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Clifton, New Jersey
City of Clifton
Clifton NJ, looking across Holster Park toward Montclair State University
Clifton NJ, looking across Holster Park toward Montclair State University
Official seal of Clifton, New Jersey
"The City that Cares"
Map of Clifton in Passaic County. Inset: location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Clifton in Passaic County. Inset: location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Clifton, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey is located in Passaic County, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey
Location in Passaic County, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey is located in the United States
Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Passaic
Incorporated April 26, 1917
 • Type 1923 Municipal Manager Law
 • Body City Council
 • Total 11.43 sq mi (29.60 km2)
 • Land 11.27 sq mi (29.19 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)  1.37%
Area rank 197th of 565 in state
4th of 16 in county
131 ft (40 m)
 • Total 84,136
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 399th in country (as of 2019)
11th of 566 in state
2nd of 16 in county
 • Density 7,472.0/sq mi (2,885.0/km2)
 • Density rank 52nd of 566 in state
4th of 16 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3403113690
GNIS feature ID 0885188

Clifton is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 84,136, retaining its position as the state's 11th-most-populous municipality, as the population increased by 5,464 (+6.9%) from the 78,672 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,930 (+9.7%) from the 71,742 counted in the 1990 Census. For 2019, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 85,052, an increase of 1.1% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city the 399th-most-populous in the country.

Clifton was incorporated as a city by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 26, 1917, replacing Acquackanonk Township, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier. Clifton is listed under five different ZIP codes. 07011, 07012, 07013, 07014, and 07015.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.397 square miles (29.518 km2), including 11.260 square miles (29.164 km2) of land and 0.137 square miles (0.355 km2) of water (1.20%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Albion Place, Allwood, Athenia, Botany Village, Delawanna, Dutch Hill, Lakeview, Main Mall, Montclair Heights, Richfield, Rosemawr, Styertowne, West Clifton and Yanticaw Pond.

Clifton is located 10 miles (16 km) west of New York City off both Route 3 and Route 46. The city is also served by the Garden State Parkway, Route 19 and Route 21.

The city borders the municipalities of Little Falls, Passaic, Paterson and Woodland Park in Passaic County; Elmwood Park, Garfield, Lyndhurst and Rutherford in Bergen County; and Bloomfield, Montclair and Nutley in Essex County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 11,869
1920 26,470 123.0%
1930 46,875 77.1%
1940 48,827 4.2%
1950 64,511 32.1%
1960 82,084 27.2%
1970 82,437 0.4%
1980 74,388 −9.8%
1990 71,742 −3.6%
2000 78,672 9.7%
2010 84,136 6.9%
2019 (est.) 85,052 1.1%
Population sources:
1910–1920 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 84,136 people, 30,661 households, and 21,125 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,472.0 per square mile (2,885.0/km2). There were 31,946 housing units at an average density of 2,837.1 per square mile (1,095.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 69.63% (58,588) White, 4.92% (4,137) Black or African American, 0.50% (419) Native American, 8.90% (7,488) Asian, 0.03% (22) Pacific Islander, 12.44% (10,464) from other races, and 3.59% (3,018) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.92% (26,854) of the population.

There were 30,661 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.4 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 90.4 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,271 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,208) and the median family income was $76,070 (+/- $2,883). Males had a median income of $49,780 (+/- $2,391) versus $40,149 (+/- $2,057) for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,812 (+/- $1,255). About 7.2% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

Same-sex couples headed 243 households in 2010.


Roads and highways

2021-06-06 12 29 43 View south along New Jersey State Route 444 (Garden State Parkway) from the overpass for the ramp from U.S. Route 46 eastbound in Clifton, Passaic County, New Jersey
The Garden State Parkway southbound in Clifton

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 199.94 miles (321.77 km) of roadways, of which 145.43 miles (234.05 km) were maintained by the municipality, 35.95 miles (57.86 km) by Passaic County, 14.06 miles (22.63 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 4.50 miles (7.24 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Major roadways in the city include Route 3 (which crosses from east to west along the southern portion of the city), Route 21 (along the Passaic River), Route 19 in the city's northwest and U.S. Route 46. The Garden State Parkway crosses the city, connecting Bloomfield in Essex County to the south to Elmwood Park in Bergen County in the north. Parkway interchanges 153 (signed for Route 3 and Route 46 West) / 153A (for Route 3 East) / 153B (for Route 3 and Route 46 West), 154 (for Route 46), 155 (for Clifton) / 155P (for Clifton / Paterson) and 156 (to Route 46).

