You Might Like
The boardwalk in <a href="/content/Asbury_Park,_New_Jersey" style="color:blue">Asbury Park</a>
The boardwalk in Asbury Park

Monmouth County (/ˈmɒnməθ/) is a county located on the coast of New Jersey, in the United States within the New York metropolitan area, and the northernmost county along the Jersey Shore. As of the 2018 Census estimate, the county's population was 621,354, making it the state's fifth-most populous county,[2][3][4] representing a decrease of 0.6% from the 2010 Census, when the population was enumerated at 630,380,[5] in turn an increase of 15,079 from 615,301 at the 2000 Census.[6] As of 2010, the county fell to the fifth-most populous county in the state, having been surpassed by Hudson County.[7][8] Its county seat is Freehold Borough.[1] The most populous place was Middletown Township, with 66,522 residents at the time of the 2010 Census, while Howell Township covered 61.21 square miles (158.5 km2), the largest total area of any municipality.[8]

In 2015, the county had a per capita personal income of $69,410, the fifth-highest in New Jersey and ranked 74th of 3,113 counties in the United States.[9][10] Monmouth County ranked 38th among the highest-income counties in the United States as of 2011, placing it among the top 1.2% of counties by wealth.[11] As of 2009, it was ranked 56th in the United States by personal per-capita income.[12]


In 1609, the English navigator, Henry Hudson, and his crew aboard the Dutch vessel Half Moon spotted land in what is now Monmouth County,[13] most likely off Sandy Hook; however, some historical accounts credit this landing to present-day Keansburg. Among the first European settlers and majority landowners in the area were Richard and Penelope Stout. Penelope miraculously survived her wounds from a native attack in Sandy Hook and further lived to the age of 110. Additionally, a group of Quaker families from Long Island settled the Monmouth Tract, an early land grant from Richard Nicolls issued in 1665. They were followed by a group of Scottish settlers who inhabited Freehold Township in about 1682–85, followed several years later by Dutch settlers. As they arrived in this area, they were greeted by Lenape Native Americans, who lived in scattered small family bands and developed a largely amicable relationship with the new arrivals.[14] Enslaved Africans were present in the area from at least 1680, and by 1726 made up 9% of the total population of the county.[15]

Monmouth County was established on March 7, 1683, while part of the province of East Jersey. On October 31, 1693, the county was partitioned into the townships of Freehold, Middletown and Shrewsbury.[16] Its name may come from the Rhode Island Monmouth Society[17] or from a suggestion from Colonel Lewis Morris that the county should be named after Monmouthshire in Wales, Great Britain. Other suggestions include that it was named for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (1649–1685), who had many allies among the East Jersey leadership.[18] In 1714, the first county government was established.

At the June 28, 1778, Battle of Monmouth, near Freehold Township, General George Washington's soldiers battled the British under Sir Henry Clinton, in the longest land battle of the American Revolutionary War. It was at Monmouth that the tactics and training from Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben developed at Valley Forge during the winter encampment were first implemented on a large scale.[19]

At independence, Monmouth's population included 1,640 slaves, as well as an undetermined number of free African Americans. The number of enslaved persons fell steeply after 1820, though a small number remained until at least 1850. Monmouth's free African American population climbed from 353 in 1790 to 2,658 in 1860.[15]

Ocean County was carved out of Monmouth County in 1850.


According to the 2010 census, the county had a total area of 665.32 square miles (1,723.2 km2), including 468.79 square miles (1,214.2 km2) of land (70.5%) and 196.53 square miles (509.0 km2) of water (29.5%).[8][20]

Much of Monmouth County remains flat and low-lying even far inland. However, there are some low hills in and around Holmdel Township, and one of them, Crawford Hill, the former site of a radar facility, is the county's highest point, variously listed at 380 to 391 feet (116 to 119 m) above sea level.[21][22] The top portion of the hill is owned by Alcatel-Lucent and houses a research laboratory of Bell Laboratories.[23] The northeastern portion of the county, in the Locust section of Middletown Township and the boroughs of Highlands and Atlantic Highlands, are also very hilly. The lowest point is sea level.

Along with adjacent Ocean County, Monmouth County is a mecca of boating and fishing. Its waterways include several rivers and bays that flow from the Raritan Bayshore into Raritan Bay and Lower New York Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean. The Manasquan Inlet is located in the county, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the estuary of the Manasquan River, a bay-like body of saltwater that serves as the starting point of the Intracoastal Waterway, which attracts as many as 1,600 boats each weekend during the peak season.[24]

The county adjoins:[25]


As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 630,380 people, 233,983 households, and 163,320.134 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,344.7 per square mile (519.2/km2). There were 258,410 housing units at an average density of 551.2 per square mile (212.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 82.60% (520,716) White, 7.37% (46,443) Black or African American, 0.19% (1,211) Native American, 4.96% (31,258) Asian, 0.03% (211) Pacific Islander, 2.89% (18,187) from other races, and 1.96% (12,354) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.67% (60,939) of the population.[5]

There were 233,983 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.22.[5]

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.9 males.[5]

As of the 2000 United States Census[29] there were 615,301 people, 224,236 households, and 160,328 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,304 people per square mile (503/km²). There were 240,884 housing units at an average density of 510 per square mile (197/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.39% White, 8.06% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 3.97% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.74% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. 6.20% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[6][30] Based on the first ancestries reported by Monmouth County residents in the 2000 Census, 23.2% of residents were of Italian ancestry, 23.0% Irish, 14.0% German, 7.5% Polish and 7.0% English ancestry.[30][31]

There were 224,236 households out of which 35.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.24.[6]

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.[6]

The median income for a household in the county was $64,271, and the median income for a family was $76,823. Males had a median income of $55,030 versus $35,415 for females. The per capita income for the county was $31,149. About 4.5% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.[30] [32]


Monmouth County is governed by a five-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large for three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year. Each January, the freeholders select one of their members to serve as the director of the board for the year to preside over the meetings and activities of the board. Monmouth County's Freeholders have both administrative and policy making powers. The freeholders oversee the five mandatory functions of county government delegated to it by the state. Each freeholder is assigned responsibility for one of the five functional areas: Administration and Special Services; Public Works and Engineering; Human Services, Health and Transportation; Finance and Administration of Justice, overseeing more than 70 county departments in total.[33] In 2016, freeholders were paid $27,000 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $27,900.[34]

County Administrator Teri O'Connor, an appointed position, serves as the county's chief executive officer, and is responsible for carrying out the policies and directives established by the Board of Chosen Freeholders and managing the daily operations of the county's more than 3,000 employees.[35]

As of 2018, Monmouth County's Freeholders are:[33][36][37]

Gerry P. Scharfenberger, who had served on the Middletown Township Committee for 14 years, was sworn into office in February 2018 to fill the seat expiring in December 2019 that had been held by Serena DiMaso until she resigned after taking office in the New Jersey General Assembly; Scharfenberger will serve on an interim basis until the November 2018 general election, when voters will select a candidate to serve the balance of the term of office.[43]

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).[44] Monmouth county's constitutional officers are:[36]

Christopher J. Gramiccioni of Wall Township is the county's prosecutor, having been formally nominated to the position by Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie in May 2016.[51][52] Gramiccioni had been serving on an acting basis for almost four years, since being appointed to the post in July 2012 by Attorney General of New Jersey Jeffrey S. Chiesa.[53]

Monmouth County constitutes Vicinage 9 of the New Jersey Superior Court and is seated at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold Borough, with additional facilities in Freehold and Ocean Township; the Assignment Judge for Vicinage 9 is Lisa P. Thornton.[54]

The 4th and 6th Congressional Districts cover the county.[55][56] For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Chris Smith (R, Hamilton Township).[57][58] For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch).[59][60]

The county is part of the 11th, 12th, 13th and 30th Districts in the New Jersey Legislature.[61] For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 11th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Vin Gopal (D, Long Branch) and in the General Assembly by Joann Downey (D, Freehold Township) and Eric Houghtaling (D, Neptune Township).[62][63] 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).[64][65] For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 13th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Declan O'Scanlon (R, Little Silver) and in the General Assembly by Amy Handlin (R, Middletown Township) and Serena DiMaso (R, Holmdel Township).[66][67] 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).[68][69]


