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Bergen County, New Jersey facts for kids

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Bergen County
The Hudson River, seen southward below an overlook on the Palisades
The Hudson River, seen southward below an overlook on the Palisades
Official seal of Bergen County
Map of New Jersey highlighting Bergen County
Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
Map of the United States highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
Founded 1683
Seat Hackensack
Largest city Hackensack (population)
Mahwah (area)
 • Total 246.671 sq mi (638.875 km2)
 • Land 233.009 sq mi (603.490 km2)
 • Water 13.662 sq mi (35.385 km2)  5.54%%
 • Total 905,116
939,151 (2016 est.) (1st in state)
 • Density 4,027.8/sq mi (1,555.1/km2)
Demonym(s) Bergenite
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 5th, 8th, 9th

Range in altitude:
Highest elevation: 1,152 ft/351 m (Bald Mountain, in the Ramapo Mountains, in Mahwah).
Lowest elevation: 0 ft/0 m (sea level), at the Hudson River.

Bergen County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of New Jersey.

As of the 2016 Census estimate, the county's population was 939,151, making it the state's largest county, an increase of 3.8% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 905,116, which in turn represented an increase of 20,998 (2.4%) from the 884,118 counted in the 2000 Census. Located in the northeastern corner of New Jersey and its Gateway Region, Bergen County is part of the New York City Metropolitan Area and is directly across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan.

Bergen County's population resides among 70 municipalities but no large cities. Its most populous place, with 43,010 residents at the time of the 2010 census, is Hackensack, also its county seat. In 2010, Mahwah covered the largest area of any municipality, at 26.19 square miles (67.8 km2).

Bergen County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, with a median household income of $81,708 per the 2010 Census, increasing to an estimated $84,677 in 2014, which was almost 18% higher than the $71,919 median statewide. The county hosts an extensive park system totaling nearly 9,000 acres (3,600 ha).


The origin of the name of Bergen County is a matter of debate. It is believed that the county is named for one of the earliest settlements, Bergen, in modern-day Hudson County. However, the origin of the township's name is debated. Several sources attribute the name to Bergen, Norway, while others attribute it to Bergen, North Holland in the Netherlands. Some sources say that the name is derived from one of the earliest settlers of New Amsterdam (now New York City), Hans Hansen Bergen, a native of Norway, who arrived in New Netherland in 1633.


Bergen Passaic 1872
Bergen and Passaic counties, 1872.
Bergen County1896
Bergen County, 1896.
BergenCounty 1918
Bergen County, 1918.
Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion, Oradell NJ
The Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion in Oradell, circa 1909.

At the time of first European contact, Bergen County was inhabited by Native American people, particularly the Lenape Nation, whose sub-groups included the Tappan, Hackensack, and Rumachenanck (later called the Haverstraw), as named by the Dutch colonists. Some of their descendants are included among the Ramapough Mountain Indians, recognized as a tribe by the state in 1980. Their ancestors had moved into the mountains to escape encroachment by Dutch and English colonists. Their descendants reside mostly in the northwest of the county, in nearby Passaic County and in Rockland County, New York, tracing their Lenape ancestry to speakers of the Munsee language, one of three major dialects of their language. Over the years, they absorbed other ethnicities by intermarriage.

In the 17th century, the Dutch considered the area comprising today's Bergen and Hudson counties as part of New Netherland, their colonial province of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch claimed it after Henry Hudson (sailing for the Dutch East India Company) explored Newark Bay and anchored his ship at Weehawken Cove in 1609. From an early date, the Dutch began to import African slaves to fill their labor needs. Bergen County eventually was the largest slaveholding county in the state. The African slaves were used for labor at the ports to support shipping, as well as for domestic servants, trades, and farm labor.

Early settlement attempts by the Dutch included Pavonia (1633), Vriessendael (1640), and Achter Col (1642), but the Native Americans repelled these settlements in Kieft's War (1643–1645) and the Peach Tree War (1655–1660). European settlers returned to the western shores of the Hudson River in the 1660 formation of Bergen Township, which would become the first permanent European settlement in the territory of present-day New Jersey.

During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, on August 27, 1664, New Amsterdam's governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered to the English Navy. The English organized the Province of New Jersey in 1665, later splitting the territory into East Jersey and West Jersey in 1674. On November 30, 1675, the settlement Bergen and surrounding plantations and settlements were called Bergen County in an act passed by the province's General Assembly. In 1683, Bergen (along with the three other original counties of East Jersey) was officially recognized as an independent county by the Provincial Assembly.

Initially, Bergen County consisted of only the land between the Hudson River and the Hackensack River, extending north to the border between East Jersey and New York. In January 1709, the boundaries were extended to include all of the current territory of Hudson County (formed in 1840) and portions of the current territory of Passaic County (formed in 1837). The 1709 borders were described as follows:

"Beginning at Constable's Hook, so along the bay and Hudson's River to the partition point between New Jersey and the province of New York; along this line and the line between East and West Jersey to the Pequaneck River; down the Pequaneck and Passaic Rivers to the sound; and so following the sound to Constable's Hook the place of beginning."
† The line between East and West Jersey here referred to is not the line finally adopted and known as the Lawrence line, which was run by John Lawrence in September and October 1743. It was the compromise line agreed upon between Governors Daniel Coxe and Robert Barclay in 1682, which ran a little north of Morristown to the Passaic River; thence up the Pequaneck to forty-one degrees of north latitude; and thence by a straight line due east to the New York State line. This line being afterward objected to by the East Jersey proprietors, the latter procured the running of the Lawrence line.

Bergen was the location of several battles and troop movements during the American Revolutionary War. Fort Lee's location on the bluffs of the New Jersey Palisades, opposite Fort Washington in Manhattan, made it a strategic position during the war. In November 1776, the Battle of Fort Lee took place as part of a British plan to capture George Washington and to crush the Continental Army, whose forces were divided and located in Fort Lee and Hackensack. After abandoning the defenses in Fort Lee and leaving behind considerable supplies, the Continental forces staged a hasty retreat through present-day Englewood, Teaneck, and Bergenfield, and across the Hackensack River at New Bridge Landing, one of the few sites where the river was crossed by a bridge. They destroyed the bridge to delay the British assault on Washington's headquarters in village of Hackensack. The next day, George Washington retreated to Newark and left Hackensack via Polifly Road. British forces pursued, and Washington continued to retreat across New Jersey. The retreat allowed American forces to escape capture and regroup for subsequent successes against the British elsewhere in New Jersey later that winter. Soon after the Battle of Princeton in January 1777, British forces realized that they couldn't spread themselves thin across New Jersey. Local militia retook Hackensack and the rest of Bergen County. Bergen County saw skirmishes throughout the war as armies from both sides maneuvered across the countryside.

The Baylor Massacre took place in 1778 in River Vale, resulting in severe losses for the Continentals.

In 1837, Passaic County was formed from parts of Bergen and Essex counties. In 1840, Hudson County was formed from Bergen. These two divisions took roughly 13,000 residents (nearly half of the previous population) from the county's rolls.

In 1852, the Erie Railroad began operating major rail services from Jersey City on the Hudson River to points north and west via leased right-of-way in the county. This became known as the Erie Main Line, and is still in use for passenger service today. The Erie later leased two other railroads built in the 1850s and 1860s, later known as the Pascack Valley Line and the Northern Branch, and in 1881 built a cutoff, now the Bergen County Line. There were two other rail lines in the county, ultimately known as the West Shore Railroad and the New York, Susquehanna, and Western.

In 1894, state law was changed to allow easy formation of municipalities with the Borough form of government. This led to the "boroughitis" phenomenon, in which many new municipalities were created in a span of a few years. There were 26 boroughs that were formed in the county in 1894 alone, with two more boroughs (and one new township) formed in 1895.

On January 11, 1917, the Kingsland Explosion took place at a munitions factory in what is today Lyndhurst. The explosion is believed to have been an act of sabotage by German agents, as the munitions in question were destined for Russia, part of the U.S.'s effort to supply allies before entrance into World War I. After the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, Camp Merritt was created in eastern Bergen County for troop staging. Beginning operations in August 1917, it housed 50,000 soldiers at a time, staging them for deployment to Europe via Hoboken. Camp Merritt was decommissioned in November 1919.

The George Washington Bridge was completed in 1931, linking Fort Lee to Manhattan. This connection spurred rapid development in the post-World War II era, developing much of the county to suburban levels. Two lanes were added to the upper level in 1946 and a second deck of traffic on the bridge was completed in 1962, expanding its capacity to 14 lanes.

In 1955, the United States Army created a Nike Missile station at Campgaw Mountain (in the west of the county) for the defense of the New York Metropolitan Area from strategic bombers. In 1959, the site was upgraded to house Nike-Hercules Missiles with increased range, speed, and payload characteristics. The missile site closed in June 1971.


FLNP View of High Mountain
Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve.
The Hackensack River and Passaic River watersheds.

Bergen County is located at the northeastern corner of the state of New Jersey and is bordered by Rockland County, New York to the north; by Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, as well as by Westchester County, New York, across the Hudson River to the east; and within New Jersey, by Hudson County as well as a small border with Essex County to the south, and by Passaic County to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county had a total area of 246.671 square miles (638.87 km2), of which 233.009 square miles (603.49 km2) (94.5%) was land and 13.662 square miles (35.38 km2) (5.5%) was water.

Bergen County's highest elevation is Bald Mountain near the New York state line in Mahwah, at 1,164 feet (355 m) above sea level. The county's lowest point is sea level, along the Hudson River, which in this region is a tidal estuary.

The sharp cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades lift much of the eastern boundary of the county up from the Hudson River. The relief becomes less pronounced across the middle section of the county, much of it being located in the Hackensack River valley or the Pascack Valley. In the northwestern portion of the county, Bergen County becomes hilly again and shares the Ramapo Mountains with Rockland County, New York.

The damming of the Hackensack River and a tributary, the Pascack Brook, produced three reservoirs in the county, Woodcliff Lake Reservoir (which impounds one billion gallons of water), Lake Tappan (3.5 billion gallons), and Oradell Reservoir, which allows United Water to provide drinking water to 750,000 residents of northern New Jersey, mostly in Bergen and Hudson counties. The Hackensack River drains the eastern portion of the county through the New Jersey Meadowlands, a wetlands area in the southern portion of the county. The central portion is drained by the Saddle River and the western portion is drained by the Ramapo River. Both of these are tributaries of the Passaic River, which forms a section of the southwestern border of the county.


Weather chart for Hackensack, New Jersey
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

Southeastern Bergen County lies at the edge of the humid subtropical climate zone according to the Köppen climate classification because its coldest month (January) averages above 26.6 °F / -3 °C. In part due to Bergen's coastal location, its lower elevation, and the partial shielding of the county from colder air by the three ridges of the Watchung Mountains as well as by the higher Appalachians, the climate of Bergen County is milder than in New Jersey counties further inland such as Sussex County. Bergen County has a moderately sunny climate, averaging between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually.

