List of counties in New Jersey

There are 21 counties in New Jersey. These counties together contain 565 municipalities, or administrative entities composed of clearly defined territory; 250 boroughs, 52 cities, 15 towns, 244 townships, and 4 villages.[1] In New Jersey, a county is a local level of government between the state and municipalities. County government in New Jersey includes a Board of Chosen Freeholders,[2] sheriff, clerk, and surrogate (responsible for uncontested and routine probate),[3] all of which are elected officials. Counties organized under the Optional County Charter Law may also have an elected county executive.[4] Counties traditionally perform state-mandated duties such as the maintenance of jails, parks, and certain roads.[5] The site of a county's administration and courts is called the county seat.

Counties of New Jersey
LocationState of New Jersey
Populations62,607 (Salem) – 936,692 (Bergen)
Areas47 square miles (120 km2) (Hudson) – 805 square miles (2,080 km2) (Burlington)
GovernmentCounty government
Subdivisionsborough, city, town, township, village


New Jersey was governed by two groups of proprietors as two distinct provinces, East Jersey and West Jersey, between 1674 and 1702. New Jersey's first counties were created as administrative districts within each province, with East Jersey split in 1675 into Bergen, Essex, Middlesex and Monmouth counties, while West Jersey's initial counties of Burlington and Salem date to 1681.[6][7] The most recent county created in New Jersey is Union County, created in 1857 and named after the union of the United States when the Civil War was imminent. New Jersey's county names derive from several sources, though most of its counties are named after place names in England and prominent leaders in the colonial and revolutionary periods. Bergen County is the most populous county—as of the 2010 Census—with 905,116 people, while Salem County is the least populous with 66,083 people.

Representation in the New Jersey Legislature

Until the 1960s, the New Jersey Senate had 21 representatives, one from each county regardless of population. In the wake of the 1964 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Reynolds v. Sims, establishing the one man, one vote principle that state legislative districts must be approximately equal in size, David Friedland filed suit in New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of two union leaders, challenging a system under which each county was represented by a single member in the New Jersey Senate. The senate enacted a proposal whereby each senator's vote would be weighted based on the population of the county represented, under which Cape May County's senator would receive one vote while the senator from Essex County would receive 19.1, in direct relation to the ratio of residents between counties.[8] In a decision issued on December 15, 1964, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the weighted voting system as adopted was unconstitutional. The court ordered that interim measures be established for the 1965 legislative elections, in which weighted voting could be used as a temporary measure, and that the needed constitutional changes to restructure the New Jersey Legislature to be in compliance with "one man, one vote" requirements be in place before elections took place in 1967.[8] The legislature's final decision was to establish 40 districts statewide, each represented by one senator and two assemblymembers, without relation to county boundaries.

FIPS code

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. FIPS codes are five-digit numbers; for New Jersey the codes start with 34 and are completed with the three-digit county code. The FIPS code for each county in the table links to census data for that county.[9]


