Home to some of the most prestigious addresses to be found on the Jersey coast, the
small borough of Longport only has about 900 year-­round residents. Almost 90 percent of
the residents of this small town that’s about a half-­mile square work in white­-collar jobs.
Located on the southern tip of Absecon Island, Longport is a favorite of beachgoers
wanting to avoid the crowds of Atlantic City. But just 15 minutes away, residents, their
guests and other vacationers still find it convenient to get to the casinos and
entertainment options found there. And for those in need of the occasional shot of really
big city life, Philadelphia is just 70 minutes away. The reasons that make the community a
popular place for retirees, who comprise about 37 percent its population, are also the
same characteristics that make it a great place to raise a family. The town’s crime rate is
one of the lowest in the country and the percentage of residents with a college degree is
more than twice the national average. Excellent city services, quality schools and one of
the best stretches of beach are also factors that contribute to an exceptional quality of

While the island first saw English colonists in the late 1600s, it wasn’t until the late 1800s
that any real development began. Memorable historic sites, many of which have now
vanished, include the Summer Seashore Home for Handicapped Children, established in
1911. The home and its school building were used to treat wounded soldiers during World
War I and during World War II, they became the base of operations for soldiers training
on Longport’s beach. In 1944, it was sold to William J. Bates, owner of the Winchester
Hotel and Canterbury Hall, who reopened it as the Essex Beach Club. The U.S. Coast
Guard had a presence on the island for many decades beginning in 1849, with the Great
Egg Coast Guard Station that was built in 1939 still standing and on the National Register
of Historic Places. Median home price in the community is about $480,000 and the town’s
full-­time residents come primarily from white­-collar professions.


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