New Jersey’s population inched close to 9 million last year, but the continuing flight of residents kept the state’s population increase lagging against others, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The first statewide and county-by-county population estimates since the official 2010 Census show New Jersey continues to lag behind areas in the west and south, including Washington, Texas and Georgia, that have been growing much faster. New Jersey’s smaller population increases led the state to lose one of its seats in Congress come January.
According to the Census Bureau estimates, New Jersey’s population rose by 29,261 between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011 to 8.82 million. That’s an increase of just .3 percent. Births during that time period outpaced deaths by about 44,000, but the number of people moving out of state surpassed the number of immigrants who settled here by almost 15,000.
The fastest growing county last year was Hudson, which is the state’s fourth largest, behind Bergen, Middlesex and Essex. The most sparsely populated is Salem. Population declined in seven counties — Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Hunterdon, Salem, Sussex and Warren — according to the Census estimates.
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Here is where Ocean County ranked:
April 2010 population: 576,567
July 2011 estimate: 579,369
Natural Change: 1,191
Domestic Migration: 1,018
Net Migration: 1,682