Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Newark lies at the heart of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area industrial economy. Newark is increasingly coming to rely on its strategic location at the center of air, sea, road, and rail transportation networks for economic growth. Manufacturing was traditionally the city's most important economic activity, but it has recently been surpassed by transportation-related industries and telecommunications firms. Seven major highways, railway routes, a world-class shipping terminal, and a busy international airport make Newark a major mid-Atlantic distribution and retail trade center. The city is one of the nation's leading centers in the wholesale trade of chemicals and machinery, and the third largest writer of life insurance policies; both Mutual Benefit and Prudential Insurance Companies are headquartered in Newark.
Items and goods produced: polymers, beer, electrical products, machinery, leather, precious metals, jewelry, electronic equipment, chemicals, textiles, paint, varnish, perfume and cosmetics, paper boxes, foodstuffs, greenhouse and nursery products
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
A concerted effort between the city of Newark, state and federal governments, and business and civic groups has stimulated impressive growth and expansion within the past decade. The State of New Jersey in particular provides many incentives to entice and retain new industries and entrepreneurs to Newark and the surrounding communities.
The Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment of Essex County provides direct financial assistance to businesses located in the county and/or guarantees of loans from banks to such businesses for building acquisition, site renovation, and equipment purchases.
In 2002 Newark was designated a Renewal Community by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program encourages municipal self-sufficiency through a variety of federal tax credits as opposed to grant funds. Some of the programs include a Work Opportunity Credit for businesses that hire people who've received family assistance for a long period of time, a Welfare to Work Credit, tax deductions on qualified revitalization costs, and tax credits for employing residents of the Renewal Community zone.
Newark's Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program provides eligible businesses with sales tax exemption equal to 50 percent of the regular sales tax rate, employee tax credits, net worth tax exemptions, tax exemptions for most purchases of tangible personal property, sales tax exemptions for building materials, supplies, or services used in property expansions and improvements, and awards for job creation.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) offers a wide range of financial, real estate development, and technical services to encourage business development and growth in the state. The majority of its assistance is to small and mid-sized businesses, with a growing emphasis on high-tech enterprises. Businesses specializing in technology or biotechnology can transfer tax certificates to other New Jersey businesses, realizing up to 75 percent of their value in cash that can be spent on equipment, facilities, or for other expenses related to the business. The EDA issues bonds to provide financing at favorable interest rates for business ventures, makes low-interest loans, and guarantees loans made by private investors and lenders. It also offers a full range of real estate development services to stimulate both private and public development projects. In addition, the EDA administers a business incentive program that provides grants to expanding or relocating businesses that will create new jobs in New Jersey. Brownfields loans and grants also are available to municipalities and private property owners to encourage the clean-up and redevelopment of hazardous sites around the state.
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority provides low-interest loans to developers and businesses seeking to construct facilities in urban areas, including small business incubators. The New Jersey Division of International Trade helps companies dependent on international commerce with advice, matchmaking, and access to trade missions and foreign trade shows. Businesses in Newark may be eligible for inclusion in Foreign Trade Zone 49, allowing for some exemptions from full U.S. Customs scrutiny for imported goods that are temporarily stored in the area.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) network specializes in business planning, growth strategy, management strategy, and loan packaging, along with providing help in selling goods and services to government agencies, help to entrepreneurs in commercializing new technologies, linking up companies to local manufacturers who serve as mentors, and counseling for companies regarding overseas trade.
Job training programs
Workforce New Jersey is the state agency coordinating local workforce development efforts. The office assists employers in finding and training new workers, while it also helps employees with continuing education, career exploration, and job searching.
Essex County's Division of Training and Employment coordinates employment programs designed to serve families receiving social assistance. Clients receive assessment and aptitude testing, job readiness preparation, transportation assistance as needed, skill training, adult education, community work experiences, and job placement.
The New Jersey Institute of Technology offers assistance for small manufacturers, new businesses, and defense contractors through specialized programs on topics such as entrepreneurship, environmental compliance issues, and polymer processing.
In February of 2005 the City of Newark finalized an agreement with the New Jersey Devils hockey franchise to build an 18,000 square foot arena in Newark. The proposed facility in the downtown redevelopment district is expected to cost $355 million and should be completed by 2007. To ensure easy access to Devils games and other downtown attractions, Newark's Penn Station is undergoing a $16.1 million update of its escalators, drainage systems, and customer communication devices.
The New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation is in the process of an $8.6 billion renovation of educational buildings throughout the state, with a good portion of the resources being spent in Newark on its public school system. Aging structures are being updated to function as state-of-the-art, twenty-first century learning centers. At the same time, the City of Newark has continued to invest heavily in affordable housing that is also attractive and energy efficient, as the municipality continues to rehab its post-riot image.
