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Poverty 101: What does it mean to be in poverty in Northern NJ?

Often associated with affluent neighborhoods, high-end shopping districts, and thriving businesses, Northern New Jersey has a harsh truth that lies beneath. Poverty is a prevalent issue affecting a significant portion of our community.


Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau paints a sobering picture – more than 60,000 individuals in Bergen County are living below the federal poverty line. To put this into perspective, the federal poverty line in 2024 stands at a household income of $31,200 for a family of four. In 2023, GBCA assisted more than 10,000 individuals through direct service programs.


Here are Bergen County's highest income earners by town. Click here to see the full list.


Poverty is more than just a statistic, it’s a collection of unique personal narratives, interconnected by the common thread of struggle. Behind every number is a story: a single mother working two jobs to provide for her family, a senior citizen navigating the complexities of healthcare on a fixed income, or a young adult striving to improve their future through education.


Greater Bergen Community Action remains at the forefront of the fight against poverty, addressing the root causes of economic hardship and creating positive change in the lives of those it serves. From educational initiatives aimed at empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to secure better opportunities, to affordable housing projects providing safe and stable living environments, GBCA’s impact is tangible and far-reaching.


By offering support and resources, they are helping families and individuals break free from the cycle of poverty and build brighter futures for themselves and their communities. And Greater Bergen can’t do it alone – the support of the community is needed to continue making a difference. This is where you come in. By joining the movement and supporting GBCA, you can be part of the change. Whether through donations or spreading awareness, every contribution counts towards building a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

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