Demographics & GIS


The U.S. Census Bureau collects a host of data on the nation's people and economy. This involves numerous surveys regularly conducted by the Bureau, the most well-known being the census taken every ten years of population and household demographic characteristics. In 2005, the Census Bureau initiated the American Community Survey, a continuous detailed survey of economic, social, demographic, and housing characteristics intended to complement the decennial census. Census data is reported at a wide range of geography, from the nation as a whole down to states, counties and smaller areas.

Below are links to sources of Census data that the NJTPA regularly draws upon in assessing the traveling needs of the residents of northern New Jersey (indicates links to outside websites):

Data Source Description
ACS Data Release Schedule Data release schedule for American Community Survey (ACS) data
U.S. Census Bureau – Data Explorer Quick direct access portal to U.S. Census data
American Community Survey Data Census product that will provide yearly survey data, which was previously only included in the decennial long form
American Community Survey – Guidance for Data Users Tools to help understand the use and benefits of the American Community Survey
Census Transportation Planning Package Special tabulations from the decennial census designed for transportation planners
U.S. Census Bureau – Economic Census Economic profile of American businesses, released every five years
Census TIGER/Line files The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system houses geographic data used by the U.S. Census Bureau

Census 2020 Data

The New Jersey State Data Center provides and analyzes the latest data from the 2020 census.

Regional Facts

Some key facts for the NJTPA region are as follows:

  • The NJTPA region is home to nearly seven million people, 75 percent of NJ’s total population.

  • Initial decennial Census figures released in spring 2021 show that New Jersey’s population increased 5.7 percent from 2010 to 2020. Previous estimates by the Census Bureau for the North Jersey region had suggested more gradual growth than this, so a more complete understanding of population trends over the past decade will require further analysis.

  • Within the region, the earlier data had indicated uneven growth. Competing forces are always in play, driving population settlement among various place-types – urban areas like Jersey City and much of Hudson County; older communities with transit hubs and busy downtowns like Montclair, Westfield and Red Bank; suburban areas that make up most of the region; and rural areas, particularly in Warren, Hunterdon and Sussex counties.
  • During the strong economic growth in the rebound from the great recession of 2008, many urban areas and denser downtowns experienced population growth, as well as increased office and other development that previously had been occurring in the suburbs. Factors influencing this trend included younger adults’ preferences for urbanized locations with more entertainment and social opportunities and the attractiveness of places with easy walking, biking, and transit access. Jersey City benefited from these factors as did Newark and Elizabeth after years of suffering population declines. The trend also boosted growth in places with good access to New York City like Harrison and Secaucus and transit towns like Madison and Boonton.

  • At the same time there were some countervailing trends, with millennials beginning to raise families and seeking out suburban homes, and rising housing costs driving people away from sought-after denser locations. There’s also been a growth in retirement communities, with more people choosing to age in New Jersey.

News Articles

Summary articles in the media are here:

NY Times article discussing "why New York State’s population growth surprised experts." Although this article is specific to New York state, similar reasons might explain why the population growth in the NJTPA region was similarly surprising. article talking about the results of Census 2020 in New Jersey, and a related article about New Jersey's population growth.