Only a mile from the Newark Liberty International Airport, Catellus Development Corp. is planning an industrial warehouse project that will demolish existing structures on the acquired land and replace them with a complex that will include a 600,000 square foot distribution warehouse. Construction is expected to be complete by 2006.
Economic Development Information: City of Newark Economic Development Department, City Hall, 55 Liberty St. Room 405, Newark, NJ; telephone (201)733-6284. New Jersey Economic Development Authority, PO Box 990, Trenton, NJ 08625-0990; telephone (609)292-1800
With 13 miles of waterfront along Newark Bay and the Passaic River, Newark is part of the nation's largest containership port—the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Port opened in 1914-15 and is now leased and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; in 2004, more than $110 billion in goods passed through the portal. The Port Authority is equipped to deal with virtually every type of cargo, including vehicles, live animals, large containers, liquid and dry bulk loads, and more. With a main channel 7,000 feet long, the 930-acre Port of Newark can berth 34 ships. Rail freight service is provided by Amtrak and Conrail.
Newark Liberty International Airport (NLIA) is located just south of the city center, providing passenger and cargo service to all points of the globe. Several cargo-specific businesses and structures exist at NLIA, including the FedEx Complex (a regional hub), the United Parcel Service package handling and distribution center, and the 250,000 square foot Air Cargo Center. Cargo processing is state-ofthe-art, with capacity to handle sophisticated and delicate materials with a high level of efficiency. In 2003, NLIA processed 890,712 tons of cargo and served nearly 29.5 million passengers. The Port Authority maintains an administration building near the Air Cargo Center; both the Port of New York and New Jersey and the Newark Liberty International Airport reside within Foreign Trade Zone #49.
The highway system in New Jersey is the most dense in the nation, guaranteeing ample routes into, out of, and around Newark and the surrounding major metropolitan areas. Interstates 280, 80, 78, 278 and 95 link Newark to other large cities, along with a network of U.S. and state highways. Businesses have a wide choice of ground transportation vendors for cargo shipping purposes, from well-established family trucking companies to nationally-known experts such as FedEx and UPS.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Newark's unemployment rate remains considerably higher than the state average. Schools in Newark and the surrounding region offer an array of training in business, industrial, and vocational areas to assist workers in obtaining employment, advancing their careers, or adapting to new innovations in local industry. The region's workforce is especially well trained in communications and utilities work, finance, insurance and real estate, trade, transportation, and chemical manufacture.
It is anticipated that Newark and greater Essex County will experience continued significant growth through 2012 in the healthcare and education industries, along with management and transportation-related services. Manufacturing jobs will continue to be cut over the next decade, with anticipated losses as high as 20.8 percent of total employment in that sector. Statewide, it's expected that the pace of both commercial and residential construction will slacken, while overall employment should increase about 7.5 percent by 2012 (a slightly more gradual 10 year increase compared to the 1992-2002 statistical period).
The following is a summary of data regarding the Newark–Union, NJ–PA, metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 1,028,300
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 41,500
trade, transportation and utilities: 217,100
financial activities: 81,200
professional and business services: 162,300
educational and health services: 137,900
leisure and hospitality: 64,600
other services: 44,700
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.67 (New Jersey; 2004 annual average)
Unemployment rate: 5.4% (NY–NJ MSA; February 2005)
|Largest employers||Number of employees (2005)|
|Newark Liberty International Airport||24,000|
|Prudential Financial, Inc.||16,850|
|University of Medicine/Dentistry||11,000|
|Public Service Enterprise Group||10,800|
|City of Newark||3,984|
|Horizon Blue Cross & Blue Shield of NJ||3,900|
Cost of Living
The New Jersey area remains one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. The cost of housing is a major factor, particularly when combined with high city taxes.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Newark area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $457,430
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 134.6 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: 1.4%–8.97%
State sales tax rate: 6%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: None
Property tax rate: $2.26 per $100 of assessed value (2004)
Economic Information: City of Newark Economic Development Department, City Hall, 55 Liberty St. Room 405, Newark, NJ; telephone (201)733-6284
Newark, the third oldest city in the nation, exudes history, and its architecture serves as a chronological yardstick. Many buildings of interest are clustered along Broad Street, including the Blume House, which was built in 1710 and serves as a rectory for the House of Prayer Episcopal Church. Trinity Cathedral was built in 1743 and used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War. First Presbyterian Church, dedicated in 1791, remains a noted example of Georgian colonial architecture. Soaring above the buildings of the past, the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company building rises 275 feet and is adorned with colossal bas relief sculpture in Egyptian style.
The Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, begun in 1898, is as large as London's Westminster Abbey and resembles the famed basilica at Rheims. Built in the French Gothic style, the cathedral is enhanced by 200 stained-glass windows, bronze doors, and 14 church bells cast in Italy. The cathedral is near Branch Brook Park, comprising 360 acres of tranquility and cherry trees skillfully landscaped by the same firm that designed Central Park in New York. The Essex County Courthouse, a 1906 Cass Gilbert creation, is a modified Renaissance granite and marble structure. Penn Station, opened in 1935, is of neo-classical design. Newark's city hall is a good example of French Renaissance design, including a dome, balconies, and rococo decorations.
Newark's Military Park, formerly a drill field for the Colonial and Continental armies, now is famous for its monument entitled Wars of America. The massive sculpture is the work of Mount Rushmore artist Gutzon Borglum. The park also boasts a bust of President John F. Kennedy by Jacques Lipshitz. The history of Newark can be quietly explored at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Broadway; established in 1814, the burial ground is the oldest formal cemetery in Newark and has been the final resting place of many well-known residents over the centuries. Famous neighborhoods in Newark include Ironbound, a Spanish-Portuguese enclave, and historic James Street, known for its Victorian row houses.
Arts and Culture
The $150 million New Jersey Performing Arts Center, located on a 12-acre site downtown, opened its doors in 1997. It houses the 2,750-seat Great Hall and the 500-seat Victoria Theater. Symphony Hall on Broad Street has long been the performing arts heart of Newark. The fully restored 1925 Art Deco auditorium seats 2,800 patrons. Among the Hall's resident groups are the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey State Opera, the Newark Boys Chorus, the Opera/Music Theatre, and an opera school.
The Cathedral Concert Series schedules classical music performances in Newark's Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Free concerts are presented in Washington Park and in the Gateway Complex. Dance in Newark is represented by Gallman's Newark Dance Theatre, Garden State Ballet, which concentrates on classical dance, while the African Globe Theatre Works concentrates on works by African American writers. The Newark Community School of the Arts presents faculty performances, student recitals, and presentations by the Community Theatre Ensemble.
Amid a sprawling compound of galleries that include an 1885 brick-and-limestone mansion, the Newark Museum has become known for its Schaeffer Collection of antique glass, Tibetan objects, Indian relics, and African articles. On the museum property are a sculpture garden, a firehouse, and a schoolhouse. The museum adjoins historic Ballantine House, the restored mansion of a Victorian brewer. The New Jersey Historical Society, housed in a Georgian-style building maintains a collection of portraits, drawings, and prints of local personalities.
Among Newark's art galleries, the Paul Robeson Center at Rutgers' Newark campus displays changing art exhibits. Other galleries include Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art and The Gallery, which both spotlight local artists; the Art Gallery exhibits graphics, paintings, and sculpture; City Without Walls features emerging New Jersey artists; Halsey Street Gallery focuses on African American paintings, posters and ceramics; and Richardson Gallery specializes in oil paintings, lithographs, and engravings.
Arts and Culture Information: Newark Arts Council, 17 Academy Street Suite 1104, Newark, NJ 07102; telephone (973) 643-1625
Festivals and Holidays
A city of numerous ethnic influences, Newark enjoys community parades and festivals all year long. In February, the New Year party keeps going with the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration coordinated by the Newark Museum. The traditional Lion Dance and holiday delicacies are on hand to mark this important event. During the St. Patrick's Day Parade in mid-March, everyone is Irish for a day. Each April, Branch Brook Park hosts the Newark Cherry Blossom Festival and Marathon among more than 3,000 Japanese cherry trees cultivated in the park. The Newark Museum hosts an Asian Heritage Festival in early May, with Japanese drumming, Dancing Bells, and the Indian Fold Dance taking center stage. The African American Heritage Day Parade is held in May.
The month of June is full of celebrations, starting with the Portuguese Day Parade and Festival and the Newark Festival of People. From late June until early August for the past 30-some years, the Newark Black Film Festival exposes residents and visitors to the independent film world through the eyes and talents of African American directors and actors. August stays hot with the Gospel and Africa-Newark Festivals.
Brazilian Independence Day is celebrated in September, and October is the month for the annual Columbus Day Parade and United Nations Day. The annual Sarah Vaughn Jazz Festival in November has also become a favorite event in the city.
Sports for the Spectator
The Meadowlands Sports Complex in nearby East Rutherford hosts professional sports events throughout the year. Among its home teams are the New York Giants and the New York Jets of the National Football League, and the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. The New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League play in the Continental Airlines Arena within the grounds of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Trotting and thoroughbred horse-racing events include the Hambletonian, the most famous event in harness racing.
In 1998, professional baseball returned to Newark when the Bears came home—the Newark Bears had originally been a farm team for the New York Yankees, warming up such hardball legends as Yogi Berra. Construction was completed in 1999 on Riverfront Stadium to welcome the Bears back in the independent Atlantic League; the roster frequently lists some former luminaries of the majors.
Rutgers-Newark University competes in nine sports at the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, including men's and women's basketball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.
Sports for the Participant
Famous Newark parks include Military Park and Branch Brook Park, both of which offer a full complement of recreational facilities. An ice skating rink is located at Branch Brook Park, which is also home to a roller skating center with a state-of-the-art sound system. Weequahic Park offers a golf course. Nearby facilities provide opportunities for skiing, water sports, bicycling, and horseback riding.
A number of state and national parks are within easy reach of Newark, including areas of the Atlantic seashore where visitors can swim, kayak, and play beach volleyball. The mid-Atlantic section of the Appalachian Trail system passes through the western edge of New Jersey and then traces the northern state line to the east before cutting north through New York state.
Shopping and Dining
The downtown redevelopment district encompasses a unique shopping experience, especially along discount store-lined Broad Street. Both Military Park and Market Street host open-air, seasonal farmers' markets where fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses and other items can be found. Nearby Secaucus, referred to as the outlet capital of the eastern seaboard, is home to one of the most massive concentrations of outlet stores in the world. Other communities near Newark, most notably Manhattan and other New York neighborhoods, round out the shopping experience.
A broad variety of ethnic cuisines is the hallmark of New Jersey restaurants, and in Newark the selections range from European to Asian, African, and Caribbean. The city's Iron-side District is home to a smorgasbord of dining establishments featuring authentic Spanish and Portuguese cookery and some of the best sangria in the United States. A number of soul food eateries dish up traditional southern fare not often found in a northeastern city. The state of New Jersey is sometimes described as the "diner capital of the world," having more diners than any other place on the planet. However, restaurant ambiance varies widely from market-side cafes on busy downtown streets to fine dining in restored historic structures. Several specialty coffee shops are sprinkled around the city.
The Real Estate Market's Early Start in Newark
During the last Ice Age about 13,000 years ago, the retreating glaciers pulled back to reveal newly fertile soil along the coast of what would become New Jersey. The nexus of rolling hills, roving rivers and endless ocean attracted the first settlers of the United States, hunter-gatherers who had followed game and fur resources to the area. At the point that the first Europeans arrived in the region surrounding present-day Newark in the 1600s, they found it occupied by Native American bands, Hackensacks and Lenni-Lenapes of the Delaware tribe, from whom the territory was purchased in 1667. Captain Robert Treat and the rest of the settlers, migrants from Connecticut's New Haven Colony in search of religious freedom and inexpensive farmland, bought the whole of Essex County from the natives. Located on the Passaic River and a sheltered Atlantic bay, the settlement was named Newark, possibly in honor of Newark-on-Trent, England; some historians, however, claim the name derives from "new ark" or "new work." While religious intolerance was the primary motivation for the move from Connecticut, Newark leaders of the Puritan Congregational Church retained a grip on community affairs for many years.
Newark's strong educational tradition dates back to 1747 when the city was home to what is now Princeton University. The city's first elementary-level school was established in 1676, followed by the laying out of a market along Washington Square and a military training ground in Military Park. The community grew slowly, hampered by its reputation for strong Puritanism. It was not until 1733 that a second church attained a foothold in Newark, when a local version of the Church of England rose up to challenge the Congregationalists' authority.
Early industry in Newark included mining, iron-making, and tanning. Newark became an important commercial site when roads and ferries connected it to New York City. During the Revolutionary War, American General George Washington used Newark as a supply base during his retreat from the British. The retreat took him across the entire state of New Jersey, across the Delaware River and into Pennsylvania. After the war, the shoe industry grew into an economic mainstay in Newark. A process for making patent leather was developed in the early 1800s by Seth Boyden. Newark was also becoming world famous by the 1830s for its jewelry, beer, and hats. The completion of the Morris Canal connected Newark to goods-producing regions to the east in New Jersey, and an expanding network of railroads brought the city into contact with the frontier.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Newarkians were of divided loyalties. Trade with the secessionist South fueled Newark's booming economy, a circumstance that conflicted with the North's growing intolerance of slavery in the South. When the hat and shoe industries received major commissions from the Grand Army of the Potomac, the issue was settled—Newark was firmly in the Union camp, sending some 10,000 soldiers to fight for its cause.
