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New Census data shows Belle Mead had most diversity growth in NJ in the past 10 years

By Barbara A. Preston l September 22, 2021

The U.S. Census Bureau just released its first in-depth results from the 2020 Census on race and ethnicity. In New Jersey, the growth leader was the Belle Mead section of Montgomery Township.

The Census measured diversity changes in what it refers to as “census designated places (CDP),” which often reflect areas with US Post Offices. The data shows where some of the biggest swings in demographics occurred in New Jersey over the last 10 years — revealing a snapshot of change in the racial and ethnic composition and diversity of the U.S. population as of April 1, 2020.

File photo from a Diwali celebration in the Pike Run section of Belle Mead. Photo by Barbara A. Preston.

Belle Mead’s 2020 diversity index was 58, meaning there was a 58 percent chance that two random people out of Belle Mead's population of 5,569 people would be from different race and ethnic groups. This reflects a 37 percent growth in the diversity of its population, according to a recent article on In 2010, Belle Mead's diversity index was 21.

Four local areas scored in top ten places for most diversity growth:

1. Belle Mead section of Montgomery Township. (Population 5,569). Diversity Index in 2010: 21percent. Diversity Index, 2020: 58 percent. Change: +37 percent.

8. Franklin Center, Somerset County, (pop. 6,803) Diversity Index in 2010: 47. Diversity Index, 2020: 66. Change: +19.

9. Mercerville, Mercer County (pop. 13,447). Diversity Index in 2010: 28. Diversity Index in 2020: 47. Change: +19.

10. White Horse, Mercer County (pop. 9,791). Diversity Index in 2010: 30. Diversity Index, 2020: 49. Change: +19.

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The Census identifies five minimum categories: White; Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. There is also a sixth category, “Some Other Race,” for people who do not identify with any of the other race categories. ■


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