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After a peak population of 316,715 measured in the 1930 census, the city's population saw a half-century-long decline to 223,532 in the 1980 census. Since then, the city's population has rebounded, with the 2010 population reflecting an increase of 7,542 (+3.1%) from the 240,055 counted in the 2000 census, which had in turn increased by 11,518 (+5.0%) from the 228,537 counted in the 1990 census.
The land comprising what is now Jersey City was inhabited by the Lenape, a collection of tribes (later called Delaware Indian). In 1609, Henry Hudson, seeking an alternate route to East Asia, anchored his small vessel Halve Maen (English: Half Moon) at Sandy Hook, Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove, and elsewhere along what was later named the North River. After spending nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants, he sailed as far north as Albany. The contemporary flag of the city is a variation on the Prince's Flag from the Netherlands. The stripes are blue, white and yellow, with the center of the flag showing the city seal, depicting Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, and other modern vessels.
By 1621, the Dutch West India Company was organized to manage this new territory and in June 1623, New Netherland became a Dutch province, with headquarters in New Amsterdam. Michael Reyniersz Pauw received a land grant as patroon on the condition that he would establish a settlement of not fewer than fifty persons within four years. He chose the west bank of the North River (Hudson River) and purchased the land from the Lenape. This grant is dated November 22, 1630, and is the earliest known conveyance for what are now Hoboken and Jersey City. Pauw, however, was an absentee landlord who neglected to populate the area and was obliged to sell his holdings back to the Company in 1633. That year, a house was built at Communipaw for Jan Evertsen Bout, superintendent of the colony, which had been named Pavonia (the Latinized form of Pauw's name, which means "peacock"). Shortly after, another house was built at Harsimus Cove and became the home of Cornelius Van Vorst, who had succeeded Bout as superintendent, and whose family would become influential in the development of the city. Relations with the Lenape deteriorated, in part because of the colonialist's mismanagement and misunderstanding of the indigenous people, and led to series of raids and reprisals and the virtual destruction of the settlement on the west bank. During Kieft's War, approximately eighty Lenapes were killed by the Dutch in a massacre at Pavonia on the night of February 25, 1643.
Scattered communities of farmsteads characterized the Dutch settlements at Pavonia: Communipaw, Harsimus, Paulus Hook, Hoebuck, Awiehaken, Pamrapo, and other lands "behind Kill van Kull". The village of Bergen (located inside a palisaded garrison) was established on what is now Bergen Square in 1660 and officially chartered on September 5, 1661 as the state's first local civil government. As a result, it is regarded as the first permanent settlement and oldest municipality in what would become the state of New Jersey. In addition, the oldest surviving houses in Jersey City are of Dutch origin including the Newkirk House (1690), the Van Vorst Farmhouse (1740), and the Van Wagenen House (1742).
During the American Revolutionary War, the area was in the hands of the British who controlled New York. In the Battle of Paulus Hook, Major Light Horse Harry Lee successfully attacked a British fortification on August 19, 1779, which was the catalyst for the British losing control of what is now modern New Jersey. The battle itself took place within what is present-day Jersey City.
In 1804, Alexander Hamilton, now a private citizen, was focused on increasing manufacturing in the greater New York City area. To that end, he helped to create the Associates of the Jersey Company which would lay the groundwork for modern Jersey City through private development. The consortium behind the company were predominantly Federalists who, like Hamilton, had been swept out of power in the election of 1800 by Thomas Jefferson and other Democratic-Republicans. Large tracts of land in Paulus Hook were purchased by the company with the titles owned by Anthony Dey, who was from a prominent old Dutch family, and his two cousins, Colonel Richard Varick, the former mayor of New York City (1789 - 1801), and Jacob Radcliff, a Justice of the New York Supreme Court who would later become mayor of New York City (twice) from 1810 to 1811 and again from 1815 - 1818. They laid out the city squares and streets that still characterize the neighborhood, giving them names also seen in Lower Manhattan or after war heroes (Grove, Varick, Mercer, Wayne, Monmouth and Montgomery among them).
Despite Hamilton's untimely death in August 1804, the Association carried on, though the enterprise was mired in a legal dispute between New York City and the state of New Jersey over who owned the waterfront. The unresolved dispute would continue until the Treaty of 1834 where New York City formally ceded control of Jersey City to New Jersey. Over that time though, the Jersey Company applied to the New Jersey Legislature to incorporate the Town of Jersey. The legislature enacted "An Act to incorporate the City of Jersey, in the County of Bergen" on January 28, 1820. Under the provision, five freeholders (including Varick, Dey, and Radcliff) were to be chosen as "the Board of Selectmen of Jersey City," thereby establishing the first governing body of the emerging municipality. The city was reincorporated on January 23, 1829, and again on February 22, 1838, at which time it became completely independent of North Bergen and was given its present name. On February 22, 1840, it became part of the newly created Hudson County.
Panorama of Jersey City in 1854
During the 19th century, former slaves reached Jersey City on one of the four routes of the Underground Railroad that led to the city.
Soon after the Civil War, the idea arose of uniting all of the towns of Hudson County east of the Hackensack River into one municipality. A bill was approved by the state legislature on April 2, 1869, with a special election to be held on October 5, 1869. An element of the bill provide that only contiguous towns could be consolidated. While a majority of the voters across the county approved the merger, the only municipalities that had approved the consolidation plan and that adjoined Jersey City were Hudson City and Bergen City. The consolidation began on March 17, 1870, taking effect on May 3, 1870. Three years later the present outline of Jersey City was completed when Greenville agreed to merge into the Greater Jersey City.
