Hey, paisan! The most Italian-American towns in New Jersey
Happy Columbus Day!
Christopher Columbus is often seen as a pioneering explorer of the New World, but the national holiday was created in 1934 as part of an effort to celebrate Italian-American heritage. (Although, hate to break it to you, but Columbus really wasn't "Italian.")
A lot has changed. Today, Columbus is falling out of favor as someone who should be celebrated. In New York City (whose mayor is Italian-American), police have had to stand guard at the famous statue in Columbus Circle to ward off vandals dead set on plastering the Columbus monument in red paint.
What hasn't changed is that the Garden State remains home to many Italian-Americans.
New Jersey has more than 1.45 million residents of Italian ancestry, according to U.S. Census data.
If you live in Toms River or Fairfied in Essex County, chances are you might be or know an Italian-American.
Toms River has the most Italian-Americans of any town in the state — more than 29,000, or nearly a third of the population. And Fairfield's 3,900 Italian-Americans make up more than half of the township.
Below is a list of the 22 municipalities with more than 10,000 residents of Italian ancestry. Below that is a list of the 10 towns with the highest percentage of Italian-Americans, as well as a map showing where people of Italian descent live in New Jersey.
The figures are 2015 estimates by the American Community Survey.
Greatest total of Italian-Americans
Population: 91,239 / Italian-Americans: 29,778
Population: 75,072 / Italian-Americans: 23,782
Population: 66,522 / Italian-Americans: 22,145
Hamilton - Mercer
Population: 88,464 / Italian-Americans: 20,559
Population: 54,856 / Italian-Americans: 17,202
Washington Twp - Gloucester
Population: 48,559 / Italian-Americans: 17,138
Population: 64,634 / Italian-Americans: 17,004
Population: 51,075 / Italian-Americans: 14,960
Population: 54,717 / Italian-Americans: 14,810
Population: 65,375 / Italian-Americans: 14,203
Population: 99,585 / Italian-Americans: 13,503
Population: 24,7597 / Italian-Americans: 12,840
Population: 41,255 / Italian-Americans: 12,802
Population: 60,724 / Italian-Americans: 12,404
Population: 38,872 / Italian-Americans: 12,390
Population: 50,005 / Italian-Americans: 12,214
Population: 43,070 / Italian-Americans: 11,414
Population: 45,538 / Italian-Americans: 10,801
Population: 36,184 / Italian-Americans: 10,453
Population: 63,024 / Italian-Americans: 10,183
Population: 28,370 / Italian-Americans: 10,159
Monroe Twp – Gloucester
Population: 36,129 / Italian-Americans: 10,013
Greatest percentage of Italian-Americans
Fairfield Twp - Essex
Population: 7466 / Italian-Americans: 3942 — 52.8%
Population: 7626 / Italian-Americans: 3520 — 46.2%
Population: 2011 / Italian-Americans: 880 — 43.8%
Population: 1875 / Italian-Americans: 821 — 43.8%
Population: 14791 / Italian-Americans: 6425 — 43.4%
Population: 1553 / Italian-Americans: 655 — 42.2%
Population: 12411 / Italian-Americans: 5040 — 40.6%
Population: 11157 / Italian-Americans: 4526 — 40.6%
Population: 7401 / Italian-Americans: 2828 — 38.2%
Italians in New Jersey
Click on a town to see population information. Darker red means a greater percentage of the population is of Italian descent. The numbers are 2015 estimates from the U.S. Census' American Community Survey.
More from The Point: