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Camden, New Jersey
City
City of Camden
Camden NJ from Penns Landing.jpg
Official seal of Camden, New Jersey
Seal
Motto: In a Dream, I Saw a City Invincible
Map of Camden in Camden County. Inset: Location of Camden County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Camden in Camden County. Inset: Location of Camden County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Camden, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Camden, New Jersey
Country United States
State  New Jersey
County Camden
Settled 1626
Incorporated February 13, 1828
Named for Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden
Area
 • Total 10.341 sq mi (26.784 km2)
 • Land 8.921 sq mi (23.106 km2)
 • Water 1.420 sq mi (3.677 km2)  13.73%
Area rank 208th of 566 in state
7th of 37 in county
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 77,344
 • Estimate (2015) 76,119
 • Rank 12th of 566 in state
1st of 37 in county
 • Density 8,669.6/sq mi (3,347.4/km2)
 • Density rank 42nd of 566 in state
2nd of 37 in county
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 08100-08105
Area code(s) 856
FIPS code 3400710000
GNIS feature ID 0885177
Website www.ci.camden.nj.us

Camden is a city in Camden County, New Jersey. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 77,344.[10][12][13] Camden is the 12th most populous municipality in New Jersey. The city was incorporated on February 13, 1828. On March 13, 1844, Camden became a county seat in New Jersey.[25] The city derives its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden.[26][27] Camden is made up of over twenty different neighborhoods.

By the end of the nineteenth century Camden began to industrialize with the foundation of the Campbell Soup Company by Joseph Campbell. Other companies such as the New York Shipbuilding Corporation and the Victor Talking Machine Company opened their operations and helped Camden move into an industrial economy. At the beginning of the twentieth century Camden's population consisted mostly of European immigrants. German, British, and Irish immigrants, as well as African Americans from the south made up the majority of the city in the mid nineteenth century. Around the turn of the twentieth century Italian and Eastern European immigrants had become the majority of the population.

The city was consistently prosperous throughout the Great Depression and World War II. After World War II Camden manufacturers began closing their factories and moving out of the city. Camden's cultural history has been greatly affected by both its economic and social position over the years. With the loss of manufacturing jobs came a sharp decline in population numbers. Suburbanization also had an effect on the drop in population. Civil unrest and crime became common in Camden with the decline in population. In 1971, civil unrest reached it's peak with riots breaking out in response to the death of Horacio Jimenez, a Puerto Rican motorist who was killed by two white police officers.

Camden's industrial and post-industrial history gave rise to distinct neighborhoods and cultural groups that have affected the status of the city over the course of the 20th century. Over the years Camden has made many attempts to restore its economic stature. In the 1980s Mayor Randy Primas campaigned for the city to adopt two different nuisance industries: a prison and a trash-to-steam incinerator. Despite opposition from Camden residents, the Riverfront State Prison was opened in 1985 and the trash-to-steam plant opened in 1989. With the addition of the trash-to-steam plant Camden has faced numerous air and water pollution issues. Camden is also the home of a waste-water treatment facility. In the 1970s, dangerous pollutants were found in the wells from which many Camden citizens received their household water. These pollutants decreased property values in Camden and caused health problems among the city's residents. Pollution is an ongoing issue that local nonprofits are trying to solve.

Camden is home to hospitals, schools, and attractions. The Camden waterfront holds four tourist attractions, the USS New Jersey; the BB&T Pavilion; Campbell's Field; and the Adventure Aquarium. Until recently Campbell's field was home to the Camden Riversharks. The city is the home of Rutgers University–Camden, which was founded as the South Jersey Law School in 1926, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, which opened in 2012. Camden also houses both Cooper University Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. The "eds and meds" institutions account for roughly 45% of Camden's total employment. Forty percent of Camden residents are living below the national poverty line.[33] Camden had the highest crime rate in the United States in 2012, with 2,566 violent crimes for every 100,000 people,[34] 6.6 times higher than the national average of 387 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens.[35]

Camden has historically been a stronghold of the Democratic Party. Voter turnout is very low; approximately 50% of Camden's registered voters participated in the 2016 General Election. Three of Camden's mayors have been jailed for corruption, the most recent being Milton Milan in 2000.[28] From 2005 to 2012, the school system and police department were operated by the state of New Jersey.[29][30][31][32] In 2015 Mayor Dana L. Redd announced a $830 million plan to continue development on the waterfront.

History

Early history

In 1626 Fort Nassau was established by the Dutch West India Company in the area that is now known as Camden, New Jersey. Europeans settled along the Delaware River, attempting to control the local fur trade. Throughout the 17th century more Europeans arrived in the area, developing it and making improvements. After the restoration period the land was controlled by nobles who served under Kind Charles II. ln 1673 the land was sold off to a group of New Jersey Quakers. The growth of the colony was the result of Philadelphia, a Quaker colony directly across from Camden along the Delaware River. In the Ferry systems were established to facilitate trade between Fort Nassau and Philadelphia. The ferry system operated along the east side of the Delaware River. The ferry system built by William Royden was located along Cooper Street and was turned over to Daniel Cooper in 1695. The creation of the ferry system resulted in the creation of small settlements along the Delaware River which would eventually develop into Camden.

HABS-NJ,4-CAM,4-1-edit
Pomona Hall, built in 1726.

The initial structures and settlements that formed Camden were largely established by three families: The Coopers, The Kaighns, and the Mickels. The Cooper family had the greatest impact on the formation of Camden. In 1773 Jacob Cooper developed some of the land he had inherited through his family into a "townsite." It was Jacob Cooper who gave this town the name Camden after Charles Pratt, the Earl of Camden. The lands that these families owned would eventually be combined to create the future city.

BenjaminCooperHouseCamdenHABS1936f
Benjamin Cooper House, built in 1734.

19th century

For over 150 years, Camden served as a secondary economic and transportation hub for the Philadelphia area. But that status began to change in the early 19th century. Camden was incorporated as a city on February 13, 1828, from portions of Newton Township, while the area was still part of Gloucester County. The city derives its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden.[26][27] One of the U.S.'s first railroads, the Camden and Amboy Railroad, was chartered in Camden in 1830. The Camden and Amboy Railroad allowed travelers to travel between New York City and Philadelphia via ferry terminals in South Amboy, New Jersey and Camden. The railroad terminated on the Camden waterfront, and passengers were ferried across the Delaware River to their final Philadelphia destination. The Camden and Amboy Railroad opened in 1834 and helped to spur an increase in population and commerce in Camden.