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Hackensack have ranged from a low of 19 °F (−7 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −15 °F (−26 °C) was recorded in February 1934 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.21 inches (82 mm) in February to 4.60 inches (117 mm) in July.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 12,601
1800 15,156 20.3%
1810 16,603 9.5%
1820 18,178 9.5%
1830 22,412 23.3%
1840 13,223 −41.0%
1850 14,725 11.4%
1860 21,618 46.8%
1870 30,122 39.3%
1880 36,786 22.1%
1890 47,226 28.4%
1900 78,441 66.1%
1910 138,002 75.9%
1920 210,703 52.7%
1930 364,977 73.2%
1940 409,646 12.2%
1950 539,139 31.6%
1960 780,255 44.7%
1970 897,148 15.0%
1980 845,385 −5.8%
1990 825,380 −2.4%
2000 884,118 7.1%
2010 905,116 2.4%
2016 (est.) 939,151 3.8%
Historical sources: 1790–1990
1970–2010 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Broad Avenue Palisades Park
Broad Avenue in Koreatown (벼랑 공원 코리아타운), Palisades Park, a borough with ubiquitous Hangul signage, where Koreans comprise the majority (52%) of the population. South Koreans constituted the most prevalent foreign-born nationality in Bergen County, which was home to all of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population in 2010.

Bergen County is the most populous county in New Jersey, with an estimated population of 938,506 in 2015, approximately 98,000 higher than Middlesex County (the second-ranked county). Bergen County accounted for 10.3% of the state's population in 2010, increasing to 10.5% in 2015. In 2010, Bergen County was the 56th most populous county in the United States.

Bergen County's annual property taxes were the second highest of any New Jersey county in 2015 (after Essex County), averaging $11,078. Within Bergen County, Alpine residents paid the highest average property taxes in 2015, at $20,888, followed by Tenafly ($19,254) and Demarest ($17,937).

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 905,116 people, 335,730 households, and 238,704 families residing in the county. The population density was 3,884.5 per square mile (1,499.8/km2). There were 352,388 housing units at an average density of 1,512.3 per square mile (583.9/km2)*. The racial makeup of the county was 71.89% (650,703) White, 5.80% (52,473) Black or African American, 0.23% (2,061) Native American, 14.51% (131,329) Asian, 0.03% (229) Pacific Islander, 5.04% (45,611) from other races, and 2.51% (22,710) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.05% (145,281) of the population.

There were 335,730 households out of which 32% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.2.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 29% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.1 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 89.8 males.

Community diversity

Given its location as a suburban extension of Manhattan across the George Washington Bridge, Bergen County has evolved a globally cosmopolitan ambience of its own, demonstrating a robust and growing demographic and cultural diversity with respect to metrics including nationality, religion, race, and domiciliary partnership. South Korea, Poland, and India are the three most common nations of birth for foreign-born Bergen County residents.

Italian American

Italian Americans have long had a significant presence in Bergen County; in fact, Italian is the most commonly identified first ancestry among Bergen residents (18.5%), with 168,974 Bergen residents were recorded as being of Italian heritage in the 2013 American Community Survey.

To this day, many residents of the Meadowlands communities in the county's south are of Italian descent, most notably in South Hackensack (36.3%), Lyndhurst (33.8%), Carlstadt (31.2%), Wood-Ridge (30.9%) and Hasbrouck Heights (30.8%). Saddle Brook (29.8%), Lodi (29.4%), Moonachie (28.5%), Garfield, Hackensack, and the southeastern Bergen towns were Italian American strongholds for decades, but their Italo-American demographics have diminished in recent years as more recent immigrants have taken their place. At the same time, the Italian American population has grown in many of the affluent communities in the northern half of the county, including Franklin Lakes, Ramsey, Montvale, and Woodcliff Lake.

Latin American

See also: Puerto Rican migration to New York City and Hispanics and Latinos in New Jersey

The diverse Hispanic and Latin American population in Bergen is growing in many areas of the county but is especially concentrated in a handful of municipalities, including Fairview (37.1%), Hackensack (25.9%), Ridgefield Park (22.2%), Englewood (21.8%), Bogota (21.3%), Garfield (20.1%), Cliffside Park (18.2%), Lodi (18.0%), and Bergenfield (17.0%). Traditionally, many of the Latino residents were of Colombian and Cuban ancestry, although that has been changing in recent years. Englewood's Colombian community is the largest in Bergen County and among the top ten in the United States (7.17%); Hackensack, Fairview, Bergenfield, Bogota, and Lodi also have notable populations. The Cuban population is largest in Fairview, Ridgefield Park, Ridgefield, and Bogota, although the Cuban community is much bigger in Hudson County to the south. Since 2000, an increasing number of immigrants from other countries have entered the region, including people from Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Chile, as well as from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The diverse backgrounds of the local Latino community are best exemplified in Fairview, where 10% of the overall population hails from Central America, 7% from South America, and 9% from other Latin American countries, mainly the Caribbean. Overall, Bergen County's Latino population has demonstrated a robust increase from 145,281 in the 2010 census count to an estimated 165,442 in 2013.

Western European American

Irish Americans and German Americans are the next largest individual ethnic groups in Bergen County, numbering 115,914 in 2013 (12.7% of the county's total population) and 80,288 (8.8%) respectively. As is the case with Italian Americans, these two groups developed sizable enclaves long ago and are now well established in all areas of the county.

Jewish American

Bergen County is home to the largest Jewish population in New Jersey. Many municipalities in the county are home to a significant number of Jewish Americans, including Fair Lawn, Teaneck, Tenafly, Closter, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Bergenfield, Woodcliff Lake, Paramus, and Franklin Lakes. Teaneck, Fair Lawn, Englewood, and Bergenfield in particular have become havens for Bergen County's growing Orthodox Jewish communities, with a rising number of synagogues as well as supermarkets and restaurants offering kosher foods. The largest Israeli American communities in Bergen County were in Fair Lawn (2.5%), Closter (1.4%), and Tenafly (1.3%) in 2000, representing three of the four largest in the state. Altogether, 83,700 Bergen residents identified themselves as being of Jewish heritage in 2000, a number expected to show an increase per a 2014 survey of Jews in the county.

Korean American

See also: Koreatown, Manhattan, Koreatown, Long Island, and Korean Americans in New York City

The top ten municipalities in the United States as ranked by Korean American percentage of overall population in 2010 are illustrated in the following table:

Rank Municipality County State Percentage
1 Palisades Park Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&051.50000051.5%
2 Leonia Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&026.50000026.5%
3 Ridgefield Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&025.70000025.7%
4 Fort Lee Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&023.50000023.5%
5 Closter Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&021.20000021.2%
6 Englewood Cliffs Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&020.30000020.3%
7 Norwood Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&020.10000020.1%
8 Edgewater Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&019.60000019.6%
9 Cresskill Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&017.80000017.8%
10 Demarest Bergen County New Jersey &&&&&&&&&&&&&017.30000017.3%

One of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in Bergen County is the Korean American community, which is concentrated along the Hudson River – especially in the area near the George Washington Bridge – and represented more than half of the state's entire Korean population as of 2000. As of the 2010 Census, persons of Korean ancestry made up 6.3% of Bergen County's population (increasing to 6.9% by the 2011 American Community Survey to an estimated 63,247 individuals), which is the highest percentage for any county in the United States; while the concentration of Koreans in Palisades Park, within Bergen County, is the highest density and percentage of any municipality in the United States, at 52% of the population. Per the 2010 Census, Palisades Park was home to the highest total number (10,115) of individuals of Korean ancestry among all municipalities in the state, while neighboring Fort Lee had the second largest cluster (8,318), and fourth highest proportion (23.5%, trailing Leonia (26.5%) and Ridgefield (25.7%)). All of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population in 2010 were located in Bergen County, including Palisades Park, Leonia, Ridgefield, Fort Lee, Closter, Englewood Cliffs, Norwood, Edgewater, Cresskill, and Demarest, closely followed by Old Tappan. Virtually all of the municipalities with the highest Korean concentrations are located in the eastern third of the county, near the Hudson River, although Ridgewood has emerged as a Korean American nexus in western Bergen County, and Paramus and River Edge in central Bergen County. Beginning in 2012, county election ballots were printed in the Korean Hangul (한글) language, in addition to English and Spanish, given the U.S Census Bureau's directive that Bergen County's Korean population had grown large enough to warrant language assistance during elections. Korean chaebols have established North American headquarters operations in Bergen County, including Samsung, LG Corp, and Hanjin Shipping.

Polish American

Polish Americans are well represented in western Bergen County and are growing as a community, with 59,294 (6.5%) of residents of Polish descent residing in the county as of the 2013 American Community Survey. The community's cultural and commercial heart has long been centered in Wallington, where 45.5% of the population is of Polish descent; this is the largest concentration among New Jersey municipalities and the seventh-highest in the United States. The adjacent city of Garfield has also become a magnet for Polish immigrants, with 22.9% of the population identifying themselves as being of Polish ancestry, the third highest concentration in the state.

African American

The county's African American community is almost entirely concentrated in three municipalities: Englewood (10,215 residents, accounting for 38.98% of the city's total population), Teaneck (11,298; 28.78%), and Hackensack (10,518; 24.65%). Collectively, these three areas account for nearly 70% of the county's total African American population of 46,568, and in fact, blacks have had a presence in these towns since the earliest days of the county. In sharp contrast, African Americans comprise less than 2% of the total in most of Bergen's other municipalities. In Englewood, the African American population is concentrated in the Third and Fourth wards of the western half of the city, while the northeastern section of Teaneck has been an African American enclave for several decades. In 2014, Teaneck selected its first female African-American mayor. Hackensack's long-established African American community is primarily located in the central part of the city, especially in the area near Central Avenue and First Street. Bergen County's black population has declined from 52,473 counted in the 2010 Census to an estimated 50,478 in 2012. Other county municipalities with a sizeable minority of African-Americans include Bergenfield (7.7%), Bogota (9.4%), Garfield (6.5%), Lodi (7.5%) and Ridgefield Park (6.4%)

Indian American

See also: Indians in the New York City metropolitan region

Indian Americans, or Asian Indians, represent a rapidly growing demographic in Bergen County, enumerating over 40,000 individuals in 2013, a significant increase from the 24,973 counted in the 2010 Census, and represent the second largest Asian ethnic group in Bergen County, after Korean Americans. The biggest clusters of Indian Americans are located in Hackensack, Ridgewood, Fair Lawn, Paramus, Teaneck, Mahwah, Bergenfield, Lodi, and Elmwood Park. Within the county's Indian population is America's largest Malayali community, and Kerala-based Kitex Garments, India's largest children's clothing manufacturer, opened its first U.S. office in Montvale in October 2015. Glen Rock resident Gurbir Grewal, a member of Bergen County's growing Indian American Sikh community, was sworn into the position of county prosecutor in 2016, and an architecturally notable Sikh gurudwara resides in Glen Rock, while a similarly prominent Hindu mandir has been built in Mahwah. The public library in Fair Lawn began a highly attended Hindi language (हिन्दी) storytelling program in October 2013. The affluent municipalities of northern Bergen County are witnessing significant growth in their Indian American communities, including Glen Rock, into which up to 90% of this constituency was estimated by one member in 2014 to have moved within the preceding two-year period alone. In February 2015, the board of education of the Glen Rock Public Schools voted to designate the Hindu holy day Diwali as an annual school holiday, making it the first district in the county to close for the holiday, while thousands celebrated the first county-wide celebration of Diwali under a unified sponsorship banner in 2016.

Russian (and other former Soviet) American

Fair Lawn, Tenafly, Alpine, and Fort Lee are hubs for Russian Americans, including a growing community of Russian Jews. Garfield is home to an architecturally prominent Russian Orthodox church. Likewise, Ukrainian Americans, Georgian Americans, and Uzbek Americans have more recently followed the path of their Russian American predecessors to Bergen County, particularly to Fair Lawn. The size of Fair Lawn's Russian American presence has prompted an April Fool's satire titled, "Putin Moves Against Fair Lawn". The Armenian American population in Bergen is dispersed throughout the county, but its most significant concentration is in the southeastern towns near the George Washington Bridge. The victims of the Armenian Genocide are recognized annually at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack.

Filipino American

See also: Filipinos in New Jersey and Filipinos in the New York City metropolitan region

Bergenfield, along with Paramus, Hackensack, New Milford, Dumont, Fair Lawn, and Teaneck, have become growing hubs for Filipino Americans. Taken as a whole, these municipalities are home to a significant proportion of Bergen County's Philippine population. A census-estimated 20,859 Filipino Americans resided in Bergen County as of 2013, embodying an increase from the 19,155 counted in 2010. with a significant concentration of Filipino residents and businesses. Between 2000 and 2010, the Filipino-American population of Bergenfield grew from 11.7%, or 3,081 residents, to 17.1%, or 4,569. Bergenfield is informally known as the Little Manila of Bergen County, with a significant concentration of Filipino residents and businesses. Between 2000 and 2010, the Filipino-American population of Bergenfield grew from 11.7 percent, or 3,081 residents, to 17.1 percent, or 4,569. In the late 1990s, Bergenfield became the first municipality on the East Coast of the United States to elect a Filipino mayor, Robert C. Rivas. The annual Filipino American Festival is held in Bergenfield. The Philippine-American Community of Bergen County (PACBC) organization is based in Paramus, while other Filipino organizations are based in Fair Lawn and Bergenfield. Bergen County's culturally active Filipino community repatriated significant financial assistance to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which ravaged the Philippines in November 2013.

Chinese American

See also: Chinese Americans in New York City

The Chinese American population is also spread out, with fairly sizable populations in Fort Lee, Paramus, Ridgewood, River Edge, and Englewood Cliffs. Fort Lee and Paramus have the highest total number of Chinese among Bergen municipalities while Englewood Cliffs has the highest percentage (8.42%). Several school districts throughout the county have added Mandarin Chinese to their curriculae.

Japanese American

See also: Japanese in New York City

The Japanese community, which includes a significant number of Japanese nationals, has long had a presence in Fort Lee, with over a quarter of the county's total Japanese population living in that borough alone. Adjacent Edgewater has also developed an active Japanese American community, particularly after the construction of the largest Japanese-oriented commercial center on the U.S. East Coast in this borough. As of March 2011, about 2,500 Japanese Americans lived in Fort Lee and Edgewater combined; this is the largest concentration of Japanese Americans in New Jersey. The remainder of Bergen County's Japanese residents are concentrated in northern communities, including Ridgewood. The Japanese-American Society of New Jersey is based in Fort Lee.

Balkan American

Greek Americans have had a fairly sizable presence in Bergen for several decades, and according to 2000 census data, the Greek community numbered 13,247 county-wide. Greek restaurants are abundant in Bergen County. The largest concentrations of Greeks by percentage in the county are in Englewood Cliffs (7.2%), Alpine (5.2%), Fort Lee (3.7%), and Palisades Park (3.5%). Macedonian Americans and Albanian Americans have arrived relatively recently in New Jersey but have quickly established Bergen County enclaves, roughly in tandem, in Garfield, Elmwood Park, and Fair Lawn.

Muslim American

Bergen County also has a moderately sized Muslim population, which numbered 6,473 as of the 2000 census. Teaneck and Hackensack have emerged as the two most significant Muslim enclaves in the county, with the American Muslim Union's 18th annual brunch gathering held in Teaneck in 2016. Bergen's Muslim population primarily consists of Arab Americans, South Asians, African Americans, and more recently, Macedonian Americans and Albanian Americans, although it should be noted that many members of these groups practice other faiths. While Arab Americans have not established a significant presence in any particular municipality, in total there are 11,755 county residents who indicated Arab ancestry in the 2000 census. The overwhelming majority of Bergen's Arab American population (64.3%) is constituted by persons of Lebanese (2,576), Syrian (2,568), and Egyptian (2,417) descent. The county's diners provide late-night and pre-dawn dining options during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Iranian American

A relatively recent community of Iranian Americans has emerged in Bergen County, including those in professional occupations scattered throughout the county.

Same-sex couples

Same-sex couples headed one in 160 households in 2010, prior to the commencement of same-sex marriages in New Jersey on October 21, 2013. On June 28, 2016, Bergen County officials for the first time raised the rainbow-colored gay pride flag at the county administration building in Hackensack to commemorate the gay rights movement.

Housing expense

By national standards, housing is expensive in Bergen County. In May 2015, the median house price in Bergen County was $465,000; however, median figures belie the significant variation noted between more and less affluent towns in the county.

In the Forbes magazine 2012 ranking of the Most Expensive ZIP Codes in the United States, Alpine was ranked as the second most expensive in the country, with a median home sale price of $5,745,038. There were a total of 12 county municipalities listed in the top 500, which were Englewood Cliffs (#129; $1,439,115), Saddle River (#133; $1,427,515), Franklin Lakes (#190; $1,176,229), Tenafly (#286; $913,553), Demarest (#325; $852,010), Cresskill (#362; $794,073), Ho-Ho-Kus (#364; $788,626), Wyckoff (#376; $776,303), Woodcliff Lake (#391; $752,161), Montvale (#455; $640,825) and Allendale (#481; $579,081). In the magazine's 2006 listing, Alpine was ranked as the 15th most expensive in the country, with its median home sale price in 2005 of $1,790,000 ranking as the state's highest. In all, 11 Bergen County municipalities were also represented on the list in addition to Alpine, including Englewood Cliffs (ranked #78; median sale price of $1,112,500), Saddle River (#107; $997,000), Franklin Lakes (#111; $985,000), Woodcliff Lake (#266; $786,000), Haworth (#342; $747,500), Demarest (#350; $742,000), Ho-Ho-Kus (#353; $740,000), Wyckoff (#405; $700,000), Closter (#452; $684,000) and Ridgewood (#470; $675,000).

Construction of the first of two 47-story glass-sheathed luxury skyscrapers commenced in 2013 in Fort Lee, a borough where high-rise residential complexes are a prominent feature and one of Northern New Jersey's Hudson Waterfront communities that has been called New York City's Sixth Borough; these upscale apartment towers, located near the gateway to the George Washington Bridge leading to Manhattan, represented the tallest buildings to be built to date in Bergen County.


Train 1253 leaves Glen Rock Boro Hall Bergen County Line
Glen Rock–Boro Hall rail station. The borough of Glen Rock is served by both the Bergen County Line (above) and the Main Line of the New Jersey Transit public transportation system.
2013 George Washington Bridge New Jersey side from 187th Street and Chittenden Avenue
The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee (above) in Bergen County across the Hudson River to New York City, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge. One of two 47-story residential skyscrapers, to be Bergen County's tallest, is seen under construction near the gateway to the bridge in December 2013.

Bergen County has a well-developed road network, including the northern termini of the New Jersey Turnpike (a portion of Interstate 95) and the Garden State Parkway, the eastern terminus of Interstate 80, and a portion of Interstate 287. US Highways 1/9, 9W, 46, 202, and New Jersey state highways 3, 4, 17, 120, 208, and the Palisades Interstate Parkway also serve the region. With an average volume of 210,000 vehicles passing through each day, the intersection of Routes 4 and 17 is one of the busiest in the world.

The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee in Bergen County across the Hudson River to the Upper Manhattan section of New York City, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge. Access to New York City is alternatively available for motorists through the Lincoln Tunnel and Holland Tunnel in Hudson County. Access across the Hudson River to Westchester County in New York is available using the Tappan Zee Bridge in neighboring Rockland County, New York.

As of May 2010, the county had a total of 2,988.59 miles (4,809.67 km) of roadways, of which 2,402.78 miles (3,866.90 km) are maintained by the municipality, 438.97 miles (706.45 km) by Bergen County, 106.69 miles (171.70 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 40.15 miles (64.62 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Train service is available on three lines from New Jersey Transit: the Bergen County Line, the Main Line, and the Pascack Valley Line. They run north-south to Hoboken Terminal with connections to the PATH train. New Jersey Transit also offers connecting service to New York Penn Station at Secaucus Junction. Connections are also available at the Hoboken Terminal to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Center and other destinations.

The traffic intersection of Route 17 and Route 4 in Paramus is one of the busiest in the world.

Despite the name, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail does not yet run into Bergen County, although a northward extension from Hudson County to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, known as the Northern Branch Corridor Project, has been advanced to the draft environmental impact statement stage by New Jersey Transit. The proposed Passaic-Bergen Rail Line, with two station stops in Hackensack, has not advanced since its 2008 announcement. The Access to the Region's Core rail tunnel project would have allowed many Bergen County railway commuters a one-seat ride into Manhattan but was canceled in October 2010.

Local and express bus service is available from New Jersey Transit and private companies such as Academy Bus Lines, Coach USA, DeCamp Bus Lines and Red and Tan Lines, offering transport within Bergen County, elsewhere in New Jersey, and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in New York City. In studies conducted to determine the best possible routes for the Bergen BRT (bus rapid transit) system, it has been determined the many malls and other "activity generators" in the vicinity of the intersection of routes 4 and 17 would constitute the core of any system. While no funding has for construction of the project has been identified, a study begun in 2012 will define the optimal routes.

There is one airport in the county, Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, which is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The three busiest commercial airports in the New York City metropolitan area, namely JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and La Guardia Airport, are all located within 25 miles of Bergen County.

For the main surface-street routes through the county, see List of county routes in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Arts and culture

The Bergen Performing Arts Center (PAC) is based in Englewood, while numerous museums are located throughout the county. In September 2014, the Englewood-based Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announced an initiative known as ArtsBergen, a centralizing body with the goal of connecting artists and arts organizations with one another in Bergen County.


Bergen County, NJ municipalities labeled
Labeled outline map of Bergen County municipalities.
Constitution Park Fort Lee New Jersey
Constitution Park in Fort Lee. High-rise residential complexes are a prominent feature of this borough, with several over 300 feet tall.
The skyline of Manhattan as viewed from Mahwah, Bergen County's northernmost borough (above), and across the Hudson River from Edgewater, at the county's southeast border (below).

In the last decades of the 19th century, Bergen County, to a far greater extent than any other county in the state, began dividing its townships up into incorporated boroughs; this was chiefly due to the "boroughitis" phenomenon, triggered by a number of loopholes in state laws that allowed boroughs to levy lower taxes and send more members to the county's board of freeholders. There was a 10-year period in which many of Bergen County's townships disappeared into the patchwork of boroughs that exist today, before the state laws governing municipal incorporation were changed.

Municipalities in Bergen County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area) are:

(with map key)
Population Housing
Allendale borough 6,505 2,388 3.12 0.02 3.10 2,100.7 771.2
Alpine borough 1,849 670 9.23 2.82 6.41 288.4 104.5
Bergenfield borough 26,764 9,200 2.89 0.01 2.88 9,306.5 3,199.1
Bogota borough 8,187 2,888 0.81 0.05 0.76 10,702.5 3,775.4
Carlstadt borough 6,127 2,495 4.24 0.24 4.00 1,532.1 623.9
Cliffside Park borough 23,594 10,665 0.96 0.00 0.96 24,508.7 11,078.5 Grantwood (part)
Closter borough 8,373 2,860 3.30 0.13 3.16 2,646.0 903.8
Cresskill borough 8,573 3,114 2.07 0.01 2.06 4,154.5 1,509.0
Demarest borough 4,881 1,659 2.08 0.01 2.07 2,361.8 802.7
Dumont borough 17,479 6,542 1.99 0.00 1.98 8,814.7 3,299.2
East Rutherford borough 8,913 4,018 4.05 0.34 3.71 2,403.2 1,083.4
Edgewater borough 11,513 6,282 2.42 1.49 0.94 12,312.0 6,718.0
Elmwood Park borough 19,403 7,385 2.76 0.11 2.65 7,327.9 2,789.1
Emerson borough 7,401 2,552 2.40 0.20 2.20 3,358.9 1,158.2
Englewood city 27,147 10,695 4.94 0.02 4.91 5,524.6 2,176.5
Englewood Cliffs borough 5,281 1,924 3.33 1.24 2.09 2,528.1 921.0
Fair Lawn borough 32,457 12,266 5.20 0.06 5.14 6,315.4 2,386.7 Radburn
Fairview borough 13,835 5,150 0.84 0.00 0.84 16,421.8 6,112.9
Fort Lee borough 35,345 17,818 2.89 0.35 2.54 13,910.9 7,012.7
Franklin Lakes borough 10,590 3,692 9.85 0.47 9.38 1,129.1 393.6
Garfield city 30,487 11,788 2.16 0.06 2.10 14,524.8 5,616.1
Glen Rock borough 11,601 4,016 2.74 0.02 2.71 4,275.2 1,480.0
Hackensack city 43,010 19,375 4.35 0.17 4.18 10,290.0 4,635.4
Harrington Park borough 4,664 1,624 2.06 0.23 1.83 2,545.9 886.5
Hasbrouck Heights borough 11,842 4,627 1.51 0.00 1.51 7,865.4 3,073.2
Haworth borough 3,382 1,136 2.36 0.41 1.94 1,739.2 584.2
Hillsdale borough 10,219 3,567 2.96 0.01 2.95 3,464.8 1,209.4
Ho-Ho-Kus borough 4,078 1,462 1.75 0.01 1.74 2,350.3 842.6
Leonia borough 8,937 3,428 1.63 0.10 1.54 5,819.5 2,232.2
Little Ferry borough 10,626 4,439 1.70 0.23 1.48 7,200.1 3,007.8
Lodi borough 24,136 10,127 2.29 0.02 2.26 10,657.6 4,471.7
Lyndhurst township 20,554 8,787 4.89 0.34 4.56 4,509.3 1,927.7 Kingsland
Mahwah township 25,890 9,868 26.19 0.50 25.69 1,007.7 384.1 Cragmere Park, Darlington,
Fardale, Masonicus, Pulis Mills
Maywood borough 9,555 3,769 1.29 0.00 1.29 7,428.0 2,930.0
Midland Park borough 7,128 2,861 1.56 0.01 1.56 4,583.2 1,839.6 Wortendyke
Montvale borough 7,844 2,872 4.01 0.01 4.00 1,961.2 718.1
Moonachie borough 2,708 1,053 1.68 0.01 1.66 1,626.5 632.5
New Milford borough 16,341 6,362 2.31 0.03 2.27 7,186.0 2,797.7
North Arlington borough 15,392 6,573 2.62 0.06 2.56 6,010.3 2,566.6
Northvale borough 4,640 1,635 1.30 0.00 1.30 3,582.3 1,262.3
Norwood borough 5,711 2,007 2.73 0.01 2.73 2,093.5 735.7
Oakland borough 12,754 4,470 8.73 0.27 8.45 1,508.6 528.7
Old Tappan borough 5,750 1,995 4.20 0.87 3.33 1,725.8 598.8
Oradell borough 7,978 2,831 2.58 0.15 2.42 3,291.5 1,168.0
Palisades Park borough 19,622 7,362 1.28 0.02 1.25 15,681.6 5,883.6
Paramus borough 26,342 8,915 10.52 0.05 10.47 2,516.0 851.5 Arcola
Park Ridge borough 8,645 3,428 2.60 0.02 2.58 3,348.6 1,327.8
Ramsey borough 14,473 5,550 5.59 0.07 5.52 2,621.9 1,005.4
Ridgefield borough 11,032 4,145 2.85 0.30 2.55 4,323.7 1,624.5 Grantwood (part)
Ridgefield Park village 12,729 5,164 1.92 0.20 1.72 7,385.6 2,996.2
Ridgewood village 24,958 8,743 5.82 0.07 5.75 4,339.0 1,520.0
River Edge borough 11,340 4,261 1.90 0.04 1.85 6,116.3 2,298.2
River Vale township 9,659 3,521 4.28 0.26 4.01 2,408.1 877.8
Rochelle Park township 5,530 2,170 1.06 0.02 1.04 5,313.8 2,085.2
Rockleigh borough 531 86 0.98 0.01 0.97 548.1 88.8
Rutherford borough 18,061 7,278 2.94 0.14 2.81 6,437.4 2,594.1
Saddle Brook township 13,659 5,485 2.72 0.03 2.69 5,080.2 2,040.0
Saddle River borough 3,152 1,341 4.98 0.06 4.92 640.2 272.4
South Hackensack township 2,378 879 0.74 0.02 0.72 3,311.7 1,224.1
Teaneck township 39,776 14,024 6.23 0.22 6.01 6,622.2 2,334.8
Tenafly borough 14,488 4,980 5.18 0.58 4.60 3,148.6 1,082.3
Teterboro borough 67 27 1.16 0.00 1.16 57.9 23.3
Upper Saddle River borough 8,208 2,776 5.28 0.02 5.26 1,560.0 527.6
Waldwick borough 9,625 3,537 2.09 0.02 2.07 4,656.8 1,711.3
Wallington borough 11,335 4,946 1.03 0.05 0.98 11,528.6 5,030.5
Washington Township township 9,102 3,341 2.96 0.05 2.91 3,128.8 1,148.5
Westwood borough 10,908 4,636 2.31 0.05 2.27 4,814.5 2,046.2
Woodcliff Lake borough 5,730 1,980 3.61 0.20 3.41 1,682.7 581.5
Wood-Ridge borough 7,626 3,051 1.10 0.00 1.10 6,951.6 2,781.2
Wyckoff township 16,696 5,827 6.61 0.06 6.55 2,550.1 890.0
Bergen County county 905,116 352,388 246.67 13.66 233.01 3,884.5 1,512.3

Historical municipalities

Over the history of the county, there have been various municipality secessions, annexations and renamings. The following is a partial list of former municipalities, ordered by year of incorporation.

Points of interest

Educational and cultural

New Meadowlands Stadium Mezz Corner
MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, is the most expensive stadium ever built, at approximately $1.6 billion.
Palisades Sill from Palisades Parkway
Northward view of the Hudson River from the cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades in Palisades Interstate Park.
Lake Tappan
The Lake Tappan reservoir straddles the Bergen County municipalities of Old Tappan and River Vale, as well as a smaller portion within adjacent Rockland County, New York.
Scarlet Oak Pond
Scarlet Oak Pond, Ramapo Valley County Reservation, Mahwah.
Southward view of the Hudson Waterfront from the George Washington Bridge, with Edgewater in the foreground, and the skyline of Downtown Jersey City, Hudson County in the background.

Commercial and entertainment

State parks

State-owned historical sites

County parks

Van Saun County Park in Paramus features attractions including a train ride (left), a carousel (center), and a playground (right), as well as a zoological park.
  • Belmont Hill County Park, Garfield
  • Campgaw Mountain Reservation, Mahwah
  • Dahnert's Lake County Park, Garfield
  • Darlington County Park, Mahwah
  • McFaul Environmental Center, Wyckoff
  • Ramapo Valley County Reservation, Mahwah
  • Overpeck County Park, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park
  • Riverside County Park, Lyndhurst, North Arlington
  • Pascack Brook County Park, Westwood
  • Saddle Ridge Riding Area, Franklin Lakes
  • Saddle River County Park, Paramus, Glen Rock, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Ridgewood
  • Samuel Nelkin County Park, Wallington
  • Van Saun County Park, Paramus, including the Bergen County Zoological Park, the county's only zoo. The zoo was slated for an expansion as of 2016 which would nearly double its size from 12 to 23 acres and significantly diversify its population of animal species.
  • Wood Dale County Park, Woodcliff Lake

County-owned historical sites

  • Baylor Massacre site, River Vale - location of a surprise attack on September 27, 1778, against the 3rd Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons under the command of Colonel George Baylor during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Camp Merritt, Cresskill
  • Campbell-Christie House, River Edge - a historic Dutch sandstone home, it was moved from New Milford to preserve the home from destruction.
  • Easton Tower, Paramus
  • Garretson Farm, Fair Lawn - a stone home dating to the 1720s that is one of the county's oldest surviving structures.
  • Gethsemane Cemetery, Little Ferry
  • Washington Spring Garden, located in Van Saun Park, Paramus
  • Wortendyke Barn, Park Ridge

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