Bridgewater is a relatively large, mostly affluent suburban township located in the center of Somerset County. The thirty-three square mile area which is now the Township of Bridgewater was originally purchased from a local Lenape Native American tribe. Bridgewater was chartered by George II of Great Britain in 1749, and incorporated as one of New Jersey's 104 original townships in 1798.
Bridgewater receives an influx of residents who work in the strong pharmaceutical, telecommunications and financial industries in Bridgewater and the Raritan Valley. More recently, there has also been growth as Bridgewater has become more popular with New York City commuters who use Bridgewater Station on New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line or Interstate 78 East to commute to New York City.
Bridgewater is now a fairly developed suburban community, with few traces of its rural past still evident in the town (particularly in its northwestern section). Bridgewater is now Somerset County's second-most populous municipality, after Franklin Township.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 44,464 people, 16,111 households, and 12,035 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,387.9 inhabitants per square mile (535.9 /km2). There were 16,657 housing units at an average density of 519.9 per square mile (200.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 76.46% (33,996) White, 2.38% (1,059) African American, 0.10% (46) Native American, 17.83% (7,927) Asian, 0.00% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.46% (647) from other races, and 1.77% (787) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.76% (3,004) of the population.
There were 16,111 households out of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.1% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.21.
Bridgewater Township is split between the 7th and 11th Congressional districts and is part of New Jersey's 23rd state legislative district. As a result of Congressional redistricting, Bridgewater will no longer be split between districts and will be entirely within the 7th district for the 2012 election.
Bridgewater is part of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. All of the schools in the district are in Bridgewater except for Kennedy, which is in Raritan Borough. Schools in the district are Adamsville School, Bradley Gardens School, Crim School, Hamilton School, John F. Kennedy School, Milltown School and Van Holten School. Bridgewater is the home of the Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, a four-year magnet school that provides occupational and academic training to students from all of Somerset County.
Bridgewater is criss-crossed by several major highways, including Interstate 287, Interstate 78, U.S. 22, Route 202-206 and Route 28.
Bridgewater Township is serviced by three local airports, Solberg-Hunterdon Airport to the west in Readington, Somerset Airport to the north in Bedminster Township, and Central Jersey Regional Airport to the south in Manville. These airports are open to the public and offer charter flight services as well as flight training and other aviation related services. They operate in all weather conditions and have instrument approaches available for use by pilots in bad weather. Scheduled commercial passenger service is provided by Newark Liberty International Airport, located approximately 32 miles (51 km) away in Newark /Elizabeth. Click here for local weather in Bridgewater, New Jersey.