Public transportation

NJ Transit trains at the Clifton station and Delawanna station follow the NJ Transit Main Line to Suffern and Hoboken Terminal. Until 1966, the Newark Branch of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad served several stations in the town, Athenia (Colfax Avenue) and Allwood. The Newark Branch tracks are now used for freight only, operated by Norfolk Southern.

NJ Transit provides bus service on the 190, 191, 192 and 195 routes to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, to Newark on the 13, 27 and 72 routes, and local service on the 74, 702, 703, 705, 707, 709, 744 routes.

DeCamp Bus Lines provides service on the 33 and 66 routes to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan.

In popular culture

  • The character of Rupert Pupkin in Martin Scorsese's film The King of Comedy comes from Clifton.
  • The movie Donnie Brasco, which starred Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, was filmed partially in Clifton in 1996.
  • Many scenes from The Sopranos were filmed in town, including the parking lot of the Valley Regency on Valley Road, Main Memorial Park and Clifton High School. The golf scenes were filmed at the Upper Montclair Country Club.
  • New York Yankee Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto owned a bowling alley in Clifton called "Rizzuto-Berra Bowling Lanes." The alley, later known as Astro Bowl, was located in the Styertowne Shopping Center in the Allwood section of town and remained open until 1999.
  • The Upper Montclair Country Club was home to the NFL Golf Classic and the Thunderbird Classic. The Sybase Classic golf tournament was held there annually until 2009.
  • Baseball Hall of Famer Honus Wagner played his last two seasons (1896–1897) of minor league baseball for the Paterson Silk Sox. While the team was named Paterson, the team played their games at Doherty Field, located off of Main Avenue behind the Doherty Silk Mill.
  • Clifton has an old sewerage system, accessible to intrepid urban explorers and evidently not actively maintained by any municipal authority or utility, known to some as the "Gates Of Hell." The walls are full of graffiti. The Clifton "Gates of Hell" are featured in Weird New Jersey.


Rutts Hut
Rutt's Hut, in Clifton, was opened in 1928.

Clifton is a diverse suburb of New York City, just over 10 miles to the West of the city. It boasts numerous national and local shopping options like Trader Joe's, Costco, Home Depot, Target, Stew Leonard's Wine Shop and countless specialty grocers and retailers. Notable local businesses in Clifton include:

  • The world headquarters of Comodo, a leading cybersecurity company, is in Clifton.
  • Rutt's Hut, a hot dog restaurant, is located at the east end of Delawana Avenue. Established in 1928, it was described by Peter Applebome of The New York Times as being "on the long shortlist of the state's esteemed hot dog palaces".
  • Clifton Commons, a shopping center located near Route 3, features numerous stores, restaurants and a 16-screen AMC movie theater, with a gross leasable area of 448,848 square feet (41,699.3 m2).
  • Promenade Shops at Clifton is an upscale mall located on Route 3 West.
  • Many low-rise office buildings, containing professional tenants such as law and accounting firms and medical practices, are found on the stretch of Clifton Avenue between City Hall (at Van Houten) and Allwood Road.
  • The now defunct Linens 'n Things, a bedding and home furnishings retailer, was headquartered in Clifton before its 2009 bankruptcy.


The Clifton Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of 18 schools, had an enrollment of 10,799 students and 843.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Clifton Early Learner Academy (serves PreK), School One (282 students; in grades K-5), School Two (419; K-5), School Three (294; K-5), School Four (174; K-5), School Five (392; K-5), School Eight (345; PreK-5), School Nine (332; K-5), School Eleven (447; K-5), School Twelve / Annex (684; PreK-5), School Thirteen (474; K-5), School Fourteen (408; K-5), School Fifteen (348; PreK-5), School Sixteen (232; K-5), School Seventeen (558; PreK-5), Christopher Columbus Middle School (1,201; 6–8), Woodrow Wilson Middle School (1,217; 6–8) and Clifton High School (2,883; 9–12).

