Salem County, New Jersey

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Salem County
Salem Courthouse Mkt St.JPG
Salem County, New Jersey seal.png
Map of New Jersey highlighting Salem County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey in United States.svg
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 39°35′N75°22′W / 39.58°N 75.36°W / 39.58; -75.36
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of New Jersey.svg  New Jersey
Founded1694 [1]
Named for Hebrew word meaning "peace" [2]
Seat Salem [3]
Largest city Pennsville Township
Government
  County Commission DirectorBen H. Laury (R, term as director ends December 31, 2022)
Area
  Total372.33 sq mi (964.3 km2)
  Land331.90 sq mi (859.6 km2)
  Water40.43 sq mi (104.7 km2)  10.86%
Population
 (2020)
  Total64,837
  Density195.4/sq mi (75.4/km2)
Congressional district 2nd
Website www.salemcountynj.gov
Salem County, New Jersey
Interactive map of Salem County, New Jersey

Salem County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its western boundary is formed by the Delaware River and its eastern terminus is the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which connects the county with New Castle, Delaware. Its county seat is Salem. [3]

Contents

The county is part of the Delaware Valley area. As of the 2020 U.S. census, the county's population was enumerated to be 64,837, retaining its position as the state's least populous county, [4] representing a 1.9% decrease from the 66,083 counted at the 2010 U.S. census, in turn increasing by 1,798 (+2.8%) from the 64,285 counted in the 2000 census. The most populous place in Salem County is 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. [5]

Geographically, the county is part of the South Jersey region.

History

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. [1] The area was initially settled by Quakers.

The Old Salem County Courthouse, located 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. [6] The courthouse was built in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks. [7] 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. [8] 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. [9]

Salem County is notable for its distinctive Quaker-inspired architecture and masonry styles of the 18th century. [10] 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.

Geography

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%). [5] [11] The county is bordered on the west by the Delaware River, and drained by Salem River, Alloway, and other creeks. [12]

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. [13] Sea level is the lowest point.

The county has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and monthly temperatures in Salem city average from 33.2 °F in January to 77.2 °F in July, while in Elmer they average from 33.1 °F in January to 76.8 °F in July.

Climate and weather

Salem, New Jersey
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
3
 
 
40
25
 
 
2.8
 
 
44
27
 
 
3.9
 
 
52
34
 
 
3.5
 
 
64
43
 
 
4
 
 
73
53
 
 
3.9
 
 
82
63
 
 
4.6
 
 
86
68
 
 
3.3
 
 
84
66
 
 
4.3
 
 
77
58
 
 
3.4
 
 
66
46
 
 
3.1
 
 
56
37
 
 
3.5
 
 
45
29
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel [14]

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. [14]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 10,437
1800 11,3718.9%
1810 12,76112.2%
1820 14,0229.9%
1830 14,1550.9%
1840 16,02413.2%
1850 19,46721.5%
1860 22,45815.4%
1870 23,9406.6%
1880 24,5792.7%
1890 25,1512.3%
1900 25,5301.5%
1910 26,9995.8%
1920 36,57235.5%
1930 36,8340.7%
1940 42,27414.8%
1950 49,50817.1%
1960 58,71118.6%
1970 60,3462.8%
1980 64,6767.2%
1990 65,2941.0%
2000 64,285−1.5%
2010 66,0832.8%
2020 64,837−1.9%
Historical sources: 1790-1990 [15]
1970-2010 [5] 2010 [16] 2020 [4]

2020 Census

As of the 2020 U.S. census, the county's had 64,837 people, 24,404 households, and 16,880 families. [17] The population density was 195.35 inhabitants per square mile (75.4/km2). There were 27,763 housing units at an average density of 83.64 per square mile (32.3/km2). [18] The racial makeup was 79.0% White, 13.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.8% of the population. [19]

Of the 24,404 households, of which 21.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present and 30.8% were non-families, and 12.4% 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 3.03.

