The name Piscataway derives from its original settlers who lived near the Piscataqua River (partially the boundary between the states of New Hampshire and Maine), whose name derives from Pisgeu (meaning "dark night") and awa ("Place of"), or it may come from the Lenape word meaning "Great Deer". The area was first settled in 1666 by Quakers and Baptists who had left the Puritan colony in New Hampshire.
Piscataway Township was formed on December 18, 1666, and officially incorporated on February 21, 1798. The community, the fifth oldest municipality in New Jersey, has grown from Native American territory, through a colonial period and is one of the links in the earliest settlement of the Atlantic Ocean seacoast that ultimately led to the formation of the United States. Over the years, portions of Piscataway were taken to form Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison), Dunellen (October 28, 1887), Middlesex (April 9, 1913) and South Plainfield (March 10, 1926).
Piscataway is in Central Jersey with easy access to major highways, including Interstate 287, the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Society Hill is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Piscataway Township.
In 2008, Money magazine ranked Piscataway 23rd out of the top 100 places to live in America.
Piscataway is bordered by nine municipalities in Middlesex County, Union County, and Somerset County: Plainfield on the northeast, Dunellen on the north, Middlesex on the northwest, South Bound Brook and Franklin Township on the west across the Raritan River, New Brunswick on the south (across the river), Highland Park and Edison on the southeast, and South Plainfield on the east.
The township consists of the following historic villages and areas: New Market, known as Quibbletown in the 18th Century, Randolphville, Fieldville and North Stelton. The original village settlement of Piscatawaytown is located in present day Edison Township.
Piscataway is often segmented into unofficial sections by local residents which include Bound Brook Heights "the Heights"), New Brunswick Highlands, Lake Nelson, Randolphville, Arbor, New Market, North Stelton (Fellowship Farm) and Possumtown.
The Arbor and New Brunswick Highland sections of Piscataway were historically African American neighborhoods.
The New Market section historically comprised the Quaker village of Quibbletown. The name of the village originates from the fact that settlers of different religious denominations quibbled about whether the Sabbath should be observed on Saturday or on Sunday in the village.
As of the 2000 census, 12.49% of Piscataway's residents identified themselves as being of Indian American ancestry, which was the fourth highest of any municipality in the United States and the third highest in New Jersey — behind Edison (17.75%) and Plainsboro Township (16.97%) — of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 16,500 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the township the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $68,721, and the median income for a family was $75,218. Males had a median income of $47,188 versus $36,271 for females. The per capita income for the township was $26,321. About 2.7% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Fire District Map
Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are:
Elementary schools (Grades K-3)
Intermediate Schools (Grades 4-5)
Middle Schools (Grades 6-8)
High School (Grades 9-12)
Middlesex County schools:
Colleges & continuing education