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Island Heights, New Jersey
Borough of Island Heights
Map of Island Heights in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Island Heights in Ocean County. Inset: Location of Ocean County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Island Heights, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Island Heights, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Ocean County, New Jersey.gif Ocean
Incorporated May 6, 1887
 • Type Faulkner Act (small municipality)
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 0.92 sq mi (2.38 km2)
 • Land 0.61 sq mi (1.58 km2)
 • Water 0.31 sq mi (0.80 km2)  33.59%
Area rank 512th of 565 in state
27th of 33 in county
36 ft (11 m)
 • Total 1,673
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 506th of 566 in state
24th of 33 in county
 • Density 2,738.3/sq mi (1,057.3/km2)
 • Density rank 227th of 566 in state
11th of 33 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 732
FIPS code 3402934530
GNIS feature ID 0885262

Island Heights is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,673, reflecting a decline of 78 (-4.5%) from the 1,751 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 281 (+19.1%) from the 1,470 counted in the 1990 Census.

The borough is a dry town where alcohol cannot be sold.


Island Heights was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 6, 1887, from portions of Dover Township (now Toms River Township), based on the results of a referendum held on November 18, 1886.

Island Heights takes its name from two sources: it originally was an island. It is situated by a steep bluff rising 60 feet (18 m) above the Toms River. It was originally known as Doctor Johnson's island, being included in the patent granted to him in 1680. In the century before the American Revolutionary War, it was known as Dillon's Island, probably for James Dillon, a prominent man in Toms River. The land was purchased by John Imlay of Allentown, who sold it in 1794 to Issac Gulick. In 1797, Gulick and his wife Abagail sold it to Abraham and George Parker. In 1799, the Parker brothers sold it to Abel Middleton of Upper Freehold Township.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.907 square miles (2.350 km2), including 0.611 square miles (1.582 km2) of land and 0.296 square miles (0.767 km2) of water (32.65%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Beechwood and Long Point.

The borough borders the Ocean County municipalities of Berkeley Township and Toms River Township.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 34
1890 271 697.1%
1900 316 16.6%
1910 313 −0.9%
1920 194 −38.0%
1930 453 133.5%
1940 392 −13.5%
1950 795 102.8%
1960 1,150 44.7%
1970 1,397 21.5%
1980 1,575 12.7%
1990 1,470 −6.7%
2000 1,751 19.1%
2010 1,673 −4.5%
2019 (est.) 1,679 0.4%
Population sources: 1880-1890
1890-2000 1890-1920 1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,673 people, 683 households, and 487 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,738.3 per square mile (1,057.3/km2). There were 831 housing units at an average density of 1,360.2 per square mile (525.2/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 95.82% (1,603) White, 0.24% (4) Black or African American, 0.12% (2) Native American, 1.37% (23) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.36% (6) from other races, and 2.09% (35) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.39% (40) of the population.

There were 683 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 21.0% from 25 to 44, 35.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 90.2 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $77,269 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,616) and the median family income was $96,458 (+/- $21,090). Males had a median income of $75,234 (+/- $7,830) versus $47,045 (+/- $11,606) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,493 (+/- $4,086). About 5.6% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 1.2% of those age 65 or over.


2018-09-19 14 23 09 View east along New Jersey State Route 37 just east of Ocean County Route 627 (Vaughn Avenue-West End Avenue) along the border of Toms River Township and Island Heights in Ocean County, New Jersey
Route 37 eastbound along the north edge of Island Heights

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 12.18 miles (19.60 km) of roadways, of which 9.28 miles (14.93 km) were maintained by the municipality, 2.73 miles (4.39 km) by Ocean County and 0.17 miles (0.27 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

New Jersey Route 37 is the main highway serving Island Heights. Route 37 brushes the north edge of the borough, heading east towards Seaside Heights and west towards Lakehurst. Route 37 also provides access to New Jersey Route 35, U.S. Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway, among other major highways.

Public transportation

NJ Transit offers seasonal bus service between the borough and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 137 route and to Newark on the 67 route.

Ocean Ride local service is provided on the OC10 Toms River Connection route.


The Island Heights School District serves public school students in kindergarten through sixth grade at Island Heights Elementary School. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 129 students and 13.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.8:1. In the 2016–17 school year, Island Heights had the 14th-smallest enrollment of any school district in the state, with 126 students. Island Heights Elementary School was one of nine schools in New Jersey honored in 2020 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which recognizes high student achievement.

Public school students in seventh through twelfth grades attend the schools of the Central Regional School District, which also serves students from the municipalities of Berkeley Township, Ocean Gate, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprising two schools, had an enrollment of 2,272 students and 162.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Central Regional Middle School with 769 students in grades 7 - 8 and Central Regional High School with 1,483 students in grades 9 - 12. The district's board of education consists of nine members, who are directly elected by the residents of the constituent municipalities to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with three seats up for election each year. Island Heights is allocated one of the board's nine seats.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Ocean County, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Island Heights include:

  • Gia Maione (1941–2013), singer and widow of Louis Prima.
  • John F. Peto (1854–1907), painter.
  • Fred Wagner (1860–1940), one of the earliest of the Pennsylvania impressionists.

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