Manahawkin is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Stafford Township, in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 2,303. Manahawkin has been thought to be a Lenape word meaning "land of good corn", although this has been disputed by recent scholars claiming that it translates to "fertile land sloping into the water."
Manahawkin is the gateway to the resort communities on Long Beach Island, with Route 72 providing the sole road access, ending in Ship Bottom as it crosses Manahawkin Bay via the Manahawkin Bay Bridge (formally known as the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 1.922 square miles (4.979 km2), including 1.827 square miles (4.731 km2) of it is land and 0.096 square miles (0.248 km2) of water (4.98%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census counted 2,303 people, 931 households, and 586 families in the CDP. The population density was 1,260.7 inhabitants per square mile (486.8/km2). There were 1,071 housing units at an average density of 586.3 per square mile (226.4/km2). The racial makeup was 91.58% (2,109) White, 0.43% (10) Black or African American, 0.43% (10) Native American, 2.52% (58) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 4.17% (96) from other races, and 0.87% (20) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.25% (190) of the population.
Of the 931 households, 25.5% had children under the age of 18; 46.6% were married couples living together; 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 37.1% were non-families. Of all households, 30.9% were made up of individuals and 19.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.06.
20.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.7 years.