In the late 1880s, three passenger railroad terminals opened in Jersey City next to the Hudson River (Pavonia Terminal,Exchange Place and Communipaw). Tens of millions of immigrants passed through these stations as they made their way westward from Ellis Island into the United States. The railroads transformed the geography of the city by building the Erie Cut as well as several large freight rail yards. The railroads became and would remain the largest employers in Jersey City into and during the early 20th century.
20th and 21st centuries
Jersey City was a dock and manufacturing town for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Much like New York City, Jersey City has always been a destination for new immigrants to the United States. In its heyday before World War II, German, Irish, and Italian immigrants found work at Colgate, Chloro or Dixon Ticonderoga. In 1908, the first permanent disinfection system for drinking water in the U.S. was installed on the water supply for the city by John L. Leal. The Hudson Tubes opened in 1911, allowing passengers to take the train to Manhattan as an alternative to the extensive ferry system. The Black Tom explosion occurred on July 30, 1916, as an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the materials from being used by the Allies in World War I.
From 1917 to 1947, Jersey City was governed by Mayor Frank Hague. Originally elected as a candidate supporting reform in governance, the Jersey City History website says his name is "synonymous with the early twentieth century urban American blend of political favoritism and social welfare known as bossism". Hague ran the city with an iron fist while, at the same time, molding governors, United States senators, and judges to his whims. Boss Hague was known to be loud and vulgar, but dressed in a stylish manner, earning him the nickname "King Hanky-Panky". In his later years in office, Hague would often dismiss his enemies as "reds" or "commies". Hague lived like a millionaire, despite having an annual salary that never exceeded $8,500. He was able to maintain a fourteen-room duplex apartment in Jersey City, a suite at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, and a palatial summer home in the seaside community of Deal, and travel to Europe yearly in the royal suites of the best ocean liners.
After Hague's retirement from politics, a series of mayors including John V. Kenny, Thomas J. Whelan and Thomas F. X. Smith attempted to take control of Hague's organization, usually under the mantle of political reform. None were able to duplicate the level of power held by Hague, but the city and the county remained notorious for political corruption for years. By the 1970s the city experienced a period of urban decline that saw many of its wealthy residents leave for the suburbs, due to rising crime, civil unrest, political corruption, and economic hardship. From 1950 to 1980, Jersey City lost 75,000 residents, and from 1975 to 1982, it lost 5,000 jobs, or 9% of its workforce.
Beginning in the 1980s, development of the waterfront in an area previously occupied by rail yards and factories helped to stir the beginnings of a renaissance for Jersey City. The rapid construction of numerous high-rise buildings increased the population and led to the development of the Exchange Place financial district, also known as "Wall Street West", one of the largest financial centers in the United States. Large financial institutions such as UBS, Goldman Sachs, Chase Bank, Citibank, and Merrill Lynch occupy prominent buildings on the Jersey City waterfront, some of which are among the tallest buildings in New Jersey. Simultaneous to this building boom, the light-rail network was developed. With 18,000,000 square feet (1,700,000 m2) of office space as of 2011, it has the nation's 12th-largest downtown.
City Ordinance 13.097, passed in October 2013, requires employers with ten or more employees to offer up to five paid sick days a year. The bill impacts all businesses employing workers who work at least 80 hours a calendar year in Jersey City.
View of Jersey City from the northwest. Lower Manhattan is in the background.
Jersey City (and most of Hudson County) is located on the peninsula known as Bergen Neck, with a waterfront on the east at the Hudson River and New York Bay and on the west at the Hackensack River and Newark Bay. Its north-south axis corresponds with the ridge of Bergen Hill, the emergence of the Hudson Palisades. The city is the site of some of the earliest European settlements in North America, which grew into each other rather than expanding from a central point. This growth and the topography greatly influenced the development of the sections of the city and its various neighborhoods.
Historic Downtown is an area of mostly low-rise buildings to the west of the waterfront that is highly desirable due to its proximity to local amenities and Manhattan. It includes the neighborhoods of Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park, which are both square parks surrounded by brownstones. This historic downtown also includes Paulus Hook, the Village and Harsimus Cove neighborhoods. Newark Avenue & Grove Street, are the main thoroughfares in Downtown Jersey City, both have seen a lot of development and the surrounding neighborhoods have many stores and restaurants. The Grove StreetPATH station is in the process of being renovated and a number of new residential buildings are being built around the stop, including a proposed 50-story building at 90 Columbus. Historic Downtown is home to many cultural attractions including the Jersey City Museum, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse (planned to become a museum and artist housing) and the Harsimus Stem Embankment along Sixth Street, which a citizens' movement is working to turn into public parkland that would be modeled after the High Line in Manhattan.
Newport and Exchange Place are redeveloped waterfront areas consisting mostly of residential towers, hotels and office buildings that are among the tallest buildings in the city. Newport is a planned mixed-use community, built on the old Erie Lackawanna Railway yards, made up of residential rental towers, condominiums, office buildings, a marina, schools, restaurants, hotels, Newport Centre Mall, a waterfront walkway, transportation facilities, and on-site parking for more than 15,000 vehicles. Newport had a hand in the renaissance of Jersey City although, before ground was broken, much of the downtown area had already begun a steady climb (much like Hoboken).
In recent years, this area of Jersey City has undergone gentrification. Prior to the September 11 attacks Jersey City had three office towers over 100 meters tall. Since then, three more office towers and 10 residential buildings over 100 meters in height have been completed. In January 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration gave navigational clearance for construction of a 79-story, 900-foot (270 m) residential and commercial tower planned by the Chinese Overseas America Corporation, which would succeed the Goldman Sachs Tower, also in Downtown Jersey City, as the tallest skyscraper in New Jersey.
The Heights or Jersey City Heights is a district in the north end of Jersey City atop the New Jersey Palisades overlooking Hoboken to the east and Croxton in the Meadowlands to the west. Previously the city of Hudson City, The Heights was incorporated into Jersey City in 1869. The southern border of The Heights is generally considered to be north of Bergen Arches and The Divided Highway, while Paterson Plank Road in Washington Park is its main northern boundary. Transfer Station is just over the city line. Its postal area ZIP Code is 07307. The Heights mostly contains two- and three-family houses and low rise apartment buildings, and is similar to North Hudson architectural style and neighborhood character.
The Heights is home to several green spaces, including Riverview First Park, Leonard Gordon Park, Pershing Field Park, and Washington Park.
Journal Square is a mixed-use district. It takes its name from the newspaper Jersey Journal, whose headquarters were located there from 1911 to 2013. The square was created in 1923 when the city condemned and demolished the offices of the Jersey Journal, creating a broad intersection with Hudson Boulevard which itself had been widened in 1908.
Greenville is on the south end of Jersey City. In the 2010s, the neighborhood underwent a revitalization. Considered an affordable neighborhood in the New York City area, a number of Ultra-Orthodox Jews and young families purchased homes and built a substantial community there, attracted by housing that costs less than half of comparable homes in New York City. In a December 2019 shooting incident, three bystanders were killed in a kosher market in Greenville. The two assailants, who had earlier killed a police detective, were also shot and killed.
At the 2019 census estimate, Jersey City had a population of 262,075, up from 247,597 at the 2010 United States census. The population density was 17,954.6 persons per square mile. At the 2010 census, Jersey City experienced an increase of 7,542 residents (3.1%) from its 2000 census population of 240,055. Since it was believed the earlier population was under-counted, the 2010 census was anticipated with the possibility that Jersey City might become the state's most populated city, surpassing Newark. The city hired an outside firm to contest the results, citing the fact that development in the city between 2000 and 2010 substantially increased the number of housing units and that new populations may have been under-counted by as many as 30,000 residents based on the city's calculations. Preliminary findings indicated that 19,000 housing units went uncounted.
Per the American Community Survey's 2014-2018 estimates, Jersey City's age distribution was 7.7% of the population under 5, 13.2% between 6-18, 69% - from 19 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age 34.2 years. Females made up 50.8% of the population and there were 100.1 males per 100 females. 86.5% of the population graduated high school, while 44.9% of the population had a bachelor's degree or higher. 7.1% of residents under 65 were disabled, while 15.9% of residents live without health insurance.
There were 110,801 housing units and 102,353 households in 2018. The average household size was 2.57. The average per capita income was $36,453, and the median household income was $62,739. 18.7% of residents lived below the poverty line. 67.9% of residents 16+ were within the civilian labor force. The mean travel time to work for residents was 36.8 minutes. 28.6% of housing units are owner-occupied, with the median value of the homes being $344,200. The median gross rent in the city was $1,271.
There were an estimated 55,493 non-Hispanic whites in Jersey City, according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, representing a 4.2% increase from 53,236 non-Hispanic whites enumerated in the 2010 United States census. Many non-Hispanic whites have settled in the newer developments in the Newport and Exchange Place neighborhoods along the Jersey City waterfront.
Ever since the settling of New Netherland in the 1600s, comprising what is now the Gateway Region of northeastern New Jersey as well as portions of Downstate New York in the New York City metropolitan area, the Dutch and British, along with German and Irish Americans, have established an integral role in the subsequent long-term development of Jersey City over the centuries. In 2012 the opening of The French American Academy downtown Jersey City has generated an inflow of French and European settlers from in-state and out-of-state as well as overseas origin.
An estimated 63,788 African Americans resided in Jersey City, or 24.0% of the city's population in 2017, representing a slight decrease from 64,002 African Americans enumerated in the 2010 United States census. This is in contrast with Hudson County overall, where there were an estimated 84,114 African Americans, according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, representing a 2.3% increase from 83,925 African Americans enumerated in the county in the 2010 United States census. However, modest growth in the African immigrant population, most notably the growing Nigerian American and Kenyan American populations in Jersey City, is partially offsetting the decline in the city's American-born black population, which as a whole has been experiencing an exodus from northern New Jersey to the Southern United States. Approximately 76,637 Latino and Hispanic Americans lived in Jersey City, composing 28.8% of the population in 2017, representing a 12.3% increase from 68,256 Latino or Hispanic Americans enumerated in the 2010 United States census. Immigrants from South America, led by Ecuador, are a growing component of Jersey City's population.Stateside Puerto Ricans, making up a third of the city's Latin American or Hispanic population, constituted the largest Hispanic group in Jersey City. While Cuban Americans are not as highly concentrated in Jersey City as they are in northern Hudson County, Jersey City has hosted the annual Cuban Parade and Festival of New Jersey at Exchange Place on its downtown waterfront since it was established in 2001.
An estimated 67,526 Asian Americans live in Jersey City, constituting 25.4% of the city's population, representing a 15.2% increase from 58,595 Asian Americans enumerated in the 2010 United States census.
