Passaic County, New Jersey

Passaic County, New Jersey

Seal

Location in the state of New Jersey

New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Founded February 7, 1837
Seat Paterson
Largest city Paterson
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

197 sq mi (510 km²)
185 sq mi (479 km²)
12 sq mi (31 km²), 5.97%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

489049
2639/sq mi (1019/km²)
Website www.PassaicCountyNJ.org

Passaic County ( ) is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 489,049. Its county seat is Paterson. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area.

Passaic County was created on February 7, 1837, from portions of both Bergen County and Essex County.[1]

Contents


Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 197 square miles (510 km²), of which, 185 square miles (480 km²) of it is land and 12 square miles (30 km²) of it (5.97%) is water.

The highest point is any one of six areas on Bearfort Ridge in West Milford Township at approximately 1,480 ft (451 m) above sea level. The lowest elevation is approximately 30 ft (9 m) along the Passaic River in Clifton.

The southeastern, more populous half of the county is either flat near the river or mildly hilly. The northwestern section is rugged and mountainous.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 489,049 people, 163,856 households, and 119,614 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,639 people per square mile (1,019/km²). There were 170,048 housing units at an average density of 918 per square mile (354/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.32% White, 13.22% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 3.69% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 16.24% from other races, and 4.05% from two or more races. 29.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.3% were of Italian, 6.8% Irish, 5.3% German and 5.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.

In 2005 Non-Hispanic whites were estimated to constitute 48.9% of Passaic County's population. This included large numbers of Egyptians. 15.3% of the population was African-American. 4.4% of the population was Asian. 33.9% of the population was Latino. The large amount of Hispanics present in Passaic County can be attributed to the fact that the majority of residents in Paterson and Passaic are Hispanic, and a substantial minority are in Clifton. Throughout the other parts of Passaic county, however, there is a relatively low number of Hispanics present. This last number represented an increase of over 15,000 in the Latino population of the county.[2]

As of the 2000 census There were 163,856 households out of which 35.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.50% were married couples living together, 16.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,210, and the median income for a family was $56,054. Males had a median income of $38,740 versus $29,954 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,370. About 9.40% of families and 12.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

In Passaic County's commission form of government, the Board of Chosen Freeholders discharge both executive and legislative responsibilities. Seven Freeholders are elected at-large for three-year terms on a staggered basis. A Freeholder Director and Freeholder Deputy Director are elected from among the seven Freeholders at an annual reorganization meeting in January. The Freeholders select a County Administrator who, in the role of chief administrative officer, supervises the day-to-day operation of county government and its departments.

Passaic County operates through six standing committees of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. They are Administration & Finance; Health, Education and Community Affairs; Public Works and Buildings & Grounds; Law & Public Safety; Human Services and Planning and Economic Development. The Freeholders also appoint individuals to departments, agencies, boards and commissions for the effective administration of county government.

, Passaic County's Freeholders are:[3]

Currently, the majority of Passaic County's Freeholders are Democrats. The party has been the majority party on the Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1998. The three Republicans on the Board were all elected in 2009, and took office in January 2010.

Four federal Congressional Districts cover the county, with most of the northern portion of the county in New Jersey's 5th congressional district, represented by Scott Garrett (R) and most of the southern portion of the county in New Jersey's 8th congressional district, represented by Bill Pascrell (D). The borough of Hawthorne is in New Jersey's 9th congressional district, represented by Steve Rothman (D), and a portion of the borough of Bloomingdale is in New Jersey's 11th congressional district, represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R).

Politics

In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, John Kerry carried the county by a 11.5% margin over George W. Bush, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush.[4]

Highlands protection

In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which regulates the New Jersey Highlands region. The northwestern area of the county, comprising the municipalities of Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Wanaque and West Milford, was included in the highlands preservation area and is subject to the rules of the act and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, a division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.[5] Some of the territory in the protected region is classified as being in the highlands preservation area, and thus subject to additional rules.[6]

Municipalities

Transportation

New Jersey Transit's Main Line serves the eastern part of Passaic County. Numerous New Jersey Transit bus routes serve Passaic County as well.

The major highways that travel through Passaic County are Interstate 287, Interstate 80, US Route 202, US Route 46, Route 23, Route 21, Route 20, Route 19, Route 4, Route 3, and the Garden State Parkway.

Education

Media

Passaic County is served by New York City-based commercial television stations and New Jersey Network public television.

Points of interest

References

  1. "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 209.
  2. Passaic County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  3. 2010 Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed February 3, 2010
  4. New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
  5. (PDF). New Jersey Legislature. 2004-06-07. pp. 15-16. http://www.highlands.state.nj.us/njhighlands/actmaps/act/highlands_bill.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
  6. . NJDEP. August 23, 2005. http://www.nj.gov/dep/highlands/municipalities.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-08.