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#10 in Best Places to Raise a Family in Somerset County

Watchung is a borough in Somerset County located approximately 29 miles west of New York City. Watchung was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 23, 1926, from portions of North Plainfield Township (now Green Brook Township) based on the results of a referendum held on April 20, 1926. The name “Watchung” comes from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, meaning “high hills” or from “watschu,” meaning “hill.”

In 2012, Forbes.com listed Watchung as 384th in its listing of “America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes”, with a median home price of $767,507. The borough is one of the state’s highest-income communities. Based on data from the American Community Survey (ACS) for 2014–2018, Watchung residents had a median household income of $153,341, almost double the statewide median of $79,363. 

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the borough include Washingtonville. The borough borders Green Brook Township, North Plainfield and Warren Township in Somerset County and Berkeley Heights, Plainfield, and Scotch Plains in Union County. The Stony Brook flows through Watchung borough, making its way from Warren Township to the Watchung Lake, then through the gorge in the first Watchung mountain and over the Wetumpka Falls, on its way to the Green Brook. The borough is roughly a 40-minute drive from New York City and a 20-minute drive from Newark.

As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough’s population was 5,801, reflecting an increase of 188 (+3.3%) from the 5,613 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 503 (+9.8%) from the 5,110 counted in the 1990 Census. It is located within the Raritan Valley region.

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