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 Government
- 4 Higher education
- 5 Transportation
- 6 Geography
- 7 Climate
- 8 Demographics
- 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.
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
- 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:
- I-80 (only in Fairfield)
- Garden State Parkway
- NJTP (I-95) (only in Newark)
- Route 1/9 (only in Newark)
- Route 22 (only in Newark)
- U.S. Route 46 (only in Fairfield)
- Route 7
- Route 10
- Route 21
- Route 23
- Route 24
- Route 27 (only in Newark)
- Route 124
- Route 159
- Eisenhower Pkwy
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) of it (97.4%) was land and 3.419 square miles (8.86 km2) of it (2.6%) was water.
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.
- 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
|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%).
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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|Morris County||Bergen County