North Bergen, New Jersey

North Bergen, New Jersey
North Bergen, New Jersey
—  Township  —

Map highlighting North Bergen within Hudson County. Inset: Location of Hudson County in New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of North Bergen, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°47′41″N 74°1′11″W / 40.79472°N 74.01972°W / 40.79472; -74.01972
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Hudson
Incorporated April 10, 1843
 - Type Walsh Act (New Jersey)
 - Mayor Nicholas Sacco
 - Total 5.6 sq mi (14.5 km2)
 - Land 5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation[2] 210 ft (64 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 - Total 60,773
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07047
Area code(s) 201
FIPS code 34-52470[4][5]
GNIS feature ID 0882223[6]

North Bergen is a township in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2010 Census, the township had a total population of 60,773. Originally founded in 1843, the town was much diminished in territory by a series of secessions. Situated on the Hudson Palisades, it is one of the "hilliest" municipalities in the United States. Like neighboring North Hudson communities is among those places in the nation with one of the highest population densities and a majority Hispanic population.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 5.6 square miles (15 km2), of which, 5.2 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) of it (7.47%) is water.

North Bergen is roughly shaped like an inverted "L". It northern section stretches east-west and is south of Bergen County. It's north-south section lies between Secaucus to the west and Guttenberg, West New York, and Union City, which with it meets Jersey City at a single point at its southern end.

North Bergen has a diverse geological features. Partially situated on the North River (Hudson River), the Hudson Palisades rise from the waterfront, while the northern part of the town sits atop the plataeu. The cuesta, or slope, on the west side of area makes North Bergen the city with the second most hills per square mile in the United States after San Francisco,[7] some of which are extremely steep. A rock formation along the slope (located at 40°48′27″N 74°01′05″W / 40.8075°N 74.01806°W / 40.8075; -74.01806) is composed of unusual serpentinite rock and made up of small rock cliffs. Because of this, it is one of the few undeveloped parts of North Bergen. Low-lying areas along the west side are part of the New Jersey Meadowlands. The unusual shape and diverse topography of North Bergen have create a diverse historical and contemporary neighborhoods.

On the western slope overlooking the Meadowlands
Woodcliff Treatment Plant at the foot of the Palisades


Colonial era

At the time of European colonization the area was the territory of Hackensack tribe of the Lenape,[10] who maintained a settlement, Espatingh, on the west side of the hills.,[11][12][13] and where a Dutch trading post was established after the Peach Tree War.[14] In 1658, Peter Stuyvesant, then Director-General of New Netherland, re-purchased from them the area now encompassed by the municipalities of Hudson County east of the Hackensack River. In 1660 he granted permission to establish the semi-autonomous colony of Bergen, with the main village located at today's Bergen Square, considered to be the first chartered municipality in what would became the state of New Jersey.[15] At the time the area of North Bergen was heavily forested, traversed by paths used by the indigenous and colonializing population and became known as Bergen Woods, a name recalled in today's neighborhood. After the 1664 surrender of Fort Amsterdam the entire New Netherland colony came into the possession of the British, who established the Province of New Jersey. In 1682, the East Jersey legislature created Bergen County, consisting of all the land in the peninsula between the Hackensack and Hudson Rivers; that is, the eastern portions of what today is Bergen and Hudson Counties. In 1693, Bergen County was divided into two townships: Hackensack Township in the north, and Bergen Township, encompassing the Bergen Neck peninsula, in the south. The border between the two townships is the current Hudson-Bergen county line.[16][17] While settlement was sparse, communities developed along the Bergen Turnpike at the Three Pigeons and Maisland, later New Durham. French botanist André Michaux developed his gardens nearby. On the North River (Hudson River), Bulls Ferry became an important landing for crossings to Manhattan. While ostensibly under British control during the American Revolutionary War, the area was patrolled by the Americans on foraging, espionage, and raiding expeditions.[18][19]

