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Rio Grande, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rio Grande, New Jersey
Putt-putt golf course
Putt-putt golf course
Map of Rio Grande highlighted within Cape May County. Right: Location of Cape May County in New Jersey.
Map of Rio Grande highlighted within Cape May County. Right: Location of Cape May County in New Jersey.
Coordinates: 39°01′09″N 74°52′40″W / 39.019051°N 74.87787°W / 39.019051; -74.87787
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyCape May
TownshipMiddle (most), Lower (some)
 • Total2.490 sq mi (6.450 km2)
 • Land2.459 sq mi (6.369 km2)
 • Water0.031 sq mi (0.081 km2)  1.26%
Elevation20 ft (6 m)
 • Total2,670
 • Density1,085.8/sq mi (419.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP code
Area code(s)609
FIPS code3463180[5]
GNIS feature ID02389752[6]

Rio Grande (/riɡrʌnd/) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Middle Township and Lower Township in Cape May County, New Jersey, United States.[7]

Though for the 1990 to 2010 U.S. censuses the CDP was entirely located within Middle Township,[8][9] a small section at the southern edge of the community, located in Lower Township, is sometimes called Rio Grande.[10][11] For the 2020 U.S. Census the boundary was redrawn so that portions of Lower Township were included in the Rio Grande CDP.[12]

It is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 2,670.[3]


According to Jeffrey M. Dorwart, Rio Grande was founded in the mid-nineteenth century around a country store owned by the Hildreth family. The community was originally called Hildreth for that reason.[13]

George F. Boyer and J. Pearson Cunningham explain that, during the colonial period, Aaron Leaming, the Hildreths and the Cresses had plantations in that area. Where the King's Highway crossed the road coming from Dennisville and Goshen a stage coach terminal was set up, and the spot became the center for trade for the local farming families. Boyer and Cunningham say that the area was known as "Leamings," for the prominent landholders, or as "Hildreth," the family who ran the local store. (p. 121-122) They continue, "The name, Rio Grande, was suggested by the seventh Aaron Leaming who thought this southern United States river had an attractive sound."[14]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of 2.490 square miles (6.450 km2), including 2.459 square miles (6.369 km2) of land and 0.031 square miles (0.081 km2) of water (1.26%).[1][15]


Rio Grande Bible Baptist Church
Rio Grande Bible Baptist Church

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rio Grande has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Population sources: 2000[17] 2010[3]

Census 2010

The 2010 United States census counted 2,670 people, 1,115 households, and 730 families in the CDP. The population density was 1,085.8 per square mile (419.2/km2). There were 1,489 housing units at an average density of 605.5 per square mile (233.8/km2). The racial makeup was 86.44% (2,308) White, 5.54% (148) Black or African American, 0.26% (7) Native American, 2.51% (67) Asian, 0.04% (1) Pacific Islander, 3.22% (86) from other races, and 1.99% (53) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.68% (205) of the population.[3]

Of the 1,115 households, 20.8% had children under the age of 18; 45.4% were married couples living together; 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 34.5% were non-families. Of all households, 29.1% were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.85.[3]

18.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 31.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females, the population had 97.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 96.4 males.[3]

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census[5] there were 2,444 people, 1,029 households, and 658 families living in the CDP. The population density was 399.8/km2 (1,036.8/mi2). There were 1,294 housing units at an average density of 211.7/km2 (548.9/mi2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.79% White, 4.50% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 1.10% from other races, and 2.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.03% of the population.[17]

There were 1,029 households, out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 46.6% were married couples living together; 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present; and 36.0% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.93.[17]

In the CDP the population was spread out, with 21.6% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.[17]

The median income for a household in the CDP was $28,424, and the median income for a family was $38,007. Males had a median income of $32,935 versus $19,643 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,792. About 20.9% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.5% of those under age 18 and 17.9% of those age 65 or over.[17]


The areas within Middle Township, including Rio Grande CDP, are in the Middle Township Public Schools; it operates its campuses in Cape May Court House, including Middle Township High School.

The areas within Lower Township are in the Lower Township School District for elementary grades and the Lower Cape May Regional School District for secondary grades. The elementary school district operates Douglass School (PreK and Kindergarten) in Villas CDP and three schools in Cold Spring: Mitnick School (1-2), Abrams School (3-4), and Sandman School (5-6). The secondary school district Teitelman Middle School and Lower Cape May Regional High School in the Erma area.

Countywide schools include Cape May Technical High School (for technical school students) and Cape May County Special Services School District (for special needs students) in the Cape May Court House area.

In the era of de jure educational segregation in the United States, a school for white children in grades 1-6 was maintained in Rio Grande and a school for black children was maintained in Whitesboro in grades 1-8. White children in Rio Grande were sent to West Cape May School District for grades 7-12.[18]


Rio Grande is situated at the junction of U.S. Route 9 and Route 47. U.S. Route 9 runs south to Cape May and north toward the Atlantic City area while Route 47 runs southeast to Wildwood and north to Millville and the Camden area. Rio Grande is accessible from the Garden State Parkway at exit 4 northbound and exit 4B southbound.[19]

NJ Transit offers bus service from Rio Grande to Cape May and Philadelphia on the 313, 315 and 316 (seasonal only) routes, to Cape May and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 319 route, to Wildwood on the 510 route, and to Cape May and Atlantic City on the 552 route.[20][21]

The Great American Trolley Company operates trolley service from North Wildwood and Wildwood to shopping centers in Rio Grande on Mondays through Fridays in the summer months.[22]

Cape May Airport, established in 1941 as NAS Rio Grande, is located in the area,[9] in adjacent Lower Township.[23][24]

Wineries and breweries



  1. ^ a b Gazetteer of New Jersey Places, United States Census Bureau. Accessed July 21, 2016.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rio Grande Census Designated Place, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed October 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Rio Grande CDP, New Jersey Archived 2020-02-12 at, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Rio Grande, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed October 18, 2012.
  5. ^ a b U.S. Census website, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  6. ^ US Board on Geographic Names, United States Geological Survey. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  7. ^ New Jersey: 2010 - Population and Housing Unit Counts - 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH-2-32), United States Census Bureau, August 2012. Accessed October 18, 2012.
  8. ^ * Map from the 2010 U.S. Census
  9. ^ a b Linehan, Mary. "Air station looks to solve identity crisis" Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine, The Cape May Gazette, April 30, 2013. Accessed May 4, 2013. "According to the DRBA maintained website for the Cape May Airport, 'this well-maintained 1,000-acre general aviation airport' is located in Rio Grande, New Jersey, approximately five miles from Cape May. The site does list the airport's address as being in Erma. Rio Grande is part of Middle Township and Erma is in Lower Township."
  10. ^ DeAngelis, Martin. "Dine among the vineyards on local fare at Hawk Haven" in The Press of Atlantic City, May 18, 2011. Accessed May 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed April 19, 2015.
  12. ^ "P.L. 94-171 COUNTY BLOCK MAP (2020 CENSUS): Cape May County, NJ" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. pp. 25–26. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  13. ^ Dorwart, Jeffrey M. Cape May County, New Jersey: The Making of an American Resort Community, p. 154, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992). ISBN 9780813517841. Accessed July 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Boyer, George F.; and Cunningham, J. Pearson Cape May County Story (Egg Harbor City, NJ: The Laureate Press, 1975).
  15. ^ US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990, United States Census Bureau. Accessed September 4, 2014.
  16. ^ Climate Summary for Rio Grande, New Jersey
  17. ^ a b c d e DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 from the Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Rio Grande CDP, New Jersey Archived 2020-02-12 at, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 18, 2012.
  18. ^ Jensen, Noma (Winter 1948). "A Survey of Segregation Practices in the New Jersey School System". The Journal of Negro Education. Journal of Negro Education. 17 (1): 84–88. JSTOR 2966093. - CITED: p. 86.
  19. ^ New Jersey State Transportation Map, New Jersey Department of Transportation, 2012. Accessed May 26, 2016.
  20. ^ Cape May Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 28, 2010. Accessed October 2, 2014.
  21. ^ South Jersey Transit Guide Archived 2018-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, Cross County Connection, as of April 1, 2010. Accessed October 2, 2014.
  22. ^ "North Wildwood-Wildwood Crest-Rio Grande (Walmart)". Great American Trolley Company. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  23. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Lower township, NJ." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 15, 2018. Pages: 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  24. ^ "Airport Operations." Cape May Airport. Retrieved on August 15, 2018. "Cape May Airport (WWD) 507 Terminal Drive, Bldg. 102 Rio Grande, NJ 08242"

External links

This page was last edited on 9 June 2021, at 01:53
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