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Passaic County is a county in the U.S. state of New Jersey that is part of the New York metropolitan area.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 501,226, an increase of 12,177 (+2.5%) from the 489,049 counted in the 2000 Census, as of the 2019 Census estimate, the county’s population was 501,826, making it the state’s ninth-most populous county, and marking an increase of 2.3% from 2010. Its county seat is Paterson. The most populous place was Paterson, with 146,199 residents at the time of the 2010 Census, more than 29% of the county’s population, while West Milford covered 80.32 square miles, the largest total area of any municipality and more than 40% of the county’s area.

Passaic County was created on February 7, 1837, from portions of Bergen County and Essex County.

The landscape of Passaic County, near the north edge of New Jersey, spans some hilly areas and has dozens of lakes. The county covers a region about 30 × 20 miles wide. The region is split by major roads, including portions of Interstate 287 and I-80, near Paterson. The Garden State Parkway (GSP) cuts across the southern end, near Clifton. The Passaic River winds northeast past Totowa into Paterson, where the river then turns south to Passaic town, on the way to Newark, further south.

The highest point is any one of six areas on Bearfort Ridge in West Milford at approximately 1,480 feet above sea level. The lowest elevation is approximately 20 feet along the Passaic River in Clifton.

The southeastern, more populous half of the county is either flat near the river or mildly hilly. The northwestern section is rugged and mountainous.

According to the 2010 Census, the county had a total area of 197.10 square miles, including 184.59 square miles of land (93.7%) and 12.51 square miles of water (6.35%).

The 2010 United States Census counted 501,226 people, 166,785 households, and 120,919.125 families in the county. The population density was 2,715.3 per square mile. There were 175,966 housing units at an average density of 953.3 per square mile.

The 166,785 households accounted 34.5% with children under the age of 18 living with them; 48.7% were married couples living together; 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.45.

In the county, the population age was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 12% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.1 years. For every 100 females, the population had 94.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 91.1 males.

In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which regulates the New Jersey Highlands region. The northwestern area of the county, comprising the municipalities of Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Wanaque and West Milford, was included in the highlands preservation area and is subject to the rules of the act and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, a division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Some of the territory in the protected region is classified as being in the highlands preservation area, and thus subject to additional rules.

  • Toys “R” Us’former US corporate headquarters was in Wayne, NJ
  • Valley National Bank’scorporate headquarters is in Wayne, NJ.
  • Linens ‘n Things’headquarters office was in Clifton, NJ and employed 17,500 before closing in 2009.
  • JVChas their US office in Wayne and employ approximately 19,040.
  • Passaic County Community College, founded in 1971, serves students from Passaic County at campuses in Paterson, Wanaque and Wayne.
  • William Paterson University, established in 1855, is a public university located in Wayne.
  • Montclair State University, founded in 1908, is a public university located in Montclair, as well as portions of Little Falls and Clifton.
  • Dey Mansion, in Preakness, Wayne, served as Washington’s Headquarters on several occasions during the American Revolutionary War.
  • Garret Mountain Reservationin Paterson and Woodland Park is a National Natural Landmark covering 568 acres.
  • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Parkin Paterson
  • High Mountain ParkPreserve in Wayne
  • Lambert Castlein Paterson
  • Long Pond Ironworks State Parkin West Milford
  • Paterson Museum, housed in the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson
  • Ringwood State Parkin Ringwood
  • Skylands, the New Jersey State Botanical Garden in Ringwood, are formal gardens that are open to the public year-round. Originally constructed for Clarence MacKenzie Lewis in the 1920s, the entire property was acquired by the State of New Jersey in 1966 to form a State Botanical Garden covering 4,000-acre which include a Lilac Garden, Magnolia Walk, the Wild Flower Garden, the Crab Apple Vista, an allée of 166 trees extending almost a half-mile, and the Perennial Garden.
  • Yogi Berra Stadiumin Little Falls – Located on the campus of Montclair State University, the stadium is home to the New Jersey Jackals of the independent Can-Am League as well as Montclair State’s baseball team. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000 persons with permanent seating of 3,784 people and lawn seating which holds an additional 1,500.

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