About 21.0% of the population was under age 18, 8.0% was from age 18 to 24, 35.2% was from age 15 to 44, and 19.8% was age 65 or older. The median age was 43.1 years. The gender makeup was 47.9% male and 52.1% female. For every 100 females, there were 92.1 males. [20]

The median household income was $68,531, and the median family income was $81,122. About 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over. [21] [22]

2010 census

The 2010 United States census counted 66,083 people, 25,290 households, and 17,551 families 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 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 or Latino of any race were 6.82% (4,507) of the population. [16]

Of the 25,290 households, 29% had children under the age of 18; 49.9% were married couples living together; 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present and 30.6% were non-families. Of all households, 25.4% 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. [16]

23.5% of the population were 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, the population had 94.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.6 males. [16]

Government

Salem County is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners who are elected at-large to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held at the beginning of January, the board selects a director and a deputy director from among its members. The appointed position professional county administrator was abolished by a unanimous vote of the commissioners in January 2014. [23] In 2016, commissioners were paid $25,410 and the director was paid an annual salary of $26,410. [24]

In the 2016 general election, Salem County voters approved a binding referendum to cut the number of Commissioner from seven to five as well as a non-binding referendum to cut Commissioner salaries by 20%; both initiatives, which had been placed on the ballot as the result of grassroots campaigns opposed to a proposed outsourcing deal, passed by a 3–1 margin. [25] In the wake of the referendum results, Director Julie Acton resigned in December 2016 and was replaced by Scott Griscom. [26] In April 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the reduction in seats will be accomplished through attrition, with the seats expiring at the end of 2017 (held by Commissioners Cross, Painter, and Vanderslice) being eliminated; in the November 2017 general election there will be one new three-year seat up for a vote as well as a two-year unexpired term, so that on January 1, 2018, there will be a five-member board. [27]

As of 2022, Salem County's Commissioners (with party, residence and term-end year listed in parentheses) are: [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term). [33] Salem County's constitutional officers, elected on a countywide basis are: [34] [35] [36]

The Salem County Prosecutor is Kristin J. Telsey, who was nominated to fill the position in September 2022. [43] [44]

Salem County is a part of Vicinage 15 of the New Jersey Superior Court (along with Cumberland County and Gloucester County), seated in Woodbury in Gloucester County; the Assignment Judge for the vicinage is Benjamin C. Telsey. The Salem County Courthouse is in Salem. [45]

Federal representatives

Salem County falls entirely within the 2nd congressional district [46] For the 117th United States Congress , New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew ( R , Dennis Township ). [47]

State represenatatives

All of Salem County is located in the 3rd legislative district.

DistrictSenator [48] Assembly [48] Notes
3rd Edward Durr (R) Claire Swift (R)

Bethanne McCarthy Patrick (R)

The remainder of this district includes portions of Cumberland County & Gloucester County.

Politics

As of October 1, 2021, there were a total of 47,627 registered voters in Salem County, of whom 14,865 (31.2%) were registered as Democrats, 13,995 (29.4%) were registered as Republicans and 17,968 (37.7%) were registered as unaffiliated. There were 799 voters (1.7%) registered to other parties. [49] Among the county's 2010 Census population, 64.6% were registered to vote, including 84.4% of those ages 18 and over. [50] [51]

Salem County generally and historically leaned towards the Republican Party, but not as much so as the Northwest or Shore regions of the state. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama carried the county by a 4% margin over Republican John McCain, with Obama receiving 57.27% statewide. [52] Obama received 16,044 votes here (50.4%), ahead of McCain with 14,816 votes (46.6%) and other candidates with 503 votes (1.6%), among the 31,812 ballots cast by the county's 44,324 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.8%. [53] In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama narrowly finished ahead of Republican Mitt Romney; the state voted for Obama. [54] Since 2012, the county has swung more toward Republicans, following the trend of most rural counties in the United States. Republican Donald Trump won 54.9% of the vote in 2016, the highest vote share for a Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Trump improved to 55.3% of the vote in winning the county again in 2020.

