June 2, 2016: Number and Proportion of Foreign-Born Residents

Our first post on this topic of immigration will focus on the number of foreign-born residents residing in the state of New Jersey and throughout its neighborhoods, as well as the proportion of the total population they comprise. Throughout the state’s history, and especially around the turn of the twentieth century, great surges of immigrants contributed to rapid population growth in New Jersey’s urban areas. According to the 2010-2014 ACS, nearly 2 million foreign-born residents reside in New Jersey, comprising 21% of the state’s total population. Figure 1, below, shows substantial increases in foreign-born residents from 1980 onward. The proportion of the state’s population that is foreign-born also continues to rise. Also shown in Figure 1, the 21% of the total population that foreign-born residents comprised in 2010-2014 is the greatest proportion since 1930.

Source: Data source: Cornwall Center Analysis of data collected from the Minnesota Population Center. National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 2.0. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota 2011. http://www.nhgis.org

The interactive maps below provide insight into the foreign-born population of New Jersey’s neighborhoods. The map on the left shows the total foreign-born population, while the map on the right shows the proportion of the total neighborhood population that is foreign-born. Higher numbers and proportions of foreign-born residents are found throughout neighborhoods of New Jersey’s northeastern counties, such as Hudson and Essex, as well as counties along the Northeast Corridor New Jersey Transit/Amtrak train line, such as Middlesex, Somerset, and Mercer. Neighborhoods in counties of the former group represent historical immigration gateways that drew immigrants by their proximity to New York City. While these gateways continue to draw immigrants, neighborhoods of the counties listed in the latter group may represent new areas to which immigrants are drawn, due to proximity to certain types of jobs. We will explore this concept when we observe immigrants’ period of entry in next week’s post. Until then, use the interactive maps to select neighborhoods and learn more about their foreign-born population.