Single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) provides rich information about cell types and states. However, it is difficult to capture rare dynamic processes, such as adult neurogenesis, because isolation of rare neurons from adult tissue is challenging and markers for each phase are limited. Here, we develop Div-Seq, which combines scalable single-nucleus RNA-Seq (sNuc-Seq) with pulse labeling of proliferating cells by 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) to profile individual dividing cells. sNuc-Seq and Div-Seq can sensitively identify closely related hippocampal cell types and track transcriptional dynamics of newborn neurons within the adult hippocampal neurogenic niche, respectively. We also apply Div-Seq to identify and profile rare newborn neurons in the adult spinal cord, a noncanonical neurogenic region. sNuc-Seq and Div-Seq open the way for unbiased analysis of diverse complex tissues.