Morris County, New Jersey

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 02:14 PM


Your Anecdotal Census: A People's History of the New York City Area 2000-2010

Tell us about change that matters in your community. Here are some possible questions to answer. Add your story to the comments below!

How is your community different today than it was 10 years ago?

Who's moving in and who's moving out? 

How has the housing boom/housing bust changed your community?

How have the politics of your community changed? If power has shifted in your community, how and why?

How has 9/11 changed your community? 

Do you have a story about change in your own life over the last decade that you think represents a larger trend?

What's an untold story of change in your community that needs to be told? 

By The Numbers:

What story do you think this data tells? Do you think the data reflects what's really going on in your community?

Morris County, NJ
Total Population 407,630 421,353 470,212 488,518
Median Household Income (2008 adjusted dollars) $79,100 $97,700 $99,900 $99,268
% Foreign Born 8.1% 10.55% 15.45% 19.0%
% Under 18 Years Old 28.3% 22.9%

Explore the Maps:

Morris County, NJ - Median Household Income (2007) - Go to the Interactive Maps at Social Explorer

More Resources:

US Census Bureau QuickFacts

Social Explorer

More in:

Comments [10]

John Q. from Pequannock

I agree with Brenda's point about more traffic in Morris County especially around the Kinnelon/Montville/Pequannock area, rt 23 and rt 287.

Aug. 03 2010 10:45 AM
Greg from Madison, NJ

I live in Madison. We have many (too many) restaurants and banks to the detriment of some important local businesses. We lost a fine auto mechanic to yet another bank which caused the local auto parts store to close.

We need a diversity of local businesses.

Aug. 03 2010 07:37 AM
Brenda Deming from Randolph

I've lived in Morris County (as a Democrat) most of my life, and the biggest change is the amount of people continually moving here. Used to be that you could wait until after rush hour and then do your errands - practically having the roads to yourself until the afternoon rush. Now - there is no time of day that the roads are empty.

In the last few years, infrastructure has been left until last: roadways not getting mowed; streets with potholes never being filled; street signs so faded that they're barely readable; people not caring about passing their school budgets (ours passed) because they no longer have kids in school.

I keep saying that we should move to a place where nobody else wants to live. My husband says there IS no place like that anymore.

Aug. 02 2010 11:39 PM
marygrunmeier from Whippany (Hanover Township) NJ

I live in the Whippany section of Hanover Township (population approximately 13,000) in Morris County. In the last ten years, we have seen what has been emblematic of the changes in Morris County and in the whole state of NJ: 1) Job losses, 2) People selling homes and leaving the state, and 3) Population of the town has been extraordinarily skewed toward senior citizens.

Ten years ago, the primary employer in the Township was Lucent Technologies, with probably 4,000 employees on a 26 acre campus. It was the primary ratable in a town known for low taxes and great schools. It was also a town not known for being developer-friendly, preferring to preserve spaces for “Open Space.” Ironically, what remained of the Lucent jobs (about 15-20%) moved to Murray Hill in Union County. The loss of the Lucent jobs is making the town re-think this position…and they recently had an “Open House” to try to attract developers for any variety of vacant commercial/industrial properties. These are all properties that 10 years ago, even 5 years ago, the Township Committee would have targeted as “Open Space.”

I’m a real estate agent, in the last two years, every single one of my listings except for one involved people selling their homes and leaving the state. I have two listings right now, and one of the sellers has already moved to Indiana, and the other already owns a home in Arizona. As of April, according to Jeffrey Otteau, New Jersey’s outward migration was second only to Michigan’s.

Meanwhile, I am the president of my Rotary club, and we have a service project that provides senior citizens with emergency dialers. We have 62 of them out there and a waiting list for more, and the mayor tells us that we have the highest percentage of seniors in this side of Morris County. I’ve been to Seniors Club meetings to do presentations, and there are easily 200-300 members of the club. I install dialers for seniors who should not be living alone, and I have attended meetings of these very active seniors, none of whom are interested in supporting the school budget or the fire budget or anything else that will increase their taxes.

Aug. 02 2010 10:19 PM
John Q from Pequannock Township

I would guess that I'm one of the few people in the town that listens to WNYC.

I'll answer the question separately:

How is your community different today than it was 10 years ago?... It's more affluent than it was 10 years ago. Almost all of the open space has been used for building "McMansions" over the last 10-20 years. Also, it seemed like 70% of the existing homes were altered with enormous garish additions from 1997-2007. Some homes in flood areas have been bought by the town and demolished. There's much larger sharper divide between the people in the flood areas and the more affluent people. People are also much more anxious than they were 10 years ago because they can't afford these garish huge homes they've built.

Who's moving in and who's moving out?....More affluent/conservative people are moving in while older people are moving out because they can no longer afford the cost of living. Some Albanian families have moved into the cheaper homes in the flood areas.

How has the housing boom/housing bust changed your community? The "bust" has stopped the home alterations and slowed down new home construction.

How have the politics of your community changed? If power has shifted in your community, how and why?...I have lived in Pequannock for 45 years and I have seen drastic changes over that time period. The town shifted dramatically to the right during the 1980's and continued that rightward shift politically, philosophically, and religiously during 2000-2009. People like Beck, Hannity, O'reilly, and Limbaugh are looked upon like sages and prophets. People are more anxious/scared/nervous and willing to accept any kind of bizarre logic/answers that these 4 bring up. Also, people probably rely more on Fox news for their information than they did 10 years ago.

We actually had a black Democratic mayor during the 1970's, which would be completely inconceivable in Pequannock today.

How has 9/11 changed your community?...It's made people more scared and suspicious. There's a much greater sense of Xenophobia than there was pre-9/11.

Do you have a story about change in your own life over the last decade that you think represents a larger trend?...I'm French, so I've noticed a trend since the 1980's that people feel that it's completely acceptable to bash and insult France/French people. This trend seemed to go up post-9/11 and especially after the Iraq War. I've had people make disparaging comments to me and then were surprised when I became upset about the remarks.

What's an untold story of change in your community that needs to be told?...Pequannock has a very selfish and myopic view of Life/World. There doesn't seem to be much concern over the energy used to heat/power these McMansions or the energy it takes to fuel an Escalade or a Range Rover or these huge Ford Trucks I see all over the place. There's almost complete indifference to Climate Change and probably 50% think it's a hoax made up by Al Gore to make money.

Aug. 02 2010 02:30 PM
Carol from Morristown

Having lived here for 18 years, the biggest change that I have seen in my community, Morristown/Morris Township, has the been the increase in the cost of living. Housing prices have doubled or more. Our town is adding more high end rental and condominium units, so affordable housing is minimal. Our town's retail has primarily turned to high end restaurants (which we can't afford), salons, spas, and banks. Most other retail establishments have left due to high rents, so it has been increasingly difficult to find stores that carry basic needs like shoes, clothing, stationary. Our increasing immigrant population has a vibrant commercial district, however, most of this area is earmarked for urban renewal and will be removed to bring in more higher cost residential and retail properties. All this on top of rising unemployment due to layoffs in the pharmaceutical and other industries is bringing down incomes locally. Something has got to give or our kids will have to leave the area when they are raising their families since it will be too expensive to live.

Jul. 30 2010 10:45 AM
Rod Herzog from Morris

Having lived in my community for over 20 years, we've seen inadequate infrastructure development (for the increase in taxes and influx of people) and loss of worthwhile employment. More widely, most drivers now completely disregard traffic laws, due largely to poor law enforcement (stop signs, dedicated turn lanes, cell phone/text use, etc).

Jul. 29 2010 12:52 PM
Joanne from Boonton

The thing I see among my friends is unemployment, underemployment, and layoffs. People with formerly solid corporate middle class jobs have been out for months, and in some cases, years.

Jun. 24 2010 12:00 PM
Marilyn Murray from Chatham

We are tearing down substantial houses to build gigantic edifices that stretch from setback line to setback line. These monstrosities are changing the character of the town, which is what in the first place attracted people to move here. Our very excellent school system is feeling the strain with a 10% increase in student population just in the past year.
I worry that we are losing what made Chatham the quintessential home town USA.

Jun. 08 2010 05:22 PM
Fran from Flanders (morris county), NJ

Born and raised in Morris County.
Moved to western part of the county 10 years ago for more afordable houses & property taxes.

There is too much development - too many McMansions - as a local farmer told me "this town is better at growing houses than farms".

Property taxes up 100%; town votes down school budgets year after year (unfortunately)
Also VERY lonely being a democrat in this county :)

My husband travels to Manhattan for work.

May. 04 2010 10:09 PM

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