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Madison, New Jersey
Borough of Madison
Downtown Madison
Downtown Madison
The Rose City
Location in Morris County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Morris County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Madison, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Madison, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Morris
Incorporated December 27, 1889
Named for President James Madison
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 4.218 sq mi (10.926 km2)
 • Land 4.205 sq mi (10.891 km2)
 • Water 0.013 sq mi (0.035 km2)  0.32%
Area rank 291st of 566 in state
24th of 39 in county
266 ft (81 m)
 • Total 15,845
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 160th of 566 in state
13th of 39 in county
 • Density 3,767.9/sq mi (1,454.8/km2)
 • Density rank 168th of 566 in state
6th of 39 in county
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP code
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3402742510
GNIS feature ID 0885287

Madison is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 15,845, reflecting a drop in population of 685 (−4.1%) from the 16,530 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 680 (+4.3%) from the 15,850 counted in the 1990 Census. It is known as "The Rose City" and was named in honor of President James Madison.


Native Americans occupied the areas that would become New Jersey and Madison following the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier for many thousands of years. Settlements of the Lenape were agriculturally based following matrilineal lines.The protected lands nearby, Jockey Hollow, are what is remaining of the settlement. Occupation changed with the seasons, the variable nature of the climate, and to preserve the fertility of the rich soil. Their fishing and hunting territories were wide-ranging and similarly divided among the three clans of the matrilineal culture in this Eastern Woodland environment. Trade with these native peoples for food and furs was conducted by the Dutch during the period of colonization of New Netherland. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required their colonists to purchase land that they settled, but typically, trading relationships were established in this area, rather than Dutch settlements.

During the British colonial period, the earliest settlers of European descent arrived in this portion of the colony of New Jersey. Traditional native trails and pathways were followed as settlement began. Pressures upon the Lenape constantly drove them westward. About 1715 the village of Bottle Hill was established at the crossing of Ridgedale Avenue and Kings Road. Village governance principles followed the British model. The Luke Miller house at 105 Ridgedale Avenue is thought to be the oldest remaining home, having been built around 1730. During British colonial rule, Kings Road was a toll road that assessed fees levied by the government appointed by the English king. Farther south was the Shunpike, a road with a parallel path that was used deliberately by colonists to avoid the fees.

Morris County, created in 1739, was divided into three townships. The portion of the village north of Kings Road was put under the governance of Hanover Township and the portion to the south, under the governance of Morris Township. A meeting house for the Presbyterian Church of South Hanover, as Madison was called at that time, was started in 1747 where the Presbyterian Cemetery still exists between Kings Road and Madison Avenue. With the Treaty of Easton in 1758, the Lenape were required to vacate their lands in colonial New Jersey and to move westward. Later, their leaders allied with the colonists during the American Revolutionary War in hopes of regaining former lands, but that was never realized.

Presb Ch of Madison brick jeh
Presbyterian Church of Madison

Following the revolution, changes to governing methods in the former colonies occurred eventually as the new nation organized herself. The state of New Jersey formed its government and debated best policies. During the reorganization of Morris County in 1806, Chatham Township was established and included all of present-day Chatham Township, along with the three existing pre-Revolutionary War villages (the current municipalities of Chatham, Florham Park, and Madison) as well as all of the lands still governed by the current Chatham Township, and thus the governmental division of Bottle Hill was ended.

In 1834, the name of the settlement was changed to Madison. As a tribute to the name every year there is a fair that is called Bottle Hill Day. On December 27, 1889, based on the results of a referendum passed on December 24, 1889, the village seceded from Chatham Township and adopted the newly created, borough form of government (when it first became available), in order to develop a local water supply system for its population of 3,250. Madison annexed additional portions of Chatham Township in 1891, and again each year from 1894 to 1898, which was followed by an exchange of certain lands in 1899 with Chatham Township.

Influence of early railroad

Madison NJ
Madison station, pre-1916
Madison New Jersey downtown
Downtown Madison

The Morris and Essex Railroad connected the town with Newark and Hoboken in 1838 and provided good transportation for farm produce grown at Madison. Later, the railroad made possible the establishment of a flourishing rose growing industry, still commemorated in Madison's nickname, The Rose City. The rail service connected the commerce to the markets of Manhattan. Madison's growth accelerated after the Civil War and the Morris and Essex Lines became one of America's first commuter railroads, attracting well-to-do families from Manhattan (many of whom already owned large parcels land in the area for farming, hunting, and recreation) and contributing to the development of "Millionaire's Row", which stretched from downtown Madison to downtown Morristown. Greenhouses dotted the countryside. Talented horticulturalists were attracted to the area for employment at the many wealthy estates in the immediate area and to establish related businesses. One of the first grand houses to be built on "Millionaire's Row" was the Ross Estate.