Walt Whitman House, Camden, New Jersey
Walt Whitman House, Camden, New Jersey

Horse ferries, or team boats served Camden in the early 1800s. The ferries connected Camden and other Southern New Jersey towns to Philadelphia. Ferry systems allowed Camden to generate business and economic growth. "These businesses included lumber dealers, manufacturers of wooden shingles, pork sausage manufacturers, candle factories, coachmaker shops that manufactured carriages and wagons, tanneries, blacksmiths and harness makers." The Cooper's Ferry Daybook, 1819–1824, documenting Camden's Point Pleasant Teamboat, survives to this day. Originally a suburban town with ferry service to Philadelphia, Camden evolved into its own city. Until 1844 Camden was a part of Gloucester County. In 1840 the city's population had reached 3,371 and Camden appealed to state legislature, which resulted in the creation of Camden County in 1844.

The poet Walt Whitman spent his later years in Camden. He bought a house on Mickle Street in March 1884. Whitman spent the remainder of his life in Camden and died in 1892 of a stroke. Whitman was a prominent member of the Camden community at the end of the nineteenth century.

Camden quickly became an industrialized city in the later half of the nineteenth century. In 1860 Census takers recorded eighty factories in the city and the number of factories grew to 125 by 1870. Camden began to industrialize in 1891 when Joseph Campbell incorporated his business Campbell's Soup. Through the Civil War era Camden gained a large immigrant population which formed the base of its industrial workforce. Between 1870 and 1920 Camden's population grew by 96,000 people due to the large influx of immigrants. Like other industrial towns, Camden prospered during strong periods of manufacturing demand and faced distress during periods of economic dislocation.

Informal Remarks Ar City Hall, Camden, NJ - NARA - 198079
Remarks from FDR 1944 Camden visit

First half of the 20th century

At the turn of the 20th century Camden became an industrialized city. At the height of Camden's industrialization, 12,000 workers were employed at RCA, while another 30,000 worked at New York Shipbuilding. RCA had 23 out of 25 of its factories inside Camden. Campbell Soup was also a major employer. In addition to major corporations Camden housed many small manufacturing companies as well as commercial offices.

From 1899 to 1967, Camden was the home of New York Shipbuilding Corporation, which at its World War II peak was the largest and most productive shipyard in the world. Notable naval vessels built at New York Ship include the ill-fated cruiser USS Indianapolis and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. In 1962, the first commercial nuclear-powered ship, the NS Savannah, was launched in Camden. The Fairview Village section of Camden (initially Yorkship Village) is a planned European-style garden village that was built by the Federal government during World War I to house New York Shipbuilding Corporation workers.

From 1901 through 1929, Camden was headquarters of the Victor Talking Machine Company, and thereafter to its successor RCA Victor, the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs and phonograph records for the first two-thirds of the 20th century. Victor created some of the first commercial recording studios in the United States, where Enrico Caruso & The Carter Family among others, recorded. General Electric reacquired RCA and the Camden factory in 1986.

In 1919 plans for the Delaware River Bridge were enacted as a means to reduce ferry traffic between Camden and Philadelphia. The bridge was estimated to cost $29 million, but the total cost at the end of the project was $37,103,765.42. New Jersey and Pennsylvania would each pay half of the final cost for the bridge. The bridge was opened at midnight on July 1, 1926. Thirty years later, in 1956 the bridge was renamed to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

During the 1930s Camden faced a decline in economic prosperity due to the Great Depression. By the mid-1930s the city had to pay its workers in scrip because they could not pay them in currency. Camden's industrial foundation kept the city from going bankrupt. Major corporations such as Campbell's soup, New York Shipbuilding Corporation and RCA Victor employed close to 25,000 people through the depression years. New companies were also being created during this time. On June 6, 1933, the city hosted the first drive-in movie.

Camden's ethnic demographic changed drastically at the beginning of the twentieth century. German, British, and Irish immigrants made up the majority of the city at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century. By 1920 Italian and Eastern European immigrants had become the majority of the population. African Americans had also been present in Camden since the 1830s. The migration of African Americans from the south increased during World War II. The different ethnic groups began to form segregated communities within the city formed around religious organizations. Communities formed around figures such as Tony Mecca from the Italian neighborhood, Mario Rodriguez from the Puerto Rican neighborhood, and Ulysses Wiggins from the African American neighborhood.

Second half of the 20th century

After close to 50 years of economic and industrial growth, the city of Camden faced a period of economic stagnation and deindustrialization: after reaching a peak of 43,267 manufacturing jobs in 1950, there was an almost continuous decline to a new low of 10,200 manufacturing jobs in the city by 1982. With this industrial decline came a plummet in population: in 1950 there were 124,555 residents, compared to just 84,910 in 1980. Alongside these declines, civil unrest and criminal activity rose in the city. From 1981 to 1990, mayor Randy Primas fought to renew the city economically. Ultimately Primas had not secured Camden's economic future as his successor, mayor Miltan Milan, declared bankruptcy for the city in July 1999.

Civil unrest and crime

  • A civilian and a police officer were killed in riot in September 1969, which broke out in response to accusation of police brutality. Two years later, public disorder returned with widespread riots in August 1971, following the death of a Puerto Rican motorist at the hands of white police officers. When the officers were not charged, Hispanic residents took to the streets and called for the suspension of those involved. The officers were ultimately charged, but remained on the job and tensions soon flared. On the night of August 19, 1971, riots erupted, and sections of downtown were looted and torched over the next three days. Fifteen major fires were set before order was restored, and ninety people were injured. City officials ended up suspending the officers responsible for the death of the motorist, but they were later acquitted by a jury.
  • The Camden 28 were a group of anti-Vietnam War activists who, in 1971, planned and executed a raid on the Camden draft board, resulting in a high-profile trial against the activists that was seen by many as a referendum on the Vietnam War in which 17 of the defendants were acquitted by a jury even though they admitted having participated in the break-in.
  • In 1996, Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman frisked Sherron Rolax, a 16-year-old African-American youth, an event which was captured in an infamous photograph. Rolax alleged his civil rights were violated and sued the state of New Jersey.

Attempts at renewal

In 1981, Randy Primas was elected mayor of Camden, but was unfortunately "haunted by the overpowering legacy of financial disinvestment". Following his election, the state of New Jersey closed the $4.6 million deficit that Primas had inherited, but also decided that Primas should lose budgetary control until he began providing the state with monthly financial statements, among other requirements. When he regained control, Primas had limited options regarding how to close the deficit, and so in an attempt to renew Camden, Primas campaigned for the city to adopt two different nuisance industries: a prison and a trash-to-steam incinerator. While these two industries would provide some financial security for the city, the proposals for them did not go over well with residents, who overwhelmingly opposed both the prison and the incinerator.

