According to Joshua Coffin, the early settlers included "Captain John Pike, the ancestor of General Zebulon Montgomery Pike, who was killed at the battle of Queenstown in 1813; Thomas Bloomfield, the ancestor of Joseph Bloomfield, some years governor of New Jersey, for whom the township of Bloomfield, New Jersey is named; John Bishop, senior and junior; Jonathan Haynes; Henry Jaques; George March; Stephen Kent; Abraham Toppan, junior; Elisha Ilsley; Hugh March; John Bloomfield; Samuel Moore; Nathaniel Webster; John Ilsley; and others." Woodbridge was the site of the first gristmill in New Jersey. The mill was built by Jonathan Singletary Dunham (married to Mary Bloomfield, relative of Joseph Bloomfield).
The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. It was reincorporated on October 31, 1693. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as part of the initial group of 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Portions of the township were taken to form Rahway (April 19, 1858), Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison Township) and Roosevelt (April 11, 1906, now Carteret). The township is named after Reverend John W. Woodbridge (1613–1696) of Newbury, Massachusetts, who settled in the future township in 1664.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 24.507 square miles (63.473 km2), including 23.213 square miles (60.122 km2) of land and 1.294 square miles (3.350 km2) of water (5.28%).
The township borders Carteret, Edison, Perth Amboy and Sayreville in Middlesex County, Clark, Linden and Rahway in Union County, and the Borough of Staten Island in New York City.
Area codes 732 and 848 are used in Woodbridge.
Many distinct communities exist within Woodbridge Township. Several of these communities have their own ZIP codes, and many are listed by the United States Census Bureau as census-designated places (CDPs), but they are all unincorporated communities and neighborhoods within the Township that, together, make up Woodbridge Township.
Avenel (with 2010 Census population of 17,011), Colonia (17,795), Fords (15,187), Iselin (18,695), Port Reading (3,728), Sewaren (2,756), Woodbridge Proper (19,265) are census-designated places and unincorporated communities located within Woodbridge Township.
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include: Boynton Beach, Demarest Hill Top, Edgars, Fairfield, Hazelton, Hopelawn, Keasbey, Lynn Woodoaks, Menlo Park Terrace,, Ostrander, Saint Stephens, Sand Hills, Shore View, Union and Woodbridge Oaks.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 99,585 people, 34,615 households, and 25,754 families residing in the township. The population density was 4,290.0 per square mile (1,656.4/km2). There were 36,124 housing units at an average density of 1,556.2 per square mile (600.9/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 59.18% (58,935) White, 9.85% (9,810) Black or African American, 0.32% (321) Native American, 22.42% (22,324) Asian, 0.04% (39) Pacific Islander, 5.28% (5,254) from other races, and 2.91% (2,902) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.63% (15,562) of the population.
There were 34,615 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 21.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 98.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $79,277 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,537) and the median family income was $88,656 (+/- $2,537). Males had a median income of $60,139 (+/- $1,971) versus $46,078 (+/- $1,635) for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,144 (+/- $717). About 3.8% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 97,203 people, 34,562 households, and 25,437 families residing in the township. The population density was 4,224.5 people per square mile (1,631.0/km2). There were 35,298 housing units at an average density of 1,534.1/sq mi (592.3/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 70.83% White, 8.75% African American, 0.17% Native American, 14.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.30% from other races, and 2.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.21% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 9.19% of Woodbridge Township's residents identified themselves as being of Indian American ancestry, which was the tenth-highest of any municipality in the United States and the fifth highest in New Jersey — behind Edison (17.75%), Plainsboro Township (16.97%), Piscataway Township (12.49%) and South Brunswick Township (10.48%) — of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 34,562 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the township the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.0 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $60,683, and the median income for a family was $68,492. Males had a median income of $49,248 versus $35,096 for females. The per capita income for the township was $25,087. About 3.2% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Woodbridge Center, with a gross leasable area of 1,633,000 square feet (151,700 m2), is the third-biggest mall in New Jersey, behind Westfield Garden State Plaza and Freehold Raceway Mall.
Wakefern Food Corporation, owner of ShopRite, has its headquarters in Keasbey in the township.
Woodbridge Community Center is a YMCA approved Community Center that has a gym, a pool, community rooms, a playground, and also has "The Arenas", which have a roller skating rink with arcade and an ice skating rink, home to the Special Hockey International Team, the Woodbridge Warriors (formerly the Wolfpack). The Warriors have their practices and home games at the ice rink and also host the annual ASHA (American Special Hockey Association) Special Needs Hockey Day Camp in the summer for all SHI teams.
Woodbridge is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter law, under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government, with a directly elected mayor and a nine-member Township Council, all elected to staggered four-year terms of office on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The Council consists of four members elected at-large and five members elected from each of the township's five wards. The at-large and mayoral seats come up together for vote followed two years later by the five ward seats. The Township Council is the legislative body of Woodbridge Township.
