|Named for||Atlantic Ocean|
|Largest city||Lakewood Township (population)|
Jackson Township (area)
|• Freeholder director||Gerry P. Little (R)|
|• Total||915.40 sq mi (2,370.9 km2)|
|• Land||628.78 sq mi (1,628.5 km2)|
|• Water||286.62 sq mi (742.3 km2) 31.31%|
|• Density||700/sq mi (270/km2)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 3rd, 4th|
Ocean County is a county located along the Jersey Shore in the south-central portion of the U.S. state of New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean. Its county seat is Toms River. Since 1990, Ocean County has been one of New Jersey's fastest-growing counties. As of the 2020 United States Census, the county's population was enumerated at 637,229, a 10.5% increase from the 576,567 counted in the 2010 U.S. Census, making Ocean the state's sixth-most populous county. The 2010 population figure represented an increase of 65,651 (+12.8%) from the 2000 Census population of 510,916, as Ocean surpassed Union County to become the sixth-most populous county in the state. Ocean County was also the fastest growing county in New Jersey between 2000 and 2010 in terms of increase in the number of residents and second-highest in percentage growth. Ocean County was established on February 15, 1850, from portions of Monmouth County, with the addition of Little Egg Harbor Township which was annexed from Burlington County on March 30, 1891. The most populous place is Lakewood Township, with an estimated 102,682 residents as of 2017, up 10.6% from 92,843 at the 2010 Census (in turn an increase of 32,491 since 2000, the highest of any New Jersey municipality); while Jackson Township covers 100.62 square miles (260.6 km2), the largest total area of any municipality in the county.
Ocean County is located 50 miles (80 km) east of Philadelphia, 70 miles (110 km) south of New York City, and 25 miles (40 km) north of Atlantic City, making it a prime destination for residents of these cities during the summer. As with the entire Jersey Shore, summer traffic routinely clogs local roadways throughout the season. Ocean County's area comprises 31.3% water.
Ocean County is part of the New York metropolitan area but is also home to many tourist attractions frequently visited by Delaware Valley residents, especially the beachfront communities of Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Point Pleasant Beach, as well as Six Flags Great Adventure, which is the home of the world's tallest and second-fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. Ocean County is also a gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens, one of the largest protected pieces of land on the East Coast.
Ocean County is part of both New York City's and Philadelphia's media markets.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county had as of the 2010 Census a total area of 915.40 square miles (2,370.9 km2), making it the largest county in New Jersey in terms of total area (ahead of Burlington County's), total 819.84 sq mi of which 628.78 square miles (1,628.5 km2) of land (68.7%) and 286.62 square miles (742.3 km2) of water (31.31%).
Much of the county is flat and coastal, with many beaches. The highest point is one of three unnamed hills (one in Jackson Township, the other two in Plumsted Township) that reach at least 230 feet (70 m) in elevation. The lowest elevation in the county is sea level.
It is also home to many beaches on the Jersey Shore, such as Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, Surf City, Harvey Cedars and Barnegat Light.
|Toms River, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|Climate data for Jackson, NJ|
|Average high °F (°C)||41
|Average low °F (°C)||22
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.92
Ocean County's area consists of 31.3% water. The coastal county along the Atlantic Ocean has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa and including the coast). In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Toms River have ranged from a low of 24 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 85 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −19 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in January 1982 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1999. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 3.30 inches (84 mm) in February to 4.79 inches (122 mm) in March. Areas closer to the coast typically experience more mild winters and cooler summers due to the Atlantic Ocean's influence. Average monthly temperatures in Tuckerton near the south end range from 33.2 °F in January to 75.7 °F in July. 
|Historical sources: 1790–1990|
1970–2010 2010 2000–2010 2020
The 2010 United States census counted 576,567 people, 221,111 households, and 149,250 families in the county. The population density was 917 per square mile (354/km2). There were 278,052 housing units at an average density of 442.2 per square mile (170.7/km2). The racial makeup was 90.98% (524,577) White, 3.15% (18,164) Black or African American, 0.17% (966) Native American, 1.75% (10,081) Asian, 0.02% (129) Pacific Islander, 2.46% (14,165) from other races, and 1.47% (8,485) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.29% (47,783) of the population.
Of the 221,111 households, 26.7% had children under the age of 18; 53.9% were married couples living together; 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 32.5% were non-families. Of all households, 27.8% were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.16.
23.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 21% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 92 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.3 males.
Ocean County is home to the Ocean County Mall in Toms River, featuring a gross leasable area of 898,000 square feet (83,400 m2). The now-closed Sears site will be replaced with 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of retail space.
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. In 2016, freeholders were paid $30,000 and the freeholder director was paid an annual salary of $31,000.
As of 2018[update], Ocean County's freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year and residence listed in parentheses) are:
Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to 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). Constitutional officers, elected on a countywide basis are:
The Ocean County Prosecutor is Bradley D. Billhimer who was nominated by Governor of New Jersey Philip D. Murphy. Prosecutor Billhimer was sworn in by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on October 12, 2018.
Ocean County constitutes Vicinage 14 of the New Jersey Superior Court and is seated at the Ocean County Courthouse Complex in Toms River; the Assignment Judge for Vicinage 14 is Marlene Lynch Ford.
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts cover the county. For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Jeff Van Drew (R, Dennis Township). For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Andy Kim (D, Bordentown). For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District is represented by Chris Smith (R, Hamilton Township).
|9th||Christopher J. Connors (R)||Brian E. Rumpf (R)
DiAnne Gove (R)
|Barnegat Township, Barnegat Light Borough, Beach Haven Borough, Beachwood Borough, Berkeley Township,|
|10th||James W. Holzapfel (R)||Gregory P. McGuckin (R)
John Catalano (R)
|Bay Head Borough, Brick Township, Island Heights Borough, Lakehurst Borough, Lavallette Borough,|
|12th||Samuel D. Thompson (R)||Ronald S. Dancer (R)||Jackson Township and Plumsted Township. The remainder of this district includes portions of Burlington County, Middlesex County &|
|30th||Robert Singer (R)||Sean T. Kean (R)
Ned Thomson (R)
|Lakewood Township and Point Pleasant. The remainder of this district includes portions of Monmouth County.|
Ocean County operates the Ocean County Southern Service Center in Manahawkin. This center offers access to all of the Ocean County government services without the need for residents to travel to the county seat some 20 miles to the north.
Ocean County is the most Republican county in New Jersey, a state that characteristically votes Democratic. Since 1900, it has failed to support a Republican for president only three times. All of its state legislators, County Freeholders and countywide constitutional officers are Republicans.
Doug Forrester carried Ocean County by 12 points in the 2005 New Jersey gubernatorial election, winning every municipality but Lakewood Township and South Toms River. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Republican George W. Bush carried the county by a 21.2% margin over Democrat John Kerry. In 2008, the county voted for Republican John McCain by an 18.4% margin over Democrat Barack Obama, making it McCain's second-strongest county in New Jersey behind Sussex County, with Obama winning the Garden State by 15.5% margin over McCain, who carried Ocean County's every municipality except South Toms River. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Ocean County was Bill Clinton in 1996, however, the last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
As of August 1, 2020, there were a total of 424,062 registered voters in Ocean County, of which 97,733 (23.1%) were registered as Democrats, 153,365 (36.2%) were registered as Republicans and 167,326 (39.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5,638 (1.3%) voters registered to other parties. Among the county's 2010 Census population, 63.2% were registered to vote, including 82.6% of those ages 18 and over.
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 58.4% of the vote here (160,677 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 40.1% (110,189 votes) among the 276,544 ballots cast by the county's 380,712 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 60.1% of the vote here (154,204 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 38.9% (99,839 votes) among the 257,364 ballots cast by the county's 353,085 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 72.9. The vote totals were significantly down in 2012 due to damage and displacement caused by Hurricane Sandy just days before the election. In 2016 and 2020, it was New Jersey's reddest county.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 65.6% of the vote here (124,238 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 28.4% (53,761 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.8% (9,068 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (1,955 votes), among the 193,186 ballots cast by the county's 371,066 registered voters, yielding a 52.1% turnout.
Ocean County College is the two-year community college for Ocean County, one of a network of 19 county colleges statewide. The school is in Toms River and was founded in 1964.
Georgian Court University in Lakewood Township is a private Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy college, which opened in 1908 on the former winter estate of millionaire George Jay Gould I, son of railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Lakewood is also home to Beth Medrash Govoha, a Haredi yeshiva with 5,000 students, making it one of the largest yeshivas in the world and the largest outside the State of Israel.
Stockton University has a campus located in Manahawkin offering undergraduate and graduate colleges of the arts, sciences and professional studies of the New Jersey state system of higher education.
New Jersey's largest suburban school district, Toms River Regional Schools, is located in Ocean County. Toms River is also home to the county's only Roman Catholic high school, Monsignor Donovan High School, operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, which also has six elementary schools located in the county.
In addition to multiple public high schools, the county has an extensive vocational high school program, known as the Ocean County Vocational Technical School district. In addition to its campuses in Brick, Toms River, Waretown, and Jackson, it contains two magnet schools:
Ocean County has an extensive shoreline stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, including the Jersey Shore communities and oceanfront boardwalk resorts of Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach.
Six Flags Great Adventure, America's largest Six Flags theme park, is home to the world's tallest and formerly fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. The park also contains Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, New Jersey's largest water park, and the 2,200-acre (890 ha) Six Flags Wild Safari, the largest drive-thru animal safari outside of Africa.
Forty miles of barrier beaches form the Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor Bays, offering ample watersports. It also is home of the Tuckerton Seaport, a 40-acre (160,000 m2) maritime history village in Tuckerton. In addition to being the northeast gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens, Ocean County is also home to several state parks:
FirstEnergy Park opened in 2001 with 6,588 reserved seats and is home of the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Class A-affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Asbury Park Press provides daily news coverage of the county as does The Press of Atlantic City. Micromedia Publications publishes six weekly local newspapers in the county; their seventh covers Howell Township, New Jersey in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
92.7 WOBM provides news, traffic and weather updates.
91.9 WBNJ provides local news, PSAs and events; as well as weather updates.
Ocean County has various major roads that pass through. State routes that go through include Route 13, Route 35, Route 37, Route 70, Route 72, Route 88, and Route 166. Other major routes that pass through are U.S. Route 9, the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 195 (I-195 is the only Interstate to pass through Ocean County, solely in Jackson Township).
Several prominent 500 series county highways make up an important portion of the automobile corridors in Ocean County. These include CR 526, CR 527, CR 528, CR 530, CR 532, CR 539, CR 547, CR 549, and CR 571.
The county had a total of 2,958.5 miles (4,761.2 km) of roadways, of which 2,164.2 miles (3,482.9 km) are maintained by the municipality, 615.5 miles (990.6 km) by Ocean County and 140.19 miles (225.61 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 38.59 miles (62.10 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
NJ Transit's (NJT) North Jersey Coast Line, which serves New York Penn Station and passes through Middlesex and Monmouth counties, offers service at the Bay Head and Point Pleasant Beach stations, located at the northernmost corner of the county. The Monmouth Ocean Middlesex Line is a passenger rail project proposed by NJT to serve he northern central part of the county. Southern Ocean County is also located about 25 miles from the Atlantic City Line, which provides service to Philadelphia.
Bus service is provided on NJ Transit bus routes 130, 132, 136, and 139 to and from Lakewood Bus Terminal on the U.S. Route 9 corridor. Expanded use Route 9 BBS (bus bypass shoulder lanes) is under study.
Bus route 559 provides service along Route 9 between Lakewood and Pleasantville before continuing to Atlantic City.
Bus route 137 provides service in three variants. One is a nonstop express between Toms River and New York that operates seven days a week. The other two are rush hour only services, one operating along County Route 549 between Toms River and Brick before continuing onto New York while the other begins and ends in Lakewood operating via County Line Road to the Brick park & rides before continuing to New York.
Bus route 67 operates between Toms River and Newark providing service along County Route 549 between Toms River and Brick before continuing onto Lakewood and points north.
Bus Route 317 crosses the county in an east–west fashion on its route between Philadelphia and Asbury Park. This route also provides service to Fort Dix and Camden among other destinations.
Bus route 319 makes a single stop in Toms River on its route between Atlantic City and New York.
Ocean Ride is a county wide system with 12 regular routes, many serving Ocean County Mall, which acts as transfer hub. Of these routes, only the OC 10 (Lavallette to Toms River) operates Monday-Saturday, with the OC 4 (Point Pleasant to Lakewood) operating Monday-Friday. All other routes run 2–3 days a week. Ocean Ride also provides paratransit service throughout the county.
Academy Bus provides service between various areas in the northern part of the county and New York.
Many of the retirement communities contract for the operation of shuttle buses to connect the communities with various shopping centers in the county.
Municipalities in Ocean County (with 2010 Census data for population, housing units and area in square miles) are: Other, unincorporated communities in the county are listed alongside their parent municipality (or municipalities). Most of these areas are census-designated places that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a Township. The numbers in parentheses stand for the numbers on the map.
|Municipality (map index)||Map key||Mun.
|Barnegat Light||6||borough||574||1,282||0.85||0.12||0.73||785.1||1,753.6||Southern Regional (7–12)
Long Beach Island (PK-6)
|Barnegat||29||township||20,936||9,085||40.78||6.41||34.38||609.0||264.35||Barnegat Township||Barnegat CDP (2,817), Howardsville,|
Ocean Acres (part; 925 of 16,142),
|Bay Head||16||borough||968||1,023||0.70||0.12||0.58||1,662.8||1,757.3||Point Pleasant Beach (9–12) (S/R)
Bay Head (K-8)
|Beach Haven||2||borough||1,170||2,667||2.32||1.34||0.98||1,196.0||2,726.2||Southern Regional (7–12)
Beach Haven (PK-6)
|Berkeley Township||26||township||41,255||23,818||56.00||13.13||42.86||962.5||555.7||Central Regional (7–12)
Berkeley Township (PK-6)
|Bayville (20,512), Cedar Beach,|
Crossley, Glen Cove, Holiday
City-Berkeley (13,884), Holiday
City South (3,689), Holiday
Heights (2,099), Holly Park,
Pelican Island, Silver Ridge (1,133)
|Brick||23||township||75,072||33,677||32.32||6.60||25.72||2,919.4||1,309.6||Brick||Adamston, Breton Woods, Burrsville, Cedarcroft, Herbertsville, Laurelton, Osbornsville, Parkway Pines|
|Eagleswood||31||township||1,603||760||18.86||2.80||16.06||99.8||47.3||Pinelands Regional (7–12)
|Harvey Cedars||5||borough||337||1,214||1.19||0.63||0.56||604.6||2,178.0||Southern Regional (7–12)
Long Beach Island (PK-6)
|Island Heights||10||borough||1,673||831||0.91||0.30||0.61||2,738.3||1,360.2||Central Regional (7–12)
Islands Heights (K-6)
|Jackson||21||township||54,856||20,342||100.62||1.38||99.24||552.7||205.0||Jackson||Bennetts Mills, Cassville, Harmony,|
Holmeson (part; 5,231), Jackson Mills,
Prospertown, Vista Center (3,689),
|Lacey Township||27||township||27,644||11,573||98.53||15.27||83.26||332.0||139.0||Lacey Township||Aserdaten, Barnegat Pines, Forked|
River (5,244), Lanoka Harbor
|Lakehurst||19||borough||2,654||943||1.01||0.09||0.91||2,900.8||1,030.7||Manchester (9–12) (S/R)
|Lakewood||22||township||92,843||26,337||24.98||0.41||24.58||3,777.7||1,071.6||Lakewood||Lakewood CDP (53,805), Leisure|
Village (4,400), Leisure Village
|Lavallette||14||borough||1,875||3,207||0.95||0.15||0.81||2,319.2||3,966.8||Point Pleasant Beach (9–12) (S/R)
|Little Egg Harbor||33||township||20,065||10,324||73.05||25.69||47.37||423.6||218.0||Pinelands Regional (7–12)
Little Egg Harbor (PK-6)
|Mystic Island (8,493), Nugentown,|
Parkertown Warren Grove, West
|Long Beach||32||township||3,051||9,216||22.04||16.59||5.44||560.5||1,693.0||Southern Regional (7–12)
Long Beach Island (PK-6)
|High Bar Harbor, Loveladies, North|
Beach Haven (2,235)
|Manchester||25||township||43,070||25,886||82.69||1.07||81.62||527.7||317.2||Manchester||Bullock, Cedar Glen Lakes (1,421),|
Cedar Glen West (1,267), Crestwood
Village (7,907), Leisure Knoll (2,490),
Leisure Village West (3,493), Pine Lake
Park (8,707), Pine Ridge at Crestwood
(2,369), Ridgeway, Roosevelt City,
|Mantoloking||15||borough||296||535||0.64||0.26||0.39||767.9||1,387.9||Point Pleasant Beach (9–12) (S/R)|
|Ocean Gate||9||borough||2,011||1,203||0.45||0.01||0.45||4,490.3||2,686.1||Central Regional (7–12)
Ocean Gate (PK-6)
|Ocean Township||28||township||8,332||4,291||32.04||11.49||20.56||405.3||208.8||Southern Regional (7–12) (S/R) (9–12)
Ocean Township (PK-6)
|Brookville, Waretown (1,569)|
|Pine Beach||11||borough||2,127||903||0.62||0.00||0.61||3,465.4||1,471.2||Toms River|
|Plumsted Township||20||township||8,421||3,067||40.15||0.44||39.71||212.1||77.2||Plumsted Township||Archertown, Brindletown, New|
|Point Pleasant||18||borough||18,392||8,331||4.17||0.68||3.49||5,272.1||2,388.1||Point Pleasant|
|Point Pleasant Beach||17||borough||4,665||3,373||1.74||0.32||1.43||3,270.1||2,364.4||Point Pleasant Beach||Clark's Landing|
|Seaside Heights||8||borough||2,887||3,003||0.75||0.13||0.62||4,662.9||4,850.2||Central Regional (7–12)
Seaside Heights (PK-6)
|Seaside Park||7||borough||1,579||2,703||0.77||0.12||0.65||2,429.4||4,158.7||Central Regional (7–12)
Lavallette (K-6) (Opt. 1)
Toms River (K-6) (Opt. 2)
|Ship Bottom||3||borough||1,156||2,066||1.00||0.29||0.71||1,620.6||2,896.3||Southern Regional (7–12)
Long Beach Island (PK-6)
|South Toms River||13||borough||3,684||1,160||1.23||0.06||1.17||3,146.7||990.8||Toms River|
|Stafford Township||30||township||26,535||13,604||54.88||9.03||45.85||578.8||296.7||Southern Regional (7–12)
Stafford Township (PK-6)
|Beach Haven West (3,896), Cedar|
Run, Manahawkin (2,303), Mayetta,
Ocean Acres (part; 15,217 of
16,142), Warren Grove
|Surf City||4||borough||1,205||2,566||0.92||0.17||0.75||1,616.5||3,442.4||Southern Regional (7–12)
Long Beach Island (PK-6)
|Toms River||24||township||91,239||43,334||52.88||12.40||40.49||2,253.5||1,070.3||Toms River||Cattus Island, Chadwick Beach Island,|
Dover Beaches North (1,239), Dover
Beaches South (1,209), Gilford Park,
Pelican Island, Silverton
|Tuckerton||1||borough||3,347||1,902||3.80||0.44||3.36||995.1||565.5||Pinelands Regional (7–12)
Beth Medrash Gohova is said to be the world’s largest Jewish-affiliated university outside of Israel.
The sea change can be pinned to one event: The founding of the Beth Medrash Govoha yeshiva in the mid-20th century. The Orthodox Jewish community has set down roots en masse around the religious school, which is now the largest yeshiva in North America.