As the Jersey Shore swells in population from tourists this summer, something is still missing — the full-time residents it has lost in the past 10 years.
While New Jersey increased in population by nearly 3 percent from 2005 to 2014, the average town along the coast experienced a 9 percent decline, a NJ Advance Media review of Census data found. That shift likely reflects major issues in Sandy recovery and the changing economic landscape of Shore towns.
In some towns, the losses are particularly stark. Sea Isle City lost 38 percent of its population in the 10 years. Beach Haven lost 36 percent.
Larger towns with significant inland populations may not make the top 10, but still suffered significant losses. Toms River, for example, bled nearly 3,800 residents over the last decade, though most of those losses were likely near the Shore.
New Jersey shore population change (2005 – 2014)
Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher said that enrollment in schools there have shrunk from 18,000 students to 16,500.