Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
|Founded||February 7, 1837|
|Named for||"Pasaeck", a Lenape word meaning "valley"|
|Largest city||Paterson (population)|
West Milford (area)
|o Freeholder director||John W. Bartlett (D, term ends December 31, 2019)|
|o Total||197.10 sq mi (510.5 km2)|
|o Land||184.59 sq mi (478.1 km2)|
|o Water||12.51 sq mi (32.4 km2) 6.35%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||2,500/sq mi (980/km2)|
|Congressional districts||5th, 9th, 11th|
As of the 2010 census, the population was 501,226, an increase of 12,177 (+2.5%) from the 489,049 counted in the 2000 Census, As of the 2019 Census estimate, the county's population was 501,826, making it the state's ninth-most populous county, and marking an increase of 2.3% from 2010. Its county seat is Paterson. The most populous place was Paterson, with 146,199 residents at the time of the 2010 Census, more than 29% of the county's population, while West Milford covered 80.32 square miles (208.0 km2), the largest total area of any municipality and more than 40% of the county's area.
The landscape of Passaic County, near the north edge of New Jersey, spans some hilly areas and has dozens of lakes. The county covers a region about 30 × 20 miles wide (48 × 32 km). The region is split by major roads, including portions of Interstate 287 and I-80, near Paterson (see map at left). The Garden State Parkway (GSP) cuts across the southern end, near Clifton. The Passaic River winds northeast past Totowa into Paterson, where the river then turns south to Passaic town, on the way to Newark, further south.
The highest point is any one of six areas on Bearfort Ridge in West Milford at approximately 1,480 feet (450 m) above sea level. The lowest elevation is approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) along the Passaic River in Clifton.
The southeastern, more populous half of the county is either flat near the river or mildly hilly. The northwestern section is rugged and mountainous.
According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 197.10 square miles (510.5 km2), including 184.59 square miles (478.1 km2) of land (93.7%) and 12.51 square miles (32.4 km2) of water (6.35%).
|Paterson, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Paterson have ranged from a low of 19 °F (-7 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of -11 °F (-24 °C) was recorded in January 1961 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in September 1953. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.86 inches (73 mm) in February to 4.78 inches (121 mm) in September. The county has a humid continental climate which is hot-summer (Dfa) except in higher areas to the north where it is warm-summer (Dfb).
The 2010 United States Census counted 501,226 people, 166,785 households, and 120,919 families in the county. The population density was 2,715.3 inhabitants per square mile (1,048.4/km2). There were 175,966 housing units at an average density of 953.3 per square mile (368.1/km2). The racial makeup was 62.65% (314,001) White, 12.83% (64,295) Black or African American, 0.67% (3,348) Native American, 5.01% (25,092) Asian, 0.03% (156) Pacific Islander, 15.11% (75,735) from other races, and 3.71% (18,599) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.04% (185,677) of the population.
Of the 166,785 households, 34.5% had children under the age of 18; 48.7% were married couples living together; 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present and 27.5% were non-families. Of all households, 22.6% were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.45.
24.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 12% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.1 years. For every 100 females, the population had 94.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.1 males.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 489,049 people, 163,856 households, and 119,614 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,639 people per square mile (1,019/km2). There were 170,048 housing units at an average density of 918 per square mile (354/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 62.32% White, 13.22% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 3.69% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 16.24% from other races, and 4.05% from two or more races. 29.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those who reported their ancestry, 16.6% were of Italian, 9.5% Irish, 8.1% German and 6.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 163,856 households, out of which 35.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.50% were married couples living together, 16.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 22.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.42.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.10% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $49,210, and the median income for a family was $56,054. Males had a median income of $38,740 versus $29,954 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,370. About 9.40% of families and 12.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 9.20% of those age 65 or over.
The Passaic County Court House and Administrative Building complex is located at the county seat in Paterson.
In Passaic County's commission form of government, the Board of Chosen Freeholders discharge both executive and legislative responsibilities. Seven Freeholders are elected at-large for three-year terms on a staggered basis. A Freeholder Director and Freeholder Deputy Director are elected from among the seven Freeholders at an annual reorganization meeting in January. Passaic County operates through six standing committees of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. They are Administration & Finance; Health, Education and Community Affairs; Public Works and Buildings & Grounds; Law & Public Safety; Human Services and Planning and Economic Development. The Freeholders also appoint individuals to departments, agencies, boards and commissions for the effective administration of county government. In 2016, freeholders were paid $28,500 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $29,500. The Freeholders select a County Administrator who, in the role of chief administrative officer, supervises the day-to-day operation of county government and its departments; Anthony J. DeNova III is the County Administrator.
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). Constitutional officers. elected on a countywide basis are:
The Passaic County Prosecutor is Camelia M. Valdes of Bloomingdale, who was nominated by Governor of New Jersey Jon S. Corzine in May 2009 and renominated by Governor Chris Christie in June 2015.
Passaic County constitutes Vicinage 11 of the New Jersey Superior Court and is seated at the Passaic County Courthouse in Paterson; the Assignment Judge for Vicinage 11 is Ernest M. Caposela. Law enforcement at the county level is provided by the Passaic County Sheriff and the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.
