Mercer County, New Jersey
|Mercer County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
228.89 sq mi (593 km²)
224.56 sq mi (582 km²)
4.33 sq mi (11 km²), 1.89%
1,624/sq mi (627/km²)
Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its county seat is Trenton, the state capital. It is officially part of both the New York metropolitan area and the Trenton-Ewing Metropolitan Statistical Area. Unofficially, it is considered part of the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia) Metropolitan Area.
The county is named for Continental Army General Hugh Mercer, who died as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. The Mercer Oak, against which the dying general rested as his men continued to fight, appears on the county seal. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 366,513, an increase of 15,752 (4.5%) from the 350,761 enumerated in the 2000 Census, making it the 12th-most populous county in the state. Mercer County ranks 80th among the highest-income counties in the United States. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 78th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the sixth-highest in New Jersey) as of 2009.
Mercer County is home to Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, the Institute for Advanced Study, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State College and Mercer County Community College.
|historical census data sources:
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 366,513 people, 133,155 households, and 89,480 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,632.2 inhabitants per square mile (630.2 /km2). There were 143,169 housing units at an average density of 637.6 per square mile (246.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 61.39% (225,011) White, 20.28% (74,318) Black or African American, 0.33% (1,194) Native American, 8.94% (32,752) Asian, 0.08% (295) Pacific Islander, 6.24% (22,856) from other races, and 2.75% (10,087) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.09% (55,318) of the population.
There were 133,155 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.8 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93 males.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 350,761 people, 125,807 households, and 86,303 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,552 people per square mile (599/km²). There were 133,280 housing units at an average density of 590 per square mile (228/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.48% White, 19.81% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 4.94% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 4.29% from other races, and 2.17% from two or more races. 9.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.5% were of Italian, 9.7% Irish, 8.2% German, 6.7% Polish and 5.7% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 125,807 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 13.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $56,613, and the median income for a family was $68,494. Males had a median income of $47,444 versus $34,788 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,914. About 5.90% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.60% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those age 65 or over.
There were 27 Mercer County residents killed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan. A steel beam weighing one ton and ten feet long was given to the county by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in March 2011 and is now displayed at Mercer County Park.
Law and Government
Mercer County has a county executive form of government, in which the County Executive performs executive functions and a Board of Chosen Freeholders acts in a legislative capacity. The County Executive as of 2013[update] is Brian M. Hughes, who was re-elected to a third four-year term in November 2011. Members of the seven-person Board of Chosen Freeholders are elected at-large to serve three-year staggered terms. The Board is led by a Freeholder Chair and Vice-Chair, selected on an annual basis from among its members.
The Freeholder Board acts as a formulator of policy and provides a check on the powers of the County Executive. The Board also approves all county contracts and gives advice and consent to the County Executive’s appointments of department heads, and appointments to boards and commissions. After receiving the proposed county budget from the County Executive in January of each year, it is the duty of the Freeholder Board to thoroughly review, make appropriate changes, and then vote on the budget.
- Freeholder Chair John Cimino (term ends December 31, 2014; Hamilton Township)
- Freeholder Vice Chair Andrew Koontz (2013; Princeton)
- Ann M. Cannon (2015; East Windsor Township)
- Anthony P. Carabelli (2013; Trenton)
- Pasquale "Pat" Colavita, Jr. (2015; Lawrenceville)
- Samuel T. Frisby, Sr. (2015; Trenton)
- Lucylle R. S. Walter (2014; Ewing Township)
The Mercer County Superior Court is located in Trenton, the county seat. Law enforcement on the county level is provided by the Mercer County Sheriff's Office and the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.
Portions of the 4th and 12th Congressional Districts cover the county. New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Christopher Smith (R). New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Rush D. Holt, Jr. (D, Hopewell Township).
In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, John Kerry carried Mercer County by a 23.4% margin over George W. Bush, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush. In 2008, the county voted for Barack Obama by a 35.4% margin over John McCain, with Obama winning New Jersey by 14.4% over McCain.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 228.89 square miles (592.8 km2), of which 224.56 square miles (581.6 km2) (or 98.11%) is land and 4.33 square miles (11.2 km2) (or 1.89%) is water.
The county is generally flat and low-lying on the inner coastal plain with a few hills closer to the Delaware River. Baldpate Mountain near Pennington, is the highest hill, at 480 feet (146.3 m) above sea level. The lowest point is at sea level along the Delaware.
- Somerset County, New Jersey – north
- Middlesex County, New Jersey – northeast
- Monmouth County, New Jersey – east
- Burlington County, New Jersey – south
- Bucks County, Pennsylvania – west
- Hunterdon County, New Jersey – northwest
Mercer County has county routes, state routes, U.S. Routes and Interstates that all pass through. Mercer also boasts its NJTransit's stations, including Trenton, Hamilton, and Princeton Junction. SEPTA provides rail service to Center City Philadelphia from Trenton and West Trenton. Long-distance transportation is provided by Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor through Trenton Transportation Center.
