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Margate City is a city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 6,354, reflecting a decline of 1,839 (-22.4%) from the 8,193 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 238 (-2.8%) from the 8,431 counted in the 1990 Census.
Margate City was originally incorporated as the borough of South Atlantic City by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 7, 1885, from portions of Egg Harbor Township, based on the results of a referendum held on August 1, 1885. South Atlantic City was reincorporated as a city on April 23, 1897, and then reincorporated with the name Margate City on April 20, 1909. The city was named for Margate, England.
The city is located on Absecon Island, which stretches for 8.1 miles (13.0 km) and is also home of Atlantic City and Ventnor City to the northeast, and Longport on the southwest. The city stretches about eight blocks from the Atlantic Ocean to the bay at most points in town. Margate is a popular Jersey Shore destination, especially during the summer, and is the home of Lucy the Elephant, a 65-foot (20 m) wooden elephant, and of Marven Gardens, of Monopoly board game fame.
Margate City had a total area of 1.631 square miles (4.225 km2), including 1.415 square miles (3.665 km2) of land and 0.216 square miles (0.560 km2) of water (13.25%).
Margate City borders Longport and Ventnor City.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 6,354 people, 3,156 households, and 1,805 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,490.3 per square mile (1,733.7/km2). There were 7,114 housing units at an average density of 5,027.4 per square mile (1,941.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.36% (6,123) White, 0.71% (45) Black or African American, 0.09% (6) Native American, 0.98% (62) Asian, 0.02% (1) Pacific Islander, 0.72% (46) from other races, and 1.12% (71) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.75% (175) of the population.
There were 3,156 households out of which 14.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 38.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.64.
In the city, the population was spread out with 14.0% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 15.5% from 25 to 44, 34.1% from 45 to 64, and 31.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54.9 years. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $66,667 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,735) and the median family income was $90,625 (+/- $6,808). Males had a median income of $81,759 (+/- $13,790) versus $61,179 (+/- $11,593) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $50,328 (+/- $7,450). About 8.4% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 8,193 people, 3,984 households, and 2,302 families residing in the city. The population density was 2, 243.5/km2 (5,825.4/sq mi). There were 7,006 housing units at an average density of 4,981.4 per square mile (1,918.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.73% White, 0.87% African American, 0.02% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.71% of the population.
There were 3,984 households out of which 16.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.2% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.67.
In the city the population was spread out with 15.4% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 28.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,876, and the median income for a family was $63,917. Males had a median income of $48,152 versus $31,025 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,566. About 7.0% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
During the summer months, frequent episodes of high humidity occur. Occasionally, heat index values exceed 95 °F (35 °C). During most summer afternoons, a sea breeze dominates the coastline keeping high temperatures several degrees cooler compared to areas farther inland. During most nights, relatively mild ocean waters keep the coastline several degrees warmer than areas farther inland. On average, July is the annual peak for thunderstorm activity. During the winter months, wind chill values occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). On average, the snowiest month of the year is February which corresponds with the annual peak for nor'easter activity.
Along with other spots on the Jersey Shore, Margate becomes a popular destination in the summer months. Many houses in Margate are second homes used during the summer, and a considerable number are owned by year-round residents. Unlike in other places, such as Cape May or Ocean City, where many visitors spend a few nights in a hotel, Margate has no hotels, so most of the people who choose this town are regulars. Unlike other area towns such as Ocean City and the municipalities on Long Beach Island, weekly house/condominium rentals are almost non-existent in Margate.
Margate's beaches attract surfers, kayaking and hobie cat sailing.
The Margate beaches are narrower than beaches at many other places at the Jersey Shore. There are few dunes and those that do exist are artificial, having been created to protect beaches from nor'easters and hurricanes. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Margate voters will consider a referendum that would allow the city to participate in a program operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under which dunes would be constructed on the city's beaches, which would be intended to alleviate beach erosion and provide storm protection to Margate and to adjoining Ventnor City, which has already had a beach protection program in place for the past ten years, under which dunes have already been constructed.
Margate City Beach Patrol operates lifeguard stands and beach patrol operations for the Margate beaches. Lifeguards are on duty during summer months from 10 am to 6 pm, with more limited hours in the late Spring and early Autumn months.
Margate is host to many bayside docks providing the casual fisherman hours of enjoyment and relaxation.Local charter boats offer sport and deep sea fishing. Margate's many marinas offer docks for lease, equipment rentals, fuel stations and fishing charters.
Margate is the home of Lucy the Elephant, the "largest elephant in the world" and is the oldest remaining example of zoomorphic architecture left in the United States. Over 130 years old, she has been painstakingly restored and is toured by thousands of fans each year.
The Margate farmers' market is held every Thursday during summer months. Shoppers can purchase local produce and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Margate City has operated under the Walsh Act commission form of municipal government since 1911. There are three commission seats, which are chosen at-large on a non-partisan basis as part of the May municipal election. Each commission seat is for a four-year concurrent term. The Mayor is then selected from among the three elected Commissioners by a vote between them and assigned to the office by resolution.
As of 2017, members of the Margate City Commission are Mayor Michael Becker (Commissioner of Public Works, Parks and Public Property), John F. Amodeo (Commissioner of Public Affairs and Public Safety) and Maurice "Maury" Blumberg (Commissioner of Revenue and Finance), all of whom are serving concurrent terms of office that end May 18, 2019.
Margate City is located in the 2nd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 2nd state legislative district.
