Interactive Map: Celebrating the Diversity of New Jersey’s 52 Cities, Large and Small

Colleen O'Dea | October 16, 2015 | Map of the Week
Every city, like every Garden State citizen is unique, but getting to know them reveals unknown facets and unsuspected similarities

Newark, the Brick City, is New Jersey’s largest city, home of the New Jersey Devils and one of the nation’s busiest airports.

Jersey City, the second largest, is the anchor of the state’s Gold Coast and the home to a growing number of businesses relocating from Manhattan.

And Corbin City is … a place most New Jerseyans have probably never heard of. Yet it is still one of New Jersey’s 52 cities.

To coincide with NJ Spotlight’s first conference focusing on the state’s cities, here is a look at what they’re all about.

Places like Newark and Jersey City are typical cities. Though small compared to New York City, each has more than 250,000 residents living in numerous neighborhoods with their own unique characters. There are diverse communities, thriving businesses, and down-and-out streets full of foreclosed homes.

But New Jersey’s cities are not exclusively large. A city here is one of five types of municipalities — the others are borough, township, town and village — and is as often a name for the type of governing structure as it is for the size and character of the community.

Corbin, New Jersey’s smallest city and one of the smallest municipalities of any type in the state, is located in the Pinelands in Atlantic County. There’s a cluster of small cities along the Shore, including Sea Isle City, Cape May, and Wildwood. And there are small cities in more suburban or rural areas in Burlington, Hunterdon and Salem counties.

There are 25 cities with a population greater than 25,000 people, though Paterson and Elizabeth are the only cities besides Newark and Jersey City that have more than 100,000 people. With a few exceptions, the biggest cities are in North Jersey.

These bigger cities tend to share some characteristics: They are home to families earning more than $200,000 a year and others struggling in poverty. There are varying degrees of crime, though significantly less than a decade ago in almost all cases. In some, more than 9 of 10 high-school seniors graduate, while in others, barely more than half get a diploma. Though in one city — Hoboken — the unemployment rate is a low 3.3 percent, in every larger city, that rate was higher in 2014 than it was in 2005, ranging as high as nearly 15 percent in Atlantic City.

A variety of statistics for the larger cities is available by clicking on the map.