Clinton is a town in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States, located on the South Branch of the Raritan River. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 2,719, reflecting an increase of 87 (+3.3%) from the 2,632 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 578 (+28.1%) from the 2,054 counted in the 1990 Census. Despite its relatively small population, Clinton is the predominant control city for Interstate 78 heading west from Newark.
When the Clinton post office was established in 1829, it was named for DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York and the primary impetus behind the then-newly completed Erie Canal.
Clinton was incorporated as a town by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 5, 1865, within portions of Clinton, Franklin and Union Townships. Clinton gained full independence from its three parent townships in 1895.
The town is perhaps best known for its two mills which sit on opposite banks of the South Branch Raritan River. The Red Mill, with its historic village, dates back to 1810 with the development of a mill for wool processing. Across the river sits the Stone Mill, home of the Hunterdon Art Museum for Contemporary Craft and Design, located in a former gristmill that had been reconstructed in 1836 and operated continuously until 1936. In 1952, a group of local residents conceived of a plan to convert the historic building into an art museum, which is still in operation today.
Described by The New York Times in 1988 as having "conquered the worst residential radon hotspot known in the United States" which resulted from uranium in the limestone under sections of the town, Clinton and mayor-at-the-time Robert A. Nulman received state, national, and international attention for the town's successful efforts to combat the radon using ventilation systems in affected homes.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 1.44 square miles (3.72 km2), including 1.35 square miles (3.49 km2) of land and 0.09 square miles (0.24 km2) of water (6.39%).
The town borders the Hunterdon County municipalities of Clinton Township, Franklin Township and Union Township.
Clinton is considered an exurb of New York City, as Hunterdon County lies on the western fringe of the New York City Metropolitan Area, which is mainly rural with scattered housing developments and old farm homes. Clinton is part of the Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area of Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. It serves as a "bedroom community" for many commuters working in and around Northern New Jersey and New York City, often younger residents who have supplanted long-time residents of Clinton.
Clinton falls under the "Northern New Jersey" climate zone.