According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 100.55 square miles (260.43 km2), including 99.17 square miles (256.86 km2) of land and 1.38 square miles (3.57 km2) of water (1.37%). Jackson is the largest municipality by area in Ocean County.
Vista Center (with a 2010 population of 2,095) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Jackson Township. Other unincorporated communities, localities and populated places located completely or partially within the township include Archers Corner, Bennetts Mills, Burksville, Butterfly Bridge, Cassville, Colliers Mills, DeBow Corner, Francis Mills, Grayville, Harmony, Holmansville, Holmeson, Hyson, Jackson Mills, Kapps Corner, Leesville, Legler, Maryland, Midwood, New Prospect, Pleasant Grove, Prospertown, Ridgeway State Forest, Success, The Alligator, Van Hiseville, Webbsville, Whitesbridge and Whitesville.
Jackson Township, New Jersey, gets 45 inches (1,100 mm) of rain per year. Snowfall is 23 inches (580 mm) inches and the number of days with any measurable precipitation is 115. On average, there are 206 sunny days per year in Jackson. The July high is around 86 degrees and the January low is 23. The comfort index is 45 out of 100.
Of the 19,417 households, 35.2% had children under the age of 18; 63.8% were married couples living together; 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 22.5% were non-families. Of all households, 18.2% were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.21.
24.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 94.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $86,327 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,941) and the median family income was $96,171 (+/- $2,734). Males had a median income of $68,985 (+/- $4,126) versus $45,714 (+/- $2,238) for females. The per capita income for the township was $34,521 (+/- $912). About 2.8% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.4% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.
There were 14,176 households, out of which 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.5% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the township the population was spread out, with 29.7% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $65,218, and the median income for a family was $71,045. Males had a median income of $51,276 versus $33,882 for females. The per capita income for the township was $23,981. About 2.5% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
Orthodox Jewish community
Since 2016, the Orthodox Jewish population has been growing in central and eastern Jackson Township, along the border with Lakewood Township, due to the more affordable housing and quieter lifestyle that Jackson Township offers over Lakewood. By 2020, the Orthodox Jewish community had grown to approximately 500 families, out of 19,400 total households, from a limited presence just a few years prior.
A series of pending lawsuits allege that Jackson Township has passed multiple ordinances trying to stymie movement from Lakewood to Jackson. A "no knock" ordinance had been passed by Jackson prohibiting door-to-door solicitation after residents complained of an increase in real estate solicitations. Ordinances were passed that were restrictive to the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle; efforts to open yeshivas in the township, often accompanied by dormitories, were blocked by newly adopted ordinances that restricted new schools and prohibited dormitories. Eruvs (symbolic religious enclosures) were determined not to meet building and construction codes after a new ordinance was passed that tightened restrictions on items placed in the public "right-of-way". To address this last concern, the township entered into a preliminary settlement allowing eruvs in some parts of town, and proposed a town-wide solution that was ultimately deemed impractical.
Near Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari is Jackson Premium Outlets, a retail outlet center with 70 stores and a gross leasable area of 285,719 square feet (26,544.2 m2). It opened in 1997 and was expanded in 1998.
The Asbury Park Press provides daily news coverage of the township, as does WOBM-FM radio. The township provides material and commentary to The Jackson Times, which is one of seven weekly papers from Micromedia Publications. In addition, JTOWN Magazine provides news, sports and other local information.
In 2015, the Jackson Little League 12-year-old All-Stars won the state championship, and went on to the Mid-Atlantic Regional final where they lost to Red Land Little League from Pennsylvania who eventually won the U.S. Championship, but fell to the team from Japan in the 2015 Little League World Series.
Jackson Township adopted the Mayor-Council form of government under the Faulkner Act as of July 1, 2006. The township is one of 71 of 565 municipalities statewide governed under this form. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the five-member Township Council, who are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis. Council members serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election in even-numbered years as part of the November general election. The Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office that comes up for election during the same year that two council seats are up for a vote. The Council selects a President and a vice president from among its members. Until 2006, Jackson Township was governed under the Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee, whose members were elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. In June 2011, the Township Council passed an ordinance shifting nonpartisan elections from May to November.
As of 2020[update], the Mayor of Jackson Township is Michael "Mike" Reina, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Township Council members are Council Vice President Alexander Sauickie III (2022), Kenneth J. Bressi (2020), Martin Flemming (2020; appointed to serve an unexpired term) and Andrew Kern (2022), with the position of Council President vacant.
In May 2020, Council President Barry Calogero resigned from office from his term expiring in December 2020.
In January 2020, the Township Council appointed Martin Flemming to fill the seat expiring in December 2020 that became vacant following the resignation of Robert Nixon.
Public safety departments
Jackson Township has its own Police Department which was established in 1946 and which operates out of the Municipal Justice Complex. The Chief of Police is Matthew D. Kunz.
Jackson Township has three fire districts and an industrial fire department:
Station 54 – Jackson Mills Fire Co./Jackson Fire District No. 4 (combination volunteer / career) Chief Trask O'Hara
Station 55 – Jackson Township Fire Co. No. 1/Jackson Twp Fire District No. 3 (combination) Chief Timothy Carson
Station 56 – Cassville Fire Co./Jackson Fire District No. 2 (combination volunteer/career) Chief Chuck Bunnell
Station 57 – Whitesville Fire Co./Jackson Fire District No. 2 (combination volunteer/career) Chief Flemming
Station 58 – Six Flags Fire Department Captain Matthew Jordan (Career) 
Jackson Township has 3 Fire Bureaus that enforce the NJ Uniform Fire Safety Act:
Jackson Bureau of Fire Prevention District 2 Fire Official Scott Rauch
Jackson Bureau of Fire Prevention District 4 Fire Official John Burmiester Jr. Fire Inspector Stanley O'Brien Jr.
Jackson Bureau of Fire Safety Fire Districts 3 Fire Official Mike Grossman
Emergency Medical Services
Currently emergency medical services are provided by the township's first aid squad. Six Flags EMS provides coverage in a mutual aid capacity to County Route 537 throughout the year when requested by Ocean County.
Squad 22 - Jackson Township EMS (Combination Career/Volunteer) Chief Al Couceiro
Squad 80 - Six Flags EMS covers EMS calls on park property throughout the year. (Career) - Safety Manager Brian Chamberlain
Advanced life support E.M.S., (i.e., paramedics or "Mobile Intensive Care Units"), is provided by hospital providers under a statewide system mandated by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Jackson Township is served primarily by MONOC paramedic units. until April 1, 2020 at 07:00 hrs at which time, MONOC will be out of business and RWJ Mobile Healthcare will assume responsibility for providing ALS service to Jackson Township.
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. As of 2019[update], Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are
Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines (R, 2019, Toms River; Parks and Recreation and Natural Lands),
Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Kelly (R, 2019, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety),
Gerry P. Little (R, 2021, Surf City; Roads),
Gary Quinn (R, 2021, Lacey Township; Human Services and Transportation) and
Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2020, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are
County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2019, Barnegat Light),
Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2019; Toms River) and
Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2023, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 34,003 registered voters in Jackson Township, of which 7,177 (21.1%) were registered as Democrats, 7,693 (22.6%) were registered as Republicans and 19,108 (56.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 25 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 62.0% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 82.3% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 62.5% of the vote (16,910 cast), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 34.3% (9,275 votes), and other candidates with 3.2% (856 votes), among the 27,041 cast by the township's voters. In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 55.5% of the vote (13,752 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 43.3% (10,728 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (279 votes), among the 24,925 ballots cast by the township's 36,446 registered voters (166 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 68.4%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 55.2% of the vote (14,069 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 43.0% (10,951 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (296 votes), among the 25,480 ballots cast by the township's 34,749 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 58.7% of the vote (12,451 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 39.9% (8,458 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (185 votes), among the 21,202 ballots cast by the township's 29,329 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.3.
In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Republican Kim Guadagno received 62.0% of the vote (9,232 cast), ahead of Democrat Phil Murphy with 36.0% (5,359 votes), and other candidates with 1.9% (288 votes), among the 14,879 cast by the township's voters. In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 73.9% of the vote (11,171 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.4% (3,693 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (259 votes), among the 15,356 ballots cast by the township's 36,215 registered voters (233 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 66.8% of the vote (11,564 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 26.7% (4,620 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.3% (737 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (194 votes), among the 17,315 ballots cast by the township's 34,318 registered voters, yielding a 50.5% turnout.
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 312.39 miles (502.74 km) of roadways, of which 201.70 miles (324.60 km) were maintained by the municipality, 101.77 miles (163.78 km) by Ocean County and 8.92 miles (14.36 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
^Reiss, Fraidy. "Feeling adventurous?", Asbury Park Press, March 31, 2007, accessed April 18, 2007. "Elsewhere in the park, Kingda Ka looms 456 feet high. It remains the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, said park president Kane."
^Mulvaney, Nicole. "Six Flags Great Adventure launches off-road safari adventure in Jackson", NJ.com, May 24, 2013. Accessed March 13, 2017. "Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson previewed its 350-acre safari off-road adventure today, driving members of the press and others through a landscape of 1,200 exotic animals from across the globe.... Following the fall 2012 closing of the drive-through Wild Safari, this major attraction now makes the theme park the largest in the world, park spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said."
^Berger, Joseph. "Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York", The New York Times, August 2, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2020. "Jersey City, Toms River and Jackson have all passed no-knock ordinances barring such inquiries under the threat of fines or have banned solicitations altogether.... With adequate homes hard to come by in Lakewood, Orthodox and Hasidic families have been buying properties in nearby Toms River and Jackson.... In March, Jackson adopted an ordinance banning school dormitories, which seemed aimed at yeshivas that draw students from afar. Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella group for ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic organizations, filed a federal suit in May arguing that the ordinance violated federal land-use laws intended to protect religious groups against burdensome local restrictions."
^Davis, Mike."Jackson 'outrageously targeted' Orthodox Jews, lawsuit claims", Asbury Park Press, May 20, 2019. Accessed March 18, 2020. "Jackson - The alleged 'outrageous targeting' of Orthodox Jews by the township has brought tensions to new heights, with a new lawsuit claiming local officials have been 'religiously and racially discriminatory.'... Schnall estimated that nearly 1,000 Orthodox Jewish families live in Jackson, with 1,500 children attending private schools in Lakewood next year since there aren't any religious schools for them in Jackson."
^Atmonvage, Joe. "Feds sue N.J. town for allegedly passing restrictions aimed at Orthodox Jewish community", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 20, 2020. Accessed May 22, 2020. "The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Jackson Township and its planning board, alleging the town enacted zoning ordinances that discriminated against the Orthodox Jewish community by preventing them from opening religious boarding schools in the town. The two ordinances were passed by the township’s council in 2017 and both 'expressly prohibit dormitories throughout Jackson, making it impossible for religious boarding schools to establish in the Township,' according to the complaint."
^Benjamin, Dave. "Mayoral candidates vow to put in time job takes; Seda, Giblin, Kafton head down stretch in race for new post"Archived October 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Tri-Town News, April 27, 2006. Accessed October 16, 2013. "When the new mayor-council government comes into existence on July 1, the council members will decide on a salary for the mayor.... According to municipal clerk Ann Marie Eden, the exact wording on the change of government ballot question voters approved in November was, 'Shall the Mayor-Council Plan of Government of the Optional Municipal Charter Law, providing for five council members to be elected at large, with staggered terms, at nonpartisan elections held in May, with plurality rule, with the mayor elected directly by the voters, be adopted by Jackson Township?'"
^"Jackson Appoints Lifelong Resident, Business Owner to Fill Vacated Council Seat", Shore News Network, January 3, 2020. Accessed February 24, 2020. "Jackson Township Councilman Ken Bressi nominated multi-generational local small business owner Martin Flemming to serve on the five-member governing body to fill the seat vacated by Robert Nixon, who is at the center of a civil rights lawsuit against the township."
^Locations, Jackson Mills Fire (Station 54). Accessed September 12, 2020.
^About, Jackson Fire District No. 3. Accessed September 12, 2020. "Jackson Fire District 3 is a combination fire department that employs 12 firefighters and has about 50 volunteer firefighters. The paid firefighters work a rotating three platoon system from Monday to Friday, 6am to 6pm, and are supervised by a captain and lieutenants."
^History, Cassville Fire Company. Accessed September 12, 2020. "In the year 1939, about a dozen men from the Cassville area decided that it was time to form a Volunteer Fire Company."
^Biography, Congressman Chris Smith. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Elected in 1980, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton, N.J.) is currently in his 19th two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents of the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^. United States Senate. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
^Jackson Township Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Jackson School District. Accessed May 16, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Kindergarten through twelve in the Jackson Township School District. Composition: The Jackson Township School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Jackson Township."
^About Our District, Jackson School District. Accessed May 17, 2020. "We educate almost 9,000 students in ten schools – six elementary, two middle and two high schools."
^Oglesby, Amanda. "Jackson BOE approves full-day kindergarten", Asbury Park Press, January 21, 2015. Accessed March 20, 2015. "Jackson – The township's 5-year-olds will have full-day kindergarten when they start school in September. The Board of Education voted Tuesday evening to change Jackson's kindergarten program from half day to full day."
^"Holman had hand in many political careers", Ocean County Observer, December 8, 2005. Accessed July 31, 2007. "Holman was a Jackson Township mayor in the 1960s. He became the Ocean County administrator, the state Republican Chairman, executive director of the Republican State Committee and Ocean County Director of Employee Relations."
^Cahillane, Kevin. "Two Guys Left Behind In the E Street Shuffle", The New York Times, May 1, 2005. Accessed December 25, 2012. "'When I got to the top of the staircase, there was Bruce with the way he looked in those days, with the hair and suspenders with no shirt, playing away,' Mr. Lopez recalled recently as he sipped a can of Budweiser in the kitchen of his house off a dirt road in Jackson."
^Staff. "Jackson's Ranaudo Gets Win Against Yankees in MLB Debut Performance", Shore News Network, August 2, 2014. Accessed January 25, 2015. "Jackson Township native and former Holbrook Little Leaguer Anthony Ranaudo had an impressive outing on the mound for the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, defeating his childhood heroes, the New York Yankees 4-3."
^LaGorce, Tammy. "MUSIC; Thor, With an Electric Hammer", The New York Times, November 27, 2005. Accessed October 6, 2007. "But the frustrating part for Zakk Wylde – born in Jersey City, raised in Jackson and possessed of a gift for heavy-metal noise that regularly earns him the cover of any magazine with guitar in its title – is that the six-string inner circle rarely widens."