As of 2016, the Mayor of Woodbridge Township is Democrat John McCormac, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. McCormac was first elected on November 7, 2006 and sworn in on November 14, 2006. McCormac replaced Frank G. Pelzman, who became mayor on January 17, 2002 when former Mayor James E. McGreevey resigned to become governor. Members of the Township Council are Council President Nancy J. Drumm (D, 2017; First Ward), Council Vice President Richard A. Dalina (D, 2017; Second Ward), Kyle M. Anderson (D, 2019; at-large), Lizbeth DeJesus (D, 2019; at-large), Gregg M. Ficarra (D, 2019; at-large), James H. Major (D, 2017; Fourth Ward), Debbie Meehan (D, 2017; Fifth Ward), Brian F. Small (D, 2019; at-large) and Cory S. Spillar (D, 2017; Third Ward).
In August 2015, the Township Council selected Cory Spillar from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the Third Ward seat that had been held by Council President Michele Charmello until her resignation the previous month to take a position in Pittsburgh. The council chose new leadership, promoting Nancy Drumm from vice president to president (to replace Charmello) and Rick Dalina as vice president.
Woodbridge Township is located in the 6th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 19th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Woodbridge Township had been split between the 7th Congressional District and the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 19th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Vitale (D, Woodbridge Township) and in the General Assembly by Craig Coughlin (D, Woodbridge Township) and John Wisniewski (D, Sayreville). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015, Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees), Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration), Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education), Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance), H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health), Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management) and Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township), Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway) and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 54,674 registered voters in Woodbridge Township, of which 20,900 (38.2%) were registered as Democrats, 6,135 (11.2%) were registered as Republicans and 27,611 (50.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 28 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.2% of the vote (22,386 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 36.7% (13,200 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (386 votes), among the 36,301 ballots cast by the township's 55,262 registered voters (329 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 65.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.9% of the vote (21,590 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 42.0% (16,251 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (472 votes), among the 38,657 ballots cast by the township's 55,075 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.2%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.5% of the vote (19,662 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 45.1% (16,589 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (367 votes), among the 36,770 ballots cast by the township's 51,913 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 58.9% of the vote (12,122 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.7% (8,183 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (286 votes), among the 21,064 ballots cast by the township's 56,121 registered voters (473 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 50.1% of the vote (11,987 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 41.9% (10,029 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 7.2% (1,710 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (261 votes), among the 23,913 ballots cast by the township's 53,843 registered voters, yielding a 44.4% turnout.
The Woodbridge Township School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. All schools in the district are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. The district's three high schools offer more than 150 courses, including Advanced Placement, college preparatory, business, vocational and cooperative work/study programs.
As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 24 schools had an enrollment of 13,109 students and 1,029.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.74:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are 16 K-5 elementary schools: Mawbey Street School #1 (320), Avenel Street School #4&5 (602), Port Reading School #9 (396), Ross Street School #11 (421), Ford Avenue School #14 (214), Indiana Avenue School #18 (493), Menlo Park Terrace #19 (327), Claremont Avenue School #20 (346), Oak Ridge Heights School #21 (265), Lynn Crest School #22 (374), Woodbine Avenue School #23 (461), Kennedy Park School #24 (369), Lafayette Estates School #25 (534), Robert Mascenik School #26 (290), Pennsylvania Avenue School #27 (224) and Matthew Jago School #28 (433); Five middle schools (grades 6-8): Avenel Middle School (602), Colonia Middle School (621), Fords Middle School (699), Iselin Middle School (625) and Woodbridge Middle School (453); High schools for grades 9-12 in the district are Colonia High School (1,389), John F. Kennedy Memorial High School (1,380) and Woodbridge High School (1,411).
As of May 2010, the township had a total of 303.32 miles (488.15 km) of roadways, of which 244.16 miles (392.94 km) were maintained by the municipality, 28.79 miles (46.33 km) by Middlesex County, 17.69 miles (28.47 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 12.68 miles (20.41 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The Garden State Parkway extends 7 1⁄2 miles (12.1 km) through the Township, including exits 127 to 131. The Parkway connects Sayreville in the south to Clark in the north. In addition, the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) passes through Woodbridge Township for about 5 1⁄4 miles (8.4 km), and is accessible at Exit 11 (which features a 24-lane toll gate). The Turnpike's Grover Cleveland service area is located between Interchanges 11 and 12 northbound at milepost 92.9 and the Thomas Edison service area is located between Interchanges 11 and 12 southbound at milepost 92.9.
U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9 serve the township and merge heading north of the township as the U.S. Route 1/9 concurrency. Other roadways passing through the township are Route 27, Route 35, Route 184, and Route 440.
The 15-lane Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway and the adjacent 6-lane Edison Bridge on U.S. Route 9 both span the Raritan River, connecting Woodbridge Township on the north with Sayreville on the south.
The first cloverleaf interchange in the United States opened in 1929 at the intersection of Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9) and Route 4 (now Route 35).
There are three train stations in the township: Metropark, Avenel (which has limited service) and Woodbridge. Service is provided at Metropark by NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor Line and at Avenel and Woodbridge on the North Jersey Coast Line The Metropark station also offers Amtrak Northeast Corridor services to Newark (Penn Station), New York (Penn Station), Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Boston.
NJ Transit provides bus service on the 115 and 116 routes to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 48 to Elizabeth and local service on the 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 810, 813 and 815.The Jonathan Singletary Dunham House was built near the location of the earliest grist mill in New Jersey by Jonathan Singletary Dunham who was a Member of the New Jersey Provincial Congress, and is President Barack Obama's eighth great-grandfather.The Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center is a correctional facility operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections. The facility, located in the Avenel section of the Township, provides treatment to convicted sex offenders.East Jersey State Prison is a male prison facility in Woodbridge Township, on the border of Rahway. However, the mailing address is in Rahway and the facility was known until 1988 as Rahway State Prison, leading many to believe the facility was located there.J. J. Bitting Brewing Co., established in 1997, was the first brewery to operate in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, since the repeal of prohibition in 1933. The three-story restaurant resides in a restored 100-year-old brick building that once housed the J. J. Bitting Coal and Feed Depot that serviced the farming community of Woodbridge.St. James Catholic Church, founded in 1860, has become one of the largest parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Woodbridge Township include:Nicholas L. Bissell (1947-1996), county prosecutor of Somerset County who committed suicide after being charged with embezzlement, tax fraud and abuse of power.Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823), 4th Governor of New Jersey was born in Woodbridge Township.John Carlson (born 1990), professional ice hockey defenseman who has played in the NHL for the Washington Capitals.Craig Coughlin (born 1958), politician, who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2010, where he represents the 19th Legislative District.Lou Creekmur (1927-2009), left offensive tackle / guard who played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Clarence Madison Dally (1865-1904), glassblower and assistant to Thomas Edison.Jonathan Singletary Dunham (1640-1724), Member of the New Jersey Provincial Congress, and President Barack Obama's eighth great-grandfather, and the first of Obama's ancestors to be born in North America.John J. Fay Jr. (1927-2003), member of the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate.Arline Friscia, member of the New Jersey General Assembly who also served on the Woodbridge Township Council.Kelsey Grammer (born 1955), actor who appeared in Frasier and Cheers.Bob Grant (1929-2013), radio host who broadcast many of his shows from the Reo Diner.Tom Higgins (born 1954), NFL and Canadian football player and coach.Jack H. Jacobs (born 1945), graduated 1962; Medal of Honor recipient, awarded 1969.Kyle Johnson (born 1978), fullback with the Denver Broncos from class of 1996.Michael Jones (born 1987), actor, voice actor, and Youtube personality who works for Rooster Teeth.Eric LeGrand (born 1990), football player, writer, actor, speaker.Glen Mason (born 1950), former football player and coach who served as the head football coach at Kent State University from 1986 to 1987, the University of Kansas from 1988 to 1996, and the University of Minnesota from 1997 to 2006, compiling a career college football record of 123–121–1.Laura McCullough (born 1960), poet.John McCormac, former New Jersey Treasurer and Mayor of Woodbridge Township.Jim McGreevey (born 1957), former Woodbridge mayor and Governor of New Jersey.Melanie McGuire (born 1972), best known for being the perpetrator in the media-dubbed "suitcase murder" who was convicted of murdering her husband in April 2007 and sentenced to life in prison.Stephen A. Mikulak, politician who served two terms in the New Jersey General Assembly, from 1992 to 1996, where he represented the 19th Legislative District.Joseph Moore (1732-1793), Quaker peace negotiator sent to the 1793 talks between Native leaders of the Western Confederacy and American government representatives at Sandusky, Ohio.Ernest L. Oros (c. 1924-2012), member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1992 to 1996.James Parker (1714-1770), Colonial American printer and publisher who established the state's first permanent printing press in 1751 in Woodbridge.Frank Pelzman (c. 1935-2006), former Woodbridge mayor.Dith Pran (1942-2008), his life was portrayed in the movie The Killing Fields. He was a photojournalist with The New York Times, a human rights activist and a survivor of the killing fields of Cambodia.Dory Previn (1925-2012), singer-songwriter.Dawn Marie Psaltis (born 1970) a.k.a. Dawn Marie, professional wrestling personality.Zack Rosen (born 1989), All-American basketball player at Penn who plays professionally for Maccabi Ashdod in Israel.Richie Sambora (born 1959), former member of the band Bon Jovi.Tom Scharpling (born 1969), comedian, host of The Best Show and a writer/executive producer of the television series Monk.Bret Schundler (born 1959), mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey.Anthony Seratelli (born 1983), professional baseball second baseman who plays for the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball.Chris Smith (New Jersey politician) (born 1953), U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 4th congressional district since 1981.James Swann (born 1964), serial killer whose random drive-by shotgun shootings in Washington, D.C. in 1993 earned him the nickname "The Shotgun Stalker" in the press.Tico Torres (born 1953), drummer and percussionist for the rock band Bon Jovi.Benjamin A. Vail (1844-1924), politician who served as President of the New Jersey Senate.Joseph Vitale (born 1954), State Senator and former mayor.Rohit Vyas, broadcast journalist.Dagmara Wozniak (born 1988), sabre fencer named to the U.S. Olympic team at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in women's sabre.