New Jersey’s Census 2000 Population Counts


State Highlights


·        New Jersey's total population reached 8,414,350 as of April 1, 2000.  At 8.9 percent growth from 1990 to 2000, the state ranked 33rd nationally in the 1990-00 growth rate.  The nation's total population grew 13.2 percent between 1990 and 2000 to a total of 281,421,906.


·        New Jersey still ranked ninth in population among the nation's 50 states as of 2000.  With 1,134 persons per square mile, New Jersey's distinctive status as the nation's most densely populated state remains unchallenged.


·        States with fastest population growth were concentrated in the nation's western and southern regions during the decade. The top five fastest growing states during the 1990-2000 period were Nevada (66.3%), Arizona (40.0%), Colorado (30.6%), Utah (29.6%) and Idaho (28.5%).


·        Population of the state's Middle Atlantic neighbors ¾ New York and Pennsylvania grew by 5.5 percent and 3.4 percent between 1900 and 2000, which ranked them 42nd and 48th, respectively, in the nation.


·        The estimated increase of 684,162 residents in New Jersey since the 1990 Census represents a faster rate of population growth (8.9%) than in the 1980s (5.0%).



County and Regional Highlights


¨      Population in eleven counties grew faster than the state as a whole from 1990 to 2000: According to the 2000 Census, Somerset County had the highest rate of population growth in New Jersey from 1990 to 2000 with a 23.8 percent increase, which was substantially greater than the 8.9 percent statewide rate.  Ten other New Jersey counties experienced higher than statewide growth rates during the 1990-00 period: Ocean (17.9%), Hunterdon (13.2%), Atlantic (12.6%), Warren (11.8%), Middlesex (11.7%), Morris (11.6%), Monmouth (11.2%), Gloucester (10.7%), Hudson (10.1%) and Sussex (10.1%).


¨      Middlesex County added the most residents in the 1990s: Middlesex County had the largest net population increase (+78,382) in the state from 1990 to 2000, followed by Ocean (+77,713), Monmouth (+62,177), Bergen (+58,738), Somerset (+57,211) and Hudson (+55,876) counties.  Together, these six counties accounted for almost 60 percent of the state’s total population growth.


¨      Bergen County remained the most populous county in New Jersey: With 884,118 residents, Bergen County still had the largest population of any county in the state.  Salem County remained the least populous county.  With 64,285 residents, Salem was the only county that has had less than 100,000 residents, and the only New Jersey county to lose population — down by about 1,000 residents (or -1.5%).


¨      Population rebounded in the industrialized northeastern counties during the 1990s: The six industrialized counties (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic and Union) in the state’s northeastern region experienced population declines during the 1980s (-2.4%). This region’s total population increased 6.9 percent from 1990 to 2000.   In fact, all counties in this region gained population during the 1990s.  Essex County lost 73,098 (or 8.6%) of its residents during the 1980s but had a net population gain of 15,427 (or 2.0%) during the 1990s. Bergen (-2.4%), Hudson (-0.7%) and Union (-2.0%) counties also lost population in the 1980s but experienced substantial population growth during the 1990s (Bergen +7.1%, Hudson +10.1%, Union +5.8%). The annual rate of population growth accelerated in Morris and Passaic counties from 3.4 percent and 1.2 percent in the 1980s to 11.6 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, in the 1990s.


¨      Rural northwestern counties outpaced statewide growth: Sussex (+10.1%) and Warren (+11.8%) counties in the state’s northwestern region experienced significant gains in population from 1990 to 2000. The rate of population growth was faster in Sussex County (+12.8% vs. Warren’s +8.5%) in the 1980s but was faster in Warren County during the 1990s. The region’s substantial rate of population growth (11.0% in the 1980s and 10.8% in the 1990s), however, was based on a relatively small population.  Approximately 3 percent of New Jersey’s total population resided in these two counties as of 2000.


¨      Coastal region remained the population magnet of New Jersey: Four counties along the state’s Atlantic Ocean coast — Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean — had the highest population growth during both the 1980s (16.0%) and the 1990s (13.4%) among the state’s five geographic regions.   These four counties accounted for more than one-quarter (25.6%) of the state’s 1990-2000 population increase.  Ocean County was the State’s fastest growing county during the 1980s (+25.2%).  It’s population growth rate slowed down somewhat from 1990 to 2000 (+17.9%). Population growth rate in Monmouth County accelerated from 9.9 percent in the 1980s to 11.2 percent in the 1990s.  Both Atlantic and Cape May counties had a 15.6 percent growth between 1980 and 1990. Their rates of population growth between 1990 and 2000 were 12.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.


