Union County, New Jersey
Infobox U.S. County
county = Union County
state = New Jersey
map size = 100
founded = 1857
seat = Elizabeth
area percentage = 2.06%
census yr = 2000
pop = 522541
density_km2 = 1953
web = http://www.ucnj.org/
Union County is a
countylocated in the U.S. stateof New Jersey. As of the 2000 Census, the population is 522,541. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seatis ElizabethGR|6. Union County ranks 92nd among the highest-income counties in the United States. It also ranks 74th in the United States by personal per-capita income. [ [http://www.bea.gov/regional/reis/pcpihigh.cfm 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3111 Counties in the United States, 2006] , Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed May 2, 2008.] 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 U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 105
square miles (273 km²), of which, 103 square miles (268 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (2.06%) 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 Mountainscross 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.
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
Morris County, New Jersey- west
estref= [cite web
title=QuickFacts: Union County, New Jersey
U.S. Census Bureau
footnote=historical census data source: [cite web
title=New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880 - 1930] [cite web
title=Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser
University of VirginiaLibrary
accessdate=2007-03-02] As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 522,541 people, 186,124 households, and 133,264 families residing in the county. The population densitywas 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 incomefor 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 Americanresidents as well as a large number of Irish Americansand residents of Northern European descent in general. Plainfield, Roselle, Linden, Rahway, and Elizabeth all have large African Americancommunities. Roselle Parkhas a notably large Indian Americancommunity, and Roselle Park, Linden, Rahway, and Plainfield, and particularly Elizabeth, have fast-growing Hispanicand Portuguese populations. There are fair-sized Jewish-Americancommunities in Springfield, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, and Summit, though not on the level of Essex County.
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, George W. Devanney.
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 the Economic Development Committee, the Parks and Recreation Board, the Libraries Committee, and the Policy Committee, to name a few. In addition, the Board oversees the county's Open Space Trust Fund.
As of the January 2008 reorganization, Union County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada (Elizabeth), Freeholder Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella (Roselle Park), Chester Holmes (Rahway), Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford), Rick Proctor (Rahway), Deborah P. Scanlon (Union), Daniel P. Sullivan (Elizabeth), Rayland Van Blake (Plainfield) and Nancy Ward (Linden). [http://www.unioncountynj.org/freeholders/index.html Board of Chosen Freeholders] , Union County, New Jersey. Accessed
February 20, 2008.]
In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election,
John Kerrycarried the county by a 18.1% margin over George W. Bush, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush. [ [http://www.njvoterinfo.org/2004presNJ.htm New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004] , Eagleton Institute of Politicsat Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.]
The county is served by numerous transportation modes including rail, air, highways and ports.
Passenger rail service is provide by
New Jersey Transitvia the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Raritan Valley Line, the Morristown Lineand the Gladstone Branch. Freight service is provided by on Conrail's Lehigh Lineand Chemical Coast Branch.
Elizabeth Marine Terminalis part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The southern portion of
Newark Liberty International Airportis located in Elizabeth, within Union County.
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