Middlesex County, New Jersey
Middlesex County is located in north-central New Jersey, United States. In 2019, the Census Bureau estimated the county's population at 825,062, making it the state's second-most populous county, an increase of 4.1% from 809,858 in the 2010 census. Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick. The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. The 2000 Census showed that the county ranked 63rd in the United States among the wealthiest counties by median household income. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 143rd-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the 10th-highest in New Jersey) as of 2009. Middlesex County holds the nickname, The Greatest County in the Land.
The Greatest County in the Land
Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Historic English county of Middlesex|
|Largest city||Edison (population)|
Monroe Township (area)
|• Commissioner director||Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2017)|
|• Total||322.83 sq mi (836.1 km2)|
|• Land||308.91 sq mi (800.1 km2)|
|• Water||13.91 sq mi (36.0 km2) 4.31%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,500/sq mi (970/km2)|
|Congressional districts||6th, 12th|
The county was primarily settled due to its ideal location near the Raritan River and was established as of March 7, 1683, as part of the Province of East Jersey and was partitioned as of October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy, and Woodbridge. Somerset County was established on May 14, 1688, from portions of Middlesex County. The county's first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778. Middlesex County hosts an extensive park system totaling more than 6,300 acres (2,500 ha).
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 322.83 square miles (836.1 km2), including 308.91 square miles (800.1 km2) of land (95.7%) and 13.91 square miles (36.0 km2) of water (4.3%). The county is named after the historic English county of Middlesex.
Bisected by the Raritan River, the county is topographically typical of Central Jersey in that it is largely flat. The majority of the county is located in the Inner Coastal Plain, with the remainder of the county being located on the Piedmont. The elevation ranges from sea level to 300 feet (91 m) above sea level on a hill scaled by Major Road/ Sand Hill Road near Route 1 in South Brunswick Township.
|Historical sources: 1790-1990|
1970-2010 2000 2010-2019
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Middlesex County is prominently known for its significant concentration of Asian Indians. The growing Little India is a South Asian-focused commercial strip in Middlesex County, the U.S. county with the highest concentration of Asian Indians. The Oak Tree Road strip runs for about one-and-a-half miles through Edison and neighboring Iselin in Woodbridge Township, near the area's sprawling Chinatown and Koreatown, running along New Jersey Route 27. It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States. Monroe Township in Middlesex County has experienced a particularly rapid growth rate in its Indian American population, with an estimated 5,943 (13.6%) as of 2017, which was 23 times the 256 (0.9%) counted as of the 2000 Census; and Diwali is celebrated by the township as a Hindu holiday. Carteret's Punjabi Sikh community, variously estimated at upwards of 3,000, is the largest concentration of Sikhs in New Jersey. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi.
As of 2017 Census estimates, there were 201,243 people of Asian descent in Middlesex County accounting for 24% of the county's total population. At 61.57% of the population of Asian descent, Indian Americans accounted for 12.93% (104,705 people) of the county's total population in 2010, increasing to 127,875 (15.3%, the highest of any U.S. county) by 2017, more than that of the other Asian sub-groups combined.
The 2010 United States census counted 809,858 people, 281,186 households, and 203,016 families in the county. The population density was 2,621.6 per square mile (1,012.2/km2). There were 294,800 housing units at an average density of 954.3 per square mile (368.5/km2). The racial makeup was 58.60% (474,589) White, 9.69% (78,462) Black or African American, 0.34% (2,777) Native American, 21.40% (173,293) Asian, 0.03% (251) Pacific Islander, 6.99% (56,569) from other races, and 2.95% (23,917) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.40% (148,975) of the population.
Of the 281,186 households, 34.4% had children under the age of 18; 55.9% were married couples living together; 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 27.8% were non-families. Of all households, 22.5% were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.8 and the average family size was 3.29.
