Counties in New Jersey

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Counties in the United States

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New Jersey is made up of 21 counties.[1]

Types of local government

Local government in New Jersey consists of:

  • Counties, of which there are 21
  • Municipalities, of which there are 566. Municipalities are classified under state law as either: Township, Borough, City, Town, or Village
  • In addition, there are 234 special districts and 523 independent school districts.[2]

"In New Jersey, borough, city, town, village, and township governments have similar powers and perform similar functions. All areas of the state are encompassed by township governments except areas within the boundaries of a borough, city, town, or village."[3]

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments[2] shows that, as of September of 2012, New Jersey had:

  • 21 county governments.
  • 242 township governments.
  • 324 other municipal governments (boroughs, cities, towns, and villages).

Further classifications:

Counties: 6 of the 21 counties operate under the Optional County Charter Law (Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union)


Each of the five types of municipalities may operate under the unique form of government historically associated with it, or under one of the following optional forms of government provided by state statute:

  • Commission, of which there are 32
  • Council Manager Act of 1923, of which there are 7
  • Optional Municipal Charter Law, of which there are 129
  • or a Special Charter granted by the state legislature, of which there are 11.[4][5]

Initiative process availability

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in New Jersey

The local units of government in New Jersey that make the initiative process available are:

  • Counties operating under the optional county charter law have state specified initiative and referendum. There are 6 such counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union).
  • Municipalities operating under the optional municipal charter law (129) or commission form of government (32) have state specified initiative and referendum procedures. A list of these 161 municipalities is provided below in the external links, "Initiative and Referendum in New Jersey’s Counties and Municipalities."
  • 3 of the 11 municipalities with special act charters provide for local initiative and referendum in the charter (Middletown Township, Montville Township, and Plainfield City). These charters were special acts of the legislature.
  • In addition, Tenafly Borough, which generally operates under the borough form of government, has provided its voters with the powers of initiative and referendum pursuant to a local law specifically enacted to provide those powers.[4][6]

County website evaluations

See also: Evaluation of New Jersey county websites

As of 2009:

  • 17 New Jersey counties put their budget online.
  • 18 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
  • 16 included information about the county's elected officials.
  • 20 included information about the county's administrative officials.
  • No New Jersey counties gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
  • Three of the counties put information on their websites about external audits.
  • No counties provided information about their contracts with county vendors.
  • No county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
  • 16 county websites uniformly provided information on how to request public records using the New Jersey Public Records Law.
  • 10 websites provided some information about county taxes.


County County seat
Atlantic County, New Jersey Mays Landing, New Jersey
Bergen County, New Jersey Hackensack, New Jersey
Burlington County, New Jersey Mount Holly, New Jersey
Camden County, New Jersey Camden, New Jersey
Cape May County, New Jersey Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Cumberland County, New Jersey Bridgeton, New Jersey
Essex County, New Jersey Newark, New Jersey
Gloucester County, New Jersey Woodbury, New Jersey
Hudson County, New Jersey Jersey City, New Jersey
Hunterdon County, New Jersey Flemington, New Jersey
Mercer County, New Jersey Trenton, New Jersey
Middlesex County, New Jersey New Brunswick, New Jersey
Monmouth County, New Jersey Freehold, New Jersey
Morris County, New Jersey Morristown, New Jersey
Ocean County, New Jersey Toms River, New Jersey
Passaic County, New Jersey Paterson, New Jersey
Salem County, New Jersey Salem, New Jersey
Somerset County, New Jersey Somerville, New Jersey
Sussex County, New Jersey Newton, New Jersey
Union County, New Jersey Elizabeth, New Jersey
Warren County, New Jersey Belvidere, New Jersey


This article was taken and modified from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, under the GNU license.