List of counties in New Jersey facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Counties of New Jersey

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Location State of New Jersey
Number 21
Populations 66,083 (Salem) – 905,116 (Bergen)
Areas 47 square miles (120 km2) (Hudson) – 805 square miles (2,080 km2) (Burlington)
Government County government
Subdivisions borough, city, town, township, village

There are 21 counties in New Jersey. These counties together contain 565 municipalities, or administrative entities composed of clearly defined territory; 250 boroughs, 52 cities, 15 towns, 244 townships, and 4 villages. In New Jersey, a county is a local level of government between the state and municipalities. County government in New Jersey includes a Board of Chosen Freeholders, sheriff, clerk, and surrogate (responsible for uncontested and routine probate), all of which are elected officials. Counties organized under the Optional County Charter Law may also have an elected county executive. Counties traditionally perform state-mandated duties such as the maintenance of jails, parks, and certain roads. The site of a county's administration and courts is called the county seat.

History

See also: History of New Jersey

New Jersey was governed by two groups of proprietors as two distinct provinces, East Jersey and West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702. New Jersey's first counties were created as administrative districts within each province, with East Jersey split in 1675 into Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth counties, while West Jersey's initial counties of Burlington and Salem date to 1681. The most recent county created in New Jersey is Union County, created in 1857 and named after the union of the United States when the Civil War was imminent. New Jersey's county names derive from several sources, though most of its counties are named after place names in England and prominent leaders in the colonial and revolutionary periods. Bergen County is the most populous county—as of the 2010 Census—with 905,116 people, while Salem County is the least populous with 66,083 people.

Representation in the New Jersey Legislature

Until the 1960s, the New Jersey Senate had 21 representatives, one from each county regardless of population. In the wake of the 1964 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Reynolds v. Sims, establishing the one man, one vote principle that state legislative districts must be approximately equal in size, David Friedland filed suit in New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of two union leaders, challenging a system under which each county was represented by a single member in the New Jersey Senate. The senate enacted a proposal whereby each senator's vote would be weighted based on the population of the county represented, under which Cape May County's senator would receive one vote while the senator from Essex County would receive 19.1, in direct relation to the ratio of residents between counties. In a decision issued on December 15, 1964, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the weighted voting system as adopted was unconstitutional. The court ordered that interim measures be established for the 1965 legislative elections, in which weighted voting could be used as a temporary measure, and that the needed constitutional changes to restructure the New Jersey Legislature to be in compliance with "one man, one vote" requirements be in place before elections took place in 1967. The legislature's final decision was to establish 40 districts statewide, each represented by one senator and two assemblymembers, without relation to county boundaries.

FIPS code

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. FIPS codes are five-digit numbers; for New Jersey the codes start with 34 and are completed with the three-digit county code. The FIPS code for each county in the table links to census data for that county.

Counties

County
FIPS code County seat Created Formed from Named for Density Population Area Map
 