India Square, also known as "Little India" or "Little Bombay", home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere, is a rapidly growing Indian Americanethnic enclave in Jersey City. Indian Americans constituted 10.9% of the overall population of Jersey City in 2010, the highest proportion of any major U.S. city. India Square has been home to the largest outdoor Navratri festivities in New Jersey as well as several Hindutemples; while an annual, color-filled spring Holifestival has taken place in Jersey City since 1992, centered upon India Square and attracting significant participation and international media attention. In 2017 there were an estimated 31,578 Indian Americans in Jersey City, representing a 16.5% increase from 27,111 Indian Americans enumerated in the 2010 United States census.
Filipino grocery store in Jersey City
Filipino Americans, with 16,610 residents, made up 6.2% of Jersey City's population. The Five Corners district is home to a thriving Filipino community and Jersey City's Little Manila, which is the second-largest Asian American subgroup in the city. A variety of Filipino restaurants, shippers and freighters, doctors' officers, bakeries, stores, and an office of The Filipino Channel have made Newark Avenue their home. The largest Filipino-owned grocery store on the East Coast of the United States, Phil-Am Food, has been there since 1973. An array of Filipino-owned businesses can also be found at the section of West Side of Jersey City, where many of its residents are of Filipino descent. In 2006, a Red Ribbon pastry shop, one of the Philippines' most famous food chains, opened its first branch on the East Coast in the Garden State.Manila Avenue in Downtown Jersey City was named for the Philippine capital city because of the many Filipinos who built their homes on this street during the 1970s. A memorial, dedicated to the Filipino American veterans of the Vietnam War, was built in a small square on Manila Avenue. A park and statue dedicated to Jose P. Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines, is located in downtown Jersey City. Jersey City is the host of the annual Philippine-American Friendship Day Parade, an event that occurs yearly in June, on its last Sunday. The City Hall of Jersey City raises the Philippine flag in correlation to this event and as a tribute to the contributions of the Filipino community. The Santacruzan Procession along Manila Avenue has taken place since 1977.
Behind English and Spanish, Tagalog is the third-most-common language spoken in Jersey City.
New Jersey's largest Vietnamese American population resides in Jersey City. There were an estimated 1,813 Vietnamese Americans in Jersey City, according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, representing a 12.8% increase from 1,607 Vietnamese Americans enumerated in the 2010 United States census.
Eastern religions including Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism made up 1.5% of the city's religious demographic, and Judaism is the fourth largest religious community in Jersey City (0.6%). Jersey City has a growing Orthodox Jewish population, centered in the Greenville neighborhood.
Wall Street West in 2010
Jersey City is a regional employment center with over 100,000 private and public sector jobs, which creates a daytime swell in population. Many jobs are in the financial and service sectors, as well as in shipping, logistics, and retail.
Jersey City's tax base grew by $136 million in 2017, giving Jersey City the largest municipal tax base in the State of New Jersey. As part of a 2017 revaluation, the city's property tax base is expected to increase from $6.2 billion to $26 billion.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ). Jersey City was selected in 1983 as one of the initial group of 10 zones chosen to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6.625% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in November 1992, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in November 2023. About one third of Jersey City is included in the state's largest Urban Enterprise Zone.
The central area of the facility contains GCT Bayonne, a major post-panamax shipping facility operated by Global Container Terminals that underwent a major expansion in June 2014. The largest ship ever to call at the Port of New York-New Jersey, the MOL Benefactor, docked at Port Jersey in July 2016 after sailing from China through the newly widened Panama Canal.
Goya Foods, which had been headquartered in adjacent Secaucus, opened a new headquarters including a 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m2) warehouse and distribution center in Jersey City in April 2015.
In 2014, Paul Fireman proposed a 95-story tower for Jersey City that would have included a casino. The project, which was endorsed by Mayor Steve Fulop, would cost an estimated $4.6 billion. In February 2014, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney argued that Jersey City, among other distressed cities, could benefit from a casino--were construction of one outside of Atlantic City eventually permitted by New Jersey.
Art and culture
Statue of Liberty
Based upon a 2011 survey of census data on the number of artists as a percentages of the population, The Atlantic magazine called Jersey City the 10th-most-artistic city in the United States.
The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, one of the five Loew's Wonder Theatres constructed in the 1920s and the only one located outside of New York City, is located in Journal Square. Currently presenting classic films, live performances, and events while the theatre undergoes restoration by volunteers.
Morgan Branch Library, home of the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum
The Jersey City Free Public Library has a Main Library and nine branches, some of which have permanent collections and host exhibitions. At the Main Library, the New Jersey Room contains historical archives and photos. The Morgan Branch is home to the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum. The Five Corners Branch specializes in works related to music and the fine arts, and is a gallery space. The library system also includes a Bookmobile.
The American poet Wallace Stevens described the city as a place where "the deer and the dachshund are one."
City Hall, on Grove Street
Jersey City is governed under the Faulkner Act (mayor-council) form of municipal government. The city is one of 42 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form of government. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the nine-member City Council. The city council is comprised of six members elected from wards and three elected at-large, all elected to concurrent four-year terms on a non-partisan basis as part of the November general election.
As of 2020[update], the mayor is Steven Fulop, whose term of office ends December 31, 2021. Members of the City Council are Council President Rolando R. Lavarro Jr., Richard Boggiano (Ward C - Journal Square), Mira Prinz-Arey (Ward B - West Side), Denise Ridley (Ward A - Greenville), Daniel Rivera (at large), Jermaine D. Robinson (Ward F - Bergen/Lafayette), Yousef J. Saleh (Ward D - The Heights; appointed to serve an unexpired term), James Solomon (Ward E - Downtown) and Joyce Watterman (at large), all of whom are serving concurrent terms of office that end December 31, 2021.
In April 2020, Yousef J. Saleh was appointed to fill the Ward D seat that became vacant following the death earlier that month of Michael Yun from complications related to COVID-19; Saleh will serve on an interim basis until the November 2020 general election, when voters will choose a candidate to serve the balance of the term of office.
The Business Administrator is Brian Platt. The City Clerk is Robert Byrne.
As of March 23, 2011, there was a total of 120,229 registered voters in Jersey City, of whom 58,194 (48.4%) were registered as Democrats, 7,655 (6.4%) were registered as Republicans, and 54,293 (45.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 87 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 85.5% of the vote (64,052 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 13.5% (10,120 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (751 votes), among the 75,506 ballots cast by the city's 133,197 registered voters (583 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 56.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 81.8% of the vote (65,780 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 16.8% (13,529 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (584 votes), among the 80,381 ballots cast by the city's 139,158 registered voters, for a turnout of 57.8%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 74.5% of the vote (52,979 ballots cast), out polling Republican George W. Bush with 22.8% (16,216 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (559 votes), among the 71,130 ballots cast by the city's 119,723 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 59.4.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 66.5% of the vote (20,421 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 31.8% (9,784 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (514 votes), among the 32,347 ballots cast by the city's 139,265 registered voters (1,628 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 23.2%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 76.2% of the vote (29,817 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 18.7% (7,336 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 3.2% (1,263 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (371 votes), among the 39,143 ballots cast by the city's 120,269 registered voters, yielding a 32.5% turnout.
Jersey City Fire Department - JCFD has 550 uniformed firefighters operating out of 14 stations Jersey City is a member of the Metro USAR Strike Team, which is composed of nine north Jersey fire departments.
Jersey City Medical Center Emergency Medical Services
Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) dates back to the appointment of watchmen in 1829.
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School was the first-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked second in 2008 out of 316 schools. and was selected as 41st best high school in the United States in Newsweek magazine's national 2011 survey. William L. Dickinson High School is the oldest high school in the city and one of the largest schools in Hudson County in terms of student population. Opened in 1906 as the Jersey City High School it is one of the oldest school sites in the city, it is a four-story Beaux-Arts building located on a hilltop facing the Hudson River. Liberty High School is the district's only high school that focuses on all academics.
Among Jersey City's elementary and middle schools is Academy I Middle School and Frank R. Conwell Middle School #4, which is part of the Academic Enrichment Program for Gifted Students. Another school is Alexander D. Sullivan P.S. #30, an ESL magnet school in the Greenville district, which serves nearly 800 Pre-k through 5th grade students.
Jersey City also has 12 charter schools, which are run under a special charter granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, including the Mathematics, Engineering, Technology and Science Charter School (for grades 6 - 12) and the Dr. Lena Edwards Charter School (for K-8), which were approved in January 2011. BelovED Community Charter School opened in 2012 and has purchased a half-acre parcel of land on Grand Street to make room for a new 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2), $12 million middle school building designed to serve 240 students in sixth through ninth grades.
In the face of declining enrollment and rising expenses, the Newark Archdiocese closed Our Lady of Mercy Academy (founded in 1964) and Resurrection School at the end of the 2012-13 school year. St. Anne School closed at the end of the 2011-12 school year after 112 years, as enrollment declined from 700 students in 1976 to 240 in 2010-11 and 188 in the school's final year of operation.
Other private schools
Other private high schools in Jersey City include First Christian Pentecostal Academy and Stevens Cooperative School.Kenmare High School is operated through the York Street Project as part of an effort to reduce rates of poverty in households headed by women, through a program that offers small class sizes, individualized learning and development of life skills. The French American Academy, located in the century-old three-story building of the former St. Mary's High School, is a private bilingual school PK-3. A number of other private schools are also available. Genesis Educational Center is a private Christian school located in downtown Jersey City for ages newborn through 8th grade. The Jersey City Art School is a private art school located in downtown Jersey City for all ages.
WFMU 91.1FM (WMFU 90.1 FM in the Hudson Valley), the longest-running freeform radio station in the United States, moved to Jersey City in 1998.WSNR-620 AM is also licensed in the city. News 12 Networks has a television targeting the Jersey City and Newark areas.
Of all Jersey City commuters, 8.17% walk to work, and 46.62% take public transit. This is the second highest percentage of public transit riders of any city with a population of 100,000+ in the United States, behind only New York City and ahead of Washington, D.C. 40.67% of Jersey City households do not own an automobile, the second-highest of all cities in the United States with 50,000 to 250,000 residents.
In April 2012, the city initiated the Morris Canal Greenway Plan to investigate the establishment of a greenway, including a bicycle path, that would follow the route of the Morris Canal to the greatest extent possible. In the same month, the city established bikes lanes along the length Grove Street, originally meant to temporary. In December 2012, the city announced that Grove Street lanes would become permanent and that it would add an additional 54 miles (87 km) of both dedicated and shared bike lanes.
In 2013, the city simplified the application and reduced the cost for business and residences to install bike racks as well as making them obligatory for certain new construction projects.
Also in 2013, Hudson County had initiated exploration of a bike-share program. Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken intended to operate the program starting in 2014 but delayed the launch due to lack of sponsorship. The revamped program officially launched on September 21, 2015, as Citi Bike with membership working in Jersey City and New York City.
