Lakewood Had More Babies Than Any Other Municipality in the State in 2022; Over 5,000 Babies Born for a Second Straight Year [UPDATED]

Lakewood Township accounted for more births in 2022 than any other municipality in the state, beating out Jersey City and Newark, the state’s two largest cities, according to newly released data.

A total of 5,264 children were born in Lakewood, the state’s fastest growing municipality, in 2022 – a nearly identical number to 2021, when 5,261 children were born in the state’s fourth-largest municipality.

Although the data cannot be broken down by religion, they can be sorted by race.

Of the 5,263 children born in Lakewood, 4,857 were to mothers who identify as white and non-Hispanic – down slightly from the 4,975 born to the same demographic in 2021.

It is interesting to note that 2021 saw an abnormal increase in births over the previous year but 2022 was more in line with prior years.

And of the 5,263 babies born in Lakewood, 2,711 were boys, while 2,553 were girls.

In neighboring Jackson Township, which has seen a boon in Orthodox Jewish families, the vast majority of them in the 30-44 age bracket, the township crossed the 1,000 birth per year mark for the first time since records have been kept, with 1,006 babies born there in 2022.

The 1,006 figure is a 12.7% increase from the prior year and a staggering 71.6% increase in births from 2018.

Overall, a total of 102,890 children were born in New Jersey in 2022, a slight increase over the 101,330 babies born in 2021.

This article was updated on May 15, 2024 to reflect additional information regarding the ethnicity of majority of babies born in Lakewood. 

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        • Home birth is much better: They don’t induce the mother because the nurse on duty wants to leave already; they don’t jab the baby with unknown/unnecessary substances; they don’t give you samples of proven-disease-causing junk food (which includes cereals – full of chemicals sprayed on fields etc.).
          Panicking people that there can be complication is a ploy of Big Pharma – THE biggest business in the US. (Granted, home birth is only for low-risk births, but that is the vast majority.)

          • Home birth comes with it many risks, because they don’t have the emergency equipment in case of many important emergencies. I personally know children who have been saved at birth by hospital equipment, who would not have survived a home birth.

          • to Ploni Almoni:

            Everything in life comes with risks. Its a matter of weighing them and assessing. In a hospital setting mothers are at far greater risk of perineal damage as well as unnecessary C-sections, which is a travesty to baby and mother by every available metric. Certified midwives DO carry basic emergency equipment, and can facilitate a transfer if needed.

            That doesn’t mean that homebirth is 100% risk-free, but it does mean that is worthwhile to do your research.

            I suggest you read the Joint Statement published by RCOG (The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and RCM in 2007.

          • The RCOG has a different conclusion. They see “no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications… there is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth… that is safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby”.

            Of course, you are entitled to differ.

          • Really? Halachickly there is no such thing as low risk. Medically, there are so many things that can go wrong, which all create more questions then answers. I can go through probably 20 scenarios off the top of my head. Though TLS would remove it as being inappropriate.

          • I am doubtful about how helpful it is to conflate standard medical terms with halacha that states that a yoledes has din of choled she’yesh bah sakana, but whatever. If you can think of 20 things that can go wrong, I can think of 30. But that is not really the point here. The point is here is what scenario will give the mother and baby the best outcome, and these are questions which are not answered by simply listing off all the potential issues that can arise in childbirth, as many doctors like to do.

          • Also – halacha absolutely does recognize the statistically low-risk factor of standard childbirth. She is treated like choleh sheyash bo sakanah for certain things because she is intrinsically in such a state, but it is not applied for her across the board like it would be for someone suffering a heart attack

    • fair question, home birth is reckless period, even though statisticly it works out , the eibishter is a shomer of fools shomer pesayim hashem , chazal clearly consider childbirth a real sakanah and therefore a dr is the proper hishtadlus despite some inconvenience’s

      • Just curious.

        Is the national C-section rate – which is above 30%!!!! – not wildly reckless??? who are we kidding here? Have you ever researched what type of long-term complications are associated with C-section births? Is it proper hishtadlus to blindly succumb yourself to such a system?

