About West Caldwell
West Caldwell was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 24, 1904, from portions of Caldwell Township (now known as Fairfield Township). In 1981, West Caldwell became a township to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies.
Though today the Caldwell area is considered to be a suburb of both Newark and New York, the area originally developed as its own individual, self-contained town and economy rather than as urban sprawl from a larger city. When it was formed, a few miles of woods separated downtown Caldwell from Newark or any of its developing suburbs. Bloomfield Avenue is located in the center of town, and is home to many of the locally owned stores of the town.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked West Caldwell as its 30th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey.
The communities of Caldwell and West Caldwell share a public school district, the Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools. There are four elementary schools between the two towns, all of which are named after American presidents: Jefferson School (246 students), Washington School (410 students) and Wilson School (257 students), all located in West Caldwell; and Lincoln School (251 students), located in Caldwell. Students are districted to go to a certain one of the four elementary schools between Kindergarten and fifth grade, based on where they live. Presently, based on the local boundaries, and where the schools lie in relation to the borders of the two towns, students from portions of both towns attend Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington schools, which are all located quite close to the border between the two Caldwells. Wilson School, however, is located in the middle of southern West Caldwell near its border with Roseland and relatively far from Caldwell; so its students are exclusively from West Caldwell, in its western-most neighborhoods. Depending on the towns’ current demographic population trends, the Board of Education is often tinkering with the elementary school districting. Sometimes, entire neighborhoods regularly become redistricted from year to year. The Gardens area of far western West Caldwell, for example, has been districted to three of the four different elementary schools within the past fifteen years.
Between sixth and eighth grades, all students in both Caldwell and West Caldwell attend Grover Cleveland Middle School, located in Caldwell. All students also attend the same high school, James Caldwell High School, located in the center of West Caldwell, which is named after the Reverend James Caldwell, the same American Revolutionary War hero that the towns are named for. In accordance with New Jersey state law that requires towns to bus students to school if they live further than 2 miles, the high school was built, in the early 1960s to ensure that it was within a 2-mile radius of all households in both towns. Previously, Grover Cleveland Middle School in the center of Caldwell had been Grover Cleveland Jr. High School and High School, but its distance more than two miles from the outer neighborhoods of West Caldwell require that several students from the Wilson School area are bused to it. For this reason, the older, non-centrally located building became the town’s middle school and the current high school was built to be within reasonable walking distance to all students’ houses.
The two non-defunct elementary schools are Harrison School, which has become the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education offices, and Roosevelt Elementary School, which now houses Essex County College.
Additionally, West Caldwell is home to the Essex County Vocational High School for regional students who do not wish to attend their public high schools or who wish to learn a trade.
The West Essex Campus of Essex County College is located in West Caldwell.
West Caldwell is located at 40°50’54″N 74°17’20″W (40.848349, -74.288970).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.1 km2), or about 3,382 acres, none of which is covered by water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,233 people, 3,990 households, and 3,112 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,224.4 people per square mile (858.8/km2). There were 4,044 housing units at an average density of 800.8/sq mi (309.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 93.84% White, 0.89% African American, 0.04% Native American, 3.85% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.61% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.80% of the population.
There were 3,990 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.1% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the township the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $83,396, and the median income for a family was $94,379. Males had a median income of $67,108 versus $45,365 for females. The per capita income for the township was $38,345. About 1.2% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.