According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.399 square miles (6.214 km2), including 2.203 square miles (5.707 km2) of land and 0.196 square miles (0.507 km2) of water (8.16%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Old Hook.
The borough borders the Bergen County municipalities of Closter, Harrington Park, Haworth, Oradell, Paramus, River Vale, Washington Township and Westwood.
The 2010 United States Census counted 7,401 people, 2,480 households, and 1,967 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,358.9 per square mile (1,296.9/km2). The borough contained 2,552 housing units at an average density of 1,158.2 per square mile (447.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 87.31% (6,462) White, 1.08% (80) Black or African American, 0.04% (3) Native American, 8.55% (633) Asian, 0.11% (8) Pacific Islander, 1.15% (85) from other races, and 1.76% (130) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 8.36% (619) of the population.
Out of a total of 2,480 households, 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the borough, 23.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.3 years. For every 100 females the census counted 92.1 males, but for 100 females at least 18 years old, it was 86.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $99,292 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,946) and the median family income was $108,300 (+/- $12,689). Males had a median income of $71,868 (+/- $16,071) versus $69,271 (+/- $15,233) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,501 (+/- $4,093). About 0.7% of families and 1.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
Same-sex couples headed 17 households in 2010, an increase from the 14 counted in 2000.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 7,197 people, 2,373 households, and 1,964 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,216.3 people per square mile (1,240.5/km2). There were 2,398 housing units at an average density of 1,071.7 per square mile (413.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 89.62% White, 0.85% African American, 0.06% Native American, 7.89% Asian, 0.88% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 2.2% of Emerson's residents identified themselves as being of Armenian-American ancestry. This was the 20th highest percentage of Armenian American people in any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 2,373 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.5% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no partner present, and 17.2% were non-families. 14.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the borough the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $75,556, and the median income for a family was $83,521. Males had a median income of $52,450 versus $36,818 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,506. About 1.3% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 4.0% of those age 65 or over.
Pascack Valley Shopping Center is a shopping center located on Kinderkamack Road. It formerly had a movie theater and bowling alley.
Parks in the borough include:Ackerman Park, located on Ackerman Avenue. It has a playground, basketball courts, a bocci court, and picnic area.
Centennial Park, located on Main Street. It has a gazebo and walking path. It was named Centennial Park in 2003 in honor Emerson's 100th Anniversary.
Hillman Park, located on Thomas Street, was created on land donated by borough resident Richard Hillman. It has baseball fields such as, Ken Benkovic Jr. Memorial Field, which is formerly a majors field that is fenced in and a lighted field and Babes Field which is also a lighted field behind the firehouse but is also located on Thomas Street. There is also a soccer field, and a playground.
Rosengart Park, sometimes referred as "Sunset Park", is a park located on Sunset Place. It has a playground.
Veterans' Park, a memorial park located on High Street, with monuments honoring veterans from Emerson.
Washington Park, a park located on Washington Avenue. It has a playground and a picnic area.
Emerson Woods covers approximately 19 acres (7.7 ha) of woodland along Main Street east of the high school, and is located in the buffer area of the Oradell Reservoir. The property was slated for townhouse development, but local opposition resulted in the parcel being purchased by the borough in 2001, with the aid of grants from the county and state. It remains in its natural state, with the addition of trails to make the property accessible to visitors.
Emerson is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used in Emerson, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, the Mayor of Emerson Borough is Democrat Louis J. Lamatina, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Emerson Borough Council are Council President Chris Knoller (R, 2017), Danielle DiPaola (R, 2016), Brian Downing (D, 2018), John Lazar (D, 2018), Vincent Tripodi (R, 2017) and Richard Worthington (R, 2017).
Stephen Paino was chosen by the Borough Council in December 2012 to fill the vacant seat of Charles Shaw, who had resigned in the previous month after running unopposed and winning election to a second term of office.
Day-to-day operation of the Borough is handled by Robert Hoffmann, who has served as Borough Administrator since May 2015. The Borough Clerk is Jane Dietsche and the CFO is Catherine Henderson.
Emerson is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 39th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Josh Gottheimer (D, Wyckoff). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 39th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Gerald Cardinale (R, Demarest) and in the General Assembly by Holly Schepisi (R, River Vale) and Robert Auth (R, Old Tappan). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2015, the County Executive is James J. Tedesco III (D, Paramus; term ends December 31, 2018). The seven freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year, with a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore selected from among its members at a reorganization meeting held each January. Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss (D, 2017; Fort Lee), Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; North Arlington) Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice (R, 2016; River Edge), David L. Ganz (D, 2017; Fair Lawn), Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; Franklin Lakes) Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, 2015; serving the unexpired term of office that had been occupied by James Tedesco before he was sworn in as County Executive) and Tracy Silna Zur (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes). Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale), Sheriff Michael Saudino (R) and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,690 registered voters in Emerson, of which 905 (19.3% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,025 (43.2% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 1,759 (37.5% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 63.4% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 83.3% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election Republican Donald Trump received 2,043 votes (56.3%), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 1,446 votes (39.8%) and other candidates with 124 votes (3.4%). In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 2,019 votes (55.7% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,532 votes (42.3% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 31 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,623 ballots cast by the borough's 4,899 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.0% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 2,206 votes (56.7% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,636 votes (42.0% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 28 votes (0.7% vs. 0.8%), among the 3,893 ballots cast by the borough's 4,922 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.1% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,228 votes (58.2% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,553 votes (40.6% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 23 votes (0.6% vs. 0.7%), among the 3,829 ballots cast by the borough's 4,913 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.9% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 69.4% of the vote (1,716 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 30.0% (742 votes), and other candidates with 0.6% (16 votes), among the 2,547 ballots cast by the borough's 4,753 registered voters (73 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 53.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,547 votes (55.7% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,042 votes (37.5% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 140 votes (5.0% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 11 votes (0.4% vs. 0.5%), among the 2,779 ballots cast by the borough's 4,824 registered voters, yielding a 57.6% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Emerson School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's three schools had an enrollment of 1,190 students and 91.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.95:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Memorial Elementary School with 285 students in PreK-2, Patrick M. Villano Elementary School with 362 students in grades 3-6 and Emerson Junior-Senior High School with 543 students in grades 7-12.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Assumption Academy is a parochial school that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Assumption Academy closed its elementary school program for grades 1-8 in June 2012 due to declining enrollment, which it had been struggling to keep up for several years prior.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 30.87 miles (49.68 km) of roadways, of which 28.54 miles (45.93 km) were maintained by the municipality and 2.33 miles (3.75 km) by Bergen County.
Emerson has two traffic lights, located at the intersection of Linwood Avenue and Kinderkamack Road and at the intersection of Van Wagoner Avenue and Kinderkamack Road.
The Emerson station, located at the intersection of Linwood Avenue and Kinderkamack Road, provides service on NJ Transit's Pascack Valley Line. This line runs north-south to Hoboken Terminal with connections via the Secaucus Junction transfer station to NJ Transit one-stop service to New York Penn Station and to ten other NJ Transit rail lines. Connections are available at the Hoboken Terminal to other NJ Transit rail lines, the PATH train at the Hoboken PATH station, New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Center and other destinations and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service.
NJ Transit provides bus service on the 165 route to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.
Rockland Coaches routes 11A/11AT provide service to the Port Authority Bus Terminaland to Rockland County, New York. Saddle River Tours / Ameribus provides service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on route 11C.
On September 19, 2007, there was a threat made to the Emerson School System. A letter addressed to Emerson Mayor Lou Lamatina was received around 10:30 a.m. in a small envelope, along with what appeared to be a computer-printed address pasted onto the front, authorities said. The note inside appeared to also be computer-generated, and was pasted on a blank piece of paper; it read, "All three schools will be blown out on Thursday, Sept. 20th at 11:30 a.m., with two other schools in nearby towns." The note was later sent to the Bergen County Sheriff's Office for forensic examination.
All three Emerson Schools were immediately evacuated by a fire drill around 11:00, and neither students nor teachers were allowed to collect any of their belongings, including backpacks, cell phones, and purses. Seniors were allowed to retrieve their cars later that day, but nobody else was allowed near the school.
Members of the Bergen County bomb squad were sent to Emerson on Wednesday morning; however, a search of the district's schools revealed nothing dangerous or extraordinary. The bomb squad also searched Oradell and Washington Township schools, and searched Emerson's Assumption Academy on Thursday morning.
Thirteen districts closed their schools for September 20, 2007, including Emerson, Westwood, Washington Township, Oradell, River Edge, Closter, River Vale, Demarest, Haworth, Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, and Old Tappan. Some selected Catholic grammar and high schools were closed. The bomb threat affected 12-14,000 students, including 1,200 from Emerson alone. The schools were closed for two days until they were deemed safe.Cedar Park Cemetery
Emerson Public Library was formed in 1957 and moved to its current facility in 1974.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Emerson include:Aron Abrams (1960-2010), screenwriter.
Nicki Gross (born 1989), assistant coach for the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.
Kevin Higgins (born 1955), assistant football coach and WR coach at Wake Forest University.
Sonny Igoe (1923-2012), jazz drummer.
Andy Papathanassiou, pit crew coordinator of NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports.