What You Need To Know
Newark is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation’s major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 277,140 in 2010, making it the nation’s 67th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000. Newark is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area, located approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of lower Manhattan.
Settled in 1666 by Puritans from New Haven Colony, Newark is one of the oldest European cities in the United States. Its location at the mouth of the Passaic River (where it flows into Newark Bay), has made the city’s waterfront an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Today, Port Newark-Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast. In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.
Several leading companies have their headquarters in Newark, including Prudential, PSEG, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Audible.com, IDT Corporation, and Manischewitz. A number of important higher education institutions are also in the city, including the Newark campus of Rutgers University (which includes law and medical schools and the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies); the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Seton Hall University’s law school. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sits in the city as well. Local cultural venues include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall, The Prudential Center and the Newark Museum.
Newark is divided into five political wards; the East, West, South, North and Central wards and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. Newark’s Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the United States and is home to the nation’s largest collection of cherry blossom trees, numbering over 5,000.
Population: 281,764 (2016)
Area: 67.62 km²
The United States dollar, code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar. American paper currency is issued in several denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The United States issues several denominations, with the most common being: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.
Newark lies in the transition between a humid subtropical and humid continental climate, with cold, damp winters and hot, humid summers. The January daily mean is 31.6 °F (−0.2 °C), and although temperatures below 10 °F (−12 °C) are to be expected in most years, sub-0 °F (−18 °C) readings are rare; conversely, some days may warm up to 50 °F (10 °C). The average seasonal snowfall is 29.5 inches (75 cm), though variations in weather patterns may bring sparse snowfall in some years and several major Nor’easters in others, with the heaviest 24-hour fall of 25.9 inches (66 cm) occurring on December 26, 1947. Spring and autumn in the area are generally unstable yet mild. The July daily mean is 77.4 °F (25.2 °C), and highs exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 27 days per year, not factoring in the oft-higher heat index.
The city receives precipitation ranging from 2.9 to 4.8 inches (74 to 122 mm) per month, usually falling on 8 to 12 days per month. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −14 °F (−26 °C) on February 9, 1934 to 108 °F (42 °C) on July 22, 2011.
In 2015, the most common non-English language spoken in Newark, NJ was Spanish. 29.3% of the overall population of Newark, NJ are native Spanish speakers. 7.02% speak Portuguese and 2.23% speak African Languages,
More than 100,000 people commute to Newark each workday, making it the state’s largest employment center with many white-collar jobs in insurance, finance, import-export, health-care, and government. As a major courthouse venue including federal, state, and county facilities, it is home to more than 1,000 law firms. The city is also a “college town”, with nearly 50,000 students attending the city’s universities and medical and law schools. Its airport, maritime port, rail facilities, and highway network make Newark the busiest transshipment hub on the East Coast in terms of volume.
Though Newark is not the industrial colossus of the past, the city does have a considerable amount of industry and light manufacturing. The southern portion of the Ironbound, also known as the Industrial Meadowlands, has seen many factories built since World War II, including a large Anheuser-Busch brewery that opened in 1951 and distributed 7.5 million barrels of beer in 2007. The service industry is also growing rapidly, replacing those in the manufacturing industry, which was once Newark’s primary economy. In addition, transportation has become a large business in Newark, accounting for more than 17,000 jobs in 2011.
Newark is one of nine cities in New Jersey designated as eligible for Urban Transit Hub Tax Credits by the state’s Economic Development Authority. Developers who invest a minimum of $50 million within 0.5 miles of a train station are eligible for pro-rated tax credit. After the election of Cory Booker, millions of dollars of public-private partnership investment were made in Downtown development but persistent underemployment continue to characterize many of the city’s neighborhoods. Poverty remains a consistent problem in Newark. As of 2010, roughly one-third of the city’s population was impoverished.
Newark is the third-largest insurance center in the United States, after New York City and Hartford. The Prudential Financial, Mutual Benefit Life, Fireman’s Insurance, and American Insurance Company all originated in the city. The first, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, has its “home office in Newark. Many other companies are headquartered in the city, including IDT Corporation, NJ Transit, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), Manischewitz, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey. and Audible.com. In 2013 Panasonic moved its North American headquarters to a new 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) office building.
Portions of Newark are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.
While for years Newark was a food desert with a dearth of supermarkets, several new ones have opened or are planning to open since 2000, including a ShopRite supermarket and the upscale Whole Foods.
Newark is home to five hospitals. University Hospital, an independent institution that is a teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, has been the busiest Level I trauma center in the state. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is the largest hospital in the city and is a part of Barnabas Health, the state’s largest system of hospital and health care facilities. Beth Israel is also one of the oldest hospitals in the city, dating back to 1901. This 669-bed regional facility is also home to the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. Catholic Health East operates Saint Michael’s Medical Center. Columbus Hospital LTACH is a longterm acute care hospital designed to focus on patients with serious and complex medical conditions that require intense specialized treatment for an extended period of recovery time. Hospitals which have been closed in recent years include the Saint James Hospital, Mount Carmel Guild Hospital and the United Hospitals Medical Center.
New Jersey Transit operates an extensive bus system in the city and its suburbs. The Newark City Light Rail runs two lines, both originating at Penn Station. The City Subway Line (shown on maps as the blue line) has service to University Heights, Branch Brook Park and neighboring Bloomfield. The Broad Street Line (orange on maps) operates through downtown, linking Newark Penn Station and Newark Broad Street Station.
Taxis in Newark are metered, but often a price can be negotiated. Downtown one can hail a cab, but elsewhere a phone call may be needed.