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Roosevelt was originally called Jersey Homesteads, and was created during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. The town was home to a cooperative farming and manufacturing project. The project fell under the discretion of the Resettlement Administration, but was conceived and largely planned out by Benjamin Brown.
Farmland in central New Jersey was purchased by Brown. Construction started around 1936. Soon after there were 150 homes and various public facilities in place. The plan was to construct 50 more homes eventually.
The economy of the town consisted of a garment factory and a farm.
Albert Einstein gave the town his political and moral support.
Artist Ben Shahn lived in the town and painted a mural.
David Dubinsky and the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union opposed the project arguing that the factory town would cause unions to lose their power over wages.
Political opposition came from those who thought too much money was being spent on the project, as well as those opposed to the New Deal in general.
The Jersey Homesteads cooperative didn't last through World War II. It failed for a number of reasons.
The town of Roosevelt is a historic landmark.
As of the census of 2000, there are 933 people, 337 households, and 258 families residing in the borough. The population density is 183.8/km² (477.0/mi²). There are 351 housing units at an average density of 69.1/km² (179.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough is 88.96% White, 2.57% African American, 0.00% Native American, 2.04% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 2.25% from other races, and 4.07% from two or more races. 4.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 337 households out of which 39.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.1% are married couples living together, 7.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% are non-families. 18.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.77 and the average family size is 3.17.
In the borough the population is spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.
The median income for a household in the borough is $61,979, and the median income for a family is $67,019. Males have a median income of $50,417 versus $38,229 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $24,892. 4.3% of the population and 3.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 4.0% are under the age of 18 and 18.4% are 65 or older.