¨      Foreign immigrants fueled population growth in central counties: Population growth in the state’s central counties (Hunderdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset) continued to outpace the state as a whole, although the region’s 13.0 percent rate of growth during the 1990s was somewhat lower than the coastal region (13.4%).  From 1990 and 2000, the region accounted for about 25.5 percent of the state’s total population growth.  Somerset (23.8%) and Hunterdon (13.2%) counties were the first and third fastest growing counties in New Jersey from 1990 to 2000. Their 1980s’ growth rates (Hunterdon 23.4% and Somerset 18.3%) ranked the 2nd and 3rd in the state. The rate of population growth accelerated in Mercer County (from 5.8% in the 1980s to 7.7% in the 1990s) but decelerated slightly in Middlesex County (from 12.7% in the 1980s to 11.7% in the 1990s). Although not available from 2000 Census data released today, it is likely that much of the region’s population growth during the 1990s was attributable to its gain from international immigration.  Both Mercer and Middlesex counties received sizable influxes of foreign immigrants during the 1990s.  It is likely that Somerset County had substantial gains from both international and domestic migration.


¨      Population grew moderately in southern counties: The population growth rate in the four New Jersey counties that are part of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area (Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem) and their southern neighbor, Cumberland County was 5.0 percent between 1990 and 2000, down from the 1980s’ 8.1 percent. Gloucester County (+10.7% in the 1990s, +15.1% in the 1980s) and Burlington County (+7.2% in the 1990s, +9.0% in the 1980s) continued to lead the southern region’s population growth.  It is likely that both counties gained population from both domestic and international migration. Camden (+1.2% in the 1990s, +6.6% in the 1980s) and Cumberland (+6.1% in the 1990s, +3.9% in the 1980s) had moderate population growth while Salem County (-1.5% in the 1990s, +1.0% in the 1980s) experienced a decline of approximately 1,000 residents.


Municipal Highlights


§         Municipalities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 grew fastest:  During the 1990s, New Jersey municipalities with populations greater than 10,000 but less than 50,000 have grown at a faster rate (11.7%) than their larger and smaller counterparts.  Approximately 53 percent of New Jerseyans resided in the 210 municipalities that constitute this group as of 2000.  They accounted for more than two-thirds (68.8%) of the state’s total population growth between 1990 and 2000.  Suburban townships in the state’s central and coastal counties (e.g., Middlesex County’s South Brunswick township, Somerset County’s Bridgewater township and Montgomery township, Ocean County’s Jackson township and Stafford township, and Monmouth County’s Howell township) led population growth in this group during the decade of 1990s.


§         Population continued to grow in three major cities: Total population in the state’s four largest cities (with 100,000 residents or more) increased 3.8 percent during the period.  Newark City’s net loss of 1,675 residents (or -0.6%) between 1990 and 2000 was substantially lower than its 1980s’ loss (-54,027 or -16.4%). Jersey City, Paterson City and Elizabeth City (New Jersey’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th largest cities, respectively) continued their moderate population growth in the 1990s.  The other two major cities in the state’s central and southern regions did not fare very well from 1990 to 2000: Trenton City repeated its 1980s’ population decline (-3.7%) in the 1990s, while Camden City experienced a population decline of -8.7 percent during the 1990s, down from +3.0 percent growth during the 1980s.


§         Lakewood Township led population growth in the state: With a net increase of 15,304 residents, Lakewood Township, Ocean County added more population than any other municipality in New Jersey during the 1990s.  Six other municipalities (Ocean’s Dover Township, Middlesex’s South Brunswick Township, Hudson’s Jersey City, Union’s Elizabeth City, Camden’s Gloucester Township and Somerset’s Bridgewater Township) gained more than 10,000 population during the 1990s.  Another 39 municipalities in the state had net population growth of 5,000 or more in the same period.  Most of them were suburban townships in Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties.


§         Thirteen New Jersey municipalities lost more than 1,000 residents between 1990 and 2000: With a net loss of 7,588 residents, Camden City had the largest population decline in the state during the 1990s although it had a moderate population growth (+2,582) in the 1980s.  Five other municipalities also had population growth during the 1980s but experienced population decline of 1,000 or more from 1990 to 2000: Burlington County’s Wrightstown borough, Pemberton township and North Hanover township, Monmouth County’s Middletown township, and Camden County’s Lindenwold borough.  The population decline of the other seven municipalities in this group (Essex County’s East Orange city and Newark city, Burlington County’s Willingboro township, Mercer County’s Trenton city, Camden County’s Bellmawr borough and Gloucester city, and Salem County’s Salem city) was a continuation of their 1980s’ trend.


