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|
|Named for||Essex County, England|
|• Total||129.631 sq mi (336 km2)|
|• Land||126.212 sq mi (327 km2)|
|• Water||3.419 sq mi (9 km2), 2.64%|
|• Density||6,211.5/sq mi (2,398/km²)|
|Congressional districts||7th, 8th, 10th, 11th|
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, having dropped behind Middlesex County, and one of only two counties in the state to see a decline in population during the decade (Cape May County being 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.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Climate
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Government
- 7 Higher education
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Municipalities
- 10 Parks
- 11 Climate and weather
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The county is named after Essex, a county in the East of England. Based on data from the 2010 census, Essex County is the 14th-most densely populated county in the United States, and was ranked second in the state after Hudson County (which ranked sixth in the nation at 13,731.4 per square mile).
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 high population, high building density, high poverty and high crime rates. 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, Newark, New Jersey and Forest Hill, Newark, New Jersey. The east side of Newark is the Ironbound, a working-class Brazilian and Portuguese community. East Orange has the Presidential Estate neighborhood full of large one family homes. Belleville and Bloomfield are suburbs with historic Italian communities that, in spite of retaining a core Italian-American population, now have many immigrants from Latin America and Asia. As of the 2000 Census, 36% of Nutley residents indicated that they were of Italian ancestry, the 12th-highest of any municipality in the nation and third-highest in New Jersey.
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, West Orange, 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, Maplewood, Millburn, North Caldwell, and Essex Fells are some of the wealthiest towns in the county. Short Hills, South Orange, and Livingston are regionally well known as affluent Jewish 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 and Union 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 (16 km) 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 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.
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) of it (97.4%) was land and 3.419 square miles (8.86 km2) of it (2.6%) was water.
- 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
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.
National protected area
|Historical sources: 1790-1990
1970-2010 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
At 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 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. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 20.30% (159,117) of the population.
There were 283,712 households, 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, 24.9% of the population were 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.
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. Among those residents listing their ancestry, 11.6% were of residents were Italian, 6.9% Irish and 5.0% West Indian 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 12.8% of families and 15.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 12.2% 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%).
Essex County is governed by a County Executive and a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who administer all county business. The County Executive is elected by a direct vote of the electorate. Nine freeholders are elected to serve three-year concurrent terms of office. 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 executive and all freeholders are serving terms that end in 2014.
- Blonnie R. Watson – Freeholder President/ At-Large (Newark)
- Patricia Sebold – Freeholder Vice-President/ At-Large (Livingston)
- Rufus I. Johnson – Freeholder-At-Large (Newark)
- Gerald W. Owens – Freeholder-At-Large (South Orange), took office in December 2012 to fill a vacant seat
- Rolando Bobadilla – Freeholder District 1, covering Newark's North, East, parts of Central & West Wards (Newark)
- D. Bilal Beasley – Freeholder District 2, covering Newark (South Ward, Parts of West Ward), Irvington and Maplewood (Irvington)
- Carol Y. Clark – Freeholder District 3, covering Newark: Parts of West & Central Wards; East Orange Wards 1-5, Orange and South Orange (East Orange, New Jersey)
- Leonard Luciano – Freeholder District 4, covering Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange (West Caldwell)
- Brendan W. Gill - Freeholder District 5, covering Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair, Nutley (Nutley)
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 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. The Essex County College Police patrol the Essex County College Campus and satellite locations.
Essex County has five public and five private institutions. It formerly 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
Essex County College is a 2-year community college that offers A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. degrees.
- 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. Three primary interstates and one auxiliary cross the county. This includes 2 long distance main interstates, one north-south (I-95) from Miami and New Brunswick, Canada signed as the New Jersey Turnpike and one east-west I-80 from San Francisco and Teaneck. East-West I-78 from near Harrisburg and Manhattan also crosses the county. All of these only have interchanges in one municipality in the county, Newark for I-95 and I-78 and Fairfield for I-80. I-80 auxiliary route I-280 passes through the county in a northeast-southwest direction and has exits in Roseland, Livingston, West Orange, Orange, East Orange, and Newark and is therefore one of the most important roads for intracounty travel.
Essex county also has 4 U.S. Routes that cross it. Routes 1 and 9 are concurrent and a freeway throughout their length in the county. They pass through Newark from Elizabeth in Union County to Kearny in Hudson County. It crosses over the Passaic River on the Pulaski Skyway, which bans trucks, so just before it leaves the county in the north U.S. Route 1/9 Truck splits for the traffic that is not allowed on the bridge. Route 1/9 Truck is also a freeway its entire length in the county. U.S. Route 22 eastern terminus is in Newark the only municipality it crosses in the county. It is a freeway along it route in Essex. It connects Newark with points to the east. The last U.S. Route in the county is U.S. Route 46, which passes through Fairfield, where it is a major commercial road that parallels I-80.
The most important state road in the county is the Garden State Parkway which passes north-south through the county. It is a toll road, a freeway, and bans trucks of more than 7,000 pounds during its entire length in the county. It has one interchange in Irvington, one in Newark, two in East Orange, and four in Bloomfield. Outside the county, it is the longest road of any kind in the state.
New Jersey Route 7 is a major arterial road in Nutley and Belleville. It has two discontinuous sections. The southern section starts at an overpass for Route 21 and passes over the Belleville Turnpike Bridge into border between Hudson and Bergen Counties. The northern section starts at the Newark/Belleville border passes through Belleville and Nutley until in crosses into Clifton
Other highways in the county include:
- Route 10
- Route 21
- Route 23
- Route 24
- Route 27 (only in Newark)
- Route 124
- Route 159
- Eisenhower Parkway
There are many buses that operate around the county, with New Jersey Transit (NJT) headquarters located just behind Newark Penn Station, a transit hub in the eastern part of the county. There are two major bus terminals in the county Newark Penn Station and the Irvington Bus Terminal. DeCamp Bus Lines operates buses from Essex county to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. Some of the NJT bus lines follow former streetcar lines.
