A new report issued by the United States Census Bureau finds Jersey has one of the widest gaps between rich and poor residents in the entire Northeast.

Rutgers economist James Hughes says this isn’t surprising, because in an area running from Northeast Jersey down into the central part of the state you have “a number of very wealthy communities and these are individuals who have made out very well in the economy and really have some of the highest incomes in the nation.”

He says in many cases “these communities are ‘cheek by jowl’ with those who have certainly lesser incomes, those who may have been negatively impacted by the decline in manufacturing.”

Hughes points out the report also finds less of a gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” in Northwest Jersey – in Sussex and Warren Counties – and farther south in Burlington and Camden Counties.

“Those areas tend to be solid, middle-class areas for the most part- although there is poverty there” he says, “they’re middle class- they don’t have really, the upper-income fortresses that are evident in the wealth-belt.”

The Census Bureau report finds nationally, the South has the biggest concentration of Counties where there are high levels of household income inequality.

The report also finds income inequality is up 18 percent over the past 45 years, although the trend has slowed recently.