Essex County, New Jersey
|Essex County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 7, 1683|
129.631 sq mi (336 km²)
126.212 sq mi (327 km²)
3.419 sq mi (9 km²), 2.64%
6,211.5/sq mi (2,398/km²)
Essex County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 783,969, a decrease of 1.2% (9,664 fewer residents) from the 793,633 enumerated in the 2000 Census, making it the third-most populous county in the state and one of only two counties in the state to see a decline in population during the decade (Cape May County was the other). Its county seat is Newark. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 94th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States (and the seventh-highest in New Jersey) as of 2009.
Essex County is the second-most densely populated county in the state after Hudson County. Newark, with a population density of 11,458.3 people/square mile, is the largest municipality in the county both in terms of land area (24.19 square miles) and population (277,140), while Caldwell is the smallest in terms of land area (1.17 square miles) and Essex Fells has the smallest population (2,113). Many of the county's smallest municipalities have population densities that are comparable to those of many big cities, and are well above the state's average which in turn is the highest in the nation.
Like many of the counties of Northern New Jersey near New York City — which tend to have sharp divides between relatively rich suburban neighborhoods and less wealthy, more densely populated cities nearby — the eastern region of Essex County tends to be poorer and more urbanized, while the western parts tend to be more affluent and suburban.
Eastern Essex This wide area has significant pockets of areas that qualify as inner city: high building density, high poverty and high crime rates and underperforming school systems. Within this general area however are many stable, mixed and middle-income areas of diverse populations. For example, north and west sides of Newark have well-kept suburban areas such as Vailsburg and Forest Hill, Newark, New Jersey. The east side of Newark is the Ironbound, a thriving Brazilian and Portuguese community. East Orange has the Presidential Estate neighborhood full of large one family homes. Belleville and Bloomfield are old Italian cities that, in spite of retaining a core Italian-American population, now have many immigrants from Latin America and Asia. According to Epodunk, as of 2009, Nutley was 36% Italian.
Beginning at about the turn of the century, this region led the state in the rebuilding and rehab of its housing stock. In the 2000s, Newark led the state in the issuance of building permits. Many reasons were cited: city-wide incentives to encourage construction development, an improving local economy, the rising demand of low-cost housing so close to Manhattan. Newark has since then become one of the fastest growing cities in the entire Northeast. and reported a gain in median income and drop in poverty rate. This is a turnaround from the deterioration and abandonment experienced in the post-riot 1970s, 1980s and early part of the 1990s.
Crime in this part of the county has traditionally been among the highest in the state and the country as well, but recently has also seen significant declines, mirroring its large neighbor to the east, New York City. By 2006, crime in Newark had fallen 60% over 10 years to its lowest levels in 40 years. Neighboring East Orange has seen crime fall more recently, dropping 50% in the three years (2005 to 2007). While homicide rates have fallen in Newark and East Orange in recent years, homicide rates in Newark, Irvington, East Orange, and Orange remain stubbornly high. In 2008, Newark had 67 homicides, down from 105 in 2007 and the record of 161 murders set in 1981.
In contrast, Western Essex tends to be more suburban and affluent. Within this region are some of the most diverse and racially integrated municipalities in the state and nation, including Montclair, South Orange and Maplewood. As well, many neighborhoods are well-known magnets for New Yorkers such as Glen Ridge, Montclair, Verona and the Oranges. The communities of Livingston, Roseland, South Orange, Millburn, North Caldwell, and Essex Fells are some of the wealthiest towns in America. Short Hills, South Orange, and Livingston are regionally well known as affluent Jewish-American suburbs. Livingston also has a burgeoning Taiwanese-American population, many of whom are highly educated white collar professionals with Ivy League degrees. Short Hills has a popular upscale shopping mall, the Short Hills Mall located near affluent Morris County and Union County counties.
As the poorest place in the county, Newark has a median household income of $26,913 and a per capita income of $13,009; at the other extreme, Essex Fells, one of the wealthier places in the county and the 4th wealthiest municipality in the state, has a median household income of $148,173 and a per capita income of $77,434. Newark and Essex Fells are only 10 miles apart.
While many residents commute to New York City, Organon International, Anheuser-Busch, Automatic Data Processing, CIT Group, Hoffmann-LaRoche, W. W. Grainger, Dun & Bradstreet and Prudential have large facilities in Essex County or are headquartered there, and there are numerous factories and large office parks scattered throughout.
