Saturday, November 22, 2014
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Interactive Map: New Jersey's Rich Patchwork of Foreign-Born Residents

Interactive Map: New Jersey's Rich Patchwork of Foreign-Born Residents

The Census's American Community Survey estimates nearly 1.9 million residents of New Jersey in 2012 were foreign born, though that number is likely higher since counting undocumented immigrants is difficult. The state has the fifth-largest population of people not born in the U.S. Slightly more than half of immigrants living in New Jersey are naturalized citizens. Almost five of every 10 people born outside the U.S. came from Latin America, while nearly a third came from Asia.

Immigration has led to significant diversification in New Jersey. In nine North Jersey communities, non-natives are the majority, the Census data shows. Palisades Park leads, with an estimated two-thirds of the borough’s nearly 20,000 hailing from another country originally, almost seven of 10 from Asia. The populations of West New York, East Newark, Union City, Harrison, Guttenberg, Fairview, Dover, and Fort Lee also are mostly foreign born. Except for Fort Lee, where the immigrants are also predominantly Asian, most of those who have moved into the other communities are from Latin America.

The attraction immigrants have to New Jersey means the state has a stake in seeing that Congress passes meaningful immigration reform, according to a study released yesterday by New Jersey Policy Perspective.

Gordon MacInnes, NJPP president, said that while the Senate immigration reform bill is not perfect “it would enable New Jersey to strengthen its place as a gateway for immigrants and bring hundreds of thousands of undocumented New Jerseyans out of the shadows to participate fully and openly in the economic life of the state.”

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