Atlantic County 001 Mays Landing 1837 Gloucester County The Atlantic Ocean, which forms the county's eastern border 489.39 &&&&&&&&&0274549.&&&&&0274,549 &&&&&&&&&&&&0561.&&&&&0561 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01453.&&&&&01,453 km²)
State map highlighting Atlantic County
Bergen County 003 Hackensack 1683 One of 4 original counties created in East Jersey Bergen, New Netherland settlement, itself named for Bergen, North Holland 3868.02 &&&&&&&&&0905116.&&&&&0905,116 &&&&&&&&&&&&0234.&&&&&0234 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0606.&&&&&0606 km²)
State map highlighting Bergen County
Burlington County 005 Mount Holly 1694 One of two original counties created in West Jersey The old ancient name for an inland market near Bridlington, England 557.43 &&&&&&&&&0448734.&&&&&0448,734 &&&&&&&&&&&&0805.&&&&&0805 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&02085.&&&&&02,085 km²)
State map highlighting Burlington County
Camden County 007 Camden 1844 Gloucester County Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden (1714–1794), an English supporter of the colonists during the American Revolution 2,313.77 &&&&&&&&&0513657.&&&&&0513,657 &&&&&&&&&&&&0222.&&&&&0222 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0575.&&&&&0575 km²)
State map highlighting Camden County
Cape May County 009 Cape May Court House 1692 Burlington County The 17th-century Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who explored and surveyed the Delaware Bay to the south of the county 381.43 &&&&&&&&&&097265.&&&&&097,265 &&&&&&&&&&&&0255.&&&&&0255 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0660.&&&&&0660 km²)
State map highlighting Cape May County
Cumberland County 011 Bridgeton 1748 Salem County Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (1721–1765), second son of George II of England and military victor at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 320.85 &&&&&&&&&0156898.&&&&&0156,898 &&&&&&&&&&&&0489.&&&&&0489 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01267.&&&&&01,267 km²)
State map highlighting Cumberland County
Essex County 013 Newark 1683 One of four original counties created in East Jersey The county of Essex in England 6,221.98 &&&&&&&&&0783969.&&&&&0783,969 &&&&&&&&&&&&0126.&&&&&0126 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0326.&&&&&0326 km²)
State map highlighting Essex County
Gloucester County 015 Woodbury 1686 Burlington County The city of Gloucester, England 887.04 &&&&&&&&&0288288.&&&&&0288,288 &&&&&&&&&&&&0325.&&&&&0325 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0842.&&&&&0842 km²)
State map highlighting Gloucester County
Hudson County 017 Jersey City 1840 Bergen County The English explorer Henry Hudson (d. 1611), who explored portions of New Jersey's coastline 13,495.02 &&&&&&&&&0634266.&&&&&0634,266 &&&&&&&&&&&&&047.&&&&&047 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0122.&&&&&0122 km²)
State map highlighting Hudson County
Hunterdon County 019 Flemington 1714 Burlington County Robert Hunter (1664–1734), the Colonial Governor of New Jersey from 1710 to 1720 298.49 &&&&&&&&&0128349.&&&&&0128,349 &&&&&&&&&&&&0430.&&&&&0430 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01114.&&&&&01,114 km²)
State map highlighting Hunterdon County
Mercer County 021 Trenton 1838 Burlington County, Hunterdon County, Middlesex County, and Somerset County The Continental Army General Hugh Mercer (1726–1777), who died at the Battle of Princeton 1,621.74 &&&&&&&&&0366513.&&&&&0366,513 &&&&&&&&&&&&0226.&&&&&0226 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0585.&&&&&0585 km²)
State map highlighting Mercer County
Middlesex County 023 New Brunswick 1683 One of four original counties created in East Jersey The former county of Middlesex in England 2,604.05 &&&&&&&&&0809858.&&&&&0809,858 &&&&&&&&&&&&0311.&&&&&0311 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0805.&&&&&0805 km²)
State map highlighting Middlesex County
Monmouth County 025 Freehold Borough 1683 One of four original counties created in East Jersey The historic county of Monmouthshire in Wales 1,335.55 &&&&&&&&&0630380.&&&&&0630,380 &&&&&&&&&&&&0472.&&&&&0472 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01222.&&&&&01,222 km²)
State map highlighting Monmouth County
Morris County 027 Morristown 1739 Hunterdon County Colonel Lewis Morris (1671–1746), colonial governor of New Jersey at the time of the county's formation 1,049.63 &&&&&&&&&0492276.&&&&&0492,276 &&&&&&&&&&&&0469.&&&&&0469 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01215.&&&&&01,215 km²)
State map highlighting Morris County
Ocean County 029 Toms River 1850 Monmouth County The Atlantic Ocean, which forms the eastern border of New Jersey 629.44 &&&&&&&&&0576567.&&&&&0576,567 &&&&&&&&&&&&0636.&&&&&0636 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01647.&&&&&01,647 km²)
State map highlighting Ocean County
Passaic County 031 Paterson 1837 Bergen County and Essex County "Pasaeck", a Lenape word meaning "valley" 2,709.33 &&&&&&&&&0501226.&&&&&0501,226 &&&&&&&&&&&&0185.&&&&&0185 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0479.&&&&&0479 km²)
State map highlighting Passaic County
Salem County 033 Salem 1694 One of two original counties created in West Jersey A Hebrew word meaning "peace" 195.51 &&&&&&&&&&066083.&&&&&066,083 &&&&&&&&&&&&0338.&&&&&0338 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0875.&&&&&0875 km²)
State map highlighting Salem County
Somerset County 035 Somerville 1688 Middlesex County The county of Somerset in England 1,060.47 &&&&&&&&&0323444.&&&&&0323,444 &&&&&&&&&&&&0305.&&&&&0305 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0790.&&&&&0790 km²)
State map highlighting Somerset County
Sussex County 037 Newton 1753 Morris County The county of Sussex in England 286.5 &&&&&&&&&0149265.&&&&&0149,265 &&&&&&&&&&&&0521.&&&&&0521 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&01349.&&&&&01,349 km²)
State map highlighting Sussex County
Union County 039 Elizabeth 1857 Essex County The union of the United States, which was being threatened by the dispute over slavery 5,208.73 &&&&&&&&&0536499.&&&&&0536,499 &&&&&&&&&&&&0103.&&&&&0103 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0267.&&&&&0267 km²)
State map highlighting Union County
Warren County 041 Belvidere 1824 Sussex County The American Revolutionary War General Joseph Warren (1741–1775), killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill 303.61 &&&&&&&&&0108692.&&&&&0108,692 &&&&&&&&&&&&0358.&&&&&0358 sq mi
(&&&&&&&&&&&&0927.&&&&&0927 km²)
State map highlighting Warren County

List of counties in New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.