Jersey City has a high percentage of residents who commute without a car. In 2015, 40.1 percent of city Jersey City households were without a car, which decreased to 37.1 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Jersey City averaged 0.85 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8 per household.
^Jersey City: America's Golden Door, Jersey City Online. Accessed November 13, 2019. "Today, America is still the land of opportunity, and Jersey City represents the 'golden door' to that opportunity."
^"Jersey City: Wall Street West", Bloomberg Businessweek, October 29, 2011. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The nickname 'America's Golden Door' never really caught on. So Jersey City officials tried to tag their town 'Silicon Valley East'--then the Internet Revolution petered out. But the latest monicker for Manhattan's neighbor across the Hudson--'Wall Street West'--just might stick."
^Elliott, Stuart. "A New Effort From a 'New' Jersey City Urges, 'Make It Yours'", The New York Times, October 6, 2014. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The campaign carries the theme 'Make it yours', with the word 'yours' tilted for emphasis as if it was italicized. The theme is accompanied by a new logo that presents the 'C,' 't' and 'y' of 'City' in bold capital letters and the word "Jersey" on its side, taking the place of the 'i.'"
^Staff. Population and HousingArchived June 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. Accessed November 12, 2012. "Although the 5% population growth in Jersey City during the 1990s was below growth in the rest of Hudson County, the state and the nation, it was a reversal of five decades of population decline. Between 1930 and 1980, the number of Jersey City residents had dropped by almost 30% from a peak of 316,715 persons in 1930 to 223,532 persons in 1980."
^Jersey City, New Jersey (U.S.), CRW Flags. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The three stripes of blue, white, and yellow are supposed to commemorate the colors of the Dutch, as Jersey City was located in the province of New Netherlands. However, the color yellow would more appropriately be orange, as blue, white, and orange were the colors in the Dutch national flag and its trading companies in the early 1600s. The sailing ship is the Half Moon, in which the explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609."
^Karnoutsos, Carmela. Summit House / Newkirk House, Jersey City Past and Present, New Jersey City University. Accessed November 13, 2019. "At a high point with a view of the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers, the Summit House, previously owned by the Newkirk family, is considered one of Jersey City's oldest buildings. It stands on the east side of Summit Avenue north of Sip Avenue outside of the original boundaries of the historic village of Bergen which was once populated by Dutch settlers.... The date of purchase is not known, but the date for construction of the building is about 1690, and it is known that Newkirk died in 1705."
^Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties) prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958, p. 78 - Extinct List.
^Strunsky, Steve. "Cities; Bright Lights, Big Retail", The New York Times, December 9, 2001. Accessed April 1, 2015. "Macy's has arrived on this former industrial shoreline. And with it, at least in retail terms, so has Jersey City.... While hardly Saks Fifth Avenue or even Neiman Marcus, Macy's is certainly the most upscale department store in this city, whose status as virtually a sixth borough of New York has become increasingly obvious as jobs jump across the Hudson, rents rise like skyscrapers and trendier residents look around for places to lighten their wallets."
^Holusha, John. "Commercial Property / The Jersey Riverfront; On the Hudson's West Bank, Optimistic Developers", The New York Times, October 11, 1998. Accessed August 22, 2018. "'That simply is out of the question in midtown,' he said, adding that some formerly fringe areas in Midtown South that had previously been available were filled up as well. Given that the buildings on the New Jersey waterfront are new and equipped with the latest technology and just a few stops on the PATH trains from Manhattan, they become an attractive alternative. 'It's the sixth borough', he said."
^Hampson, Rick. "Model of urban future: Jersey City?", USA Today, April 16, 2007. Accessed December 21, 2011. "This was the former Jersey City Medical Center, a cluster of Art Deco buildings on a rise in the center of the city, far from the booming waterfront. Now the medical center was becoming The Beacon condominium complex, one of the nation's largest historic renovation projects."
^Ojutiku, Mak. "Jersey City opens new $38M Berry Lane Park", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, June 27, 2016, updated January 16, 2019. Accessed November 13, 2019. "Mayor Steve Fulop and city officials held a grand opening ceremony Saturday for the city's first new municipal park in decades, Berry Lane Park, the largest open park owned by the city. To further commemorate the opening of the $38 million, 17.5-acre recreational area, the Bergen-Lafayette park between Garfield Avenue and Woodward Street was the location of a family day festival, which was attended by hundreds of residents on Saturday."
^McDonald, Terrence T. "Jersey City development boom reaching new heights", The Jersey Journal, March 13, 2015. Accessed March 16, 2016. "Later in the year, 70 Columbus -- which features 545 rental units, 20,000 square feet of commercial space adjacent to the Grove Street PATH station -- is expected to be completed, while construction on its sister tower, 90 Columbus, which will have 630 units in 50 stories, should begin by December."
^Haddon, Heather. "Embankment Deal Stalls", The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2012. Accessed March 16, 2016. "A deal to turn an abandoned elevated railway in Jersey City into a park in the spirit of Manhattan's High Line has hit a roadblock, with one of the parties involved balking on a settlement proposed to resolve the decadelong dispute."
^McDonald, Terrence T. "Plans for N.J.'s new tallest tower get federal OK", The Jersey Journal, January 12, 2016. Accessed January 14, 2016. "China Oversea America is behind the project, which is set to include 781 condo units. Originally planned to rise 950 feet and include 95 stories, the newest plans have it topping out at 900 feet and 79 stories."
