Only four blocks wide, Guttenberg is one of the smallest municipalities in New Jersey. However, it is the most densely populated municipality in the the state, with over two times the density of New York City.
Recent scandals have included a former mayor, Peter LaVilla, who pleaded guilty in 2003 to misappropriating campaign funds and using the money for a private brokerage account; a councilman who resigned after being accused of receiving illegal advances on his salary; and a chief financial officer, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to misappropriation of funds. The current mayor, David Delle Donna, and his wife, a member of the town planning board, were indicted on federal extortion and mail fraud charges in September 2007.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²), of which, 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (16.67%) is water.
There were 4,493 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $44,515, and the median income for a family was $47,440. Males had a median income of $38,628 versus $33,154 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,931. About 11.1% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
Mayor Delle Donna was sworn into his second four-year term of office on January 1, 2004. On September 28, 2007, Delle Donna and his wife, Anna Delle Donna, a member of the Guttenberg planning board, were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The couple was convicted of conspiring to commit extortion and tax fraud, but were found not guilty on two counts of mail fraud. Each faces up to 20 years in prison on both counts and a fine of $250,000.
Hudson County's County Executive is Thomas A. DeGise. Guttenberg is in Freeholder District 7 of the County's Board of Chosen Freeholders, and is represented by Gerald Lange Jr. who also represents Weehawken and West New York.
The Galaxy Towers were built in the late 1970s. The three towers rise 415 ft (126 m). The complex is located in the southeastern corner of Guttenberg overlooking the Hudson River and contain 1,075 apartments. The Galaxy was developed by Prudential Insurance Company. The complex consists of three octagonal skyscrapers. Access to the Galaxy is via a circular tree-lined driveway (the Plaza) off Boulevard East on top of the Palisades.
The closest airport in New Jersey with scheduled passenger service is Newark Liberty International Airport, located 14.9 miles away in Newark / Elizabeth, about 22 minutes away. New York City's LaGuardia Airport is 17.7 miles away in Flushing, Queens via the George Washington Bridge (approximately 31 minutes).