Immigration Facts

New Jersey

Summary

Immigration Facts
 
Summary Demographic State Data (and Source)
 
Population (2012 CB est.) 8,864,590
Population (2000 CB est.) 8,414,350
Foreign-Born Population (2012 CB est.) 1,833,299
Foreign-Born Population (2000 CB est.) 1,476,327
Share Foreign-Born (2012) 21.2 %
Share Foreign-Born (2000) 17%
Naturalized U.S. Citizens (2012 CB est.): 974,020
Share Naturalized (2012) 51.7 %
Legal Immigrant Admission (DHS 2001 – 2012) 556,506
Refugee Admission (HHS 2000 – 2012) 20,978
Illegal Alien Population (2010 FAIR est.) 410,000
Costs of Illegal Aliens (2009 FAIR) $3,477,539,163
Projected 2050 Population (2006 FAIR) 13,896,000

State Population

According to the Census Bureau, the population of New Jersey in 2012 was 8,864,590 residents.

Between 2000 (population 8,414,350) and 2012, the state's average annual population change was 36,754 residents. That was an annual average change of 0.4 percent. The comparable national annual rate of change was 0.9 percent.

Between 1990 (population 7,730,188) and 2000, the state's annual average population change was 68,416 residents. The annual average rate of change was 0.9 percent compared to the national rate of change of 1.2 percent.

Foreign-Born Population

According to the Census Bureau the foreign-born population of New Jersey was about 1,833,299 persons in 2012. This estimate meant a foreign-born population share of 21.2 percent. The chart above shows the long-term change in the state's foreign-born population based on Census Bureau data.

Foreign-Born Change

Between 2000 and 2012 the Census Bureau estimate indicates an average annual rate of change in the foreign-born population of about 40,464 people, compared to the state's annual average population change of about 36,754  people. That is a 110.1  percent share of the state's population change (not including the children born in the United States to illegal aliens). The foreign-born population grew by 27.6 percent between 2000 and 2012.

Immigration also contributes to population growth through the U.S.-born children of immigrants. Nationally the share of births to the foreign-born is about double their share of the population. A 42.4 percent share of the state's current births is large enough to account for about 45,150 births a year. Combining the average increase in the foreign-born population and estimated immigrant births suggests that immigration may account for about 78,375 persons added to the state's population annually, i.e., nearly 213.2 percent of the state's overall population increase.

As of 2012 about 40.2 percent of New Jersey's foreign-born population had arrived in the state since 2000. This compares with the national average 40.9 percent. In 2000, 41.6 percent of the state's foreign-born population that had arrived since the previous Census.

Foreign-Born Characteristics

An indicator of the change in New Jersey's immigrant population may be seen in data on the share of the population over five years of age that speaks a language other than English at home. Between 2000 and 2012, the share of non-English speakers changed from 25.5 percent to 30.4 percent. In 2000, 43.6 percent of those persons in also said they spoke English less than very well. In the 2012 estimate, the share was 40.3 percent that spoke English less than very well. In 2012 Spanish speakers were 51.7 percent of those who spoke other than English at home, and 58.1 percent of those who spoke English less than very well.

The chart above shows the regional composition of the state's foreign-born population and how it has changed from between 2000 and 2012.

Naturalization

Census Bureau data in 2012 indicate that 974,020 residents of New Jersey, or 51.7 percent of the foreign-born population in New Jersey, were naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to 682,304 residents, or 46.2 percent, in 2000.

Nationally, 40.3 percent of the foreign-born population was naturalized in 2000, and 45.8 percent in 2012.

Net International Migration (NIM)

Data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Census Bureau estimated that between 2000 and 2012, the change in New Jersey's population resulting from net international migration has been about 88,405 people. It was 138.1 percent of total change (not including the children born to the immigrants after their arrival in the United States). 1   The remainder was due to net domestic migration and natural change (births minus deaths).

 

  1. A negative percentage results when there was an overall population decrease. A percentage greater than 100 percent results when domestic migration is negative, i.e, a net loss from interstate migration.

Immigrant Admissions

Recent "green card" recipients who intend to reside in New Jersey were 181 percent above admissions just after adoption of the current immigration system in 1965. During the 1965 to 1969 period, annual admissions averaged about 19,643 persons. During the most recent five years, annual admissions averaged about 55,227 persons. Immigrant admissions data are from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.

The chart above shows recent immigrant admissions and the cumulative amount of immigrant admissions since FY'65. The cumulative total of immigrant admissions to New Jersey between fiscal years 1965 and 2012 has been 1,867,774 persons.

The data for fiscal years 1989-91 were artificially raised by the inclusion of former illegal aliens who were amnestied in 1986. According to INS data (1991) the number of amnesty applicants from New Jersey was 45,439 (29,146 pre-1982 residents and 16,293 agricultural workers). These data were published by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and reported in "Report on the Legalized Alien Population," March 1992.

Admissions by Nationality: FY'96 - FY'05

The table below furnishes INS data by nationality on the immigrants who were admitted for residence in New Jersey between 1996 and 2005.

The INS data are for nationals of the countries with the largest number of immigrants admitted or adjusted to legal residence each year since 1996. The absence of data means that the total number of admissions to the United States by nationals of that country was not enough to merit detailed reporting in that year.

The Department of Homeland Security website has detailed data on immigrant admissions since FY'03 by year and by source country and intended state of residence. (See http://www.dhs.gov/files/statistics/publications/yearbook.shtm) then select the desired year, click Legal Permanent Residents, data and then select "supplemental table 1."


Chart of Immigrant Admission by Fiscal Year

Refugees

New Jersey has received 20,978 refugees over the most recent ten fiscal years including 279 refugees in fiscal year 2012. The chart above shows the annual admissions over the last ten years and the cumulative total of those admissions using data complied by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. government program that distributes new refugees among the states is the only immigration program that provides state governments the opportunity to participate in deciding how many newcomers will come to that state each year.

Illegal Aliens

New Jersey Fiscal Costs
Due to Illegal Aliens
           ($M) (Pct.)
K-12 educ. $2,209.80 63.5%
LEP educ. $228.30 6.6%
Medicaid+ $334.40 9.6%
SCHIP $174.90 5.0%
Justice $335.70 9.7%
Welfare+ $69.70 2.0%
General $124.80 3.6%
Total $3,477.50  
Tax receipts $135.30  
Net Cost $3,342.20  
Source: "The State Cost Studies"

FAIR Estimate - FAIR estimates the illegal alien population of New Jersey as of 2010 was about 410,000 persons. This is part of an overall estimate of the U.S. illegal alien population of about 11,900,000 persons.

DHS Estimate - The current estimate by DHS of the illegal alien population in New Jersey was 370,000 in 2010. The DHS estimate is available for only the 10 states with the largest illegal alien populations. The DHS estimate of the national illegal alien population in 2010 was 10,790,000.

Other Estimates - The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the illegal alien population of the state at 550,000 as of 2010.

Fiscal Cost of Illegal Aliens

FAIR's most recent estimate of the cost outlays due to illegal immigration and tax receipts from illegal aliens in New Jersey are as shown on the right:

Limited English Proficiency Students

Data are not available nationally on immigrant students (either legally or illegally resident in the United States) who are enrolled in primary and secondary schools (K-12). However, a large majority of these students enrolled in Limited English Proficiency/English Language Learning (LEP/ELL) instruction programs may be assumed to be children of either legal or illegal immigrants with a predominance of children of illegal aliens.

In New Jersey, LEP public school enrollment in 2010 ( 55,656) was 111.7 percent of LEP enrollment a decade earlier. By contrast, overall K-12 enrollment in the state was 109.5 percent of enrollment a decade earlier.

Population Projection

FAIR projected New Jersey's population in 2050 likely would be between 13,051,000 million and 13,896,000 million with current levels of immigration. Alternatively, the population could be lower (9,509,000) if immigration were reduced to a level where it balanced the number of U.S. residents leaving to reside outside of the United states, i.e., zero-net immigration. See "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050: Four Immigration Scenarios," FAIR 2006.

Foreign Students

Data compiled by the Institute of International Education (IIE) record the number of foreign students attending post-secondary school in New Jersey as 15,155 in 2012.

