Quality of Life
Located in the northeast corner of New Jersey, bordering New York State, Bergen County is the most populous county in the State, with more than 900,000 residents. Bergen’s private sector payroll of over $15 billion is the highest in New Jersey, and the County has the 16th highest per capita income in the United States. According to the 2010 U. S. Census, the median household income in Bergen County is about $82,000. Northern New Jersey, part of the New York City metropolitan area, is one of the wealthiest areas of New Jersey.
With more than 9,000 acres of parkland, Bergen County is described as the quintessential suburban county. Its world-class park system includes large nature preserves as well as a nationally accredited zoo, five golf courses, 21 parks, two horseback riding areas, an environmental center, and nine historic sites. In addition, there are many serene areas for those seeking solitude. Active families can enjoy fishing, downhill skiing, golf, hiking, snow tubing, camping, and much more. For those who prefer the tempo of city life, Manhattan is just a 30-minute drive away. Bergen County also has rail and bus service for the approximately 70,000 residents who travel to New York City each day.
Bergen County’s population is extremely diverse. Residents have many different ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and world views. Bergen also has the largest Korean population of any U. S. County. As of the 2010 Census, 6.3% of the County’s residents have Korean ancestry. As a result, Bergen County is required to print presidential election ballots and election information in Korean, in addition to English and Spanish.
The county’s top three employers are the Hackensack University Medical Center, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, and the Valley Health System. The majority of its workforce is highly skilled and educated. At the same time, the county hosts significant pockets of populations that struggle to make ends meet, as well as a large number of industrial facilities, relics from an earlier manufacturing age.
Bergen County’s enormous workforce, the largest in the State, is a key factor in attracting dozens of domestic and international companies—such as KPMG, Becton Dickinson Company, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar-Land Rover, United Parcel Service, Stryker Orthopaedics, Mindray North America, Crestron Electronics, and A&P Supermarkets—to build their corporate headquarters here.
Bergen County is a retail mecca with a major concentration of regional malls and outlet centers and the healthy demographics to support them. Yet a number of the county’s small downtowns are struggling and depopulated.
Although Bergen has had the lowest County tax rate in the State since 1990, many business leaders are worried that that the State’s tax structure is keeping companies from expanding in New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie is acting to alleviate their concerns.
Governor Christie is committed to attracting and retaining talent in the State and has made improving the business climate a priority. The Workforce Development Board is working closely with local and State economic development officials to maximize incentives so that businesses locate in Bergen County, increase their workforce, and prosper.
Learn More about Bergen County