Essex County saw the second-largest population change, with about 7,000 residents leaving.
James W. Hughes, a professor at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, said Hudson County is going through a generational shift. He said many people leaving the county are older millennials in their 30s that are starting to raise families.
“They would have moved out anyway over the current decade. But COVID-19 was sort of an accelerant on the fire — it speeded things up dramatically,” Hughes said.
“Hudson County became the hot place for millennials over the past 20 years, so it probably had more to lose when millennials shifted their housing patterns,” he explained. “By 2020, they were 39 years of age. Some of them had moved to the suburbs simply because it was an easier place to raise kids.”