22.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 96.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94 males.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 750,162 people, 265,815 households, and 190,855 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,422 people per square mile (935/km2). There were 273,637 housing units at an average density of 884 per square mile (341/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 68.42% White, 9.13% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 13.89% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.71% from other races, and 2.60% from two or more races. 13.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among residents listing their ancestry, 16.1% were of Italian, 13.8% Irish, 10.2% German and 9.8% Polish ancestry according to the 2000 Census.
There were 265,815 households, out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.70% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 32.80% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $61,446, and the median income for a family was $70,749. Males had a median income of $49,683 versus $35,054 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,535. About 4.2% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Commissioners, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Commissioner Director and Deputy Director. The Commissioner Director appoints commissioners to serve as Chairpersons and members on the various committees which oversee county departments. Middlesex County also elects three "constitutional officers" whose existence is laid out in the New Jersey Constitution. The County Clerk and Surrogate serve five-year terms and the Sheriff serves a three-year term of office. In 2016, freeholders were paid $23,438 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $24,428, though Ronald Rios has accepted a salary of $8,340 as director.
- Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term as commissioner ends December 31, 2021; term as commissioner director ends 2021; Carteret)
- Commissioner Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2023 Edison)
- Charles Kenny (D, 2022; Woodbridge Township)
- Leslie Koppel (D, 2021 Monroe Township)
- Shanti Narra (D, 2022); North Brunswick)
- Clary Azcona-Barber(D, 2022; New Brunswick)
- Vacant seat- Commissioner Deputy Director Kenneth Armwood (D, 2022; Piscataway) died on March 29, 2021.
Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution requires each county in New Jersey have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term). Middlesex county's constitutional officers are:
- County Clerk Nancy Pinkin (D, 2025; East Brunswick, New Jersey)
- Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2022; Piscataway)
- Deputy Surrogate Heather Antonuccio (Acting)
Middlesex County constitutes Vicinage 8 of the New Jersey Superior Court; the vicinage is seated at the Middlesex County Courthouse, at 56 Paterson Street in New Brunswick. The Middlesex Vicinage also has facilities for the Family Part at the Middlesex County Family Courthouse at 120 New Street, also in New Brunswick; there are also other facilities in New Brunswick and Perth Amboy for Probation. The Assignment Judge for Vicinage 8 is Alberto Rivas.
The 6th and 12th Congressional Districts cover the county. For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch). For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).
As of August 1, 2020, there were a total of 545,795 registered voters in Middlesex County, of which 229,982 (42.1%) were registered as Democrats, 84,258 (15.4%) were registered as Republicans and 224,058 (41.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 7,497 (1.4%) voters registered to other parties.
After being a Republican stronghold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Middlesex County leaned Democratic for much of the 20th century beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's victory in the county in 1932. Throughout the twentieth century, in close elections the county would always vote Democratic, sometimes by solid margins, but the county was willing to flip Republican in the midst of nationwide Republican landslides in the 1970s and 80s. However, since the 1990s, Middlesex County has become a Democratic stronghold at the national level, mirroring the state's heavy swing to the Democrats.
Democrat Bill Clinton carried the county in 1992 and it has remained reliably blue in every election since. In the nationally close 2000 election, Democrat Al Gore won the county decisively with 59.9% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 36.1%, a Democratic victory margin of 23.7%, while winning the state overall by a 56-40 margin. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, many of the suburban counties surrounding New York City, including Middlesex County, swung Republican in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but Democrat John Kerry still carried the county comfortably by a 13.6% margin over George W. Bush, Kerry taking 56.3% of the vote to Bush's 42.8%, while Kerry carried the state overall by 6.7% over Bush. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Middlesex County by a much larger 21.8% margin over John McCain, Obama taking 60.2% of the vote to McCain's 38.4%, while Obama won New Jersey overall by 15.5% over McCain. In 2012, Obama won an even more commanding victory in the county, receiving 63.2% of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney's 35.6%, a Democratic victory margin of 27.6%, while carrying New Jersey overall by 17.8%. Like much of the New York City metro area, Middlesex County was one of the few parts of the country to swing even harder in Obama's favor in 2012 compared to 2008, even as he lost ground nationally. Some credit the swing towards Obama to his response towards Superstorm Sandy, which hit the New York City metro area in late October 2012, just a few days before the election. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Middlesex County by a tighter 21.4% margin over Republican Donald Trump, with Clinton taking 58.8% of the vote to Trump's 37.4%, while Clinton won New Jersey overall by 14.1% over Trump. In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden carried Middlesex County by a margin of 22.03%, a slight improvement from 2016, with Biden taking 60.22% of the vote to Donald Trump's 38.19%.
