Paterson, New Jersey

From Academic Kids

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The skyline of Paterson, New Jersey, showing the canyon of the Passaic River in the foreground. The area along the river was formerly the site of most the mills that flourished throughout the city's history

Paterson is a city located in Passaic County, New Jersey. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 149,222. It is the county seat of Passaic CountyTemplate:GR. The City of Paterson is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.

The Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson are the second-highest large-volume falls on the East Coast: only Niagara Falls are higher. Alexander Hamilton helped encourage the harnessing of the energy of the Great Falls to secure the independence from British manufacturers. In 1791, Hamilton helped found the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures. Paterson, which was founded by the society, became the cradle of the industrial revolution in America. Paterson was named for William Paterson, New Jersey governor, statesman, and signer of the Constitution.

The industries developed in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot high Great Falls of the Passaic, and a system of water raceways that harnessed the power of the falls. The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and later, the firearms, silk, and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 1800's, silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City." Paterson was also the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation.


Famous Patersonians


Paterson is located at 40°54'56" North, 74°9'47" West (40.915498, -74.162927)Template:GR in the Piedmont (United States) region between the Appalachian foothills and the Coastal Plain.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.6 km² (8.7 mi²). 21.9 km² (8.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.8 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.32% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city. With a population density of 6,826.4/km² (17,675.4/mi²), Paterson is the second most densely populated big city in the United States, only after New York City. There are 47,169 housing units at an average density of 2,157.8/km² (5,587.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 30.77% White, 32.90% African American, 0.60% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 27.60% from other races, and 6.17% from two or more races. 50.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 44,710 households out of which 40.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% are married couples living together, 26.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% are non-families. 20.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.25 and the average family size is 3.71.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,778, and the median income for a family is $35,420. Males have a median income of $27,911 versus $22,733 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,257. 22.2% of the population and 19.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 29.0% of those under the age of 18 and 19.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Western Market Street is home to many Mexican and Peruvian businesses. Main Avenue between the Clifton border and about Montclair Avenue is heavily Turkish and Arabic. 21st Avenue in the People's Park section is characterized by Colombian restaurants and shops.


The following towns border Paterson and are considered to be its suburbs:

de:Paterson (New Jersey)

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