        Are you perhaps being the fool in the room for not recognizing what is going around you?

        • SW- calm down and have as many home births as you want.
          But stop pushing your agenda! (w
          We don’t encourage a movement of crunchy moms;).) It’s fine if you choose it but why do people who choose these kinds of things feel the need to be so vocal about it?

          • I would imagine that the reason who are vocal about it is because it is upsetting for them to watch an entire community consign themselves fully to a system that, by its own admission, is failing mothers and babies alike. I strongly recommend that do you do just a little research into the long-term complications associated with C-sections (increased risk of type 1 diabetes, asthma, celiac disease, obesity, allergies) and then ask yourself honestly if maybe something is wrong here. Find out the rates of perineal trauma of mothers who do homebirth vs. hospital. It might be also be upsetting to see comments like “homebirth is statically safe, but it is reckless period”.
            I have zero agenda whatsoever to push homebirth, just information.

          • Did you deliberately cut my sentence off half-way? No, I actually do not care in the slightest what people choose to do. I am just offering my observations on the topic not one iota less than you have been doing on this same forum, if I remember correctly.

          • Moreover, if I had an agenda to push homebirth, I would have stated somewhere that it is safer or a better choice than hospital birth. I did not say that anywhere, because it is not place to say that. All I have done is point out that people are missing a lot of information on the topic and that that is unfortunate.

        • The vast majority of C-section are performed on people who don’t know the difference. Don’t want to go through childbirth. If a couple does their own research, knows what to expect and how to deal with the different scenarios, they won’t have a C-section for no reason. All I stated are facts. Your studies were done based on idiots who don’t have a clue what they are doing. As a veteran Hatzolah member once told me, Child birth calls are the scariest. Aside for the Halachos of which life takes precedence if there are issues, there’s also in many such cases difference between legal and Halacha. In a hospital setting there will almost always be enough hands to take care of all patients.

          • Shmendrick – You are absolutely right that most C-sections are by people who don’t want to go through childbirth and by choice and that is why it is astounding that you missed the point entirely. By your own admission “if a couple does their own research… they won’t have a c-section for no reason”. And here you are in the same breath throwing your weight behind “hospital settings”. Amazing.

            When a team of trained midwives shows up, they have a single agenda: facilitate the best possible birth for mother and baby. If you think that that is the thought going through the mind of all the doctors running around the birth ward – you are wildly delusional. Try googling “why are c-sections so high?” and read for a three minutes.

          • Also, if we one is going to make an informed decision about the pro/cons of homebirth, does it make any difference how scary childbirth calls are for frum male paramedics? I don’t blame them for being scared, but at the same time I do not recall any studies on the subject taking into account these emotions in assessing the overall safety of homebirth.

        • You are wrong. There is no team of mid-wives showing up to any house for a home delivery. No reliable doctor is running around performing c-sections. I do my own research and don’t rely on google to teach me basics. I am 1 of9 and have children of my own. I also have decades of knowledge on the subject. I have a female relative that was showcased decades ago on this subject. Google has nothing on me. Furthermore, in our circles I believe the numbers are way lower then in other circles. Stick with what relative to us Frum Jews instead of what other communities are busy with. There are many that believe a natural delivery creates changes in body confirmation, and are more concerned about that then health.

          • “There is no team of midwives showing up to any house for a home delivery”. I guess it was a team of highly trained (and highly disguised) aliens that showed up to my house three times…

            It is good that you don’t rely on google for doing your own research. Never rely on a search engine for important research.

        • You still haven’t answered my point that the majority of C-sections are done at patient request because they don’t want to be in labor. They are also the types that push abortion at will.
          As to you having so many midwives show up on your doorstep, maybe that’s because you’re their only patient that month, so they are all bored. The vast majority of times, it’s 1 midwife.
          You apparently don’t know that google keeps your history for life. So they will give you what you usually search for and like. Same thing with you tube advertisements, all based on your searches. My research and knowledge is several decades old. Before internet existed. When you had to know the abc’s to learn. Are you generation Z? Or generation nuts?