Madison's historic railroad station was funded by the community which passed an ordinance authorizing $159,000 for railroad improvement bonds. The result with the cooperation of the D.L. & W.R.R. in the planning was completed in 1916. The tracks were elevated through the downtown and no established roadways were hindered by crossing delays. Mrs. D. Willis James financed much of the road grading caused by the elevation of the tracks. The station included baggage and cargo facilities readily accessible by wagons as well as the stationmaster offices, a newsstand, and waiting facilities featuring extensive banks of high-backed wooden seating. Weeping Mulberry trees were planted among the landscaping and in natural areas in the parking area.

The rose industry and the large estates in the area attracted working-class people of all kinds. As a result, Madison developed a diverse population very early, both in terms of socioeconomic status and ethnic background. The original settlers were of British stock; French settlers came after the American Revolution; African Americans have been members of the community from early in the nineteenth century; Irish came in the mid-nineteenth century; and then Germans and Italians arrived around the turn of the twentieth century. To this day there is a substantial population of Italian descent in Madison. Today Madison also remains a diverse community, with many of the most recent newcomers arriving from Central America, South America, and Asia. Madison is a railroad suburb of New York City.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 4.218 square miles (10.926 km2), including 4.2057 square miles (10.891 km2) of land and 0.013 square miles (0.035 km2) of water (0.32%). Madison is located about 25 miles (40 km) west of downtown Manhattan, and is a suburban town of New York City.

Neighboring towns include Morris County communities Chatham Borough to the east, Chatham Township to the south, Morris Township to the west and Florham Park to the north.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Brooklake Park, East Madison and North Park.

Climate data for Madison, New Jersey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Average high °F (°C) 39
Average low °F (°C) 18
Record low °F (°C) −25
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.54
Source: Weather Channel


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,756
1890 2,469 40.6%
1900 3,754 52.0%
1910 4,658 24.1%
1920 5,523 18.6%
1930 7,481 35.5%
1940 7,944 6.2%
1950 10,417 31.1%
1960 15,122 45.2%
1970 16,710 10.5%
1980 15,357 −8.1%
1990 15,850 3.2%
2000 16,530 4.3%
2010 15,845 −4.1%
Est. 2015 16,126 1.8%
Population sources:
1880-1890 1890–1920
1890–1910 1890–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 15,845 people, 5,485 households, and 3,675 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,767.9 per square mile (1,454.8/km2). There were 5,775 housing units at an average density of 1,373.3 per square mile (530.2/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 86.75% (13,746) White, 2.96% (469) Black or African American, 0.12% (19) Native American, 5.51% (873) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 2.34% (371) from other races, and 2.30% (365) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.87% (1,406) of the population.

There were 5,485 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 13.6% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 85.3 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $106,070 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,499) and the median family income was $139,886 (+/- $18,117). Males had a median income of $100,289 (+/- $12,722) versus $64,684 (+/- $10,127) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $54,518 (+/- $4,561). About 1.1% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 16,530 people, 5,520 households, and 3,786 families. The population density was 3,935.6 people per square mile (1,519.6/km2). There were 5,641 housing units at an average density of 1,343.1 per square mile (518.6/km2). The racial makeup of the population was 89.69% White, 3.00% African American, 0.13% Native American, 3.77% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.55% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.97% of the population.

There were 5,520 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.

The age distribution of the population shows 20.6% under the age of 18, 17.6% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household was $82,847 and the median income for a family was $101,798. Males had a median income of $62,303 versus $42,097 for females. The per capita income was $38,416. About 2.0% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Every year, Madison has an event called Bottle Hill Day. During this time, the community is able to come down to the center of town to celebrate the community with games, food, music, and a variety of activities for as many as 20,000 participants.


Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 54.73 miles (88.08 km) of roadways, of which 46.38 miles (74.64 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.76 miles (7.66 km) by Morris County and 3.59 miles (5.78 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The main thoroughfare is Route 124 which connects with Morris Township in the northwest and Chatham Borough to the southeast.

Route 24 is the only limited access road to pass through the borough, doing so briefly for 0.47 miles (0.76 km), but the closest exits are two towns away in Summit and both Hanover and Millburn townships.

Public transportation

NJ Transit's Madison station provides commuter service on the Morristown Line, with trains heading to Hoboken Terminal, and to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan via the Kearny Connection.

NJ Transit provides local bus service on the 873 and 879 routes, replacing service that had been offered on the MCM3 and 966 until subsidies to the local providers were eliminated in 2010 as part of budget cuts.

A low-cost campus/downtown shuttle bus operates along Madison Avenue and Main Street during afternoon and evening hours.

Sister cities

Madison has three sister cities: Madison, Connecticut; Issy-les-Moulineaux, France; and Marigliano, Campania, Italy.

Points of interest

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