New Jersey Race & Ethnicity
® Number of Hispanics and Asians increased substantially in New Jersey. According to the 2000 Census, the number of Hispanics (who may be of any race) and Asians increased substantially in New Jersey during the 1990s, reflecting the state’s popularity as a destination for foreign immigrants. If the population growth trend continues at the same rate as in the 1990s, Hispanics could outnumber African Americans in New Jersey as early as 2001.
® Hispanics accounted for more than one-half of the state’s population growth. Persons of Hispanic origin (or Latinos) increased by 377,330 in New Jersey from 739,861 in 1990 to 1,117,191 in 2000, accounting for approximately 55% of New Jersey’s total population growth. Their 51% growth rate far outpaced their non-Hispanic counterparts’ rate of 4.4%. They represented 13.3% of the state’s population in 2000, up from 9.6% in 1990.
® More than one-third of the state’s Hispanic population resided in Hudson and Passaic counties. Hudson (+58,658) and Passaic Counties (+48,400) gained more Hispanics during the 1990s than any other counties in New Jersey. These two counties also had the highest proportion of Hispanic residents in 2000 (39.8% and 30.0%, respectively). Together they accounted for more than one-third (34.8%) of the state’s total Hispanic population. Four other New Jersey counties had greater than the state average of 13.3% Hispanics: Union (19.7%), Cumberland (19.0%), Essex (15.4%) and Middlesex (13.6%).
® Some New Jerseyans are multi-racial. For the first time in Census 2000, individuals could identify themselves as being of more than one race. Approximately 2.5 percent (or 213,755 persons) of New Jersey’s population in Census 2000 identified themselves as multi-racial. The majority of New Jersey’s multi-racial population were White and Some Other Races (88,184), African-American and Some Other Races (25,831), African-American and white (23,611) or Asian and white (22,701).
® There were more Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander in combination with one or more of the other five races listed (6,736) than persons reported as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander alone (3,329) in New Jersey, based on the Census 2000 counts. American Indian and Alaska Native is another race that has more in combination with other races (29,612) than one race alone (19,492) in New Jersey. The number of white in combination with other races (156,482) was greater than any other race in combination. However, they accounted for only one in every 40 persons reported as white alone or white in combination.
® The counties with the largest multi-racial population were Hudson (34,295), Essex (27,155), Bergen (19,958), Passaic (19,788) and Middlesex (19,497). Nevertheless, the multi-racial population in these counties represented only a small share of total population — 5.6%, 3.4%, 2.3%, 4.0% and 2.6%, respectively. As in the state, most of the multi-racial population in these counties identified themselves as white and Some Other Races (20,056 in Hudson county, 11,435 in Passaic county, and 9,885 in Essex county), African-American and Some Other Races (7,635 in Essex county and 3,350 in Hudson county), African-American and white (2,433 in Hudson county and 2,081 in Middlesex county) or Asian and white (3,292 in Bergen county and 2,531 in Middlesex county).
® Asians were the fastest growing racial group. Based on those individuals who identified only one race on their Census form (about 97.5%), Asians were by far the fastest growing racial group during the 1990s in the state, up by 77.3% (or 209,437 persons). With a 2000 population of 480,276, they represented 5.9% of New Jersey’s total population, up from 3.5% in 1990.
® More than one in every two (53.2%) New Jersey Asians were concentrated in just three counties in 2000 — Middlesex (104,212), Bergen (94,324) and Hudson (56,942). In 1990, Bergen was the only New Jersey county with more Asians than blacks or Hispanics. By 2000, the Asian population also became the largest minority group in Middlesex County. The Asian population grew fast in every New Jersey county between 1990 and 2000 (from 5.3% in Salem county to 169.7% in Atlantic county). This group accounted for more than 10% of total residents in both Middlesex (14.3%) and Bergen (10.9%) counties. Other New Jersey counties with greater than the state average Asian share of population (5.9%) were: Hudson (9.9%), Somerset (8.5%) and Morris (6.4%).
® African Americans grew faster than total population. Based on those individuals who identified only one race in the 2000 Census (97.5% of total) the number of blacks or African-Americans in New Jersey increased from 1,036,825in 1990 to 1,141,821 in 2000 for a gain of 104,996 (or 10.1%). The proportion of blacks in the state’s population increased from 13.4% to 13.9% from 1990 to 2000.
® The largest increases in the state’s black population during the 1990s occurred in Union (+15,786), Middlesex (+14,838), Essex (+11,062) and Camden (+10,394) counties. Essex County still had the highest proportion of black residents (42.7%) while Sussex County had the lowest (1.1%). Four counties accounted for more than one-half (53.4%) of the state’s black population: Essex, Union, Camden, and Hudson.
® American Indians and Alaska Natives also grew substantially in New Jersey but from a very small base. Based on those individuals who identified only one race in their 2000 Census form (about 97.5% of total), the number of American Indian and Alaska Native population grew substantially (30.2%) in New Jersey during the decade. However, this group accounted for only 0.2% of the state’s resident population. The American Indian and Alaska Native population increased in 18 New Jersey counties during the 1990s (except in Burlington, Cape May and Sussex) albeit from a small base.
® The counties with the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population were Hudson (2,547), Passaic (2,166) and Essex (1,861). The county with the highest proportion of American Indian and Alaska Native residents was Cumberland (1.0%).
® The counties with the largest Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander population were Essex (417), Hudson (383) and Mercer (352). For the first time, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders were broken out separately in Census 2000. They were combined with Asians as a group in previous Censuses. They totaled 3,329 in 2000 or 0.04% share of the state’s population. The county with the highest proportion of Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander residents was Mercer (0.1%).
® White population declined somewhat in the state. Based on those individuals who identified only one race on their 2000 Census form (about 97.5% of total), the state’s white population declined somewhat (-25,670 or -0.42%) from 1990 to 2000.
® The counties with the highest growth rate in white residents during the 1990s were Ocean (+15.2%), Somerset (+11.7%) and Hunterdon (+10.4%). Those counties with the largest increases were Ocean (+62,682) and Monmouth (+35,984). Ten counties lost white population during the decade. Counties with the largest decline were Essex (-45,165), Hudson (-42,155) and Middlesex (-36,708). Those counties with the highest proportion of white residents in 2000 were Sussex (96.8%), Warren (95.7%) and Hunterdon (94.9%).
New Jersey Population by Age
® Number of children (under 18) grew faster than adults. The state’s population 18 years and over increased by 6.7% from 1990 to 2000, compared to the overall resident population gain of 8.9%. Consequently, the share of total population 18 years and over declined slightly from 76.7% in 1990 to 75.2% in 2000. The reason for the somewhat faster gain in the state’s total resident population is likely due to the increase of the baby boom echo generation, most of whom were in their school-age (5 to 17 years old) at the time of the 2000 Census.
® All counties except Essex and Salem showed increases during the decade in the 18 years and over population. Those counties with the highest rates of growth were Somerset (18.2%), Ocean (17.0%), Gloucester (11.3%) and Hunterdon (10.7%). Those counties with the largest increases were Ocean (+56,832), Middlesex (+45,385) and Hudson (+40,861). Those counties with the largest share of 18 years and over population were Cape May (77.7%), Hudson (77.4%) and Bergen (77.0%). Those with the smallest share were Sussex (72.1%), Camden (73.2%) and Gloucester (73.6%).
Prepared by: New Jersey Department of Labor
Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research
March 8, 2001