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New Jersey's Redistricting
Data and the
Municipal Highlights

Harold J. Wirths
By Harold J. Wirths
Commissioner, Department of Labor
and Workforce Development
giant bar graph with shadow of a person standing on toip of the highest bar.
There is a wealth of 2010 Census data, maps, articles and analysis available through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research.

In February, the US Census Bureau released the first detailed 2010 Census data. The data includes tabulations for the total population and the population 18 years old and over. For each state, the Census Bureau provides data on race, Hispanic or Latino origin and voting age for multiple levels of geography within the state, such as census blocks, tracts, voting districts, cities, counties, school districts, etc. The Census Bureau also provided housing unit counts with their occupancy status (occupied vs. vacant units). The data is available in a number of formats including internet tables via the new American Fact Finder data extraction tool, DVD, and via ftp download from the Census Bureau’s website. You can access the new American Fact Finder at http://factfinder2.census.gov.

There is a wealth of 2010 Census data, maps, articles and analysis available through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research. Within the division, the New Jersey State Data Center (NJSDC) and Federal State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE) prepare and disseminate New Jersey specific Census data on a wide range of topics and population characteristics. Most of these data can be found for state, county and municipal geographies and additionally for the redistricting data at the Census tract, block and voting district geography levels. Municipal officials and Census data users are encouraged to access this data at:
http://lwd.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/census/2010/2010census_index.html

A number of highlights that might be of interest to municipalities include the following:
New Jersey’s population grew 4.5 percent between 2000 and 2010. The state level 2010 Census apportionment counts revealed that New Jersey’s resident population has grown 4.5 percent or 377,544 over the last decade to a total of 8,791,894. While the state’s 4.5 percent rate of growth was slower than the 9.7 percent national growth rate, it was faster than 13 other states including neighboring states Pennsylvania (3.4 percent) and New York (2.1 percent). New Jersey’s 377,544 net gain in population between 2000 and 2010 was the 22nd largest in numeric growth among the 50 states.

Municipalities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000 grew fastest. Between 2000 and 2010, New Jersey municipalities with populations greater than 50,000 but less than 100,000 had the highest growth rate (5.32 percent), followed closely by the 10,000-50,000 group (5.26 percent growth). Approximately 23 percent of New Jerseyans resided in the 30 municipalities that constitute the 50,000-100,000 group, as of 2010, while another 51 percent of the state’s population resided in the 210 municipalities with 10,000-50,000 population size. Together, these two groups contributed to more than 87 percent of the state’s total population growth between 2000 and 2010. In comparison, population declined (-7.7 percent) in the state’s smallest municipalities (32 municipalities with less than 1,000 residents).

Population continued to grow in three major cities. Total population in the state’s four largest cities (with 100,000 residents or more) increased 1.6 percent during the period. Newark’s net gain of 3,594 residents (or 1.3 percent) between 2000 and 2010 represented a turnaround from its 1990s loss (-1,675 or -0.6 percent). The moderate population gain reassured Newark’s status as the state’s most populous municipality in 2010. Jersey City and Elizabeth (New Jersey’s second and fourth largest cities, respectively) continued their moderate population growth in the past decade. Paterson experienced a population decline (-2.0 percent), although its population ranking (as the third most populous) was unaffected.

Together with these four large cities, Middlesex County’s Edison and Woodbridge townships, Ocean County’s Lakewood and Toms River townships, and Mercer County’s Hamilton Township and Trenton round out the state’s ten most populous municipalities. Trenton is another municipality with a declining population, as it had continued its 1990s population decline (-3.7 percent) into the latest decade (-0.6 percent). With a hefty population growth (+53.8 percent between 2000 and 2010), Ocean County’s Lakewood Township became the state’s seventh largest municipality in 2010, while Camden was edged out of the top ten list due to its continued population decline (-3.2 percent between 2000 and 2010).

