Census: Township Population Growth Second In Somerset County From 2015-16

Franklin Township had the second-largest numeric population increase in Somerset County from 2015 to 2016, data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows.

According to the new population estimates, released May 25, Franklin’s population in 2016 stood at an estimated 66,311, up from 2015’s 66,028.

Franklin’s increase of 283 residents was second only to Montgomery’s increase of 352 during that time frame.

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Going back to 2010 – when the last decennial census was taken – to 2016, Franklin’s numeric population increase was the largest in Somerset County, and seventh-largest in New Jersey.

In the seven years between 2010 and 2016, the township’s population increased by 4,011 people, far outpacing the town with the second-largest numeric increase, Hillsborough, which recorded a 1,529-person population increase.

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The population growth is seen as both a blessing and a curse by some.

“While I loved the fact that we are this popular and people want to live here, I have always wanted to limit population growth in town because it adds to more congestion on the roads and ironically raises taxes because it generally puts more kids in our schools,” said Mayor Phil Kramer.

“That is why the economic development plan that was promoted by Councilwoman Sherman and has been embraced by the remainder of council remains important to try to minimize the effects this might have on taxes,” he said.

Kramer theorized that a main reason for the population growth is the amount of available land in the township.

“I think one of the big reasons is we have land available, which developers have access to, and this being America, if you own land, the government can’t and shouldn’t stop you from using it in the way that it is zoned,” he said.

The reasons new residents have moved into Franklin vary. For some, such as Uday Patel, it was the overall township atmosphere and the proximity to New Brunswick.

“We liked the township,” he said. “New Brunswick being so close, that helps with the restaurants and everything like that. I take the train (to work in New York City), it helped that it was close by.”

Patel said his brother and sister also live in the township, so he had been exposed to it for a while before he and his wife and child moved here.

His neighborhood, located near DeMott Lane, offers his family the opportunity to “be outdoorsy,” Patel said.

“You could just bike out to a little park, that was also something that was a fact,” he said.


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