Three federal Congressional Districts cover the county, with most of the northern portion of the county in the 5th District, most of the southern portion of the county in the 9th District and the central portion of the county in the 11th District. For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Josh Gottheimer (D, Wyckoff). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair).
The county is part of the 26th, 34th, 35th, 36th, 38th, 39th and 40th Districts in the New Jersey Legislature. For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 26th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Pennacchio (R, Rockaway Township) and in the General Assembly by BettyLou DeCroce (R, Parsippany-Troy Hills) and Jay Webber (R, Morris Plains). For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 34th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nia Gill (D, Montclair) and in the General Assembly by Thomas P. Giblin (D, Montclair) and Britnee Timberlake (D, East Orange). Timberlake was sworn into office on January 29, 2018 to fill the seat of Sheila Oliver, who had resigned from office on January 9, 2018 to become Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 35th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nellie Pou (D, North Haledon) and in the General Assembly by Shavonda E. Sumter (D, Paterson) and Benjie E. Wimberly (D, Paterson). For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 36th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Paul Sarlo (D, Wood-Ridge) and in the General Assembly by Gary Schaer (D, Passaic) and Clinton Calabrese (D, Cliffside Park). Calabrese was sworn into office on February 8, 2018 to fill the seat of Marlene Caride, who had resigned from office on January 16, 2018 after being nominated to head the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 38th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Lagana (D, Paramus) and in the General Assembly by Lisa Swain (D, Fair Lawn) and Chris Tully (D, Bergenfield). In May 2018, Lagana took the Senate seat after Robert M. Gordon left office, while Swain and Tully took the seats vacated by Tim Eustace and Lagana. For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 39th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Gerald Cardinale (R, Demarest) and in the General Assembly by Holly Schepisi (R, River Vale) and Robert Auth (R, Old Tappan). For the 2018-2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 40th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Kristin Corrado (R, Totowa) and in the General Assembly by Kevin J. Rooney (R, Wyckoff) and Christopher DePhillips (R, Wyckoff).
In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which regulates the New Jersey Highlands region. The northwestern area of the county, comprising the municipalities of Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Wanaque and West Milford, was included in the highlands preservation area and is subject to the rules of the act and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, a division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Some of the territory in the protected region is classified as being in the highlands preservation area, and thus subject to additional rules.
The Passaic County sheriff's department provides law enforcement functions throughout entire Passaic County plus unincorporated county area police patrol, detective, crime scene investigation, SWAT, K-9 function, operation of the Passaic County Jail, and the security of all county owned facilities, including the Passaic County Courthouse/Administration Complex. The incorporated cities within the county: Paterson, Passaic City, Clifton, Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park have separate municipal police departments.
As of August 1, 2020, there were a total of 318,029 registered voters in Passaic County, of which 128,114 (40.3%) were registered as Democrats, 64,389 (20.3%) were registered as Republicans and 120,282 (37.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5,244 (1.7%) voters registered to other parties.Among the county's 2010 Census population, 53.2% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 70.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 58.8% of the vote here (113,257 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 37.7% (72,552 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (1,586 votes), among the 192,558 ballots cast by the county's 273,483 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.4%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.9% of the vote here (94,962 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 42.7% (75,200 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (1,149 votes), among the 176,303 ballots cast by the county's 254,569 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 69.3.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 50.8% of the vote here (57,010 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 43.2% (48,500 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 3.8% (4,288 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (981 votes), among the 112,278 ballots cast by the county's 262,723 registered voters, yielding a 42.7% turnout.
Municipalities in Passaic County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed next to their parent municipality. Most 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.
communities / notes
|Bloomingdale||borough||7,656||3,089||9.17||0.45||8.71||878.6||354.5||Butler (9-12) (S/R)
|Little Falls||township||14,432||4,925||2.81||0.07||2.74||5,276.2||1,800.5||Passaic Valley (9-12)
Little Falls (K-8)
Singac CDP (3,618)
|North Haledon||borough||8,417||3,213||3.50||0.04||3.45||2,436.8||930.2||Manchester (9-12)
North Haledon (PK-8)
|Pompton Lakes||borough||11,097||4,341||3.19||0.28||2.91||3,809.1||1,490.1||Pompton Lakes|
|Prospect Park||borough||5,865||1,931||0.48||0.00||0.48||12,347.2||4,065.2||Manchester (9-12)
Prospect Park (PK-8)
|Totowa||borough||10,804||3,918||4.07||0.07||3.99||2,704.9||980.9||Passaic Valley (9-12)
|West Milford||township||25,850||10,419||80.32||5.23||75.09||344.3||138.8||West Milford||Cooper|
|Woodland Park||borough||11,819||4,835||3.11||0.15||2.96||3,987.9||1,631.4||Passaic Valley (9-12)
Woodland Park (K-8)
Passaic County is served by New York City-based commercial television & radio stations and New Jersey Network public television.
Caride resigned last week, following Gov. Phil Murphy's inauguration. She is currently the Acting Commissioner of Banking and Insurance as she awaits State Senate confirmation.