound solution for regional development that employs and conserves environmental, institutional, social and infrastructure resources. Read more on the forecasted state of Camden County and viable solutions for redevelopment.

South Jersey's View on Sprawl PublicationSouth Jersey’s Views on Sprawl, Development and Regional Identity

The report, “South Jersey’s Views on Sprawl, Development, and Regional Identity,” is based on surveys conducted in 2001, surrounding the issues of suburban sprawl, development and regional identity.  Survey responses from South Jerseyans help to understand the myths related to South Jersey’s identity, and the cycle of valuing open space while urban flight and suburban development increase demands for those lands to be developed. Valuable for its description of South Jerseyans’ values and preferences, click here to read more on the proposed smart growth initiatives for the region.

Farmland PreservationFarmland Preservation and Agritourism in South Jersey

Prepared by Rand faculty fellow Robert Wood, this report examines agritourism in the context of New Jersey agriculture and the state’s farmland preservation program. Agritourism—a broad array of activities linking farmers and consumers more directly—is often seen as an important way to answer the question: Once farmland has been preserved, how do we preserve the farmer?  New Jersey has the second largest farmland preservation program in the nation in terms of proportional acreage, but many traditional types of farming in the state are in decline.  The report argues for a synergistic approach to the relationship between agritourism and farmland preservation, making proposals to enhance the potential of each to contribute to the other and thereby contribute to a continuing place for a productive agriculture in the Garden State.