2020 NJ Census Results Reveal Major Population Shifts
Early local results from the 2020 Census show that New Jersey is getting denser, aging and more diverse.
Local-level data from the U.S. decadal population released Thursday revealed that despite an expanded general population, New Jersey’s white population is declining. Although the state is still predominantly white, New Jersey’s black, Hispanic and Asian populations are on the rise, according to 2020 census data.
Statewide, the Diversity Index, which measures the likelihood of two residents identifying as a combination of different race and ethnicity, rose from 59.4% to 65.8%, records show. . The total population identifying as white, 55%, has fallen below that of neighboring New York.
Among the drivers was Middlesex County. Ranked fourth among New Jersey’s 21 counties in 2010, Middlesex now ranks first on the state’s Diversity Index, placing it in the top 20 counties in the nation. The county had nearly 66,000 more people identifying as white in 2010, while the population was about 63,000 fewer, records show.
An increase in population has been seen in areas of the state, although a national trend of growing metropolitan areas in the 2000s continues.
The two largest cities in the state, Jersey City and Newark, saw their populations increase by more than 10% between the 2010 and 2020 censuses. The third, Paterson, grew by 9%. Among high-growth towns, Lakewood led the way. From less than 93,000 inhabitants at the 2010 census, the canton had more than 135,000 in 2020.
Nationwide, 52% of all counties lost population, bureau officials said at a news conference Thursday announcing the release of the data. Larger counties in terms of population were more likely to grow, they said. Conversely, smaller counties were more likely to shrink.
The story continues under the map
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2020 CENSUS: See a larger map and more information on the 2020 census data here
This trend continued in New Jersey, where Bergen County grew by more than 5%, Essex County grew by more than 10%, and Hudson added more than 14% to its population.
Cape May, Salem and Sussex counties declined by more than 2% between 2010 and 2020. Hunterdon and Atlantic counties also declined slightly in population.
Overall, the decade from 2010 to 2020 has seen New Jersey pack more residents into what is already the densest state. The population grew 5.7% to 9,288,994, compared to national growth of 7.4%. Meanwhile, housing units jumped 5.8% to 3,761,229, while vacancy rates rose from 9.5% to 8.9% between 2010 and 2020.
Related:What the 2020 New Jersey Census results reveal about the state’s population growth
The 2020 census also revealed New Jersey residents were getting older. After counting 6.7 million residents over the age of 18 in 2010, the Census Bureau now defines nearly 7.3 million residents as adults. The percentage went from 76.5% to 78.4%.
Ron Jarmin, acting director of the US Census Bureau, said the impact of COVID-19 has caused complications and delays in releasing information. Nonetheless, Jarmin said he was confident in his accuracy and ability to direct federal spending and legislative representation.
“Local leaders can use this data to decide where to build roads and hospitals and help our country recover from the pandemic,” he said.
The Census Bureau released a series of interactive charts on Thursday to accompany the release of the data on its website. Federal office officials said they plan to release all data in more user-friendly formats on September 30.
David Zimmer is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.