Northvale was formed on March 15, 1916, from the remaining portions of Harrington Township, based on the results of a referendum held on April 4, 1916. With the creation of Northvale, Harrington Township was dissolved. In 1923, portions of Northvale were transferred to Rockleigh.
There were 1,575 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.5% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $72,500, and the median income for a family was $81,153. Males had a median income of $50,901 versus $37,563 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,206. About 2.4% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 1.4% of those age 65 or over.
The Mayor of the Borough of Northvale is John S. Hogan (D, term of office ends on December 31, 2010). Members of the Northvale Borough Council are Council President Lloyd Winans (R, 2010), Scott Furletti (R, 2009), Andrew Gullestad (R, 2010), Patrick Marana (D, 2008), Peter Perretti (D, 2008) and Roy Sokoloski (R, 2008). Council member Joann Traub resigned abruptly in June 2008, leaving a vacancy on her seat that expires in 2009. In July 2008, the council selected Peter Perretti, who had served on the council from 1980-1985, to fill the vacancy created by Traub's resignation.
In elections held on November 6, 2007, voters filled two three-year seats and a one-year unexpired term on the borough council. Republican incumbent Lloyd Winans (703 votes) and running mate, newcomer Andrew Gullestad (624) won three-year terms, defeating Democrats Louis DeLisio (596) and William Sillery (552). Republican Roy Sokoloski (670) won the race for the open one-year unexpired term, defeating Democrat Elissa Walker (577). Roy Sokoloski was sworn in to fill the seat vacated by William Sillery, who ran and lost in the race for a three-year term. With Sokoloski taking office, the Republicans have broken the 3-3 split, and gained a 4-2 majority on the council.
On Election Day, November 7, 2006, voters selected a mayor and filled two seats on the borough council. As of Election Day, the council was evenly split with three Democrats and three Republicans, in a community in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 6-5 margin. Democrat John S. Hogan (847 votes), a former mayor and council member, ousted Republican incumbent John E. Rooney (787), who had been mayor since 1991 and also served as mayor from 1979-1986. Incumbent democrat JoAnn Traub (848) won re-election and Republican newcomer Scott Furletti (820) was also elected to serve on the 2007 council, edging their respective running mates Democrat Gerard McNerney (776) and Republican Deborah S. Butti (749).
On the national level, Northvale leans toward the Republican Party. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 56% of the vote here, defeating Democrat John Kerry, who received around 43%.
Students in public school for grades 9-12 attend Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan which serves students from Rockleigh, Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan. The high school is part of the Northern Valley Regional High School District, which also serves students from Closter, Demarest and Haworth at Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest.