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Economic Downturn Stunts New Jersey Population Growth [AUDIO]

As the economic recovery continues, the population growth has been slowed in Jersey and across America.

Population growth in NJ declines.
Mario Tama, Getty Images

For the past several decades, the national population has been increasing about 1 percent a year – but since 2009, the population has grown only 0-point-7 percent annually.

Rutgers economist James Hughes says the slowdown is taking place for a couple of reasons – “the first is a dramatic slowdown in immigration – which had been the largest component of population growth – as economic opportunity has declined, immigration has plummeted – and the second factor is young adults delaying childbearing – mainly because of the economy- they can’t afford to establish a separate household or move away from their parents.”

He says in a state like New Jersey, it’s extraordinarily expensive to establish a separate household, “and given the state of the economy, it’s not surprising that a number of young adults have postponed that specific event in their lifecycle.”

Hughes points out New Jersey ranks third as an immigration destination – over 20 percent of our population is foreign born – which means “we were a major immigration destination state, so we have felt the brunt of that slowdown in international immigration…in the aftershock of the Great Recession, we are no longer the land of opportunity, and most immigrants to the United States come here because of the opportunities that are present…this may be a temporary lull, or it may indicate that other destinations will move to more prominence in the future.”

He adds once the economy really starts picking up steam, we will probably see the population in the Garden state begin to grow.

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