East Orange is a city in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the city's population was 64,270, reflecting a decline of 5,554 (−8.0%) from the 69,824 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 3,728 (−5.1%) from the 73,552 counted in the 1990 Census. The city was the state's 20th most-populous municipality in 2010, after having been the state's 14th most-populous municipality in 2000.
East Orange had its origins in Connecticut's New Haven Colony. In 1666, a group of 30 of New Haven's families traveled by water to found "a town on the Passayak" River. They arrived on territory now encompassing Newark, the Oranges, and several other municipalities. The area was situated in the northeast portion of a land grant conveyed by King Charles II of England to his brother James, Duke of York. In 1664, James conveyed the land to two proprietors, Lord John Berkeleyand Sir George Carteret. Since Carteret had been Royal Governor of the Isle of Jersey, the territory became known as "New Jersey."
East Orange was initially a part of the city of Newark, but it was originally known as "Newark Mountains". On June 7, 1780, the townspeople of Newark Mountains officially voted to adopt the name Orange. At the time, there was a significant number of people in favor of secession from Newark. However, this would not occur until November 27, 1806, when the territory now encompassing all of the Oranges was finally detached. On April 13, 1807, the first government was elected, but not until March 13, 1860 was Orange officially incorporated as a city. Immediately, the new city began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments. South Orange was organized on January 26, 1861; Fairmount (later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862; East Orange on March 4, 1863; and West Orange (including Fairmount) on March 14, 1863. East Orange was reincorporated as a city on December 9, 1899, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.
East Orange was known, at one time, for the shade trees that lined the cities residential streets. This is still evident today as many of the tall trees still stand.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 3.924 square miles (10.164 km2), all of it land.
East Orange shares borders with Newark to the east and south, South Orange to the southwest, Orange to the west, and Glen Ridge and Bloomfield to the north.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Ampere and Brick Church.
East Orange is officially divided into five wards, but is also unofficially divided into a number of neighborhoods, still with many well maintained streets and homes.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 64,270 people, 24,945 households, and 14,742.495 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,377.1 per square mile (6,323.2/km2). There were 28,803 housing units at an average density of 7,339.5 per square mile (2,833.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 4.13% (2,657) White, 88.51% (56,887) Black or African American, 0.39% (248) Native American, 0.72% (465) Asian, 0.06% (38) Pacific Islander, 3.69% (2,370) from other races, and 2.50% (1,605) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.93% (5,095) of the population.
There were 24,945 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.3% were married couples living together, 29.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.0 years. For every 100 females there were 81.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 75.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $40,358 (with a margin of error of +/− $1,873) and the median family income was $50,995 (+/− $2,877). Males had a median income of $38,642 (+/− $1,851) versus $39,843 (+/− $2,187) for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,298 (+/− $746). About 17.8% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.5% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 69,824 people, 26,024 households, and 16,082 families residing in the city. The population density was 17,776.6 people per square mile (6,859.8/km2). There were 28,485 housing units at an average density of 7,252.0 per square mile (2,798.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.46% Black or African American, 3.84% White, 0.25% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.14% from other races, and 3.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.70% of the population.
There were 26,024 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.0% were married couples living together, 28.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,346, and the median income for a family was $38,562. Males had a median income of $31,905 versus $30,268 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,488. About 15.9% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.7% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those ages 65 or over.
As part of the 2000 Census, 89.46% of East Orange's residents identified themselves as being Black or African American. This was one of the highest percentages of African American and Caribbean American people in the United States. Migrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Haiti and other smaller Caribbean Islands have a huge presence, and East Orange has the second-highest in New Jersey (behind Lawnside, at 93.6%) of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying Black American ancestry. East Orange also has a large Haitian American community, with 2,852 persons claiming Haitian ancestry in the 2000 Census.
Although still a small percentage of total residents, Orange and East Orange have the largest concentrations of Guyanese Americans in the country. In the 2000 Census, 2.5% of East Orange residents identified as being of Guyanese ancestry. While Queens and Brooklyn had larger populations in terms of raw numbers, Orange (with 2.9%) and East Orange had the highest percentage of people of Guyanese ancestry of all places in the United States with at least 1,000 people identifying their ancestry.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. East Orange was selected in 1996 as one of a group of seven zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6 5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in June 1996, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in June 2027.
The main commercial avenues of the city are Central Avenue and Main Street, both of which flow east to west, the latter of which was disturbed by the construction of Interstate 280. Recent efforts have been made to revitalize the commercial area, especially along Main Street and Evergreen Place. New apartments buildings & commercial space have been proposed and built over the last decade. Along South Harrison Street, new apartment buildings have gone up, while existing ones have been updated.
East Orange is served by five parks. Paul Robeson Stadium, located on North Clinton Street, hosts local sports teams and typically, the 4th of July fireworks celebration.
The city owns East Orange Golf Course, located 10 miles away in Short Hills.
East Orange is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a mayor and a city council made up of ten members, two representing each of the city's five geographic political subdivisions called wards. The mayor is elected directly by the voters. The ten members of the city council are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward coming up for election every other year.
The City Council performs the legislative functions of municipal government by enacting ordinances, resolutions or motions, and is responsible for review and adoption of the municipal budget that has been submitted by the mayor.
As of 2019, the Mayor of East Orange is Democrat Theodore R. "Ted" Green, whose term of office ends December 31, 2021. Members of the City Council are Christopher Awe (D, 2021; 2nd Ward - elected to serve unexpired term), Mustafa Al-M. Brent (D, 2019; 5th Ward), Tameika Garrett-Ward (D, 2021; 4th Ward - appointed to serve unexpired term), Casim L. Gomez (D, 2019; 4th Ward), Alicia Holman (D, 2021; 5th Ward), Christopher D. James (D, 2021; 1st Ward), Jacquelyn E. Johnson (D, 2019; 2nd Ward), Bergson Leneus (D, 2021; 3rd Ward), Amy Lewis (D, 2019; 1st Ward) and Quilla E. Talmadge (D, 2019; 3rd Ward).
In July 2018, the City Council selected Christopher Awe to fill the Second Ward seat expiring in December 2021 that became vacant when Romal D. Bullock resigned to become the city's tax assessor. In November 2018, Awe was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
In December 2018, Tameika Garrett-Ward was appointed to fill the Fourth Ward seat expiring in December 2021 that became vacant when Tyshammie L. Cooper was sworn into office on the Essex County Board of chosen freeholders.
The first African-American Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey was William S. Hart Sr., who was elected to two consecutive terms, serving in office from 1970 to 1978. Hart Middle School was named after him.
East Orange is located in the 10th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 34th state legislative district.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald Payne Jr. (D, Newark). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 34th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nia Gill (D, Montclair) and in the General Assembly by Thomas P. Giblin (D, Montclair) and Britnee Timberlake (D, East Orange). Timberlake was sworn into office on January 29, 2018 to fill the seat of Sheila Oliver, who had resigned from office on January 9, 2018 to become Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
Essex County is governed by a directly-elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2018, the County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. (D, Roseland). The county's Board of Chosen Freeholders consists of nine members, four elected on an at-large basis and one from each of five wards, who serve three-year terms of office on a concurrent basis, all of which end December 31, 2018. Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Brendan W. Gill (D, at-large; Montclair), Freeholder Vice President Wayne L. Richardson (D, District 2 – Irvington, Maplewood and Newark's South Ward and parts of West Ward; Newark), Janine G. Bauer (D, District 3 - East Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards, Orange and South Orange; South Orange, appointed to serve on an interim basis), Rufus I. Johnson (D, at large; Newark), Lebby C. Jones (D, at large; Irvington), Leonard M. Luciano (D, District 4 – Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange; West Caldwell), Robert Mercado (D, District 1 – Newark's North and East Wards, parts of Central and West Wards; Newark), Carlos M. Pomares (D, District 5 – Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Nutley; Bloomfield) and Patricia Sebold (D, at large; Livingston). Constitutional officers elected countywide are County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin (West Caldwell; D, 2020), Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura (Fairfield; D, 2018) and Surrogate Theodore N. Stephens II (D, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 36,280 registered voters in East Orange, of which 21,646 (59.7%) were registered as Democrats, 396 (1.1%) were registered as Republicans and 14,228 (39.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 10 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 98.5% of the vote (24,862 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1.3% (330 votes), and other candidates with 0.2% (46 votes), among the 25,375 ballots cast by the city's 39,668 registered voters (137 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.0%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 97.7% of the vote (24,718 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1.6% (408 votes) and other candidates with 0.1% (35 votes), among the 25,304 ballots cast by the city's 36,891 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.6%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 93.2% of the vote (19,447 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 5.9% (1,225 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (128 votes), among the 20,856 ballots cast by the city's 33,328 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 62.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 88.0% of the vote (9,413 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 11.3% (1,212 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (75 votes), among the 11,269 ballots cast by the city's 41,016 registered voters (569 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 27.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 94.4% of the vote (12,554 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2.9% (380 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 1.2% (153 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (63 votes), among the 13,295 ballots cast by the city's 36,157 registered voters, yielding a 36.8% turnout.
