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Piscataway () is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 56,044, reflecting an increase of 5,562 (+11.0%) from the 50,482 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,393 (+7.2%) from the 47,089 counted in 1990.
The name Piscataway may be derived from the area's original Native American residents, transplants from near the Piscataqua River defining the coastal border between New Hampshire and Maine, whose name derives from peske (branch) and tegwe (tidal river), or alternatively from pisgeu (meaning "dark night") and awa ("place of") or from a Lenape language word meaning "great deer" or from words meaning "place of dark night". The area was appropriated in 1666 by Quakers and Baptists who had left the Puritan colony in New Hampshire.
Piscataway Township was formed on December 18, 1666, and officially incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as part of the state's initial group of 104 townships. The community, the fifth-oldest municipality in New Jersey, has grown from Native American territory, through a colonial period and is one of the links in the earliest settlement of the Atlantic Ocean seacoast that ultimately led to the formation of the United States. Over the years, portions of Piscataway were taken to form Raritan Township (March 17, 1870, now Edison), Dunellen (October 28, 1887), Middlesex (April 9, 1913) and South Plainfield (March 10, 1926).
Piscataway has advanced educational and research facilities due to the presence of Rutgers University, whose main campus spills into the township. SHI Stadium, home field for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team, is in Piscataway. Part of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is located in Piscataway as well.
In 2008, Money magazine ranked Piscataway 23rd out of the top 100 places to live in America. In 2014, the magazine ranked Piscataway 27th out of top 50 places to live in America.
In 1666, the first appointed Governor of New Jersey, Philip Carteret, granted 12 new settlers from Massachusetts a 100 square mile lot of land that was later founded as the townships of Woodbridge and Piscataway. After this original purchase, additional settlers from the Piscataqua River area of New Hampshire also moved to the area, bringing the name.
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