Toponymy, secession, and urbanization

In 1838, Jersey City was re-incorporated as separate municipality, and in 1840 Hudson County, comprising the city and Bergen Township, was created from the southern portion of Bergen County.[18][20] North Bergen was incorporated as a township on April 10, 1843, by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, from the northern portion of Bergen Township. At the time, the town included everything east of the Hackensack River and north of what is now Jersey City.[21][22] The entire region which is now known as North Hudson experienced massive immigration and urbanization during the latter half of the 19th century, and led to the creation of various new towns. Portions of the North Bergen were taken to form Hoboken Township (April 9, 1849, now the City of Hoboken), Hudson Town (April 12, 1852, later part of Hudson City), Hudson City (April 11, 1855, later merged with Jersey City), Guttenberg (formed within the township on March 9, 1859, and set off as an independent municipality on April 1, 1878), Weehawken (March 15, 1859), Union Township and West Hoboken Township (both created on February 28, 1861), Union Hill town (March 29, 1864) and Secaucus (March 12, 1900).[23] During this era many of Hudson County's cemeteries were developed along the town's western slope of the Hudson Palisades. At their foot in the Meadowlands the Erie, the New York, Susquehanna and Western, and the West Shore railroads ran right-of-ways to their terminals on the Hudson, the last building its tunnel through Bergen Hill at North Bergen.[24] The area was important destination during peak German immigration to the United States, and is recalled today in Schuetzen Park, founded in 1874. Further north, the Guttenburg Racetrack became a notable and notorious destination which after its closing became a proving ground for new technologies, the automobile and the airplane.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

20th century

North Hudson Park

The development of Hudson County Boulevard, now known by its two sections which meet in North Hudson Park, Kennedy Boulevard and Boulevard East, was completed in the early 20th century,and by 1913 it was considered to be fine for "motoring".[31] Residential districts along and between the boulevards were developed.[32][33] Bergenline Avenue, a broad street which accommodated the North Hudson County Railway streetcars[34] to Nungesser's became (and remains) an important commercial and transit corridor. In 1935, in one of the most stunning upsets in boxing history, local hero James J. Braddock won the world heavyweight championship. A resident of the town until his death, the county park is now named for him. Soon after the opening of the Lincoln Tunnel Approach, the Susquehanna Transfer was built to accommodate passengers who wished to transfer to buses through the tunnel. At the time of its construction in 1949 the WOR TV Tower, in the midst the residential Woodcliff Section,[35] was the tenth tallest man-made structure in the world.[36] In the early 1960s two notable paleontological finds of fossils from the Newark Basin were made near the foot of the cliffs at one of several former quarries, the Granton, of which today's avenue is a namsake.[37][38][39] The former quarry remained an archeological site until at least 1980.[40] In contrast to other Hudson County towns during the latter half of the century, North Bergen grew significantly in population. Many residents are part of the wave of Spanish language speakers which had begun in the 1960s with Cuban émigrés, leading to the moniker Havanna on the Hudson for the North Hudson area.[41][42]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 40,714
1940 39,714 −2.5%
1950 41,560 4.6%
1960 42,387 2.0%
1970 47,751 12.7%
1980 47,019 −1.5%
1990 48,414 3.0%
2000 58,092 20.0%
2010 60,773 4.6%
Population 1930–1990.[43]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 58,092 people, 21,236 households, and 14,249 families residing in the township. The population density was 11,179.6 people per square mile (4,313.4/km²). There were 22,009 housing units at an average density of 1, 634.2/km² (4,235.5/sq mi). The racial makeup of the township was 67.36% White, 2.72% African American, 0.40% Native American, 6.47% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 15.53% from other races, and 7.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 57.25% of the population.

There were 21,236 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the township the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

Males had a median income of $35,626 versus $29,067 for females. The per capita income for the township was $20,058. About 9.6% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

The township is a suburb of New York City, where about 21% of the township's employed residents work.


