For most of the last century, Hoboken’s population steadily declined from a high of 70,324 in 1910. By 1960, the number of residents dropped to 48,441. The town’s housing stock was visibly deteriorating. The maritime industries that once thrived at Hoboken’s waterfront and were a primary source of employment and tax revenue to the City had begun to leave for more modern facilities such as Port Newark-Elizabeth. Tenement buildings in Hoboken were crowded with many poor and working-class families.
In the 1970s, people from out of town, attracted to Hoboken’s turn-of-the-century architecture and neighborhood ambiance, began buying brownstones that were available at bargain prices. The City of Hoboken stepped up its building code-enforcement program. The City made three-percent loans available to homeowners to make improvements to their properties.
In subsequent years, Hoboken’s real estate market steadily heated up. From a low of 33,392 in 1990, the population shot up to 60,419 by 2020. Today, real estate developers are claiming and building high-density residential projects on the last available parcels, thus accounting for Hoboken’s rapid population growth despite the reduced numbers of people per dwelling unit.
Hudson is the most densely populated county in New Jersey, which is the most densely populated state in the country. Hudson County also contains the four most densely populated cities in the nation: Guttenberg, Union City, West New York and Hoboken. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Hoboken has 47,202 people per square mile, in fourth place behind the three other Hudson municipalities.
Hudson County continues to be the most diverse in New Jersey. Its population is 43 percent Latino, 29 percent non Hispanic white, 16 percent Asian and 15 percent Black. In the past five years, 43 percent of Hudson County residents were foreign born.