Mercer County, New Jersey

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Mercer County, New Jersey
New Jersey State House.jpg
The New Jersey State House and its golden dome at Trenton in 2006.
Seal of Mercer County, New Jersey
Seal
Map of New Jersey highlighting Mercer County
Location in the state of New Jersey
Map of the United States highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Founded 1838
Named for Continental Army General Hugh Mercer
Seat Trenton[1]
Largest city Hamilton Township (population)
Hopewell Township (area)
Area
 • Total 228.89 sq mi (593 km2)
 • Land 224.56 sq mi (582 km2)
 • Water 4.33 sq mi (11 km2), 1.89%
Population
 • (2010) 366,513[2]
 • Density 1,624/sq mi (627/km²)
Congressional districts 4th, 12th
Website www.mercercounty.org

Mercer County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its county seat is Trenton, the state capital.[3][1] The county is part of the Trenton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area[4] as well as the New York Combined Statistical Area.[5] As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 366,513,[2] an increase of 15,752 (4.5%) from the 350,761 enumerated in the 2000 Census,[6] retaining its position as the 12th-most populous county in the state.[7][8] Mercer County stands among the highest-income counties in the United States, with the Bureau of Economic Analysis having 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.[9]

The Delaware and Raritan Canal in Hopewell Township

The county was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 22, 1838, from portions of Burlington County (including Nottingham Township), Hunterdon County (including Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, Trenton City and portions of Hopewell Township), and Middlesex County (including West Windsor Township and portions of East Windsor Township).[10] The old Keith Line bisects the county and is the boundary between municipalities that previously had been separated into West Jersey and East Jersey. It was named for Continental Army General Hugh Mercer, who died as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.[11] The Mercer Oak, against which the dying general rested as his men continued to fight, appears on the county seal and stood for 250 years until it collapsed in 2000.[12]

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.[13]

Geography[edit]

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) of it (98.1%) was land and 4.33 square miles (11.2 km2) of it (1.9%) was water.[14]

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 (150 m) above sea level.[15] The lowest point is at sea level along the Delaware.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 21,502
1850 27,992 30.2%
1860 37,419 33.7%
1870 46,386 24.0%
1880 58,061 25.2%
1890 79,978 37.7%
1900 95,365 19.2%
1910 125,657 31.8%
1920 159,881 27.2%
1930 187,143 17.1%
1940 197,318 5.4%
1950 229,781 16.5%
1960 266,392 15.9%
1970 304,116 14.2%
1980 307,863 1.2%
1990 325,824 5.8%
2000 350,761 7.7%
2010 366,513 4.5%
Est. 2013 370,414 [16][17] 1.1%
Historical sources: 1790-1990[18]
1970-2010[8] 2000[6] 2010[2]

Census 2010[edit]

At 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 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. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 15.09% (55,318) of the population.[2]

There were 133,155 households, 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.[2]

In the county, 22.6% of the population were 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.[2]

Census 2000[edit]

This view of the Shabakunk Creek below Colonial Lake in Lawrence depicts a typical natural scene in Mercer County.

As of the 2000 United States Census[19] 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.[6][20] Among those residents listing their ancestry, 15.4% of residents indicated that they were of Italian, 13.1% Irish, 11.8% German, 8.0% Polish and 8.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000.[20][21]

There were 125,807 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 25.6% 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 2.62 and the average family size was 3.16.[6]

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.[6]

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 5.9% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.[20][22]

Law and government[edit]

Mercer County has a county executive form of government, in which the County Executive performs executive functions, administering the operation of the county, and a Board of Chosen Freeholders acts in a legislative capacity. The seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders is elected at-large to serve three-year staggered terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for election each year. The Board is led by a Freeholder Chair and Vice-Chair, selected from among its members at an annual reorganization meeting held in January. The Freeholder Board establishes policy and provides a check on the powers of the County Executive. The Board approves all county contracts and gives advice and consent to the County Executive’s appointments of department heads, and appointments to boards and commissions. The Freeholder Board votes to approve the budget prepared by the Executive after review and modifications are made.[23]

As of 2014, the County Executive is Brian M. Hughes, who was re-elected to a third four-year term in November 2011.[24] Mercer County's Freeholders are:[25][26]

Mercer County's constitutional officers are County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello,[34] Sheriff John A. Kemler[35] and Surrogate Diane Gerofsky.[36]

Mercer County Court House in Trenton

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.[37][38] New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Christopher Smith (R).[39] New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Rush D. Holt, Jr. (D, Hopewell Township).[40]

The county is part of the 14th, 15th and 16th Districts in the New Jersey Legislature.[41]

Politics[edit]

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.[42] 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.[43]

Transportation[edit]

Mercer County has county routes, state routes, U.S. Routes and Interstates that all pass through.The county had a total of 1,524.30 miles (2,453.12 km) of roadways, of which 1,216.48 miles (1,957.73 km) are maintained by the local municipality, 175.80 miles (282.92 km) by Mercer County, 118.99 miles (191.50 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 13.03 miles (20.97 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.[44]

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 and 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 and outer truck / bus / car lanes) to Exit 6 (the Pennsylvania Extension) in Mansfield Township, Burlington County from its current end at Exit 8A (Route 32 and CR 612) in Monroe Township, Middlesex County. This widening is set to be finished by 2014.

