Population growth rates for municipalities from 2010 to 2011.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Almost seven of every 10 municipalities in New Jersey saw population growth in the year since the 2010 U.S. Census.
The latest estimates from the Census Bureau, for 2011, show population growth in nearly 400 of New Jersey’s 566 towns, mostly in the east and central Jersey.
The largest increases were in Fairfield in Cumberland County and Ewing in Mercer County, which grew by 2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. The other dozen communities where populations grew by 1 percent or more were in urban Hudson County.
Greater growth in cities is a reversal of the trend that predominated the state over the last half-century, when development and population growth soared in the state’s western and southern suburbs.
Continued immigration, as well as a greater number of births, is partly to explain for the increases. There has also been renewed interest among post-baby boomers in urban living, which has led to neighborhood revitalization in a number of New Jersey cities.
Statewide, New Jersey added about 30,000 residents, or an increase of about .3 percent, continuing the low rate of growth of the last decade. That slow pace led to New Jersey losing one congressional representative at the end of the year.
On the other hand, Census data shows small population declines in suburban areas, with the largest at the state’s extremes in Sussex and Cape May counties. The greatest drops, of more than 1 percent, were estimated in Princeton in Mercer and Maurice River in Cumberland.
Growth has slowed or reversed in the suburbs in part because the poor economy brought new home construction to a virtual halt and because many baby boomers are aging in place, choosing to stay in their homes, and are no longer having children.
Another eight municipalities had no change.
Every year, the Census Bureau releases updated population estimates, based primarily on reports of births and deaths, migration and immigration data, and building permits issued.
To see the 2010 population, 2011 estimate and percent change for a municipality, click on it.