Location within the U.S. state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Atlantic Ocean|
|Largest city||Lakewood Township (population)|
Jackson Township (area)
|• Total||915.40 sq mi (2,370.9 km2)|
|• Land||628.78 sq mi (1,628.5 km2)|
|• Water||286.62 sq mi (742.3 km2) 31.31%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||957/sq mi (369.4/km2)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 3rd, 4th|
Ocean County is a county located along the Jersey Shore in the central portion of the U.S. state of New Jersey. Its county seat is Toms River. Since 1990, Ocean County has been one of New Jersey's fastest-growing counties. As of the 2018 Census estimate, the county's population was 601,651, a 4.4% increase from the 576,567 enumerated in the 2010 United States Census, making Ocean the state's sixth-most populous county. The 2010 population figure represented an increase of 65,651 (+12.8%) from the 2000 Census population of 510,916, as Ocean surpassed Union County to become the sixth-most populous county in the state. Ocean County was also the fastest growing county in New Jersey between 2000 and 2010 in terms of increase in the number of residents and second-highest in percentage growth. Ocean County was established on February 15, 1850, from portions of Monmouth County, with the addition of Little Egg Harbor Township which was annexed from Burlington County on March 30, 1891. The most populous place is Lakewood Township, with an estimated 102,682 residents as of 2017, up 10.6% from 92,843 at the 2010 Census (in turn an increase of 32,491 since 2000, the highest of any New Jersey municipality); while Jackson Township covers 100.62 square miles (260.6 km2), the largest total area of any municipality in the county.
Ocean County is located 50 miles (80 km) east of Philadelphia, 70 miles (110 km) south of New York City, and 25 miles (40 km) north of Atlantic City, making it a prime destination for residents of these cities during the summer. As with the entire Jersey Shore, summer traffic routinely clogs local roadways throughout the season.
Ocean County is part of the New York metropolitan area but is also home to many tourist attractions frequently visited by Delaware Valley residents, especially the beachfront communities of Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Point Pleasant Beach, as well as Six Flags Great Adventure, which is the home of the world's tallest and second-fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. Ocean County is also a gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens, one of the largest protected pieces of land on the East Coast.
Ocean County is part of both New York City's and Philadelphia's media markets.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county had as of the 2010 Census a total area of 915.40 square miles (2,370.9 km2), making it the largest county in New Jersey in terms of total area (ahead of Burlington County's), total 819.84 sq mi of which 628.78 square miles (1,628.5 km2) of land (68.7%) and 286.62 square miles (742.3 km2) of water (31.31%).
Much of the county is flat and coastal, with many beaches. The highest point is one of three unnamed hills (one in Jackson Township, the other two in Plumsted Township) that reach at least 230 feet (70 m) in elevation. The lowest elevation in the county is sea level.
|Toms River, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Toms River have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −19 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1982 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.30 inches (84 mm) in February to 4.79 inches (122 mm) in March. Areas closer to the coast typically experience more mild winters and cooler summers due to the Atlantic Ocean's influence.
|Historical sources: 1790–1990|
2010 2000–2010 2010-2018
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 576,567 people, 221,111 households, and 149,249.925 families residing in the county. The population density was 917 per square mile (354/km2). There were 278,052 housing units at an average density of 442.2 per square mile (170.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.98% (524,577) White, 3.15% (18,164) Black or African American, 0.17% (966) Native American, 1.75% (10,081) Asian, 0.02% (129) Pacific Islander, 2.46% (14,165) from other races, and 1.47% (8,485) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.29% (47,783) of the population.
There were 221,111 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 21% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females there were 92 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.3 males.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 510,916 people, 200,402 households, and 137,876 families residing in the county. The population density was 803 people per square mile (310/km²). There were 248,711 housing units at an average density of 151/km² (391/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 93.05% White, 2.99% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.24% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 5.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among those who listed their ancestry, 25.3% were of Italian, 23.6% Irish, 18.7% German, 8.8% Polish and 8.5% English ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 200,402 households out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.40% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 22.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,443, and the median income for a family was $56,420. Males had a median income of $44,822 versus $30,717 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,054. About 4.8% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 Census, Mantoloking was the wealthiest community in the state of New Jersey with a per capita money income of $114,017 as of 1999.
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. In 2016, freeholders were paid $30,000 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $31,000.
