Fair Lawn is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, and a suburb located 10 miles (16 km) from New York City. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 32,457, reflecting an increase of 820 (+2.6%) from the 31,637 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,089 (+3.6%) from the 30,548 counted in the 1990 Census.
Fair Lawn was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 6, 1924, as "Fairlawn," from portions of Saddle River Township. The name was taken from Fairlawn, David Acker's estate home, that was built in 1865 and later became the Fair Lawn Municipal Building. In 1933, the official spelling of the borough's name was split into its present two-word form as "Fair Lawn" Borough.
Radburn, one of the first planned communities in the United States, is an unincorporated community located within Fair Lawn and was founded in 1929 as "a town for the motor age." Fair Lawn is home to a large number of commuters to New York City, to which it is connected by train from two railroad stations on NJ Transit's Bergen County Line, the Radburn and Broadway stations.
Fair Lawn's motto, coined by Jake Janso, is "A great place to visit and a better place to live." Fair Lawn has been rated as one of the top 10 best places to live in New Jersey. According to Nerdwallet, Fair Lawn witnessed a 5.3% increase in its working-age population between 2009 and 2011.
The first settlers of Fair Lawn were members of the Lenni Lenape tribe, a peaceful group of hunter gatherers who eventually sold their land to incoming Dutch and Irish settlers and migrated to Pennsylvania. The new colonists turned the region, part of the New Barbadoes Township, into five large farm lots, conjoined by two main roads - Paramus and Saddle River - and named it "slooterdam" (after a V-shaped sluice-like fishing weir built in the Passaic River by the Lenni Lenape). The name stuck until 1791. In the 1800s, these five lots became nine smaller lots, and three new roads - Fair Lawn Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, and Prospect Street - were constructed to encourage mobility between them. Eighty houses were built by 1861, and the renamed Small Lots, now a part of the Saddle River Township and home to multiple vegetable and fruit farms and dairies, became an agricultural community.