          • Lets say a shmendrick who doesn’t know any better shows up to their doc and says hey I am not interested in laboring… can we do a c-section? What happens now. Is there significant pushback along with warnings of all the short- and long-term complications involved? Or is it possible that in many cases the doc figures: it saves a lot of time, saves me from liability, and gets me and the hospital a lot more dough. Numbers speak.

            Lets say in a decade the rate rises to 40%. You still good with that? Lets say 50%? So why is 1 out 3 acceptable? You seem to think that the system that facilitates this is as pure as the driven snow and it is just the multitude of idiots who haven’t done their research that are to blame. Sounds cool, not real life.

            As for your decades of experience and research, I do apologize for having the temerity to question your ancient knowledge.

  1. I think in short it really depends on how you make decisions and how you feel comfortable doing your research.
    My personal preference is by trying to get my hands on the best and most reliable data published on the subject, but that is just one way of doing things.
    You pro-hospital guys are perfectly entitled to be a little more “alternative” and rely on your uncle the Hatzalah man, your distant female relative who was showcased a few centuries back on this subject, or on your neighbor’s cat.


    • Try doing old school research. You know get your hands dirty. Try being a Hatzolah member and having to rescue a women in labor from a midwife. How about the baby that comes hand first? What is your midwife going to do? Cut the hand off! Again I was the Hatzolah member on several emergencies. I did my research. You’re an epic 21st century hysteric. Remember you can only get polio if you take the vaccine, right! Don’t trust modern medicine, it’s there to kill 100%. That’s how you sound. Choose your doctor wisely. Do your own research. Then you won’t have a C-section or have any negative problems when in the hospital. Or not many.

  2. You have to admit that its pretty funny that here you are blasting me for not being competent at doing research (since I don’t have the tens or hundreds of years of experience that you have) and at the same time you are reassuring people that if they just make sure to do their own research beforehand they will have not have any “negative problems” in the hospital… I think at some point we will have to count how many times you put your foot in your mouth in this thread.

    • You have no idea what you’re talking about. A Yoledes for 72 hours is a Cholanis mesukenes, and would not be allowed to fast even on Yom Kippur. So if there’s any issue during labor a midwife has minimal assistance they can give at a home birth. A midwife isn’t a doctor. They can’t perform an emergency operation. As well as dozens if not hundreds of issues that arise. While there are issues in hospitals, they are much more manageable then any serious issue at home. I am telling people to do research. The old fashioned way. Not subjectable internet articles written by agenda driven fanatics. That’s like trusting Faucci on Covid. I will say it again, the vast majority of C-section done when unnecessary are done as elective surgeries. These are sick women and the statistic is therefore faulty. Show how many were done by doctors who just want to cut. That would be relevant.

  3. Unfortunately you are again conflating different issues. No one ever denied that a yoledes is classified as choleh sh’yesh bo sakana. What I clarified before, and you apparently did not understand (quote: “Halachically there is no such thing as low risk”), is that halacha quite clearly distinguishes between a “normal”, or “low-risk” pregnancy, and a “high risk” pregnancy. You are obligated to try to avoid unnecessary melacho in the former (i.e. use shinui if possible); not in the latter. Speak to your LOR. Mixing in wild and irrelevant arguments (like midwives cutting off hands… ???) is neither useful nor intelligent.

    Obviously, you do not do serious medical research by perusing random articles on the internet. A meta-analysis from, say, John Hopkins, on the comparative safety of home birth is not a random subjective article. If that doesn’t sit well with your old-school approach, that’s fine, but then don’t go advocating for modern medicine in the same breath.

