The Village of Ridgewood was created on November 20, 1894, with the same boundaries as Ridgewood Township. The Village became the municipal government while the Township remained as a school district. In 1902, the village added portions of Orvil Township, which were returned to Orvil Township in 1915. In 1925, Ridgewood Village acquired area from Franklin Township (now Wyckoff). On February 9, 1971, Ridgewood Village acquired area from Washington Township. On May 28, 1974, it acquired area from Ho-Ho-Kus.
In 1700, Johannes Van Emburgh built the first home in Ridgewood, having purchased a 250 acres (100 ha) property in 1698.
Ridgewood was ranked 26th in Money magazine's "Best Places to Live" in America, 2011.
Neighborhood Scout website ranked Ridgewood as the 6th safest city in America in its 2013 rankings of the "NeighborhoodScout’s® Top 100 Safest Cities in the U.S.
There were 8,456 households of which 45.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.1% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.1% were non-families. 17.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the village, 30.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.0 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $143,229 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,530) and the median family income was $172,825 (+/- $9,197). Males had a median income of $111,510 (+/- $12,513) versus $77,651 (+/- $9,008) for females. The per capita income for the village was $67,560 (+/- $3,740). About 2.2% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
There were 8,603 households out of which 44.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.4% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the village, the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $104,286, and the median income for a family was $121,848. Males had a median income of $90,422 versus $50,248 for females. The per capita income for the village was $51,658. 3.0% of the population and 1.8% of families are below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Ridgewood is governed within the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) under Council-Manager plan B, as implemented on July 1, 1970, by direct petition. Under this form, the governing body consists of five council members who are responsible to hire and oversee a professional Village Manager who has full executive power for all departments. The government consists of five council members, with all positions elected at-large in nonpartisan elections to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election in even-numbered years on the second Tuesday in May. At a reorganization meeting held on July 1 after newly elected council members take office, the council chooses a mayor and deputy mayor from among its members, with the mayor presiding over Council meetings, but without any executive authority.
The Village Council appoints a Village Manager to oversee the day to day operations of the Village, to handle personnel, citizen inquiries and complaints, and to handle the administrative duties of the Village. The Village Council passes local laws, makes appointments to various Boards and Committees, and awards various contracts for purchases of goods and services used by the Village. They also review, amend, and adopt the annual budget for the Village prepared by the Village Manager and Chief Financial Officer.
As of 2013[update], members of the Ridgewood Village Council are Mayor Paul Aronsohn (term on council ends June 30, 2016; term as mayor ends June 30, 2014), Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli (2016), Gwenn Hauck (2016), Thomas M. Riche (2014) and Bernadette Walsh (2014).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 15,983 registered voters in Ridgewood, of which 4,727 (29.6% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 4,125 (25.8% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 7,118 (44.5% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties. Among the village's 2010 Census population, 64.0% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 92.4% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,181 votes here (50.5% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 5,852 votes (47.8% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 130 votes (1.1% vs. 0.9%), among the 12,232 ballots cast by the village's 17,124 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.4% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 7,387 votes here (55.5% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 5,743 votes (43.2% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 80 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 13,306 ballots cast by the village's 16,867 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.9% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 6,656 votes here (50.7% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 6,357 votes (48.4% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 94 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 13,141 ballots cast by the village's 16,325 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.5% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 4,192 votes here (48.8% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 3,885 votes (45.3% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 423 votes (4.9% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 44 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 8,582 ballots cast by the village's 16,509 registered voters, yielding a 52.0% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Ridgewood Public Schools consist of nine public schools and two additional school facilities, which house a pre-school program operated through the district and a private day care center. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Glen School (Pre-School and Private Day Care Center), six K-5 elementary schools – Henrietta Hawes Elementary School (400), Orchard Elementary School (339), Ridge Elementary School (493), Irwin B. Somerville Elementary School (501), Ira W. Travell Elementary School (392) and Willard Elementary School (485) – Benjamin Franklin Middle School (689) and George Washington Middle School (663) for grades 6-8 and Ridgewood High School (1,668) for grades 9-12. The high school was the 28th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 20th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.
The Holmstead School serves students of high school age with high intellectual potential who have not succeeded in traditional school settings. Students are placed in the school by referral from their home public school districts, with tuition paid for by the school district.
Pre-schools in Ridgewood include West Side Presbyterian, First Presbyterian School and the Montessori Learning Center.
