New Jersey Population 2017


The coastal state of New Jersey is situated on the northeastern edge of the United States and is bordered to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. It has played a prime role in the history of the country, and in terms of the New Jersey population, the state packs a lot of people into a relatively small area. The current estimated population for 2016 is 8,958,013, with a growth rate of 0.41%, which ranks 37th in the country.

The last nationwide census was completed in 2010 and at the time, it was revealed that there were 8,791,894 people living in New Jersey, which equated to a rise of 4.5% on the numbers declared in the 2000 survey.

The most current estimates from July 2015 show a New Jersey population of 8,958,013, which makes it the 11th most populous state in the country, despite being ranked 47th in terms of size.

Statistics relating to density show that New Jersey makes great use of every inch of territory. Its total land mass equates to 8,721 square miles (22,608 square kilometers), making it only the 47th biggest state in the US. The only US states that are smaller than New Jersey are Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island.

Despite its lack of size, however, for every square mile of NJ territory, there is an average of 1,195.5 people, which makes it the most densely populated state in the US. New Jersey is the only state to have every single county considered "urban" by the Census Bureau.

Largest Cities in New Jersey

For such a densely populated state, there are only four cities in New Jersey with a population of more than 100,000 people. Newark is the state’s largest city, with a population of 281,944 (based on 2015 estimates), closely followed by Jersey City, home to 264,290 people. The other cities with more than 100,000 people are Paterson (147,754 people) and Elizabeth (129,007).

Most of New Jersey's population lives in the countries surrounding New York City, Philadelphia and the eastern Jersey Shore. The northwestern and very southern counties have a much lower density.

Interestingly, New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than any other area of the world. It's also one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse states in the US, with the second largest Jewish population (after New York state), the second largest Muslim population (after the state of Michigan), the largest population of Peruvians in the country, and the largest population of Cubans outside of the state of Florida. It also boasts very high numbers of Portuguese and Brazilian Americans, Hispanics, Arabs, African-Americans, Asians, Chinese and Italian Americans.

New Jersey Population Chart

New Jersey Population History

It's a simplistic generalization to say that like most eastern areas of the United States, New Jersey began to fill up quite rapidly in the 1800s. In 1790, 184,139 citizens were living in the state, and that was already a very healthy figure.

Ten years later in 1800, that number had climbed by just under 15% to 211,149 but from the second half of the 19th century onwards, percentage rises in population began to increase on a census by census basis. The growth had gathered so much momentum that by the beginning of the 1900s, the New Jersey population had grown to 1,883,669.

Throughout the 20th century there was less of a pattern in terms of population growth but the overall picture was one of sustained growth to the point where, in the present day, the New Jersey population in 2016 is edging toward the nine million mark. To put that in perspective, that is bigger than more than half of the countries in Europe, and nearly one-third of the size of a country like Canada.

New Jersey Population Projections

New Jersey’s remarkable growth shows no signs of abating and similar increases will take the population comfortably beyond the 9 million mark in 2020. How long this tiny state can sustain those rises without running out of space is a far greater question.

Data gathered show that New Jersey's population will continue to grow and diversify. The population is expected to include more seniors, Hispanics and Asians by 2020, and its projected population growth is fueled by projected gains in employment. The smallest racial groups in the state, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Multiracial populations, are projected to increase substantially, increasing 167% between 2010 and 2030. By 2025, it's projected that non-Hispanic whites will no longer claim a majority of New Jersey's population, accounting for just 49.4% of the total population by then.

Current projections estimate New Jersey will have a population of 9.2 million residents by 2020, although it's hard to guess how long the growth can continue.

Population Data via US Census

New Jersey Growth Rate

New Jersey State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 9,053,858 0.21%
2019 9,034,689 0.21%
2018 9,015,520 0.21%
2017 8,996,351 0.21%
2016 8,977,182 0.21%
2015 8,958,013 0.21%
2014 8,938,844 0.35%
2013 8,907,384 0.37%
2012 8,874,893 0.36%
2011 8,842,934 0.58%
2010 8,791,894 0.44%
2000 8,414,350 0.85%
1990 7,730,188 0.49%
1980 7,364,823 0.27%
1970 7,168,164 1.68%
1960 6,066,782 2.29%
1950 4,835,329 1.52%
1940 4,160,165 0.29%
1930 4,041,334 2.50%
1920 3,155,900 2.21%
1910 2,537,167 3.02%
1900 1,883,669 2.69%
1890 1,444,933 2.48%
1880 1,131,116 2.24%
1870 906,096 3.03%
1860 672,035 3.22%
1850 489,555 2.75%
1840 373,306 1.53%
1830 320,823 1.46%
1820 277,575 1.23%
1810 245,555 1.52%
1800 211,149 1.38%
1790 184,139 0.00%

