About Ocean County
Ocean County was created in the winter of 1850 from parts of Monmouth County and Burlington County in 1891. It is the fifth most populous county in New Jersey with a population of 576,567, in the 2010 census, which was an increase of 12.8% from the 2000 census. The flat, coastal county has lots of beach space and sits on 950.40 square miles. Toms River is the county seat and has been the fastest growing area in the county since 1990.
Ocean County thrives on tourism. During the summer months, the beaches are covered in tourists and locals that want to enjoy fun in the sun near the Atlantic Ocean. In 2010, the median income for a household was $46,443. The county itself receives most of its tax dollars from tourists visiting the shore. During the summer months, the county is extremely ethnically diverse as people from all over the world visit the Jersey Shore. Residents of the county are also diverse and include African Americans, Caucasians, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and many others.
County government in Ocean County is different. It is made by a Board of Chosen Freeholders. This board includes five members who are elected in partisan elections and is unique to New Jersey. The term "freeholder" was initially created by the New Jersey constitution and is still used today. In layman's terms, freeholders simply mean elected. Each member serves a staggered, three-year term. With this system, one or two seats become available during the yearly general election. As of January 2015, a Director and Deputy Director are chosen from the board's members. The Ocean County Sheriff's Department and prosecutor's office are responsible for law enforcement in the area.