The town was previously known as Raritan Township. It should not be confused with the Raritan Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. In 1954 Raritan's name was changed to honor inventor Thomas A. Edison.
In 1876 Thomas A. Edison set up his home and research laboratory on the site of an unsucessful real-estate development in Raritan Township called Menlo Park. Thomas A. Edison moved his lab to West Orange, New Jersey in 1883.
The town of Edison is home to the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 79.5 km² (30.7 mi²). 78.0 km² (30.1 mi²) of it is land and 1.5 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.86% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 97,687 people, 35,136 households, and 25,895 families residing in the town. The population density is 1,252.2/km² (3,243.0/mi²). There are 36,018 housing units at an average density of 461.7/km² (1,195.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 59.49% White, 6.89% African American, 0.14% Native American, 29.27% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 2.15% from two or more races. 6.37% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 35,136 households out of which 34.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.1% are married couples living together, 9.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% are non-families. 21.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.72 and the average family size is 3.19.
In the town the population is spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $69,746, and the median income for a family is $77,976. Males have a median income of $53,303 versus $36,829 for females. The per capita income for the town is $30,148. 4.8% of the population and 3.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 4.3% are under the age of 18 and 6.3% are 65 or older.