Presidential election results
Presidential election results [55]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 55.3%18,82742.5% 14,4792.2% 750
2016 54.9% 16,38139.9% 11,9045.3% 1,568
2012 48.4% 14,33449.7% 14,7191.9% 570
2008 47.0% 14,81650.9% 16,0442.1% 672
2004 52.8% 15,72146.2% 13,7491.0% 311
2000 45.4% 12,25750.9% 13,7183.7% 997
1996 35.8% 9,29446.3% 12,04417.9% 4,654
1992 37.1% 10,36336.0% 10,06226.9% 7,510
1988 59.5% 15,24038.9% 9,9561.6% 410
1984 65.7% 17,36833.8% 8,9350.6% 149
1980 51.0% 13,00040.1% 10,2098.9% 2,265
1976 46.6% 11,63951.4% 12,8262.1% 512
1972 64.8% 16,37134.1% 8,6091.1% 269
1968 43.5% 11,40742.6% 11,17214.0% 3,672
1964 32.7% 8,68267.2% 17,8460.1% 17
1960 53.3% 14,19246.6% 12,3940.1% 21
1956 60.2% 14,09139.6% 9,2760.2% 56
1952 51.3% 12,02648.5% 11,3620.2% 54
1948 48.7% 8,96150.4% 9,2781.0% 179
1944 43.4% 7,94256.5% 10,3450.1% 23
1940 39.8% 8,13259.9% 12,2440.3% 57
1936 39.5% 7,67159.9% 11,6140.6% 117
1932 56.6% 9,87042.2% 7,3571.1% 198
1928 80.2% 12,32319.5% 3,0010.2% 36
1924 68.9% 8,02727.5% 3,2063.6% 424
1920 66.5% 7,63830.3% 3,4833.2% 364
1916 53.8% 4,08044.2% 3,3532.0% 155
1912 29.7% 1,80345.1% 2,74525.2% 1,533
1908 52.9% 3,71345.2% 3,1741.9% 131
1904 54.7% 3,69441.1% 2,7754.2% 286
1900 50.6% 3,39544.4% 2,9825.0% 334
County CPVI: R+9

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 9,599 votes here (46.1%), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 8,323 votes (39.9%), Independent Chris Daggett with 2,011 votes (9.7%) and other candidates with 411 votes (2.0%), among the 20,838 ballots cast by the county's 44,037 registered voters, yielding a 47.3% turnout. [56]

Education

School districts

School districts include: [57] [58] [59] [60]

K-12
Secondary
Elementary

Transportation

The Delaware Memorial Bridge connects Salem County with New Castle County, Delaware Del Mem Br.jpg
The Delaware Memorial Bridge connects Salem County with New Castle County, Delaware

As of 2010, 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, 8.11 miles (13.05 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and 0.95 miles (1.53 km) by the Delaware River and Bay Authority. [61] [62]

Salem is served by many roads. Major county routes include CR 540, CR 551, CR 553 (only in Pittsgrove) and CR 581. State highways include Route 45, Route 48 (only in Carneys Point), Route 49, Route 56 (only in Pittsgrove), Route 77 and Route 140 (only in Carneys 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 Fenwick Service Area on the northbound side and the Clara Barton Service Area in the southbound direction. [63] The Route 55 freeway passes through the northeastern part of the county briefly but has no interchanges within the county.

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. [64]

NJ Transit operates three routes through Salem County: [65] the 401, which stops in Salem, Woodstown, Swedesboro, and Woodbury en route to and from Philadelphia; [66] the 402, which stops in Penns Grove and has two stops in Salem en route to and from Philadelphia; [67] and the 468, which has local stops throughout Salem County. [68]

Municipalities

Index map of Salem County municipalities (click to see index key) Salem County, New Jersey Municipalities.png
Index map of Salem County municipalities (click to see index key)
Salem County, New Jersey
Interactive map of municipalities in Salem County.

The 15 municipalities in Salem County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: [69] 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.

Municipality
(map index)
Map keyMunicipal
type
PopulationHousing
units
Total
area
Water
area
Land
area
Pop.
density
Housing
density
Unincorporated
communities / notes
Alloway Township 13township3,4671,26833.830.4333.40103.838.0 Aldine
Alloway CDP (1,402)
Friesburg
Oakland
Penton
Remsterville
Riddleton
Carneys Point Township 6township8,0493,50217.740.8716.86477.3207.7 Carneys Point CDP (7,382)
Helms Cove
Laytons Lake
Elmer 1borough1,3955770.880.010.871,612.3666.9
Elsinboro Township 10township1,03652413.321.4111.9286.944.0
Lower Alloways Creek Township 11township1,77072772.4627.2345.2339.116.1 Hancock's Bridge CDP (254)
Mannington Township 8township1,80659237.734.0233.7053.617.6 Marshalltown
Pointers
Oldmans Township 5township1,77369920.380.9319.4591.135.9 Pedricktown CDP (524)
Penns Grove 4borough5,1472,0040.910.000.915,656.02,202.2
Pennsville Township 9township13,4095,91424.593.3121.28630.2278.0 Deepwater
Pennsville CDP (11,888)
Pilesgrove Township 7township4,0161,59435.070.2334.84115.345.7
Pittsgrove Township 15township9,3933,44545.920.8345.08208.376.4 Brotmanville
Centerton
Norma
Olivet CDP (1,408)
Quinton Township 12township2,6661,09924.580.4924.09110.745.6 Pecks Corner
Quinton CDP (588)
Salem 3city5,1462,6332.820.472.342,195.91,123.6
Upper Pittsgrove Township 14township3,5051,31040.490.1640.3386.932.5 Daretown
Friendship
Monroeville
Whig Lane
Woodstown 2borough3,5051,5291.630.041.582,211.8964.9
SalemCounty66,08327,417372.3340.43331.90199.182.6

Recreation

Wineries

Notable people

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pennsville Township, New Jersey</span> Township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Pennsville Township is a township in Salem County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the township's population was 13,409, reflecting an increase of 215 (+1.6%) from the 13,194 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 600 (−4.3%) from the 13,794 counted in the 1990 Census. The township is named for William Penn. The township includes the state's westernmost point.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pilesgrove Township, New Jersey</span> Township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Pilesgrove Township is a township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 4,016, reflecting an increase of 93 (+2.4%) from the 3,923 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 673 (+20.7%) from the 3,250 counted in the 1990 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey</span> Township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Pittsgrove Township is a township in Salem County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 9,393, reflecting an increase of 500 (+5.6%) from the 8,893 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 772 (+9.5%) from the 8,121 counted in the 1990 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Quinton Township, New Jersey</span> Township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Quinton Township is a township in Salem County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. At the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 2,666, reflecting a decline of 120 (−4.3%) from the 2,786 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 275 (+11.0%) from the 2,511 counted in the 1990 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Salem, New Jersey</span> City in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Salem is a city in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city's population was 5,146, reflecting a decrease of 711 (−12.1%) from the 5,857 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,026 (−14.9%) from the 6,883 counted in the 1990 Census, an overall drop of more than 25% over the two decades. It is the county seat of Salem County, the state's most rural county. The name "Salem", in both the city and county, is derived from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "peace".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Upper Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey</span> Township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Upper Pittsgrove Township is a township in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 3,505, reflecting an increase of 37 (+1.1%) from the 3,468 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 328 (+10.4%) from the 3,140 counted in the 1990 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Woodstown, New Jersey</span> Borough in Salem County, New Jersey, United States

Woodstown is a borough in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,505, reflecting an increase of 369 (+11.8%) from the 3,136 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 18 (−0.6%) from the 3,154 counted in the 1990 Census.

References

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Coordinates: 39°35′N75°22′W / 39.58°N 75.36°W / 39.58; -75.36