New Jersey Department of Labor

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Contact: Kevin Smith 609/292-3221



Census Data Show New Jersey More Diverse Than Ever


TRENTON, March 8, 2001 – New Jersey’s population has become more diverse than ever according to the latest figures from Census 2000, the state Labor Department said today.

“This census confirms as we have known all along, that New Jersey has a wonderfully diverse population whose family roots stretch to all parts of the world,” said Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco.  “Many of these people were drawn to emigrate to New Jersey just as my parents were earlier. Today, the wide range of skills, experiences and backgrounds of the people of our state gives us a broader and stronger foundation than ever on which we can grow as a leader in a global economy.”

Through an influx of immigrants from other nations, New Jersey has seen strong increases in persons of Hispanic and Asian origin.  According to the latest Census data, the number of Hispanics (who may be of any race) and Asians increased substantially in the state 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 approximately 55 percent of New Jersey’s total population growth. They represented 13.3 percent of the state’s population in 2000, up from 9.6percent in 1990. Persons of Hispanic origin (or Latinos) increased by 377,330 in New Jersey from 739,861 in 1990 to 1,117,191 in 2000.  Their 51 percent growth rate far outpaced their non-Hispanic counterparts’ rate of 4.4 percent.

Asians were the fastest growing racial group in New Jersey. Based on those individuals who identified only one race on their Census form (about 97.5 percent), Asians were by far the fastest growing racial group during the 1990s in the state, up by 77.3 percent (or 209,437 persons).  With a 2000 population of 480,276, they represented 5.9 percent of New Jersey’s total population, up from 3.5 percent in 1990.

For the first time, individuals could identify themselves as being of more than one race during Census 2000.  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 was 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).

African Americans grew faster than total population. Based on those individuals who identified only one race in the 2000 Census (97.5 percent of the total) the number of African-Americans in New Jersey increased from 1,036,825 in 1990 to 1,141,821 in 2000 for a gain of 104,996 (or 10.1 percent). The proportion of blacks in the state’s population increased from 13.4 percent to 13.9 percent from 1990 to 2000.

Based on those individuals who identified only one race on their 2000 Census form (about 97.5 percent of total), the state’s white population declined somewhat (-25,670 or -0.42 percent) from 1990 to 2000.

The data released today also include county and local level population figures.

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

Middlesex County saw 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.  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 percent).

Municipal data showed that despite a slight 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.

All of the Census 2000 data released today will be available on the Internet by clicking on the Labor Market Information button on