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 Ocean County Prosecutor is Bradley D. Billhimer who was nominated by Governor of New Jersey Philip D. Murphy. Prosecutor Billhimer was sworn in by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on October 12, 2018.
Ocean County constitutes Vicinage 14 of the New Jersey Superior Court and is seated at the Ocean County Courthouse Complex in Toms River; the Assignment Judge for Vicinage 14 is Marlene Lynch Ford.
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts cover the county. For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew (D, Dennis Township). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Andy Kim (D, Bordentown). For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Chris Smith (R, Hamilton Township).
The county is part of the 9th, 10th, 12th and 30th Districts in the New Jersey Legislature. For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 9th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Christopher J. Connors (R, Lacey Township) and in the General Assembly by DiAnne Gove (R, Long Beach Township) and Brian E. Rumpf (R, Little Egg Harbor Township). For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 10th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James W. Holzapfel (R, Toms River Township) and in the General Assembly by Gregory P. McGuckin (R, Toms River Township) and David W. Wolfe (R, Brick Township). For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 12th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Samuel D. Thompson (R, Old Bridge Township) and in the General Assembly by Robert D. Clifton (R, Matawan) and Ronald S. Dancer (R, Plumsted Township). For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 30th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Robert Singer (R, Lakewood Township) and in the General Assembly by Sean T. Kean (R, Wall Township) and Ned Thomson (R, Wall Township).
Ocean County operates the Ocean County Southern Service Center in Manahawkin. This Center offers access to all of the Ocean County government services without the need for residents to travel to the county seat some 20 miles to the north.
Ocean County is one of the few Republican strongholds in New Jersey. Since 1900, it has only failed to support a Republican for president three times.
Doug Forrester carried Ocean County by 12 points in the 2005 New Jersey gubernatorial election, winning every municipality but Lakewood Township and South Toms River In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Republican George W. Bush carried the county by a 21.2% margin over Democrat John Kerry. In 2008, the county voted for Republican John McCain by an 18.4% margin over Democrat Barack Obama, making it McCain's second-strongest county in New Jersey behind Sussex County, with Obama winning the Garden State by 15.5% margin over McCain, who carried Ocean County's every municipality except South Toms River. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Ocean County was Bill Clinton in 1996, however, the last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 364,597 registered voters in Ocean, of which 74,795 (20.5%) were registered as Democrats, 103,517 (28.4%) were registered as Republicans and 186,089 (51.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 196 voters registered to other parties. Among the county's 2010 Census population, 63.2% were registered to vote, including 82.6% of those ages 18 and over.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 58.4% of the vote here (160,677 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 40.1% (110,189 votes) among the 276,544 ballots cast by the county's 380,712 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 60.1% of the vote here (154,204 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 38.9% (99,839 votes) among the 257,364 ballots cast by the county's 353,085 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.9. The vote totals were significantly down in 2012 due to damage and displacement caused by Hurricane Sandy just days before the election.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 65.6% of the vote here (124,238 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 28.4% (53,761 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.8% (9,068 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (1,955 votes), among the 193,186 ballots cast by the county's 371,066 registered voters, yielding a 52.1% turnout.
Georgian Court University in Lakewood Township is a private Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy college, which opened in 1908 on the former winter estate of millionaire George Jay Gould I, son of railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Lakewood is also home to Beth Medrash Govoha, a Haredi yeshiva with 5,000 students, making it one of the largest yeshivas in the world and the largest outside the State of Israel.
Stockton University has a campus located in Manahawkin offering undergraduate and graduate colleges of the arts, sciences and professional studies of the New Jersey state system of higher education.
New Jersey's largest suburban school district, Toms River Regional Schools, is located in Ocean County. Toms River is also home to the county's only Roman Catholic high school, Monsignor Donovan High School, operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, which also has six elementary schools located in the county.
In addition to multiple public high schools, the county has an extensive vocational high school program, known as the Ocean County Vocational Technical School district. In addition to its campuses in Brick, Toms River, Waretown, and Jackson, it contains two magnet schools:
Six Flags Great Adventure, America's largest Six Flags theme park, is home to the world's tallest and formerly fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. The park also contains Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, New Jersey's largest water park, and the 2,200-acre (890 ha) Six Flags Wild Safari, the largest drive-thru animal safari outside of Africa.
