Rutgers Unveils Online New Jersey Data Book At League of Municipalities Conference, Nov. 18-20

ATLANTIC CITY – Anyone can now easily compare and contrast key data about New Jersey’s municipalities, counties and legislative districts via Rutgers’ new online, interactive New Jersey Data Book. The online service is being unveiled to municipal leaders this week at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Compiled and published as a public service by Rutgers’ Center for Government Services, a unit within the Division of Continuing Studies, the New Jersey Data Book offers current official statistics and information about New Jersey’s 565 municipalities, its people and governments. It is the first such statewide database in the country to offer comprehensive statistics on a user-friendly platform that allows data to be searched, compared and downloaded.

“History has shown that access to accurate, timely information is fundamental to a healthy participatory democracy,” said CGS Director Alan Zalkind. “The Center for Government Services is proud to make one of the most comprehensive collections of data about New Jersey available to the public in an online format for their use.”

The new website, njdatabook.rutgers.edu, represents the digitization of the New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, a well-known resource for researchers, government, the media, business, educators and advocacy groups that has been published at Rutgers for the past 39 years. The initial online publication includes statistics for 2011 through 2014. Data collections from previous years and school data are also being added. In time, the site will include 40 years of New Jersey statistics from the original data books.

Users can find current and historic data for the state’s 565 municipalities in 12 data sets on area/density, population, poverty, crime, employment, housing, fiscal resources, government expenditures, property tax burden, voter turnout and election results.

The online platform facilitates data comparisons among counties, municipalities and legislative districts, and allows users to download data selections in spreadsheet format. The site also will provide visual data comparisons on maps.

 The online New Jersey Data Book offers raw and calculated data from federal, state and county government sources including the U.S. Census Bureau; the New Jersey departments of State, Labor and Workforce Development, Human Services and Community Affairs; the N.J. divisions of State Police and Taxation; and county Boards of Election, among others. Data are selected and rigorously reviewed for accuracy. For full access to the site, users are asked to register. Registered users will receive updates when additional data become available on the site.

The complete print edition of the 2014 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book is also available for order. Order form.

For more information, email njdatabook@docs.rutgers.edu.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The news media are invited to try out the database at Rutgers’ booth #1601/1700 in the Atlantic City Convention Center, Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 18-20. Dr. Angie McGuire, editor of the New Jersey Data Book, will be available for questions.

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About the New Jersey Data Book

The first New Jersey Legislative District Data Book was published in 1976 by Rutgers Bureau of Government Research under the leadership of Dr or Professor Ernest Reock Jr. in an effort to give legislators a more accurate picture of the districts they represented. The Data Book provided maps, descriptions and a wide range of statistical data on each of New Jersey’s 40 districts and the municipalities comprising them.

The Bureau and its successor, the Center for Government Services, published new editions of the Data Book over the next 38 years, providing updated statistics and adding new data sets.  The publication became an important resource for government, researchers, the media and citizens, found in libraries and government offices throughout the state.  Over the years the data bank of New Jersey data has grown. No other source of New Jersey data captures the historical trends reflected here.

About the Center for Government Services (CGS)

A unit of the Division of Continuing Studies, CGS is a key research partner for government entities in New Jersey. Its studies and reports have served as catalysts for debate and action in such critical areas as legislative apportionment, public health, housing, tax policy, property taxes and school finance. Its continuing education programs train thousands of state, county and municipal employees annually in such fields as municipal finance, housing inspection and code enforcement, education facilities management, public purchasing, planning and zoning, and municipal administration.