Essex County has a large rail network, but most of the network is focused at commuting to Newark and New York City. All of the passenger rail lines in the county are electrified; although, not all trains that use the lines are electric, because they connect to non-electrified track.
NJ Transit has five lines that make stops in the county. All of them stop at either Newark Penn Station or Newark Broad Street Station. The Northeast Corridor Line from Trenton with connections from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, Camden, and Princeton has stops at Newark Airport and Newark Penn Stations before continuing to Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station. The New Jersey Coast Line from Bay Head or Long Branch also stops at Newark Airport and Newark Penn Stations before continuing to Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal. The Raritan Valley Line from High Bridge usually terminates in Newark Penn Station, but mid-day trains continue to New York and one eastbound morning train terminates in Hoboken.
The Montclair-Boonton Line from Hackettstown or Little Falls has six stations in Montclair, one in Glen Ridge, and two in Bloomfield before reaching Newark Broad Street Station and continuing to Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal. The Morris and Essex Lines from Hackettstown and Peapack-Gladstone has two stops in Millburn, one in Maplewood, and two each in West Orange, Orange and East Orange before reaching Newark Broad Street and continuing to Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station or Hoboken Terminal.
The Newark Light Rail is completely contained within the county. It has 17 stations in Newark, Belleville, and Bloomfield and also operates out of Newark Penn Station. It is composed of two lines the Newark City Subway and the Broad Street Extension.
The Newark City Subway is the only surviving of the many street car lines that once crossed New Jersey, although it no longer uses street cars. It survived in part because it does not include street running, instead it follows the abandoned Morris Canal right of way before going underground. It has one station in Bloomfield and one in Belleville on the old Orange Branch of the New York & Greenwood Lake Service of the Erie Railroad before entering Newark and turning onto the Morris Canal right of way. From there it follows Branch Brook Park before turning into downtown Newark as a subway. It has nine stops in Newark before terminating in Newark Penn Station.
The Broad Street Extension was built to provide connections between Newark Penn Station and Newark Broad Street Station and service to the waterfront of Newark. Leaving Penn Station, the line comes up from the subway and runs on streets or at grade for most of its length. It stops at NJPAC/Center Street, Atlantic Street, and Riverfront Stadium before reaching Broad Street Station. From Broad Street it takes a different route stopping at Washington Park and NJPAC/Center Street before arriving at Penn Station.
The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) also operates out of Newark Penn Station. It has direct service to Harrison, Jersey City, and downtown Manhattan at the World Trade Center. With a free transfer, the PATH also provides service to Hoboken and downtown and midtown Manhattan, with stops in New York at Christopher Street, 9th Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street, and 33rd Street.
Amtrak has two stations in the county, Newark Penn Station and Newark Liberty International Airport, both on the Northeast Corridor. Newark Penn Station has service on the only high speed train in the Western Hemisphere, the Acela Express, to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.. Penn Station also offers services on the Cardinal to Chicago; Carolinian to Charlotte; Crescent to New Orleans; Keystone Service to Harrisburg; Palmetto to Charleston, South Carolina; Pennsylvanian to Pittsburgh; Northeast Regional to Newport News, Norfolk, and Lynchburg; Silver Star and Silver Meteor to Miami; and Vermonter to St. Albans City all with intermediate stops. Newark Liberty International Airport is served by Northeast Regional and Keystone Service trains.
Newark Liberty International Airport has a monorail called AirTrain Newark that connects the terminals, four parking areas, and the Newark Liberty International Airport Station on the Northeast Corridor. The monorail is free except for service to and from the train station.
Newark Liberty International Airport is a major commercial airport located in the southeast section of the county in Newark and Elizabeth in Union County. It is one of the New York Metropolitan airports operated by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is a hub for United Airlines. It is also a leading cargo airport and is a hub for FedEx Express and Kalitta Air.
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.
Several important or noteworthy bridges currently or historically exist at least partially in the county. Most of them cross Newark Bay or the Passaic River into Hudson or Bergen Counties. The Newark Bay Bridge carries I-78 over Newark Bay from Newark to Bayonne and is currently the most southern bridge crossing the bay. The Upper Bay Bridge, a vertical-lift bridge located just north of the Newark Bay Bridge, carries a freight train line over the bay from Newark to Bayonne.
The PD Draw is an abandoned and partially dismantled railroad bridge across the Passaic River from Newark to Kearny. The Lincoln Highway Passaic River Bridge carries U.S. Route 1/9 Truck across the Passaic River and is currently the southern most crossing of the river before it reaches the bay. It is a vertical-left bridge and was the route that the Lincoln Highway used to cross the river. The Pulaski Skyway, the most famous bridge entirely in New Jersey, carries U.S. Route 1/9 across the Passaic River, Kearny Point, and the Hackensack River from Newark through Kearny to Jersey City.
The Point-No-Point Bridge is a railroad swing bridge that carries a freight line across the Passaic River between Newark and Kearny. The Jackson Street Bridge is a historic vehicular swing bridge across the Passaic from Newark to Harrison. The Dock Bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places carries four tracks of the Northeast Corridor rail line and two tracks of the PATH on two vertical left spans from Newark Penn Station to Harrison.
The Center Street Bridge is a former railroad, rapid transit, and road bridge connecting Newark and Harrison. The Bridge Street Bridge is another vehicular swing bridge across the Passaic from Newark to Harrison.
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.
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