^The Heights, Jersey City Redevelopment Agency. Accessed December 21, 2011.
^Berger, Joseph. "Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York", The New York Times, August 2, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2019. "Jersey City - To the gentrifying stew of bankers, artists and college graduates who are transforming this once blue-collar city across the Hudson River from Manhattan, add an unexpected flavor. In a heavily African-American neighborhood, 62 families from a number of Hasidic sects based in Brooklyn and rarely seen here have bought a scattering of faded but roomy wood-frame rowhouses whose prices are less than half what homes of similar size would cost in New York - roughly $300,000 compared with $800,000."
^McDonald, Terrence T. "Jersey City paying consultant $25,000 to challenge Census count", The Jersey Journal, June 16, 2011. Accessed July 8, 2015. "Jersey City is spending $25,000 to hire an outside consultant to help it challenge recent U.S. Census figures that city officials believe underestimate the city's total population.... The city feels it has been undercounted by as many as 30,000 residents, said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill."
^ abWirstiuk, Laryssa. "Neighborhood Spotlight: Journal Square"Archived June 30, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Jersey City Independent, April 21, 2014. Accessed July 3, 2018. "India Square, for example, is situated between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Tonnelle Avenue on Newark Ave., and is home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere."
^Rogoza, Rafal. "Thousands of colorful revelers partake in 21st Annual Phagwah Parade in Jersey City", The Jersey Journal, March 30, 2013, updated March 31, 2013. Accessed July 6, 2015. "The 29-year-old Princeton Avenue resident was one of the thousands of people who descended on Lincoln Park in Jersey City this afternoon for the 21st Annual Phagwah Parade and Holi Hai Day festivities, a colorful Hindu spring harvest tradition that is celebrated by revelers who playfully shower each other with various colors of organic powder."
^Timeline, Filipino-Americans in Jersey City. Accessed June 28, 2017.
^Silvestre, Edmund M. "Phil-Am Food's future is now", Filipino Reporter, March 2, 2014. Accessed November 14, 2016. "For four decades now, Phil-Am Food, the largest Filipino-owned grocery store on the U.S. East Coast, has served as a bastion of vibrant Filipino community here as it consistently provides patrons a sense of being 'back home' with its extensive array of Philippine food products no other Pinoy store in this coast can match."
^Nash, Margo. "Jersey Footlights", The New York Times, May 1, 2005. Accessed August 22, 2018. "The Knights made an agreement five years ago with Bret Schundler, who was mayor then, allowing them to lease a street corner at Columbus Drive and Brunswick Street for 20 years at $1 a year to build tiny Rizal Park with a statue of Rizal (1861-1896). The city paid for the upkeep, the Knights paid for the monument and insurance. Each year since then the Knights have held ceremonies at the park on June 19 to mark Rizal's birth."
^Stirling, Stephen. ""The 44 N.J. towns where English is not the dominant language", NJ Adavance Media for NJ.com, November 14, 2016. Accessed November 14, 2016. "When divided up by language, rather than region, a clearer picture emerges of the patchwork of immigrant communities represented in Jersey City. While English and Spanish are the two main languages spoken here, Tagalog, a Filipino dialect, is third.
^Staff. "Where do gay couples live in New Jersey?", Out in Jersey, March 16, 2014. Accessed July 18, 2017. "Essex County leads with the most same-sex couples households at 2,819 with Hudson County close behind at 2,726."
^ abSandy Recovery Strategic Planning Report A Strategic Plan for ResilienceArchived July 12, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, City of Jersey City, August 2014. Accessed July 18, 2017. "Jersey City is home to a waterfront regional employment center known as 'Wall Street West,' with 13.3 million square feet of Class A office space located in flood zones. It also has a major shipping port, and sizable manufacturing, wholesale, retail and service sectors. It is an economic engine for the state, and its daytime population swells with visitors and jobs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 108,914 public and private sector jobs in Jersey City at the beginning of the second quarter in 2011."
^Urban Enterprise ZoneArchived October 24, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Jersey City Economic Development Corporation. Accessed January 9, 2018. "One-third of Jersey City is designated as Urban Enterprise Zone. The Jersey City Urban Enterprise Zone is the largest and most productive UEZ in New Jersey."
^Berger, Paul. "Mega-ship's arrival in Bayonne a sign of the future", The Record, July 8, 2016, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 10, 2016. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The largest ship ever to call at the Port of New York and New Jersey docked this week after sailing from China through the newly widened Panama Canal. The arrival of the MOL Benefactor at Bayonne's Global Container Terminals marks the beginning of what promises to be a succession of progressively larger ships calling at the busiest port on the East Coast."
^Morley, Hugh R. "Goya Foods opens new HQ-warehouse in Jersey City", The Record, April 29, 2015, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 21, 2015. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The state-of-the-art facility in Jersey City, which includes a 600,000-square-foot warehouse along with the headquarters, is the largest piece of what the company - generally considered to be the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the nation - says is a more than $500 million investment that will help Goya expand for years to come."
^Carroll, Brendan. "Artists React to Jersey City's Designation as 10th Most Artistic US City", Jersey City Independent, December 21, 2011. Accessed July 18, 2017. "Jersey City is the tenth most artistic city in the United States, according to a recent ranking by The Atlantic magazine.... Richard Florida, the senior editor of The Atlantic, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey to rank cities based on the number of artists who live there compared to the overall population."
