Salem County, New Jersey facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Old Salem County Courthouse in Salem
Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
|Largest city||Pennsville Township (population)
Lower Alloways Creek Township (area)
|• Total||372.33 sq mi (964.3 km2)|
|• Land||331.90 sq mi (859.6 km2)|
|• Water||40.43 sq mi (104.7 km2) 10.86%%|
63,436 (2016 est.; smallest)
|• Density||193/sq mi (74.7/km2)|
Salem County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its western boundary is formed by the Delaware River and it has the eastern terminus of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, connecting to New Castle, Delaware. Its county seat is Salem. The county is part of the Delaware Valley area. As of the 2016 Census estimate, the county's population was 63,436, making it the state's least-populous county, representing a 4.0% decrease from the 66,083 enumerated at the 2010 Census, in turn increasing by 1,798 (+2.8%) from the 64,285 counted in the 2000 Census, retaining its position as the state's least populous county. The most populous place was Pennsville Township, with 13,409 residents at the time of the 2010 Census. Lower Alloways Creek Township covers 72.46 square miles (187.7 km2), the largest total area of any municipality.
European settlement began with English colonists in the seventeenth century, who were settling both sides of the Delaware River. They established a colonial court in the area in 1681, but Salem County was first formally organized within West Jersey on May 17, 1694, from the Salem Tenth. Pittsgrove Township was transferred to Cumberland County in April 1867, but was restored to Salem County in February 1868. The area was initially settled by Quakers.
The Old Salem County Courthouse, situated on the same block as the Salem County Courthouse, serves as the court for Salem City in the 21st century. It is the oldest active courthouse in New Jersey and is the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States, the oldest being King William County Courthouse in Virginia. The courthouse was built in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks. The building was enlarged in 1817 and additionally enlarged and remodeled in 1908. Its distinctive bell tower is essentially unchanged and the original bell sits in the courtroom.
Judge William Hancock of the King's Court presided at the courthouse. He was later killed by the British in the American Revolutionary War during the massacre at Hancock House committed by the British against local militia during the Salem Raid in 1778. Afterward the courthouse was the site of the "treason trials," wherein suspected Loyalists were put on trial for having allegedly aided the British during the Salem Raid. Four men were convicted and sentenced to death for treason; however, they were pardoned by Governor William Livingston and exiled from New Jersey. The courthouse is also the site of the legend of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson's proving the edibility of the tomato. Before 1820, Americans often assumed tomatoes were poisonous. In 1820, Colonel Johnson, according to legend, stood upon the courthouse steps and ate tomatoes in front of a large crowd assembled to watch him do so.
Salem County is notable for its distinctive Quaker-inspired architecture and masonry styles of the 18th century. It had a rural and agricultural economy. In the early 20th century, its towns received numerous immigrants from eastern and southern Europe, who markedly added to the population. In the period following World War II, the county's population increased due to suburban development. To accommodate increasing traffic, the Delaware Memorial Bridge was built from Salem County to New Castle, Delaware.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 372.33 square miles (964.3 km2), including 331.90 square miles (859.6 km2) of land (89.1%) and 40.43 square miles (104.7 km2) of water (10.9%). The county is bordered on the west by the Delaware River, and drained by Salem River, Alloway, and other creeks.
The terrain is almost uniformly flat coastal plain, with minimal relief. The highest elevation in the county has never been determined with any specificity, but is likely one of seven low rises in Upper Pittsgrove Township that reach approximately 160 feet (49 m) in elevation. Sea level is the lowest point.
The county adjoins the following areas:
- Gloucester County, New Jersey - northeast
- Cumberland County, New Jersey - southeast
- Kent County, Delaware- southwest1
- New Castle County, Delaware - west
1across Delaware Bay; no land border
National protected area
- Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge - Originally established in 1974, the refuge is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and located in Pennsville Township on the Delaware River estuary, covering 3,020 acres (1,220 ha) of land, most of which is a brackish tidal marsh that is a home for fresh and saltwater plants and a variety of wildlife.
|Historical sources: 1790-1990
1970-2010 2000 2010 2000-2010
As of the census of 2010, there were 66,083 people, 25,290 households, and 17,551 families residing in the county. The population density was 199.1 per square mile (76.9/km2). There were 27,417 housing units at an average density of 82.6 per square mile (31.9/km2)*. The racial makeup of the county was 79.83% (52,757) White, 14.09% (9,309) Black or African American, 0.36% (240) Native American, 0.84% (557) Asian, 0.02% (10) Pacific Islander, 2.64% (1,745) from other races, and 2.22% (1,465) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.82% (4,507) of the population.
There were 25,290 households out of which 29% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 15% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.8 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.6 males.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 64,285 people, 24,295 households, and 17,370 families residing in the county. The population density was 190 people per square mile (73/km²). There were 26,158 housing units at an average density of 77 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.19% White, 14.77% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. 3.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those residents listing their ancestry, 20.0% were of German, 17.1% Irish, 13.9% English, 12.2% Italian and 6.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 24,295 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,573, and the median income for a family was $54,890. Males had a median income of $41,860 versus $27,209 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,874. About 7.2% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.3% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2010[update], the county had a total of 879.53 miles (1,415.47 km) of roadways, of which 429.36 miles (690.99 km) were maintained by the local municipality, 355.17 miles (571.59 km) by Salem County and 85.94 miles (138.31 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 9.06 miles (14.58 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Salem is served by many different roads. Major county routes include CR 540, CR 551, CR 553 (only in Pittsgrove) and CR 581. State highways include Route 45, Route 47, Route 48 (only in Carney's Point), Route 56 (only in Pittsgrove), Route 77 and Route 140 (only in Carney's Point). The U.S. routes are U.S. Route 40 and the southern end of U.S. Route 130.
Limited access roads include Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike. Both highways pass through the northern part of the county. Only one turnpike interchange is located in Salem: Exit 1 in Carneys Point (which is also where the turnpike ends). There are a pair of service areas on the Turnpike, both located between exits 1 and 2 in Oldmans Township: The John Fenwic Service Area on the northbound side and the Clara Barton Service Area in the southbound direction.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge (which is signed as I-295/US 40) is a set of twin suspension bridges crossing the Delaware River.Connecting New Castle, Delaware and Pennsville Township, the original span was opened in 1951 and the second span in 1968.
Municipalities in Salem 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. Some of these areas are census-designated places (CDPs) that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township. Other communities and enclaves that exist within a municipality are also listed next to the name.
communities / notes
|Alloway Township (13)||township||3,467||1,268||33.83||0.43||33.40||103.8||38.0||Aldine
Alloway CDP (1,402)
|Carneys Point Township (6)||township||8,049||3,502||17.74||0.87||16.86||477.3||207.7||Biddles Landing
Carneys Point CDP (7,382)
|Elsinboro Township (10)||township||1,036||524||13.32||1.41||11.92||86.9||44.0||Hagerville
|Lower Alloways Creek Township (11)||township||1,770||727||72.46||27.23||45.23||39.1||16.1||Canton
Hancock's Bridge CDP (254)
|Mannington Township (8)||township||1,806||592||37.73||4.02||33.70||53.6||17.6||Acton
|Oldmans Township (5)||township||1,773||699||20.38||0.93||19.45||91.1||35.9||Auburn
Pedricktown CDP (524)
|Penns Grove (4)||borough||5,147||2,004||0.91||0.00||0.91||5,656.0||2,202.2|
|Pennsville Township (9)||township||13,409||5,914||24.59||3.31||21.28||630.2||278.0||Deepwater
Pennsville CDP (11,888)
|Pilesgrove Township (7)||township||4,016||1,594||35.07||0.23||34.84||115.3||45.7||Friendship|
|Pittsgrove Township (15)||township||9,393||3,445||45.92||0.83||45.08||208.3||76.4||Brotmanville
Olivet CDP (1,408)
|Quinton Township (12)||township||2,666||1,099||24.58||0.49||24.09||110.7||45.6||Harmony
Quinton CDP (588)
|Upper Pittsgrove Township (14)||township||3,505||1,310||40.49||0.16||40.33||86.9||32.5||Daretown
Climate and weather
|Weather chart for Salem, New Jersey|
|temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Salem have ranged from a low of 25 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −14 °F (−26 °C) was recorded in January 1985 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in August 1918. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.78 inches (71 mm) in February to 4.57 inches (116 mm) in July.
Salem County, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.