Industry Brings Growth, New Residents
In the 1860s, Newark entered the technological age. John Wesley Hyatt invented a flexible film called celluloid in 1869, laying the basis not only for the hugely lucrative plastics industry but the motion picture industry as well. In nearby Menlo Park, Thomas Edison developed the electric light bulb; when he lived briefly in Newark, Edison also invented the stock ticker. Among the region's literary figures gaining prominence during this era were Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage, and Mary Mapes Dodge, who wrote Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates. Several prominent newspapers were founded in the Newark area in the years following the Civil War. Also during the latter half of the nineteenth century, ships carrying European immigrants steamed into Newark Harbor. Irish, Germans, Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese came in search of plentiful jobs, many of them in Newark's newly electrified factories. The chemical industry was established in Newark during this time, as the insurance industry gained a foothold through Mutual Benefit (1845) and Prudential Companies (1873).
The Port of Newark opened around 1915, just in time for America's preparations to enter World War I. Newark led the nation's shipbuilders during the country's brief war-time period. These years were significant, too, because they brought the first large group of Southern blacks north in search of defense-related jobs; pesticides had begun to curtail agricultural employment opportunities. By the 1930s, Newark was a major East Coast transportation, retail, and manufacturing base. Newark International Airport, opened in 1930, supplemented the port, rail, and highway facilities. Huge department and specialty stores lined Broad Street. Some of the nation's first and tallest skyscrapers pierced the Newark skyline as its factories turned out machinery and thread. But while Newark enjoyed all the appearances of a boomtown, it began to suffer the first signs of increasing urban decay. A corrupt local government undermined city services, commutable highways lured city residents to homes in the suburbs, and the tax base eroded as some important industries relocated.
Newark's population peaked in 1950 at 438,000 people. Modern Newark began to take shape with the urban renewal programs of the 1950s and with the help of the city's business leaders. Newark's two major life insurance companies renewed their commitment to the city, building new headquarters downtown. Federal structures, recreational facilities, and other office buildings followed. But the burgeoning prosperity of the 1950s masked deep racial divisions and inequalities that simmered, waiting for the tipping point.
In the 1950s, the migration to the suburbs appeared mainly to involve white Newark residents leaving the bustle and increasing crime of the inner city. Middle class African Americans followed, leaving African Americans and other people of color who labored in low-paying factory jobs. By 1966, African Americans were in the majority in the general Newark population, but government offices and the police department were dominated by whites. The economic and political power imbalance was at times wielded like a club—in 1967, in a city where 70 percent of the students were African American, the Newark mayor refused to appoint an African American secretary of education. The mayor went on to raze a predominantly African American neighborhood to make room for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, a pricey higher education institution out of reach of most of the displaced homeowners.
Tensions reached boiling point, and the 1967 riots that commenced spanned six days and resulted in 23 deaths, 725 injured, and $10 million in property damage. However, among the riot rubble the city began to prosper again as Newark's first African American mayor entered office in 1970 as a symbol of a more unified municipality with progress in its sights.
Population Begins to Grow Once More
In 1986 Sharpe James, an ardent civic booster and veteran of the civil rights movement, was elected mayor of Newark. Downtown development in the late 1980s brought glittering office towers, though the population declined to about 275,000 by 1990. In the 1990s the city addressed the long-neglected issue of affordable housing. A number of affordably priced, suburban-style townhouses and luxury condominiums were constructed in the mid-1990s, improving the available housing stock. For example, a handsome 1,200-unit townhouse complex in the University Heights area transformed the entrance to the downtown. As of 2000, Newark's single family housing market was surging, with prices rising in all parts of the city; the population was also beginning to increase. In fact, Newark and nearby Jersey City were almost alone among the United States' historically struggling central city areas to have turned around their decline in population.
Mayor Sharpe James continues his efforts to improve the image and fiscal stability of Newark. In 2004 the city's crime rate dropped by more than 50 percent and a number of high-tech industries have been lured to the area. The insurance business has been a mainstay over the centuries, moving Newark into position as the third largest center of that industry in the U.S. The diverse population has generally shown gains since 2000 and is anticipated to surge again in coming years.
Historical Information: New Jersey Historical Society, 52 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102; telephone (973)596-8500
Newark: Education and Research
Newark: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Newark Public School System, which dates back to 1676, is the largest and one of the oldest in New Jersey. In 1995, after years of deficient management and suspected corruption on the part of school administrators, the New Jersey State Department of Education assumed operating control of the district. Working with the state, a 15-member advisory board was set up to help reform the school system and reestablish sound educational policy and practices. Since 1995, the school system has purchased $3.4 million in new textbooks, begun a $4.6 million technology initiative to expand computer capabilities in the schools, and opened a new technical and vocations high school.
