Diversity in Parsippany Makes us a Better Community

This picture of Lake Parsippany was the feature photo used in "Discover Greater Parsippany" published by the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce

This article was submitted by resident Gordon Meth.

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills is situated in one of the most enviable counties in the Country – Morris County. Morris County has the 8th highest median household income of the 3,144 counties and equivalents in the United States.

Violent crime in Morris County is in the bottom 15th percentile of the Country, and is among the lowest in the New York City Metropolitan Area. In terms of educational attainment, approximately 51% of the County population aged 25 or older has a bachelor’s degree or higher, and this is the 40th highest for a county in the United States.

Sixteen (16) of the top 100 New Jersey public high schools according to Niche.com are located in Morris County (Parsippany High School is ranked 61 in the state and ninth in Morris County.  Parsippany Hills High School is ranked 69 in the state and tenth in Morris County.  Both schools are in the top 5% of public high schools nationwide). Median home value for Morris County is the second highest in New Jersey, and 36th in the Country. In exchange for this, Morris County has the eighth highest median property taxes in the Country.

With a population of nearly 54,000 people, Parsippany-Troy Hills is the largest municipality in Morris County by a factor of nearly two. Parsippany-Troy Hills contains nearly 11% of Morris County’s population. Money Magazine ranks Parsippany-Troy Hills the fifth best small city in the United States to live in (although given the criteria of having a population of 50,000-300,000, Parsippany-Troy Hills is the only Morris County municipality given consideration, and is one of only 35 New Jersey municipalities that are given consideration). In terms of educational attainment, approximately 53% of Parsippany-Troy Hills population aged 25 or older has a bachelor’s degree or higher, with 22% having graduate or professional degrees.  This is slightly higher than the overall for Morris County.  Median family income is nearly $90,000 per year, which is less than the $100,000 per year median family income for Morris County.

Parsippany-Troy Hills has only six elected officials (an elected mayor and five council persons), whereas every other Morris County municipality has 5-12 elected officials.  In total, there are 259 municipal elected officials in Morris County.  Parsippany-Troy Hills has the lowest number of elected officials per capita by a factor of 2-39.  Two-thirds of Morris County municipalities have elected mayors, and Parsippany-Troy Hills has the only full time mayor.  Six Morris County municipalities have ward systems.  The opposite extreme of Parsippany-Troy Hills is Rockaway Township, which has and elected mayor, an 11 member council, a ward system, and a population slightly less than 25,000.

A total of nearly 19,000 Parsippany-Troy Hills residents, or 35%, are foreign born (including myself, as I was born in Canada).  Nearly 11,000 of these residents are naturalized citizens, and over 10,500 of these residents can vote.   This ratio of foreign-born population is approximately the same as New York City.  In Morris County, only Dover has a higher proportion of foreign-born population, with nearly 50% being foreign-born.  Parsippany-Troy Hills has approximately 20% of Morris County’s foreign-born population.  Parsippany-Troy Hills has the 19th highest number of foreign born persons by municipality in New Jersey.    One of the key factors of the high ranking of our high schools is an A- rating for diversity.  The ethnic makeup of Parsippany-Troy Hills foreign born population is 45% Asian Indian, 17% white alone, non-Hispanic, 13% Chinese, 11% Hispanic or Latino, 5% other Asian, and 10% other or multi-race.  A total of 62% of the foreign-born population 25 and over in Parsippany-Troy Hills have bachelor degrees or higher, versus 46% for natural born residents of Parsippany-Troy Hills 25 and over.  Nearly half of these foreign born persons have graduate or professional degrees, versus only about a third of the natural born residents.  The foreign-born population has median earnings approximately $6,000 more per year than natural born residents.  The unemployment rate of foreign-born population in Parsippany-Troy Hills is 3.7%, versus 5.0% for natural born residents.  Consequently, foreign-born residents of Parsippany-Troy Hills raise our overall development as a community.