The Republican campaign talking point that New Jersey is losing residents in droves can be officially put to rest with the results of the 2020 Census. Under the strong leadership of Governor Phil Murphy we continue to grow and are #JerseyStrong!
New Jersey will keep its 12 congressional seats after adding nearly half a million residents in the past decade, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The population growth, amid a national slowdown, seems to puncture the narrative that New Jersey's taxes and high cost of living are driving residents out in droves to states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey's population grew from 8,791,894 in 2010 to 9,288,994 in 2020, according to the Census Bureau, an increase of 5.7%.
“The Census results we received today are a testament to what we’ve known all along: that New Jersey is the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family," Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Monday night.
"Not only did we gain nearly half a million residents, but we also ensured that our representation in Washington would be unchanged."
Taken every 10 years, the census is used to determine how many of the 435 congressional seats each of the 50 states will receive.
New Jersey's growth means federal lawmakers will avoid the potentially awkward prospect of competing against one another for territory, which happened in the last census.
At that time, New Jersey had 13 congressional districts and lost one. The redrawing of the 9th District, represented then by Steve Rothman of Bergen County, led to a primary contest in 2012 between Rothman and Bill Pascrell Jr., formerly of the 8th District.
Rothman lost, and Pascrell, of Paterson, has represented the 9th District since.
The bordering states of New York and Pennsylvania were among seven states to lose a congressional seat this time.
The nearly 6% growth in New Jersey was lower than the national average of 7.4% from 2010, which is the slowest rate since the 1930s, the Census Bureau said. The total U.S. population in 2020 was 331,449,281, according to the bureau.
The largest growth was in the South, followed by the West, bureau officials said at a news conference. The Northeast's growth was 4.1%, they said.
The census count means lawmakers can redraw New Jersey's 40 legislative districts to reflect the population change. But more detailed data is not expected until later this year.