At present, Newark Public Schools is undergoing systemwide renovations of its aging facilities, as part of New Jersey School Construction multi-billion dollar effort. Concurrently, the school district has partnered with both Saint Barnabas Healthcare System and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to establish health clinics in five more schools in Newark. The district offers other programs supportive of families as a whole, including the Citywide Parents Conference, Concerned Fathers, and the Grandparents Support Network.
Among its special programs the Newark School System offers adult education, bilingual education, special education, and an attendance/dropout prevention program. Its magnet school program includes an Arts High School, a Science High School, and a University High School. A Business Partnership program allows students to work with professionals in business, industry, medicine, and law.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Newark public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 42,395
Number of facilities elementary schools: 76
junior high schools: 7
high schools: 12
Student/teacher ratio: 12.3:1
Funding per pupil: $14,826 (2003-2004)
A number of private primary and secondary schools also operate in Newark, many of which are affiliated with a religious institution.
Public Schools Information: Newark Public Schools, 2 Cedar Street, Newark, NJ 07201; telephone (201)733-7333
Colleges and Universities
With five colleges inside the city limits and 44,000 students matriculating, Newark is one of New Jersey's premier centers of education. Perhaps the most prestigious of Newark's colleges is the city branch of Rutgers University (the state university), which offers four-year baccalaureate degrees as well as graduate degrees in law, nursing, business, and public administration to its student body of more than 30,000 men and women. The Rutgers-Newark campus is part of an urban university complex spread over 323 acres in midtown Newark, a complex that also includes a number of other schools.
As a public research institution, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is famous for pioneering activities in computer-integrated design and manufacturing, biotechnology, microelectronics, and computerized communications. The NJIT student body of 8,249 can pursue any of 100 undergraduate degree programs or 30 postsecondary degrees while receiving hands-on experience through the university outreach center. Seton Hall's Law School is one of the largest law schools in the country, with ethics grounded in the Catholic principles of the home university. Essex County College offers two-year degrees and certificates in vocational fields, as well as credits that are designed to transfer to four-year universities. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the state's largest health education center, enrolls more than 4,500 medical, dental, and health care students and operates a 526-bed acute care teaching hospital.
Libraries and Research Centers
Newark's public library system includes a main library and 10 branch libraries. With more than 1.4 million books, periodicals, and pictures, the libraries house the most important collection in New Jersey. In addition to local and state historical collections, the library boasts excellent fine arts, business, and current affairs resources along with collections focused on the diverse cultural make-up of the city. The Peter W. Rodino, Jr., Law Library at the Seton Hall School of Law provides access to more than 45,000 law-related books and periodicals, with an emphasis on health and environmental law. Specialized libraries in Newark maintain collections relating to medicine, insurance, education, history, and utilities. The Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies has compiled an extensive collection of recordings. All of the local universities and colleges maintain well-stocked libraries with subject matter concentrations suited to the degree programs offered.
The metropolitan Newark area is home to more research workers per capita than any other area in the country. The New Jersey Institute of Technology maintains research centers in global areas such as applied life sciences, architectural and building sciences, computer technology and telecommunications, environmental science, materials science and manufacturing, solar physics, and transportation. Specialized facilities include an Air Pollution Research Laboratory; a Building Engineering and Architectural Research Center; a Center for Biomedical Engineering, which focuses on reconstructive devices; and a Center for Information Age Technology, which assists technology transfers between academia and industry. The Institute is also home to an advanced technology center of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology and the computerized Manufacturing Systems Center.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey conducts sponsored research focusing on the health care fields, including clinical trials. Rutgers University conducts research in such varied areas as neuroscience, management, animal behavior, jazz, and finance. Also active in research are the many pharmaceutical companies in the area.
Public Library Information: Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07101; telephone (973)733-7800 or (973)733-7784; fax (973)733-5648
NEWARK, New Jersey, is America's third-oldest major city (founded 1666) but among the country's smallest in
land area: today it occupies only twenty-four square miles, of which nearly 75 percent are exempt from taxation. New Jersey's largest city, with a population of only 267,000 (in 2000), is the center of activity for an area of 2 million people spread over four counties. Since its founding it has had several forms of government including the original township, a charter from Queen Anne in 1713, a commission, and now a mayor-council government under which the city is divided into five political wards.
