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Morris County, New Jersey
Map of New Jersey highlighting Morris County
Location in the state of New Jersey
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Seat Morristown
Largest city Parsippany-Troy Hills
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

481 sq mi (1,246 km²)
469 sq mi (1,215 km²)
12 sq mi (31 km²), 2.55%
 - (2000)
 - Density

1,002/sq mi (387/km²)
Founded March 15, 1739

Morris County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey, about 25 mi (40 km) west of New York City. According to the United States 2000 Census, the population was 470,212. The Census Bureau's 2008 estimate was 487,548.[1] It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Morristown[2].

Morris County was the sixth-wealthiest county in the United States by median household income, and ranked tenth by per capita income.[3] It is the ninth-wealthiest county in the United States by personal per-capita income, the highest rank in New Jersey.[4] The county ranked third in the New York Metropolitan area in terms of median income.[5]



The area of Morris County was inhabited by the Lenape prior to the coming of the Europeans. Although trading with the Lenape had occurred consistently while the area was part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, European settlements only began in the early 1700s while it was the English Province of New Jersey.

Morris County was created on March 15, 1739, from portions of Hunterdon County.[6] The county was named for the Governor of the Province of New Jersey, Colonel Lewis Morris.[7] In later years Sussex County (on June 8, 1753) and, after the revolution, Warren County (on November 20, 1824, from portions of Sussex County) were carved out of what had been the original area of Morris County under English rule.[6]

The county was the site of two winter encampments by the Continental Army, including the worst the army ever spent, 1779-1780.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 481 square miles (1,247 km²), of which 469 square miles (1,215 km²) is land and 12 square miles (32 km²) (2.55%) is water.

Highest point

The county rises in elevation and relief from east to west, with only the more developed eastern suburbs in the Passaic River valley being relatively level. The highest point is at 1,395 feet (425 m) above sea level in the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson Township; the lowest point is about 140 feet (42.6 m) in elevation, at Two Bridges, the confluence of the Passaic and Pompton rivers.

Adjacent counties include

National protected areas


Morris County in 1853

Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two or three seats up for election each year.[8] The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by the county administrator.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders has been granted broad powers by the state legislature to regulate almost all county property, finances and affairs. The Freeholder Board's duties include preparing and adopting the county budget; authorizing expenditures and bonds; appointing county officials and members to boards, commissions and authorities; passing on all claims against the county, and supervising the administration of county government.

The Freeholders are the center of legislative and administrative responsibility in Morris County and, as such, perform a dual role. As legislators they draw up and adopt a budget, and in the role of administrators they are responsible for spending the funds they have appropriated. Many of these duties in Morris County have been delegated by the Board of Chosen Freeholders to the county administrator.

From 2008, Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Margaret Nordstrom, Deputy Freeholder Director Gene F. Feyl, Douglas R. Cabana, William J. Chegwidden, John J. Murphy, James W. Murray and James W. Murray.[9]

The Morris Automated Information Network, which supplies Internet service to area libraries, turned down $10,000 per year in federal funding, starting in 2004. Acceptance of the grants would have required the network to install anti-porn content filters to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act. As these filters excluded legitimate information — such as pages with the word "breast" in online searches regarding "breast cancer" — the network declined to accept these grants.[10]

Another organization having the power to affect the county budget without county governmental control is the Morris County Board of Taxation, a.k.a. the Morris County Tax Board. "[T]he freeholders, and county government in general, do not have control over tax board spending.... [T]he tax board is an entity of state government, even though it submits expense vouchers to county government."[11]


Morris County has been one of New Jersey's more Republican counties.[citation needed] In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried the county by a 15.8% margin over John Kerry, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush.[12] In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, John McCain carried the county by an 8.1% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama carrying the state by 15.5% over McCain.[13] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie carried the county with 60%. Incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine received 31%, and Independent Chris Daggett received 8%.[citation needed]


Based on IRS data for the 2004 tax year, Morris County had the tenth highest average federal income tax liability per return in the country Average tax liability was $15,296, representing 16.3% of Adjusted Gross Income.[14]


Personal income

Morris County has the third highest median household income in the USA ($77,340).[15] According to the County 2000 Census:

  • Median household income = $77,340 (2007 estimate: $92,018)[16]
  • Median family income = $89,773 (2007 estimate: $108,092)
  • Median income for males = $60,165
  • Median income for females = $40,065
  • Per capita income = $36,964
  • Families below the poverty line = 2.40%
  • Population below the poverty line= 3.90%
  • Under age 18 below the poverty line = 3.70%
  • Age 65 or over, below the poverty line = 5.30%


Fifty-three Fortune 500 businesses have headquarters, offices or a major facility in Morris County. These include AT&T, Honeywell, Colgate-Palmolive, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Novartis, BASF, Verizon, Bayer and Wyeth.[17] Major industries include finance, insurance, real estate, pharmaceuticals, health services, research and development, and technology. There are 13,000 acres (53 km²) set aside for 28 county parks. Four county golf courses and 16 public and private courses are in Morris.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 16,216
1800 17,750 9.5%
1810 21,828 23.0%
1820 21,368 −2.1%
1830 23,666 10.8%
1840 25,844 9.2%
1850 30,158 16.7%
1860 34,677 15.0%
1870 43,137 24.4%
1880 50,861 17.9%
1890 54,101 6.4%
1900 65,156 20.4%
1910 74,704 14.7%
1920 82,694 10.7%
1930 110,445 33.6%
1940 125,732 13.8%
1950 164,371 30.7%
1960 261,620 59.2%
1970 383,454 46.6%
1980 407,630 6.3%
1990 421,353 3.4%
2000 470,212 11.6%
Est. 2006 493,160 [1] 4.9%
historical census data source:[18][19]
Morris County in 1872

At the 2000 census[20], there were 470,212 people, 169,711 households and 124,907 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,003 per square mile (387/km²). There were 174,379 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.20% White, 2.80% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 6.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.01% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 7.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 21.5% were of Italian, 14.5% Irish, 10.6% German, 5.5% Polish and 5.5% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

In 2005, 78.5% of Morris County's population was non-Hispanic whites. African Americans constituted 3.1% of the population. 8.0% of the population was Asian. 1.0% of the population reported two or more races. These figures did not include any people in the category "Some other race". Latinos were 9.7% of the population, all except 0.5% of whom classified as white.[21].

In 2000, there were 169,711 households of which 35.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.80% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.40% were non-families. 21.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.

Age distribution was 24.80% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 31.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

Hispanics constituted a majority of the population in Dover and over a quarter of the people in Morristown; over 18% of Americans in Parsippany-Troy Hills are Asian Americans. There are fairly equal numbers of Irish American and German American residents. The Jewish American community is strong in specific areas, such as Randolph, Rockaway, and Morristown. Lincoln Park (26.7%), Montville (26.8%), East Hanover (41.8%), Pequannock Township (29.2%), and Riverdale (33.5%) have significant Italian American populations, along with other northern and eastern communities, while the rest of the county is more mixed with populations of Irish and German ancestries. Wharton (20.8%), Denville (25.1%), and Mine Hill (23.5%) are Irish American.

In 2009, Forbes magazine ranked the county sixth best place in the nation to raise a family. This was the best of any county in the state. The ranking was mainly due to the high graduation rate of 98.4% and employment possibilities from area industry.[22]


The County College of Morris is a two-year public community college serving students from Morris County. The school's campus is in Randolph and was founded in 1965. Another two-year college, the private Roman Catholic women's college Assumption College for Sisters, is in Mendham.

The Florham Park-Madison-Convent Station area is also the home of three universities. The College at Florham, a campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, is located on the border of these three towns. Drew University is a small, private university in Madison. The College of Saint Elizabeth is a private Roman Catholic, four-year, liberal arts women's college located in Convent Station.


Indexed map of Morris County municipalities (click to see index key)

The following is a list of the municipalities in Morris County. Other, unincorporated areas in the county are listed below their parent municipality (or municipalities, as the case may be). Most of these areas are census-designated places that have been created by the United States Census Bureau for enumeration purposes within a township. Other communities and enclaves that exist within a municipality are marked with an asterisk (*) next to the name.

Local media

  • WMTR is an AM radio station at 1250 kHz is licensed to Morristown. The station features an oldies format.
  • WJSV radio and television (90.5 FM) is also in Morristown, the non-profit radio station of Morristown High School, which also has a television show which is shown on cable television, Colonial Corner.
  • The Morristown Daily Record[23] and The Star-Ledger are published locally.
  • Hometown Tales, a public access TV show and podcast chronicling stories and urban legends from around the world, is loosely based in Morristown.


  1. ^ a b "QuickFacts: Morris County, New Jersey". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Census 2000 Demographic Profiles
  4. ^ 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3111 Counties in the United States, 2006, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Accessed May 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Forbes Magazine. Complete List: America's Richest Counties. Published on January 2, 2008. Accessed on May 2, 2008
  6. ^ a b "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 191.
  7. ^ The Land Past and Present, Retrieved on March 22, 2007.
  8. ^ What is a Freeholder?, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed February 6, 2008.
  9. ^ Meet the Freeholders, Morris County, New Jersey. Accessed February 6, 2008.
  10. ^ The Library's Integrity, editorial, Star-Ledger, September 11, 2004.
  11. ^ Morris Tax Board Never Gets Bored of Traveling; Members Visited Alaska, Orlando, Other Spots on Public Money, by Lawrence Ragonese, The Star-Ledger, October 27, 2006.
  12. ^ New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
  13. ^ U.S. Election Atlas
  14. ^ Biggest Income Tax Burdens: Top 10 Places, CNN Money, accessed April 28, 2007.
  15. ^ American FactFinder
  16. ^ Census Bureau
  17. ^ Buying a home in Morris Township
  18. ^ "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880 - 1930". 
  19. ^ "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  21. ^ Morris County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  22. ^, retrieved March 21, 2009
  23. ^, Morris County's Newspaper (Daily Record)]

External links

Coordinates: 40°52′N 74°33′W / 40.87°N 74.55°W / 40.87; -74.55


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