While the proposed prison, which was to be located on the North Camden waterfront, would generate $3.4 million for Camden, Primas faced extreme disapproval from residents. Many believed that a prison in the neighborhood would negatively effect North Camden's "already precarious economic situation". Primas, however, was wholly concerned with the economic benefits: he told The New York Times, "The prison was a purely economic decision on my part." Eventually, on August 12, 1985, the Riverfront State Prison opened its doors, despite the objections of residents.

The trash-to-steam incinerator was another proposed industry, also objected to by Camden residents. Once again, Primas "...was motivated by fiscal more than social concerns," and he faced heavy opposition from Concerned Citizens of North Camden (CCNC) and from Michael Doyle, who was so opposed to the plant that he appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes, saying "Camden has the biggest concentration of people in all the county, and yet there is where they're going to send in this sewage... ...everytime you flush, you send to Camden, to Camden, to Camden". Despite this opposition, which eventually culminated in protests, "the county proceeded to present the city of Camden with a check for $1 million in March 1989, in exchange for the eighteen acres of city-owned land where the new facility was to be built... ...The $112 million plant finally fired up for the first time in March 1991".

Other notable events

Despite the declines in industry and population, other changes to the city took place during this period:

  • In 1950, Rutgers University absorbed the former College of South Jersey to create Rutgers University–Camden.
  • In 1992, the state of New Jersey under the Florio administration made an agreement with GE to ensure that GE would not close the Camden site. The state of New Jersey would build a new high-tech facility on the site of the old Campbell Soup Company factory and trade these new buildings to GE for the existing old RCA Victor buildings. Later, the new high tech buildings would be sold to Martin Marietta. In 1994, Martin Marietta merged with Lockheed to become Lockheed Martin. In 1997, Lockheed Martin divested the Camden Plant as part of the birth of L-3 Communications.
  • In 1999, Camden was selected as the location for the USS New Jersey (BB-62). That ship remains in Camden.
  • In 2014, Subaru announced it would relocate its North American headquarters to a new facility in Camden.
  • In 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers opened a new practice facility in Camden.

21st century

Originally a city the industry of which focused mainly on manufacturing, in recent years Camden has shifted its focus to eds and meds (education and medicine) in an attempt to revitalize itself. Of the top employers in Camden, many are education and/or healthcare providers: Cooper University Hospital, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Rowan University, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden County College, Virtua, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, and CAMcare are all top employers. The eds and meds industry itself is the single largest source of jobs in the city: of the roughly 25,000 jobs in the city, 7,500 (30%) of them come from eds and meds institutions. The second largest source of jobs in Camden is the retail trade industry, which provides roughly 3,000 (12%) jobs. While already the largest employer in the city, the eds and meds industry in Camden is growing and is doing so despite falling population and total employment: From 2000 to 2014, population and total employment in Camden fell by 3% and 10% respectively, but eds and meds employment grew by 67%.

Despite previous failures to transform the Camden Waterfront, in September 2015 Liberty Property Trust and Mayor Dana L. Redd announced a $830 million plan to rehabilitate the waterfront. The project, which is the biggest private investment in the city's history, aims to redevelop 26 acres of land south of the Ben Franklin Bridge and includes plans for 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, 211 residences, a 130-room hotel, more than 4,000 parking spaces, a downtown shuttle bus, a new ferry stop, a riverfront park, and two new roads. The project is a modification of a previous $1 billion proposal by Liberty Property Trust, which would have redeveloped 37.2 acres and would have included 500,000 square feet of commercial space, 1,600 homes, and a 140-room hotel. On March 11, 2016 the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved the modified plans and officials like Timothy J. Lizura of the NJEDA expressed their enthusiasm: "It's definitely a new day in Camden. For 20 years, we've tried to redevelop that city, and we finally have the traction between a very competent mayor's office, the county police force, all the educational reforms going on, and now the corporate interest. It really is the right ingredient for changing a paradigm which has been a wreck".

In 2013 the New Jersey Economic Development Authority created the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act, which provides incentives for companies to relocate to or remain in economically struggling locations in the state. These incentives largely come in the form of tax breaks, which are payable over 10 years and are equivalent to a project's cost. According to the New York Times, "...the program has stimulated investment of about $1 billion and created or retained 7,600 jobs in Camden". This NJEDA incentive package has been utilized by organizations and firms such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Subaru of America, Lockheed Martin, and Holtec International.

  • In late 2014 the Philadelphia 76ers broke ground in Camden (across the street from the BB&T Pavilion) to construct a new 125,000 square foot training complex. The Sixers Training Complex includes an office building and a 66,230 square foot basketball facility with two regulation-size basketball courts, a 2,800 square foot locker room, and a 7,000 square foot roof deck. The $83 million complex had its grand-opening on September 23, 2016 and is expected to provide 250 jobs for the city of Camden.
  • Also in late 2014, Subaru of America announced that in an effort to consolidate their operations, their new 250,000 square foot headquarters would be located in Camden. The $118 million project broke ground in December 2015 but was put on hold in mid-2016 because the original plans for the complex had sewage and waste water being pumped into an outdated sewage system. Adjustments to the plans have been made and the project is expected to be completed in 2017, creating up to 500 jobs in the city upon completion.

Several smaller-scale projects and transitions also took place during the 21st century:

  • In response to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, various strip clubs, hotels, and other businesses along Admiral Wilson Boulevard were torn down in 1999, and a park that once existed along the road was replenished.
  • In 2004, conversion of the RCA Nipper Building to The Victor, an upscale apartment building was completed. The same year, the River LINE, between the Entertainment Center at the Waterfront in Camden and the Transit Center in Trenton, was opened, with a stop directly across from The Victor.
  • In 2010, massive police corruption was exposed that resulted in the convictions of several policemen, dismissals of 185 criminal cases, and lawsuit settlements totaling $3.5 million that were paid to 88 victims. On May 1, 2013 the Camden Police Department was dissolved and the newly formed Camden County Police Department took over full responsibility for policing the city. This move was met with some disapproval from residents of both the city and county.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 10.341 square miles (26.784 km2), including 8.921 square miles (23.106 km2) of land and 1.420 square miles (3.677 km2) of water (13.73%).

Camden borders Collingswood, Gloucester City, Haddon Township, Pennsauken Township and Woodlynne in Camden County, as well as Philadelphia across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. Just offshore of Camden is Pettys Island, which is part of Pennsauken Township. The Cooper River (popular for boating) flows through Camden, and Newton Creek forms Camden's southern boundary with Gloucester City.

Camden contains the United States' first federally funded planned community for working class residents, Yorkship Village (now called Fairview). The village was designed by Electus Darwin Litchfield, who was influenced by the "garden city" developments popular in England at the time.

Neighborhoods

Camden has more than 20 generally recognized neighborhoods:

  • Ablett Village
  • Bergen Square
  • Beideman
  • Broadway
  • Centerville
  • Center City/Downtown Camden/Central Business District
  • Central Waterfront
  • Cooper
  • Cooper Grant
  • Cooper Point
  • Cramer Hill
  • Dudley
  • East Camden
  • Fairview
  • Gateway
  • Kaighn Point
  • Lanning Square
  • Liberty Park
  • Marlton
  • Morgan Village
  • North Camden
  • Parkside
  • Pavonia
  • Pyne Point
  • Rosedale
  • South Camden
  • Stockton
  • Waterfront South
  • Whitman Park
  • Yorkship

Port

On the Delaware River, with access to the Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Camden handles break bulk and bulk cargo. The port consists of two terminals: the Beckett Street Terminal and the Broadway Terminal. The port receives hundreds of ships moving international and domestic cargo annually.

In 2005, the Port of Camden (South Jersey Port Corporation) was subject to an unresolved criminal investigation and a state audit. Some activities in the port are under the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Port Authority.

Climate

Camden has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa in the Koeppen climate classification).

Climate data for Camden, New Jersey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 41
(5)
45
(7.2)
54
(12.2)
65
(18.3)
74
(23.3)
82
(27.8)
87
(30.6)
85
(29.4)
78
(25.6)
67
(19.4)
57
(13.9)
46
(7.8)
65.083
(18.3794)
Average low °F (°C) 24
(-4.4)
26
(-3.3)
33
(0.6)
42
(5.6)
52
(11.1)
61
(16.1)
67
(19.4)
65
(18.3)
58
(14.4)
46
(7.8)
38
(3.3)
29
(-1.7)
45.083
(7.2683)
Source: <Weather.com >"Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". Camden, NJ (08102). Weather.com. 2016. https://weather.com/weather/monthly/l/Camden+NJ+08102:4:US. Retrieved 14 September 2016.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 3,371
1850 9,479 181.2%
1860 14,358 51.5%
1870 20,045 39.6%
1880 41,659 107.8%
1890 58,313 40.0%
1900 75,935 30.2%
1910 94,538 24.5%
1920 116,309 23.0%
1930 118,700 2.1%
1940 117,536 −1.0%
1950 124,555 6.0%
1960 117,159 −5.9%
1970 102,551 −12.5%
1980 84,910 −17.2%
1990 87,492 3.0%
2000 79,318 −9.3%
2010 77,344 −2.5%
Est. 2015 76,119 −1.6%
Population sources: 1840–2000
1840–1920 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1840–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010
Demographic profile 1950 1970 1990 2010
White 85.9% 59.8% 19.0% 17.6%
 —Non-Hispanic N/A 52.9% 14.4% 4.9%
Black or African American 14.0% 39.1% 56.4% 48.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) N/A 7.6% 31.2% 47.0%
Asian 0.2% 1.3% 2.1%

As of 2006, 52% of the city's residents lived in poverty, one of the highest rates in the nation. The city had a median household income of $18,007, the lowest of all U.S. communities with populations of more than 65,000 residents, making it America's poorest city. A group of poor Camden residents were the subject of a 20/20 special on poverty in America broadcast on January 26, 2007, in which Diane Sawyer profiled the lives of three young children growing up in Camden. A follow-up was shown on November 9, 2007.

In 2011, Camden's unemployment rate was 19.6%, compared with 10.6% in Camden County as a whole. As of 2009, the unemployment rate in Camden was 19.2%, compared to the 10% overall unemployment rate for Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties and a rate of 8.4% in Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 77,344 people, 24,475 households, and 16,912 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,669.6 per square mile (3,347.4/km2). There were 28,358 housing units at an average density of 3,178.7 per square mile (1,227.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 17.59% (13,602) White, 48.07% (37,180) Black or African American, 0.76% (588) Native American, 2.12% (1,637) Asian, 0.06% (48) Pacific Islander, 27.57% (21,323) from other races, and 3.83% (2,966) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47.04% (36,379) of the population. The Hispanic population of 36,379 was the tenth-highest of any municipality in New Jersey and the proportion of 47.0% was the state's 16th-highest percentage. The Puerto Rican population was 30.7%.

There were 24,475 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 22.3% were married couples living together, 37.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.56.

In the city, the population was spread out with 31.0% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.5 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 91.0 males.

The city of Camden was 47% Hispanic of any race, 44% non-Hispanic black, 6% non-Hispanic white, and 3% other. Camden is predominately populated by African Americans and Puerto Ricans.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $27,027 (with a margin of error of +/- $912) and the median family income was $29,118 (+/- $1,296). Males had a median income of $27,987 (+/- $1,840) versus $26,624 (+/- $1,155) for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,807 (+/- $429). About 33.5% of families and 36.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.3% of those under age 18 and 26.2% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 79,904 people, 24,177 households, and 17,431 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,057.0 people per square mile (3,497.9/km²). There were 29,769 housing units at an average density of 3,374.3 units per square mile (1,303.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 16.84% White, 53.35% African American, 0.54% Native American, 2.45% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 22.83% from other races, and 3.92% from two or more races. 38.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,177 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.1% were married couples living together, 37.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.52 and the average family size was 4.00.

In the city, the population is quite young with 34.6% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,421, and the median income for a family was $24,612. Males had a median income of $25,624 versus $21,411 for females. The per capita income for the city is $9,815. 35.5% of the population and 32.8% of families were below the poverty line. 45.5% of those under the age of 18 and 23.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

In the 2000 Census, 30.85% of Camden residents identified themselves as being of Puerto Rican heritage. This was the third-highest proportion of Puerto Ricans in a municipality on the United States mainland, behind only Holyoke, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, for all communities in which 1,000 or more people listed an ancestry group.

Culture

Camden's role as an industrial city gave rise to distinct neighborhoods and cultural groups that have effected the growth and decline of the city over the course of the 20th century. Camden is also home to historic landmarks detailing its rich history in literature, music, social work, and industry such as the Walt Whitman House,[183] the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, the Rutgers–Camden Center For The Arts and the Camden Children's Garden.

