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.
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. 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.
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.
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 counties surrounding New York City, Philadelphia and the eastern Jersey Shore. The northwestern and very southern counties have a much lower density. The most populated county in New Jersey is Bergen County with 948,406 individuals residing within its boundaries.
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.
The median age in New Jersey is approximately 39.5 years of age. The ratio of females to males is approximately 51.2% females and 48.8% males.
In terms of religious preferences across the state, New Jersey comes in with 67% Christian based faiths, 14% non-Christian based faiths, and 18% are non-affiliated with any religion.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of New Jersey was:
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’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 shows 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.
19.7% of New Jersey's diverse 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.
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%. Following 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.
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 83.58%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 62.69%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
68.06% of New Jersey residents speak only English, while 31.94% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 16.55% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in New Jersey is Native, with 22.66% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in New Jersey is White, with 7.07% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.72%. Among those working part-time, it was 10.55%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 17.65%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in New Jersey
76.81% of New Jersey residents were born in the United States, with 51.55% having been born in New Jersey. 9.73% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.