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The city of Newark, New Jersey, is the largest city in the state, although it is not the state capital. The city has a population a population of 280,139 people, according to the 2016 census (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year Estimate, DP05). It is a majority black city, this demographic representing 50.24% of the total population; 24.35% is white, and a total of 36% identifying as Latino (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year Estimate, DP05). The city is divided into five political wards; of particular interest is the East Ward, which is where the city was first founded, and its current commercial center. This essay will examine the city and ward’s demographics, specifically, The North and South Ironbound neighborhoods, where such information was available.
Newark, NJ, was founded in 1666 as a Puritan colony, and remained a theocratic settlement until 1746. It grew to a major industrial city throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but fell into decline around the 1940s. Through the second half of the 20th century, its demographics changed rapidly, the population decreasing from 429,760 in 1940 to the current numbers (New Jersey State Data Center). At the same time, the percentage of non-white citizens kept increasing. Today, the city is said to be going through a renaissance, as the population decrease has stopped and major city projects are being funded to develop the downtown area.
Currently, as stated above, the majority of the city’s population is black, with the following distribution in the city in total, compared to the North and South Ironbound neighborhoods:
|Race||Newark||N. Ironbound||S. Ironbound|
Table 1: Newark, NJ, population by race. From United States Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimates, DP05.
Furthermore, 36% of the city’s population are of Hispanic or Latino origin.
North Ironbound is the more populous neighborhood, housing 43,436 residents, 5 times as many as South Ironbound’s 8,225. The city’s population is 50.9% female, close to the national 51.4%. It is also, in general, younger, with the median age being 33.0, lower than the US average of 37.7. An interesting observation can be made here, as, although the general distribution of people’s sex nearly matches the national, people over 65 are predominantly female (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year, DP05). Interestingly, the percentage of married people aged 15 and over is low: 56.1% males and 50.2% never married, compared to the overall US numbers of 36.3% and 30.1% (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year Estimate, DP02).
The population’s education statistics are similarly lower than the national. With only 74% high school graduates and 14.4% holders of bachelor’s degrees or higher (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year Estimate, DP02). This is reflected by 25.7% of the city’s families whose income is below the poverty line (US Census Bureau, 2016 ACS 5-year Estimate, DP03). One can surmise that these factors are related, creating unfavorable conditions in Newark.
Newark City is an interesting case for US demographic study for its major demographic shift in the last century, as well as its economic decline and starting recovery. After the population decline and shift in the mid-20th century, the number has stabilized around 280,000, although the demographics have changed to predominantly non-white. Furthermore, the city has a significantly higher than average poverty rate and a low educational attainment.
New Jersey State Data Center. “New Jersey Population Trends 1790 to 2000.” Web.
United States Census Bureau. “ACS 1-Year Estimates Data Profiles.” Web.
United States Census Bureau. “ACS 5-Year Estimates Data Profiles. Table DP02.” Web.
United States Census Bureau. “ACS 5-Year Estimates Data Profiles. Table DP03.” Web.
United States Census Bureau. “ACS 5-Year Estimates Data Profiles. Table DP05.” Web.