North Bergen has several retail districts, along Bergenline Avenue, Tonnelle Avenue, and near Transfer Station. It is a state-established "Urban Enterprise Zone", implemented through a program designed to assist businesses in communities across New Jersey. Businesses within the zone are eligible for a variety of incentives, including a sales tax reduction to customers of 3½% (from the mandated 7% statewide sales tax), with no tax on clothing or on purchases made by merchants related to running their businesses. Revenue generated from the reduced sales tax is maintained in a special fund dedicated for use within the zone for specific economic development and physical improvement projects.[44] The zone was established in February 1995 through the efforts of Senator Sacco, one of the sponsors of legislation creating the zones.[45]

The Vitamin Shoppe is headquartered in North Bergen.[46] Hudson News and Liz Claiborne are large employers.[47]


North Bergen Town Hall.

Local government

North Bergen is governed under the Walsh Act form of New Jersey municipal government since 1931.[48] The government consists of five commissioners elected at large to the Township Committee in non-partisan elections to serve four-year terms of office on a concurrent basis. After each election, the commissioners select one of their members to serve as mayor and each individual is assigned to head one of the five commissions.[1]

Members of the North Bergen Township Committee are[49]:

Federal, state and county representation

Mayor Nicholas Sacco also represents the 32nd Legislative District in the New Jersey Senate

North Bergen is part of both the 9th and 13th Congressional districts. New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Steve Rothman (D, Fair Lawn). New Jersey's Thirteenth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

In the 2008 United States presidential election, Barack Obama received 14,791 votes (70% of the votes cast) from North Bergen voters, while John McCain received 6,100 votes (29%).[50]

North Bergen is in the 32nd District, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Nicholas Sacco (D, North Bergen) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Vincent Prieto (D, Secaucus) and Joan M. Quigley (D, Jersey City).[51]

North Bergen is in the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders District 8.[52] The Hudson County Executive, elected at-large, is Thomas A. DeGise.[53]Freeholder District 8, compromised of North Bergen, the North End of Secaucus and northernmost tip of Jersey City near Transfer Station.[54] is represented by Thomas Liggio.[55][56]

Public safety

The North Bergen Police Force was founded in 1923, replacing the peace force known as "roundsmen".[57] North Bergen's fire department merged with those of neighboring communities in 1999 to form North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR).[58] Seven are located in town.[citation needed]. NHRFR and North Bergen Emergency Medical Services (headquartered at 63rd St. and Granton Ave) were among the many Hudson County agencies that responded to the January 2009 crash of Flight 1549, as did Palisades Medical Center, where 57 of the survivors were treated for injuries.[59][60]


McKinley School (left) and North Bergen High School (right).

The North Bergen School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005–06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[61]) are six elementary schools — Franklin School (K-8; 634 students), Robert Fulton School (K-8; 1,131), John F. Kennedy School (K-8; 511), Lincoln School (PreK-8; 1,367), Horace Mann School (K-8; 1,081), McKinley School (PreK-8; 378) — and North Bergen High School for grades 9-12 (2,380 students). Students from Guttenberg attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Guttenberg Public School District.[62]

North Bergen is also home to A Step Ahead Preschool, a private pre-K through kindergarten school established in 1993.[63][64]


The Tonnelle Avenue Light Rail station.

Public transportation in North Bergen is provided by bus and light rail service.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service is available at the Tonnelle Avenue station and Bergenline Station to points in Weehawken, Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne.

Bus service is provided along busy north-south corridors on Kennedy Boulevard, Bergenline Avenue, and Boulevard East by New Jersey Transit and privately operated guagua (minibus) within Hudson County, and to Bergen County and Manhattan, New York City. Nungessers is a major orgination and transfer point. Lines terminating at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan are the 121, 125, 127, 128, 154, 156, 158, 159, 165, 166, 168, 320 routes. The 181 and 188 lines terminate at George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Upper Manhattan. Lines 22, 23, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88 and 89 terminate either at Journal Square or Hoboken Terminal. The 751 travels to Edgewater and Hackensack.[65]

Route 495 travels between the Lincoln Tunnel and the New Jersey Turnpike with interchanges for Route 3 and U.S. Route 1/9, which runs north-south on the western edge side of town.

Media and culture

North Bergen is located within the New York media market, with most of its daily papers available for sale or delivery. The Jersey Journal is a local daily paper based in Jersey City. Local weeklies include the free bilingual paper, Hudson Dispatch Weekly,[66](named for the former daily Hudson Dispatch),[67] North Bergen Reporter (part of the Hudson Reporter group of local weeklies), and the Spanish language El Especialito.[68] River View Observer is a monthly newspaper that covers the Hudson Waterfront market.

In the late 2000s, North Bergen, Weehawken, Union City and West New York came to be dubbed collectively as "NoHu", a North Hudson haven for local performing and fine artists, many of whom are immigrants from Latin America and other countries, in part due to lower housing costs compared to those in nearby art havens such as Hoboken, Jersey City and Manhattan.[69]

Notable residents

In media

  • Oak Hill, a low-budget film starring Sally Kirkland, and directed by former Guttenberg mayor Peter Lavilla, about three former entertainers whose depression and addiction has led them to a homeless shelter, was filmed in both Union City's PERC homeless shelter, and a synagogue in North Bergen. In 2008, it was entered into the Sundance, Tribeca, and Hoboken Film Festivals.[92]
  • Cinderella Man starring Russel Crowe as James J. Braddock, depicted North Bergen during the Great Depression.
  • North Bergen is the production base for the NBC drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, with scenes set in the police station and courtroom filmed on a stage at NBC's Central Archives building on West Side Avenue.[93]

See also


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  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Township of North Bergen, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed January 4, 2008.
  3. ^ 2010 Census Populations, accessed June 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ Most liquor licenses? Bumpiest town? Local municipalities hold unusual distinctions, The Hudson Reporter, August 27, 2006
  8. ^ Guozzo, Jr., Dr. Frank. "Welcome to NDBC !", New Durham Baptist Church, accessed May 10, 2011.
  9. ^ DePalma, Anthony. "IN NEW JERSEY; FOR NORTH BERGEN, A RIVERFRONT 'VILLAGE'", The New York Times, February 24, 1985
  10. ^ Wright, Kevin W.. "The Indigenous Population of Bergen County". Bergen County Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  11. ^ "H New Jersey Indian Villages, Towns and Settlements". A complete listing of all the Indian villages, towns and settlements as listed in Handbook of Americans North of Mexico. Access Geneaolgy. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  12. ^ Hodge, Federick Webb (1912). Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Volumes 2-4. The Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Handbook of American Indians Volume II H-M. 
  13. ^ History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time,
  14. ^ W. Woodford Clayton, William Nelson (1882). History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey. Everts & Peck. p. 23. 
  15. ^ NJCU: Jersey City A to Z: Bergen with map
  16. ^ Grundy, J. Owen; Caroselli, Louis P. (1970). "Jersey City History of Forms of Government from Early Dutch Days to the Present Time". Jersey City Online. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  17. ^ Lang, Arnold. "Bergen County’s Townships and Municipalities, Part 1: 1682 to 1709". The Archivist. Retrieved September 28, 2009. [dead link]
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  19. ^ Karels, Carol (2007). The Revolutionary War in Bergen County: The Times That Tried Men's Souls. Charleston, SC: History Press. ISBN 9781596293588. 
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  28. ^ "THREE PLANES FALL; ONE BEHEADS A BOY; Former Army Pilots Arrested After Their Propeller Kills Jersey Lad at Play. BIPLANE ENGINE GOES DEAD Lieut. Stinson Lands in Flatbush Lettuce Patch--AConey Island Mishap". The New York Times. July 8, 1921. 
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  31. ^ "Short Runs Near Town Pleasant Now". The New York Times. March 23, 1913. Retrieved 2020-09-23. 
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  36. ^ WOR-TV and FM Transmitter in North Bergen, NJ, accessed January 25, 2011
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  45. ^ District 32 Profile, accessed May 13, 2007. "Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, a Senator since 1994, is chair of the Transportation Committee; he also has been the mayor of North Bergen since 1985.... He was a sponsor of the state's Urban Enterprise Zone legislation..."
  46. ^ Garbarine, Rachele. "COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: NEW JERSEY; After a False Start, a Big Building Awaits Its Tenant", The New York Times, May 29, 2002
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  71. ^ "New Champion", Time (magazine), June 24, 1935. Accessed May 13, 2007. "Improvident of his earnings when he was a top-flight light heavyweight seven years ago, 29-year-old Jimmy Braddock had, after successive defeats, toppled completely out of the prize ring. He worked briefly as a janitor. He made a pittance as a stevedore on the New Jersey docks opposite Manhattan. Finally he changed his name to No. 2796 on the North Bergen (N. J.) relief rolls last year."
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  83. ^ Abbott, Gary. "NYAC beats Russia, 14-11 in freestyle and Romania 14-12 in Greco-Roman in dual meet in New Jersey", United States Olympic Committee, November 16, 2007. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Hometown hero Steve Mocco, who grew up in nearby North Bergen, N.J., stopped Soslan Gagloev of Russia, 1-0, 2–0."
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  88. ^ Lipton, Michael A. "Heart Condition: For Rena Sofer, Checking into General Hospital Meant Finding a Healing Love with Costar Wally Kurth", People (magazine), October 31, 1994. Accessed September 22, 2011. "Neither parent remarried, and today Sofer maintains close relations with both her father, who presides at Temple Beth El in North Bergen, N.J., and her mother, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of North Carolina in Fayetteville.... She took a drama class during her senior year at North Bergen High School and then, after less than a semester at Montclair State College, took acting lessons in New York."
  89. ^ Blumenthal, Max. "Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate", The Nation (web-only), June 3, 2005. Accessed May 13, 2007. "This year a man named Hal Turner sat before his computer at his suburban home in North Bergen, New Jersey, posting bomb-making tips on his website, hailing the firebombing of an apartment containing "Savage Negroes" and calling for the murder of immigrants."
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External links

Coordinates: 40°48′15″N 74°00′44″W / 40.80417°N 74.01222°W / 40.80417; -74.01222

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  • North Hudson, New Jersey — North Hudson Park North Hudson is the collective name of the municipalities of Weehawken (2000 Census population of 13,501), Union City (67,088), West New York (45,768), Guttenberg (10,807) and North Bergen (58,092) in Hudson County, New Jersey.… …   Wikipedia

  • North Caldwell, New Jersey —   Borough   Map of North Caldwell in Essex County. Inset: Location of essex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey …   Wikipedia

  • North Haledon, New Jersey —   Borough   Map of North Haledon in Passaic County. Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey …   Wikipedia

  • North Arlington, New Jersey — Borough of North Arlington   Borough   …   Wikipedia

  • North Bergen (Nueva Jersey) — Municipio de North Bergen Municipio de los Estados Unidos North Hudson Park …   Wikipedia Español

  • Comté de Bergen (New Jersey) — Comté de Bergen Comté de Bergen Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Howard Johnson North Bergen (New York City) — Howard Johnson North Bergen country: United States, city: New York City (Lincoln Tunnel New Jersey) Howard Johnson North Bergen Howard Johnson North Bergen is convenient to New York City and New Jersey Turnpike. The hotel offers 110 rooms, with… …   International hotels

  • New Brunswick, New Jersey — New Brunswick   City   City of New Brunswick …   Wikipedia

  • Jersey City (New Jersey) — Jersey City Jersey City Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • New Providence, New Jersey —   Borough   Map of New Providence in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County in New Jersey …   Wikipedia

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