South Brunswick was first mentioned in Freeholder minutes on February 28, 1778, as being formed from New Brunswick Township. It was formally incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships on February 21, 1798. Portions of the township have been taken to form Cranbury (as of March 7, 1872) and Plainsboro (on April 1, 1919).
Niche.com placed Monmouth Junction in the top 10 of its “2021 Best Places to Live in New Jersey”. In 2021, SafeWise placed South Brunswick in the “100 Safest Cities in America”.
In 1872, the Legislature first reduced the size of South Brunswick with the creation of the separate Cranbury from the southern portion of South Brunswick. In 1885, it redefined and enlarged the boundaries of Cranbury, and Plainsboro was formed in 1919. The present boundaries of South Brunswick date back to this last change.
During the 20th century, South Brunswick saw extensive transformation with the impact of changes in transportation technology. The New Brunswick and Trenton Fast Line began operation in 1900, a trolley line running parallel to the Old Straight Turnpike of 1804 (Route 1), intersecting George's Road just north of the Five Corners intersection in Dayton. This trolley provided daily passenger and freight service, stopping at a local crossroads. The New Jersey Turnpike opened in 1951, again roughly parallel to Route 1, on the eastern edge of the Township. One effect of the Turnpike opening up Interchange 8A (just outside the township) was the transformation of the agricultural area on the southeast corner of South Brunswick to that of a burgeoning industrial development. Significant portions of land between Route 130 and the turnpike consist largely of warehouses.
In 1980, the township's population approached 18,000. In 1990, this figure reached 25,792 and by 2020, South Brunswick had over 47,000 residents. Much of the township's 42 square miles (110 km2) remain undeveloped and there are still significant amounts of wetlands, woodlands, and open space within the community.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 41.02 square miles (106.23 km2), including 40.61 square miles (105.19 km2) of land and 0.40 square miles (1.04 km2) of water (0.98%).
Because the township is served by several different zip codes, Dayton, Monmouth Junction, Kendall Park, Kingston, Jamesburg, Cranbury, Princeton and even North Brunswick are often used in place of the township's name, even when referring to areas located beyond their defined boundaries.
Dayton was first known simply as The Cross Roads, where James Whitlock built a tavern on Georges Road around 1750. Early enterprises included a brick manufacturer and a large nursery. In 1866, the name was changed from Cross Roads to Dayton, in honor of William L. Dayton, an attorney for the Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad. Dayton had helped settle disputes arising from the location of a railroad right-of-way. He was later a United States Senator, was the first Republican nominee for Vice President (in 1856), and Minister to France.
Deans originated from its location on both Crosswicknung Trail (Georges Road) and Lawrence Brook. Dams were built on the brook, creating Deans Pond.
With increased mobility and a growing population, the suburban-style residential development was born after World War II, and Kendall Park was begun in the 1950s. Kendall Park is located off Route 27, the old Indian trail and major thoroughfare of earlier centuries.
A panorama of Davidson's Mill Pond in the central portion of the township
South Brunswick is in the humid continental climate zone. Average Winter-time high temperatures range from 38 to 43 °F (3 to 6 °C), and the lows range from 19 to 24 °F (−7 to −4 °C) degrees with the record low being −16 °F (−27 °C). Average summer-time high temperatures range from 84 to 87 °F (29 to 31 °C), though temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) often with the record high being 105 °F (41 °C). The summertime lows range from 63 to 67 °F (17 to 19 °C) degrees. South Brunswick can receive much snow during the winter months, sometimes up to 3 feet (0.91 m). About 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm) of rain falls every month and is evenly spread throughout the year, though the area can go through long periods of drought or long-lasting periods with little to no rain. During winter and early spring, South Brunswick can in some years experience "nor'easters", which are capable of causing blizzards or flooding throughout the northeastern United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms (such as Hurricane Irene in 2011), tornadoes, and earthquakes are rare.
Climate data for South Brunswick (Dayton), New Jersey
The 2020 United States census counted 47,043 people in the township, which was a gain of 8.4% from the 2010 census. The racial makeup was 48.1% Asian, 35.5% white, 7.6% Black, 7.5%, and 5.5% reported two or more races. 7.5% of respondents reported Latino ethnicity. There were 16,647 households in the township.
Of the 15,069 households, 44.3% had children under the age of 18; 66.1% were married couples living together; 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 22.4% were non-families. Of all households, 18.8% were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.33.
27.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 93.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $100,950 (with a margin of error of +/− $2,777) and the median family income was $116,127 (+/− $5,529). Males had a median income of $81,297 (+/− $2,632) versus $55,477 (+/− $3,835) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,468 (+/− $1,430). About 2.1% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 census, 10.48% of South Brunswick's residents identified themselves as being of Indian American ancestry, which was the seventh-highest of any municipality in the United States and the fourth highest in New Jersey – behind Edison (17.75%), Plainsboro Township (16.97%) and Piscataway Township (12.49%) – of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 13,428 households, out of which 43.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.3% 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 3.27.
In the township, the population was spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $78,737, and the median income for a family was $86,891. Males had a median income of $61,637 versus $41,554 for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,104. About 2.1% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
South Brunswick operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of municipal government. The township is one of 42 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use this form of government. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the four-member Township Council. Members of the Township Council are elected at-large to four-year terms in partisan elections on a staggered basis with two seats up for election in even-numbered years. The mayoral seat is up for election directly by the voters. At a reorganization meeting held in January after each election, the council selects a deputy mayor from among its members.
As of 2022[update], members of the Township Council are Mayor Charles Carley (D, term as mayor ends December 31, 2022), Deputy Mayor Joseph J. Camarota Jr. (D, 2024), Kenneth Bierman (D, 2022), Archana "Ann" Grover (D, 2024) and Josephine "Jo" Hochman (D, 2024).
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners, whose seven members 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. As of 2022[update], Middlesex County's Commissioners (with party affiliation, term-end year, and residence listed in parentheses) are
Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios (D, Carteret, term as commissioner ends December 31, 2024; term as commissioner director ends 2022),
Commissioner Deputy Director Shanti Narra (D, North Brunswick, term as commissioner ends 2024; term as deputy director ends 2022),
Claribel A. "Clary" Azcona-Barber (D, New Brunswick, 2022),
Charles Kenny (D, Woodbridge Township, 2022),
Leslie Koppel (D, Monroe Township, 2023),
Chanelle Scott McCullum (D, Piscataway, 2024) and
Charles E. Tomaro (D, Edison, 2023).
Constitutional officers are
County Clerk Nancy Pinkin (D, 2025, East Brunswick),
Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2022, Piscataway) and
Surrogate Claribel Cortes (D, 2026; North Brunswick).
As of November 2, 2021, there were a total of 34,403 registered voters in South Brunswick.
In the United States Presidential Election of 2020, Democrat Joseph Biden received 68.7%votes (16,351 cast), ahead of Republican candidate Donald J. Trump who received 30.1%votes (7,163 cast), and other candidates Jo Jorgensen with 139 votes and Howie Hawkins with 88 votes, among the 24,176 total ballots cast with 32,470 registered voters. In the United States Presidential Election of 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton received 65.3% votes (12,827 cast), ahead of Republican candidate Donald J. Trump who received 31.5% votes (6,197 cast), and other candidates Gary Johnson with 372 votes and Jill Stein with 197 votes, among the 20,021 total ballots cast with 29,447 registered voters. In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 64.3% of the vote (11,583 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 34.6% (6,233 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (194 votes), among the 18,141 ballots cast by the township's 25,947 registered voters (131 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 69.9%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.7% of the vote (11,452 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 35.7% (6,530 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (176 votes), among the 18,275 ballots cast by the township's 24,803 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 56.8% of the vote (9,346 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 42.1% (6,925 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (128 votes), among the 16,457 ballots cast by the township's 22,147 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.3.
In the 2021 gubernatorial election, Democrat Philip Murphy received 64.8% of the vote (8,541 votes), ahead of Republican Jack Ciattarelli with 34.3% (4,526 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (122 votes), among the 13,332 votes cast by the township's 34,403 registered voters. In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Democrat Philip Murphy received 63.6%% of the vote (6,957 votes), ahead of Republican Kim Guadagno with 34.4% (3,757 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (218 votes), among the 11,073 votes cast by the township's 28,647 registered voters. In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.1% of the vote (5,608 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.6% (3,755 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (128 votes), among the 9,576 ballots cast by the township's 26,340 registered voters (85 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 36.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 47.3% of the vote (5,355 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 44.1% (4,991 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.7% (758 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (90 votes), among the 11,311 ballots cast by the township's 23,974 registered voters, yielding a 47.2% turnout.
As of the 2018–2019 school year, the district, comprised of 10 schools, had an enrollment of 8,623 students and 634.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.6:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–2019 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Brooks Crossing and Deans Elementary School (589 students; in grades K–5),
Brunswick Acres Elementary School (534; K–5),
Cambridge Elementary School (512; Pre-K–5),
Constable Elementary School (470; K–5),
Greenbrook Elementary School (379; K–5),
Indian Fields and Dayton Elementary School (668; K–5),
Monmouth Junction Elementary School (347; Pre-K–5),
Crossroads North Middle School (843; 6–8),
Crossroads South Middle School (1,107; 6–8) and
South Brunswick High School (2,977; 9–12).
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There is also the Princeton Japanese Church (プリンストン日本語教会, Purinsuton Nihongo Kyōkai), catering to the area Japanese community, in Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick. It was established in October 1991, and in 1993 had 20–25 attendees per Sunday church worship.
Roads and highways
View north along the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) just north of Exit 8A in South Brunswick
Homes along the side of U.S. Route 130 in South Brunswick
The most prominent highway passing through South Brunswick is a 3+1⁄2-mile (5.6 km) section of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95). This highway crosses the eastern part of the township, and a few ramps that lead to the toll gate for Interchange 8A pass through the township, with the majority of the interchange just outside the municipality's border in Monroe Township. Other major highways that the township also hosts include U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 130, Route 27 and Route 32. A few county routes, such as 535 and 522, pass through the township.
A number of proposed Turnpike Authority maintained roads were to traverse South Brunswick. The first was the Driscoll Expressway which was to start from the Garden State Parkway at exit 80 in Toms River and end 3 miles (4.8 km) north of exit 8A along the turnpike in South Brunswick. This was cancelled in the 1980s. The other proposed road was a west-east spur, Route 92. While the majority of the spur was to be in South Brunswick, it was to begin at US 1, just north of the intersection with Ridge Road in South Brunswick, and terminate at the tollgate for Exit 8A. However this was cancelled on December 1, 2006.
^Kingston Village Advisory Committee, Township of South Brunswick. Accessed March 8, 2020. "The KVAC is a committee of seven members from South Brunswick and Franklin Townships. KVAC oversees the implementation of the Planning and Implementation Agenda which was approved by the New Jersey State Planning Commission when Kingston was designated as a Village Center."
^Biography, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Watson Coleman and her husband William reside in Ewing Township and are blessed to have three sons; William, Troy, and Jared and three grandchildren; William, Kamryn and Ashanee."
^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.."
^Board of County Commissioners, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Accessed May 1, 2022. "The residents of Middlesex County’s 25 municipalities elect seven (7) persons to serve as members of the Board of County Commissioners. The Commissioners are elected at large to staggered three-year terms in the November general election. In January of each year, the Board reorganizes, selecting one Commissioner to be County Commissioner Director and another to be County Commissioner Deputy Director."
^South Brunswick Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, South Brunswick Public Schools. Accessed April 23, 2020 ."Purpose The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve in the South Brunswick School District. Composition The South Brunswick School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of South Brunswick."
^About the Community, South Brunswick Public Schools. Accessed September 24, 2014. "In 1991, the District's enrollment was just under 4,000 students. At the start of the 2010–2011 school year, approximately 9,100 students were enrolled in the District's school communities, which include nine elementary schools for students in Grades K-5, a two-campus middle school for students in Grades 6–8 and a high school for students attending Grades 9–12."
^Clark, Adam. "These 10 N.J. schools earn Blue Ribbon honors", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 28, 2016. Accessed November 13, 2016. "The U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday announced that 10 New Jersey schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools, a recognition celebrating excellence in academics."
^"Rail Right-of-Way Inventory and Assessment". North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. October 2013. Archived from the original on September 24, 2017. 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.
^Nelson, Lloyd."South Brunswick native, Florida professor Mya Breitbart named to Popular Science 'Brilliant 10'", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 26, 2013, updated March 30, 2019. Accessed March 12, 2020. "Mya Breitbart, a South Brunswick native and a University of South Florida Associate Professor of biological oceanography who is one of the nation's premier virus hunters, has been named one of Popular Science magazine's 'Brilliant 10' for 2013 - a coveted award that recognizes the nation's brightest young scientific minds."
^Sargeant, Keith. "Defensive coordinator with N.J. roots reportedly headed to Notre Dame | Who is Mike Elko?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 16, 2016. Accessed January 15, 2017. "Mike Elko, 39, grew up in South Brunswick, starring as the high school's quarterback before heading to play linebacker at the University of Pennsylvania and then beginning a collegiate coaching career that is now in its second decade. The 1995 South Brunswick High School graduate is set to be named the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, according to SI.com and other published reports."
^Hometown Hero - Edith King, South Brunswick Public Library. Accessed January 9, 2020. "King lived in Kendall Park, New Jersey, in the early 1960s where she owned a small gift shop while continuing her acting career"
^Morris, Tim. "Moran running 10K at U.S. Olympic Trials"Archived October 22, 2014, at archive.today, Sentinel, June 26, 2008. Accessed October 7, 2015. "The gold medal rests next to his bed as a reminder. 'On days I don't want to run, I look at it,' said Ed Moran, the native of the Dayton section of South Brunswick who won the 5,000-meter run at last year's Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil."
^Turner, Elisa. "Segal Exhibit Evokes Quiet Dignity Of Humdrum Lives", The Miami Herald, December 20, 1998. Accessed July 31, 2007. "That compassion is also evident in the work ethic and personality of this artist, who's called himself a Depression baby and who speaks fondly of South Brunswick, N.J., where he's lived since the 1940s, as a working man's town."
^About Pastor SoariesArchived October 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Accessed October 7, 2015. "Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Soaries resides in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey with his wife, Donna and twin sons, Malcolm and Martin."
^Fisher, Rich. "Huge second half pushes Notre Dame boys basketball past Trenton", The Trentonian, January 11, 2016. Accessed May 3, 2021. "Notre Dame also ran a more patient offense after breaking Trenton’s press, as Mike Walley (13 points) hit all three of his 3-pointers after the break. Seniors Sean Hoggs (24) and Troy Jones (23) also benefited from the pace but the true eye-opener was Isaiah Wong, the freshman from South Brunswick, scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half on a variety of penetration moves."