The members are elected at large to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with three seats coming up for election each year.
The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of the County.
Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle and Union all have large African American communities.
Since the January 2016 reorganization, Union County's Freeholders are: Law enforcement at the county level includes the Union County Police Department, the Union County Sheriff's Office, and the Union County Prosecutor's Office.
Union County has the only county seal in the USA that depicts a woman being shot, the murder of Elizabethtown's Hannah Caldwell by British soldiers during the American Revolutionary War.
The population density was 5,059 per square mile (1,953/km²).
There were 192,945 housing units at an average density of 1,868 per square mile (721/km²).
Union County was formed on March 19, 1857, from portions of Essex County; it was the last of New Jersey's 21 counties to be established.
All of present-day Union County was part of the Elizabethtown Tract, which was purchased in 1664, by English colonists from the Lenape Native Americans that lived in the area of present-day Elizabeth, New Jersey.
There were 186,124 households of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.60% were married couples living together, 14.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families.
23.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
23.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.