§         Greenwich Township was the fastest growing municipality:  At 129.9%, Warren County’s Greenwich Township had the highest rate of population growth among the state’s 566 municipalities between 1990 and 2000.  Gloucester County’s Woolwich Township was the only other municipality to have its population more than doubled (+107.8%) during the 1990s.  Population in nine other municipalities increased more than 50 percent in the same period.  Most of these fast growing municipalities (9 out of 11) were small townships and boroughs with less than 10,000 residents in 1990: Harrison township, Gloucester County, Montgomery township, Somerset County, Millstone township, Monmouth County, Washington township, Mercer County, Lumberton township, Burlington County, Edgewater borough, Bergen County, and Helmetta borough, Middlesex County as well as the aforementioned Greenwich township and Woolwich township.  Stafford Township, Ocean County and Burlington Township, Burlington County were the largest municipalities that had more than 50 percent growth rate in the decade.


§         Eleven municipalities lost more than fifteen percent of their residents: The majority of these rapid declining municipalities are located in the southern regions’ Burlington County (Wrightstown borough, Woodland township, North Hanover township, Washington township) and Camden County (Tavistock borough and Laurel Springs borough).  The other municipalities in this group are: Walpack township, Sussex County, Loch Arbour village, Monmouth County, Netcong borough, Morris County, Teterboro borough, Bergen County and Lakehurst borough, Ocean County.  All of them are small municipalities with less than 10,000 residents.  Burlington County’s Wrightstown Borough had the most substantial rate of population decline (-80.5%) between 1990 and 2000.


§         Newark City was still the most populous municipality:  Despite its population decline, the City of Newark in Essex County was still the state’s most populous municipality with 273,546 residents as of 2000. Hudson County’s Jersey City (population 240,055) was the second largest city, followed by Passaic County’s Paterson City (population 149,222) and Union County’s Elizabeth City (population 120,568).  No other municipalities in New Jersey had more than 100,000 residents since 1980. 


§         There were changes in the rank order of the state’s ten most populous municipalities since 1990.  In 2000, Edison Township of Middlesex County replaced Woodbridge Township (of the same county) as the state’s fifth largest municipality.  Dover Township of Ocean County had the steepest upward mobility from 10th in 1990 to 7th in 2000.  Hamilton Township of Mercer County also moved up (from 9th to 8th) during the period while Trenton City (Mercer County) and Camden City (Camden County) moved down to the 9th and 10th positions from the 7th and 8th, respectively.


§         Mid-size cities fared well in the 1990-2000 decade: There were 12 cities with 35,000 residents or more but were not large enough to be the state’s top ten municipalities.  Population of five cities in this group rebounded during the 1990s from their decline of the 1980s: Passaic County’s Clifton City (+9.7%), Hudson County’ Bayonne City (+0.6%), Atlantic County’s Atlantic City (+6.7%), Union County’s Linden City (+7.3%) and Hudson County’s Hoboken City (+15.5%).  The other six cities accelerated their population growth from 1990 to 2000: Passaic County’s Passaic City (+16.9%), Hudson County’s Union City (+15.6%), Cumberland County’s Vineland City (+2.7%), Middlesex County’s New Brunswick City (+16.5%), Union County’s Plainfield City (+2.7%) and Bergen County’s Hackensack City (+15.2%).  Essex County’s East Orange City was the only city in this group that still had a declining number of residents during the 1990s (-5.1%).  However, its rate of population decline was slower than its 1980s’ rate (-5.6%).


§         Four smallest municipalities still had less than 100 residents: Bergen County’s Teterboro Borough (population: 18), Camden County’s Pine Valley Borough (population: 20) and Tavistock Borough (population: 24), and Sussex County’s Walpack Township (population: 41) were the state’s smallest municipalities in 1990.  Population in each of these municipalities was still below 100.  Together with Cape May County’s Cape May Point borough (population: 241), Monmouth County’s Loch Arbour village (population: 380), Ocean County’s Harvey Cedars borough (population: 359), Bergen County’s Rockleigh borough (population: 391), Somerset County’s Millstone borough (population: 410) and Ocean County’s Mantoloking borough (population: 423), they constituted the state’s ten least populous municipalities as of April 2000. Millstone Borough was the only new entrant to this group.  It ranked 12th in 1990.



Data Availability


Year 2000 state, county and municipal population counts from the 2000 Census are available on the Office of Labor Planning and Analysis’ Labor Fast Facts world wide web site -  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.  Telephone: 609-292-0076, fax: 609-984-6833, or e-mail: