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Percent with no high school diploma

Education is a key component of health status/vulnerability. One’s education impacts the ability to secure meaningful employment, generate income which supports basic needs such as housing, food, and clothing. It can also impact an individual’s access to employer-based insurance, not to mention the ability to understand and navigate the healthcare system. Many of New Jersey’s most vulnerable communities have a large percentage of residents that lack a high school diploma. The range is from a low of 0.4 percent to a high of 42 percent. The median percent with no high school diploma for the 38 zip codes with the poorest health status is 27 percent, versus a statewide median of 7 percent – or 3.9 times greater. See Appendix.

Top five and bottom five zip codes for percent with no high school diploma

A Deeper Dive

Located in the shadow of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, zip code 08901 in New Brunswick has the state’s second-highest percentage of residents without a high school diploma, at 38.1 percent. The public schools are part of a Title 1 school district, with 86.5 percent of its students eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program. About 85 percent of students in the public schools are Hispanic.27 How influential is education on the health of a community? While challenged by other factors such as median household income and uninsured rate, zip code 08901, with the state’s second worst high school graduation rate, ranks 500th among the state’s most vulnerable 537 zip codes.

  1. Zip Code 08901 Profile, Map and Demographics. (n.d.). Retrieved from