The county roads that traverse through are County Route 518 (only in the Hopewells), County Route 524, County Route 526, County Route 533, County Route 535, County Route 539, County Route 546, County Route 569, County Route 571 and County Route 583.
The state routes that pass through Mercer are Route 27 (only in Princeton), Route 29, Route 31, Route 33, Route 129, and Route 133. There are three US Routes that pass through Mercer, which are: U.S. Route 1 (which bisects the county), U.S. Route 130 and U.S. Route 206.
Mercer County houses a few limited access roads, such as Interstate 295, Interstate 195, and Interstate 95 (which is also designated along the New Jersey Turnpike). (Mercer is the only county in the state that hosts I-95 and both its auxiliary routes.) Two turnpike interchanges are located in Mercer: Exit 7A in Robbinsville and Exit 8 in East Windsor.
Mercer County is where Interstate 95 abruptly ends at the interchange with US 1 and I-295 in Lawrence Township, and becomes I-295 south. Signs direct motorists to the continuation of I-95 by using I-295 to I-195 east to Interstate 95 / New Jersey Turnpike. This is all due in part to the cancellation of the Somerset Freeway that was supposed to go from Hopewell in Mercer County up to Franklin in Somerset County.
However, the 95 shields on the "Trenton section" are to re-numbered as part of "I-195 Extension," when a direct interchange with Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania & Interstate 276 is built (which will not be until 2017). This planned interchange has indirectly prompted the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to extend the 'dual-dual' configuration (Inner Car Lanes & Outer Truck Lanes) to Exit 6 (the Pennsylvania Extension) in Mansfield Township, Burlington County from its current end at Exit 8A (Route 32 & CR 612) in Monroe Township, Middlesex County. This widening is set to be finished by 2014.
The following municipalities are located in Mercer County. The municipality type is listed in parentheses after the name, except where the type is included as part of the name. Census-designated places and other unincorporated areas are listed under their municipalities.
- East Windsor Township
- Ewing Township
- Hamilton Township
- Hightstown (borough)
- Hopewell Borough
- Hopewell Township
- Lawrence Township
- Pennington (borough)
- Princeton (borough formed in 2013 through the merger of Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township)
- Robbinsville Township (known as Washington Township until November 2007)
- Trenton (city)
- West Windsor Township
Founded February 22, 1838, from portions of surrounding counties, Mercer County has a historical impact that reaches back to the pivotal battles of the American Revolutionary War. On the night of December 25–26, 1776, General George Washington led American forces across the Delaware River to attack the Hessian barracks in Trenton on the morning of December 26. Following the battle, Washington crossed back to Pennsylvania. He crossed a third time in a surprise attack on the forces of General Charles Cornwallis at the Second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777 and at the Battle of Princeton on January 3. The successful attacks built morale among the pro-independence colonists.
Mercer County also has the distinction of being the famed landing spot for a fictional Martian invasion of the United States. In 1938, in what has become one of the most famous American radio plays of all time, Orson Welles acted out his The War of the Worlds invasion. His imaginary aliens first "landed" at what is now West Windsor Township. A commemorative monument is erected at Grover's Mill park.
Mercer County is also the home of the minor league baseball team, the Trenton Thunder (Eastern League Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees), and the minor league hockey team, the Trenton Titans, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms.
- Mercer County, NJ, National Association of Counties. Accessed January 20, 2013.
- DP1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Kane, Joseph Nathan; and Aiken, Charles Curry. The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000, p. 201. Scarecrow Press, 2005. ISBN 0810850362. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000; Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- Table 1. The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010, United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3113 Counties in the United States, 2009, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- About Mercer County, 2007, [Mercer County "The Capital County"]. Statistics for year 2007 Accessed March 23, 2008.
- PEPANNRES: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 - 2012 Population Estimates for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- State & County QuickFacts for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880 – 1930".
- "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
- "The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010". United States Census Bureau. February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Staff. "Hughes, Officials unveil section of steel beam from Sept. 11 to be used in memorial", Mercer County press release dated March 28, 2011. Accessed September 11, 2011. "Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes was flanked by firefighters and first responders from around the County today as a section of a steel beam recovered from Ground Zero was displayed for the first time. The 10-foot, 2,108-pound piece of I-beam steel was recovered from Ground Zero during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.... Dozens of firefighters and first responders from Mercer County worked at Ground Zero for the first 10 days after September 11, Hughes said. Mercer County was also home to 27 victims."
- Brian M. Hughes, County Executive, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- What is a Freeholder?, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed March 11, 2008.
- Meet the Freeholders, Mercer County. Accessed April 30, 2013.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
- U.S. Election Atlas
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
- " War of the Worlds Monument", South Suburban College. Accessed October 17, 2008.
- "Know, know, know your boat". The Christian Science Monitor. July 17, 2008. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mercer County, New Jersey|
- Official County Website
- Mercer County Library System
- Mercer County Macaroni Kid – local family events information
||Hunterdon County||Somerset County|
|Bucks County, Pennsylvania||Middlesex County|
|Burlington County||Monmouth County|