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Merchantville is a borough in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 3,821, reflecting an increase of 20 (+0.5%) from the 3,801 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 294 (−7.2%) from the 4,095 counted in the 1990 Census.
Merchantville was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 3, 1874, from portions of Delaware Township (now Cherry Hill Township) and Stockton Township.
While one source attributes the borough's name to a family named Merchant, Francis F. Eastlack, in his History of Merchantville, tells the story of the four developers of Merchantville—Matthias Homer, John Louty, Samuel McFadden and Frederick Gerker—meeting and discussing names, when it was suggested "Gentlemen, as you are all merchants, why not call it Merchantville?"
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 0.600 square miles (1.553 km2), all of which was land.
The borough borders the Camden County municipalities of Cherry Hill Township and Pennsauken Township.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,821 people, 1,574 households, and 966.4 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,371.3 per square mile (2,460.0/km2). There were 1,688 housing units at an average density of 2,814.6 per square mile (1,086.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 76.58% (2,926) White, 13.01% (497) Black or African American, 0.37% (14) Native American, 2.28% (87) Asian, 0.05% (2) Pacific Islander, 4.42% (169) from other races, and 3.30% (126) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.62% (444) of the population.
There were 1,574 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,358 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,850) and the median family income was $85,909 (+/- $16,985). Males had a median income of $49,926 (+/- $36,924) versus $41,369 (+/- $15,495) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $34,308 (+/- $4,408). About 11.7% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.7% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 3,801 people, 1,524 households, and 946 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,317.2 people per square mile (2,446.0/km²). There were 1,607 housing units at an average density of 2,670.8 per square mile (1,034.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 85.90% White, 7.42% African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 2.84% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.47% of the population.
There were 1,524 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the borough the age distribution of the population shows 25.7% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $49,392, and the median income for a family was $60,652. Males had a median income of $43,375 versus $30,771 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,589. About 5.8% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.
Merchantville is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Merchantville, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2016, the Mayor of Merchantville Borough is Democrat Edward "Ted" Brennan, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Borough Council are Council President John J. Grasso (D, 2018), Andrew McLoone (D, 2017), Anthony J. Perno (D, 2016), Daniel J. Sperrazza (D, 2018), Katherine Swann (D, 2017) and Steve J. Volkert (D, 2016).
Merchantville is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 6th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Merchantville had been in the 7th state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). 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 6th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by James Beach (D, Voorhees Township) and in the General Assembly by Louis Greenwald (D, Voorhees Township) and Pamela Rosen Lampitt (D, Cherry Hill). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2018, Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. (D, Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2020; term as director ends 2018), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (D, Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as deputy director ends 2018), Susan Shin Angulo (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), William F. Moen Jr. (D, Camden, 2018), Jeffrey L. Nash (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), Carmen Rodriguez (D, Merchantville, 2019) and Jonathan L. Young Sr. (D, Berlin Township, 2020).
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa (Voorhees Township, 2019), Sheriff Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (Camden, 2018) and Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer (Gloucester Township, 2020). The Camden County Prosecutor is Mary Eva Colalillo.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,610 registered voters in Merchantville, of which 990 (37.9%) were registered as Democrats, 489 (18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 1,129 (43.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 65.9% of the vote (1,190 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 32.8% (592 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (25 votes), among the 1,822 ballots cast by the borough's 1,970 registered voters (15 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 92.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 63.8% of the vote (1,274 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 33.4% (667 votes), with 1,998 ballots cast among the borough's 2,533 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.9%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 57.9% of the vote (1,107 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 37.2% (711 votes), with 1,912 ballots cast among the borough's 2,461 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 77.7.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 55.9% of the vote (560 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 41.7% (418 votes), and other candidates with 2.4% (24 votes), among the 1,028 ballots cast by the borough's 2,757 registered voters (26 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.3%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 50.1% of the vote (637 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 42.0% (534 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.5% (57 votes), with 1,271 ballots cast among the borough's 2,609 registered voters, yielding a 48.7% turnout.
Students in public school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade attend the Merchantville School District at Merchantville Elementary School. As of the 2013–14 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 378 students and 28.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.2:1.
Starting in September 2015, for ninth through twelfth grades, students from Merchantville will start attending Haddon Heights High School as part of a new sending/receiving relationship with the Haddon Heights School District that was approved by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, joining students from Barrington and Lawnside, who already attend The Haddon Heights school. Students already in high school before 2015 will continue to attend Pennsauken High School until their graduation, as part of a longstanding sending/receiving relationship with the Pennsauken Public Schools in Pennsauken Township. Merchantville students had attended Pennsauken High School since the 1972 school year, after Merchantville High School was shut down.
St. Peter School is a K-8 elementary school that opened in 1927 and operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 12.84 miles (20.66 km) of roadways, of which 8.32 miles (13.39 km) were maintained by the municipality and 4.52 miles (7.27 km) by Camden County.
NJ Transit offers bus service in the borough on the 404, and 405 and 407 routes to Camden with connecting bus and rail services into Philadelphia.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Merchantville include:
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