East Orange, New Jersey

City of East Orange, New Jersey
—  City  —
Nickname(s): EO, Illtown
Map of East Orange in Essex County. Inset: Location of Essex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of East Orange, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°45′58″N 74°12′42″W / 40.76611°N 74.21167°W / 40.76611; -74.21167Coordinates: 40°45′58″N 74°12′42″W / 40.76611°N 74.21167°W / 40.76611; -74.21167
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated March 4, 1863
 – Type City (New Jersey)
 – Mayor Robert L. Bowser (term ends 2011)[1]
 – Total 3.9 sq mi (10.2 km2)
 – Land 3.9 sq mi (10.2 km2)
 – Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[2] 164 ft (50 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 – Total 64,270
 – Density 16,479.5/sq mi (6,301/km2)
Time zone Eastern Time Zone (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07017, 07018 and 07019
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 34-19390[4]
GNIS feature ID 0876059[5]
Website http://www.eastorange-nj.org/

East Orange is a city in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the city's population 64,270, making it the state's 20th largest municipality, having dropped 5,554 residents (8.0%) from its population of 69,824 in the 2000 Census, when it was the state's 14th most populous municipality.[6]

East Orange was originally incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 4, 1863, from portions of Orange town, and was reincorporated as a city on December 9, 1899, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.[7]



East Orange is located at 40°45′58″N 74°12′42″W / 40.766050°N 74.211699°W / 40.766050; -74.211699 (40.766050, −74.211699).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10 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.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 4,315
1880 8,349 93.5%
1890 13,282 59.1%
1900 21,506 61.9%
1910 34,371 59.8%
1920 50,710 47.5%
1930 68,020 34.1%
1940 68,945 1.4%
1950 79,340 15.1%
1960 77,259 −2.6%
1970 75,471 −2.3%
1980 77,878 3.2%
1990 73,552 −5.6%
2000 69,824 −5.1%
2010 64,270 −8.0%
Population sources:
1930–1990[9] 2000[10] 2010[6]

As of the census[4] of 2000, 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.[10]

An elegant pre-WWII apartment on South Munn Avenue in East Orange.

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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[10]

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, and the second-highest in New Jersey (behind Lawnside, at 93.6%) of all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. East Orange also has a large Haitian American community, with 2,852 persons claiming Haitian ancestry in the 2000 Census.[11]

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.[12]

City Hall


East Orange is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of the Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey and a City Council made up of ten members, two each representing the city's five geographical districts or wards. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters. The Borough Council consists of ten members elected to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward coming up for election every other year.[13]

The East Orange City Council carries out the legislative duties of municipal government. This body enacts by ordinance, resolution or motion, the laws under which our city is governed. The City Council reviews and adopts the municipal budget that is prepared and presented to the legislative body by the Mayor.

The first African-American Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey was The Honorable William S. Hart, Sr. Former Mayor Hart ran and was elected for two consecutive terms. Mayor Hart was mayor from 1970–1978. Hart middle school is named after this honorable man as a tribute and thank you from the city. The Mayor of East Orange is Robert L. Bowser. Mayor Bowser is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[14] a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Members of the City Council are:[15]

Federal, state and county representation

Post Office

East Orange is in the 10th Congressional district. New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District is represented by Donald M. Payne (D, Newark). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

East Orange is in the 34th District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Nia Gill (D, Montclair) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Thomas P. Giblin (D, Montclair) and Sheila Y. Oliver (D, East Orange).[16]

Essex County's County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.[17] The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. 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 terms of office on a concurrent basis.[18] As of 2011 Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson (at large)[19], Freeholder Vice President Ralph R. Caputo (District 5)[20], Rufus I. Johnson (at large)[21], Donald M. Payne, Jr. (at large)[22], Patricia Sebold (at large)[23], Samuel Gonzalez (District 1)[24], D. Bilal Beasley (District 2)[25], Carol Y. Clark (District 3)[26] and Linda Lordi Cavanaugh (District 4).[27][28]

A reminder of East Orange's former wealth. The Ambrose-Ward Mansion was built in 1898 for a book manufacturer, now the home of the African-American Fund of New Jersey


On the national level, East Orange leans strongly toward the Democratic Party. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama received 98% of the vote in the city.[29]


East Orange School District operates the public schools of East Orange. The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide.[30] In 2003, Patrick Healy Middle School was identified as one of seven "persistently dangerous" middle schools in New Jersey. This designation has since been removed. East Orange Community Charter School is a public charter school in East Orange.

All of East Orange is served by East Orange Campus High School, which is on the site of the former Upsala College.

The East Orange Public Library at one time included three of the original thirty-six Carnegie-funded libraries in New Jersey. It has a collection of 344,000 volumes and circulates about 319,000 items annually [31] from four locations.[32]


Portions of East Orange are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone . In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[33]


East Orange lies at the intersection of the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 280. It is 7.8 miles from Newark Liberty International Airport in the nearby cities of Newark and Elizabeth.

Local transportation around the city and into neighboring communities is provided by Coach USA bus routes 24 & 44 and multiple New Jersey Transit public bus lines, which includes routes 5, 21, 34, 41, 71, 73, 79, 90, 92, 94, and 97.[34] New Jersey Transit also runs two commuter rail train stations in East Orange, both located along the Morris & Essex Lines. The East Orange Station is found 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 Hoboken Terminal as well as Midtown Direct service to New York Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan.

Sister city

East Orange is a sister city of Nakuru, Rift Valley Province, Kenya.[35]

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of East Orange include:


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  25. ^ D. Bilal Beasley, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
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  32. ^ East Orange Public Library
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  41. ^ Shanker, Thom. "Adm. William J. Fallon: An Experienced Naval Officer, and a Diplomat", The New York Times, January 8, 2007. Accessed December 10, 2007. "William Joseph Fallon was born Dec. 30, 1944, in East Orange, N.J., and raised in Merchantville."
  42. ^ Franklin William Fort, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 22, 2007.
  43. ^ "FLIGHT LEADER DIES IN FLAMING CRASH; Major Geiger, Commander of Aberdeen (Md.) Field, Is Burned to Death. FAILS IN DESPERATE JUMP Accident Occurs at Olmstead Field, Pa. – Was a Native of East Orange, N.J.", The New York Times, May 18, 1927. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  44. ^ Magee, Jerry. Tennis pioneer Althea Gibson dies at 76: U.S., Wimbledon champ paved the way for blacks", The San Diego Union-Tribune, September 29, 2003. Accessed January 23, 2011. "No player of either gender in any sport arguably overcame more in becoming a champion than Gibson, who died yesterday in East Orange, N.J., where she was a semi-recluse."
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