List of counties in New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
Sussex CountyEssex CountyPassaic CountyBergen CountyWarren CountyMorris CountyHunterdon CountySomerset CountyHudson CountyUnion CountyMiddlesex CountyMercer CountyMonmouth CountyOcean CountyBurlington CountyAtlantic CountyCamden CountyGloucester CountySalem CountyCumberland CountyCape May County
A clickable New Jersey county map

There are 21 counties in the U.S. state of New Jersey. These counties together contain 565 municipalities, or administrative entities composed of clearly defined territory; 250 boroughs, 52 cities, 15 towns, 244 townships, and 4 villages.[1] In New Jersey, a county is a local level of government between the state and municipalities. County government in New Jersey includes a Board of Chosen Freeholders,[2] sheriff, clerk, and surrogate (responsible for uncontested and routine probate),[3] all of which are elected officials. Counties organized under the Optional County Charter Law may also have an elected county executive.[4] Counties traditionally perform state-mandated duties such as the maintenance of jails, parks, and certain roads.[5] The site of a county's administration and courts is called the county seat.


New Jersey was governed by two groups of proprietors as two distinct provinces, East Jersey and West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702. New Jersey's first counties were created as administrative districts within each province, with East Jersey split in 1675 into Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth counties, while West Jersey's initial counties of Burlington and Salem date to 1681.[6][7] The most recent county created in New Jersey is Union County, created in 1857 and named after the union of the United States when the Civil War was imminent. New Jersey's county names derive from several sources, though most of its counties are named after place names in England and prominent leaders in the colonial and revolutionary periods. Bergen County is the most populous county—as of the 2010 Census—with 905,116 people, while Salem County is the least populous with 66,083 people.

Representation in the New Jersey Senate[edit]

Until the 1960s, the New Jersey Senate had 21 representatives, one from each county regardless of population. In the wake of the 1964 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Reynolds v. Sims, establishing the one man, one vote principle that state legislative districts must be approximately equal in size, David Friedland filed suit in New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of two union leaders, challenging a system under which each county was represented by a single member in the New Jersey Senate. The senate enacted a proposal whereby each senator's vote would be weighted based on the population of the county represented, under which Cape May County's senator would receive one vote while the senator from Essex County would receive 19.1, in direct relation to the ratio of residents between counties.[8] In a decision issued on December 15, 1964, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the weighted voting system as adopted was unconstitutional. The court ordered that interim measures be established for the 1965 legislative elections, in which weighted voting could be used as a temporary measure, and that the needed constitutional changes to restructure the New Jersey Legislature to be in compliance with "one man, one vote" requirements be in place before elections took place in 1967.[8] The legislature's final decision was to establish 40 districts statewide, each represented by one senator and two assemblymembers, without relation to county boundaries.

FIPS code[edit]

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. FIPS codes are five-digit numbers; for New Jersey the codes start with 34 and are completed with the three-digit county code. The FIPS code for each county in the table links to census data for that county.[9]