Four distinct periods characterize Newark's history. The first period belonged to the Puritans. Its merchants produced leather goods and quarried brownstone; its farmers worked their landholdings in what is today the Iron-bound section and to the west along First and Second Mountains. The rise of industry and commerce in the nineteenth-century marked a second era. From home or cottage industries, Newark produced fine silver and fancy chairs and cabinets, and within a half century it had become a major manufacturing complex. The rise of banks, insurance companies, and newspapers in the second half of the period marked Newark's commercial growth. In 1872, the city sponsored the nation's first Industrial Exposition to show the nation that it made everything from "asbestos to zippers."
Newark's third epoch belonged to the first half of the twentieth-century and resembled a roller-coaster ride. The two world wars saw Newark's shipyards, plants, and factories feverishly busy, but Prohibition resulted in the shutdown of its breweries and the rise of organized crime, and with the Great Depression came the death of 600 factories. The race riots of 1967 severely damaged both the physical and emotional fabric of the city, and it was more than a quarter century before change for the better was noticeable.
No longer the city of the 1940s or 1960s, Newark has focused on developing a sophisticated transportation network, with its airport, monorail, extensive highway system, and construction of a light rapid transit system. Newark is also a university city, with five institutions of higher learning.
Newark's Cultureplex includes the Newark Public Library, Newark Museum, New Jersey Historical Society, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Newark Boys Chorus, Garden State Ballet, WBGO Jazz Radio, and several smaller art galleries. In addition, the city boasts two important concert halls—Symphony Hall and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center—heavily used by Newarkers and New Jerseyans alike.
Cummings, Charles F., and John F. O'Connor. Newark: An American City. Newark, N.J.: Newark Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Cummings, Charles F., and John T. Cunningham. Remembering Essex. Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning, 1995.
Cunningham, John T. Newark. 3d ed. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 2002.
Newspapers and Magazines
Newark's major daily newspaper is the Star-Ledger, published each morning. Newspapers serving the city's ethnic communities include The Brazilian Voice, which is published in Portuguese; The Italian Tribune; and Luso Americano, a weekly. Special interest publications include the New Jersey Law Journal and Healthstate, a quarterly published for health care professionals by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The New Jersey Historical Society publishes Jersey Journeys for children eight times a year. The Journal of Commerce is also published in the city.
Television and Radio
One television station originates in Newark, which also receives New York City broadcasting. Newark's Public Broadcasting System channel is the nation's largest and most productive. A cable television franchise also serves Newark. Four FM station broadcasts from Newark; many more are available to listeners from New York City.
Media Information: Newark Morning Ledger Company, Star-Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ 07102; telephone (973)877-4141
City of Newark. Available www.ci.newark.nj.us
Essex County Government. Available www.co.essex.nj.us.com
Go Newark. Available www.gonewark.com
New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Available www.njpac.org
Newark Arts Council. Available www.newarkarts.org
Newark Museum. Available www.newarkmuseum.org
Newark Public Library. Available www.npl.org
Newark Public Schools. Available www.nps.k12.nj.us
The Star-Ledger. Available www.nj.com/news/ledger
Cunningham, John T., Newark (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1966)
Hayden, Thomas, Rebellion in Newark, Official Violence and Ghetto Response (by) Tom Hayden (New York: Random, 1967)
Immerso, Michael. Newark's Little Italy: The Vanished First Ward. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999)
Kukla, Barbara J., Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991)
Leary, Peter J., Newark, N.J. Illustrated: A Souvenir of the City and Its Numerous Industries (Newark: William A. Baker, 1893)
Shaw, William H., History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey (Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1884, 2 vols.)
Newark: Geography and Climate
Newark: Population Profile
Newark: Municipal Government
Newark: Education and Research
Newark: Health Care
Newark: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1666 (incorporated, 1836)
Head Official: Mayor Sharpe James (D) (since 1986; current term expires 2006)
2003 estimate: 277,911
Percent change, 1990–2000: -.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 46th
U.S. rank in 1990: 56th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 68th (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 6.1%
U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (NY–NJ CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (NY–NJ CMSA)
Area: 24.14 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 0 to 273.4 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 54° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 19.7 inches of rain; 27.6 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Financial services, distribution, wholesale and retail trade, services, publishing
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (NY–NJ MSA; February 2005)
Per Capita Income: $13,009 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 17,814
Major Colleges and Universities: Rutgers University-Newark Campus; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Seton Hall School of Law; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Essex County College
Daily Newspaper: The Star-Ledger
Approaching the City
Newark Liberty International Airport (NLIA), one of the world's busiest airports, annually serves more than 29 million passengers carried on more than 450,000 flights. About 60 scheduled airlines operate out of Newark. The International Arrivals Facility was completed in March 2002 and allows for efficient processing of 1,500 passengers per hour through Immigrations and Customs. Several of NLIA's terminals underwent modernization in recent times, with most of the multi-million dollar projects reaching fruition around 2002.
