Bergenfield is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 26,764, reflecting an increase of 517 (+2.0%) from the 26,247 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,789 (+7.3%) from the 24,458 counted in the 1990 Census.
Bergenfield was formed on the basis of a referendum held on June 25, 1894, from portions of Englewood Township and Palisades Township. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. The borough was named for its location in Bergen County.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Bergenfield as its 211th best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey. The magazine ranked Bergenfield as its 231st best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live".
NeighborhoodScout named Bergenfield as the safest municipality in the nation in 2012 with more than 25,000 residents and in both 2013 and 2014 they named it as the 2nd safest town in the USA only behind Franklin, Massachusetts.
In 2019, Bergenfield has dropped in their ratings, falling to number 4.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.91 square miles (7.55 km2), including 2.90 square miles (7.52 km2) of land and 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2) of water (0.31%).
The borough borders the Bergen County municipalities of Cresskill, Dumont, Englewood, New Milford, Teaneck and Tenafly.
Bergenfield has been called the Little Manila of Bergen County. Of the 14,224 Filipino population in the county as a whole enumerated in the 2000 Census, 3,133 (22% of the county total) lived in Bergenfield. By the 2010 Census, 4,569 Bergenfield residents (17.1% of the population) listed themselves as being of Filipino ancestry, and increasing further to 5,062 (18.4%) by 2016.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $82,546 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,568) and the median family income was $99,963 (+/- $5,602). Males had a median income of $52,891 (+/- $2,058) versus $50,443 (+/- $2,598) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $35,034 (+/- $2,133). About 3.9% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Same-sex couples headed 62 households in 2010, an increase from the 51 counted in 2000.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 26,247 people, 8,981 households, and 6,753 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,065.4 people per square mile (3,494.5/km2). There were 9,147 housing units at an average density of 3,159.3 per square mile (1,217.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 62.90% White, 6.90% African American, 0.24% Native American, 20.41% Asian (5,357 Asian), 0.02% Pacific Islander, 6.47% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.05% of the population.
There were 8,981 households, out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $62,172, and the median income for a family was $71,187. Males had a median income of $42,074 versus $35,137 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,706. About 2.6% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
Bergenfield is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 564) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey. The governing body is comprised of a Mayor and a Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Bergenfield is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
, the mayor of Bergenfield is Democrat Arvin Amatorio, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023; a former Councilman, Amatorio narrowly unseated Republican Norman Schmelz in the 2019 election. Members of the Borough Council are Council President Rafael Marte (D, 2023), Salvador S. "Buddy" Deauna (D, 2022), Ora C. Kornbluth (D, 2022), Thomas A. Lodato (D, 2024), Hernando D. Rivera Mejia (D, 2024) and Marc Pascual (D, 2023).
In January 2020, the Borough Council selected Marc Pascual to fill the seat expiring in December 2020 that had been held by Arvin Amatorio until he steeped down to take office as mayor.
In January 2017, the borough council selected Rafael Marte to fill the seat expiring in December 2017 that had been held by Chris Tully until he resigned from office earlier that month.
Federal, state and county representation
Bergenfield is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 38th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Bergenfield had been in the 37th state legislative district.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 14,083 registered voters in Bergenfield, of which 5,139 (36.5% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,151 (15.3% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 6,782 (48.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 11 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 52.6% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 69.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received 7,395 votes (63.4% vs. 54.2% countywide), ahead of Republican Donald Trump with 3,745 votes (32.1% vs. 41.1% countywide) and other candidates with 305 votes (2.6% vs. 3.0% countywide), among the 11,653 ballots cast by the borough's 16,298 registered voters for a turnout of 71.5% (vs. 73% in Bergen County). In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,665 votes (62.7% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,773 votes (35.5% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 91 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 10,624 ballots cast by the borough's 15,285 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.5% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 6,410 votes (57.6% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,561 votes (40.9% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 70 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 11,138 ballots cast by the borough's 14,721 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.7% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 5,768 votes (54.8% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,657 votes (44.3% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 57 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 10,523 ballots cast by the borough's 13,954 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.4% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Democrat Phil Murphy received 66.5% of the vote (3,822 cast), ahead of Republican Kim Guadagno with 32.3% (1,858 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (65 votes), among the 5,891 ballots cast by the borough's 15,631 registered voters (146 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.7%. In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.2% of the vote (3,576 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 40.0% (2,416 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (47 votes), among the 6,214 ballots cast by the borough's 14,629 registered voters (175 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 3,463 ballots cast (53.9% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,599 votes (40.5% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 276 votes (4.3% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 29 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 6,420 ballots cast by the borough's 14,488 registered voters, yielding a 44.3% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Bergenfield Police Department provides police services to the Borough of Bergenfield. As of 2010, there are a total of 46 sworn officers in the department, 8 civilian telecommunicators, and three civilian Records Bureau employees.
The force is responsible for all aspects of policing in the borough, including responding to fire and medical emergency calls. Each patrol car is equipped with a first aid kit, oxygen tank, and an Automated external defibrillator.
Started in 1905, the Bergenfield Fire Department (BFD) has three independent fire companies and a career staff.
The Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. (BVAC) was formed in 1941 as the "Bergenfield Volunteer Firemen's Ambulance Corps." Renamed the "Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc." and established as an organization independent of the Bergenfield Fire Department in 1981, BVAC is located at 1 Froelich Street in Bergenfield. The BVAC is a volunteer independent public emergency medical service. As such, they do not bill for services. BVAC is funded by donations from the public as well as limited funding from the borough.
The corps provides basic life support, and is staffed by certified emergency medical technicians. BVAC has four ambulances, one first response SUV, and one EMS Support Unit. Dispatching is provided by the Bergenfield Police Department's 9-1-1 center.
The primary jurisdiction of the BVAC is the Borough of Bergenfield, but the corps also responds to requests for mutual-aid from the neighboring First Aid Squads of Dumont, New Milford, and Teaneck.
The BVAC is a member of the New Jersey State First Aid Council.
Students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade are educated by the Bergenfield Public Schools. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of seven schools, had an enrollment of 3,563 students and 272.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.1:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Franklin Elementary School (338 students; in grades K-5),
Hoover Elementary School (237; K-5),
Jefferson Elementary School (262; K-5),
Lincoln Elementary School (396; PreK-5),
Washington Elementary School (294; K-5),
Roy W. Brown Middle School (836; 6-8) and
Bergenfield High School (1,174; 9-12).
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Roads and highways
, the borough had a total of of roadways, of which were maintained by the municipality and by Bergen County.
Main roads include Washington Avenue, Main Street, Prospect Avenue, River Edge Road and New Bridge Road.
NJ Transit bus service is available to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 166, 167 routes and to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on the 186 route; and to other New Jersey communities served on the 753, 756 and 772 routes.
Saddle River Tours / Ameribus provides service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on route 11C.
Until 1959, the New York Central Railroad operated passenger service through the borough on the West Shore Railroad. Service operated north along the Hudson River to Albany, New York and points west; and south to Weehawken Terminal.
Bergenfield is one of a growing number of districts to form a SID (Special Improvement District). Bergenfield's Special Improvement District stretches a mile along Washington Avenue from Teaneck to Dumont has been promoting the local businesses for several years. Its mission is to inform people about Bergenfield's shopping district and its over 50 international restaurants and food stores within one mile.
On May 4, 2006, the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Bergenfield to build a home for the Llanes family on New Bridge Road. The episode aired as the pre-season two-hour special originally broadcast on September 17, 2006. The Llanes sold their home in 2012 and went to live with relatives because their taxes increased beyond their ability to pay, having risen from under $6,500 in 2007 to more than $15,000 five years later due to the increased assessed value of the home following the renovation.
On July 22, 2007, the Team Bergenfield Roller Hockey Club, won the NARCh National Roller Hockey Championship defeating the Nor-Cal Patriots 6–5 in Estero, Florida. Team Bergenfield went 6-0-1 in the tournament en route to winning the Men's Silver Championship. The team formed in Bergenfield in 1994 and is currently one of the longest running roller hockey clubs in the United States.
Several scenes for the Harlem Globetrotter 1954 film Go, Man, Go! were filmed at Franklin School, and along nearby Prospect Avenue. Those scenes included actors Dane Clark (portraying Abe Saperstein) and Patricia Breslin (playing Sylvia Saperstein). Many of the school's 5th grade boys were used as extras.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Bergenfield include:
In popular culture
The infamous group suicide of the "Bergenfield Four" took place in March 1987 and received worldwide attention. The victims were four local high schoolers, ages sixteen to nineteen, and their mutual deaths by carbon monoxide were followed by a rash of copycat attempts. The suicides are examined in sociological perspective in Donna Gaines' Teenage Wasteland (1998). References in the arts include the Tom Russell song "Bergenfield" (1989), and the Alice Donut song "New Jersey Exit" (1988).
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Bergenfield, NJ, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. Township-6t4ab-c4u-75d-ef78-iy9