FIPS code[9] County seat[10] Largest City[11] Est.[10] Formed from[6][7] Named for[12] Density (per mi²) Pop.[13] Area[10] Map
Atlantic County 001 Mays LandingEgg Harbor Township 43,3231837Gloucester CountyThe Atlantic Ocean, which forms the county's eastern border489.39 265,429 561 sq mi
(1,453 km2)
Bergen County 003 HackensackHackensack 43,0101683One of 4 original counties created in East JerseyBergen, New Netherland settlement3868.02 936,692 234 sq mi
(606 km2)
Burlington County 005 Mount HollyEvesham Township 45,5381694One of two original counties created in West JerseyThe old ancient name for an inland market near Bridlington, England557.43 445,384 805 sq mi
(2,085 km2)
Camden County 007 CamdenCamden 77,3441844Gloucester CountyCharles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden (1714–1794), an English supporter of the colonists during the American Revolution[14]2,313.77 507,078 222 sq mi
(575 km2)
Cape May County 009 Cape May Court HouseLower Township 22,8441692Burlington CountyThe 17th-century Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, who explored and surveyed the Delaware Bay to the south of the county381.43 92,560 255 sq mi
(660 km2)
Cumberland County 011 BridgetonVineland 60,7241748Salem CountyPrince William, Duke of Cumberland (1721–1765), second son of George II of England and military victor at the Battle of Culloden in 1746320.85 150,972 489 sq mi
(1,267 km2)
Essex County 013 NewarkNewark 277,1401683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe county of Essex in England6,221.98 799,767 126 sq mi
(326 km2)
Gloucester County 015 WoodburyWashington Township 48,5591686Burlington CountyThe city of Gloucester, England887.04 291,408 325 sq mi
(842 km2)
Hudson County 017 Jersey CityJersey City 247,5971840Bergen CountyThe English explorer Henry Hudson (d. 1611), who explored portions of New Jersey's coastline13,495.02 676,061 47 sq mi
(122 km2)
Hunterdon County 019 FlemingtonRaritan Township 21,9361714Burlington CountyRobert Hunter (1664–1734), the Colonial Governor of New Jersey from 1710 to 1720298.49 124,714 430 sq mi
(1,114 km2)
Mercer County 021 TrentonHamilton Township 88,4641838Burlington County, Hunterdon County, Middlesex County, and Somerset CountyThe Continental Army General Hugh Mercer (1726–1777), who died at the Battle of Princeton[15]1,621.74 369,811 226 sq mi
(585 km2)
Middlesex County 023 New BrunswickEdison 99,9671683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe historic county of Middlesex in England2,604.05 829,685 311 sq mi
(805 km2)
Monmouth County 025 Freehold BoroughMiddletown Township 66,5221683One of four original counties created in East JerseyThe historic county of Monmouthshire in Wales1,335.55 621,354 472 sq mi
(1,222 km2)
Morris County 027 MorristownParsippany-Troy Hills 53,2381739Hunterdon CountyColonel Lewis Morris (1671–1746), colonial governor of New Jersey at the time of the county's formation[16][17]1,049.63 494,228 469 sq mi
(1,215 km2)
Ocean County 029 Toms RiverLakewood Township 92,8431850Monmouth County and Burlington CountyThe Atlantic Ocean, which forms the eastern border of New Jersey629.44 601,651 636 sq mi
(1,647 km2)
Passaic County 031 PatersonPaterson 146,1991837Bergen County and Essex County"Pasaeck", a Lenape word meaning "valley"2,709.33 503,310 185 sq mi
(479 km2)
Salem County 033 SalemPennsville Township 13,3321694One of two original counties created in West JerseyA Hebrew word meaning "peace"195.51 62,607 338 sq mi
(875 km2)
Somerset County 035 SomervilleFranklin Township 62,3001688Middlesex CountyThe county of Somerset in England1,060.47 331,164 305 sq mi
(790 km2)
Sussex County 037 NewtonVernon Township 23,8671753Morris CountyThe county of Sussex in England286.5 140,799 521 sq mi
(1,349 km2)
Union County 039 ElizabethElizabeth 124,9691857Essex CountyThe union of the United States, which was being threatened by the dispute over slavery5,208.73 558,067 103 sq mi
(267 km2)
Warren County 041 BelviderePhillipsburg 14,7911824Sussex CountyThe American Revolutionary War General Joseph Warren (1741–1775), killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill303.61 105,779 358 sq mi
(927 km2)

See also


  1. "New Jersey – Place and County Subdivision". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on November 22, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  2. Coppa, Frank J. (2000). County government: a guide to efficient and accountable government. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-275-96829-8. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  3. Coppa, County government, p. 165
  4. Coppa, County government, p. 108
  5. "An Overview of County Government". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  6. "County Formation Map" (PDF). New Jersey Association of Election Officials. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-24. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  7. Torp, Kim (2006). "New Jersey County Formation". Genealogy Trails. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  8. Wright, George Cable (December 16, 1964). "Weighted Voting Voided in Jersey; State's Highest Court Bars Senate's Plan – No Ruling on Its Constitutionality New Jersey Supreme Court Bars Senate's Weighted Vote Plan". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  9. "County FIPS Code Listing for the State of New Jersey". US Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  10. "NACo – Find a county". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on January 12, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
  11. List of municipalities in New Jersey
  12. Hutchinson, Viola L. The Origin of New Jersey Place Names, New Jersey Public Library Commission, May 1945. Accessed November 14, 2015.
  14. Greenberg, Gail (August 30, 2009). "A Brief History of Camden County". Camden County Board of Freeholders. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  15. "History". Mercer County Cultural & Heritage Commission. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  16. "The Land Past and Present". Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  17. "How did our county get its name?". Morris County Library. July 26, 2008. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2009.

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