The chart above illustrates the change in the number of foreign students attending school in New Jersey since 1997.

For information on foreign student issues see: Foreign Students in the United States.

Immigration Impact

Sanctuary Policies

City or County

Camden

Resolution No. MC-06-259 (May 11, 2006) [Search MC-06-259]

  • "No City officer or employee should disclose confidential information unless…in the case of information relating to immigration status, (i) the individual to whom such information pertains is suspected by such officer or employee or such officer's or employee's agency of engaging in illegal activity, other than mere status as an undocumented alien, or (ii) the dissemination of such information is necessary to apprehend a person suspected of engaging in illegal activity, other than mere status as an undocumented alien, or (iii) such disclosure is necessary in the furtherance of an investigation of potential terrorist activity."
  • "Police officers should not inquire about a person's immigration status unless investigating illegal activity other than mere status as an undocumented alien....Police officers should not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call or approach the police seeking help."

Hightstown Borough

Resolution No. 2005-66 (March 7, 2005)

  • "…the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hightstown strongly encourage ICE to engage in conduct that does not create needless mistrust and fear of the Hightstown Borough Police Department and other municipal agencies which are committed to help, rather than harm, productive and valuable members of our community…."
  • "…the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hightstown will commit itself and the resources of the Borough of Hightstown to restoring the trust Hightstown Borough residents have in the municipal government and police department, so that all Hightstown residents and visitors, including all immigrants, can have the confidence to contact and interact with local police without fear of immigration consequences.…"

Montclair Township

Patriot Act Resolution

  • "…the Council of the Township of Montclair URGES the Police Department of the Township of Montclair, to the extent permitted by law, to consider refraining from participating in the enforcement of federal immigration and anti-terrorism laws and policies…."

Newark

Resolution No. 7RBB(AS) (October 4, 2006)

  • "All City officers and employees should be reminded that no person shall be denied any City services or benefits by reason of his or her immigration status."
  • "No City officer or employee shall disclose confidential information unless…in the case of information relating to immigration status, (i) the individual to whom such information pertains is suspected by such officer or employee or such officer's or employee's agency of engaging in criminal activity, other than mere status as an undocumented alien, or (ii) the dissemination of such information is necessary to apprehend a person suspected of engaging in illegal activity other than mere status as an undocumented alien or (iii) such disclosure is necessary in the furtherance of an investigation of potential terrorist activity."
  • "A City officer or employee, other than law enforcement officers, shall not inquire about a person's immigration status unless such a person's immigration status is necessary for the determination of program, service or benefit eligibility."
  • "Police officers shall not inquire about a person's immigration status unless investigating illegal activity other than mere status as an undocumented alien."
  • "Police officers shall not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call or approach the police seeking help."

Police Directive (July 24, 2013)

  • "All department personnel shall decline ICE detainer requests."
  • "There shall be no expenditure of any departmental resources or effort by on-duty personnel to comply with an ICE detainer request."

Princeton

News Article: Princeton police learn hands-off role for federal immigration laws (February 20, 2014)

  • "Town police are not supposed to involve themselves in federal immigration law enforcement, and they need to protect undocumented immigrants from unscrupulous employers, local officers learned in a training session yesterday. Police learned in the training that they have little-to-no role in federal immigration law enforcement, which means they can assist immigrant members of the community without needing to be concerned about whether they are legal residents, Capt. Nick Sutter said."

Princeton Community ID Card

  • Although a privately distributed photo identification card issued by the Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund, the card is endorsed by the Princeton Borough Police, Princeton Township Police, Mercer County Sheriff's Office and Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. The card was created to provide illegal aliens with photo identification as a result of their inability to qualify for a New Jersey driver's license. According to the Princeton Police website, "[t]his Photo ID may be used at social service agencies, schools, clinics, parks, post offices, and libraries for purposes of access to basic municipal or health services and as a form of identification by check cashing companies, banks, retail stores or other establishments."




