New Jersey ranked 9th in population in the US with an estimated total of 8,590,300 in 2002, an increase of 2.1% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, New Jersey's population grew from 7,730,188 to 8,414,350, an increase of 8.9%. In 2000 New Jersey had the highest population density among the 50 states: 1,134.4 persons per sq mi. The population is projected to reach 9.6 million by 2025.
In 2000 the median age was 36.7. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 24.8% of the population while 13.2% were age 65 or older.
Sparsely populated at the time of the Revolutionary War, New Jersey did not pass the one million mark until the 1880 census. Most of the state's subsequent growth came through migration, especially from New York during the period after 1950 when the New Jersey population stood at 4,835,329. The most significant population growth came in older cities in northern New Jersey and in commuter towns near New York and Philadelphia. The average annual population growth declined from 2.3% in the
New Jersey Counties, County Seats, and County Areas and Populations
|COUNTY||COUNTY SEAT||LAND AREA (SQ MI)||POPULATION (2002 EST.)|
|Cape May||Cape May||263||102,013|
1950s to 1.7% in the 1960s, and the state actually experienced a net loss from migration of 275,000 during the 1970s. Total growth rose to 5% during the 1980s.
New Jersey's major population centers, with estimated 2002 population figures, are Newark, 277,000; Jersey City, 240,100; Paterson, 150,750; and Elizabeth, 123,279.