Fastest-growing counties in New Jersey

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July 1, 2022
f11 photo // Shutterstock

Fastest-growing counties in New Jersey

Why do people move from one county or region to another? The usual suspects are jobs, family, significant others, and overall cost of living, but there are other elements at play. For those with children, moving within close proximity of a highly rated school district is a key contributing factor. For younger adults just starting out, living someplace with a vibrant social scene might be a top priority. And for those whose careers have wound down after a lifetime of work, finding retirement-friendly communities is the goal—communities deemed to be safe, offer accessibility to medical resources and leisure activities in equal measure, and be affordable for those on a limited income.

This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. People’s reasons for choosing to live where they do are as diverse as people themselves.

As far as why certain counties across the U.S. have experienced growth, relocation is not the sole, or even primary, reason why. While more than 1,800 counties saw population gains in 2021, approximately 73% of all U.S. counties saw what the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes as a natural decrease. This was a significant jump from 2020, when 55.5% of countries experienced such a decrease. According to the Bureau, natural decrease is the simple result of “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.” In 2021, the conflation of fewer births with an aging population that was also absorbing a higher-than-usual mortality rate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to this “increased decrease.”

Nonetheless, as stated 1,800 counties nationwide have grown larger over the last year, and a sizable percentage of them are in New Jersey. Stacker compiled a list of the fastest-growing counties in New Jersey using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest population growth from 2010 to 2020, based on the U.S. Decennial Census.

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Sussex County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -5,044
--- #3,079 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -3.4%
--- #21 among counties in New Jersey, #2,058 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 144,221
--- #17 largest county in New Jersey, #459 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Cumberland County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,746
--- #2,953 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.8%
--- #18 among counties in New Jersey, #1,800 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 154,152
--- #16 largest county in New Jersey, #441 largest county nationwide
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Jorge Moro // Shutterstock

#19. Cape May County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -2,002
--- #2,834 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -2.1%
--- #20 among counties in New Jersey, #1,868 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 95,263
--- #20 largest county in New Jersey, #632 largest county nationwide
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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Salem County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -1,246
--- #2,620 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: -1.9%
--- #19 among counties in New Jersey, #1,821 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 64,837
--- #21 largest county in New Jersey, #831 largest county nationwide
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Bob Jagendorf // Wikicommons

#17. Atlantic County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: -15
--- #1,507 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: 0.0%
--- #17 among counties in New Jersey, #1,491 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 274,534
--- #15 largest county in New Jersey, #253 largest county nationwide

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Jared Kofsky/PlaceNJ.com // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Hunterdon County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +598
--- #1,121 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.5%
--- #16 among counties in New Jersey, #1,419 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 128,947
--- #18 largest county in New Jersey, #501 largest county nationwide
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Warren County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +940
--- #1,015 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +0.9%
--- #15 among counties in New Jersey, #1,353 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 109,632
--- #19 largest county in New Jersey, #558 largest county nationwide
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#14. Camden County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +9,828
--- #428 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +1.9%
--- #14 among counties in New Jersey, #1,199 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 523,485
--- #9 largest county in New Jersey, #138 largest county nationwide
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Apc106 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Burlington County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,126
--- #368 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.9%
--- #12 among counties in New Jersey, #1,066 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 461,860
--- #11 largest county in New Jersey, #155 largest county nationwide
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LittleGun // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Monmouth County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +13,235
--- #367 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +2.1%
--- #13 among counties in New Jersey, #1,166 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 643,615
--- #5 largest county in New Jersey, #108 largest county nationwide

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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Gloucester County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +14,006
--- #358 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.9%
--- #9 among counties in New Jersey, #839 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 302,294
--- #14 largest county in New Jersey, #232 largest county nationwide
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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#10. Morris County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +17,009
--- #324 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +3.5%
--- #11 among counties in New Jersey, #996 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 509,285
--- #10 largest county in New Jersey, #141 largest county nationwide
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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#9. Mercer County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +20,827
--- #281 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.7%
--- #7 among counties in New Jersey, #753 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 387,340
--- #12 largest county in New Jersey, #185 largest county nationwide
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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Somerset County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +21,917
--- #270 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.8%
--- #5 among counties in New Jersey, #648 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 345,361
--- #13 largest county in New Jersey, #210 largest county nationwide
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Sridhar // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Passaic County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +22,892
--- #264 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +4.6%
--- #10 among counties in New Jersey, #869 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 524,118
--- #8 largest county in New Jersey, #136 largest county nationwide

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#6. Union County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +38,846
--- #169 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +7.2%
--- #4 among counties in New Jersey, #614 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 575,345
--- #7 largest county in New Jersey, #121 largest county nationwide
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#5. Bergen County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +50,616
--- #129 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +5.6%
--- #8 among counties in New Jersey, #762 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 955,732
--- #1 largest county in New Jersey, #56 largest county nationwide
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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Middlesex County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +53,304
--- #123 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +6.6%
--- #6 among counties in New Jersey, #658 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 863,162
--- #3 largest county in New Jersey, #71 largest county nationwide
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#3. Ocean County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +60,662
--- #104 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.5%
--- #2 among counties in New Jersey, #391 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 637,229
--- #6 largest county in New Jersey, #109 largest county nationwide
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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#2. Essex County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +79,759
--- #67 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +10.2%
--- #3 among counties in New Jersey, #408 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 863,728
--- #2 largest county in New Jersey, #70 largest county nationwide

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f11 photo // Shutterstock

#1. Hudson County

- 2010 to 2020 population change: +90,588
--- #54 among all counties nationwide
- 2010 to 2020 percent population change: +14.3%
--- #1 among counties in New Jersey, #249 among all counties nationwide
- 2020 population: 724,854
--- #4 largest county in New Jersey, #93 largest county nationwide

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