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Swedesboro, New Jersey
Borough of Swedesboro
Trinity (Old Swedes' Church)
Map of Swedesboro highlighted within Gloucester County. Inset: Location of Gloucester County in New Jersey.
Map of Swedesboro highlighted within Gloucester County. Inset: Location of Gloucester County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Swedesboro, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Swedesboro, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Gloucester
Incorporated April 9, 1902
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 0.77 sq mi (1.99 km2)
 • Land 0.73 sq mi (1.89 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)  4.55%
Area rank 523rd of 565 in state
24th of 24 in county
46 ft (14 m)
 • Total 2,584
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 467th of 566 in state
22nd of 24 in county
 • Density 3,568.4/sq mi (1,377.8/km2)
 • Density rank 181st of 566 in state
4th of 24 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 856 Exchanges: 241, 467
FIPS code 3401571850
GNIS feature ID 0885415

Swedesboro is a borough in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,584, reflecting an increase of 529 (+25.7%) from the 2,055 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 31 (+1.5%) from the 2,024 counted in the 1990 Census.

Swedesboro was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 9, 1902, from portions of Woolwich Township. The borough was named for its early settlers from Sweden.

Swedesboro has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA since 2000.


Swedesboro, New Jersey (1912)
Tomato shipping in yard at Swedesboro, 1912

Swedesboro was settled as part of New Sweden in the mid-1600s. The early Swedes and Finns were fishermen, hunters and farmers.

The English Colonial government needed a road between the communities of Burlingtown and Salem, so they built the Kings Highway in 1691 which opened the southern portion of Gloucester County to more settlers, who were drawn to the area by the fertile sandy soil, prime farmland and vast tracts of oak, birch, maple and pine trees. Originally, the community was called Raccoon, until the name was changed to Swedesboro in 1765.

Old Swedes 2 NJ
Old Swede's Church (Holy Trinity) in Swedesboro, New Jersey

Swedesboro, along with Bridgeport, was one of only two settlements established in New Jersey as a part of the New Sweden colony. The oldest extant log cabin in the United States, the Nothnagle Log Cabin (ca. 1640) was built by Antti Niilonpoika (Anthony Neilson/Nelson) in Swedesboro. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is Trinity Episcopal "Old Swedes" Church, which was established as a Swedish Lutheran Church in 1703; the present building dates to 1784.

Trinity Church Cemetery is the burial place of Governor of New Jersey Charles C. Stratton and Congressman Benjamin Franklin Howey, among other notable interees.

Through the late 1800s, Raccoon Creek was a water route that was naturally deep enough to transport wood and farming projects to Philadelphia by the Delaware River.

Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, visited the borough as part of a 1976 tour of the United States.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Swedesboro borough had a total area of 0.758 square miles (1.964 km2), including 0.724 square miles (1.876 km2) of land and 0.034 square miles (0.088 km2) of water (4.49%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Ivyside.

Swedesboro is an independent municipality surrounded on all sides by Woolwich Township, making it part one of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 894
1890 2,035 127.6%
1910 1,477
1920 1,838 24.4%
1930 2,123 15.5%
1940 2,268 6.8%
1950 2,459 8.4%
1960 2,449 −0.4%
1970 2,287 −6.6%
1980 2,031 −11.2%
1990 2,024 −0.3%
2000 2,055 1.5%
2010 2,584 25.7%
2019 (est.) 2,568 −0.6%
Population sources:
1880-1890 1910-2000
1910-1920 1910
1910-1930 1930-1990
2000 2010

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,584 people, 938 households, and 645 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,568.4 per square mile (1,377.8/km2). There were 1,004 housing units at an average density of 1,386.5 per square mile (535.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 69.81% (1,804) White, 15.02% (388) Black or African American, 0.58% (15) Native American, 1.35% (35) Asian, 0.08% (2) Pacific Islander, 9.48% (245) from other races, and 3.68% (95) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.07% (441) of the population.