Essex County was one of the first counties in America to become fully urbanized and was the first county in the country to create a county park system (Essex County Park System, New Jersey), to ensure that it did not lose all its land to development.
Essex was originally formed as one of four administrative districts within the very brief reign of East Jersey in 1675, together with Bergen, Middlesex and Monmouth Counties. Essex County was formed within East Jersey on March 7, 1683. The county was named in honor the English county of Kingdom of Essex, one of the historical kingdoms of England.
Portions of Essex were taken in 1741 and transferred to Somerset County. In 1837, Passaic County was formed from portions of Essex and Bergen County. In 1857, Union County was created from parts of Essex County.
Essex County's County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. Nine members are elected to serve concurrent terms. Five of the freeholders represent districts; four are elected from the county on an at-large basis. The Freeholder President and Vice-President serve one-year terms. The County Executive is elected by a direct vote of the electorate.
As of 2013, Essex County's Freeholders are:
- Blonnie R. Watson – Freeholder President/ At-Large
- Patricia Sebold – Freeholder Vice-President/ At-Large
- Rufus I. Johnson – Freeholder-At-Large
- Vacant – Freeholder-At-Large
- Rolando Bobadilla – Freeholder District 1
- D. Bilal Beasley – Freeholder District 2
- Carol Y. Clark – Freeholder District 3
- Leonard Luciano – Freeholder District 4
- Brendan W. Gill - Freeholder District 5
Four federal Congressional Districts cover the county, including portions of the 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th Districts. New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (R, Clinton Township). New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne, Jr. (D, Newark). New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R, Harding Township).
In presidential elections, the county has long been Democratic and was the only county in the state to be won by Walter Mondale in 1984. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, John Kerry carried the county by a 41.6% margin over George W. Bush, the highest winning margin in any county in New Jersey, with Kerry carrying the state by 6.7% over Bush. In each of the last four elections the Democratic candidate received 69% or more of the county's vote.
Law Enforcement 
Law enforcement at the county level is provided by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Essex County Sheriff's Office. The Essex County Police was completely absorbed by the sheriff's office by 2007.
Higher education 
Essex County has a number of colleges and universities. It currently has five public and five private institutions. It formally had another private college that closed in 1995.
- Essex County College – Newark
- Montclair State University – Montclair
- New Jersey Institute of Technology – Newark
- Rutgers–Newark -Newark
- University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Newark
- Berkeley College – Newark
- Bloomfield College – Bloomfield
- Caldwell College – Caldwell
- Seton Hall University – South Orange
- Seton Hall University School of Law – Newark
- Upsala College – East Orange (defunct)
Essex County is traversed by a number of highways including:
- Interstate 78
- Interstate 280
- Interstate 80 (only in Fairfield)
- Garden State Parkway
- New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) (only in Newark)
- U.S. Route 1/9 (only in Newark)
- U.S. Route 22 (only in Newark)
- U.S. Route 46 (only in Fairfield)
- State Route 7
- State Route 10
- State Route 21
- State Route 23
- State Route 24
- State Route 27 (only in Newark)
- State Route 124
- State Route 159
- Eisenhower Parkway
There are also many buses that operate around the county, with New Jersey Transit headquarters located just behind Newark Penn Station, a transit hub in the eastern part of the county. NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor, New Jersey Coast Line, Raritan Valley Line, Montclair Boonton and Morris and Essex Lines all pass through Newark Penn Station and Newark Broad Street Station as well as other stations throughout the county, with most terminating or offering connections to New York Penn Station and Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson and Newark Light Rail also operate out of Newark Penn Station as well as many bus lines that form a web network around the county.
Amtrak also offers services on the Acela Express, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone Service, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Northeast Regional, Silver Star, Silver Meteor and Vermonter via Newark Penn Station.
Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is a major component of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Located on the Newark Bay it serves as the principal container ship facility for goods entering and leaving New York-Newark metropolitan area, and the northeastern quadrant of North America. It consists of two components – Port Newark and the Elizabeth Marine Terminal (sometimes called "Port Elizabeth") – which exist side-by-side and are run conjointly by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The facility is located within the boundaries of the two cities of Newark and Elizabeth, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike and Newark Liberty International Airport.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county had a total area of 129.631 square miles (335.74 km2), of which 126.212 square miles (326.89 km2) is land and 3.419 square miles (8.86 km2) (2.64%) is water.
