P1 | Municipal Population 

U.S. Census Bureau 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 
Last Updated for 2012 LTEM with 2010 data 

The Pinelands

The Pine Barrens, also known as the Pinelands or simply the Pines, is a heavily forested area of coastal plain stretching across more than seven counties of New Jersey. The name "pine barrens" refers to the area's sandy, acidic, nutrient-poor soil. Although European settlers could not cultivate their familiar crops there, the unique ecology of the Pine Barrens supports a diverse spectrum of plant life, including orchids and carnivorous plants. The area is also notable for its populations of rare pygmy Pitch Pines and other plant species that depend on the frequent fires of the Pine Barrens to reproduce. The sand that composes much of the area's soil is referred to by the locals as sugar sand.

Population Data

The Pinelands population has grown more quickly than both the Non-Pinelands and the state in every decade since 1980. As of the 2010, the Pinelands municipalities had a population of 698,092.
U.S. Census, 2010


Population data is useful both as an indicator of demand for housing and for private and public goods and services, as well as for various per capita and per household calculations. The population in group quarters10 is also important as changes in institutional and non- institutional housing can influence the apparent overall population changes of a municipality. 

Unit of Analysis

Population data is compiled at the municipal level and regionally aggregated to allow for inside/outside the Pinelands and state analysis. 


Population in the Pinelands grew quickly in the 1980’s, jumping about 30% over the decade. Elsewhere, population grew only by 7% in the Non-Pinelands and 5% in the state. The following decade showed a decreased growth rate in the Pinelands at 12%; however it was still much higher than that of the Non-Pinelands (7%) and the state (9%). In the 2000’s, the Pinelands showed continued fast growth of 13% relative to both the Non-Pinelands and the state at around 5% and 4%, respectively. According to the U.S. Census, the 2010 Pinelands municipal aggregate population was 698,092 while the Non-Pinelands had a population of 1,723,949 and the state’s population was 8,791,894. During the 30-year period, the population in the Pinelands grew by 65%. Comparatively, the Non-Pinelands grew by 21% and the state grew by 19% during the same period. 
At the municipal level, Woodland Township grew by 53% from 2000 to 2010 (618 additional people). Egg Harbor Township saw the next highest percent growth, increasing by 41% and upping its population by 12,597.

There were nine Pinelands municipalities that saw their populations fall from 2000 to 2010, with New Hanover Township seeing the greatest percent loss (down 24%). The next highest loss occurred in Woodbine Borough, where population declined by 9%. Dennis Township and Medford Lakes Borough were the only municipalities to have losses less than 1%. The average percent population loss was 6%.

In terms of group quarters, New Hanover Township’s 2010 group quarters population is 77% of its total population; likely due to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Maurice River Township has the second highest group quarters population at 55% of its total population; mostly from correctional facilities.

The Pinelands gained an additional 1,156 people living in group quarters situations from 2000 to 2010. These additions were largely institutional as the non-institutional population in the Pinelands actually declined by 190 people. Most of the growth in group quarters occurred in correctional facilities and nursing facilities, with an addition of 1,342 people and 930 people, respectively. The population in military facilities has decreased by 1,044, while those in college dorms increased by 353. The group quarters population in the Non-Pinelands fell by 7,407 while the overall state group quarters fell by 7,945.

Changes in group quarters populations can mask the apparent population change in a municipality. For example, Woodland Township, which posted 53% total population growth in 2010 (618 people), experienced an increase of 474 people in group quarters; that is 77% of the municipality’s 2010 census total population growth. Likewise, Washington Township shows an increase of 66 people from 2000 to 2010, but the group quarters population in Washington Township
actually decreased by 166, thereby masking the non-group quarters increase in population of 232 people. Meanwhile, Maurice River Township’s increase of 1,048 people can almost entirely be attributed to an increase in the institutional population (1,044).

Table P1a. 2010 Census Population by Pinelands Municipality

Land Capability Map

Shifts between institutional and non- institutional group quarters also mask the changing landscape in some municipalities. In New Hanover Township, the number of people in non-institutions (mainly military bases) decreased by 904 people, while the number of people in institutions (prisons) increased by 489 people. Similarly, Berkeley Township lost 355 people in non- institutional group quarters, but gained 349 people in institutional residents. Manchester Township, seeing a similar shift, lost 122 non-institutional residents, but gained 169 institutional residents. Conversely, Woodbine Borough saw an opposite shift, with a gain of 486 in non-institutional residents, but a loss of 561 in institutional residents.