Most rural counties in New Jersey

Written by:
July 25, 2022
Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

Most rural counties in New Jersey

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in New Jersey using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2020 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn't an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#21. Hudson County

- Rural area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Urban area: 100.0% (46 square miles)
- Total land area: 46 square miles
--- #21 largest county in state, #3,106 nationwide

- Population density: 14,546.6 people / square mile (671,923 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #3,137 nationwide

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#20. Union County

- Rural area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Urban area: 100.0% (103 square miles)
- Total land area: 103 square miles
--- #20 largest county in state, #3,085 nationwide

- Population density: 5,398.0 people / square mile (555,208 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #3,123 nationwide

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#19. Essex County

- Rural area: 2.9% (4 square miles)
- Urban area: 97.1% (123 square miles)
- Total land area: 126 square miles
--- #19 largest county in state, #3,077 nationwide

- Population density: 6,328.2 people / square mile (798,698 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #3,125 nationwide

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#18. Bergen County

- Rural area: 6.3% (15 square miles)
- Urban area: 93.8% (218 square miles)
- Total land area: 233 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #2,944 nationwide

- Population density: 3,996.7 people / square mile (931,275 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #3,116 nationwide

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#17. Middlesex County

- Rural area: 18.4% (57 square miles)
- Urban area: 81.6% (252 square miles)
- Total land area: 309 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #2,788 nationwide

- Population density: 2,670.7 people / square mile (825,015 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #3,098 nationwide

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#16. Camden County

- Rural area: 30.7% (68 square miles)
- Urban area: 69.3% (153 square miles)
- Total land area: 221 square miles
--- #17 largest county in state, #2,968 nationwide

- Population density: 2,290.1 people / square mile (506,721 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #3,089 nationwide

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#15. Monmouth County

- Rural area: 35.0% (164 square miles)
- Urban area: 65.1% (305 square miles)
- Total land area: 469 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #2,198 nationwide

- Population density: 1,324.3 people / square mile (620,821 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #3,030 nationwide

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#14. Mercer County

- Rural area: 40.7% (91 square miles)
- Urban area: 59.4% (133 square miles)
- Total land area: 225 square miles
--- #16 largest county in state, #2,960 nationwide

- Population density: 1,639.2 people / square mile (368,085 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #3,057 nationwide

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#13. Somerset County

- Rural area: 41.3% (125 square miles)
- Urban area: 58.7% (177 square miles)
- Total land area: 302 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #2,806 nationwide

- Population density: 1,093.9 people / square mile (330,151 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #3,006 nationwide

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#12. Morris County

- Rural area: 43.5% (200 square miles)
- Urban area: 56.5% (260 square miles)
- Total land area: 460 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #2,228 nationwide

- Population density: 1,070.7 people / square mile (492,715 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #3,004 nationwide

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Sridhar // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Passaic County

- Rural area: 49.0% (90 square miles)
- Urban area: 51.0% (94 square miles)
- Total land area: 185 square miles
--- #18 largest county in state, #3,021 nationwide

- Population density: 2,723.6 people / square mile (502,763 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #3,100 nationwide

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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Gloucester County

- Rural area: 50.8% (164 square miles)
- Urban area: 49.2% (158 square miles)
- Total land area: 322 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #2,755 nationwide

- Population density: 906.0 people / square mile (291,745 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #2,981 nationwide

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#9. Ocean County

- Rural area: 59.9% (376 square miles)
- Urban area: 40.2% (252 square miles)
- Total land area: 629 square miles
--- #2 largest county in state, #1,529 nationwide

- Population density: 957.4 people / square mile (602,018 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #2,987 nationwide

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#8. Burlington County

- Rural area: 72.5% (579 square miles)
- Urban area: 27.5% (220 square miles)
- Total land area: 799 square miles
--- #1 largest county in state, #1,070 nationwide

- Population density: 558.9 people / square mile (446,301 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #2,908 nationwide

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#7. Cape May County

- Rural area: 76.9% (193 square miles)
- Urban area: 23.1% (58 square miles)
- Total land area: 251 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #2,908 nationwide

- Population density: 368.7 people / square mile (92,701 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #2,791 nationwide

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Dough4872 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Atlantic County

- Rural area: 79.3% (441 square miles)
- Urban area: 20.7% (115 square miles)
- Total land area: 556 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #1,870 nationwide

- Population density: 476.2 people / square mile (264,650 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #2,869 nationwide

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Cumberland County

- Rural area: 86.1% (417 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.9% (67 square miles)
- Total land area: 484 square miles
--- #5 largest county in state, #2,142 nationwide

- Population density: 310.3 people / square mile (150,085 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #2,743 nationwide

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Jared Kofsky/PlaceNJ.com // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Hunterdon County

- Rural area: 86.2% (369 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.8% (59 square miles)
- Total land area: 428 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #2,374 nationwide

- Population density: 292.3 people / square mile (125,063 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #2,725 nationwide

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#3. Sussex County

- Rural area: 86.9% (451 square miles)
- Urban area: 13.1% (68 square miles)
- Total land area: 519 square miles
--- #4 largest county in state, #2,009 nationwide

- Population density: 271.7 people / square mile (140,996 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #2,698 nationwide

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#2. Warren County

- Rural area: 90.2% (322 square miles)
- Urban area: 9.8% (35 square miles)
- Total land area: 357 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #2,666 nationwide

- Population density: 296.2 people / square mile (105,730 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #2,731 nationwide

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#1. Salem County

- Rural area: 93.4% (310 square miles)
- Urban area: 6.6% (22 square miles)
- Total land area: 332 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #2,734 nationwide

- Population density: 189.1 people / square mile (62,754 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #2,572 nationwide

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