Ship Bottom is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,156, reflecting a decline of 228 (-16.5%) from the 1,384 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 32 (+2.4%) from the 1,352 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is located on Long Beach Island and borders the Atlantic Ocean.
The borough's name derives from an incident in March 1817, in which a woman was saved from a wrecked ship that had flipped over, after her rescuers used axes to cut through the bottom of the hull.
What is now Ship Bottom was originally incorporated as the borough of Ship Bottom-Beach Arlington by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 3, 1925, from portions of Long Beach Township, based on the results of a referendum held on May 23, 1925. The borough name was shortened to Ship Bottom in 1947.
The borough is known as the "Gateway to Long Beach Island", as Route 72 provides the sole road access from Manahawkin in Stafford Township, 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 borough had a total area of 0.99 square miles (2.58 km2), including 0.71 square miles (1.84 km2) of land and 0.28 square miles (0.73 km2) of water (28.48%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Beach Arlington.
The borough borders the Ocean County municipalities of Long Beach Township, Stafford Township and Surf City.
The 2010 United States Census counted 1,156 people, 555 households, and 329 families in the borough. The population density was 1,620.6 inhabitants per square mile (625.7/km2). There were 2,066 housing units at an average density of 2,896.3 per square mile (1,118.3/km2). The racial makeup was 92.91% (1,074) White, 1.30% (15) Black or African American, 0.17% (2) Native American, 0.43% (5) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 3.98% (46) from other races, and 1.21% (14) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.17% (106) of the population.
Of the 555 households, 13.7% had children under the age of 18; 46.8% were married couples living together; 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present and 40.7% were non-families.