POPULATION PROFILE

Population estimates show that New Jersey is adding people faster than any other state in the Northeast, primarily because of the increase in immigrants.1 This immigration-driven population growth is taking a serious toll on New Jersey, bringing traffic, overcrowded schools, pollution, and lack of affordable housing to the state, decreasing quality of life and straining water and other vital natural resources.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND QUALITY OF LIFE PROFILE Environmental and Quality of Life Profile

Water: By 2050 the state's population is expected to rise from 8.7 million in 2006 to 13.9 million.2 New Jersey has a daily, per-capita water demand of 124.8 gallons.3 This means that by 2050 public water usage will have increased by 648.9 million gallons each day.

Water Quality: From 1997 to 2000, 57 percent of New Jersey watersheds declined in quality, and nearly all New Jersey waterways are vulnerable to more decline in the future, according to an EPA study. From 1993 to 1998, water quality declined by 25 percent at five sites on the Wallkill River, where two-thirds of Sussex County's 3,959 new homes were built. 4

Traffic: As population growth put more traffic on the roads, the average commute for New Jersey residents increased 19 percent during the 1990s, to 30 minutes in 2000.5,6 51% of New Jersey's major urban roads are congested, and 71% of New Jersey's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Vehicle travel on New Jersey's highways increased 18% from 1990 to 2003. Driving on roads in need of repair costs New Jersey motorists $3.2 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs — $554 per motorist. 7

In the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area travelers experience an annual delay of 49 hours, and in the Allentown-Bethlehem area travelers experience an annual delay of 17 hours. 8 23 percent of commuters in New Jersey have a commute that is 45 minutes or longer, a figure that ranks 3rd in the U.S.9

Disappearing open space: Developed land increased by 34 percent in New Jersey between 1982 and 1997, making it the most developed state in the nation.10 Development consumes 40,000 acres of New Jersey farmlands and forests every year.11 The Highlands, a vast mountainous region stretching across New Jersey, lost 5,200 acres a year to development through the late 1990s, according to a U.S. Forest Service report. The development threatens wildlife and the water system for millions.12

Sprawl: New Jersey is on course to reach the outer limits of development as early as the 2030s. Experts say the state will be the first in the nation to be "built out," meaning that no new land will be available for construction if trends continue and preservation goals are met.13

A study of urban sprawl between 1970 and 1990 that calculated the impact of population increase and per capita land use found that 30.4 square miles of additional land were consumed by urban sprawl in the Trenton, NJ metropolitan area, which crossover into Pennsylvania, and 22.2 percent of that sprawl was attributable to population increase. In the Wilmington, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania metro area sprawl consumed an additional 78.0 square miles and population increase accounted for 35.7 percent of the increase. 14

Population Density: New Jersey is already the most densely populated and developed state in the nation. 15 In 2000, New Jersey had 1,000 people per square mile — compared to a national average of 80 people per square mile. By 2025, New Jersey's population density is projected to reach 1,300 people per square mile.

Poverty: In 2005 10.6 percent of immigrants in New Jersey had incomes below the poverty line, an increase of 10.4 percent since 2000. Among non-citizens, the poverty rate climbs to 13.7 percent. 16

Cost of Immigration: The average immigrant household in New Jersey consumes more public services than it pays for with taxes, incurring a 37 percent higher state fiscal deficit than natives and a 59 percent greater local burden.17

Crowded housing: In 2005 over 85,000 New Jersey households were defined as crowded or severely crowded by housing authorities. 18 Studies show that a rise in crowded housing often correlates with an increase in the number of foreign- born.19,20

Palisades Park has seen a series of raids on overcrowded homes in which officials said they uncovered a network of illegal boarding houses charging immigrants up to $1,100 a month for tiny spaces in converted buildings. Most of the illegal space was partitioned in duplexes and single-family homes. Officials said numerous fire and safety violations have been found in the buildings. In Leonia, borough officials are concerned that illegally crowded apartments pose both a health risk and a fire hazard, and they say the problem is growing as unscrupulous landlords capitalize on families desperate for housing, many of them recent immigrants.21

Solid Waste: New Jersey generates 1.23 tons of solid waste per capita. 22

Air Quality: 13 of New Jersey's 21 counties received a grade of "F" from the American Lung Association in their "State of the Air 2005" report. Essex County received a grade of "D". 23

IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON SCHOOLS

Concerns over crowded classrooms, a shortage of adequate staff, and steeper property tax bills are mounting. Between 1990 and 2000, New Jersey's elementary and high school enrollment increased 21 percent — a rate even the state Department of Education did not predict. 24 Between 2000 and 2006, New Jersey's K-12 student enrollment increased by over 106,000 students, 25,26 and it projected to increase by an additional 14,000 students by 2015. 27

The biggest factor in underestimating substantial enrollment increases was immigration.28 One-fifth of school-aged children in New Jersey have immigrant parents. Six percent are foreign-born themselves.29 In Bloomingdale; the district is unable to accommodate all the students in need of bus transportation to school. More than two dozen students have been told they will need to provide their own transportation, as school buses are overcrowded.30 In Greenwich Township, in Warren County, an area that is quickly being transformed from a rural area into a suburb, the school population is growing so rapidly that a week after a new school opened in 2001, ground was broken on an addition that would double its size.31 In Wayne, some classes are being held in the cafeteria and stage area. "It's very hard to say when the growth is going to stop," said Superintendent Richard Linkh. "We simply need more schools". 32

Endnotes:

  1. Robert Strauss, "A Welcome Mat for Immigrants," New York Times, January 13, 2002.
  2. Jack Martin and Stanley Fogel. "Projecting the U.S. Population to 2050." FAIR. March 2006.
  3. U.S. Geological Survey 2000
  4. Bob Groves, "Better Water Quality Pushed," The Record, November 22, 2001.
  5. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000," Census 2000, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. "Table DP-1-4, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 1990," 1990 Census, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Report Card for America's Infrastructure 2005," American Society of Civil Engineers.
  8. "The 2005 Urban Mobility Report", Texas Transportation Institute.
  9. "U.S. Population 2007 Data Sheet," Population Reference Bureau.
  10. Bob Groves, op. cit.
  11. Matthew Brown, " New Jersey Approves Plan to Limit Sprawl," The Record, March 2, 2001.
  12. "Forest Service Study Sounds Alarm on Building in the Highlands," Associated Press, April 5, 2002.
  13. Karen Masterson, "New Jersey Enters Era of Maximum Sprawl," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 10, 2000.
  14. Beck, Roy and Leon Kolankiewicz, "Weighing Sprawl Factors in Large U.S. Cities," Numbers USA, March 2001.
  15. Suzette Parmley, "McGreevey, Schundler Far Apart on Land Use," Philadelphia Inquirer, September 9, 2001.
  16. "New Jersey State Factsheet," Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute.
  17. Deborah Garvey, Thomas Espenshade, James Scully, "Are Immigrants a Drain on the Public Fisc? State and Local Impacts in New Jersey," Social Science Quarterly, June 2002.
  18. Selected Housing Characteristics: 2005 Data Set - 2005 American Community Survey, American Fact Finder, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Haya El Nasser, "U.S. Neighborhoods Grow More Crowded," USA Today, July 7, 2002.
  20. Randy Capps, "Hardship Among Children of Immigrants: Findings from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families," Urban Institute, 2001.
  21. "Landlords of Crowded Palisades Park Home Fined $10,000", Associated Press, August 23, 2001.
  22. Report Card for America's Infrastructure 2005," American Society of Civil Engineers.
  23. "State of the Air 2005: New Jersey", American Lung Association.
  24. Debra Nussbaum, "A Number Story," New York Times, September 29, 2002.
  25. "Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 1999-2000," National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.
  26. "Public Elementary and Secondary School Student Enrollment, High School Completions, and Staff From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2005-06', National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, June 2007.
  27. Projections of Education Statistics to 2015, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.
  28. Debra Nussbaum, "A Number Story," New York Times, September 29, 2002.
  29. "Check Points," Urban Institute, September 2, 2000.
  30. Eman Varqua, "Crowded Buses Leave Some Kids Without Rides," The Record, September 11, 2002.
  31. Debra Nussbaum, op. cit.
  32. Scott Fallon, "Wayne Schools Struggle with Enrollment Surge," Bergen Record, November 20, 2001.

 

Other Resources  

State Local Reform Organizations

State Representatives Voting Record

 

Updated December 2011