According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.954 square miles (2.473 km2), including 0.808 square miles (2.094 km2) of land and 0.146 square miles (0.379 km2) of water (15.32%).
The borough borders the Ocean County municipality of Toms River Township.
The 2010 United States Census counted 1,875 people, 945 households, and 556.6 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,319.2 per square mile (895.4/km2). The borough contained 3,207 housing units at an average density of 3,966.8 per square mile (1,531.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.87% (1,835) White, 0.11% (2) Black or African American, 0.00% (0) Native American, 0.53% (10) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.01% (19) from other races, and 0.48% (9) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.99% (56) of the population.
Out of a total of 945 households, 11.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.57.
In the borough, 11.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 13.1% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 40.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 60.3 years. For every 100 females the census counted 86.4 males, but for 100 females at least 18 years old, it was 85.9 males. The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $60,296 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,961) and the median family income was $76,797 (+/- $16,601). Males had a median income of $48,810 (+/- $40,510) versus $39,643 (+/- $14,630) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,293 (+/- $5,500). About 4.7% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 2,665 people, 1,208 households, and 741 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,315.1 people per square mile (1,286.2/km2). There were 3,210 housing units at an average density of 3,993.1 per square mile (1,549.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.12% White, 0.26% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.64% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.61% of the population.
There were 1,208 households out of which 14.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.66.
In the borough the population was spread out with 13.1% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 18.3% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 36.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56 years. For every 100 females there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $43,846, and the median income for a family was $57,778. Males had a median income of $44,583 versus $32,292 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,588. About 5.9% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.
There are nine protected ocean beaches designated for swimming as well as two on the Barnegat Bay. Four of the ocean beaches have specifically designated areas for surfing and surf-fishing. The borough offers tennis, bocce, shuffleboard, basketball and roller blading opportunities on land while Barnegat Bay provides fishing, crabbing, swimming, boating, sailing, windsurfing and other water sports.
There are also band concerts, fireworks, and Movies on the Bay, held at the Centennial Gazebo and Gardens located at Philadelphia Avenue and the bayfront.
Lavallette 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 by Lavallette, 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 Lavallette is Republican Walter G. LaCicero, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Lavallette Borough Council are Council President Anita F. Zalom (R, 2017), James G. Borowski (R, 2018), Joanne Filippone (R, 2018), David Finter (R, 2017), Robert P. Lamb (R, 2016) and Michael Stogdill (R, 2016).
The mayoral election held on November 7, 2006, was declared null and void after allegations of voter fraud were filed by the losing candidate Walter G. LaCicero, who had lost the election by four votes; As part of a settlement agreement, Joseph Ardito stepped down from office as mayor and a special election to fill the seat was scheduled for March 13, 2007. In the rerun election, Republican LaCicero was elected Mayor was sworn into office on March 19, 2007, for a term of office ending on December 31, 2010.
Lavallette is located in the 3rd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 10th state legislative district.
New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District is represented by Tom MacArthur (R, Toms River). 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 10th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James W. Holzapfel (R, Toms River Township) and in the General Assembly by Gregory P. McGuckin (R, Toms River Township) and David W. Wolfe (R, Brick Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Ocean County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members, elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections and serving staggered three-year terms of office, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization held in the beginning of January, the board chooses a Director and a Deputy Director from among its members. As of 2015, Ocean County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and department directorship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director John C. Bartlett, Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2015, Pine Beach; Finance, Parks and Recreation), Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little (R, 2015, Surf City; Human Services), John P. Kelly (R, 2016, Eagleswood Township; Law and Public Safety), James F. Lacey (R, 2016, Brick Township; Transportation) and Joseph H. Vicari (R, 2017, Toms River; Senior Services and County Operations). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Scott M. Colabella (R, 2015, Barnegat Light), Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R, 2016; Toms River) and Surrogate Jeffrey Moran (R, 2018, Beachwood).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 1,704 registered voters in Lavallette, of which 241 (14.1%) were registered as Democrats, 913 (53.6%) were registered as Republicans and 550 (32.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 90.9% (vs. 63.2% in Ocean County) were registered to vote, including 102.1% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 82.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 66.5% of the vote (646 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 33.3% (324 votes), and other candidates with 0.2% (2 votes), among the 980 ballots cast by the borough's 1,758 registered voters (8 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 55.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 62.0% of the vote (862 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 35.0% (487 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (16 votes), among the 1,391 ballots cast by the borough's 1,843 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.5%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 64.6% of the vote (949 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 33.3% (489 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (11 votes), among the 1,469 ballots cast by the borough's 1,944 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 75.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 84.1% of the vote (752 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 15.1% (135 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (7 votes), among the 907 ballots cast by the borough's 1,646 registered voters (13 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 55.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.9% of the vote (784 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 24.2% (280 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 5.4% (62 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (4 votes), among the 1,155 ballots cast by the borough's 1,757 registered voters, yielding a 65.7% turnout.
The Lavallette School District serves public school students in kindergarten through eighth grade at Lavallette Elementary School. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 122 students and 17.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.1:1.
Students in public school for ninth through twelfth grades attend Point Pleasant Beach High School in Point Pleasant Beach, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Point Pleasant Beach School District, together with students from Bay Head and Mantoloking. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 371 students and 31.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.7:1.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 16.55 miles (26.63 km) of roadways, of which 10.77 miles (17.33 km) were maintained by the municipality, 3.30 miles (5.31 km) by Ocean County and 2.48 miles (3.99 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
New Jersey Route 35 traverses the borough, connecting the Dover Beaches South (Ortley Beach) section of Toms River Township to the south and the Toms River community of Dover Beaches North to the north.
Ocean Ride local service is provided on the OC10 Toms River Connection route.
The 2007 coming-of-age romance movie Greetings from the Shore was set and shot in Lavallette.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Lavallette include:Joe Pesci (born 1943), actor.