Forked River (pronounced fork'id ri'ver) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Lacey Township, in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 5,244.
Many Ocean County residents commonly refer to all of Lacey Township as Forked River with the first word pronounced with two syllables (FOR-ked or FORK-ed). Pronouncing the first word with one syllable (forkt, which is the standard American pronunciation) is a sign of a new resident or outsider.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 10.336 square miles (26.768 km2), including 2.723 square miles (7.052 km2) of land and 7.613 square miles (19.717 km2) of water (73.66%).
Forked River is located on US Route 9 south of Toms River. The communities of Lanoka Harbor is directly north of Forked River, Bamber Lake is to the west, Barnegat is to the southwest, and Waretown is to the south.
Nearby Forked River is a river that empties into Barnegat Bay.
The 2010 United States Census counted 5,244 people, 2,077 households, and 1,429 families in the CDP. The population density was 1,926.1 inhabitants per square mile (743.7/km2). There were 2,610 housing units at an average density of 958.6 per square mile (370.1/km2). The racial makeup was 95.58% (5,012) White, 0.74% (39) Black or African American, 0.23% (12) Native American, 0.61% (32) Asian, 0.10% (5) Pacific Islander, 1.66% (87) from other races, and 1.09% (57) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.64% (348) of the population.
Of the 2,077 households, 25.7% had children under the age of 18; 55.7% were married couples living together; 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 31.2% were non-families. Of all households, 24.2% were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.