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Willingboro was one of the original nine divisions in the 1688 organization of Burlington County, West Jersey. The original name was Wellingborrow but there were other spellings used at different times. In the 1950s and 1960s Willingboro was the location for a massive residential development by Abraham Levitt and Sons. In 1959 the township name was officially changed to Levittown. Willingboro is less than 12 miles from Levittown, Pennsylvania and this occasionally caused confusion. After a referendum was held on the issue, the name was changed back to Willingboro in 1963. Sociologist Herbert Gans used Willingboro as the subject if his 1967 book The Levittowners.
Track and field legend Carl Lewis, although born in Alabama, grew up in Willingboro.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 20.8 km² (8.0 mi²). 19.9 km² (7.7 mi²) of it is land and 0.9 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.11% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 33,008 people, 10,713 households, and 8,784 families residing in the township. The population density is 1,657.3/km² (4,292.7/mi²). There are 11,124 housing units at an average density of 558.5/km² (1,446.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the township is 24.67% White, 66.71% African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.70% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.62% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. 6.05% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 10,713 households out of which 33.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.1% are married couples living together, 18.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 18.0% are non-families. 15.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 6.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.07 and the average family size is 3.36.
In the township the population is spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township is $60,869, and the median income for a family is $64,338. Males have a median income of $39,963 versus $31,554 for females. The per capita income for the township is $21,799. 5.9% of the population and 3.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.3% are under the age of 18 and 5.1% are 65 or older.