Essex County, New Jersey
County and State Analysis
The following is a broad, longitudinal analysis of the state of housing and neighborhoods in Essex County, New Jersey
Age Distribution Pyramid
Essex County is growing. Despite a dip in population size in the early aughts, the population of Essex County is up 0.63% in 2015 compared to 2000. The median age has increased from 34.7 in 2000 to 36.9 in 2015.
Share of Population by Race and Ethnicity
The share of Essex residents identifying as Hispanic increased 6.2 percentage points between 2000 and 2015, generally following a statewide trend (New Jersey residents who identify as Hispanic increased 5.6% for the same period.) The share of Essex's white population saw the most significant decrease, down 5.7 percent from 2000.
Household Income Distribution
Income distribution for Essex County is becoming more concentrated at the lower and higher ends of the spectrum. In 2015, 21% of households earned less than $20,000 a year compared to 17% in 2000, while households earning more than $200,000 a year tacked upwards slightly 0.3% over the same period.
Population Aged 16 or Older by Labor Force Status
Participation in the Labor Force in Essex County increased to 65.9% in 2015 from 61% in 2000; while the share of New Jerseyans in the labor force remained stagnant at around 61% for both periods. The share of eligible employed Essex residents increased 3.9%.
In 2015, the homeownership rate in Essex County was 42.3 percent, significantly lower than the statewide rate of 63%. The trend in decreasing homeownership rates has generally tacked alongside statewide trends, down 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.
New Building Permits authorized by residential Unit type
The number of total new building permits is on track to surpass the recent high of 3,284 in 2006 with development returning to pre-recession levels. The share of new multi-family housing developments is at a recent high, making up 86 percent of total permits authorized in 2015 compared to 54 percent in 2000.
Inflation adjusted median-gross rent
Adjusted for inflation, median-gross rent in Essex County has increased 15.7 percent from 2000, slightly behind the statewide change in median-gross rent.
Rent Burdened Share by Income
Renter households that spend more than 30 to 50 percent of their income on rent are considered moderately rent burdened, while those spending more than 50% of their income on rent are considered severely rent burdened.
The share of extremely low, very low, and and low income households that are rent burdened has increased, with a larger share of households on the lower end of the income spectrum facing severe rent burden. In 2015, 64 percent of extremely-low income household in Essex County are rent burdened.
Further Research Questions
- Given the increase in employment, it might be prudent to try and break down shifts in local industry and determine what types of jobs are being created in essex and the median salary for those jobs.
- With an increase in rent burden, it might also be telling to chart out the eviction filing rate for Essex county as well as rent stabilization rates over time.
- Along with the construction of new multi family units, it would be interesting to chart the median asking rent for new units.
- Is the construction boom having any impact on the rental vacancy rate?