East Orange School District operates the public schools of East Orange. The district is one of 31 Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
As of the 2017-18 school year, the district's 20 schools had an enrollment of 9,937 students and 771.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Althea Gibson Early Childhood Academy (171 students; in grades PreK and K), Wahlstrom Early Childhood Center (167; PreK-K), Benjamin Banneker Academy (491; PreK-5), Edward T. Bowser Sr. School of Excellence (719; PreK-5), George Washington Carver Institute of Science and Technology (417; PreK-5), Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Academy (254; K-5), Mildred Barry Garvin School (350; PreK-5), Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative & Performing Arts (436; PreK-8), Langston Hughes Elementary School (562; PreK-5), J. Garfield Jackson Sr. Academy (288; K-5), Ecole Touissant Louverture (309; PreK-5), Gordon Parks Academy School of Radio, Animation, Film and Television (313; PreK-5), Cicely L. Tyson Community Elementary School (509; PreK-5), Dionne Warwick Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship (453; PreK-5), Patrick F. Healy Middle School (420; 6), John L. Costley Middle School (453; 7), Sojourner Truth Middle School (459; 8), Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts (863; 6-12), East Orange Campus High School located on the former campus of Upsala College (1,876; 9-12), East Orange STEM Academy (199; 9-12), Fresh Start Academy Middle School – Glenwood Campus (6-8) and Fresh Start Academy High – Edmonson Alternative (9-12).
East Orange Community Charter School is a public charter school that operates independently of the school district under a charter granted by the New Jersey Department of Education.
The East Orange Public Library at one time included three branch buildings of the original 36 Carnegie-funded libraries in New Jersey. It has a collection of 344,000 volumes and circulates about 319,000 items annually from four locations.
Ahlus Sunnah School is a K-12 madrasah that has been in East Orange since 2005.
East Orange is served by East Orange General Hospital, located on Central Avenue in the southern part of the city. The 211 bed hospital is the only independent, fully accredited, acute care hospital in Essex County and is a recognized leader in behavioral health sciences, renal dialysis, wound care, diagnostic services, emergency services and family healthcare. The hospital was recently acquired by Prospect Medical Systems.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 83.43 miles (134.27 km) of roadways, of which 73.27 miles (117.92 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.30 miles (10.14 km) by Essex County, 1.52 miles (2.45 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 2.34 miles (3.77 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The Garden State Parkway passes through the city, connecting Newark in the south to Bloomfield in the north. The Parkway is accessible at Interchange 145 for Interstate 280 and at Interchange 147 for Springdale Avenue. Interstate 280 crosses the city from east to west, connecting Orange to the west and Newark to the east.
Local transportation around the city and into neighboring communities is provided by ONE Bus bus routes 24 & 44 and multiple NJ Transit public bus lines, which includes routes 5, 21, 34, 41, 71, 73, 79, 90, 92, 94, and 97.
New Jersey Transit operates two commuter rail train stations in East Orange, both located along the Morris & Essex Lines. The East Orange station is located beside the westbound lanes of Interstate 280, directly across its parking lot from East Orange City Hall. Just one mile west up Main Street is Brick Church station, the city's second rail stop and the more heavily used of the two. Both have seven-day service to New York Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan as well as weekday service to Hoboken Terminal.
The Montclair-Boonton Line runs through the Ampere neighborhood of the city on the east, after splitting off from the Morris & Essex Lines just east of the city line in Newark. Ampere station was a former stop on the line near Ampere Parkway & Springdale Avenue from opened in 1890, but closed in 1991 due to low ridership. Residents can use nearby Watsessing Avenue station in neighboring Bloomfield. Another former stop was Grove Street Station, a mile east of Brick Church, also closed in 1991.
The city is 7.8 miles (12.6 km) from Newark Liberty International Airport in the nearby cities of Newark and Elizabeth.
East Orange is a sister city of:
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with East Orange include:
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