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Bergen County is the most populous county of the state of New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. As of the 2000 Census, the population was 884,118, growing to 904,037 as of the Census Bureau's 2006 estimate. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Areamarker. Its county seat is Hackensackmarker. Bergen County ranks 18th among the highest-income counties in the United States in 2006 in terms of per-capita income.


(It is home of the awesome matt friedland)At the time of first European contact, Bergen County was inhabited by Native American people, particularly the Lenape groups of the Tappan, Hackensack and Rumachenanck (later called the Haverstraw). Today, some of the Ramapough Mountain Indians who reside in the northwest of the county trace their ancestry back to the Lenape and Munsee peoples.

The area comprising today's Bergen and Hudson counties was part of New Netherland, the 17th century North American colonial province of the Dutch Republic. It had been claimed after Henry Hudson (sailing for the Dutch East India Company) explored Newark Baymarker and anchored his ship at Weehawken Covemarker in 1609.

Early settlement attempts by the Dutch included Pavonia (1633), Vriessendael (1640) and Achter Col (1642) but these settlements were repelled in Kieft's War (1643-1645) and the Peach Tree War (1655-1660). Settlers again returned to the western shores of the Hudson in the 1660 formation of Bergen, which would become the first permanent European settlement in the territory of the modern state of New Jersey.

During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, on August 27, 1664, New Amsterdam surrendered to the English Navy. The Province of New Jersey was then formed in 1674. In 1679, Bergen was included in a judicial district with Essexmarker, Monmouthmarker and Middlesexmarker counties, while the territory was called East Jersey, a proprietary colony (as opposed to a royal colony). In 1683, Bergen (along with the three other counties) was officially recognized as an independent county by the Provincial Assembly.

The origin of the name of Bergen County is a matter of debate. It is believed that the County is named for one of the earliest settlements, Bergen, in the location of modern day Hudson Countymarker. However, the source of the name of the settlement is under wide debate. Several sources attribute the name to Bergen, Norwaymarker, while others attribute it to Bergen op Zoommarker in the Netherlandsmarker. Still others attribute it to the Dutch word meaning "hill" or "place of safety". Some sources say that the name is derived from one of the earliest settlers of Nieuw Amsterdam (now New York Citymarker), Hans Hansen Bergen, a native of Norwaymarker, who arrived in New Netherlands in 1633.

Initially, Bergen County consisted of only the land between the Hudson and the Hackensack Rivers, extending north to the border between East Jersey and New York. In January 1709, the boundaries were extended to include all the current territory of Hudson Countymarker (formed in 1840), and portions of Passaic Countymarker (formed in 1837). The 1709 borders were described as follows.

"Beginning at Constable's Hook, so along the bay and Hudson's River to the partition point between New Jersey and the province of New York; along this line and the line between East and West Jersey to the Pequaneck River; down the Pequaneck and Passaic Rivers to the soundmarker; and so following the sound to Constable's Hook the place of beginning."
:† The line between East and West Jersey here referred to is not the line finally adopted and known as the Lawrence line, which was run by John Lawrence in September and October, 1743. It was the compromise line agreed upon between Governors Coxe and Barclay in 1682, which ran a little north of Morristownmarker to the Passaic River; thence up the Pequaneck to forty-one degrees of north latitude; and thence by a straight line due east to the New York State line. This line being afterward objected to by the East Jersey proprietors, the latter procured the running of the Lawrence line.

Bergen saw several battles and troop movements during the American Revolutionary War. Fort Leemarker's location atop the New Jersey Palisadesmarker, opposite Fort Washington in Manhattanmarker, made it a strategic position during the war. In November, 1776 the Battle of Fort Lee took place as part of the Continental Army's attempts to keep British forces from sailing up the Hudson River. After these defensive positions were hastily abandoned, the American forces staged a retreat through present-day Englewoodmarker and Teaneckmarker, and across the Hackensack River at New Bridge Landingmarker, one of the few sites where the river was crossed by a bridge. With the British in pursuit, this retreat allowed American forces to escape capture and regroup for subsequent successes against the British elsewhere in New Jersey later that winter. The Baylor Massacremarker took place in 1778 in River Valemarker, resulting in severe losses for the Continentals.

Bergen and Passaic counties, 1872
In 1840, Hudson County was formed from Bergen. These two divisions lost roughly 13,000 residents (nearly half of the previous population) from the county's rolls.

In 1852, the Erie Railroad began operating major rail services from Jersey Citymarker on the Hudson River to points north and west via leased right-of-way in the county. This became known as the Erie Main Line, and is still in use for passenger service today.

In the late 19th century, state law was changed to allow easy formation of municipalities with the Borough form of government. This led to the Boroughitis phenomenon where many new municipalities were created in a span of a few years.

On January 11, 1917, the Kingsland Explosion took place at a munitions factory in what is today Lyndhurstmarker. The explosion is believed to be an act of sabotage by German agents, as the munitions in question were destined for Russia, part of the U.S.'s effort to supply allies before entrance into World War I. After the U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, Camp Merrittmarker was created in eastern Bergen County for troop staging. Beginning operations in August 1917, it housed 50,000 soldiers at a time, staging them for deployment to Europe via Hobokenmarker. Camp Merritt was decommissioned in November, 1919.

In 1931, the George Washington Bridgemarker was completed, linking Fort Leemarker to Manhattanmarker. This connection would spur development in the post-World War II era, developing much of the county to suburban levels. A second deck of traffic on the bridge was completed in 1962, expanding its capacity to 14 lanes.

In 1955, the U.S. Army created a Nike Missile station at Campgaw Mountainmarker (in the west of the county) for the defense of the New York Metropolitan Areamarker from strategic bombers. In 1959, the site was upgraded to house Nike-Hercules Missiles with increased range, speed and payload characteristics. The missile site closed in June 1971.

In 2004, Bergen County and neighboring Passaic Countymarker were ranked by Forbes as the second most overpriced place in the nation. In 2005, they ranked seventh.

In 2005, Bergen had the fourth-highest median property tax of any county in the nation at $6,846, the second highest in New Jersey behind Hunterdonmarker. In 2006, Bergen County homeowners paid a median of $7,237, a 5.7% increase over the previous year. However, the county dropped a position in the rankings, with only the fifth highest median property tax bill in the country, and third highest in New Jersey behind top-ranked Hunterdon countymarker at $7,999 and #4 Somerset Countymarker at $7,318. The prospect of property tax relief prompted County Executive Dennis McNerney to call for municipalities with populations less than 10,000 in Bergen County to merge, saying "The surest way to significantly lower homeowners' property taxes is to merge small towns and reduce administrative overhead." Thirty-five of Bergen County's municipalities have less than 10,000 residents each.


Bergen County, 1896
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 247 square miles (639 km²), of which, 234 square miles (606 km²) of it is land and 13 square miles (33 km²) of it (5.12%) is water.

The highest elevation is Bald Mountain near the New Yorkmarker state line in Mahwahmarker, at 1,152 feet (351 m) above sea level ( ). The lowest point is sea level, along the Hudson River, which in this region is more of a tidal estuary than a river.

The sharp cliffs of the New Jersey Palisadesmarker lift much the county up from the river along the eastern boundary with the Hudson River, but then relief remains relatively minimal across the county as much of it is in the Hackensack River valley. Only in the northwestern portion of the county are any serious hills found, leading to the Ramapo Mountains

The damming of the Hackensack River and a tributary, the Pascack Brookmarker, produced three reservoir in the county, Woodcliff Lake Reservoirmarker, Lake Tappanmarker and Oradell Reservoirmarker, which provide drinking water to much of northern New Jersey. The Hackensack River drains the eastern portion of the county through the New Jersey Meadowlands, a wetlands area in the southern portion of the county. The central portion is drained by the Saddle River and the western portion is drained by the Ramapo River. Both of these are tributaries of the Passaic River, which forms a section of the southwestern border of the county.

Bergen County is bordered by Rockland County, New Yorkmarker to the north, by Westchester Countymarker, The Bronxmarker, and Manhattanmarker in New York, across the Hudson River to the east, Hudson Countymarker to the south, a small border with Essex Countymarker also to the south and Passaic Countymarker to the west.


Bergen County has a humid subtropical climate according to the Koppen climate classification because its coldest month (January) averages above -3C. [13997][13998][13999]This is evident in the fact that Bergen County doesn't get persistent snow cover, but its colder neighbors do. It is milder than areas further inland. Chicagomarker is an extreme example of this.

Law and government

County government

Bergen has had a County Executive form of government since 1986. The current County Executive is Democrat Dennis McNerney. The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business.

The seven Freeholders are elected at-large to three-year terms in office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2008, Bergen County's Freeholders are:

Bergen also elects three countywide officials, separately from the County Executive and Freeholder Board, who are (as of January 2008) Sheriff Leo McGuire (D), Surrogate Court Judge Michael Dressler (D-Cresskill), and County Clerk Kathleen Donovan (R-Rutherford).

State representatives

The seventy municipalities of Bergen County are represented by seven separate state legislative districts. Three of these districts (the 37th, 38th and 39th) are situated entirely within the county, the others cross county boundaries.

District Senator Assembly 2002

32nd Nicholas Sacco (D) Vincent Prieto (D)

Joan M. Quigley (D)
13,363 Fairviewmarker. The remainder of the district covers Hudson Countymarker.
35th John Girgenti (D) Nellie Pou (D)

Alfred E. Steele (D)
11,527 Glen Rockmarker. The remainder of the district covers Passaic Countymarker.
36th Paul Sarlo (D) Frederick Scalera (D)

Gary Schaer (D)
119,146 Carlstadtmarker, East Rutherfordmarker, Garfieldmarker, Lyndhurstmarker, Moonachiemarker, North Arlingtonmarker, Rutherfordmarker, Wallingtonmarker, Wood-Ridgemarker. The district also includes Nutleymarker (in Essex Countymarker) and Passaicmarker (in Passaic Countymarker).
37th Loretta Weinberg (D) Valerie Huttle (D)

Gordon M. Johnson (D)
217,255 Bergenfieldmarker, Bogotamarker, Englewoodmarker, Englewood Cliffsmarker, Hackensackmarker, Leoniamarker, Maywoodmarker, Palisades Parkmarker, Ridgefield Parkmarker, Rochelle Parkmarker, Teaneckmarker, Tenaflymarker
38th Robert M. Gordon (D) Joan Voss (D)

Concetta Wagner (D)
218,991 Cliffside Parkmarker, Edgewatermarker, Elmwood Parkmarker, Fair Lawnmarker, Fort Leemarker, Hasbrouck Heightsmarker, Little Ferrymarker, Lodimarker, Paramusmarker, Ridgefieldmarker, Saddle Brookmarker, South Hackensackmarker, Teterboromarker
39th Gerald Cardinale (R) John E. Rooney (R)

Charlotte Vandervalk (R)
217,434 Allendalemarker, Alpinemarker, Clostermarker, Cresskillmarker, Demarestmarker, Dumontmarker, Emersonmarker, Harrington Parkmarker, Haworthmarker, Hillsdalemarker, Ho-Ho-Kusmarker, Montvalemarker, New Milfordmarker, Northvalemarker, Norwoodmarker, Old Tappanmarker, Oradellmarker, Park Ridgemarker, Ramseymarker, River Edgemarker, River Valemarker, Rockleighmarker, Saddle Rivermarker, Upper Saddle Rivermarker, Waldwickmarker, Washington Townshipmarker, Westwoodmarker, Woodcliff Lakemarker
40th Kevin J. O'Toole (R) Scott T. Rumana (R)

David C. Russo (R)
97,375 Franklin Lakesmarker, Mahwahmarker, Midland Parkmarker, Oaklandmarker, Ridgewoodmarker, Wyckoffmarker. The district also includes Cedar Grovemarker (in Essex Countymarker) and Little Fallsmarker, Ringwoodmarker and Wanaquemarker (in Passaic Countymarker).

Congressional representatives

Two federal Congressional Districts cover the county, with the northern portion of the county in New Jersey's 5th district, represented by Scott Garrett (R) and the southern portion of the county in New Jersey's 9th district, represented by Steve Rothman (D).


In recent years, Bergen County has voted slightly more Democratic than the nation as a whole. It voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by 54.2% to 44.8%. This makes the county slightly less Democratic than New Jersey as a whole, however. At the county level, the Democratic Party is dominant, holding all county elected positions except county clerk. The county is characterized by a divide between Republican communities in the north and northwest of the county and Democratic communities in the center and southeast. In 2008, the most strongly Democratic municipality was Englewoodmarker, while the most strongly Republican municipality was Saddle Rivermarker.

Blue laws

One of the last remaining blue laws in the United States that covers virtually all selling is found in Bergen County. It has produced the ironic situation that one of the largest and most popular commercial shopping cores of the New York metropolitan areamarker is almost completely closed on Sunday (grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants are among the few businesses allowed to operate). Furthermore, Bergen County has significant populations of Jewish (2000 estimate of 83,700) and Muslim (2000 estimate of 6,473) residents whose observant members would not be celebrating the Sunday Sabbath with most of their Christian neighbors. The substantial Orthodox Jewish minority is placed in the position of being unable to shop either on Sunday (due to the blue laws) or on Saturday (due to religious observance).

However, repeated attempts to lift the law have failed as voters either see keeping the law on the books as a protest against the growing trend toward increasing hours and days of commercial activity in American society or enjoy the sharply reduced traffic on major roads and highways on Sunday that is normally seen the other days of the week. In fact, a large part of the reason for maintaining the laws has been a desire for relative peace and quiet one day of the week by many Bergen County residents.

This desire for relative peace is most apparent in Paramusmarker, where most of the county's largest shopping malls are located, along the intersecting highways of Route 4 and Route 17, which are jam-packed on many Saturdays. Paramus has enacted blue laws of its own that are even more restrictive than those enforced by Bergen County, banning all forms of "worldly employment" on Sundays, including white collar workers in office buildings.

The Bergen County court system consists of a number of municipal courts handling traffic court and other minor matters, plus the Bergen County Superior Court which handles the more serious offenses.


Bergen County, 1909
Bergen County has a well-developed road network, including the northern termini of the New Jersey Turnpike (a portion of Interstate 95) and the Garden State Parkway, the eastern terminus of Interstate 80 and a portion of Interstate 287. US Highways 46, 202, 9, 9W, and New Jersey state highways 4, 17, 3, 120, 208, and the Palisades Interstate Parkway also serve the region.

Access to New York Citymarker is primarily available for motorists through the George Washington Bridgemarker in Fort Leemarker and the Lincoln Tunnel in Hudson Countymarker. Train service is available on three lines from New Jersey Transit: the Bergen County Line, the Erie Main Line and the Pascack Valley Line. They run north-south to Hoboken Terminalmarker with connections to the PATHmarker train. New Jersey Transit also offers connecting one-stop service to New York Penn Stationmarker via the Secaucus Junctionmarker transfer station. Connections are also available at the Hoboken Terminalmarker to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Centermarker and other destinations. Although the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail bears the "Bergen" name, it has not yet expanded to run into the county; this is planned for the future, possibly with connections via a proposed new passenger rail service, the Northern Branch.

There is also bus service, available from New Jersey Transit and private companies such as Academy Bus Lines, Coach USA, DeCamp Bus Lines and Red and Tan Lines, offering transport within Bergen County, elsewhere in New Jersey and to the Port Authority Bus Terminalmarker and George Washington Bridge Bus Terminalmarker in New York City.

There is one airport in the county, Teterboro Airportmarker in Teterboromarker, which is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Most commercial air traffic is handled by nearby Newark Liberty International Airportmarker in Essex Countymarker, which also serves as a major airport for the City of New Yorkmarker.

For the main surface-street routes through the county, see List of county routes in Bergen County, New Jersey.


As of the census of 2000, there were 884,118 people, 330,817 households, and 235,210 families residing in the county. The population density was 3,776 people per square mile (1,458/km²). There were 339,820 housing units at an average density of 1,451 per square mile (560/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.41% White, 5.27% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 10.67% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.22% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. 10.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 330,817 households out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.90% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.00% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $65,241, and the median income for a family was $78,079 (these figures had risen to $78,314 and $96,589 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $51,346 versus $37,295 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,638. About 3.40% of families and 5.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.90% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.

Bergen County, 1918
Bergen is the most populous county in New Jersey, with approximately 90,000 more residents than Essex Countymarker (the second-ranked county in 2000), accounting for 10.5% of the state's population. It is also fairly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and religion. One of the largest immigrant groups in Bergen County is the Korean American community, which is concentrated along the Hudson River - especially in the area near the George Washington Bridgemarker - and represents over half of the state's entire Korean population. Palisades Parkmarker boasts the highest percentage (36.38%) and total number (6,065) of Koreans among all municipalities in the state, while neighboring Fort Leemarker has the second largest cluster (5,978) and third highest proportion (17.18%, trailing Leonia's 17.24%). Eight of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population are located in Bergen County, including Palisades Park, Leonia, Fort Lee, Ridgefieldmarker, Clostermarker, Norwoodmarker, Edgewatermarker, and Englewood Cliffsmarker. Overall, sixteen of the top twenty communities on that list are located in Bergen; virtually all are in the eastern third of the county near the Hudson River.

In addition, the commercial districts of several communities — including Palisades Parkmarker, Fort Leemarker, Cliffside Parkmarker, Ridgefieldmarker, Leoniamarker, and to a lesser extent Englewood Cliffsmarker, Edgewatermarker, and Fairviewmarker — collectively function as a sprawling suburban Koreatown for northern New Jersey, drawing shoppers from throughout the region. There is also an entrenched Korean population in the Northern Valley, especially in Tenaflymarker, Cresskillmarker, Demarestmarker, Clostermarker, Norwoodmarker, and Old Tappanmarker, as well as in several inland boroughs, including Paramusmarker, Rutherfordmarker, and Little Ferrymarker.

Indian Americans represent the second largest Asian ethnic group in Bergen County, with slightly larger numbers than the Filipino and Chinese communities. Although the Indian American population in the area is widely dispersed, its biggest clusters are located in Bergenfieldmarker, Lodimarker, Paramusmarker, and Elmwood Parkmarker. Bergenfield and, to a lesser extent New Milfordmarker, Dumontmarker, and Teaneckmarker, have become a hub for Filipino American immigrants, with Bergenfield becoming the first municipality on the East Coast of the United States to elect a mayor of Filipino descent in November 1999. Taken as a whole, these four adjacent municipalities contain over 40% of Bergen's entire Filipino population, although there are small numbers of Filipinos in many of the county's communities.

The Chinese American population is also spread out, with fairly sizable populations in Fort Lee, Paramus, and Englewood Cliffs. Fort Lee and Paramus have the highest total number of Chinese among Bergen municipalities while Englewood Cliffs has the highest percentage (8.42%). And the small Japanese community, which mainly consists of foreign businessmen and their families, has long had a presence in Fort Lee, with over a quarter of the county's total Japanese population living in that borough alone. The remainder of Bergen's Japanese residents are concentrated in the towns surrounding Fort Lee as well as in a few northern communities such as Ridgewoodmarker.

Meanwhile, Italian Americans have long had a significant presence in Bergen County; in fact, Italian is the most commonly identified first ancestry among Bergen residents (21.0%). Overall, 194,614 Bergen residents were recorded as being of Italian heritage in the most recent census. To this day, many residents of the Meadowlands communities in the south are of Italian descent, most notably in South Hackensackmarker (36.3%), Lyndhurstmarker (33.8%), Carlstadtmarker (31.2%), Wood-Ridgemarker (30.9%) and Hasbrouck Heightsmarker (30.8%). Saddle Brookmarker (29.8%), Lodimarker (29.4%), Moonachiemarker (28.5%), Garfieldmarker, Hackensackmarker, and the southeastern Bergen towns were Italian American strongholds for decades, but their numbers have diminished in recent years as immigrants have taken their place. At the same time, Italian American population has grown in many of the affluent communities in the northern half of the county, including Franklin Lakesmarker, Ramseymarker, Montvalemarker, and Woodcliff Lakemarker.

Irish Americans and German Americans are the next largest ethnic groups in Bergen County, numbering 133,351 (12.8% of the county's total population) and 98,929 (11.2%), respectively. As is the case with Italian Americans, these two groups established sizable enclaves long ago and are now firmly entrenched in all areas of the county. Polish Americans are also well-represented throughout Bergen, with 65,232 residents of Polish descent as of the last census. The community's cultural and commercial heart has long been centered in Wallingtonmarker, where 45.5% of the population is of Polish descent; this is the largest concentration among New Jersey municipalities and the seventh-highest in the United States. In recent years, the adjacent city of Garfieldmarker has also become a magnet for Polish immigrants, with 22.9% of the population identifying themeselves as being of Polish ancestry, the third highest concentration in the state. And while Polish Americans are the fourth-largest ethnic group in Bergen County, Polandmarker is also the second most common place of birth (after South Koreamarker) for foreign-born county residents.

Many towns in the county have a significant number of Jewish Americans, including Fair Lawnmarker, Teaneckmarker, Tenaflymarker, Englewoodmarker, Englewood Cliffsmarker, Fort Leemarker, Woodcliff Lakemarker, Paramusmarker, and Franklin Lakesmarker. Teaneck, Fair Lawn and Englewood in particular have become havens for the Conservative and Orthodox Jewish communities, while Fair Lawn, Tenafly, Alpine and Fort Lee are well-known as hubs for Russian Americans, including a substantial proportion of Russian Jews. Closter, and Tenafly also have the largest Israeli communities in Bergen County and two of the three largest in the state. Altogether, 83,700 Bergen residents identified themselves as being of Jewish heritage in the most recent study.

Greek Americans have had a fairly sizable presence in Bergen for several decades, and according to census data the Greek community currently numbers 13,247 county-wide. The largest concentrations by percentage are in Englewood Cliffsmarker (7.2%), Alpinemarker (5.2%), Fort Leemarker (3.7%), and Palisades Parkmarker (3.5%). Similarly, the Armenian American population in Bergen (8,305 according to the 2000 Census) is dispersed throughout the county, but its most significant concentration is in the southeastern towns near the George Washington Bridge. Cliffside Parkmarker (3.6%), Englewood Cliffsmarker (3.4%), Oradellmarker (3.1%), Ridgefieldmarker (2.4%), Fairviewmarker (2.4%), Demarestmarker (2.3%), and Emersonmarker (2.2%) have the highest percentage of Armenians among all municipalities in the state, and in fact are all in the top 20 nationwide. Furthermore, the top 25 New Jersey communities on that list are all Bergen County communities.

Bergen also has a moderately sized Muslim population, which numbered 6,473 as of the last census. Its most notable Muslim enclaves are centered in Teaneckmarker and Hackensackmarker, two of the most diverse communities in the entire county. Bergen's Muslim population primarily consists of Arab Americans, South Asians, and African Americans, although it should be noted that many members of these groups practice other faiths. While Arab Americans have not established a significant presence in any particular municipality, in total there are 11,755 county residents who indicated Arab ancestry in the most recent survey. The overwhelming majority of Bergen's Arab American population (64.3%) is constituted by persons ofLebanesemarker (2,576), Syrian (2,568), and Egyptian (2,417) descent.

The county's African American community is almost entirely concentrated in three municipalities: Englewoodmarker (10,215 residents, accounting for 38.98% of the city's total population), Teaneckmarker (11,298; 28.78%), and Hackensackmarker (10,518; 24.65%). Collectively, these three areas account for nearly 70% of the county's total African American population of 46,568, and in fact blacks have had a presence in these towns since the earliest days of the county. In sharp contrast, African-Americans comprise less than 2% of the total in most of Bergen's other municipalities. In Englewood, the African American population is concentrated in the Third and Fourth wards of the western half of the city, while the northeastern section of Teaneck has been an African American enclave for several decades. Hackensack's long-established African American community is primarily located in the central part of the city, especially in the area near Central Avenue and First Street.

The diverse Latino population in Bergen is growing in many areas of the county, but is especially concentrated in a handful of municipalities, including Fairviewmarker (37.1%), Hackensackmarker (25.9%), Ridgefield Parkmarker (22.2%), Englewoodmarker (21.8%), Bogotamarker (21.3%), Garfieldmarker (20.1%), Cliffside Parkmarker (18.2%), Lodimarker (18.0%), and Bergenfieldmarker (17.0%). Traditionally, many of the Latino residents were of Colombian and Cuban ancestry, although that has been changing in recent years. Currently, Englewoodmarker's Colombian community is the largest in Bergen County and among the top ten in the United Statesmarker (7.17%); Hackensackmarker, Fairviewmarker, Bergenfieldmarker, and Lodimarker also have notable populations. The Cuban population is largest in Fairviewmarker, Ridgefield Parkmarker, Ridgefieldmarker, and Bogotamarker, although the Cuban community is much bigger in Hudson Countymarker to the south. Since 1990 an increasing number of immigrants from other countries have entered the region, including people from Mexicomarker, Guatemalamarker, El Salvadormarker, the Dominican Republicmarker, Perumarker, and Ecuadormarker. The diverse backgrounds of the local Latino community are best exemplified in Fairviewmarker, where 10% of the overall population hails from Central America, 7% from South America and 9% from other Latin American countries, mainly the Caribbean.

In the Forbes magazine 2006 ranking of the Most Expensive ZIP Codes in the United States, Alpinemarker was ranked as the 8th most expensive in the country, with a median home sale price in 2005 of $1,790,000. In all, twelve Bergen County municipalities were represented on the list, including Englewood Cliffsmarker (ranked #78; median sale price of $1,112,500), Saddle Rivermarker (107; $997,000), Franklin Lakesmarker (111; $985,000), Woodcliff Lakemarker (266; $786,000), Haworthmarker (342; $747,500), Demarestmarker (350; $742,000), Ho-Ho-Kusmarker (353; $740,000), Wyckoffmarker (405; $700,000), Clostermarker (452; $684,000) and Ridgewoodmarker (470; $675,000).


Bergen has several colleges and universities:

Bergen has some 45 public high schools, see this list. It also has at least 23 private high schools, see this list.


In the last decades of the 19th century, Bergen County, to a far greater extent than any other county in the state, began dividing its townships up into incorporated boroughs; this was chiefly due to the Boroughitis phenomenon, triggered by a number of loopholes in state laws that allowed boroughs to levy lower taxes and send more members to the county's board of freeholders. There was a 10-year period in which many of Bergen County's townships disappeared into the patchwork of boroughs that exist today, before the state laws governing municipal incorporation were changed.
labeled outline map of municipalities

Historical municipalities

Over the history of the county, there have been various municipality secessions, annexations, and renamings. The following is a partial list of former municipalities, ordered by year of incorporation.

Points of interest

Educational and cultural

Commercial and entertainment

County parks

County-owned historical sites

State parks

State-owned historical sites

Other historical sites

see List of Registered Historic Places in Bergen County, New Jersey


Further reading

  • Frederick W. Bogert, "Bergen County, New Jersey, History and Heritage," Volume II, The Colonial Days, 1630-1775, Bergen County, N.J., The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 1983

External links

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