In the 2005 Gubernatorial Election, the county went to Democrat Jon Corzine by a 56-39 margin; while in the 2009 Gubernatorial Election, Republican Chris Christie received 47% of the vote, defeating incumbent Democrat Corzine, who received around 45%. In the 2013 Gubernatorial Election, incumbent governor Chris Christie improved on his margin in Middlesex County from 2009, carrying the county by about 18% over Democrat Barbara Buono, with Christie receiving 58% of the vote to Buono's 40%. In the 2017 Gubernatorial Election, Democrat Phil Murphy won Middlesex County with a wide 17% margin over Republican Kim Guadagno, with Murphy getting 57% of the vote to Guadagno's 40% of the vote.
Thomas N. Acken served as the sheriff in 1891. Joseph Spicuzzo served in 2014 and was arrested for bribery. Mildred S. Scott is the current sheriff.
Middlesex County hosts various county roads, state routes, US routes, and interstate highways, as well as toll highways. As of May 2010[update], the county had a total of 2,584.38 miles (4,159.16 km) of roadways, of which 2,118.08 miles (3,408.72 km) were maintained by the municipality, 292.16 miles (470.19 km) by Middlesex County and 131.48 miles (211.60 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, 41.49 miles (66.77 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and 1.17 miles (1.88 km) by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
County roads include County Route 501, County Route 514, County Route 516 (only in Old Bridge), County Route 520, County Route 522, County Route 527, County Route 529, County Route 531, County Route 535 and County Route 539.
The state routes are: Route 18, Route 26 (only in North Brunswick Township – entirely concurrent with Livingston Avenue), Route 27, Route 28, Route 32, Route 33 (only in Monroe Township), Route 34 (only in Old Bridge), Route 35, Route 91 (concurrent with Jersey Avenue in North Brunswick Township and entering New Brunswick), Route 171, Route 172 (only in New Brunswick), Route 184 and Route 440.
The county also includes some limited access highways and Interstates as well. Middlesex County hosts the southern end of the Middlesex Freeway (Interstate 287) which then turns into Route 440 that connects to the Outerbridge Crossing. The Garden State Parkway passes through the eastern part of the county, which features nine interchanges and the northern start/end of the split-roadways (Express & Local Lanes). The New Jersey Turnpike carries Interstate 95 through the center of the county. The Turnpike has five interchanges in Middlesex County: Exit 12 in Carteret, Exit 11 in Woodbridge Township, Exit 10 in Edison, Exit 9 in East Brunswick and Exit 8A in Monroe Township.
The Turnpike Authority planned to build Route 92, which was to start near the intersection of Ridge Road & Route 1 in South Brunswick Township to Interchange 8A in Monroe Township. This plan was cancelled on December 1, 2006.
The southern end of the "dual-dual" configuration (inner car lanes and outer truck lanes) used to be one mile south of Interchange 8A at the border of Cranbury Township and Monroe Township. It was relocated to Exit 6 in Mansfield Township in Burlington County after the Turnpike widening project was completed in early November 2014.
NJ Transit provides Middlesex County with frequent commuter rail service along the North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, and Raritan Valley Line. The North Jersey Coast Line runs through the eastern part of the county. The Northeast Corridor Line runs through the northern and central part of the county. The Raritan Valley Line serves Dunellen and is accessible to other communities along the county's northern border with Union and Somerset counties.
