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Garwood was incorporated as a borough on March 19, 1903, from portions of Cranford Township and Westfield Town.
In the north side of Garwood, most of the streets are numbered, while in the south side of Garwood most of the streets are named after trees.
Garwood is located at 40°39′03″N 74°19′25″W (40.650802, -74.323510).
The borough is bordered to the west by Westfield and to the east by Cranford.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.7 km2), all of it land.
As of the census] of 2000, there were 4,153 people, 1,731 households, and 1,125 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,292.9 people per square mile (2,429.5/km2). There were 1,782 housing units at an average density of 2,700.2 per square mile (1,042.5/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.91% White, 0.36% African American, 1.32% Asian, 1.54% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.98% of the population.
There were 1,731 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the borough the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 35.6% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $52,571, and the median income for a family was $64,053. Males had a median income of $50,951 versus $36,538 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,944. About 3.5% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
The Borough of Garwood is governed under the Borough system of municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council with six members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.
As of 2011, the Mayor of Garwood is Republican Patricia Quattrocchi, whose term of office ends December 31, 2014. Members of the Garwood Borough Council (with party affiliation and term end year listed in parentheses) are Council President Timothy O. Hak (R - 2012), Victor DeFilippo (R - 2013), James Mathieu (R - 2013), Jonathan Linken (D - 2011), Louis Petruzzelli (D - 2011), and Keith Sluka (D - 2012). The Borough Administrator/Clerk is Christina M. Ariemma.
Federal, state and county representation
Garwood is in the 7th Congressional district and is part of New Jersey's 21st Legislative District.
New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).
21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Thomas Kean, Jr. (R, Westfield) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2011, Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon (Union, term ends December 31, 2012), Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella (Fanwood, 2012), Linda Carter (Plainfield, 2013), Angel G. Estrada (Elizabeth, 2011), Christopher Hudak (Linden, 2011), Mohamed S. Jalloh (Roselle, 2012), Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford, 2013), Daniel P. Sullivan (Elizabeth, 2013) and Nancy Ward (Linden, 2011).
The Garwood Public Schools serves 400 students in pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade in one school building, Lincoln School. Schools in the district (with 2008-09 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Washington School which is currently not in use (had 80 students in grades PreK-K) and Lincoln School for half-day preschool full day kindergarten - Grade 8 (had 331 students in grades 1-8). Public school students in grades 9 - 12 attend Arthur L. Johnson High School in neighboring Clark as part of a sending/receiving relationship. Students may also attend one of the Union County Vocational Technical School