View the full Ocean County Spotlight (PDF File)
The population of Ocean County increased by 2.1 percent from 2010 to 2015, from 576,565 to 588,721.
Race and Ethnicity
• White: 83.6%
• Black: 11.0%
• Asian: 3.0%
• Hispanic: 5.9%
• Two or more races: 2.1%
• Other: 2.2%
Registered Voters and Turnout
Close to a third (31 percent) of Ocean County’s registered voters are Republicans, 21 percent are Democrats and 47 percent are Unaffiliated. In 2012 Ocean County’s voter turnout (66 percent) was lower than the regions and New Jersey (both were 67 percent). The county’s 2016 turnout of 70 percent was higher than the region (68 percent) and New Jersey (69 percent).
Highest Level of Educational Attainment (people 25 years or older)
• Non High School Graduated: 8.7%
• High School Graduate: 35.2%
• Some College, No Degree: 20.4%
• Associate’s Degree: 8.0%
• Bachelor’s Degree: 18.7%
• Graduated or Professional Degree: 9.0%
Projected Employment Change by Sector, 2014-2024 (percent change)
• Health care and Social Services: 17.3%
• Professional, Scientific, and Technical Service: 16.8%
• Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation: 16.8%
• Accommodation and Food Services: 15.3%
• Administrative and Waste Services: 14.4%
• Manufacturing: -17.6%
• Natural Resources and Mining: -9.8%
• Finance and Insurance: -9.8%
• Information: -6.9%
Ocean County’s unemployment rate has seen a steady decline between 2014 and 2016, going from 7.4 to 4.4 percent. Comparably, the downward trend in unemployment rates matches that of the region (8.0 to 4.9 percent), New Jersey (6.7 to 4.1 percent), and the nation (6.2 to 4.9 percent).
The poverty rate in Ocean County has increased from 10.2 percent in 2013 to 10.9 percent in 2015. Ocean County’s poverty rates from 2013 to 2015 are similar to the region (12.1 to 11 percent) and New Jersey (11.4 to 10.8 percent).
Median Household Income (in current dollars)
The median household income for Ocean County has increased between 2013 and 2015. The median household income in 2013 was $60,227, and increased to $63,653 in 2014 and $63,765 in 2015. Ocean County’s median household income from 2013 to 2015 is comparable to the average South Jersey county ($60,949, 62,689, and 64,059) but lower than the state of New Jersey ($70,165, $71.919, and $72,222).
In 2014, Ocean County outperformed the state in violent crime rate (1 to 3) but had a higher nonviolent (19.9 to 17.0) and total crime rate (21.1 to 20).
In 2015, Ocean County had a higher residential parcels value as a percentage of total value of parcels than the average New Jersey county (85.3 and 76.9 percent respectively).
Housing Affordability (paying 30% or more of income on housing cost)
In 2015, Ocean County had a comparable proportion of renters, with a housing burden relative to both the South Jersey region and New Jersey (40.3, 40.1, and 43.6 percent respectively). In 2015, Ocean County had a higher percentage of homeowners (59.5), living in unaffordable housing than the state (53.9 percent).
As of April 2016, the foreclosure rate in Ocean County was 2.1 percent, lower than both the region (2.7 percent) and the state (2.5 percent).
Median Housing Value
The median housing value in Ocean County was $257,700 in 2013, and increase to $258,500 in 2014 before increasing to a 3-year high of $270,200 in 2015. In 2013 the average median housing value in South Jersey counties was $221,313 and dropped to $220,463 the next year before increasing to $225,725 in 2015. The median housing value in New Jersey increased every year between 2013 and 2015 ($307,700, $313,200, and $322,600) and is much higher than both Ocean County and the region.
The average property tax paid in Ocean County was $5,469.60 in 2013, and increased in 2014 to $5,718.48 and to $5,906.24 in 2015. The average property tax paid in the South Jersey region increased every year between 2013 and 2015 ($5,373.66, $5,534.44, and $5,662.40). The average paid in New Jersey in 2013 was $7,408.36, and increased to $7,592.25 in 2014 and $8,353.45 in 2015.
Ocean County has an 80 percent occupancy rate with 80 percent of its units owner-occupied and 20 percent renter-occupied.
Kids Count Rankings
From 2015 to 2016 Ocean County dropped from 6th to 7th in percentage of births to girls 10-19, from 5th to 7th in infant mortality rate, and 14th to 15th in child poverty among New Jersey counties. The county ranked 4th in both 2015 and 2016 in juvenile arrest rate. Ocean County’s overall Kids Count ranking improved from13th to 12th from 2013 to 2016 but its 2016 represents an increase from 2014 (10th) and 2015 (11th).
County Health Rankings
Health Outcomes Rankings
In the category of Health Outcomes Rankings (based on variables used to determine length and quality of life) Ocean County was ranked 7th in 2014 before falling to 8th in 2015 and 11th 2016.
Health Factors Rankings
In the category of Health Factors Rankings (based on variables used to determine health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment) Ocean County was ranked 11th in 2014 before falling to 12th in both 2015 and 2016.
Social and Economic Factors Rankings
In the category of Social and Economic Factors Rankings (based on high school graduation, some college, unemployment, children in poverty, income inequality, children in single-parent households, social association, violent crime, and injury deaths) Ocean County was ranked 12th from 2014 to 2016.