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Shrinking School Districts in NJ a Sign of Millennial Shift?

Out-migration and a move toward urban areas account for changing enrollment numbers in many New Jersey school districts

Route 40 map

More than half of New Jersey’s school districts have shrunk in the last six years, mirroring wider population moves toward urban areas — and also reflecting net migration from the state. School districts are contracting at a fast clip in the northwest of the state, as well as in southern shore communities such as Avalon, Margate and Ventnor.

Route 40 has mapped the decline in enrollment. Follow this link to their map.

Depopulation of outer-ring suburbs is not just a feature of life in New Jersey but is being seen across the northeastern United States, according to Professor James Hughes, a senior fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Millennials grew up in the suburbs, which provided economic opportunities for their parents. But those same suburbs seem to be less of a draw for today’s 20- and 30-year-olds. Shrinking schools also reflect the fact that a generation of New Jerseyans is delaying starting a family. And when millennials do start raising families, Hughes said, “… it’s going to be in places that have a walkable downtown, a rail station, access to activities.”

Read the full story on Route 40, South Jersey News and Information.

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