There were 938 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.7 years. For every 100 females there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 95.1 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $65,085 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,111) and the median family income was $70,050 (+/- $7,451). Males had a median income of $47,974 (+/- $4,268) versus $43,721 (+/- $3,157) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,623 (+/- $2,395). About 9.1% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 18.8% of those age 65 or over.


2018-08-25 12 15 05 View north along Gloucester County Route 551 (Auburn Avenue) just north of Gloucester County Route 671 (Locke Avenue) in Swedesboro, Gloucester County, New Jersey
County Route 551 in Swedesboro

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 10.94 miles (17.61 km) of roadways, of which 7.29 miles (11.73 km) were maintained by the municipality and 3.65 miles (5.87 km) by Gloucester County.

The main roads serving Swedesboro are County Route 538 and County Route 551. U.S. Route 322 and the New Jersey Turnpike can be accessed in neighboring Woolwich Township.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus service between Salem and Philadelphia on the 401 route.

The Salem Branch, a freight rail line, changes ownership at Swedesboro. The southern portion to the Port of Salem is owned by Salem County and operated by the Southern Railroad of New Jersey and interchanges with Conrail's South Jersey/Philadelphia Shared Assets Area operations which travels north to Pavonia Yard at Camden.


Public school students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade attend the Swedesboro-Woolwich School District, a consolidated school district that serves students from both Swedesboro and Woolwich Township. As of the 2020–21 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 1,495 students and 138.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2020–21 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Margaret C. Clifford School with 230 students in grades PreK-K (located in Swedesboro), Governor Charles C. Stratton School with 402 students in grades 1-2 (Woolwich Township), General Charles G. Harker School with 653 students in Grades 3-5 (Woolwich Township) and Walter H. Hill School with 210 students in Grade 6 (Swedesboro).

Public school students in seventh through twelfth grades are educated by the Kingsway Regional School District, which also serves students from East Greenwich Township, South Harrison Township and Woolwich Township, with the addition of students from Logan Township who attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship in which tuition is paid on a per-pupil basis by the Logan Township School District. Swedesboro accounts for one tenth of district enrollment. As of the 2020–21 school year, the high school district, comprised of two schools, had an enrollment of 2,868 students and 207.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.8:1. The schools in the district (with 2020–21 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Kingsway Regional Middle School with 1,023 students in grades 7-8 and Kingsway Regional High School with 1,802 students in grades 9-12. Under a 2011 proposal, Kingsway would merge with its constituent member's K-6 districts to become a full K-12 district, with various options for including Logan Township as part of the consolidated district.

Students from across the county are eligible to apply to attend Gloucester County Institute of Technology, a four-year high school in Deptford Township that provides technical and vocational education. As a public school, students do not pay tuition to attend the school.

Guardian Angels Regional School (Pre-K-Grade 3 campus in Gibbstown and 4-8 campus in Paulsboro) takes students from Swedesboro. It is under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.

Notable people

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

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

  • Dorien Bryant (born 1985), former college football wide receiver for the Purdue Boilermakers and Pittsburgh Steelers signatory.
  • Charles G. Garrison (1849-1924), physician, lawyer, and judge who served as Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1888 to 1893 and from 1896 to 1900.
  • Charles Garrison Harker (1837–1864), brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Benjamin Franklin Howey (1828-1893), politician who represented New Jersey's 4th congressional district from 1883 to 1885.
  • William Nicholson Jeffers (1824–1883), United States Navy officer.
  • Kenneth Lacovara, professor at Rowan University who discovered the dinosaur Dreadnoughtus.
  • Ted Laux (1919-1965), NFL football player who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the "Steagles", a team formed as a temporary merger between the Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers due to league-wide manning shortages during World War II.
  • Earl Rapp (1921-1992), professional baseball outfielder and scout.
  • Charles C. Stratton (1796-1859), 15th Governor of New Jersey.
  • Joseph Pere Bell Wilmer (1812-1878), second Episcopal bishop of Louisiana.

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See also

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