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Somerset, New Jersey
Somerset at the intersection of Franklin Boulevard (CR 617) and Hamilton Street (CR 514)
Somerset at the intersection of Franklin Boulevard (CR 617) and Hamilton Street (CR 514)
Map of Somerset CDP highlighted within Somerset County. Right: Location of Somerset County in New Jersey.
Map of Somerset CDP highlighted within Somerset County. Right: Location of Somerset County in New Jersey.
Coordinates: 40°30′31″N 74°30′01″W / 40.508507°N 74.500207°W / 40.508507; -74.500207Coordinates: 40°30′31″N 74°30′01″W / 40.508507°N 74.500207°W / 40.508507; -74.500207
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Somerset
Township Franklin
Area
 • Total 6.444 sq mi (16.692 km2)
 • Land 6.327 sq mi (16.388 km2)
 • Water 0.117 sq mi (0.304 km2)  1.82%
Elevation
118 ft (36 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 22,083
 • Density 3,490.1/sq mi (1,347.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP codes
08873, 08875
Area code(s) 732/848
GNIS feature ID 02390312
Albert Einstein with other engineers and scientists at Marconi RCA radio station 1921
Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jersey in 1921

Somerset is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Franklin Township, in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 22,083.

Somerset housed one of the first Marconi Wireless Stations in the United States.

History

New Brunswick Marconi Station was located at JFK Boulevard and Easton Avenue just a few minutes from the New Brunswick border. Today it is the site of Marconi Park. It was an early radio transmitter facility built in 1913 and operated by the American Marconi Wireless Corporation. After the partial failure of transatlantic telegraph cables, the facility was confiscated by the United States Navy on April 7, 1917, to provide transatlantic communications during World War I. The New Brunswick Naval Radio Station was the principal wartime communication link between the United States and Europe, using the callsign NFF. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points speech was transmitted from the site in 1918. After the war, ownership of the station, along with Marconi's other US assets, was transferred from the navy to RCA. The antenna masts were demolished in 1952 to make room for what is now a small mall containing a Kmart, but the buildings on the other side of JFK Boulevard were spared. All but one of the brick buildings were demolished around 2004 to make way for a storage locker facility. The bricks and tiles were saved for use in any future restoration of the spared building, and the Marconi facility in Belmar, New Jersey.

The station used a huge 5,000-foot-long (1,500 m) antenna supported by eight 400-foot (120 m) steel masts, similar to the AT&T long wave telephone transmitter at RCA's Rocky Point, Long Island, transmitter facility. During World War I, the original Marconi spark transmitter was replaced with an Alexanderson alternator, the invention of the famous General Electric engineer, with an output power of 200 kilowatts and looking like an ordinary power station generator. Its frequency was around 17 kHz, which made its wavelength around 17,500 meters.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 6.444 square miles (16.692 km2), including 6.327 square miles (16.388 km2) of land and 0.117 square miles (0.304 km2) of water (1.82%).

Climate

The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Somerset has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1980 21,731
1990 22,070 1.6%
2000 23,040 4.4%
2010 22,083 −4.2%
Population sources: 1980
1990–2010 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 22,083 people, 8,594 households, and 5,552 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,490.1 per square mile (1,347.5/km2). There were 8,883 housing units at an average density of 1,403.9 per square mile (542.0/km2)*. The racial makeup of the CDP was 47.04% (10,387) White, 28.88% (6,378) Black or African American, 0.23% (50) Native American, 17.59% (3,885) Asian, 0.01% (3) Pacific Islander, 2.98% (659) from other races, and 3.26% (721) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.47% (2,092) of the population.

There were 8,594 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 87.2 males.

Census 2000

At the 2000 United States Census there were 23,040 people, 8,238 households and 5,799 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,322.7 per square mile (1,669.0/km2). There were 8,424 housing units at an average density of 1,580.5/sq mi (610.2/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 43.94% White, 38.55% African American, 0.26% Native American, 8.23% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.04% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.00% of the population.

There were 8,238 households, of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.29.

24.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.

The median household income was $65,831 and the median family income was $73,040. Males had a median income of $50,309 versus $36,162 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $26,798. About 4.9% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

SHI International and Catalent are headquartered in Somerset.

PIM Brands (Division of The Promotion In Motion Companies and Makers of Welch's Fruit Snacks) operates a manufacturing plant in Somerset.

Meda Pharmaceuticals' U.S. home office is located in Somerset.

Somerset County is often listed as one of the richest counties in the United States. In 2011, the Washington Post named Somerset County the 6th richest county in the United States.

Notable people

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

  • Carlton Agudosi (born 1994), wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.
  • Anthony Bartholomay (1919–1975), mathematician who introduced molecular set theory.
  • Upendra J. Chivukula (born 1950), politician who represented the 17th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly, and served on the Franklin Township Council from 1997–2005, serving as its mayor in 2000 and its deputy mayor in 1998.
  • Margit Feldman (1929–2020), public speaker, educator, activist and Holocaust survivor.
  • Krystyna Freda (born 1993), footballer who plays as a forward for Cypriot First Division club Apollon Ladies FC.
  • Roy Hinson (born 1961), first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983 who played for eight seasons in the NBA.
  • Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu (born 1954), Sierra Leonean-American reverend, journalist and newspaper publisher who served as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations.
  • Christopher Massimine, former CEO of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.
  • Judy Melick (born 1954), former competition swimmer who participated as part of the U.S. team at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
  • Jeanette Mundt (born 1982), painter, best known for her works in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.
  • Joe Pace (born 1953), played for the NBA Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets from 1972 to 1978.
  • Randal Pinkett (born 1971), winner of season four of the reality television show, The Apprentice.
  • Jeff Porter (born 1985), track and field athlete who competes in the 110-meter hurdles and was named as part of the U.S. team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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