FIPS Code[9]County Seat[10]Created[10]Formed from[6][7]Named for[11]DensityPopulation [12]Area[10]Map
Atlantic County001Mays Landing1837Gloucester CountyThe Atlantic Ocean, which forms the county's eastern border489.39274,549561 sq mi
(1,453 km2)
A county in the southeast part of the state. It is medium in size.
Bergen County003Hackensack1683One of four original counties created in East JerseyBergen, New Netherland settlement, itself named for Bergen, North Holland3868.02905,116234 sq mi
(606 km2)
A county in the northeast part of the state. It is small.
Burlington County005Mount Holly1694One of two original counties created in West JerseyThe old ancient name for an inland market near Bridlington, England557.43448,734805 sq mi
(2,085 km2)
A county in the southern part of the state. It gets wider as it goes northeast. It is one of the largest counties.
Camden County007Camden1844Gloucester CountyCharles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden (1714–1794), an English supporter of the colonists during the American Revolution[13]2,313.77513,657222 sq mi
(575 km2)
A county in the southwest part of the state. It is very small.
Cape May County009Cape May Court House1692Burlington CountyThe 17th-century Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who explored and surveyed the Delaware Bay to the south of the county381.4397,265255 sq mi
(660 km2)
A county the makes up the southern tip of the state. It is one of the smallest.
Cumberland County011Bridgeton1748Salem CountyPrince William, Duke of Cumberland (1721–1765), second son of George II of England and military victor at the Battle of Culloden in 1746320.85156,898489 sq mi
(1,267 km2)
A county in the southern part of the state, west of the tip. It is averagely sized.
Essex County013Newark1683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe county of Essex in England6,221.98783,969126 sq mi
(326 km2)
A county in the northeast part of the state. It is one of the smallest.
Gloucester County015Woodbury1686Burlington CountyThe city of Gloucester, England887.04288,288325 sq mi
(842 km2)
A county in the southwest part of the state. It is averagely sized.
Hudson County017Jersey City1840Bergen CountyThe English explorer Henry Hudson (d. 1611), who explored portions of New Jersey's coastline13,495.02634,26647 sq mi
(122 km2)
A county in the northeast part of the state. It is the smallest county.
Hunterdon County019Flemington1714Burlington CountyRobert Hunter (1664–1734), the Colonial Governor of New Jersey from 1710 to 1720298.49128,349430 sq mi
(1,114 km2)
A county in the west part of the state, just north of the divide between north and south. It is averagely sized.
Mercer County021Trenton1838Burlington County, Hunterdon County, Middlesex County, and Somerset CountyThe Continental Army General Hugh Mercer (1726–1777), who died at the Battle of Princeton[14]1,621.74366,513226 sq mi
(585 km2)
A county in the western part of the state, just above an indentation. It is small compared to its neighbors.
Middlesex County023New Brunswick1683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe former county of Middlesex in England2,604.05809,858311 sq mi
(805 km2)
A county in the northern part of the state. It is averagely sized.
Monmouth County025Freehold Borough1683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe historic county of Monmouthshire in Wales1,335.55630,380472 sq mi
(1,222 km2)
A county in the central-western part of the state. It is averagely sized and gets skinnier in the west.
Morris County027Morristown1739Hunterdon CountyColonel Lewis Morris (1671–1746), colonial governor of New Jersey at the time of the county's formation[15][16]1,049.63492,276469 sq mi
(1,215 km2)
A county in the northern part of the state, landlocked by other counties. It is well-sized.
Ocean County029Toms River1850Monmouth CountyThe Atlantic Ocean, which forms the eastern border of New Jersey629.44576,567916 sq mi
(2,372 km2)
A county in the southeast part of the state. It is large and gets skinnier in the south.
Passaic County031Paterson1837Bergen County and Essex County"Pasaeck", a Lenape word meaning "valley"2,709.33501,226185 sq mi
(479 km2)
A county in the north-central part of the state. It is small, and has two wide parts with a skinny area between them.
Salem County033Salem1694One of two original counties created in West JerseyA Hebrew word meaning "peace"195.5166,083338 sq mi
(875 km2)
A county in the southwest part of the state. It is averagely sized.
Somerset County035Somerville1688Middlesex CountyThe county of Somerset in England1,060.47323,444305 sq mi
(790 km2)
A county landlocked by other counties in the northern part of the state. It is small.
Sussex County037Newton1753Morris CountyThe county of Sussex in England286.5149,265521 sq mi
(1,349 km2)
A county in the northwest corner of the state. It is larger than most surrounding counties.
Union County039Elizabeth1857Essex CountyThe union of the United States, which was being threatened by the dispute over slavery5,208.73536,499103 sq mi
(267 km2)
A county in the northeast part of the state, on an indentation. It is one of the smallest counties.
Warren County041Belvidere1824Sussex CountyThe American Revolutionary War General Joseph Warren (1741–1775), killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill303.61108,692358 sq mi
(927 km2)
A county in the northwest part of the state. It is averagely sized.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Jersey – Place and County Subdivision". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ Coppa, Frank J. (2000). County government: a guide to efficient and accountable government. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-275-96829-8. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  3. ^ Coppa, County government, p. 165
  4. ^ Coppa, County government, p. 108
  5. ^ "An Overview of County Government". National Association of Counties. Retrieved February 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "County Formation Map" (PDF). New Jersey Association of Election Officials. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Torp, Kim (2006). "New Jersey County Formation". Genealogy Trails. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Wright, George Cable (December 16, 1964). "Weighted Voting Voided in Jersey; State's Highest Court Bars Senate's Plan – No Ruling on Its Constitutionality New Jersey Supreme Court Bars Senate's Weighted Vote Plan". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved July 24, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c "NACo – Find a county". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on January 12, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008. 
  11. ^ "The Origin of New Jersey Place Names" (PDF). Federal Writers' Program. 1938. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  13. ^ Greenberg, Gail (August 30, 2009). "A Brief History of Camden County". Camden County Board of Freeholders. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  14. ^ "History". Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commission. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 
  15. ^ "The Land Past and Present". Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Retrieved August 30, 2009. 
  16. ^ "How did our county get its name?". Morris County Library. July 26, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2009. 

External links[edit]