Camden's cultural history has been greatly affected by both its economic and social position over the years. From 1950 to 1970 industry plummeted, losing close to 20,000 jobs for Camden residents. This mass unemployment as well as social pressure from neighboring townships caused an exodus of citizens, mostly white. This gap was filled by new African American and Latino citizens and led to a restructuring of Camden's communities. The mass number of White citizen who left to neighboring towns such as Collingswood or Cherry Hill, leaving both new and old African American and Latino citizens to begin to rebuild their community. To help this rebuilding process, numerous non-for-profit organizations such as Hopeworks or the Neighborhood Center have been formed to facilitate Camden's movement into the 21st century.

Coopergrant
A community sign near Camden's Cooper Grant neighborhood showcasing the cities official tagline "A City Invincible"

Due to its location as county seat, as well as its proximity to Philadelphia, Camden has had strong connections with its neighboring cities.

On July 17, 1951, they formed the Delaware River Port Authority, a bi-state agency created to develop ease of transportation between the two cities.

In June 2014, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they would move their practice facility and home offices to the Camden Waterfront, adding 250 permanent jobs in the city creating what CEO Scott O'Neil described as "biggest and best training facility in the country" using $82 million in tax savings offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The Battleship New Jersey, a museum ship located on the Delaware Waterfront, was a contested topic for the two cities. Philadelphia's DRPA funded millions of dollars into the museum ship project as well as the rest of the Waterfront, but the ship was originally donated to a Camden-based agency called the Home Port Alliance. They argue that Battleship New Jersey is necessary for Camden's economic growth. As of October 2001, the Home Port Alliance has maintained ownership of Battleship New Jersey.

African American Culture

In 1967, Charles 'Poppy' Sharp founded the Black Believers of Knowledge, an organization founded on the betterment of African America citizens in South Camden. He would soon rename his organization to the Black People's Unity Movement (BPUM). The BPUM was one of the first major cultural organizations to arise after the deindustrialization of Camden's industrial life. Going against the building turmoil in the city, Sharp founded BPUM on "the belief that all the people in our community should contribute to positive change".

In 2001, Camden residents and entrepreneurs founded the South Jersey Caribbean Cultural and Development Organization (SJCCDO) as a non-profit organization aimed at promoting understanding and awareness of Caribbean Culture in South Jersey and Camden. The most prominent of the events that the SJCCDO organizes is the South Jersey Caribbean Festival, an event that is held for both cultural and economical reasons. The festival's primary focus is cultural awareness of all of Camden's residents. The festival also showcases free art and music as well as financial information and free promotion for Camden artists.

In 1986, Tawanda 'Wawa' Jones began the Camden Sophisticated Sisters, a youth drill team. CSS serves as a self-proclaimed 'positive outlet' for the Camden' students, offering both dance lessons as well as community service hours and social work opportunities. Since it's conception CSS has grown to include two other organizations, all ran through Jones: Camden Distinguished Brothers and The Almighty Percussion Sound drum line. In 2013, CSS was featured on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Hispanic and Latino Culture

On December 31, 1987, the Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA). LAEDA is a non-profit economic development organization that helps with the creation of small business for minorities in Camden. LAEDA was founded under in an attempt to revitalize Camden's economy and provide job experience for its residents. LAEDA operates on a two major methods of rebuilding, The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) and the Neighborhood Commercial Expansion Initiative (NCEI). In 1990, LAEDA began a program called The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) which would offer residents employment and job opportunities through ownership of small businesses. The program over time created 506 businesses and 1,169 jobs. As of 2016, half of these businesses are still in operation. Neighborhood Commercial Expansion Initiative (NCEI) then finds locations for these business to operate in, purchasing and refurbishing abandoned real estate. As of 2016 four buildings have been refurbished including the First Camden National Bank & Trust Company Building.

One of the longest standing traditions in Camden's Hispanic community is the San Juan Bautista Parade, a celebration of St. John the Baptist, conducted annually starting in 1957. The parade began in 1957 when a group of parishioners from Our Lady of Mount Carmel marched with the church founder Father Leonardo Carrieri. This march was originally a way for the parishioners to recognize and show their Puerto Rican Heritage, and eventually became the modern day San Juan Bautista Parade. Since its conception, the parade has grown into the Parada San Juan Bautista, Inc, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the community presence of Camden's Hispanic and Latino members. Some of the work that the Parada San Juan Bautista, Inc has done include a month long event for the parade with a community commemorative mass and a coronation pageant. The organization also awards up to $360,000 in scholarships to high school students of Puerto Rican descent.

On May 30, 2000 Camden resident and grassroots organizer Lillian Santiago began a movement to rebuild abandoned lots in her North Camden neighborhood into playgrounds. The movement was met with resistance from the Camden government, citing monetary issues. As Santiago's movement gained more notability in her neighborhoods she was able to move other community members into action, including Reverend Heywood Wiggins. Wiggins was the president of the Camden Churches Organized for People, a coalition of 29 churches devoted to the improvement of Camden's communities, and with his support Santiago's movement succeeded. Santiago and Wiggins were also firm believers in Community Policing, which would result in their fight against Camden's corrupt police department and the eventual turnover to the State government.

Arts and Entertainment

Camden has two generally recognized neighborhoods located on the Delaware River waterfront, Central and South. The Waterfront South was founded in 1851 by the Kaighns Point Land Company. During World War Two, Waterfront South housed many of the industrial workers for the New York Shipbuilding Company. Currently, the Waterfront is home to many historical buildings and cultural icons. The Waterfront South neighborhood is considered a federal and state historic area due to its history and culturally significant buildings, such as the Sacred Heart Church, and the South Camden Trust Company The Central Waterfront is located adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and is home to the Nipper Building (also known as The Victor), the Adventure Aquarium, and Battleship New Jersey, a museum ship located at the Home Port Alliance.

Starting on February 16, 2012, Camden's Waterfront began an art crawl and volunteer initiative called Third Thursday in an effort to support local Camden business and restaurants. Part of Camden's art crawl movement exists in Studio Eleven One, a fully restored 1906 firehouse opened in 2011 that operated as an art gallery owned by William and Ronja Butlers. The Butlers moved to Camden in 2011 from Des Moines, Iowa and began the Third Thursday art movement. William Butler and Studio Eleven One are a part of his wife's company Thomas Lift LLC, self described as a "socially conscious company" that works to connect Camden's art scene with philanthropic organizations. Some of the work they have done includes work against Human Trafficking, and ecological donations.

