Is Midland Park Still Dutch?
By Rebecca K. Abma
The 1964 booklet "Midland Park Through The Years" estimated that 85-percent of Midland Park claimed Dutch heritage. Today, decorative windmills and kissing dutch kids are still very popular lawn ornaments, and the old saying, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much" is still a running joke in certain circles.
But how much of Midland Park is still Dutch?
Midland Park Borough Hall proudly displays the vestiges of Midland Park's Dutch heritage from a windmill on the front lawn to wooden shoes on a shelf in the hallway and more than half of the borough council still boasts Dutch heritage. At the top of the Midland Park Ambulance Corps website it reads "onthaal aan de website van de ziekenwagenkorpsen van het Midland Park," which is Dutch for "Welcome to the Midland Park ambulance corps website."
But how much of Midland Park is still Dutch? Midland Park Press has taken an informal survey of residents to gauge public perception of the heritage of the residents of Midland Park. The estimates vary from more at least a quarter to more than half of town, but the overwhelming majority of those asked were under the assumption that the majority of Midland Park residents are still Dutch.
According to city-data.com, the perception of Midland Park as a primarily Dutch community is false. The website, which estimates slightly more than 7,000 residents in the 2010 census, states the Dutch actually comprise the third largest reported ethnicity in the borough.
What is the largest ethnicity in Midland Park today? The Irish hold the majority, accounting for 1,172 residents, followed closely by Italians at 969 resident, and then Dutch at 927 residents. The next three ethinc groups are German, English and Polish.
The statistics are based on self-reported ethnicities from the 2010 census and accounts for 5,861 of the more than 7,000 residents who opted to report ancestry. The report does not specify if individuals could report more than one heritage.
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