Forty miles of barrier beaches form the Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor Bays, offering ample watersports. It also is home of the Tuckerton Seaport, a 40-acre (160,000 m2) maritime history village in Tuckerton. In addition to being the northeast gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens, Ocean County is also home to several state parks:
Ocean County is home to the Ocean County Mall in Toms River, featuring a gross leasable area of 898,000 square feet (83,400 m2). FirstEnergy Park opened in 2001 with 6,588 reserved seats and is home of the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Class A-affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Asbury Park Press provides daily news coverage of the county as does The Press of Atlantic City. Micromedia Publications publishes six weekly local newspapers in the county; their seventh covers Howell Township, New Jersey in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
92.7 WOBM provides news, traffic and weather updates.
91.9 WBNJ provides local news, PSAs and events; as well as weather updates.
Ocean County has various major roads that pass through. State routes that go through include Route 13, Route 35, Route 37, Route 70, Route 72, Route 88, and Route 166. Other major routes that pass through are U.S. Route 9, the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 195 (I-195 is the only Interstate to pass through Ocean County, solely in Jackson Township).
The county had a total of 2,958.5 miles (4,761.2 km) of roadways, of which 2,164.2 miles (3,482.9 km) are maintained by the municipality, 615.5 miles (990.6 km) by Ocean County and 140.19 miles (225.61 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 38.59 miles (62.10 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
NJ Transit's (NJT) North Jersey Coast Line railway line, which serves New York Penn Station, passing through Middlesex and Monmouth counties, offering service at the Bay Head and Point Pleasant Beach stations, located at the northernmost corner of the county. The Monmouth Ocean Middlesex Line is a passenger rail project proposed by NJT to serve he northern central part of the county. Southern Ocean County is also located about than 25 miles to the Atlantic City Line which provides service to Philadelphia.
Bus service is provided on NJ Transit bus routes 130, 132, 136, and 139 to and from Lakewood Bus Terminal on the U.S. Route 9 corridor. Expanded use Route 9 BBS (bus bypass shoulder lanes) is under study.
Bus route 559 provides service along Route 9 between Lakewood and Pleasantville before continuing to Atlantic City.
Bus route 137 provides service in three variants. One is a nonstop express between Toms River and New York that operates seven days a week. The other two are rush hour only services, one operating along County Route 549 between Toms River and Brick before continuing onto New York while the other begins and ends in Lakewood operating via County Line Road to the Brick park & rides before continuing to New York.
Bus route 67 operates between Toms River and Newark providing service along County Route 549 between Toms River and Brick before continuing onto Lakewood and points north.
Bus Route 317 crosses the county in an east-west fashion on its route between Philadelphia and Asbury Park. This route also provides service to Fort Dix and Camden among other destinations.
Bus route 319 makes a single stop in Toms River on its route between Atlantic City and New York.
Ocean Ride is a county wide system with 12 regular routes, many serving Ocean County Mall, which acts as transfer hub. Of these routes, only the OC 10 (Lavallette to Toms River) operates Monday-Saturday, with the OC 4 (Point Pleasant to Lakewood) operating Monday-Friday. All other routes run 2–3 days a week. Ocean Ride also provides paratransit service throughout the county.
Academy Bus provides service between various areas in the northern part of the county and New York.
Many of the retirement communities contract for the operation of shuttle buses to connect the communities with various shopping centers in the county.
Municipalities in Ocean County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed alongside their parent municipality (or municipalities). Most of these areas are census-designated places that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township. The numbers in parentheses stand for the numbers on the map.
