The Greatest County in the Land
|Named for||Historic English county of Middlesex|
|Largest municipality||Edison (population)|
Monroe Township (area)
|• Commissioner director||Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2024)|
|• Total||322.87 sq mi (836.2 km2)|
|• Land||309.22 sq mi (800.9 km2)|
|• Water||13.65 sq mi (35.4 km2) 4.2%|
|• Total||863,162 (3rd in NJ)|
|• Density||2,794.2/sq mi (1,078.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||6th, 12th|
Middlesex County is located in the north-central part of New Jersey, United States, extending inland from the Raritan Valley region to the northern portion of the Jersey Shore. As of the 2020 United States census, the county was the state's third-most populous county with a population of 863,162, its highest decennial count ever and an increase of 53,304 (+6.6%) from the 2010 census count of 809,858, which in turn reflected an increase of 59,696 (8.0%) from the 750,162 counted in the 2000 census. Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area. Many communities within the county serve as commuter towns to and from New York City and other points north.
The county is located in the middle of the Northeast megalopolis of the U.S. Its county seat is the city of New Brunswick, a center for the sciences, arts, and cultural activities, and the headquarters of the state's flagship academic institution, Rutgers University. The center of population of the state of New Jersey is also located within Middlesex County, in East Brunswick, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. Middlesex County hosts an extensive transportation network, including several rail stations along the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor Line of the New Jersey Transit commuter rail system, as well as the intersection of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, the state's two busiest motor vehicle roadways, in Woodbridge Township. Middlesex County holds the nickname, The Greatest County in the Land. The county is located in the Central Jersey region.
The county was primarily settled due to its optimal location along the Raritan River. Middlesex was originally formed as one of four administrative districts within Province of East Jersey in 1675, together with Bergen, Essex and Monmouth districts. Middlesex County was formed within East Jersey on March 7, 1683. The population increased so the county was partitioned on October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy, and Woodbridge. Adjacent Somerset County was established on May 14, 1688, created from portions of Middlesex County.
The county's first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778. Despite its status as a residential, commercial, and industrial stronghold and a centrally accessible transportation hub, Middlesex is also home to an extensive public park system with expansive greenways, totaling more than 6,300 acres (2,500 ha). Middlesex County is most demographically notable as the U.S. county with the highest concentration of Asian Indians, at nearly 20% in 2020, spanning the county's boundaries between Little India, Edison/Iselin in the north and Monroe Township at its southern tip.
Middlesex has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa) which borders a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) on Raritan Bay and Arthur Kill. Average monthly temperatures in downtown New Brunswick range from 31.7 °F (−0.2 °C) in January to 75.6 °F (24.2 °C) in July, while in South Amboy they range from 32.3 °F (0.2 °C) in January to 75.9 °F (24.4 °C) in July. In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of New Brunswick 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 103 °F (39 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.98 inches (76 mm) in February to 5.08 inches (129 mm) in July.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of the 2020 Census, the county had a total area of 322.87 square miles (836.2 km2), of which 309.22 square miles (800.9 km2) was land (95.8%) and 13.65 square miles (35.4 km2) was water (4.2%). The county is named after the historic English county of Middlesex.
Bisected by the Raritan River, the county is topographically typical of Central Jersey in that it is largely flat. The majority of the county is located on the inner coastal plain, with the remainder of the county being located on the Eastern Piedmont. The elevation ranges from sea level to 300 feet (91 m) above sea level on a hill scaled by Major Road/ Sand Hill Road near Route 1 in South Brunswick Township.
Another area with higher elevation in the county is the Perth Amboy Moraine, left by the southern limit of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Only the far northeastern area of the county was glaciated, and the Perth Amboy Moraine stretches from Perth Amboy, through Woodbridge, Edison and Metutchen, and stradles the border of Edison and South Plainfield before exiting the county. The area includes peaks of over 200 feet.
|New Brunswick, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|Historical sources: 1790-1990|
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Middlesex County is prominently known for its significant concentration of Asian Indians. The growing Little India is a South Asian-focused commercial strip in Middlesex County, the U.S. county with the highest concentration of Asian Indians. The Oak Tree Road strip runs for about one-and-a-half miles through Edison and neighboring Iselin in Woodbridge Township, near the area's sprawling Chinatown and Koreatown, running along New Jersey Route 27. It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States. Monroe Township in Middlesex County has experienced a particularly rapid growth rate in its Indian American population, with an estimated 5,943 (13.6%) as of 2017, which was 23 times the 256 (0.9%) counted as of the 2000 Census; and Diwali is celebrated by the township as a Hindu holiday. Carteret's Punjabi Sikh community, variously estimated at upwards of 3,000, is the largest concentration of Sikhs in New Jersey. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi.
As of 2017 Census estimates, there were 201,243 people of Asian descent in Middlesex County accounting for 24% of the county's total population. At 61.57% of the population of Asian descent, Indian Americans accounted for 12.93% (104,705 people) of the county's total population in 2010, increasing to 127,875 (15.3%, the highest of any U.S. county) by 2017, more than that of the other Asian sub-groups combined.
As of the Census of 2020, the county had 863,162 people, 285,906 households, and 209,808 families. The population density was 2,794 inhabitants per square mile (1,078.8/km2). There were 315,521 housing units at an average density of 1,021.4 per square mile (394.4/km2). The county's racial makeup was 41.9% White, 9.8% African American, 0.53% Native American, 26.5% Asian, and 9.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.4% of the population.
There were 285,906 households, of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 24.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 14.2% had a male householder with no wife present and 26.6% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% 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 3.32.
About 21.6% of the county's population was under age 18, 9.3% was from age 18 to 24, 40.1% was from age 15 to 44, and 15.5% was age 65 or older. The median age was 39.3 years. The gender makeup of the county was 49.4% male and 50.5% female. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males.
The county's median household income was $93,418, and the median family income was $107,149. About 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
The 2010 United States census counted 809,858 people, 281,186 households, and 203,016 families in the county. The population density was 2,621.6 per square mile (1,012.2/km2). There were 294,800 housing units at an average density of 954.3 per square mile (368.5/km2). The racial makeup was 58.60% (474,589) White, 9.69% (78,462) Black or African American, 0.34% (2,777) Native American, 21.40% (173,293) Asian, 0.03% (251) Pacific Islander, 6.99% (56,569) from other races, and 2.95% (23,917) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.40% (148,975) of the population.
Of the 281,186 households, 34.4% had children under the age of 18; 55.9% were married couples living together; 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 27.8% were non-families. Of all households, 22.5% were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.8 and the average family size was 3.29.
22.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 96.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94 males.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis calculated that the county's gross domestic product was $59.0 billion in 2021, which was ranked second in the state and was a 6.8% increase from the prior year.
Major non-governmental employers in Middlesex County include the following, grouped by ranges of employees:
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Commissioners, which is comprised of seven members who are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Commissioner Director and deputy director. The Commissioner Director appoints commissioners to serve as chairpersons and members on the various committees which oversee county departments. Middlesex County also elects three "constitutional officers" whose existence is laid out in the New Jersey Constitution. The County Clerk and Surrogate serve five-year terms and the Sheriff serves a three-year term of office. In 2016, freeholders were paid $23,438 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $24,428, though Ronald Rios has accepted a salary of $8,340 as director.
As of 2022[update], Middlesex County's Commissioners (with terms for director and deputy ending every December 31) are:
|Commissioner||Party, Residence, Term|
|Director Ronald G. Rios||D, Carteret, 2024|
|Deputy Director Shanti Narra||D, North Brunswick, 2024|
|Claribel A. "Clary" Azcona-Barber||D, New Brunswick, 2025|
|Charles Kenny||D, Woodbridge Township, 2025|
|Leslie Koppel||D, Monroe Township, 2024|
|Chanelle Scott McCullum||D, Piscataway, 2025|
|Charles E. Tomaro||D, Edison, 2023|
Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution requires each county in New Jersey 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). Middlesex county's constitutional officers are:
|County Clerk||Nancy Pinkin (D, East Brunswick, 2025)|
|Sheriff||Mildred S. Scott (D, Piscataway, 2025)|
|Surrogate||Claribel Cortes (D, North Brunswick, 2026)|
The Middlesex County Prosecutor is Chris Kubereit who was sworn in as acting County Prosecutor in September 2019, replacing Andrew C. Carey of Monroe Township. Middlesex County constitutes Vicinage 8 of the New Jersey Superior Court; the vicinage is seated at the Middlesex County Courthouse, at 56 Paterson Street in New Brunswick. The Middlesex Vicinage also has facilities for the Family Part at the Middlesex County Family Courthouse at 120 New Street, also in New Brunswick; there are also other facilities in New Brunswick and Perth Amboy for Probation. The Assignment Judge for Vicinage 8 is Alberto Rivas.
The 6th and 12th Congressional Districts cover the county. For the 118th United States Congress, New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch). For the 118th United States Congress, New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District is represented by Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Ewing Township).
|12th||Samuel D. Thompson (D)||Ronald S. Dancer (R)||Old Bridge (65,898). The remainder of this district covers portions of Burlington County,|
|14th||Linda R. Greenstein (D)||Wayne DeAngelo (D)
Daniel R. Benson (D)
|Cranbury Township (4,012), Jamesburg (5,291), Monroe Township (39,132), Plainsboro (23,071)|
|16th||Andrew Zwicker (D)||Sadaf F. Jaffer (D)
Roy Freiman (D)
|South Brunswick (45,942). The remainder of this district covers portions of Hunterdon County,
Mercer County and Somerset County.
|17th||Bob Smith (D)||Joseph V. Egan (D)
Joseph Danielsen (D)
|Milltown Borough (6,988), New Brunswick (55,960), North Brunswick (41,848) and Piscataway (56,923).
The remainder of this district covers portions of Somerset County.
|18th||Patrick J. Diegnan (D)||Robert Karabinchak (D)
Sterley Stanley (D)
|East Brunswick (48,010), Edison (100,693), Helmetta (2,475), Highland Park (13,883), Metuchen (14,048),|
|19th||Joe F. Vitale (D)||Craig Coughlin (D)
Yvonne Lopez (D)
|Carteret (23,589), Perth Amboy (51,678), Sayreville (44,292), South Amboy (8,772) and Woodbridge (100,450).|
|22nd||Nicholas Scutari (D)||James J. Kennedy (D)
Linda S. Carter (D)
|Dunellen (7,252) and Middlesex Borough (13,662). The remainder of this district covers portions of Somerset County
and Union County.
Thomas N. Acken served as the sheriff in 1891. Joseph Spicuzzo served in 2014 and was arrested for bribery. Mildred S. Scott is the current county sheriff, she was sworn in on January 1, 2011, as the first female sheriff of Middlesex County and the first African-American sheriff in the state of New Jersey.
As of August 1, 2020, there were a total of 545,795 registered voters in Middlesex County, of which 229,982 (42.1%) were registered as Democrats, 84,258 (15.4%) were registered as Republicans and 224,058 (41.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 7,497 (1.4%) voters registered to other parties. After being a Republican stronghold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Middlesex County leaned Democratic for much of the 20th century beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's victory in the county in 1932. Throughout the twentieth century, in close elections, the county would always vote Democratic, sometimes by solid margins, but the county was willing to flip Republican in the midst of nationwide Republican landslides in the 1970s and 1980s. However, since the 1990s, Middlesex County has become a Democratic stronghold at the national level.
In 2008, Barack Obama carried Middlesex County by a much larger 21.8% margin over John McCain, Obama taking 60.2% of the vote to McCain's 38.4%, while Obama won New Jersey overall by 15.5% over McCain. In 2012, Obama won an even more commanding victory in the county, receiving 63.2% of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney's 35.6%, a Democratic victory margin of 27.6%, while carrying New Jersey overall by 17.8%. Like much of the New York City metropolitan area, Middlesex County was one of the few parts of the country to swing even harder in Obama's favor in 2012 compared to 2008, even as he lost ground nationally. Some credit the swing towards Obama to his response towards Superstorm Sandy, which hit the New York City metro area in late October 2012, just a few days before the election. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Middlesex County by a tighter 21.4% margin over Republican Donald Trump, while Clinton won New Jersey overall by 14.1% over Trump. In 2020, Democrat Joe Biden carried Middlesex County by a margin of 22.03%, a slight improvement from 2016, with Biden taking 60.22% of the vote to Donald Trump's 38.19%.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 47% of the vote, defeating incumbent Democrat Corzine, who received around 45%. In the 2013 gubernatorial election, incumbent governor Chris Christie improved on his margin in Middlesex County from 2009, carrying the county by about 18% over Democrat Barbara Buono, with Christie receiving 58% of the vote to Buono's 40%. In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Democrat Phil Murphy won Middlesex County with a wide 17% margin over Republican Kim Guadagno, with Murphy getting 57% of the vote to Guadagno's 40% of the vote. In the 2021 gubernatorial election, Republican Jack Ciattarelli received 43.4% of the vote (90,297 ballots cast) to Democrat Phil Murphy's 55.9% (8116,352 votes).
Middlesex County hosts various county roads, state routes, US routes, and interstate highways, as well as toll highways. As of May 2010[update], the county had a total of 2,584.38 miles (4,159.16 km) of roadways, of which 2,118.08 miles (3,408.72 km) were maintained by the municipality, 292.16 miles (470.19 km) by Middlesex County and 131.48 miles (211.60 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, 41.49 miles (66.77 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and 1.17 miles (1.88 km) by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
County roads include CR 501, CR 514, CR 516 (only in Old Bridge), CR 520 (only in Old Bridge), CR 522, CR 527, CR 529, CR 531, CR 535, and CR 539 (only in Cranbury).
The state routes are: Route 18, Route 26 (only in North Brunswick – entirely concurrent with Livingston Avenue), Route 27, Route 28, Route 32, Route 33 (only in Monroe Township), Route 34 (only in Old Bridge), Route 35, Route 91 (concurrent with Jersey Avenue in North Brunswick and entering New Brunswick), Route 171, Route 172 (only in New Brunswick), Route 184 and Route 440.
U.S. Routes include: Route 1, Route 9, Route 1/9 (only in Woodbridge) and Route 130.
The county also includes some limited access highways and Interstates as well. Middlesex County hosts the southern end of I-287 which turns into Route 440 that connects to the Outerbridge Crossing. The Garden State Parkway passes through the eastern part of the county, which features nine interchanges and the northern start/end of the split-roadways (Express & Local Lanes). The New Jersey Turnpike carries I-95 through the center of the county. The Turnpike has five interchanges in Middlesex County: Exit 12 in Carteret, Exit 11 in Woodbridge, Exit 10 in Edison, Exit 9 in East Brunswick and Exit 8A in Monroe Township.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation is upgrading the Route 18 "avenue" to a freeway between the Route 1 interchange all the way up to the new 18 Extension in Piscataway.
The Turnpike Authority planned to build Route 92, which was to start near the intersection of Ridge Road & Route 1 in South Brunswick to Interchange 8A in Monroe Township. This plan was cancelled on December 1, 2006.
The southern end of the "dual-dual" configuration (inner car lanes and outer truck lanes) used to be one mile south of Interchange 8A at the border of Cranbury and Monroe Township. It was relocated to Exit 6 in Mansfield Township in Burlington County after the Turnpike widening project was completed in early November 2014.
Further information: List of county routes in Middlesex County, New Jersey
NJ Transit provides Middlesex County with frequent commuter rail service along the North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, and Raritan Valley Line. The North Jersey Coast Line runs through the eastern part of the county. The Northeast Corridor Line runs through the northern and central part of the county. The Raritan Valley Line serves Dunellen and is accessible to other communities along the county's northern border with Union and Somerset counties.
Intercity rail service is provided by Amtrak. The routes that run through Middlesex County are the Acela Express, Keystone, Northeast Regional, and Vermonter services, although only the Keystone and Northeast Regional have regular stops within Middlesex County, at either New Brunswick or Metropark station. The Acela service also occasionally stops at Metropark.
Bus service in Middlesex County is provided by New Jersey Transit, Coach USA's Suburban Transit, the extensive Rutgers Campus bus network, the MCAT shuttle system, and DASH buses. There are bus routes that serve all townships in the county on weekdays, and studies are being conducted to create the New Brunswick Bus Rapid Transit system.
School districts, all officially designated as K-12, include:
The county offers more than 1,900 inpatient beds among five major hospitals.
|JFK Medical Center||Edison||Acute||498||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|PSE&G Children's Specialized Hospital||New Brunswick||Pediatric Rehabiltation||140||RWJBarnabas Health|
|Raritan Bay Medical Center (Old Bridge)||Old Bridge||Acute||113||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|Raritan Bay Medical Center (Perth Amboy)||Perth Amboy||Acute||388||Hackensack Meridian Health|
|Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital||New Brunswick||Major Teaching||465||RWJBarnabas Health|
|The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital||New Brunswick||Acute Pediatric||105||RWJBarnabas Health|
|Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey||New Brunswick||Research, Cancer||RWJBarnabas Health|
|St. Peter's University Hospital||New Brunswick||Acute Teaching||478||Saint Peters HCS|
|Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center||Plainsboro||Acute Teaching||305||Penn Medicine|
The 25 municipalities in Middlesex County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed next to their parent municipality. Many of these areas are census-designated places that have been defined by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township and for which 2010 population data is included in parentheses.
|Cranbury||24||Township||3,857||1,371||13.40||0.15||13.25||291.2||103.5||Cranbury CDP (2,181)|
Farrington Lake Heights
Lawrence Brook Manor
Clearbrook Park CDP (2,667)
Concordia CDP (3,092)
Rossmoor CDP (2,666)
Shore Road Estates
Whittingham CDP (2,476)
Brownville CDP (2,383)
Laurence Harbor CDP (6,536)
Madison Park CDP (7,144)
Old Bridge CDP (23,753)
South Old Bridge
John J Delaney Homes
William Dunlap Homes
Society Hill CDP (3,829)
Thomas J Dohany Homes
Dayton CDP (7,063)
Heathcote CDP (5,821)
Kendall Park CDP (9,339)
Kingston CDP (1,222)
Little Rocky Hill
Monmouth Junction CDP (2,887)
South Brunswick Terrace
|South Plainfield||13||Borough||23,385||8,093||8.36||0.03||8.33||2,808.5||971.9||Avon Park|
|South River||5||Borough||16,008||5,957||2.92||0.15||2.77||5,781.4||2,151.4||Newton Heights|
|Woodbridge||18||Township||99,585||36,124||24.51||1.29||23.21||4,290.0||1,556.2||Avenel CDP (17,011)|
Colonia CDP (17,795)
Fords CDP (15,187)
Iselin CDP (18,695)
Menlo Park Terrace
Port Reading CDP (3,728)
Sewaren CDP (2,756)
Woodbridge CDP (19,265)
See also: Middlesex County Park System
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