Union County, New Jersey
|Union County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
105.40 sq mi (273 km²)
102.86 sq mi (266 km²)
2.55 sq mi (7 km²), 2.42%
5,058/sq mi (1,953/km²)
|Congressional districts||6th, 7th, 10th|
Union County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 536,499, an increase of 13,958 (2.7%) from the 522,541 enumerated in the 2000 Census, making it the seventh-most populous county in the state. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Elizabeth. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 119th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the eighth-highest in New Jersey) as of 2009. A study by Forbes.com determined Union County pays the second-highest property taxes of all counties in the nation. With more than 5,000 persons per square mile on average, Union County is one of the most densely populated counties in America.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 105.40 square miles (273.0 km2), of which 102.86 square miles (266.4 km2) (or 97.59%) is land and 2.55 square miles (6.6 km2) (or 2.42%) is water.
Much of Union County is relatively flat and low-lying. Only in the northwestern corner does any significant relief appear as the Watchung Mountains cross the county. It is there that highest elevations, two areas approximately 560 feet (171 m) above sea level, are found in Berkeley Heights. The lowest elevation is sea level along the eastern shore.
Adjacent counties 
- Essex County, New Jersey – north
- Hudson County, New Jersey – east
- Richmond County, New York – east
- Middlesex County, New Jersey – south
- Somerset County, New Jersey – west
|historical census data source:|
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 522,541 people, 186,124 households, and 133,264 families residing in the county. The population density was 5,059 people per square mile (1,953/km²). There were 192,945 housing units at an average density of 1,868 per square mile (721/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.51% White, 20.78% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.37% from other races, and 3.25% from two or more races. 19.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 13.1% were of Italian, 8.6% Irish, 6.5% Polish and 5.8% German ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 186,124 households out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.60% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 23.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 22.10% from 45 to 64, and 13.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $55,339, and the median income for a family was $65,234. Males had a median income of $44,544 versus $32,487 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,992. About 6.30% of families and 8.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.
Union County is extremely diverse. Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Westfield, Summit, Cranford, Kenilworth, Clark, Linden, Union, Springfield and Scotch Plains have a very high number of Italian American residents, as well as a large number of Irish Americans and residents of Northern European descent in general. Plainfield, Roselle, Linden, Union, Rahway and Elizabeth all have large African American communities. Roselle Park has a notably large Indian American community, while Roselle Park, Linden, Rahway, Plainfield and particularly Elizabeth have fast-growing Hispanic and Portuguese populations. There are Jewish-American communities in Springfield, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, Hillside, Cranford, Westfield and Summit.
Union County is governed by a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The members are elected at large to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats coming up for election each year. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of the County. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by an appointed County Manager, Alfred Faella.
The Freeholders perform the county's legislative and executive functions. In their legislative role, they formulate and adopt a budget and set county policies and procedures. In their executive role, they oversee county spending and functioning. Many of the administrative duties are delegated by the Board of Chosen Freeholders to the County Manager.
Each of the freeholders serves on various committees and boards as a part of their duties. These include committees on Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Policy, to name a few. In addition, the Board oversees the county's Open Space Trust Fund.
As of the January 2013 reorganization, Union County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman Linda Carter (Plainfield), Freeholder Vice Chairman Christopher Hudak (Linden), Alexander Mirabella (Fanwood), Angel G. Estrada (Elizabeth), Mohamed S. Jalloh (Roselle), Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford), Bruce Bergen (Union Twp.), Daniel P. Sullivan (Elizabeth) and Vernell Wright (Union Twp.).
Four federal Congressional Districts cover the county, including portions of New Jersey's 7th congressional district, represented by Leonard Lance (R), New Jersey's 8th congressional district, represented by Albio Sires (D), New Jersey's 10th congressional district, represented by Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D), and New Jersey's 12th congressional district, represented by Rush Holt (D).
Law enforcement at the county level includes the Union County Police Department, the Union County Sheriff's Office, and the Union County Prosecutor's Office.
Sheriff's office 
The Union County Sheriff's Office is located in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
It was headed by Ralph Froehlich, a Union resident who was first elected in 1977 and is the longest-serving sheriff in New Jersey history.
Sheriff Ralph Froehlich hired three top deputies, known as 'undersheriffs,' including Joseph P. Cryan, Vincent N. DeTrolio, and Gerald B. Green, Jr.
Froehlich was relieved of control over the Union County Jail after his first three years produced a mountain of complaints of overcrowding, escapes, escape attempts and suicides that had troubled the detention facility.
Union County Police 
Kean University, a coeducational, public research university located in Union and Hillside, New Jersey, United States. Kean University serves its students in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions with a dedication to intellectual and cultural growth and is best known for its programs in the humanities and social sciences and in education, graduating the most teachers in the state of New Jersey annually. Kean is also renowned for the physical therapy program which it holds in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Union County College is the two-year community college for Union County, one of a network of 19 county colleges statewide. Union County College was founded in 1933 and has campuses throughout the county, in Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.
The county is served by numerous transportation modes including rail, air, highways and ports.
Major highways which traverse the county include the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), Garden State Parkway, Interstate 78, Interstate 278, U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 9, U.S. Route 22 and the Goethals Bridge.
Passenger rail service is provide by New Jersey Transit via the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Raritan Valley Line, the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch. Freight service is provided by on Conrail's Lehigh Line and Chemical Coast Branch.
Freight and passenger rail service was once provided by the Rahway Valley Railroad from 1897 up until 1992 when the small short line closed due to lack of customers.
The southern portion of Newark Liberty International Airport is located in Elizabeth, within Union County.
- Fanwood (6)
- Garwood (5)
- Kenilworth (8)
- Mountainside (3)
- New Providence (2)
- Roselle Park (9)
- Roselle (10)
- Westfield (4)
- Berkeley Heights (21)
- Clark (14)
- Cranford (16)
- Hillside (19)
- Scotch Plains (20)
- Springfield Township (17)
- Union Township (18)
- Winfield Township (15)
- Ash Brook Reservation
- Black Brook Park
- Briant Park
- Brookside Park
- Cedar Brook Park
- Echo Lake Park
- Elizabeth River Park
- Green Brook Park
- Hidden Valley Park
- Lenape Park
- Madison Aenue Park
- Mattano Park
- McConnell Park
- Milton Lake Park
- Nomahagen Park
- Oak Ridge Park
- Passaic River Park
- Phil Rizzuto Park
- Ponderosa Farm Park
- Rahway River Park
- Rahway River Parkway
- Tamaques Park
- Unami Park
- Warinanco Park
Other park facilities 
- Ash Brook Golf Course
- Galloping Hill Golf Course
- Oak Ridge Archery Range
- Trailside Nature and Science Center
- Warinanco Ice Skating Rink
- Watchung Reservation
Climate and weather 
|Elizabeth, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Elizabeth have ranged from a low of 24 °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 February 1934 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1993. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.99 inches (76 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in July.
See also 
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 237. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- Union County, NJ, National Association of Counties. 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.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3113 Counties in the United States, 2009, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- Woolsey, Matt. "Who Pays America's Highest Property Taxes?". Forbes.com. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- 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 Union 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 2007-03-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Board of Chosen Freeholders, Union County, New Jersey. Accessed March 5, 2010.
- Union County officials battle activist over use of controversial county seal July 10, 2011.
- Seal of Union County, NJ
- New York Times August 23, 1981 "Suicide Sparks Union County Jail Inquiry"
- "About UCC (Union County College)".
- "Monthly Averages for Elizabeth, New Jersey". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- Changing Landscape of Union County 
The Official Website of Union County New Jersey