Approximately 450 trains arrive in and depart from Newark daily. Amtrak, Conrail, and PATH rail lines travel into Newark's recently renovated historic Penn Station. The PATH train connects downtown Newark with New York City. Interstate bus lines serving Newark include Greyhound and Trailways.
The major north-south route with access to Newark is Interstate 95, the New Jersey Turnpike. Routes from the north include Interstates 81 and 287, the Garden State Parkway, and the New York Thruway. From the west, Newark is approached by Interstates 78 and 80. Other major arteries include U.S. Highways 1, 9, and 22, and state highways 21, 24, 25, 27, 78, 82, and 280.
Traveling in the City
As is characteristic of the New York hub, traffic in Newark and on the freeways is heavy for a sizable portion of the workday. Many commuters rely on public transportation, which consists of rapid-rail cars and buses. New Jersey Transit operates 6,000 buses on 50 lines in Newark, serving more than 40,000 commuters. Beginning in 1993 and continuing through the year 2008, New Jersey Transit is spending $67.5 million to make community rail stations accessible to disabled riders. The Newark City Subway is a tourist attraction on its own—built in a former canal bed, the subway's old-fashioned trolley cars speed past walls covered with tile murals.
Newark's business district is adjacent to the Passaic River. The downtown area is divided into four neighborhoods, each with a special identity: Market Square, Four Corners, Military Park/The Greens, and Riverfront. Broad Street and Market Street intersect in the city center and run perpendicular to each other, providing a reference point for out-of-town travelers. The city is laid out on a fairly straightforward grid pattern.
Newark: Population Profile
Newark: Population Profile
Newark–Union PMSA Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 6.1%
U.S. rank in 1990: 1st (NY–NJ CMSA)
U.S. rank in 2000: 1st (NY–NJ CMSA)
2003 estimate: 277,911
Percent change, 1990–2000: -.6%
U.S. rank in 1990: 56th (State rank: 1st)
U.S. rank in 2000: 68th (State rank: 1st)
Density: 11,495 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 146,250
American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,005
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 135
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 80,622
Percent of residents born in state: 50.7% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 21,293
Population 5 to 9 years old: 22,243
Population 10 to 14 years old: 20,909
Population 15 to 19 years old: 21,056
Population 20 to 24 years old: 24,014
Population 25 to 34 years old: 46,144
Population 35 to 44 years old: 41,322
Population 45 to 54 years old: 29,949
Population 55 to 59 years old: 11,376
Population 60 to 64 years old: 9,934
Population 65 to 74 years old: 14,485
Population 75 to 84 years old: 8,099
Population 85 years and over: 2,722
Median age: 30.8
Total number: 4,606
Total number: 2,354 (of which, 47 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $13,009
Median household income: $26,913
Total households: 91,366
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 11,487
$10,000 to $14,999: 4,852
$15,000 to $24,999: 9,692
$25,000 to $34,999: 8,459
$35,000 to $49,999: 9,263
$50,000 to $74,999: 10,167
$75,000 to $99,999: 4,812
$100,000 to $149,999: 2,684
$150,000 to $199,999: 560
$200,000 or more: 573
Percent of families below poverty level: 25.5% (27.6% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 17,814
Newark: Convention Facilities
Newark: Convention Facilities
Newark is part of the area known as Metro New Jersey Meadowlands, one of the state's busiest meeting and convention destinations; its popularity is due in part to its proximity to the attractions of Manhattan.
Downtown Newark offers the renovated 253-room Hilton Gateway Hotel, with 9,700 square feet of exhibition space, seven meeting rooms and a ballroom that can accommodate 350 people. The Gateway renewal program provided enclosed skywalks connecting Gateway projects directly to Penn Station. Other Newark convention activity focuses on Newark International Airport, where a number of nationally-known hotels offering meeting and sleeping space are located, including the 591-room Newark Airport Marriott with 20 meeting rooms and 13,200 feet of meeting space. In all, there are about 3,200 sleeping rooms at the airport hotels.
Within the Gateway Region of northern New Jersey, there are two dedicated convention centers—the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center at the Raritan Center is located in Edison and offers 150,000 square feet of exhibit space, making it New Jersey's largest venue. The facility is equipped to handle anything from banquets to trade shows and is wired for all audio-visual devices. Food service is available. At the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, conferences and trade shows are accommodated in 61,000 square feet of exhibition space, supplemented with additional meeting rooms and a banquet facility that can seat 5,000. The MEC provides two drive-doors for offloading of equipment and is conveniently located near Newark Liberty International Airport.