As of July 31, 2019, there were a total of 458,249 registered voters in Monmouth County, of whom 127,958 (27.9%) were registered as Democrats, 127,235 (27.8%) were registered as Republicans and 198,078 (43.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4,978 (1.1%) voters registered to other parties.[70] Among the county's 2010 Census population, 89% of residents of age 18 and over were registered to vote.[70][71]

The Republican Party had held all five Freeholder seats until 2006, but after the 2006 and 2008 elections, Democrats controlled the Board by a 3–2 margin. The Board swung back in favor of the Republicans after the 2009 election when Republican John Curley beat Democrat Sean Byrnes. Both were running to succeed former Freeholder Director Barbara McMorrow, a Democrat, who had chosen not to seek re-election. In 2010, former mayor of Neptune City, NJ, Thomas Arnone (R) and incumbent Freeholder Robert Clifton (R) won seats giving Republicans control of the Board of Chosen Freeholders by a 4–1 margin.[72]

In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried the county by a 10% margin over John Kerry, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush.[73] In 2008, John McCain carried Monmouth by an unexpectedly close margin of only 3.7% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama winning New Jersey by 15.5% over McCain. In the state's U.S. Senatorial election that same year, Dick Zimmer also won here, by a 6.2% margin over incumbent Frank Lautenberg, with Lautenberg winning reelection by 14.1% over Zimmer.[74] In the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 166,723 (53%) of the vote, Democrat Hillary Clinton received 137,181 (43.6%) of the vote, and other candidates received 10,473 (3.3%) of the vote.[75] In the 2009 Gubernatorial Election, Republican Chris Christie received 62% of the vote, defeating Democrat Jon Corzine, who received around 31%. In the 2017 Gubernational Election, Republican Kim Guadagno received 101,525 (55%) of the vote, and Democrat Phil Murphy received 79,423 (43%) of the vote.[76]

In the 2018 United States Midterms, there were 261,419 votes cast for the United States Senate. 112,383 (43%) voted for Democrat Bob Menedez, 140,628 (53.8%) voted for Republican Bob Hugin, while other candidates from 6 different parties received a total of 8,408 (3.2%) of the vote.[77] Monmouth County has two Congressional Districts within it: the 4th and 6th. For the 4th district 178,640 ballots were cast within Monmouth County, of which 93,491 (52.3%) voted for Republican Chris Smith, 82,535 (46.2%) voted for Democrat Joshua Welle, and 2,614 (1.5%) voted for candidates of other parties. For the 6th district, 80,977 ballots were cast within Monmouth County, of which 44,405 (54.8%) voted for Democrat Frank Pallone, and 36,572 (45.2%) voted for Republican Richard J. Pezzullo.[78]


Monmouth County has numerous important roads that pass through. As of May 2010, the county had a total of 3,354.67 miles (5,398.82 km) of roadways, of which 2,762.31 miles (4,445.51 km) are maintained by the local municipality, 360.42 miles (580.04 km) by Monmouth County and 204.89 miles (329.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 27.05 miles (43.53 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.[80]

The state routes include Route 18, Route 33, Route 33 Business, Route 34, Route 35, Route 36, Route 66, Route 70, Route 71, Route 79, and Route 138. U.S. Route 9 passes through and practically bisects Monmouth, stretching through the county for more than 20 miles (32 km) from Lakewood in Ocean County in the south to Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County to the north.[81]

Limited access roads include Interstate 195, the only interstate to pass through the county, which extends for 8.4 miles (13.5 km) from Jackson in Ocean County on the west to Wall in Monmouth County on the east.[82] The New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) just misses the county border by 0.2 miles (0.32 km) near Upper Freehold Township. The Garden State Parkway extends 26.5 miles (42.6 km) from Brick Township in Ocean County in the south to Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County to the north.[83] The Parkway's Monmouth Service Area is located at milepost 100, between exits 98 and 100.[84]