Starting in 2014, Camden began Connect The Lots, a community program designed to revitalize unused areas for community engagement,. Connect the Lots was founded through The Kresge Foundation, and the project "seeks to create temporary, high-quality, safe outdoor spaces that are consistently programed with local cultural and recreational activities" Other partnerships with the Connect the Lots foundation include the Cooper's Ferry Partnership, a private non-profit corporation dedicated to urban renewal. Connect the Lots' main work are their 'Pop up Parks' that they create around Camden. In 2014, Connect the lots created a pop up skate park for Camden youth with assistance from Camden residents as well as students. As of 2016, the Connect the Lots program free programs have expanded to include outdoor yoga and free concerts.

In October 2014, Camden finished construction of the Kroc Center, a Salvation Army funded community center located in the Cramer Hill neighborhood. The Kroc center's mission is to provide both social services to the people of Camden as well as community engagement opportunities. The center was funded by a $59 million donation from Joan Kroc, and from the Salvation Army. The project was launched in 2005 with a proposed completion date of one year. However, due to the location of the site as well as governmental concerns, the project was delayed. The Kroc center's location was the an 85-acre former landfill which closed in 1971. Salvation Army Major Paul Cain states the landfill's location to the waterfront and the necessity to handle storm water management as main reasons for the delay. The Center was eventually opened on October 4, 2014, with almost citywide acclaim. Camden Mayor Dana Redd on the opening of the center called it "the crown jewel of the city". The Kroc Center offers an 8-lane, 25-yard competition pool, a children's water park, various athletic and entertainment options, as well as an in center chapel.

Religious presence

Camden has a large religious presence, brought out by the necessity of citizens for both physical needs and societal support. Many of the churches in Camden operate as non-profit or as community centers.

The first Scientology church was incorporated in December 1953 in Camden by L. Ron Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue Hubbard, and John Galusha.

Father Michael Doyle, the pastor of Sacred Heart Church located in North Camden, has played a large role in Camden's spiritual and social history. In 1971, Doyle was part of the Camden 28, a group of anti-Vietnam War activists who planned to raid a draft board office in the city. This is noted by many as the start of Doyle's activities as a radical 'catholic left'. Following these activities, Doyle went on to become a parishioner for Sacred Heart, as well as becoming a poet and an activist. Father Doyle and the Sacred Heart Church's main mission is to form a connection between the primarily white suburban surrounding areas and the inner-city of Camden.

In 1982, Father Mark Aita of Holy Name of Camden founded the St. Luke's Catholic Medical Services. Aita, a medical doctor and a member of the Society of Jesus, created the first medical system in Camden that did not use rotating primary care physicians. Since its conception, St. Luke's has grown to include Patient Education Classes as well as home medical services, aiding over seven thousand Camden residents.

Philanthropy

Ck Kitchen Catering
Ck Kitchen Catering

Camden, N.J has a variety of Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Organizations aimed to assist city residents with a wide range of health and social services free or reduced charge to residents. Camden City, having one of the highest rates of poverty in New Jersey, fueled residents and local organizations to come together and develop organizations aimed to provide relief to its citizens. The 2000 Census cites that Camden's income per capita was $9,815. This ranking made Camden the poorest city in the state of New Jersey, as well as one of the poorest cities in all of the United States. Camden also has one of the highest rates of childhood poverty in the nation. Camden was once a thriving industrialized city home to the RCA Victor, Campbell Soup Company and containing one of the largest shipping companies. Camden's decline stemmed from the lack in jobs once these companies moved over seas. Many of Camden's Non-Profit Organizations emerged during the 1900s when the city suffered a large decline in jobs which affected the city's growth and population. These organizations can be located in all of Camden NJ sub-sections and offer free services to all city residents in an attempt to combat poverty and aid low income families. The services offered range from preventative health care, homeless shelters, early childhood education, to home ownership and restoration services. Nonprofits in Camden strive to aid assist Camden residents in need of all ages, from children to the elderly. Each nonprofit organization in Camden has a unique history and impact on the community with specific goals and services. These organizations survive through donations, partnerships, and fundraising. Volunteers are needed at many of these organizations to assist with various programs and duties. Camden's nonprofits also focus on development, prevention, and revitalization of the community. Nonprofit organizations serve as resource for the homeless, unemployed, or financially insufficient.

One of Camden's most prominent and longest running organizations with a span of 103 years of service, is The Neighborhood Center located in the Morgan Village section of Camden. The Neighborhood Center was founded in 1913 by Eldridge Johnson, George Fox Sr., Mary Baird, and local families in the community geared to provide a safe environment for the city's children. The goal of Camden's Neighborhood Center is to promote and enable academic, athletic and arts achievements. The Neighborhood Center was created to assist the numerous families living in Camden in poverty. The services offered at The Neighborhood Center are Urban Child Care Learning Center, Arts and Education Program, Kumbaya summer camp, and Community Kitchen program. The Neighborhood Center also has an Urban Community Garden as of the year 2015. Many of the services and activities offered for the children are after school programs, and programs for teenagers are also available. These teenage youth programs aim to guide students toward success during and after their high school years. The activities at the Neighborhood Center are meant to challenge youth in a safe environment for fun and learning. These activities are developed in the hopes of The Neighborhood Center helping to break the cycle of poverty that is common in the city of Camden. The Neighborhood Center is located at 278 Kaighns Avenue Camden, NJ 08103.

Center for Family Services Inc Offers a number of services and programs that total 76 free individual programs. This organization has operated in South Jersey for over 90 years and is one of the leading Non Profits in the city. Cure4Camden is a community ran program focused on stopping the spread of violence in Camden and surrounding communities. They focus on stopping the spread of violence in the Camden City communities of:

  • Liberty Park
  • Whitman Park
  • Centerville
  • Cooper Plaza/Lanning Square

Center for Family Services offers additional programs such as : Active parenting and Baby Best Start program, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, and Rehabilitative Care. They are located at 584 Benson St Camden NJ 801 Center for Family Services is a nonprofit organization helping adults, children, and families. Center for Family Services' main focus is "prevention". Center for Family Services has over 50 programs, aimed at the most "vulnerable" members of the community. These programs are made possible by donors, a board of trustees, and a professional staff. Their work helps prevent possible victims of abuse, neglect, or severe family problems. Their work helps thousands of individuals in the community and also provides intervention services to individuals and families. Their programs for children are home-based, community-based, as well as school-based. Center for Family Services is funded through partners, donors, and funders from the community and elsewhere.

Cathedral Soup Kitchen, Inc. A Human Service-based Non- Profit Organization that is the largest emergency food distribution agency in Camden N.J. The organization was founded in 1976 by four Camden residents after attending a lecture given by Mother Theresa. They ran off of donated food and funds for fourteen years until they were granted tax exempt status as a 501(c) (3) corporation in 1990. In the 1980s, a new program started at The Cathedral Kitchen called the "casserole program", which consisted of volunteers cooking and freezing casseroles to be donated and dropped off at the Cathedral Kitchen, and then be served to guests. Cathedral Kitchen faced many skeptics at first, despite the problems they were attempting to solve in the community, such as hunger. The Cathedral Kitchen's first cooking staff consisted of Clyde and Theresa Jones. Next, Sister Jean Spena joined the crew and the three members ran cooking operations over the course of several years. They provide 100,000 meals a year and launched a Culinary Arts Catering program in 2009.The organization offers Employment Preparation & Procurement, Food Programs and Culinary Arts Programs. They are located at 1514 Federal street Camden NJ 08105. They provide hot meals Monday through Saturday to Camden County residents. The Cathedral Kitchen's annual revenue is $3,041,979.00. A fundraising component of the Cathedral Kitchen is CK Cafe. CK Cafe is a small lunch restaurant used by the Cathedral Kitchen to provide employment to those who graduate from their programs as well as generate profits to continue to provide food to the hungry. CK Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. You can even place an order for takeout by calling their telephone number. CK Cafe even offers catering and event packages. The Cathedral Kitchen is innovative and unique compared to other soup kitchens, because those who eat at The Cathedral Kitchen are referred to as "dinner guests" rather than the homeless, the hungry,etc. The Cathedral Kitchen also offers various opportunities for those interested to volunteer. Another feature of The Cathedral Kitchen is their free health clinics with a variety of services offered including dental care and other social services. The Cathedral Kitchen's case manager assists guests and Camden students with referrals for utility bills, childcare, etc. Project HOPE also partners with The Cathedral Kitchen to provide screenings for overall general health.

Catholic Charities of Camden, Inc. is a Faith-based organization which advocates and uplifts the lives of the poor and unemployed. They provide services in six New Jersey counties and serve over 28,000 people each year. The extent of the services offered exceed those of any of Camden's other Non- Profit Organizations. Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program is one of the only Non-Profit that offers resettlement services in the area. They currently provide relief to over 100 refugees each year, from various countries. Some of the services Catholic Charities offer include; Adoption services, Immigration Legal Assistance, Veteran Services, Substance Abuse Assistance, Disaster Response, Housing Assistance, Domestic Violence Counseling, Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Education, Homeless & Housing, Housing Support, Preschools, Urban & Community Economic Development The Catholic Charities of Camden Inc. is located at 601-603 Clinton St Camden NJ 08103.

Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP) is an arrangement between various congregations of Camden to partner together against issues in the community. CCOP is affiliated with Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO). CCOP is a non-religious, non-profit organization that works with believers in the Camden to solve social issues in the community. Their beliefs and morals are the foundation for their efforts to solve a multitude of issues in the Camden community. CCOP's system for community organizing was modeled after PICO, which stresses the importance of social change instead of social services when addressing the causes of residents and their families' problems. CCOP's initial efforts began in 1995, and was composed only of two directors and about 60 leaders from the 18 churches in the organization. The congregation leaders of CCOP all had a considerable amount of networking contacts but were also looking to expand and share their networking relationship with others. CCOP congregation leaders also had to listen to the concerns of those in their networking contacts, the community, and the congregations. One of the main services of CCOP was conducting one-on-one's with individuals in the community, to recognize patterns' of residents' issues in the community. An example of this was CCOP's realization of drug dealings taking place in the city's vacant houses. These drug dealings were also often violent and dangerous. CCOP conducted more than 200 one-on-ones with citizens in the city of Camden. As a result of their findings, CCOP met with institutions who were knowledgeable with regards to crime or housing from both the public and private sectors. It is approximated that about 20 of these meetings were held, with various attendees including the Camden police, local housing authority, and elected officials.

Cooper Grant Neighborhood Association is located in the historic Cooper Grant neighborhood that once housed William Cooper an English Quaker with long ties to Camden. His son Richard Cooper along with his four children are responsible for contributing to the creation of the Cooper Health System. This organizations goal is to enrich the lives of citizens living in the Cooper Grant neighborhood located from the Camden Waterfront up to Rutgers University Camden campus. This center offers community service to the citizens living in the historic area that include activism, improving community health and involvement, safety and security, housing development, affordable childcare services, and connecting neighborhoods and communities together. The Cooper Grant Neighborhood Association owns the Cooper Grant Community Garden. Project H.O.P.E rganization offers healthcare to the homeless, preventative health Care, substance abuse programs, social work services, behavioral health care. Their address is 519-525 West Street Camden, NJ 80103. Project H.O.P.E staff consists of administrative, security, and clinical teams. Donations accepted by Project H.O.P.E. are used to support their medical facility. Project H.O.P.E. also offers mobile vans for various health services at specific sites. Another feature of Project H.O.P.E. is the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). PCMH offers a wide variety of unique services ranging from personalized care packages and bilingual services for patients.

Heart of Camden rganization that offers home renovation and restoration services, home ownership programs. Their address is 1840 S. Broadway, Camden NJ 08104. Heart of Camden receives donations from online shoppers through Amazon Smile. Heart of Camden Organization is partners with District Council Collaborative Board (DCCB). Heart of Camden Organization's accomplishments include the economic development of various entities such as the Waterfront South Theatre, Neighborhood Greenhouse, and a community center with a gymnasium. Another accomplishment of Heart of Camden Organization is its revitalization of Camden, which includes Liney's Park Community Gardens and Peace Park.

Cathedral Kitchen in Camden New Jersey
Cathedral Kitchen in Camden New Jersey

Fellowship House of South Camden organization that offers Christian (Nondenominational) based after school and summer programs. Fellowship House of South1722 South Broadway, Camden, NJ 08104. Fellowship House was founded in 1965 and started as a weekly Bible club program for students in the inner-city of Camden. Settlement was made on a house located at Fellowships House's current location in the year 1969. Fellowship House hired its first actual staff member, director Dick Wright, in the year 1973.

