Pennsauken Township was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 18, 1892, from portions of the now-defunct Stockton Township. The exact origin of the name Pennsauken is unclear, but it probably derives from the language of the Lenni Lenape people (a Native American group which once occupied the area) from “Pindasenauken”, the Lenape language term for “tobacco pouch”. Alternatively, the “Penn” in the township’s name refers to William Penn, while “sauk” is a water inlet or outlet. Pennsauken was home to America’s first drive-in movie theater, created in 1933 with the opening of the Camden Drive-In in Pennsauken. It featured the comedy Wives Beware, released in the theaters as Two White Arms. For 50 years, the township was the home to the Pennsauken Mart, a large multi-vendor indoor market, which was closed in January 2006 to make way for a sports arena/conference complex, however that did not materialize. In its place in 2018 a new high-end luxury apartment complex will be built-Haddon Point. Most of the vendors moved to the Grand Market Place in Willingboro Township. Pennsauken Township is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 35,885 people, 12,633 households, and 8,994.696 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,438.9 per square mile (1,327.8/km2). There were 13,275 housing units at an average density of 1,272.2 per square mile (491.2/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 47.60% (17,081) White, 26.87% (9,644) Black or African American, 0.59% (210) Native American, 7.72% (2,770) Asian, 0.04% (15) Pacific Islander, 13.59% (4,877) from other races, and 3.59% (1,288) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.91% (9,657) of the population. There were 12,633 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.36. In the township, the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.8 males. The Census Bureau’s 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $57,241 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,957) and the median family income was $65,910 (+/- $3,272). Males had a median income of $47,651 (+/- $3,101) versus $39,229 (+/- $2,035) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,048 (+/- $1,438). About 6.4% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of May 2010, Pennsauken township had a total of 144.85 miles (233.11 km) of roadways, of which 105.82 miles (170.30 km) were maintained by the municipality, 26.76 miles (43.07 km) by Camden County, 10.27 miles (16.53 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 2.00 miles (3.22 km) by the Delaware River Port Authority. Major roads through the township include Route 130, the largest highway through the township, which intersects with Route 73 in the northern part of the township, near the Cinnaminson Township border. Route 90 is a short highway leading to the Betsy Ross Bridge, which connects the township with Philadelphia. Owned and operated by the Delaware River Port Authority, the bridge stretches 8,500 feet (2,600 m) between abutments and opened to traffic on April 30, 1976. New Jersey Route 38 and Route 70 merge westbound in the eastern part of the township near the Cherry Hill border and U.S. Route 30 at the border with Camden. US 130 and 30 and NJ 38 and 70 converge at the Airport Circle in the southern section of Pennsauken Township. CR 537 passes through in the south while CR 543 travels through in the north.
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