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Keyport, NJ

Keyport, NJ, known as “The Pearl of the Bayshore,” is a small borough with a vibrant spirit. Its rich history, economic resilience, and diverse community make it a unique blend of Americana. Let’s explore its historical roots, economic landscape, education, healthcare, and tourist attractions.

History of Keyport, NJ: Tracing the Threads of Time

If you’re traveling through Monmouth County, you’ll inevitably find yourself drawn to a place called Keyport, NJ. Don’t let its compact size fool you—this borough’s history is as expansive as the Raritan Bay it overlooks.

Way back in 1714, a family by the name of Kearny decided to put down roots here, marking the start of the Keyport tale. From that point, the town found itself at the center of a fascinating story.

Picture this: it’s 1850, and a fellow named Benjamin Terry sets up a boatyard. It’s not just any boatyard, though. This one churns out steamboats that become pivotal in the Civil War. Keyport, quite literally, helped shape the nation’s history.

As we move forward, the borough’s narrative took an organizational shift. In 1870, it was recognized as a town. Then, in 1908, the municipal government, Borough Council, and Borough Center helped it to transition into the Borough Form. The town was growing and evolving, much like the people who called it home.

Now, in the present day, about 7,005 people proudly call Keyport their home. Known as “The Pearl of the Bayshore,” this borough is a living testament to its historical journey, safeguarded by the tireless efforts of the Keyport Historical Society. Despite challenges, like losing the Steamboat Dock Museum to Hurricane Sandy, the society perseveres in its mission.

And so, Keyport, with its humble square miles, tells a story of a spirited past, a vibrant present, and a future filled with possibilities. The history of Keyport, NJ isn’t just about dates and events—it’s a testament to resilience, evolution, and the unique character of a small borough with a big heart.

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Keyport, NJ: A Snapshot of Demographics and Economic Status

Keyport, NJ, despite its modest square miles, is a vibrant borough teeming with an exciting blend of people and economic dynamics.

According to data from the United States Census Bureau and the American Community Survey, this borough paints a fascinating picture of diversity and resilience.

As of 2020, Keyport has a population of approximately 7,005 residents, with a median age of 43.8 years. Although the population experienced a minor decline of 0.412% in 2019, the community continues to thrive.

Notably, the borough displays a trend of economic growth, with the median household income rising by 1.46% from $60,949 in 2019 to $61,838 in 2020.

The economic census reveals an encouraging image of the real estate scenario in Keyport.

In 2020, the median property value stood at $284,300, and about 49.6% of residents were homeowners. These figures hint at a stable real estate market, promising for both homeowners and potential investors.

Regarding family structure, Keyport shows an average family size complementing its average household size, fitting for its close-knit community atmosphere.

The income per capita in Keyport is reflective of its median income and median family income, speaking to the economic stability of the borough.

As for the ethnic landscape, Keyport boasts a rich cultural diversity. To provide a clearer picture, here’s a table representing the racial demographics of Keyport:

Ethnic GroupPercentage
White (Non-Hispanic)71.6%
White (Hispanic)10.5%
Black or African American (Non-Hispanic)5%
Two+ (Non-Hispanic)3.93%
Asian (Non-Hispanic)3.81%

English reigns as the primary language in Keyport households, highlighting a sense of cultural unity amidst ethnic diversity. Impressively, 96.1% of the residents are U.S. citizens, underscoring a strong national identity within the borough.

Keyport, NJ: Transportation System and Travel Time

Located strategically between Raritan Bay and Monmouth County, Keyport, NJ, is served by a variety of convenient transportation options that make commuting through this borough a breeze.

Keyport residents and visitors enjoy the benefits of the NJ Transit bus service that operates along Route 817. This service is a local favorite, covering a broad span of the borough from the train station to the bustling downtown area and even the ferry terminal. With frequent stops and a wide coverage area, it makes traveling within the Keyport vicinity straightforward.

Complementing the bus service, the NJ Transit train service stands as another reliable transportation option. The closest stations to Keyport, Hazlet, and Aberdeen-Matawan, lie on the North Jersey Coast Line. This line connects Keyport residents to New York City, Philadelphia, and several other stops in between, reducing the travel time significantly.

In addition to these, the borough is served by the Seastreak ferry. This ferry, docking in the downtown area, offers routes to Manhattan and Staten Island. It’s an often-preferred choice for both daily commuters and tourists looking for a scenic trip across the Raritan Bay.

Rounding off the transportation options are taxis and ride-hailing services. These services provide additional convenience for those traveling in groups, with large luggage, or simply preferring a direct trip to their destination.

Keyport isn’t just about motorized transport. The borough is proud of its scenic bike paths and walking trails. These routes offer both residents and visitors a healthy and environmentally-friendly way to explore Keyport’s picturesque views.

Most residents of Keyport prefer driving to work, with an average travel time of 28.8 minutes, reflective of the borough’s compact size. With an average of 2 cars per household, Keyport displays a car-centric commuting trend.

Education in Keyport, NJ

Keyport, NJ’s educational landscape is shaped by Keyport Public Schools, with two institutions catering to pre-K through twelfth-grade students: Keyport Central School and Keyport High School.

Boasting an accreditation from the New Jersey Department of Education and a student-teacher ratio of 10.2:1, the district offers personalized and quality education. It provides diverse programs, including Advanced Placement courses, gifted and talented programs, special education, and after-school activities.

However, challenges persist, like below-average per-student funding, a need for facility upgrades, educational services, and room for growth in college and career readiness programs.

Access to Quality Health Care in Keyport, NJ

Keyport, NJ residents are served by an impressive network of quality healthcare facilities and hospitals. Community Medical Center and Riverview Medical Center are among the notable local hospitals providing comprehensive medical care.

Additionally, for over 27 years, the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center, Inc. (VNACJ CHC) has been a cornerstone of Monmouth County’s healthcare landscape, offering expansive primary and preventive care services for all age groups.

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The Allure of Keyport, NJ: Popular Tourist Spots

From historical walks to water adventures, Keyport, New Jersey offers a world of exploration. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Keyport Fire Museum and Education Center: Step back in time and learn about Keyport’s firefighting past.
  • Keyport Princess: A boat tour that gives you postcard-perfect views of Raritan Bay and New York City’s skyline.
  • Jersey Jet Ski: If you’re up for some fun, hit the waters of Raritan Bay on a jet ski.
  • Keyport Waterfront Park: The perfect spot to unwind, complete with a playground, picnic area, and a fishing pier.
  • Beach Park & Boat Ramp: Launch your boat into a day of fun at this bayfront park.
  • Keyport Historical Society: It’s a history lover’s dream, brimming with memorabilia of Keyport’s past.
  • Historic Districts: Take a leisurely stroll through Keyport’s historic neighborhoods.
  • Up the Creek Tavern: For some local flavor and live music, this bar and restaurant is a must-visit.
  • Keansburg Amusement Park: Just a short trip from Keyport, this amusement park promises a day full of fun.
  • Cheesequake State Park: For nature enthusiasts, this nearby park provides trails, camping, and a nature center.

The charm of Keyport, NJ lies not only in its welcoming community but also in the wealth of experiences it offers to every visitor.


And there you have it: Keyport, NJ in a nutshell. Small in size but huge on community spirit, it’s a place where history meets present, education is prized, healthcare is prioritized, and attractions abound. Keyport is a testament to American grit and evolution – a little place that leaves a big impression.