Barnegat Township is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the township's population was 20,936, reflecting an increase of 5,666 (+37.1%) from the 15,270 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,035 (+24.8%) from the 12,235 counted in the 1990 Census. The 2010 population was the highest recorded for the township in any decennial census.
What is now Barnegat Township was originally incorporated as Union Township on March 10, 1846, from portions of both Dover Township (now Toms River Township) and Stafford Township, while the area was still part of Monmouth County. It became part of the newly formed Ocean County on February 15, 1850. Portions of the township were taken to form Lacey Township (March 23, 1871), Ocean Township (April 13, 1876), Harvey Cedars (December 13, 1894) and Long Beach Township (March 23, 1899). Union Township changed its name to Barnegat Township as of January 1, 1977.
Barnegat CDP (2010 Census population of 2,817) is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated community located within Barnegat Township, while Ocean Acres (16,142, of which 925 are in Barnegat and 15,217 are in Stafford) is a census-designated place and unincorporated area split between Barnegat Township and Stafford Township.