Princeton is a municipality with a borough form of government in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, that was established on January 1, 2013, through the consolidation of the Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 28,572, reflecting the former township's population of 16,265, along with the 12,307 in the former borough.
Princeton is best known as the location of Princeton University, which has been sited in the community since 1756. Although Princeton is a "college town", there are other important institutions in the area, including the Institute for Advanced Study, Westminster Choir College, Princeton Theological Seminary, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Opinion Research Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sarnoff Corporation, FMC Corporation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Amrep, Church and Dwight, Berlitz International, and Dow Jones & Company.
Princeton is roughly equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia. Since the 19th century, it has been connected by rail to both of these cities by the Princeton Branch rail line to the nearby Princeton Junction Station on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. Princeton is close to many major highways that serve both cities, and receives some TV and radio broadcasts from each.
The Princeton train station was moved from under Blair Hall to its present location on University Place in 1918. Commuting to New York from Princeton became commonplace after the Second World War. While the Amtrak ride time is similar to New York and to Philadelphia, the commuter-train ride to New York – via New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor Line — is generally much faster than the equivalent train ride to Philadelphia, which involves a transfer to SEPTA trains in Trenton. New Jersey Transit provides shuttle service between the Princeton and Princeton Junction stations; the train is locally called the "Dinky", and has also been known as the "PJ&B" (for "Princeton Junction and Back"). Two train cars, or sometimes just one, are used.
New Jersey's capital is the city of Trenton, but the governor's official residence has been in Princeton since 1945, when Morven in the borough became the first Governor's mansion. It was later replaced by the larger Drumthwacket, a colonial mansion located in the township. Morven became a museum property of the New Jersey Historical Society.
Princeton was named No. 15 of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by Money Magazine in 2005.
Although residents of Princeton (Princetonians) traditionally have a strong community-wide identity, the community had been composed of two separate municipalities: a township and a borough. The central borough was completely surrounded by the township. The Borough seceded from the Township in 1894 in a dispute over school taxes; the two municipalities later formed the Princeton Public Schools, and some other public services were conducted together before they were reunited into a single Princeton in January 2013. The Borough contained Nassau Street, the main commercial street, most of the University campus, and incorporated most of the urban area until the postwar suburbanization. Borough and Township had roughly equal populations.
United States Postal Zip Codes for Princeton include 08542 (largely the old Borough), 08544 (the University), 08543 (the Seminary), and 08540. The latter covers areas outside Princeton proper, including portions of Lawrence, Hopewell, and West Windsor Townships in Mercer County, Montgomery and Franklin Townships in Somerset County, and Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships in Middlesex County. The resulting ambiguity is exploited by local real estate agents who will often advertise a property in these neighboring communities as having a "prestigious Princeton address". Further adding to confusion is the spread of "Princeton" as part of business, church, and residential development even further beyond the boundaries of the town. Princeton lies at latitude 40°21' North, longitude 74°40' West.