About Union County, NJ

union county nj map
Written by NJroute22

About Union County, NJ

Union County, NJ is in the NJ Route 22 East Zone here on NJroute22.com. It’s a very packed county (shopping overload!) and is ranked the 15th-most densely populated county in the United States!

Our goal for this county is: to find the “diamonds in the rough.”

Union County, New Jersey

union county NJ map outline stateUnion County is a county in the U.S. state of New Jersey. At the 2014 Census, its estimated population was 552,939, an increase of 3.1% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 536,499, in turn, an increase of 13,958 (2.7%) from the 522,541 enumerated in the 2000 Census and making it the seventh-most populous county in the state, having been surpassed by Ocean County.

It is part of the New York metropolitan area. Its county seat is Elizabeth. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 119th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the eighth-highest in New Jersey) in 2009.

An online study determined that Union County pays the second-highest property taxes of all U.S. counties, based on 2007 data. With a population density of 4,955 people per square mile (water excluded), Union County was the 15th-most densely populated county in America as of the 2010 Census, and third-densest in New Jersey, behind Hudson County (ranked 6th at 9,754) and Essex County (ranked 11th at 6,126).

Union County was formed on March 19, 1857, from portions of Essex County.

Geography

According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 105.40 square miles (273.0 km), including 102.86 square miles (266.4 km) of land (97.6%) and 2.55 square miles (6.6 km) of water (2.4%).

Much of Union County is relatively flat and low-lying. Only in the northwestern corner does any significant relief appear as the Watchung Mountains cross the county.

It is there that highest elevations, two areas approximately 560 feet (170 m) above sea level, are found in Berkeley Heights. The lowest elevation is sea level along the eastern shore.

Climate and weather

Elizabeth, New Jersey
Climate chart
JFMAMJJASOND
3.5
39
24
2.9
42
27
4.1
51
34
4.2
62
44
4
72
53
4
82
63
4.7
86
69
3.7
84
68
3.8
77
60
3.6
65
48
3.6
55
39
3.8
44
30
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Elizabeth have ranged from a low of 24 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −14 °F (−26 °C) was recorded in February 1934 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1993. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.99 inches (76 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in July.

Adjacent counties

Union County adjoins the following counties:

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
186027,780
187041,85950.7%
188055,57132.8%
189072,46730.4%
190099,35337.1%
1910140,19741.1%
1920200,15742.8%
1930305,20952.5%
1940328,3447.6%
1950398,13821.3%
1960504,25526.7%
1970543,1167.7%
1980504,094−7.2%
1990493,819−2.0%
2000522,5415.8%
2010536,4992.7%
Est. 2014552,9393.1%
Historical sources: 1790-1990
1970-2010 2000 2010 2000-2010

Union County is diverse ethnically. Berkeley HeightsClarkRoselle ParkCranfordKenilworthLindenNew ProvidenceScotch PlainsSpringfieldSummitUnion, and Westfield have high percentages of Italian American residents. ElizabethLindenPlainfieldRahwayRoselle and Union all have large African American communities. Roselle Park has a notably large Indian American community, while Roselle ParkLindenRahwayPlainfield and particularly Elizabeth have fast-growing Hispanic and Portuguese populations.

The county’s Jewish-American population was 35,000 as of 2004, with notable communities located in CranfordElizabethHillsideLindenScotch PlainsSpringfieldUnion, and Westfield.

Census 2010

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 536,499 people, 188,118 households, and 134,692 families residing in the county. The population density was 5,216.1 per square mile (2,013.9/km). There were 199,489 housing units at an average density of 1,939.5 per square mile (748.8/km). The racial makeup of the county was 61.33% (329,052) White, 22.05% (118,313) Black or African American, 0.39% (2,080) Native American, 4.63% (24,839) Asian, 0.03% (163) Pacific Islander, 8.48% (45,496) from other races, and 3.09% (16,556) from two or more racesHispanics or Latinos of any race were 27.34% (146,704) of the population.

There were 188,118 households, of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the county, 24.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

Economy

The top employers in 2011, according to the Union County Economic Development Corporation, were:

#Employer# of employees
1Merck & Co.10,000
2New England Motor Freight3,900
3USI Services Group3,200
4Overlook Medical Center2,961
5Maher Terminals1,700
6Trinitas Hospital1,674
7Children’s Specialized Hospital1,440
8Alcatel-Lucent1,300
9ConocoPhillips1,000

Transportation

The county is served by rail, air, highways, and ports.

Roads and highways

As of 2010, the county had a total of 1,418.31 miles (2,282.55 km) of roadways, of which 1,158.45 miles (1,864.34 km) were maintained by the local municipality, 176.32 miles (283.76 km) by Union County and 66.22 miles (106.57 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 17.32 miles (27.87 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Major highways which traverse the county include the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95), Garden State ParkwayI-78I-278U.S. Route 1/9U.S. Route 22Route 24Route 27Route 28, Route 35Route 82Route 124Route 439, and the Goethals Bridge.

Public transportation

Passenger rail service is provided by New Jersey Transit via the Northeast CorridorNorth Jersey Coast LineRaritan Valley Line, the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch. Freight service is provided by on Conrail‘s Lehigh Line and Chemical Coast Branch. Freight and passenger rail service was provided by the Rahway Valley Railroad from 1897 until 1992 when the short line closed due to lack of customers.

NJ Transit provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, as well as service to major cities in New Jersey and within Union County.

The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The southern portion of Newark Airport is located in Elizabeth, within Union County.

union county nj map

About the author

NJroute22

NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

NJroute22.com Comments Section

Be the First to Comment!

Or better yet


(To avoid privacy issues from those social maniacs) - LOG IN TO NJroute22.com to post some comments.