Public transportation[edit]

Mercer also boasts its NJT stations, including Trenton, Hamilton, and Princeton Junction on the Northeast Corridor Line.[45] 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.

Mercer County's only commercial airport, and one of three in the state, is Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing Township, which is served by Frontier Airlines, offering nonstop service to and from points nationwide.[46]

Municipalities[edit]

Index map of Mercer County municipalities (click to see index)

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.

History[edit]

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.[47]

Mercer County 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.[48]

There were 27 Mercer County residents killed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan. A 10-foot (3.0 m) long steel beam weighing one ton 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.[49]

Sports[edit]

Mercer County has a number of large parks. The largest, Mercer County Central Park is the home for the US Olympic Rowing Team's training center.[50]

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), the Trenton Freedom of the Professional Indoor Football League, and the minor league hockey team, the Trenton Titans, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms.

Wineries[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mercer County, NJ, National Association of Counties. Accessed January 20, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ May 2012 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Definitions, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed October 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas, Office of Management and Budget, February 28, 2013. Accessed October 3, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e 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.
  7. ^ NJ Labor Market Views, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, March 15, 2011. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  8. ^ a b New Jersey: 2010 - Population and Housing Unit Counts; 2010 Census of Population and Housing, p. 6, CPH-2-32. United States Census Bureau, August 2012, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 31, 2013. Accessed October 3, 2013.
  9. ^ 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3113 Counties in the United States, 2009, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed April 9, 2012.
  10. ^ Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 161. Accessed October 1, 2013.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Princeton Battlefield's Mercer Oak, Princeton Battlefield's Clarke House Volunteers. Accessed October 6, 2013. "This white oak later became the symbol for Mercer County (named for the general), Princeton Township, the NJ Green Acres program, and other agencies. The approximately 250 year old tree collapsed of its own weight March 3, 2000."
  13. ^ About Mercer County, 2007, [Mercer County "The Capital County"]. Statistics for year 2007 Accessed March 23, 2008.
  14. ^ Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: New Jersey Counties, United States Census Bureau, Backed up by the Internet Archive as of June 11, 2012. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  15. ^ New Jersey County High Points, Peakbagger.com. Accessed October 5, 2013.
  16. ^ PEPANNRES: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 - 2013 Population Estimates for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed August 2, 2014.
  17. ^ State & County QuickFacts for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Forstall, Richard L. Population of states and counties of the United States: 1790 to 1990 from the Twenty-one Decennial Censuses, pp. 108-109. United States Census Bureau, March 1996. ISBN 9780934213486. Accessed October 3, 2013.
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ a b c Tables DP-1 to DP-4 from Census 2000 for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2008. Accessed October 1, 2013.
  21. ^ DP-2 - Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000 from the Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) - Sample Data for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 30, 2013.
  22. ^ DP-3 - Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000 from Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) - Sample Data for Mercer County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 30, 2013.
  23. ^ What is a Freeholder?, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  24. ^ Brian M. Hughes, County Executive, Mercer County, New Jersey. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  25. ^ Meet the Freeholders, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  26. ^ 2014 County Data Sheet, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  27. ^ Andrew Koontz, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  28. ^ Samuel T. Frisby, Sr., Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  29. ^ Ann M. Cannon, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  30. ^ Anthony P. Carabelli, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  31. ^ John A. Cimono, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  32. ^ Pasquale "Pat" Colavita, Jr., Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  33. ^ Lucylle R. S. Walter, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  34. ^ County Clerk, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  35. ^ Sheriff, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  36. ^ County Surrogate, Mercer County. Accessed August 3, 2014.
  37. ^ 2012 Congressional Districts by County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  38. ^ Plan Components Report, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 23, 2011. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  39. ^ Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  40. ^ Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
  41. ^ 2011 Legislative Districts by County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  42. ^ New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
  43. ^ U.S. Election Atlas
  44. ^ Mercer County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed July 18, 2014.
  45. ^ Northeast Corridor Line, New Jersey Transit. Accessed August 2, 2014.
  46. ^ Trenton Mercer Airport, Mercer County. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  47. ^ Epicenter of Revolution, Mercer County. Accessed October 6, 2013.
  48. ^ "War of the Worlds Monument", South Suburban College. Accessed October 17, 2008.
  49. ^ 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."
  50. ^ Bruinius, Harry. "Know, know, know your boat; In New Jersey, locals have turned out to support the US national team with pizza, housing, handiwork – and delight.", The Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 2008. Accessed October 6, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°17′N 74°42′W / 40.28°N 74.70°W / 40.28; -74.70