New Jersey’s population has started to contract back toward its urban core for the first time since the end of the second World War, new research shows, in what could mark a death knell for suburban sprawl and foretell significant changes to the fabric of the Garden State.
A new study published by the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University reveals that between 2010 and 2013, population in 12 of the 27 counties that constitute the New York metropolitan area experienced population losses following more than a half-century of gains.
In New Jersey, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and Monmouth Counties all suffered losses during this period.
These counties all have one thing in common – they all exist on the far periphery of the metropolitan area – which researchers say is a signal that after decades of outward expansion, people are gravitating back toward cities.
“The era of moving ever outward is probably now in the past,” said James Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School, and a co-author of the study. “You always have to be cautious about forecasting, but it would appear we may be at the beginning of a major change, the crest of a wave.”