Census data show population in Southern counties rising

The latest census data released Thursday showed what most pundits have been expecting: A growth in population in the Southern portion of the state with a subsequent decline in portions of the North.

According to the data released to coincide with the state’s legislative redistricting effort, Ocean and Gloucester Counties showed by far the largest growth of anywhere in the state, with each posting an increase of more than 13 percent. Atlantic and Cumberland Counties also showed heavy increases with Atlantic posting an 8.7 percent gain and Cumberland growing more than 7 percent.

In the North, the state’s largest county, Bergen grew just 2.4 percent, while Essex County saw its population decline by 1.2 percent. In the central portion of the state, both Middlesex and Somerset Counties saw marked increases with Somerset’s population rising 8.7 percent and Middlesex’s jumping just under 8 percent.

In all, the eight counties that make up the southern portion of the state (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem) grew 7.7 percent, more than double the 3.3 percent growth of the 13 counties to the North.

The percentage growth of all 21 counties in the state:

Ocean             13.60%

Gloucester      13.2%

Somerset        8.72%

Atlantic            8.71%

Middlesex        7.96%

Cumberland    7.14%

Warren            6.11%

Burlington       5.98%

Hunterdon      5.2%

Morris             4.69%

Mercer            4.49%

Hudson           4.15%

Sussex          3.54%

Salem            2.80%

Union            2.67%

Passaic         2.49%

Monmouth      2.45%

Bergen          2.38%

Camden       .93%

Essex            -1.22%

Cape May     -4.95%