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Salem County, New Jersey
Seal of Salem County, New Jersey
Map of New Jersey highlighting Salem County
Location in the state of New Jersey
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Founded information needed
Seat Salem
Largest city Pennsville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

373 sq mi (966 km²)
338 sq mi (875 km²)
35 sq mi (91 km²), 9.31%
 - (2010)
 - Density

196/sq mi (75.5/km²)

Salem County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 66,083. Its county seat is Salem[1]. This county is part of the Delaware Valley area.

The Old Salem County Courthouse, situated on the same block as the Salem County Courthouse, serves as the court for Salem City. It is the oldest active courthouse in New Jersey and is the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in the United States, the oldest being King William County Courthouse (1725) in Virginia.[2] The courthouse was built in 1735 during the reign of King George II using locally manufactured bricks.[3] The building was enlarged in 1817 and additionally enlarged and remodeled in 1908. Its distinctive bell tower is essentially unchanged and the original bell sits in the courtroom.

Judge William Hancock of the King's Court presided at the courthouse.[4] He was later unintentionally killed by the British in the American Revolutionary War during the massacre of Hancock House committed by the British against local militia during the Salem Raid in 1778. The courthouse was afterwards the scene of the "treason trials," wherein suspected Loyalists were put on trial for having allegedly aided the British during the Salem Raid. Four men were convicted and sentenced to death for treason; however, they were pardoned by Governor William Livingston and exiled from New Jersey. The courthouse is also the site of the legend of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proving the edibility of the tomato. Before 1820, Americans often assumed tomatoes were poisonous. In 1820, Colonel Johnson, according to legend, stood upon the courthouse steps and ate tomatoes in front of a large amazed crowd assembled to watch him do so.[5]

Salem County is also notable for its distinctive Quaker-inspired architecture and masonry styles of the 18th century.[6]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 373 square miles (970 km2), of which, 338 square miles (880 km2) of it is land and 35 square miles (91 km2) of it (9.31%) is water.

The terrain is almost uniformly flat coastal plain, with minimal relief. The highest elevation in the county has never been determined with any specificity, but is likely one of seven low rises in Upper Pittsgrove Township that exceed 160 feet (48.7 m) in elevation. Sea level is the lowest point.

Adjacent counties[]

Salem County Courhouse, 17 June 2010

1across Delaware Bay; no land border

National protected area[]

  • Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 10,437
1800 11,371 8.9%
1810 12,761 12.2%
1820 14,022 9.9%
1830 14,155 0.9%
1840 16,024 13.2%
1850 19,467 21.5%
1860 22,458 15.4%
1870 23,940 6.6%
1880 24,579 2.7%
1890 25,151 2.3%
1900 25,530 1.5%
1910 26,999 5.8%
1920 36,572 35.5%
1930 36,834 0.7%
1940 42,274 14.8%
1950 49,508 17.1%
1960 58,711 18.6%
1970 60,346 2.8%
1980 64,676 7.2%
1990 65,294 1.0%
2000 64,285 −1.5%
2010 66,083 2.8%
historical census data source:[7][8]


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 64,285 people, 24,295 households, and 17,370 families residing in the county. The population density was 190 people per square mile (73/km²). There were 26,158 housing units at an average density of 77 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.19% White, 14.77% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. 3.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.0% were of German, 13.2% Irish, 12.8% Italian, 11.1% English and 7.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 24,295 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.80% were married couples living together, 13.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,573, and the median income for a family was $54,890. Males had a median income of $41,860 versus $27,209 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,874. About 7.20% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.30% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.


Salem County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of seven members. Freeholders are elected at large by the voters of Salem County in partisan elections and serve staggered three-year terms. As of 2012, Salem County's Freeholders are:[11]

  • Julie A. Acton, Director
  • Bruce L. Bobbitt
  • Dale A. Cross
  • Ben Laury
  • Beth E. Timberman
  • Robert Vanderslice
  • Lee R. Ware


In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Republican George W. Bush carried the county by a 6.6% margin over Democrat John Kerry, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush.[12]

However, in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama carried the county by a 4% margin over Republican John McCain, with Obama receiving 57.27% statewide.[13]

Salem County falls entirely within New Jersey's 2nd congressional district, which is currently represented by a Republican in Congress, Frank LoBiondo. However, it also falls entirely with in New Jersey's 3rd legislative district, which is represented in the New Jersey Legislature by three Democrats.

2011 General Election: As a result of the 2011 general election, which was held on November 8, Republicans will take control of county government in January 2012 with a 4-3 majority of the Board of Chosen Freeholders. For a decade prior to 2011, Salem County voters had consistently chosen the county's Democratic candidates to control the county government. [14] The unofficial results of the general election, as reported the day after the election, were as follows [15]:

  • Dale A. Cross (R) - 8,395
  • Bruce L. Bobbitt (D) - 8,073
  • Robert Vanderslice (R) - 7,143
  • Gwyn Parris-Atwell (R) - 7,090
  • Michael D. Burke (D) - 6,527
  • John F. Hall (D) - 6,257
  • Ken James (I) - 1,002
  • Ed Spinelli (I) - 990
  • Kasey Carmer (I) - 548


Salem is served by many different roads. Major county routes include CR 540, CR 551, CR 553 (only in Pittsgrove) and CR 581. State highways include Route 45, Route 47, Route 48 (only in Carney's Point), Route 56 (only in Pittsgrove), Route 77 and Route 140 (only in Carney's Point). The U.S. routes are U.S. Route 40 and the southern end of U.S. Route 130.

Limited access roads include Interstate 295, the Delaware Memorial Bridge (which is signed as I-295/US 40) and the New Jersey Turnpike. Both highways pass through the northern part of the county. Only one turnpike interchange is located in Salem: Exit 1 in Carneys Point (which is also where the turnpike ends).


The following municipalities are located in Salem County. The municipality type is listed in parentheses after the name, except where the type is included as part of the name. Other, unincorporated areas in the county are listed below their parent municipality (or municipalities, as the case may be). Most of these areas are census-designated places 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 marked as non-CDP next to the name.

Index map of Salem County municipalities (click to see index key)

  • Alloway Township
    • Alloway CDP
  • Carneys Point Township
    • Carneys Point CDP
  • Elmer (borough)
  • Elsinboro Township
  • Lower Alloways Creek Township
  • Mannington Township
  • Oldmans Township
  • Penns Grove (borough)
  • Pennsville Township
    • Pennsville CDP
  • Pilesgrove Township
  • Pittsgrove Township
    • Olivet
  • Quinton Township
  • Salem (city)
  • Upper Pittsgrove Township
  • Woodstown (borough)

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Salem County, New Jersey


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Welcome to King William County
  3. ^ Welcome to Salem, New Jersey
  4. ^ William Hancock House, Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey, Cup O'Jersey - South Jersey History
  5. ^ "The Story of Robert Gibbon Johnson and the Tomato", The History Highway of the Salem County Historical Society. May 2005. Accessed August 13, 2007. Archived July 24, 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Bishir, Catherine (2005). North Carolina Architecture. UNC Press. pp. 17. 
  7. ^ "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880 - 1930". 
  8. ^ "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  9. ^ "The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010". U.S. Census Bureau. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ Salem County 2012 Board of Chosen Freeholders, Salem County. Accessed 16 January 2012.
  12. ^ New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "Presidential Election: Winners by County". The Washington Post. 
  14. ^, published on Wednesday, November 09, 2011
  15. ^, published on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°35′N 75°22′W / 39.58, -75.36

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Salem County, New Jersey. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.