^Dougherty, Michael Brendan. "America Needs a Katyn Memorial", National Review, May 9, 2018. Accessed November 13, 2019. "Fulop should be reminded that, whatever his opinions on the Law and Justice in Poland, the Katyn memorial in Jersey City commemorates all those who suffered at that massacre, and current estimates suggest that 600 to 800 of the more than 21,000 killed were Polish Jews. Memorializing the Katyn massacre is in no way an anti-Semitic act or a capitulation to the sentiments of anti-Semites."
^Lyons, Richard D. "Jersey City Landmark; Now It's Time to Move the Colgate Clock", The New York Times, July 9, 1989. Accessed November 13, 2019. "The clock has an area of almost 2,000 square feet, a 26-foot-long minute hand that extends just off the clock's face, and an hour hand that is almost 20 feet long. When it began operation in 1924, it replaced a smaller clock that still survives at a Colgate plant in Jeffersonville, Ind."
^Staff. "Grant to restore Loew's balcony", The Jersey Journal, July 6, 2009. Accessed February 11, 2012. "The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City is taking another step toward returning to its former glory, thanks to a grant from The Provident Bank Foundation.... The historic theater is only one of five 'Wonder Theatres' built by movie baron Marcus Lewis outside New York City."
^Testa, Jim. "Historic White Eagle Hall to officially re-open with first concert", The Jersey Journal, May 3, 2017. Accessed January 27, 2018. "The renovated White Eagle Hall in Downtown Jersey City opens on Friday, May 5, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Mayor Steven Fulop, followed by a performance by Jersey City favorite musician sons Rye Coalition.... The historic structure was built by Polish immigrants in 1910 and for much of the 20th century hosted events and programs under the aegis of St. Anthony's Church and High School. For years, the famous St. Anthony's High School basketball team under Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley practiced at White Eagle Hall, and the wooden boards from that gym floor have been repurposed in modernizing the facility."
^Ward Map, City of Jersey City. Accessed January 27, 2018.
^City Council, City of Jersey City. Accessed September 23, 2020. "The City Council in Jersey City consists of nine members: one council member for each of the City's six wards, plus three at-large council members who represent the entire City. Every two years, the members of the City Council vote among themselves to select one member to serve as the City Council President."
^Baer, Marilyn. "Yousef J. Saleh sworn in as Jersey City councilman; Protests raised over a 'rushed' process", The Hudson Reporter, May 1, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020. "Mayor Steven Fulop swore in Yousef J. Saleh on Friday, May 1 after the Jersey City council appointed him to represent Ward D in a 6-2 vote during a special council meeting on April 30. Council President Joyce Watterman nominated the first-generation American, who was born and raised in the Jersey City's Heights neighborhood, to the position left vacant by the death of Councilman Michael Yun due to COVID-19."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^. United States Senate. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
^About, New Jersey City University. Accessed June 28, 2017. "New Jersey City University provides students the best of many worlds: small classes led by world-class faculty mentors, a broad array of high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and the lowest tuition offered by a four-year public university in the state of New Jersey--all on a thriving campus in bustling, cosmopolitan Jersey City."
^Explore HCCC, Hudson County Community College. Accessed January 25, 2020. "Our beautiful urban Journal Square campus (our main campus) is conveniently located in the heart of Hudson County, less than 20 minutes from New York City and the Newark Liberty International Airport, and is easily accessible via PATH, train or bus."
^Goodnough, Abby. "Once Upon a Time, When High Schools Were Palaces", The New York Times, October 6, 1996. Accessed December 21, 2011. "NINETY years ago, an enormous Beaux Arts building went up on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. It had Corinthian columns, terrazzo floors and a vestibule lined with English marble. It could have passed for a palace, or at least a palatial estate. But it was neither. It was, in fact, William L. Dickinson High School, the first public secondary school in Jersey City.... When it opened in 1906, Dickinson had a 2,000-seat auditorium used not just for school functions but for political debates, plays and concerts."
^Ojutiku, Max. "Jersey City charter school to build $12M middle school", The Jersey Journal, April 21, 2016. Accessed November 14, 2016. "A Jersey City charter school has purchased a half-acre parcel of land on Grand Street to make room for its new $12 million middle school. The BelovED Community Charter School's new school building at 535 Grand St. will be 40,000 square feet and serve 240 students in sixth through ninth grades, according to Bret Schundler, a former Jersey City mayor and the Commissioner of Education for New Jersey who serves as chairman of the BelovED Community Charter School Foundation."
^Mueller, Mark. "Which N.J. schools were named National Blue Ribbon schools?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 29, 2015. Accessed November 14, 2016. "Fifteen New Jersey schools have been recognized by the federal government as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation that celebrates excellence in academics or progress in closing the achievement gap among groups of students.... Each of the 15 New Jersey schools was chosen for the 'exemplary high performing' category, which weighs state or national tests, high school graduation rates and the performance of subgroups of students, such as those who are economically disadvantaged."
^Our HistoryArchived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, First Pentecostal Church of God. Accessed January 3, 2012. "First Christian Pentecostal Academy spans from grades K4 through 8th. It is a ministry that God has used and continues to use to serve children and their families."
^About, WFMU. Accessed November 14, 2016. "WFMU-FM is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station broadcasting at 91.1 Mhz FM in Jersey City, NJ, right across the Hudson from lower Manhattan. It is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. The station also broadcasts to the Hudson Valley and Lower Catskills in New York, Western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania via its 90.1 signal at WMFU in Mount Hope, NY."