Statistics of Population by Decade
During the Colonial period a census of New Jersey was taken from time to time, but the figures for the most part are given by Counties and therefore furnish no accurate information as to the population of Trenton in those early days. As estimated by the number of houses in the town the population of Trenton at about the period of the Revolutionary War could not much have exceeded five hundred to six hundred. The first Federal census was taken in 1790. The enumerators' schedules for New Jersey from 1790 to 1830 were destroyed by fire.
The first records for the State of New Jersey on file in the Bureau of the Census relate to 1800 and are the recapitulated returns by minor civil divisions. These returns present the population of New Jersey by Counties for 1800 and not for any smaller subdivisions. The figures for 1810 are, therefore, the earliest records of population for Trenton on file in the Bureau of the Census.
The State Department of New Jersey from data in its possession has computed the population for 1790 and 1800, but for 1790 the figures relate to the Township of Trenton, including the town itself, while the figures for 1800 are given separately for each. If the same proportion between town and township prevailed in 1790 as in 1800, this would give the town a population in 1790 of approximately twelve hundred. Probably the figures for these two earlier dates do not include the slave population.
1 Colored includes 181 slaves in 1810; 85 in 1820; 20 in 1830; 4 in 1840 and 1 in 1850. The colored inhabitants are included in the total for each year.
2 The large increase in population since the preceding decade was due mainly to the annexation of outlying sections.
3 From a recent survey it is estimated that the colored inhabitants today (1928) number from 6,000 to 6,500.
An accurate survey indicates also that there are in Trenton at the present time some 12,000 persons of Jewish blood, included under the headings foreign and native-born. For full statistics of foreign peoples, see the chapter "Trenton's Citizens of Foreign Origin."
© 1929, TRENTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY