Fair Lawn is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States and a suburban municipality in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 32,457, reflecting an increase of 820 (+2.6%) from the 31,637 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,089 (+3.6%) from the 30,548 counted in the 1990 Census.
Fair Lawn was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 6, 1924, as "Fairlawn," from portions of Saddle River Township. The name was taken from Fairlawn, David Acker's estate home, that was built in 1865 and later became the Fair Lawn Municipal Building. In 1933, the official spelling of the borough's name was split into its present two-word form as "Fair Lawn" Borough.
In its earliest days (and as late as 1791), Fair Lawn was known as Slooterdam: a Dutch word denoting a Native American weir used to trap fish on the Passaic River. Just north of the weir is a short stretch of Fair Lawn's Wagaraw Road, named for the Lenape term meaning "crooked place" or "river bend." Fair Lawn was named after the estate (or villa) built in 1865 by David Acker, a prosperous New York merchant, which he named "Fair Lawn." The home, which faced what is now Fair Lawn Avenue stood on a hill with a sweeping lawn, it was later turned into the borough's municipal building, but was eventually torn down. The Fair Lawn Senior Center and Public Library now occupy the site of the estate. Until its development as a bedroom community, the land on which Fair Lawn sits had been farms of Dutch settlers and their descendants.