Enrollment doubled! The 10 fastest-growing school systems in NJ
TRENTON – Compared with 20 years ago, enrollment in New Jersey's public schools is up slightly – though, of course, the experience varies significantly by region and town.
Between the 2001-02 and 2021-22 school years, five districts more than doubled their enrollment. Another 11 were up by more than a third. And in all, 110 districts saw growth of more than 10% in that time.
Below are the 10 districts with the biggest growth, followed by an interactive graphic that provides charts for all districts and charter schools.
The rankings exclude special countywide districts and attempt to account for structural changes in some districts. For example: South Hunterdon Regional School District would have ranked first because what used to be a regional high school was expanded to include all grades of its former sending districts. The chart was adjusted as if they'd been combined the entire time.
The Chesterfield school district in Burlington County has led the state in growth over the last 20 years at 172%, with most of its boom happening between 2005 and 2015. Enrollment has dipped down a bit in the last three years.
The Robbinsville school district in Mercer County grew considerably around the turn of the 21st century, starting when the town was still called Washington Township. That has leveled off.
East Greenwich ⬆️
Four of the 18 fastest-growing school districts over the last 20 years are in Gloucester County, led by East Greenwich at nearly 135%.
Of the 15 school districts in New Jersey with the fastest growth over the last 20 years, Swedesboro-Woolwich is the only one where enrollment is actually down over the last 10 years. Its enrollment peaked in 2014-15.
This is the Monroe Township in Middlesex County, not the one in Gloucester County (which ranks 77th). It's the last of five districts where enrollment more than doubled in 20 years. Its growth has been steady through slowed recently. Time will tell if that's leveling off or a pandemic-related blip.
Edgewater is a town along the Hudson River that grew significantly in the 2010s, its school enrollment growth would have ranked first if not for drops during the pandemic-affected years.
Kingsway Regional ↗️
Parents whose children attend Kingsway Regional were among the most vocal during the legislative process that led to the adoption of what's known as S-2, the bill-turned-law that set the state back on a path to following its school funding formula. Its state aid had been essentially stagnant while its population grew significantly.
Red Bank ↗️
Red Bank is the lone Monmouth County district among the 35 districts in the state with the most growth over the last 20 years.
New Brunswick ↗️
New Brunswick is the most urban district in the top 10 for enrollment growth, although other cities such as Bridgeton, Elizabeth and Hoboken weren't far behind.
Rounding out the top 10 is Barnegat, the only Ocean County district among the 23 fastest-growing in the last 20 years. Despite the overall growth in Ocean County, it includes many retirees and younger people attending private schools. Just five of the county's 27 town and regional districts saw enrollment growth from 2001 to 2021.
You can look up information on your school district using the drop-down arrow on the chart below.
If you start typing after clicking the search bar, the chart will attempt to select the district you're seeking.