Lakewood Township led population growth in the state. With a net increase of 32,491 residents, Lakewood Township, Ocean County added more population than any other municipality in New Jersey during the 2000-2010 decade. Five other municipalities (Atlantic’s Egg Harbor Township, Ocean’s Jackson Township, Hudson’s Hoboken, Somerset’s Franklin Township, and Middlesex’s Monroe Township) also gained more than 10,000 residents since the 2000 Census. Another 12 municipalities in the state had net population growth of 5,000 or more in the same period. Most of them were suburban townships in Atlantic, Gloucester and Middlesex counties.

Ten New Jersey municipalities lost more than 2,000 residents between 2000 and 2010. Irvington Township (Essex County) had the state’s largest population decline in last decade (-6,759)—a sharp increase from its moderate population decline (-323) of the 1990s. Similarly, East Orange (Essex County), Camden (Camden County) and Ocean City (Cape May County) also experienced population decline in the most recent two consecutive decades. Six other municipalities also had substantial population decline (-2,000 or more residents) in the 2000-2010 decade although they enjoyed population growth in the previous decade: Atlantic County’s Brigantine City and Ventnor City, Burlington County’s New Hanover Township, Essex County’s City of Orange Township, Monmouth County’s Colts Neck Township and Passaic County’s Paterson City.

Teterboro Borough was the fastest growing municipality. At 272.2 percent (from 18 residents in 2000 to 67 in 2010), Bergen County’s Teterboro Borough was the fastest growing municipality in New Jersey between 2000 and 2010. Gloucester County’s Woolwich Township was the close second, with a 236.4% growth rate in last decade. Population in seven other municipalities also increased more than 50 percent in the same period. Most of these fast growing municipalities (6 out of 7) were small townships with less than 10,000 residents in 2000. Lakewood Township was the only exception in this group -- its population increased 53.8 percent from 60,352 in 2000 to 92,843 in 2010.

Eight municipalities lost more than 30 percent of their residents. The majority of these rapid declining municipalities are small boroughs and villages in coastal counties: Cape May’s Avalon Borough, Monmouth’s Allenhurst and Loch Arbour boroughs, and Ocean’s Mantoloking and Seaside Park boroughs. The other three rapid declining municipalities are Camden County’s Pine Valley and Tavistock boroughs and Sussex County’s Walpack Township. Tavistock Borough had the most significant rate of population decline (-79.2 percent) from 24 residents in 2000 to 5 in 2010.

Mid-size cities fared well in the 2000-2010 decade. Twenty municipalities in New Jersey had at least 60,000 residents but less than 100,000 in 2010. The majority of them (15 out of 20) enjoyed population growth in the decade. Ocean County’s Lakewood Township (+53.8 percent) and Somerset County’s Franklin Township (+22.4 percent) were the growth leaders in the group. Population of five municipalities in this group declined from 2000 to 2010. Their rate of population decline ranged from 0.6 percent in Trenton City to 8.0 percent in East Orange City.

Four smallest municipalities still had less than 100 residents. Bergen County’s Teterboro Borough (population: 67), Sussex County’s Walpack Township (population: 16) and Camden County’s Pine Valley Borough (population: 12) and Tavistock Borough (population: 5) have been the state’s smallest municipalities for decades. Population in each of these municipalities was still below 100. Together with Atlantic County’s Corbin City (population: 492), Cape May County’s Cape May Point Borough (population: 291), Monmouth County’s Loch Arbour Village (population: 194), Ocean County’s Harvey Cedars Borough (population: 337) and Mantoloking Borough (population: 296), and Somerset County’s Millstone Borough (population: 418), they constituted the state’s ten least populous municipalities as of April 2010.

Data Availability State, county and municipal population counts from the 2010 Census are available on the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Labor Market Information web page- http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/census/2010/2010census_index.html. For more information, contact New Jersey Department of Labor, Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research, P. O. Box 388, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0388.  

First published in New Jersey Municipalities, Volume 88, Number 4, April 2011

 

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