The highest elevation is found at four areas scattered between Verona, North Caldwell and Cedar Grove, with a point just north of the new water sphere reaching 675 feet (206 m). The lowest point is sea level, at Newark Bay.
All of Essex County has a humid subtropical climate. However temperatures do vary in various locations. In Newark, Eastern Essex County, and Southern/Southeastern Essex County, temperatures are relatively cool to hot, even in the winter months. Western Essex County has similar temperatures to Eastern Essex, but the elevation increase within the Watchung Mountains allows for some minor differences. An example would be that in January on Interstate 280 it could be raining in East Orange. Heading west on 280 there is a large hill that elevates from 150 feet (46 m) to 650 feet (200 m), a 500 feet (150 m) difference. At the top of the hill it could be snowing because of the 3 to 4 degree temperature differences.
Adjacent counties 
- Passaic County, New Jersey – north
- Bergen County, New Jersey – east
- Hudson County, New Jersey – east
- Union County, New Jersey – south
- Morris County, New Jersey – west
National protected area 
|* lost territory
historical census data source: 
Census 2010 
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 783,969 people, 283,712 households, and 189,236 families residing in the county. The population density was 6,211.5 inhabitants per square mile (2,398.3 /km2). There were 312,954 housing units at an average density of 2,479.6 per square mile (957.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the county was 42.59% (333,868) White, 40.88% (320,479) Black or African American, 0.39% (3,056) Native American, 4.57% (35,789) Asian, 0.04% (286) Pacific Islander, 8.38% (65,687) from other races, and 3.16% (24,804) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.30% (159,117) of the population.
There were 283,712 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 20.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.4 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.
Census 2000 
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 793,633 people, 283,736 households, and 193,507 families residing in the county. The population density was 6,285 people per square mile (2,427/km²). There were 301,011 housing units at an average density of 2,384 per square mile (920/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 44.46% White, 41.24% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 3.71% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.88% from other races, and 3.42% from two or more races. 15.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.3% were of Italian, 5.7% West Indian and 5.6% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 283,736 households out of which 33.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.30% were married couples living together, 20.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 26.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 90.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $44,944, and the median income for a family was $54,818. Males had a median income of $41,374 versus $32,052 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,943. About 12.80% of families and 15.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.50% of those under age 18 and 12.20% of those age 65 or over.
The county has a high Italian population, with significant percentages of residents (over 25%) in several communities, of the West Essex area and northeastern district, mostly in the northern half of the county, being of Italian descent. This includes the communities of Belleville (30.9%), Bloomfield (26.4%), Caldwell (26.3%), Cedar Grove (34.8%), Fairfield (45.8%), Nutley (44.5%), Roseland (38.7%), Verona (34.3%) and West Caldwell (35.2%).
Municipalities in Essex County (with type of government and 2010 population in parentheses are):
- Belleville (township; 35,926)
- Silver Lake (CDP shared with Bloomfield; 3,726)
- Bloomfield (township; 47,315)
- Brookdale (CDP; 9,239)
- Silver Lake (CDP shared with Belleville; 474)
- Caldwell (borough; 7,822)
- Cedar Grove (township; 12,411)
- City of Orange (township; 30,134)
- East Orange (city; 64,270)
- Essex Fells (borough; 2,113)
- Fairfield (township; 7,466)
- Glen Ridge (borough; 7,527)
- Irvington (township; 53,926)
- Livingston (township; 29,366)
- Maplewood (township; 23,867)
- Millburn (township; 20,149)
- Short Hills (CDP; 13,165)
- Montclair (township; 37,669)
- Upper Montclair (CDP; 11,565)
- Newark (city; 277,140)
- North Caldwell (borough; 6,183)
- Nutley (township; 28,370)
- Roseland (borough; 5,819)
- South Orange Village (township; 16,198)
- Verona (township; 13,332)
- West Caldwell (township; 10,759)
- West Orange (township; 46,207)
- Anderson Park Montclair
- Becker Park, Roseland
- Branch Brook Park, Newark/Belleville (the country's oldest county park)
- Brookdale Park, Montclair/Bloomfield
- Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange/Montclair
- Glenfield Park, Montclair/Glen Ridge
- Grover Cleveland Park, Caldwell
- Hilltop Reservation, Caldwell/ Cedar Grove/ North Caldwell/ Verona
- Irvington Park, Irvington
- Ivy Hill Park Vailsburg
- Kip's Castle Park, Verona
- Mills Reservation, Cedar Grove/Upper Montclair
- Orange Park, Orange
- South Mountain Reservation, West Orange/South Orange/Millburn/Maplewood
- Vailsburg Park, Newark
- Verona Park, Verona
- Watsessing Park, Bloomfield/East Orange
- Weequahic Park, Newark
- West Essex Park, West Caldwell/Roseland
- Westside Park, Newark
- Yanticaw Park, Nutley
Climate and weather 
|Newark, New Jersey|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Newark have ranged from a low of 24 °F (−4 °C) in January to a high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July, although a record low of −14 °F (−26 °C) was recorded in February 1934 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1993. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.99 inches (76 mm) in February to 4.76 inches (121 mm) in July.