    Lastly, you are failing to recognize that a system that has a 1 in 3 C-section rate is terribly faulty regardless of the mental state of the women who opt in. (There are countries with half that rate.) It is not just the surgery itself, you see, but an entire culture and approach to childbirth. There is a lot of cutting that goes on outside the operating room, as you are certainly well aware…

  4. Listen, I am not saying that you don’t have valid arguments. I am just pointing out that if a health system requires you to do your own shmendrick-style homework beforehand to ensure your protection it has serious flaws. Some people look at that and want an alternative. There is reliable data out there supporting homebirth as a safe (and arguably in some ways safer) alternative given certain preconditions. If you feel that the risks nevertheless outweigh the benefits, its not for you. Buts its also not for you or anyone else to label people who make the choice wild-eyed fanatics.

    • There was an article not long ago of the magazines, warning everyone to stay away from home births! A personal account and after doing research realizing how many were affected negatively by home birth as well

  5. The real question is, are we gonna have 200+ elementary school classrooms in 5 years for these kids ?
    Because right now, we’re not even close.

  6. K’ein Ayin Horah , Kein Yirbu BUT:
    It’s still not enough. It’s been over 80 years since the worst Holocaust since the world was created and we still did not recover the 6 million that were brutally murdered. Would those 6 million not have been murdered and gotten married there would’ve been at least over 40 million of them today. Having babies is the biggest mitzvah in the world.
    And I noticed while my wife was having babies my business was booming and as soon as we married off our last child my business weakened drastically.

  7. I had a completely low risk pregnancy and would not be alive today had I given birth at home. Why is the comfort and convenience of your family for a few days more important than life? In Judiasm, we value life.
    As an aside, most countries with lower C section rates have socialized medicine and won’t cover elective sections because of the cost.

  8. OMG SW- this comment section is literally all about you and your agenda. You’re welcome to your opinions and BH apreantly not changing any minds. Take a deep breath and just stop.

    • @neleg – I don’t think SW trying to change minds. Just pointing out that current system is not quite as rose-colored as people make it out. Don’t agree to everything SW wrote, but you have to give it him/her that he/she has valid points.

  9. @neleg – like fact that kids from CS have much more problems down the line. A lot of people don’t know this. I read a little about it and it is pretty crazy.

    • Not necessarily accurate. CS done for cosmetic or non medical reasons, yes. CS done in an emergency or a woman who is not capable of natural, generally not an issue.

      • Hi @scmendrik. I’m not here to debate with you like SW. But I think your going to have a hard time explaininf g why the reason CS happened makes a difference. Or where are you coming from? Also not sure where you got that most CS are elective. online says like 3%

    • Wow. That’s a totally skewed statisic. If these kids that were born CS were born naturally both the mother and baby could have been much worse off! A CS is performed for medical reason when there are issues so, yeah, this kids may be disavantaged after experiencing those issues but at least they are ALIVE. I know many more stories where the drs. let labor progress too long and the kids don’t just have ‘problems’, they are mentally disabled. I agree that conventional medical advice is not always trustworthy and must be consumed properly but there is some value to modern medicine and to completely blow it away with false stats is dangerous.

      • Fact 1: 1 in 3 kids in USA is born via CS.

        Fact 2: kids born via CS have many more long term issues.

        Do you think that what is going on, in general, is good or bad? That is SW’s point.

  10. I think that the point of this homebirth debate here, is to highlight that no matter which side of the debate you’re on, you agree that the lack of a local maternity hospital is a grave risk to Lakewood’s mothers and babies. If you are pro hospital birth, then you should be alarmed at the number of babies being born in their cars en route to the non-local hospitals, delivered by “trained” state troopers, or Hatzola men who certainly don’t have medical training or hospital resources at their disposal. If you are pro homebirth, then you should be equally alarmed by the number of babies born in their cars, delivered by state troopers or Hatzola men who don’t have the training and experience of a midwife. And no matter which side you’re on, you should be concerned about the safety of an anxious husband or taxi driver on a high-speed, reckless mission to make it to the hospital on time !
    I hope it won’t take a catastrophe to open people’s eyes to this!


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