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Burlington County Profile

Rich in historic lore and known for its strong agricultural base and a vast pinelands forest, Burlington County encompasses 524,160 acres – more than New Jersey’s other 20 counties – and offers a variety of lifestyles, ranging from small, older downtowns to modern suburban communities.

The County government is under the direction of a five- member Board of Chosen Freeholders, which is elected at large. The freeholder form of government dates back to 1798, and, originally, the office of “freeholder” could only be held by those who owned land free of debt.

There are 40 political subdivisions: three cities, 31 townships and six boroughs.

Burlington County is the statewide leader in farmland preservation (28,000-plus acres saved) and ranks sixth nationally in this category. Most of this land is located in the county’s “farmbelt,” located in the northeast region.

Freeholders also have aggressively embarked in the development of a park system, which now includes nine parks. Three more are in the planning stages.

The County has enjoyed solid economic development and redevelopment. The 13-town region that borders the Delaware River has seen more than $2 billion in new construction in recent years, with a five-year-old light rail service (the RiverLine) spurring both residential and commercial activity. (See transportation.)

Visitors may be amazed to learn that 57 percent of the County is listed as wooded. Roughly 10 percent has been developed residentially; another 5 percent includes business and industry and other categories.

There are an estimated 172,710 housing units, and a median home value set at $256,700, as reported by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2007. The median rental was tabbed at $996.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission also reports that more than 60 percent of Burlington County’s population of 447,101 (est.) has attained at least “some college,” and sets the County’s median household income at $72,466.

Approximately seven percent of the County population is 65 or older. Retirement communities have sprung up to accommodate an influx of new senior residents. Close traveling distances to New York City, Philadelphia and Atlantic City have also bolstered Burlington County as a retirement destination.

Over the past 12 years, the County has embraced “smart growth” planning with the towns, all in an effort to balance development with open space and farmland, and avoid land use conflicts and suburban sprawl.

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