|Municipality (map index)||Municipal
|Unincorporated communities / notes|
|Barnegat Light (6)||borough||574||1,282||0.85||0.12||0.73||785.1||1,753.6|
|Barnegat (29)||township||20,936||9,085||40.78||6.41||34.38||609.0||264.35||Barnegat CDP (2,817), Howardsville, Ocean Acres (part; 925 of 16,142), Warren Grove|
|Bay Head (16)||borough||968||1,023||0.70||0.12||0.58||1,662.8||1,757.3|
|Beach Haven (2)||borough||1,170||2,667||2.32||1.34||0.98||1,196.0||2,726.2|
|Berkeley Township (26)||township||41,255||23,818||56.00||13.13||42.86||962.5||555.7||Bayville (20,512), Cedar Beach, Crossley, Glen Cove, Holiday City-Berkeley (13,884), Holiday City South (3,689), Holiday Heights (2,099), Holly Park, Pelican Island, Silver Ridge (1,133)|
|Brick (23)||township||75,072||33,677||32.32||6.60||25.72||2,919.4||1,309.6||Adamston, Breton Woods, Burrsville, Herbertsville, Laurelton, Osbornsville, Parkway Pines|
|Eagleswood (31)||township||1,603||760||18.86||2.80||16.06||99.8||47.3||West Creek|
|Harvey Cedars (5)||borough||337||1,214||1.19||0.63||0.56||604.6||2,178.0|
|Island Heights (10)||borough||1,673||831||0.91||0.30||0.61||2,738.3||1,360.2|
|Jackson (21)||township||54,856||20,342||100.62||1.38||99.24||552.7||205.0||Bennetts Mills, Cassville, Harmony, Holmeson (part; 5,231), Jackson Mills, Prospertown, Vista Center (3,689), Whitesville|
|Lacey Township (27)||township||27,644||11,573||98.53||15.27||83.26||332.0||139.0||Aserdaten, Barnegat Pines, Forked River (5,244), Lanoka Harbor|
|Lakewood (22)||township||92,843||26,337||24.98||0.41||24.58||3,777.7||1,071.6||Lakewood CDP (53,805), Leisure Village (4,400), Leisure Village East (4,217)|
|Little Egg Harbor (33)||township||20,065||10,324||73.05||25.69||47.37||423.6||218.0||Mystic Island (8,493), Nugentown, Parkertown Warren Grove, West Tuckerton|
|Long Beach (32)||township||3,051||9,216||22.04||16.59||5.44||560.5||1,693.0||High Bar Harbor, Loveladies, North Beach Haven (2,235)|
|Manchester (25)||township||43,070||25,886||82.69||1.07||81.62||527.7||317.2||Bullock, Cedar Glen Lakes (1,421), Cedar Glen West (1,267), Crestwood Village (7,907), Leisure Knoll (2,490), Leisure Village West (3,493), Pine Lake Park (8,707), Pine Ridge at Crestwood (2,369), Ridgeway, Roosevelt City, Wheatland, Whiting|
|Ocean Gate (9)||borough||2,011||1,203||0.45||0.01||0.45||4,490.3||2,686.1|
|Ocean Township (28)||township||8,332||4,291||32.04||11.49||20.56||405.3||208.8||Brookville, Waretown (1,569)|
|Pine Beach (11)||borough||2,127||903||0.62||0.00||0.61||3,465.4||1,471.2|
|Plumsted Township (20)||township||8,421||3,067||40.15||0.44||39.71||212.1||77.2||Archertown, Brindletown, New Egypt (2,512)|
|Point Pleasant (18)||borough||18,392||8,331||4.17||0.68||3.49||5,272.1||2,388.1|
|Point Pleasant Beach (17)||borough||4,665||3,373||1.74||0.32||1.43||3,270.1||2,364.4||Clark's Landing|
|Seaside Heights (8)||borough||2,887||3,003||0.75||0.13||0.62||4,662.9||4,850.2|
|Seaside Park (7)||borough||1,579||2,703||0.77||0.12||0.65||2,429.4||4,158.7|
|Ship Bottom (3)||borough||1,156||2,066||1.00||0.29||0.71||1,620.6||2,896.3|
|South Toms River (13)||borough||3,684||1,160||1.23||0.06||1.17||3,146.7||990.8|
|Stafford Township (30)||township||26,535||13,604||54.88||9.03||45.85||578.8||296.7||Beach Haven West (3,896), Cedar Run, Manahawkin (2,303), Mayetta, Ocean Acres (part; 15,217 of 16,142), Warren Grove|
|Surf City (4)||borough||1,205||2,566||0.92||0.17||0.75||1,616.5||3,442.4|
|Toms River (24)||township||91,239||43,334||52.88||12.40||40.49||2,253.5||1,070.3||Cattus Island, Chadwick Beach Island, Dover Beaches North (1,239), Dover Beaches South (1,209), Gilford Park, Pelican Island, Silverton|
Beth Medrash Gohova is said to be the world’s largest Jewish-affiliated university outside of Israel.
The sea change can be pinned to one event: The founding of the Beth Medrash Govoha yeshiva in the mid-20th century. The Orthodox Jewish community has set down roots en masse around the religious school, which is now the largest yeshiva in North America.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ocean County, New Jersey.|