See also 
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 125. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Essex County, NJ, National Association of Counties. Accessed January 20, 2013.
- DP1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Essex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Essex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Table 1. The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010, United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- 250 Highest Per Capita Personal Incomes of the 3113 Counties in the United States, 2009, Bureau of Economic Analysis, backed uo by the Internet Archive as of July 22, 2011. Accessed September 9, 2012.
- Kane, Joseph Nathan; and Aiken, Charles Curry. The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000, p. 95. Scarecrow Press, 2005. ISBN 0810850362. Accessed January 21, 2013.
- Buying a Home in Jersey City, New Jersey – Real Estate Agents in Jersey City – Homes in Jersey City
- GCT-PH1: Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County -- County Subdivision and Place from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for Essex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Roberts, Sam. "Biggest Urban Growth Is in South and West", June 28, 2007. Accessed November 13, 2007.
- Census data for Newark, New Jersey, accessed November 14, 2006
- Newark city, New Jersey – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder
- Wang, Katie. "County reports largest drop is in violent crime", The Star-Ledger, October 17, 2007. Accessed November 13, 2007. "For the second year in a row, overall crime in Essex County dropped by 10 percent, according to the annual crime statistics released by the State Police yesterday. The county saw the biggest drops in violent crime in 2006, particularly in robberies and aggravated assaults. Those incidents dropped by 6 percent and 7 percent respectively."
- Total Crime Rate for US Cities, 1995: Population 40,000+, accessed November 14, 2006
- Crime in the Cities, New Jersey State Police. Accessed November 14, 2006
- Jones, Richard G. "The Crime Rate Drops, and a City Credits Its Embrace of Surveillance Technology", The New York Times, May 29, 2007. Accessed November 11, 2007.
- Lueck, Thomas J. "As Newark Mayor Readies Crime Fight, Toll Rises", The New York Times, January 8, 2007. Accessed October 6, 2007. "For all of 2006, the police said, Newark had 104 homicides, far below its record of 161 in 1981, but more than in any other year since 1995."
- Accomando, Peter R. and Liebau, Michelle M. "Essex County park system celebrates 100 years of beauty and service", Parks & Recreation, March 1995. Accessed May 26, 2007. "This picturesque scheme amid the bustling cityscape of Newark is Branch Brook Park, the largest park in Essex County and the first county park in the United States."
- Essex County Executive, Essex County. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Definition of a Freeholder, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 30, 2008.
- Essex County Freeholders, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- Directory of Representatives: New Jersey, United States House of Representatives. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for New Jersey by election)
- New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 31, 2008.
- New Jersey: Presidential County Results - 2008, The New York Times. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Gazetteer of United States Counties, United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- PEPANNRES: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 - 2012 Population Estimates for New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- State & County QuickFacts for Essex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880–1930".
- "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
- U.S. Census Bureau Delivers New Jersey's 2010 Census Population Totals, United States Census Bureau, February 3, 2011. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- 2000 Census data for Essex County, New Jersey county subdivisions: Ancestry profile, United States Census Bureau, accessed May 11, 2006
- Jewish Population in the United States, 2002, National Jewish Population Survey. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- Essex County parks history, Essex County, new jersey. Accessed August 23, 2007.
- "Monthly Averages for Newark, New Jersey". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
|Morris County||Bergen County