Located in Essex County, Newark is New Jersey’s largest city in by population and second-largest city in the New York metropolitan area, located eight miles west of Manhattan. Newark offers every form of transportation with air, water, roadway, rail (including the NY/NJ PATH train), and bike paths.
The city has a total area of 26.107 square miles. It is surrounded by residential suburbs to the west, the Passaic River and Newark Bay to the east, urban areas in the south and southwest, and middle-class suburbs and industrial areas on the north side. It is the second-most racially diverse city in the state of New Jersey, divided into five political wards with very distinct types of neighborhoods. One of its most famous is The Ironbound, home to a large Portuguese/Brazilian population, with great restaurants.
Port Newark is the major container shipping terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Newark is also famous for Newark-Liberty International Airport, the first municipal commercial airport in the United States; it continues to be one of the busiest today.
Several major companies are headquartered in Newark including Prudential Financial, Panasonic Corporation of North America, and PSEG. Newark is also the home of the Prudential Center where fans gather to support their New Jersey Devils hockey team and attend concerts. In addition are the world-class New Jersey Performing Arts Center (home of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the New Jersey State Opera, and a major live theatre and concert venue), and The Newark Museum, the largest in New Jersey.
Newark is also home to higher education: Rutgers University–Newark (including the law school and medical school), the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University’s Law School, a Berkeley College campus, and the main campus of Essex County College. More than 50,000 students and faculty attend these schools.
Life in Newark, NJ
The city’s population is approximately 281,800 with a median household income of about $34,000. The median home price is $235,000 with many single- and multi-family homes available on the market as the city continues to grow and develop.
Beautiful Branch Brook Park in Newark is the oldest county park in the United States. This park is famous for its thousands of cherry blossom trees—the largest display in the country that surpasses the one in Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin.
The affluent Forest Hill section, which contains the Forest Hill Historic District, (registered on state and national historic registers) has many older mansions and colonial homes. Residential towers with security guards and secure parking line Mt. Prospect Avenue in this neighborhood. Weequahic, where author Philip Roth grew up, is home to Olmsted-designed Weequahic Park and a rich history.
More than 100,000 people commute daily to Newark for their jobs in insurance, health care, finance, and government. It is a major courthouse venue (federal, state, county) and has approximately 1,000 law firms in the area. Other employers are five hospitals.
The Newark public school district is the largest and one of the oldest in New Jersey, with its origins dating back to 1676. It has 66 schools and a student population of around 35,500 throughout all its wards. There are schools that serve students with special needs as well as alternative education schools and charter schools such as Fast Track, Newark Bridges HS, Newark Leadership Academy, Newark Innovation Academy, North Star Academy, and Newark Evening HS.
There are also three private high schools: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Christ The King Prep, and Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School. Newark also offers excellent children’s choirs for students.