Intercity rail service is provided by Amtrak. The routes that run through Middlesex County are the Acela Express, Keystone, Northeast Regional, and Vermonter services, although only the Keystone and Northeast Regional have regular stops within Middlesex County, at either New Brunswick or Metropark station. The Acela service also occasionally stops at Metropark.
Bus service in Middlesex County is provided by New Jersey Transit, Coach USA's Suburban Transit, the extensive Rutgers Campus bus network, the MCAT shuttle system, and DASH buses. There are bus routes that serve all townships in the county on weekdays, and studies are being conducted to create the New Brunswick Bus Rapid Transit system.
- Middlesex County College (Edison - main campus; New Brunswick, Perth Amboy)
- Rutgers University New Brunswick Campus (New Brunswick, Piscataway)
- Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (New Brunswick)
- Princeton University – Forrestal Campus (Plainsboro)
- DeVry University (North Brunswick)
- Chamberlain University (North Brunswick)
- New Brunswick Theological Seminary (New Brunswick Campus)
|JFK Medical Center||Edison||Acute||498||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|PSE&G Children's Specialized Hospital||New Brunswick||Pediatric Rehabiltation||140||RWJBarnabas Health|
|Raritan Bay Medical Center (Old Bridge)||Old Bridge||Acute||113||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|Raritan Bay Medical Center (Perth Amboy)||Perth Amboy||Acute||388||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital||New Brunswick||Major Teaching||465||RWJBarnabas Health|
|The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital||New Brunswick||Acute Pediatric||105||RWJBarnabas Health|
|Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey||New Brunswick||Research, Cancer||RWJBarnabas Health|
|St. Peter's University Hospital||New Brunswick||Acute Teaching||478||Saint Peters HCS|
|Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center||Plainsboro||Acute Teaching||305||Penn Medicine|
- 9,010: Rutgers University
- 5,000 – 5,249: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
- 3,500 – 3,749: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wakefern Food Corporation
- 3,000 – 3,249: Merrill Lynch & Company, Novo Nordisk
- 2,750 – 2,999: Johnson & Johnson, Prudential Insurance Company, Silverline Building Products, St. Peter's University Hospital, Telcordia Technologies
- 2,500 – 2,749: JFK Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center
- 2,000 – 2,249: Pathmark
- 1,750 – 1,999: Home Depot, United Parcel Service
- 1,500 – 1,749: Amerada Hess Corporation, Dow Jones & Company, Siemens AG
- 1,250 – 1,499: AT&T, BASF (formerly Engelhard)
- 1,000 – 1,249: Aetna, Fujitsu, Prudential
- Undisclosed: Canon, Japanese company specializing in imaging products.
Municipalities in Middlesex County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed next to their parent municipality. Many of these areas are census-designated places that have been defined by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township and for which 2010 population data is included in parentheses.
- Donaldson Park
- Carteret Park
- Carteret Waterfront Park
- Edison Park
- Fords Park
- Johnson Park
- Medwick Park
- Merrill Park
- Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
- Roosevelt Park
- Spring Lake Park
- Thompson Park
- Warren Park
- Old Bridge Waterfront Walkway
- Alvin P. Williams Memorial Park
- Ambrose & Doty's Brooks Park
- Davidson's Mill Pond Park
- Ireland Brook Park
- Jamesburg Park Conservation Area
- John A. Phillips Open Space Preserve
- John A. Phillips Park
- Catherine Von Ohlen Park
Climate and weatherEdit
|New Brunswick, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Middlesex has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) which borders a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) on Raritan Bay and Arthur Kill. Average monthly temperatures in downtown New Brunswick range from 30.8 °F in January to 75.6 °F in July, while in South Amboy they range from 31.4 °F in January to 75.9 °F in July. 
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of New Brunswick have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −13 °F (−25 °C) was recorded in January 1984 and a record high of 103 °F (39 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.98 inches (76 mm) in February to 5.08 inches (129 mm) in July.
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