Numerous NJ Transit buses crisscross and deliver hundreds of passengers each day to northern New Jersey and New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan as well as the 317 bus line going into Philadelphia. Many hundreds more each day travel on NJ Transit Rail Operations' North Jersey Coast Line, which serves Penn Station in New York City, and passes through Middlesex County, entering Monmouth County at the Raritan River, with 14 stations covering the length of the county, connecting the New York region to Atlantic Ocean shore communities.[85]


Municipalities in Monmouth County (with 2010 Census data for housing units and area in square miles, as well as 2018 estimates for population) are listed below.[86][87] Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed next to their parent municipality. Many of these areas are census-designated places (labeled as CDPs) that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a township, with the 2010 Census population listed. Other communities and enclaves that exist within a municipality are also listed.

Fire departments

Monmouth County is covered by 53 different fire departments, which contain 135 individual fire companies and over 7,000 volunteer firefighters, who are all represented by the Monmouth County Firemen's Association.[88]

The Monmouth County Fire Marshal's Office is responsible for training all of the firefighters through the Monmouth County Fire Academy, as well as investigating any fires which may be deemed suspicious and/or involving a fatality. The Monmouth County fire marshal, currently Kevin Stout, and his staff – including assistant fire marshals and academy staff – are appointed by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders.[89]

With the exception of the fully professional Asbury Park Fire Department and the US Navy Fire Department at NWS Earle, the remainder of the municipalities in the county have volunteer or combination fire departments.[90] The largest volunteer department is in Middletown Township with 11 stations and 350 active members, special services, air and fire police units, in addition to operating its own training facility.[91]

In terms of hazardous material (HazMat) emergencies, very few towns, notably Middletown which has a special services unit, have special units to respond to these types of emergencies. Fort Monmouth responded to most HazMat cases prior to the closing of the base. Naval Weapons Station Earle is also available for HazMat incidents.

The oldest fire department in the county in continuous operation is the Hope Fire Company in Allentown, organized in 1856. The newest fire department, Holmdel Fire Co. No. 2 was established in 2006.

Monmouth County utilizes a mutual aid system, in which surrounding municipalities are available to send their resources to incidents where extra help or expertise is needed.[92]

Coroners and medical examiners

Jordan Woolley served as coroner circa 1880.[93] John W. Flock Sr. was the coroner in 1902.[94] The office of medical examiner was merged with Middlesex County, New Jersey in 2016.[95] Dr. Diane Karluk, M.D. is the medical examiner serving Mercer County, Middlesex County and Monmouth County.[96][97]


Monmouth University is a four-year private university located in West Long Branch that was founded in 1933 as Monmouth Junior College.[98][99]

Brookdale Community College is the two-year community college for Monmouth County, one of a network of 19 county colleges statewide. The school is located in the Lincroft section of Middletown Township, having been founded in 1967.[100] Rutgers University has a partnership with Brookdale which offers bachelor's degree completion programs at Brookdale's Freehold campus.[101]

In addition to multiple public high schools, parochial schools in Monmouth County include St. Rose High School, Red Bank Catholic High School, Christian Brothers Academy, St. John Vianney High School, and Mater Dei High School, which operate under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.[102] A secular private school, Ranney School, is also located in the county.

The county has an extensive vocational high school program, known as the Monmouth County Vocational School District, including five magnet schools:[103]

Climate and weather

Monmouth County has a humid subtropical climate. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Freehold Borough have ranged from a low of 22 °F (−6 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −13 °F (−25 °C) was recorded in January 1984 and a record high of 106 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 2011. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.98 inches (76 mm) in February to 5.08 inches (129 mm) in July.[104]

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused catastrophic damage to coastal areas of Monmouth County. As Sandy's surge arrived in Monmouth County, flood levels of 13.31 feet (4.06 m) above normal were measured at Sandy Hook shortly before the destruction of the tidal station, breaking all previous local records. The surge caused waves as high as 32.5 feet (9.9 m), measured where the Sandy Hook Bay meets the New York Bay.[105]

Points of Interest

Wineries, breweries, and distilleries

See also

You Might Like