Despite its relatively small size, the state of New Jersey is home to 8.8 million people, as counted by the 2010 U.S. Census.
Nearly 18 percent of those residents are Hispanic, making this group the largest minority in the state. They are also the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.
The growth in the state’s Hispanic population has challenged government at all levels, particularly when the residents are relative newcomers with poor English language skills. Some school districts have boosted their English as a Second Language programs. There has also been an increased need for translators to help those seeking services. And many governmental forms are now bilingual.
Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released additional details from the decennial count. The new data includes age sex, family, and household statistics for all the racial and ethnic groups and for subgroups.
NJ Spotlight’s map includes information on the Hispanic population by municipality.
Thirteen communities are officially Hispanic majority—meaning more than half of the residents are Hispanic. The largest Hispanic majority is in Union City in Hudson County, where nearly 85 percent of the population was Hispanic.
In Essex County, Belleville’s population is 39.3 percent Hispanic. Newark is 33.8 percent; in Bloomfield, 24.5 percent.
In West Orange, 16.2 percent of the population is Hispanic. In Nutley, it’s 11.8 percent; Caldwell, 10 percent; Montclair, 7.5 percent; Maplewood, 6.7 percent; South Orange, 6.1 percent; Cedar Grove, 5.9 percent.
On the other hand, a third of New Jersey communities have Hispanic populations of fewer than 5 percent. In Millburn, for example, the percent is 3.5 percent; Livingston, 4.1 percent.
Use the NJ Spotlight map by clicking on a municipality to see its 2010 population count, Hispanic population, and the median age of Hispanics. There are also breakdowns for the five most common Hispanic ancestry groups in the state: Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, Colombian, and Dominican.
NJ Spotlight is an online news service providing insight and information on issues critical to New Jersey.