The name "Manalapan" is derived from a word in the Lenape language that would mean either "land of good bread", "good land to settle upon", "good bread" or "covered swamp with edible roots".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 30.88 square miles (79.99 km2), including 30.65 square miles (79.39 km2) of land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) of water (0.75%). The township has an elevation of 82 feet (25 m).
Of the 13,263 households, 39.6% had children under the age of 18; 70.2% were married couples living together; 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present and 19.6% were non-families. Of all households, 17.3% were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.32.
25.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 21.8% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.7 years. For every 100 females, the population had 93.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 89.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $103,970 (with a margin of error of +/− $4,322) and the median family income was $115,292 (+/− $5,344). Males had a median income of $85,086 (+/− $5,699) versus $51,695 (+/− $3,038) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $41,049 (+/− $1,717). About 2.5% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
As the 2000 United States census there were 33,423 people, 10,781 households, and 9,002 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,084.6 inhabitants per square mile (418.8/km2). There were 11,066 housing units at an average density of 359.1 per square mile (138.6/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 91.81% White, 1.99% African American, 0.03% Native American, 4.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.54% of the population. Manalapan has large Italian and Jewish communities.
There were 10,781 households, out of which 47.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.9% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.5% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the township the population was spread out, with 30.3% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $83,575, and the median income for a family was $94,112. Males had a median income of $72,198 versus $39,921 for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,142. About 3.2% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
Manalapan's crime rate per 1,000 residents had reached a low of 8.4 in 2003 (in data since 1996). After reaching a peak of 12.1 in 2007, the rate dropped each subsequent year, reaching 10.4 in 2010 before an uptick to 10.8 in 2011. The violent crime rate per 1,000 had reached a low of 0.3 in 2005, before climbing to 0.8 in 2007, then declining or remaining level in each succeeding year, reaching a rate of 0.4 in 2011.
In 2008, seven residents of Manalapan were arrested on money laundering and drug trafficking charges for their involvement in an international drug ring bringing in a net of $1 million per month.
Parks and recreation
Manalapan's Recreation Center covers 162 acres (66 ha), offering two handball courts, nine softball/baseball fields, five batting cages, a fitness trail, two football fields (one turf), nine football/soccer fields (one turf), two street hockey courts, three tot lots, six basketball courts, six tennis courts, two bocce courts, two sand volleyball courts, a nine-hole disc golf course, a small water park, concession stand, two picnic areas, two maintenance buildings, two shelter buildings and a headquarters building.
Manalapan Township is governed under the Township form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 141 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use this form, the second-most commonly used form of government in the state. The Township Committee is comprised of five members, who are elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor for one year.
As of 2023[update], members of the Manalapan Township Committee are Mayor Susan Cohen (R, term on committee and as mayor ends December 31, 2023), Deputy Mayor Eric Nelson (R, term on committee ends 2025; term as deputy mayor ends 2023), Barry Jacobson (R, 2024), John P. "Jack" McNaboe (R, 2023) and Mary Ann Musich (R, 2025).
Federal, state, and county representation
Manalapan Township is located in the 3rd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 12th state legislative district.
As of March 2011, there were a total of 26,256 registered voters in Manalapan Township, of which 6,925 (26.4%) were registered as Democrats, 4,439 (16.9%) were registered as Republicans and 14,875 (56.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 17 voters registered as Libertarians or Greens.
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 54.2% of the vote (9,949 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 44.8% (8,224 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (169 votes), among the 18,449 ballots cast by the township's 27,734 registered voters (107 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 66.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 51.9% of the vote (10,150 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 45.9% (8,984 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (160 votes), among the 19,553 ballots cast by the township's 26,582 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 52.2% of the vote (9,254 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 46.2% (8,185 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (96 votes), among the 17,730 ballots cast by the township's 23,926 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.1.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 73.0% of the vote (7,640 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 25.7% (2,688 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (132 votes), among the 10,583 ballots cast by the township's 28,056 registered voters (123 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 61.9% of the vote (7,581 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 32.6% (3,995 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.4% (536 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (69 votes), among the 12,251 ballots cast by the township's 26,168 registered voters, yielding a 46.8% turnout.
Public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District, which also serves children from Englishtown. Manalapan and Englishtown formally joined as a regional elementary school district in 1963, with an initial enrollment of 1,140 students; The student body is primarily from Manalapan Township, which accounts for about 95% of enrollment, with Englishtown students accounting for the remaining 5%. As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of eight schools, had an enrollment of 4,910 students and 408.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2019–20 enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
John I. Dawes Early Learning Center with 365 students in Pre-K and K,
Clark Mills School with 491 students in grades 1–5,
Lafayette Mills School with 489 students in grades 1–5,
Milford Brook School with 523 students in grades K–5,
Taylor Mills School with 600 students in grades K–5,
Wemrock Brook School with 626 students in grades 1–5,
Pine Brook School with 563 students in sixth grade and
Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School with 1,227 students in grades 7 and 8. The district is overseen by a nine-member board of education, which sets policy and oversees the fiscal and educational operation of the district; Seats on the board are allocated based on population, with eight seats assigned to Manalapan Township.
Public high school students in Manalapan and all of Monmouth County also have the option of attending one of the Monmouth County Vocational School District's five career academies. Manalapan's academy is the Science and Engineering Program.
The site of the battlefield originally contained many colonial-era farmhouses though many did not survive the rapid development of the area in the 20th century. Three of the original seven farmhouses that were present during the battle are still standing in the park. These include the Sutfin Farmhouse (1731); the Rhea-Applegate House (1745); and the Craig House (1746).
Three other homes were built on the battlefield. The Conover-Perrine House (1832) is to the north of the park, erected on the site of the original 18th-century Perrine House, an important example of late Federal Architecture. The Italianate Cobb House was later constructed in 1872 near the Conover-Perrine House. The Combs' Farmhouse (mid-18th Century) was demolished sometime in the 1960s and was located near the park's playground and ice pond.
On May 27, 2001, Manalapan was struck by a tornado rated F2 on the Fujita scale, causing over $1 million in damage. The 200-foot-wide (61 m) tornado had winds of up to 120 miles per hour (190 km/h) over a path of 1.5 miles (2.4 km).
The Township of Manalapan has multiple emergency service departments.
The Manalapan Township police department is a large force composed of 55 officers. The force has two major divisions; operations and administration. The Operations Division is headed by Deputy Chief Leonard Maltese, and the Administration Division is headed by Deputy Chief Thomas Mantle. On February 8, 2021, Edward Niesz was promoted as Chief of Manalapan Township Police Department, succeeding former Chief Michael Fountain; Fountain had served with the department for 27 years, the final four-plus years as Police Chief.
Manalapan Township has three volunteer fire companies:
Manalapan Township Fire Company #1, founded in 1949, is located on Sweetmans Lane and serves the southern portion of the township
Manalapan Township Fire Company #2: Gordons Corner Fire Company (founded 1962) is located in the heavily suburbanized community of Yorketown in the northern portion of the township. It has two branches that serves the community, one located on Tennent Road, and another on Pease Road
Englishtown Fire Department is located in neighboring Englishtown and serves central portions the township.
First aid squads
Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid Squad (EMFAS) is a regional pre-hospital emergency care service for Englishtown and Manalapan residents. The organization was founded in 1941, and is located in Englishtown.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 192.19 miles (309.30 km) of roadways, of which 164.98 miles (265.51 km) were maintained by the municipality, 19.15 miles (30.82 km) by Monmouth County and 8.06 miles (12.97 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Manalapan hosts U.S. Route 9 in the northeast, and State Route 33 passes through near the southern part of the township. Major county routes, such as 522 and 527 traverse through the municipality, while 524 and 537 goes along the southeast border of the township.
^ abWikoff, Lydia. "Manalapan Spanning Three Centuries", Manalapan Township. Accessed September 4, 2015. "In researching it could not be found how the decision to name it Manalapan came about. The name Manalapan translate from the Lenape Indian Words 'manel' for drinking and 'paune' for bread meant good land to settle upon, for the Indians.... You are well aware that Manalapan was the site of the Battle of Monmouth, a Revolutionary War engagement held on June 28, 1778 involving 30,000 British and Continental troops. On the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle, in 1978, the State opened the 1,520 acre Monmouth Battlefield State Park. Eighty percent of the Park is in Manalapan Township."
^Chang, Kathy; and Kesten, Karen L. "Birth of a town" , News Transcript, December 16, 2009. Accessed May 16, 2023. "Manalapan is said to derive its name from the Lenape word for 'land of good bread or good land to settle upon.' Englishtown was a part of Manalapan. The Monmouth Battlefield lands are 80 percent in Manalapan."
^Diamant, Jeff. "Seven arrested in Monmouth County drug bust", The Star-Ledger, June 2, 2008. Accessed April 12, 2011. "Based at the multi-million dollar Manalapan home of its alleged leader, it operated out of 'quiet suburbia' but had contacts worldwide, said Gerard McAleer, special agent in charge of the DEA's New Jersey division."
^Form of Gov/Org., Manalapan Township. Accessed May 2, 2022. "Manalapan operates under the township form of municipal government.... In the township form, a plurality (the largest number of votes, but not necessarily a majority) is sufficient to elect a township committee member. The township committee consists of five members elected at large, and the members serve a term of three years. No more than two members are up for election in any one year, and every third year only one member will be up for election."
^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.."
^Monmouth County Government, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Accessed July 19, 2022. "Monmouth County is governed by five Commissioners elected at-large for three year terms. 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."
^Manalapan-Englishtown Board of Education District Policy 0110- Identification, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District. Accessed March 23, 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 8 in the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District. Composition The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Manalapan Township and Englishtown Borough."
^A History Lesson with a Future, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District. Accessed September 1, 2021. "Manalapan and Englishtown formally joined as a regional elementary district in 1963. That year, the population of the district was 1140..... As of January 2017, the district had 5085 students: 4811 from Manalapan and 274 from Englishtown."
^Board Members, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District. Accessed March 23, 2020.
^Rosman, Mark. "Manalapan-Englishtown school board reorganizes for 2020", News Transcript, January 10, 2020. "The school board has nine members – eight residents of Manalapan (Bruno, Parisi, Kane, Urgo, Dotty Porcaro, Brian Graime, Janet Lewis and Joanne Schechter) and one resident of Englishtown (Lori Semel)."
^Manalapan High School 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 29, 2016. "Manalapan High School is a fully accredited comprehensive high school serving a community of nearly 39,000 residents living primarily in the Township of Manalapan and the Borough of Englishtown. One of six high schools in the Freehold Regional High School District, which opened in 1971, Manalapan High School has enjoyed an outstanding reputation throughout the state for its academic and extracurricular programs."
^Vilacoba, Karl. "Marlboro files challenge to FRHSD voting system", Central Jersey Archives, September 26, 2002. Accessed January 19, 2020. "Under the current weighted FRHSD vote apportionment, a nine-point voting system is in place. Howell has two board members for a combined 2 voting points; Marlboro, Manalapan and Freehold Township each have one vote worth 1.4 points; Colts Neck and Freehold Borough each have one vote worth 0.9 points; and Englishtown and Farmingdale each have one vote worth 0.5 voting points."
^Benjamin, David. "Money ranks Manalapan, Marlboro among top towns, News Transcript, December 24, 2003. Accessed January 26, 2018. "According to the January 2004 issue of Money magazine, Manalapan has been ranked as the No. 2 community in which to live in the eastern third of the United States with a population of less than 100,000 residents."
^Saulny, Susan. "It's Official: Sunday Storm In New Jersey Was a Tornado", The New York Times, May 29, 2001. Accessed August 6, 2012. "A storm that ravaged Manalapan, N.J., on Sunday night was a tornado, National Weather Service meteorologists determined yesterday.... Assessments of damage to buildings in Manalapan, a township in central New Jersey, placed wind speed at 120 miles per hour, and determined that the twister was 200 feet wide and traveled a path about a mile and a half long, said John Quagliariello, a meteorologist in the weather service's office in Mount Holly, N.J."
^Community, Manalapan Township Police. Accessed March 18, 2022. "The department is currently staffed with fifty five sworn officers which is supplemented by a civilian staff of three full time employees."
^Home Page, Manalapan Township Police Department. Accessed March 18, 2022.
^Rosman, Mark. "Niesz promoted to chief of Manalapan Police Department", News Transcript, February 8, 2021. Accessed March 18, 2022. "Edward Niesz, who has served in the Manalapan Police Department for 24 years, has been promoted to the rank of police chief. Niesz succeeds Michael Fountain, who retired at the end of January after serving 27 years with the department. Fountain became Manalapan’s police chief on April 1, 2016."
^About, Manalapan Township Fire Company #1. Accessed February 9, 2022. "The Manalapan Township Fire Company #1 has provided community-based fire service since 1949."
^History, Gordons Corner Fire Company. Accessed February 9, 2022. "In the spring of 1962 a small group of new Manalapan residents from Holiday North met to discuss the need for fire protection in the north west section of the township. The area was growing rapidly and there were men willing to serve the needs of their community. In March of 1962 the charter for the Gordons Corner Fire Company was signed by both new and long-time residents of Manalapan."
^Contact Us, Gordons Corner Fire Company. Accessed February 9, 2022.
^Hompe Page, Borough of Englishtown, Fire District #1. Accessed February 9, 2022.
^About Us, Englishtown Manalapan First Aid Squad. Accessed February 9, 2022.
^"Rail Right-of-Way Inventory and Assessment". North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. October 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2017. In 1996, routes in the Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex (MOM) corridor were evaluated for potential feasibility for passenger service. The feasibility study considered eleven possible future alternatives. Nine of the alternatives were build alternatives for commuter rail service to New York Pennsylvania Station, on three different alignments utilizing either the North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) or Northeast Corridor (NEC), and routing to New York Pennsylvania Station26.In 2001, NJ TRANSIT initiated a DEIS for the development of a rail option using State and Federal funds. The DEIS is examining three alignments: Lakehurst to Monmouth Junction, Lakehurst to Red Bank and Lakehurst to Matawan. In 2006, the alternatives were refined to incorporate direct, one-seat ride, service to New York Penn Station. Ridership, cost and environmental work were adjusted accordingly. Updating demographics and ridership analyses continued during calendar 2009. Lower-cost versions of the three main build alternatives were analyzed and a draft alternatives analysis report was completed in 2010.
^Strunsky, Steve. "Hot Diggity! Dog Diggity! -- Fame; Eating His Way to the Top", The New York Times, May 24, 1998. Accessed August 6, 2012. "Michael DeVito, 36, of Manalapan, won five straight state championships, from 1992 to 1996, in competitions sponsored by that hallowed wiener institution, Nathan's. He is also a three-time world champion -- 1990, 1993 and 1994 -- in the contest held every Fourth of July at the Nathan's on Surf Avenue in Coney Island."
^Grossman, Jeremy. "Local comedian Vic DiBitetto prepares for breakout year "Archived December 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, News Transcript, November 27, 2014. Accessed December 14, 2014. "In show business, it's not 'who you know,' but 'who knows you.' At least, that seems to be the case for Manalapan resident Vic DiBitetto, who, after 30 years of fighting in the trenches of stand-up comedy, has finally made it big."
^Witkowski, Wayne. "SJV grad Hyman prepares for college football career at Kansas", Greater Media, July 25, 2013. Accessed December 16, 2019. "Just at the time he would have headed to the NJSIAA Meet of Champions (MOC) to compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes on behalf of St. John Vianney High School (SJV), Ishmael Hyman of Manalapan had to take a different route."
^Bassin, Steve. "Manalapan mourns passing of Navy SEAL trainee", News Transcript, February 7, 2022. Accessed February 9, 2022. "Residents in Manalapan are mourning the passing of former Manalapan High School football player Kyle Mullen, 24, of Manalapan, who died on Feb. 4 while training to become a U.S. Navy SEAL."
^Orr, Conor. "PBA legend Johnny Petraglia never forgets his roots as a soldier", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, February 24, 2012. Accessed July 5, 2018. "A Manalapan Township resident for the past 32 years, he was molded by his experiences as a soldier and when he came back from Vietnam, he went on a tear that placed him among the top tier of bowlers of all time."
^Kadinsky, Sergey. "Assemblyman Dan Rosenthal Sworn In At Pomonok Ceremony"Archived January 27, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Queens Jewish Link, January 17, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2018. "The youngest member of the State Assembly took his oath of office before a packed auditorium at P.S. 201 in Pomonok, sharing the stage with his family, fiancée, and local political leaders.... Raised in Manalapan, New Jersey, he settled in Queens to study at Touro College’s Lander College for Men."