Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bloomfield Census Consensus

The NJ Star Ledger and the Philadelphia Courier have collaborated on an interesting piece regarding NJ outmigration appropriately titled: "N.J.residents are leaving for Pennsylvania in increasingly large numbers." They cite many 2010 Census stats to reinforce their premise, but they don't point out that -- while Pennsylvania is the leading northeast state for in-migration -- the number LEAVING Pennsylvania for other states is comparable to those leaving NJ. The 130 odd comments at following the NJ.com piece reinvorce the message. One summed it up
especially well: "...I would love to see a stat on how many baby boomers are fleeing this money pit of a state. You would have to be an absolute idiot to retire here."

All this got me wondering about how many Bloomfielders have been leaving town and when the exodus began. We all have friends and relatives who have decided it was time for them to migrate to another state. Having participated in last year's Census in Bloomfield, I can attest to the fact that every stone was unturned to count every possible resident in every neighborhood. It turned out that we were down several hundred from the previous census. Although the township is considering a formal challenge on the numbers, the adjacent chart from Wikopedia shows that the pattern has been fairly steady for the past 40 years. We've shrunk from a high of 52,029 in 1970 to our current 47,315. Going into our Bicentennial year, it's hard to imagine what Bloomfield was like in 1900 just before it began it's biggest population surge -- quintupling in size by 1950.

We can speculate that much of the decline is attributable to factors such as declining family sizes and uncounted undocumented residents, but there's no doubt that taxes also have a lot to do with it. We continue to wonder if anything can be done to reverse the process and whose going to fill those empty rooms.

1 comment:

lavillas said...

perhaps it can be used as a wake-up call to improve the quality of the housing instead of the quantity. Do we really just need 50000 more bodies to lower taxes? The township is aging: turn one of those decrepit schools into a senior facility.