The village of Ridgewood is served by two weekly community newspapers – The Ridgewood News and the Ridgewood Suburban News. The papers are published by North Jersey Media Group. The daily newspaper for the region is The Record which is also published by North Jersey Media Group. The company's website, NorthJersey.com, has a Ridgewood town page that includes local coverage all three of these papers. Patch Media provides Ridgewood with its own daily news website, which offers news, events, announcements and Local Voices.
Roads and highways
The village had a total of 94.70 miles (152.40 km) of roadways, of which 79.79 miles (128.41 km) are maintained by the municipality, 13.77 miles (22.16 km) by Bergen County and 1.14 miles (1.83 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
^Amos, Darius. "Ridgewood election winners discuss results", The Ridgewood News, May 10, 2012. Accessed October 2, 2013. "Paul Aronsohn's decision to align with two newcomers ruffled some feathers last week, but 66 percent of Ridgewood's voters thought it was not necessarily a bad thing. The incumbent easily won another four-year term on the governing body, carrying an election-high 2,479 votes. The electorate also gave nods to first-time candidates Albert Pucciarelli (2,078) and Gwenn Hauck (1,727), both of whom earned Aronsohn's personal endorsement at a candidates' forum earlier this month."
^Nutt, Amy Ellis (October 31, 2013). "Booker is officially a U.S. senator after being sworn in". NJ.com/Associated Press. Accessed October 31, 2013. "Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was sworn in as a Democratic senator from New Jersey today, taking the oath of office, exchanging hugs with Vice President Joe Biden and acknowledging the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor's gallery that rings the chamber.... Booker, 44, was elected to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year."
^ abEnsslin, John C. "Bergen County Freeholders choose Ganz as chairman; Democrat gives Republicans 2 top slots", The Record (Bergen County), January 3, 2013. Accessed January 10, 2013. "The swearing-in of Freeholders Tracy Silna Zur and Steve Tanelli gave the Democrats a 4-3 majority and control of the board for the first time in two years. The board elected David Ganz as chairman, as expected.... The reorganization meeting drew several top Democrats from across the state, with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez swearing in Tanelli, a former North Arlington councilman, and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark swearing in Zur, an attorney from Franklin Lakes."
^Senior Watch, Northwestern University. Accessed December 15, 2013. "'It occurred to me that someone was getting paid to go to every game and tell thousands of people what was happening,' says the Medill School of Journalism senior from Ridgewood, N.J."
^Davis, Erik. Dhttp://news.moviefone.com/2007/08/10/interview-rocket-science-director-jeffrey-blitz/ "Interview: Rocket Science Director Jeffrey Blitz"], Moviefone, August 10, 2007. Accessed December 15, 2013. "I grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey, which is north of New York. But I moved it to Plainsboro because I felt it was more interesting for them to kind of orbit around a dead city in Trenton."
^"Book looks at what drives teens JERSEY INK", The Star-Ledger, May 25, 2006. "Coben, who was born in Newark and grew up in Livingston, graduating from Livingston High School, has relatives in Livingston and often goes there. He has lived in Ridgewood since 1992."
^Staff. "Barbara Demick Named Seoul Bureau Chief", Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2001. Accessed November 3, 2012. "A native of Ridgewood, N.J., Demick earned a bachelor's degree in economic history from Yale University and completed the Bagehot Fellowship in economic and business journalism at Columbia University."
^Romano, Jay. "On the Road With Cary Edwards", The New York Times, April 25, 1993. Accessed December 16, 2013. "W. Cary Edwards, 48, was born in Ridgewood and grew up in Bergen County. When he was 11 years old, his parents separated, and he moved with his mother, Virginia, and a brother and a sister to East Paterson."
^Herzog, Laura. "Ridgewood honors jazz great who went to RHS", The Ridgewood News, April 15, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2013. "Another name recognized by many serious musicians was former Ridgewood resident Sonny Igoe, who died last spring at age 88. A 1939 Ridgewood High School (RHS) 'distinguished alumni' graduate, Igoe was one of America's great big band drummers, who even played with the 'King of Swing' himself, Benny Goodman."
^Biography, Cosmo Jarvis - Bigger Thinker. Accessed December 16, 2013. "Born to an Armenian/American mother and a British father, Cosmo Harrison Krikoryan Jarvis began life in Ridgewood, New Jersey."
