Report: About 22 percent of township children live in poverty

About 22 percent of Franklin’s children younger than 18 – and about 15 percent of Franklin Township residents overall – are living below what one organization defines as the state’s poverty level, according to a report released over the weekend.

The report showed that 2,959 of the township’s children younger than 18 are living in poverty, according to the report released Sunday by the Edison-based Legal Services of New Jersey.

A little more than 9,000 of the township’s 61,493 residents fall in that category, according to the report.

The federal poverty level threshold is $23,000; LSNJ maintains the poverty threshold in New Jersey is actually twice that – which the organization expresses as 200 percent of the FPL – due to the high cost of living in the state.

LSNJ provides legal services to low-income people.

The organization found that 4,828, — 12.2 percent – of township residents aged 18- to 64-years-old are living below 200 percent of the FPL.

Nearly 16 percent of the township’s elderly live below 200 percent of the FPL, the group found.

The figures were complied from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey, according to LSNJ. The bureau is expected to release 2012 data later this month.

The LSNJ predicts “that the 2012 figures when they come out soon likely will show even higher figures for poverty in New Jersey,” said LSNJ spokesman Harvey Fisher.

On the county level, Somerset County is one of two in the state where poverty is on the decline, according to the study.

Poverty rates in the county declined from 13 percent in 2010 to 12.7 percent in 2011, according to the study.

The poverty rate in Somerset County has decreased .4 percent from 2006, according to the study.

The study found that about 12.3 percent of county adults were living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, while 13.1 percent of children under age 18 in the county fell into that category.

Poverty among Somerset County’s elderly has increased, according to the study. The study found that 20.2 percent of county elderly were living below 200 percent of the FP in 2011L, an increase of 3.3 percent from 2010.

Overall, the study found, nearly 25 percent of all state residents are living in poverty, a level the organization says has not been seen in 50 years.

The full report can be found at this link.

This is a developing story. Check back often.

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