SURGE IN CITIZENS — Harrison sees whopping 42.8% population increase in 2020 Census

Towns in The Observer’s readership area all saw a spike in population over the last 10 years, but none as dramatic as Harrison.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its figures from the 2020 version of the census late last week, and Harrison’s population jumped to 19,450 residents from 13,260 in 2010, representing a massive 42.8% increase. Given the sheer number of new residential developments in Harrison, this increase shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. If anything, however, it might even seem lower than what one might have expected from the square-mile town.

The second-biggest increase in population in the area was in Lyndhurst — again, not surprising with its new developments. It rose to a population of 22,519 residents, up from 20,554 a decade ago, representing a 9.6% uptick.

Other local towns only saw relatively moderate increases in population.

The smallest local increase, percentage-wise, was in Kearny, despite several new residential developments over the last decade along the Bergen and Passaic avenue corridors. It only saw a 3.2%  jump, coming in at 41,999 residents in 2020 from 2010’s population of 40,684.

North Arlington, meanwhile, which has added some new residential units over the last decade, saw its population rise to 16,457 residents in 2020, up from 15,392 in 2010, a 6.9% increase.

In Nutley, the population jumped to 30,143 residents in 2020 from 28,370 in 2010, representing a 6.24% increase.

Belleville grew to 38,222 residents in 2020 from 35,926 a decade ago, up 6.4%.

The bureau does not release figures for municipalities with populations fewer than 5,000 residents, so figures for East Newark were not available.


The Observer’s print edition circulates in three counties — Hudson, southern Bergen and southeastern Essex.

Hudson County’s overall population rose to 724,854 residents in 2020 from 634,266, a 14.2% jump.

Bergen’s population rose to 955,732 people in 2020 up from 905,116, a 5.6% spike.

Essex, meanwhile, rose to 863,728 residents up from 2010’s census population of 783,969, a 10.2% increase.

Jersey City was looking to overtake Newark as the state’s most populous municipality, but that goal fell short. It registered 292,449 residents, itself nearly a 50,000 person increase over the last decade. But Newark, already the most populated city in New Jersey, retains the distinction of being the most populated city over Jersey City. Newark’s population rose to 311,549 residents. In 2010, it came in at 277,140.


Overall, Jersey saw a significant increase in population, despite already being the most densely populated state in the union. The most recent census reveals 9,288,994 people call the Garden State home, up from 8,791,864 in 2010, a 5.7% jump.

This statistic is critical since reports from the New York City and national media often claimed residents were flocking away from the Tri-State Area, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was music to Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s ears, especially since it meant his state would not see a decrease in representation in Washington, D.C., unlike neighboring New York and Pennsylvania, which east lost one Congressional seat.

“The census results we received today are a testament to what we’ve known all along: that New Jersey is the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family,” Murphy said in a prepared statement last week. “Not only did we gain nearly half a million residents, but we also ensured that our representation in Washington would be unchanged.”

(Nearby Connecticut kept all of its Congressional seats; Texas gained two, while Florida, Oregon, North Carolina, Montana and Colorado each gained one. California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia were the other states, beside New York and Pennsylvania, to each lose one seat in the House. All other states remain unchanged.)

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.