New Jersey Facts

New Jersey Population in 2017 Source: Arthur Paxton

  • The first inhabitants of New Jersey were the Native Americans from the Delaware tribe.
  • Henry Hudson claimed the land of New Jersey for the Dutch in 1609 and was surrendered to the British in 1664.
  • New Jersey's population density is 13 times the national average.
  • Ninety percent of New Jersey residents live in urban areas.
  • The first Indian reservation was located within the state of New Jersey.
  • The state has more diners and shopping malls than any other state in the US.
  • The longest boardwalk in the world is located in Atlantic City.
  • New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights.

New Jersey Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

New Jersey Population Growth Rate by County

The state of New Jersey, when broken down into population by county, had both gains and losses in its population. However, there were no significant increases and decreases as seen in other states in the US. The population growth and losses were calculated based on data from the 2010 Census, compared to estimates taken in 2015 by the US Census Bureau. Of all of the state's counties, the northern Hudson County posted the highest growth at 6.05%. Follwing behind is Middlesex County at 3.65%, Bergen County at 3.49%, and Union at 3.35%. There were multiple other counties that had slightly smaller rates of growth.

On the other side, some New Jersey counties also experienced declines in population from 2010 to 2015. The northernmost county of Sussex saw the biggest decline in population, dropping 3.46%. The next highest decreases were recorded along the southern border in Salem and Cape May Counties. Other counties that recorded lower populations include Monmouth, Atlantic, and Cumberland.

Population Pyramid

To compare New Jersey to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

19.7% of New Jersey's population is Hispanic or Latino of any race, and is the 8th highest Hispanic population in the United States based on percentage when compared to total population. The overall population of Hispanics, estimated to be over 1.5 million, is the 7th highest in the nation.

According to data from the 2010 Census, New Jersey's population of Asians was 9.0%, which is tied for the 3rd highest percentage of Asians in the United States. Almost three-quarters of all Asian Americans reside in New Jersey and a handful of other states, including california, New York, and Texas.

It's estimated that about 6.2% of New Jersey's population is made up of illegal immigrants, and New Jersey has the 6th highest illegal immigrant population in the US. There were an estimated 550,000 illegal immigrants in New Jersey as of 2010. New Jersey is also ranked 15th among all states with its total African American population.

Languages Spoken in New Jersey

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 8,294,499 100
English 6,523,729 78.65
Spanish 1,277,000 15.4
Portuguese 84,160 1.01
Chinese 78,860 0.95
French 35,985 0.43
German 27,405 0.33
Telugu 25,940 0.31
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 23,035 0.28
Tamil 19,835 0.24

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in New Jersey. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

New Jersey Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 88
BachelorsDegree 36
Disabled 7
NoHealthInsurance 13
LaborForceTotal 66
LaborForceFemale 61
FoodServiceSales 19,673,558
HealthCareRevenue 60,375,232
ManufacturerShipments 108,854,971
MerchantWholesalesSales 288,467,844
RetailSales 133,665,728
RetailSalesPerCapita 15,079
MeanWorkTravelTime 31
MedianHouseholdIncome 72,062
PerCapitaIncome 36,359
PovertyPercentage 11

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in New Jersey for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.8% and the labor force participation rate is 66%.

New Jersey Business

NonemployerEstablishments 653,271
AllFirms 792,088
MenOwnedFirms 464,592
WomenOwnedFirms 252,944
MinorityOwnedFirms 237,242
NonminorityOwnedFirms 533,808
VeteranOwnedFirms 57,996
NonveteranOwn 707,975

New Jersey Housing

HousingUnits 3,593,604
HousingUnits 3,553,562
OwnerOccupiedRate 65
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 319,900
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 2,428
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 972
MedianGrossRent 1,188
BuildingPermits 30,560
Households 3,188,498
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 90
NonEnglishAtHome 30
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts