is a county
located along the famous Jersey Shore
in the U.S. state
of New Jersey
. It is the southernmost county in the New York metropolitan area
; . Its county seat
is Toms River
, which, like the county itself, has been one of the fastest growing areas of the state since the 1990. As of the United States 2000 Census
, the population was 510,916. The 2007 Census estimate for the county is approximately 558,531, making Ocean County the fastest growing in the state of New Jersey. Ocean County was established in 1850 from portions of Monmouth County
except for Little Egg Harbor Township which seceded from Burlington County
Ocean County is located east of Philadelphia, PA, south of New York, NY and north of Atlantic City, NJ, making it a prime destination for residents of these cities during the summer. As with the entire Jersey Shore, summer traffic routinely clogs local roadways throughout the season.
Ocean County is home to many tourist attractions including the Barnegat Lighthouse, Island Beach State Park, Long Beach Island, Six Flags Great Adventure, which is the home of the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. Ocean County is also a gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens, one of the largest protected pieces of land on the East Coast.
The state's largest suburban school district, Toms River Regional Schools, is located in the county.
It is also home to Mantoloking (population 423), the wealthiest community in the state of New Jersey.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 2,372 km² (916 sq mi
). 1,648 km² (636 sq mi) of it is land and 724 km² (280 sq mi) of it (30.53%) is water. It is the second largest county by area in New Jersey.
Much of the county is flat and coastal, and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation. The highest point is one of three unnamed hills (one in Jackson Township, the other two in Plumsted Township) that reach at least 230 feet (70 m) in elevation. The lowest elevation in the county is sea level.
It is also home to many popular beaches such as Beach Haven, Ship Bottom, Surf City, Harvey Cedars and Barnegat Light.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 510,916 people, 200,402 households, and 137,876 families residing in the county. The population density
was 310/km² (803/sq mi). There were 248,711 housing units at an average density of 151/km² (391/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 93.05% White
, 2.99% Black
or African American
, 0.14% Native American
, 1.28% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 1.24% from other races
, and 1.29% from two or more races. 5.02% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 24.9% were of Italian
, 18.2% Irish
, 12.5% German
, 7.0% Polish
and 5.4% English
ancestry according to Census 2000
There were 200,402 households out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.40% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 27.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.30% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 21.90% from 45 to 64, and 22.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,443, and the median income for a family was $56,420. Males had a median income of $44,822 versus $30,717 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,054. About 4.80% of families and 7.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders
consisting of five members, elected at large by the voters of Ocean County in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms. Ocean County's Freeholders have both administrative and policy making powers, and are paid some $50,000 in salary and additional benefits.
As of 2008, Ocean County's Freeholders are:
Ocean County is one of the rare Republican strongholds in New Jersey, which is typically a blue state
. Many attribute this to the large percentage of elderly voters who reside in the county's many large adult-restricted subdivisions, such as Lake Ridge
. All parts of the county are represented by Republicans at the federal, state and county level.
Doug Forrester carried Ocean County by 12 points in the 2005 New Jersey gubernatorial election, winning every municipality but Lakewood Township and South Toms River Boro. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried the county by a 21.2% margin over John Kerry, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Ocean County was Bill Clinton in 1996.
Ocean County is home to many attractions including Island Beach State Park
, Long Beach Island
, Six Flags Great Adventure
, America's largest Six Flags theme park, home of the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka
. Ocean County is also the northeast gateway to New Jersey's Pine Barrens
, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, New Jersey's largest water park, Six Flags Wild Safari, the largest drive-thru animal safari outside of Africa. Ocean County has an extensive stretch along the Atlantic Ocean
, including the Jersey Shore
communities and oceanfront boardwalk resorts of Seaside Heights
and Point Pleasant Beach
. Forty miles of barrier beaches form the Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor Bays, offering ample watersports. It also is home of the Tuckerton Seaport, a 40 acre maritime history village and the Lakewood BlueClaws
, the Class A-affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies
The following is a list of the municipalities in Ocean 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