Volunteers of America.org helps families facing poverty and is a community based organization geared toward helping families live self-sufficient, healthy lives. With a 120 years of service the Volunteers of America has dedicated their services to all Americans in need of help. Home for the Brave is a housing program aimed to assist homeless veterans. This program is a 30-bed housing program that coincides with the Homeless Veterans Reintegration program which is funded through the Department of Labor. Additional services include ; Emergency Support, Community Support, Employment Services, Housing Services, Veterans Services, Behavioral Services, Senior Housing. They are located at 525 Cooper Street.

Transportation

Roads and highways

Ben Franklin Bridge at sunrise 2009-09-02 06-08-46 4w
The Ben Franklin Bridge at sunrise, connecting Camden, at right, to Philadelphia.

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 181.92 miles (292.77 km) of roadways, of which 147.54 miles (237.44 km) were maintained by the municipality, 25.39 miles (40.86 km) by Camden County, 6.60 miles (10.62 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 2.39 miles (3.85 km) by the Delaware River Port Authority.

Interstate 676 and U.S. Route 30 run through Camden to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the north side of the city. Interstate 76 passes through briefly and interchanges with Interstate 676.

Route 168 passes through briefly in the south, and County Routes 537, 543, 551 and 561 all travel through the heart of the city.

Public transportation

Riverline At Walter Rand
The River Line (NJ Transit) at Walter Rand – a light rail system connecting Camden to Trenton.

NJ Transit's Walter Rand Transportation Center is located at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Broadway. In addition to being a hub for NJ Transit (NJT) buses in the Southern Division, Greyhound Lines, the PATCO Speedline and River Line make stops at the station.

The PATCO Speedline offers frequent train service to Philadelphia and the suburbs to the east in Camden County, with stations at City Hall, Broadway (Walter Rand Transportation Center) and Ferry Avenue. The line operates 24 hours a day.

Since its opening in 2004, NJ Transit's River Line has offered light rail service to towns along the Delaware north of Camden, and terminates in Trenton. Camden stations are 36th Street, Walter Rand Transportation Center, Cooper Street-Rutgers University, Aquarium and Entertainment Center.

NJ Transit bus service is available to and from Philadelphia on the 313, 315, 317, 318 and 400, 401, 402, 404, 406, 408, 409, 410, 412, 414, and 417, to Atlantic City is served by the 551 bus. Local service is offered on the 403, 405, 407, 413, 418, 419, 450, 451, 452, 453, and 457 lines.

Studies are being conducted to create the Camden-Philadelphia BRT, a bus rapid transit system, with a 2012 plan to develop routes that would cover the 23 miles (37 km) between Winslow Township and Philadelphia with a stop at the Walter Rand Transportation Center.

RiverLink Ferry is seasonal service across the Delaware River to Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

Waterfront

Camden waterfront skyline
View of the Camden waterfront from Philadelphia in 2005

One of the most popular attractions in Camden is the city's waterfront, along the Delaware River. The waterfront is highlighted by its four main attractions, the USS New Jersey; the BB&T Pavilion; Campbell's Field; and the Adventure Aquarium. The waterfront is also the headquarters for Catapult Learning, a provider of K−12 contracted instructional services to public and private schools in the United States, and WebiMax, a full-service internet marketing company.

The Adventure Aquarium was originally opened in 1992 as the New Jersey State Aquarium at Camden. In 2005, after extensive renovation, the aquarium was reopened under the name Adventure Aquarium. The aquarium was one of the original centerpieces in Camden's plans to revitalize the city.

The Susquehanna Bank Center (formerly known as the Tweeter Center) is a 25,000-seat open-air concert amphitheater opened in 1995 and renamed after a 2008 deal in which the bank would pay $10 million over 15 years for naming rights.

Campbell's Field, opened in 2001, was home to the Camden Riversharks (which folded in 2015) of the independent Atlantic League; and the Rutgers–Camden baseball team.

The USS New Jersey (BB-62) was a U.S. Navy battleship that was intermittently active between the years 1943 and 1991. After its retirement, the ship was turned into the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, opened in 2001 along the waterfront. The New Jersey saw action during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and provided support off Lebanon in early 1983.

Other attractions at the Waterfront are the Wiggins Park Riverstage and Marina, One Port Center, The Victor Lofts, the Walt Whitman House, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, the Rutgers–Camden Center For The Arts and the Camden Children's Garden.

In June 2014, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they would move their practice facility and home offices to the Camden Waterfront, adding 250 permanent jobs in the city creating what CEO Scott O'Neil described as "biggest and best training facility in the country" using $82 million in tax savings offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The Waterfront is also served by two modes of public transportation. NJ Transit serves the Waterfront on its River Line, while people from Philadelphia can commute using the RiverLink Ferry, which connects the Waterfront with Old City Philadelphia.

Riverfront State Prison, was a state penitentiary located near downtown Camden north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which opened in August 1985 having been constructed at a cost of $31 million. The prison had a design capacity of 631 inmates, but housed 1,020 in 2007 and 1,017 in 2008. The last prisoners were transferred in June 2009 to other locations and the prison was closed and subsequently demolished, with the site expected to be redeveloped by the State of New Jersey, the City of Camden, and private investors. In December 2012, the New Jersey Legislature approved the sale of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) site, considered surplus property to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Points of interest

  • Adventure Aquarium – Originally opened in 1992, it re-opened in its current form in May 2005 featuring about 8,000 animals living in varied forms of semi-aquatic, freshwater, and marine habitats.
  • BB&T Pavilion – An outdoor amphitheater/indoor theater complex with a seating capacity of 25,000. Formerly known as the Susquehanna Bank Center.
  • Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial – Opened in October 2001, providing access to the battleship USS New Jersey that had been towed to the Camden area for restoration in 1999.
  • Campbell's Field – a 6,425-seat baseball park that hosted its first regular season baseball game on May 11, 2001, and is home to the Camden Riversharks and the Rutgers University–Camden baseball team. The stadium was acquired by Camden County in April 2015.
  • Harleigh Cemetery – Established in 1885, the cemetery is the burial site of Walt Whitman, several Congressmen, and many other South Jersey notables.
  • Walt Whitman House
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Camden County, New Jersey

In popular culture

The fictional Camden mayor Carmine Polito in the 2013 film American Hustle is loosely based on 1970s Camden mayor Angelo Errichetti.

The 1995 film 12 Monkeys contains scenes on Camden's Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

Camden is a setting in "Self-Destruct", a third-season episode of The CW television show Nikita, in which Alex and Nikita destroys a drug and human trafficking gang and their headquarters.

Images for kids


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