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 2nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Chris A. Brown (R, Ventnor City) and in the General Assembly by Vince Mazzeo (D, Northfield) and John Armato (D, Buena Vista Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Atlantic County is governed by a directly elected county executive and a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, responsible for legislation. The executive serves a four-year term and the freeholders are elected to staggered three-year terms, of which four are elected from the county on an at-large basis and five of the freeholders represent equally populated districts. As of 2018, Atlantic County's Executive is Republican Dennis Levinson, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders are Chairman Frank D. Formica, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2018, Margate City) Vice Chairwoman Maureen Kern, Freeholder District 2, including Atlantic City (part), Egg Harbor Township (part), Linwood, Longport, Margate City, Northfield, Somers Point and Ventnor City (R, 2018, Somers Point),Ashley R. Bennett, Freeholder District 3, including Egg Harbor Township (part) and Hamilton Township (part) (D, 2020, Egg Harbor Township), James A. Bertino, Freeholder District 5, including Buena, Buena Vista Township, Corbin City, Egg Harbor City, Estell Manor, Folsom, Hamilton Township (part), Hammonton, Mullica Township and Weymouth Township (R, 2018, Hammonton), Ernest D. Coursey, Freeholder District 1, including Atlantic City (part), Egg Harbor Township (part) and Pleasantville (D, 2019, Atlantic City), Richard R. Dase, Freeholder District 4, including Absecon, Brigantine, Galloway Township and Port Republic (R, 2019, Galloway Township), Caren L. Fitzpatrick, Freeholder At-Large (D, 2020, Linwood), Amy L. Gatto, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2019, Mays Landing in Hamilton Township) and John W. Risley, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2020, Egg Harbor Township) Atlantic County's constitutional officers are County Clerk Edward P. McGettigan (D, 2021; Linwood), Sheriff Eric Scheffler (D, 2021, Northfield) and Surrogate James Curcio (D, 2020, Hammonton).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,984 registered voters in Margate City, of which 1,164 (23.4% vs. 30.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,019 (40.5% vs. 25.2%) were registered as Republicans and 1,798 (36.1% vs. 44.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 78.4% (vs. 58.8% in Atlantic County) were registered to vote, including 91.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 76.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,882 votes (54.1% vs. 41.1% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,534 votes (44.1% vs. 57.9%) and other candidates with 21 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,479 ballots cast by the city's 5,109 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.1% (vs. 65.8% in Atlantic County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 2,061 votes (52.5% vs. 41.6% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,793 votes (45.7% vs. 56.5%) and other candidates with 32 votes (0.8% vs. 1.1%), among the 3,922 ballots cast by the city's 5,515 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.1% (vs. 68.1% in Atlantic County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,160 votes (49.5% vs. 46.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 2,132 votes (48.9% vs. 52.0%) and other candidates with 26 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 4,362 ballots cast by the city's 5,697 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.6% (vs. 69.8% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,850 votes (68.9% vs. 60.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 712 votes (26.5% vs. 34.9%) and other candidates with 36 votes (1.3% vs. 1.3%), among the 2,687 ballots cast by the city's 5,127 registered voters, yielding a 52.4% turnout (vs. 41.5% in the county). In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,466 votes (52.7% vs. 47.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,145 votes (41.1% vs. 44.5%), Independent Chris Daggett with 123 votes (4.4% vs. 4.8%) and other candidates with 16 votes (0.6% vs. 1.2%), among the 2,784 ballots cast by the city's 5,173 registered voters, yielding a 53.8% turnout (vs. 44.9% in the county).
For kindergarten through eighth grade, public school students attend the Margate City Schools, together with students from Longport Borough, who attend as part of a sending/receiving relationship. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its two schools had an enrollment of 501 students and 47.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.7:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are William H. Ross III Elementary School (grades K-4; 228 students) and Eugene A. Tighe Middle School (grades 5-8; 196 students).
For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students from Margate attend Atlantic City High School in Atlantic City, which also serves students from Brigantine and Ventnor City who attend the school as part of sending/receiving relationships. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 2,010 students and 200.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.1:1.
City public school students are also eligible to attend the Atlantic County Institute of Technology in the Mays Landing section of Hamilton Township or the Charter-Tech High School for the Performing Arts, located in Somers Point.
Blessed Sacrament Regional School was a Catholic school serving students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade that had been operated in connection with the Blessed Sacrament Church, but was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden in June 2008 and merged with St. James of Ventnor to form Holy Family Regional School. Those who wish to attend a Catholic high school choose from Holy Spirit High School, located in Absecon, St. Augustine College Preparatory School located in Richland or Our Lady of Mercy Academy located in Newfield.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 42.53 miles (68.45 km) of roadways, of which 39.98 miles (64.34 km) were maintained by the municipality and 2.55 miles (4.10 km) by Atlantic County.
The Margate bridge is a privately owned and operated toll-bridge which connects Margate to the mainland.
NJ Transit provides bus service on the 505 route between Longport and Atlantic City.
In the 2009 film (500) Days of Summer, Margate is the hometown of the male lead character, Tom Hansen, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Scott Neustadter, one of the screenplay's co-writers, grew up in Margate.
In the 1998 Nicolas Cage mystery/thriller film Snake Eyes, Margate is the main character's place of residence, alluded to as a pleasant suburban town, in contrast to the grittier Atlantic City, which forms the backdrop of the story.
In the third-season finale of Boardwalk Empire, "Margate Sands", the city is referenced as a site of gang violence between the forces of fictionalized Nucky Thompson and his rivals.
The movie Duane Hopwood was filmed at Eugene A. Tighe Middle School and at Maynards Cafe in 2004.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Margate City include:
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