Of the approximately 44,000 individuals who call Manchester home, about 29,000 live in a senior community, according to Mayor Ken Palmer.

"There was a decision years ago about what would be the town's commerce, if you will ... and they thought this would be a good spot to be a senior community," he said.

Twenty-one retirement communities, along with nursing homes and assisted living communities, dot the 82-square-mile Ocean County township.

In our analysis of Census data from 2016, Manchester ranks as having the largest share of residents over the age of 64.

Nearly half of Manchester's residents hit that mark. More than 9 percent of the population is at least 85 years of age.

Palmer said he attends birthday celebrations a couple times per year for residents who are turning 100 years old or older.

"You come to our summer concerts and you see these folks dancing with the bands and being active," said Palmer, who moved to Manchester when he was 13 years old.

Retirement-age individuals make up at least a quarter of the population in nine New Jersey municipalities, according to our analysis.

In order to get a better read on the data, we kept the smallest municipalities out of the equation. For example, according to the latest figures, Walpack in Sussex County is home to just six people, and all six are at least 65 years old.

Below is a list of the municipalities with the largest percentage of residents aged 65 or older, when considering towns and cities with at least 10,000 residents. Four townships — Manchester, Berkeley, Barnegat, and Little Egg Harbor — can be found in Ocean County.

Memorial Day ceremony in Manchester Twp.
Memorial Day ceremony in Manchester Twp. (Provided by Manchester Twp.)

Manchester, Ocean County:
Total population — 43,360
Percent aged 65+: 48%  Percent aged 85+: 9.1%

Dune Wars
Dunes protecting homes in the Midway Beach section of Berkeley Township (AP)

Berkeley, Ocean County:
Total population: 41,554
Percent aged 65+: 41.6%  Percent aged 85+: 9.3%

Monroe Township High School sign
Townsquare Media photo

Monroe, Middlesex County:
Total population: 42,855
Percent aged 65+: 36.4%  Percent aged 85+: 6.7%

senior citizens
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Southampton, Burlington County:
Total population: 10,336
Percent aged 65+: 33.9%  Percent aged 85+: 5%

The Ocean City-Longport Bridge, in Ocean City
The Ocean City-Longport Bridge, in Ocean City (AP Photo/Mary Godleski)

Ocean City, Cape May County:
Total population: 11,430
Percent aged 65+: 29.2%  Percent aged 85+: 5.4%

Barnegat Lighthouse from Myers hole
Barnegat Lighthouse (Dennis Malloy, Townsquare Media)

Barnegat, Ocean County:
Total population: 21,829
Percent aged 65+: 25.6%  Percent aged 85+: 3.3%

RobertHoetink, ThinkStock

Cedar Grove, Essex County:
Total population: 12,545
Percent aged 65+: 25.6%  Percent aged 85+: 3.3%

Fall colors in Ocean County
Fall colors in Little Egg Harbor in southern Ocean County (Shawn Michaels, Townsquare Media NJ)

Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County:
Total population: 20,496
Percent aged 65+: 25.2%  Percent aged 85+: 3.2%

Sign outside the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls
Sign outside the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls (Google Street View)

Tinton Falls, Monmouth County:
Total population: 17,910
Percent aged 65+: 25.1%  Percent aged 85+: 10.3%

Michael Skudera, borough administrator for Tinton Falls, said the borough is home to a large number of active adult and senior communities.

"From its affordability, to its low crime rate, to its outstanding services and recreational opportunities, Tinton Falls is a great place to live," Skudera said. "The borough is well-managed and is an excellent place to operate a business, raise a family or live out your retirement years."

In June 2012, Tinton Falls was featured in a monthly magazine as the best town for retirement in New Jersey.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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