^Staff. "New Voice; Opera announcer with a New Jersey accent", The Record (Bergen County), October 5, 2004. Accessed December 20, 2013. "In the world of opera, Margaret Juntwait, born and raised in Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River, has certainly achieved an enviable position. The Metropolitan Opera announced that the WNYC-FM classical music host with the seductively smooth voice will announce Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera."
^Kim, Peter S. "MY FIRST JOB; Howdy, Buckaroo, Here's Your Apron", The New York Times, March 11, 2011. Accessed July 27, 2011. "My mother was a single parent and worked hard to make ends meet. I realized that in order to attend college, I would have to get a job. A Roy Rogers restaurant was opening near Ridgewood, N.J., my hometown, and I was hired on the spot to work there."
^Harper, Christine. "A Conversation with Jeffrey M. Lacker", Council on Foreign Relations, May 9, 2013. Accessed April 17, 2014. "It's delightful to be back in New York. I grew up just over the river, Ridgewood, New Jersey, and -- son's here, had dinner with my son last night and was treated to just an exceptional flight in over Lower Manhattan last night."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Professional juggler", The Record (Bergen County), November 13, 2005. Accessed September 27, 2012. "'I'm sort of half in one world, half in the other at this point of the day,' says MacCallum, a Wyckoff native who has lived in Ridgewood since her elder son was 2 weeks old."
^Staff. "Rangers Notes", The Record (Bergen County), February 28, 2007. Accessed December 20, 2013. "The Rangers swapped defensemen with the Boston Bruins about two hours before Tuesday's 3 p.m. trading deadline, getting Ridgewood-born Paul Mara in return for maligned blueliner Aaron Ward."
^Crossette, Barbara. "Richard Muenz", The New York Times, July 25, 1980. Accessed December 16, 2013. "Richard Muenz was born in 1948 in Hartford and grew up around Ridgewood, N.J.... He went on to Ridgewood High School, where he played and sang in school productions."
^Stephenson, Madeline. "Evanka Osmak: Courting Success", City Life magazine, January 25, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2013. "Persistent Osmak, who was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, relentlessly sent her demo tape to stations across North America."
^Joan Ostling, ObitsForLife.com. Accessed September 27, 2012. "OSTLING, Joan K. (nee Kerns) 69, of Ridgewood, a writer and college teacher, died of breast cancer on January 11."
^Staff. "BRIEFING: POLITICS; ROUKEMA RETIRING", The New York Times, November 11, 2001. Accessed January 29, 2011. "Representative Marge Roukema, a leading voice in the Republican Party's moderate wing since her election in 1980, said last week that she would retire after her current term. Ms. Roukema, 72, of Ridgewood, is the longest-serving woman in Congress."
^Kieran Scott, Teenreads.com. Accessed December 1, 2012. "A Jersey-girl through and through, Kieran grew up in Montvale, New Jersey, and attended Pascack Hills High School where she was a cheerleader, singer, actress and occasionally a student. She attended Rutgers University, graduated with a double-major in English and Journalism and now resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey in her very own bachelorette pad."
^Amodio, Joseph V. "Fast Chat: Jordin Sparks discusses life on Broadway", Newsday, October 14, 2010. Accessed January 30, 2012. "You used to live out here in the '90s, when your dad, Phillippi Sparks, played cornerback for the New York Giants. What stands out from that time? We lived a few years in Ridgewood, New Jersey. I walked to school. My dad sometimes would say, 'OK, I'm gonna drive you and your brother today.' But instead of school, he'd take us to Giants Stadium."
^Kobel, Peter. "Percussionist Van Tieghem Hears A Different Drum", Chicago Tribune, August 18, 1987. Accessed October 29, 2012. "Van Tieghem -- tall, angular and soft-spoken -- grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., and now lives in downtown Manhattan. He played in a number of rock bands in high school and then studied percussion at the Manhattan School of Music."
^Weber, Bruce. "Douglas Watt, New York Theater Critic, Dies at 95", The New York Times, October 2, 2009. Accessed July 27, 2011. "Douglas Benjamin Watt was born in the Bronx on Jan. 20, 1914, and he grew up in Hackensack and Ridgewood, N. J. His father was a structural engineer. He sped through high school and entered Cornell University in his middle teens, graduating at 19."