Middlesex County

Middlesex County, New Jersey is shaded in red (Wikipedia).

Middlesex County, New Jersey is third among the counties with the highest number of immigrants within the state.  Middlesex County has a population of 830,000 people, and 86.6% are U.S. citizens.  Reports in 2017 state that 32.3% of the county were born outside of the country (more than double of the national average of 13.7%).  This percentage is less than Bergen and Hudson counties; however, the group of immigrants in this county are also unique.  Instead of the majorly Hispanic immigration seen in the previous two regions, this area has a larger Asian influence:


This chart depicts the percentages of races/nationality in Middlesex County (statistics provided by Data USA).

In Middlesex County, the most common languages spoken include Spanish, Gujarati, and Hindi.

Many immigrants choose to open their own businesses, such as restaurants (immigrationimpact.com).

Starting a Business: Many of those who migrate to the U.S. build their own businesses to increase their chances of achieving a more successful future than their past.  Despite immigrants being less likely to work in government, they are more likely to start their own businesses than those born in the country (^1).  The county has a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, an Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce and an Indian Business Association (^2).  These chambers offer opportunities for networking and economic activity, which is a major asset when moving to a state where one must build from the ground up.  Links to these organizations can be found here.  In Middlesex County, those with high skill levels and education are causes for a higher minority business participation rate.

“For every 1,000 business owners in Middlesex County, 148 are Asian, as compared to a national rate of 90. But while Asians are generally thriving, other minorities are faring much less well,” (^3).

More than half of the Asian community in this county make more than $100,000 annually, while less than half of Latinos in the county earn more than $50,000 each year (^4).  Despite both groups having a large immigrant percentage, particular groups experience disparity more than others.  It is unfair to see that some groups have a more difficult time achieving social mobility while moving up the economic ladder.  However, a lot of emphasis is placed on education and skill.  Those who migrate to the U.S. with these advantages will have a much easier time attaining some success than those who have no previous exposure to it.

Many immigrants take part in hard labor (NY Times).

Reliance on Skills: A common philosophy is “the more you know”.  The same mentality applies to immigrants.  Within the state of New Jersey, 26% of the workforce is immigrants, but in Middlesex County, the percentage is much higher at 37% (^5).  Immigrants make contributions in both hard labor and innovative knowledge.  Visas are granted to those who are high skilled professionals in their fields, with at least a college degree.  New Jersey ranks third after California and New York for the number of high-skilled visa employers (^6).  This process proves an impactful exchange between New Jersey and immigrants.  New Jersey provides migrants with opportunities to work in their designated fields, and immigrants provide the state with their highly trained and skilled services.  Them working in the state boosts the economy while providing them with unique opportunities.  Many of the immigrants move back to their home nations once they complete their contracts, but while they reside in the state, they work in industries that benefit the public, such as healthcare and communication industries.



(^1, ^2, ^3, ^4, ^5, and ^6) Mann, Anastasia R. “Crossroads of the World: New Americans in Middlesex County, New Jersey.” Rutgers University, September 2011.

“Middlesex County, NJ.” Data USA, 2018.