New Jersey Department of Labor

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Contact: Kevin Smith 609/292-3221

 

 

Census Data Show New Jersey’s Median Age Highest Ever and Increasing Diversity

 

TRENTON, May 23, 2001 – The median age of New Jersey’s population increased from 34.4 years in 1990 to 36.7 years in 2000 according to the latest figures from Census 2000, the state Labor Department’s State Data Center said today.  The increase reflects the aging of the baby boomers.  However, the growth of the population aged 65 and over during the past decade (7.8%) was slower than the total population (8.9%) in both the state and the nation (12.0% for the over 65 and 13.2% for the total) due to the relatively low number of births in the Great Depression era. The national median age also increased 2.4 years, from 32.9 in 1990 to 35.3 in 2000.

According to the 2000 Census, Cape May surpassed Ocean as the county with the oldest population in New Jersey with a median age of 42.3 years.  Ocean County’s median age was 41.0 years.  The slower increase of Ocean County’s median age reflected a fast growing under-65-population in the county.  The number of persons under 65 years of age grew by a hefty 19.5 percent in Ocean County but just increased by 7.5 percent in Cape May County during the 1990s.  Hudson County was New Jersey’s youngest county with a median age of 33.6 years.

The Census figures released today also include the first population totals for selected groups of Asian and Hispanic (or Latino) populations.  Like the nation, the state’s Hispanic (or Latino) population soared, led by a hefty 258 percent increase of Mexicans in the past decade.  The number of Cubans living in New Jersey decreased by 9.4 percent during the same time period.  Puerto Ricans remained the largest Hispanic group in the state and accounted for 32.8% of the state’s total Hispanic population in 2000.   Mexican was the largest Latino group in the nation as a whole, accounting for 58.5% of the nation’s total Hispanics in 2000.

The number of Mexicans more than quadrupled in five New Jersey counties during the 1990s – Cumberland (+560%), Ocean (+474%), Atlantic (+401%), Monmouth (+363%) and Middlesex (+335%).  The largest increases of Mexicans occurred in Passaic County (+14,669), Middlesex County (+10,980) and Hudson County (+7,912).  These three counties accounted for 45.2 percent of the state’s total increase of Mexicans.

Among New Jersey’s Asians, Asian Indian was the fastest growing group (+113%) during the 1990s, and continued to be the largest group.  Japanese was the only Asian group to experience a decline (-15%) between 1990 and 2000.  Consequently, Japanese became the smallest Asian group in the state in 2000, surpassed by the fast growing Vietnamese (+107%).   Nationally, the number of Asian Indians (+106%) also grew faster than any other Asian groups while the number of Japanese (-6%) also declined.  However, Chinese was the largest Asian group in the nation as a whole, followed by Filipinos and Asian Indians.

(Caution: Multiracial persons (about 2.5% of New Jersey’s total residents) were excluded from this comparison.)

The number of Asian Indians more than doubled in nine New Jersey counties.  Middlesex County had the largest gain of Asian Indians (+35,770), followed by Hudson County (+8,934) and Bergen County (+8,082).  Together with Morris and Somerset Counties, these five counties accounted for more than two-thirds (67.5%) of the state’s total Asian Indian population as of April 1, 2000.

Besides the data on age, race and ethnicity, the profile also contains data on sex, household relationship and household type, housing units, vacancy status, and renters and homeowners.  The profile is available for New Jersey and the state’s 21 counties and 566 municipalities on the Internet by clicking on the Labor Market Information button on www.wnjpin.net

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For more information, please contact David Joye or Sen-Yuan Wu at (609)292-0076 or djoye@dol.state.nj.us.