With more than 3,300 students enrolled, Clifton High School is the largest single-facility high school in New Jersey; Elizabeth High School had more students, but they were spread over multiple campuses before the school was split into separate academies. An additional overflow site, the Clifton High School Annex, was constructed at a cost of $17 million and opened in September 2009 to accommodate 540 of the school year's 850 incoming Freshman to alleviate overcrowding.

Classical Academy Charter School of Clifton, a charter school founded in 1998 for Clifton residents that provides an education based on the classics to students in sixth through eighth grades, was recognized in 2008 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

Private schools in Clifton include Saint Philip Preparatory School, a K-8 elementary school that operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson. St. Andrew the Apostle School was closed after the 2017–18 school year due to financial challenges and a decline in the number of students registering for the new school year. St. Brendan Catholic School, which opened in 1946, was closed after the 2018–19 school year and merged with the Academy of St. James in Totowa, with the merged school to be called The Academy of St. James and St. Brendan.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Clifton, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Clifton include:

  • Jay Alford (born 1983), defensive lineman and long snapper for the Super Bowl XLII champion New York Giants
  • Nina Arianda (born c. 1984), film and theatrical actress
  • Greg Bajek (born 1968), retired soccer player, coach and team owner who played professionally in the American Professional Soccer League and owned a franchise in the USL Premier Development League
  • William J. Bate (1934–2011), politician who served as a state senator, assemblyman, and judge
  • Sofia Black-D'Elia (born 1991), actress; played Tea Marvelli in Skins, Sage Spence in Gossip Girl and Andrea Cornish in The Night Of
  • Jonathan Borrajo (born 1987), soccer wingback / defensive midfielder who played for the New York Red Bulls and the Norwegian team Mjøndalen IF
  • Russ Carroccio (1931–1994), football offensive lineman who played in the NFL for the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Rubin Carter (1937–2014), professional boxer, author, motivational speaker and activist; the subject of the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane"
  • David Chase (born 1945), creator of The Sopranos
  • Bartolo Colón (born 1973), pitcher for the New York Mets
  • Dow H. Drukker (1872–1963), represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district 1914–1919
  • Lew Erber (1934–1990), American football coach who was Offensive Coordinator for the New England Patriots and won two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders.
  • Vera Farmiga (born 1973), actress and director
  • John Feikens (1917–2011), United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Hector Fonseca (born 1980), DJ and music producer
  • Dan Garrett, head football coach for Kean University Cougars football team
  • Richard Godwin (1922–2005), the first Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
  • Bob Holly (born 1960), former quarterback in the NFL for the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons
  • Tommy James (born 1947), musician, singer / songwriter and record producer, best known as leader of the 1960s rock band Tommy James and the Shondells
  • Father Mychal F. Judge (1933–2001), FDNY Chaplain; first official death of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
  • Karin Korb, retired wheelchair tennis player who twice competed at the Summer Paralympics.
  • Wojtek Krakowiak (born 1976), retired Polish-American soccer midfielder who was the head coach of the Montana State University Billings women's soccer team after playing professionally in Major League Soccer
  • Garret Kramer, author and performance coach
  • Stan Lembryk (born 1969), retired professional soccer player
  • Sue Macy (born 1954), author, whose 2019 book, The Book Rescuer, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries.
  • Ernest Mario (born 1938), pharmaceutical executive
  • Ronald F. Maxwell (born 1949), movie director
  • Kayla Meneghin (born 1994) ice hockey forward for the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League.
  • Matt Miazga (born 1995), defender for Chelsea F.C. in Premier League
  • Adam Najem (born 1995), professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for FC Edmonton and the Afghanistan national team.
  • David Najem (born 1992), soccer player who plays as a midfielder for the New York Red Bulls II in the USL
  • Chris Opperman (born 1978), modern composer; performed on Steve Vai's Grammy-nominated composition "Lotus Feet"; grew up in Clifton and attended CHS
  • Jazlyn Oviedo (born 2002), footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Dominican Republic women's national team.
  • Morris Pashman (1912–1999), New Jersey Supreme Court Justice
  • Angelo Paternoster (1919–2012), offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins; went on to practice dentistry in Clifton
  • Nikki Phillips (born 1987), American-born Polish soccer defender and midfielder, who has played with FC Kansas City in the National Women's Soccer League and for the Poland national team
  • Michael J. Pollard (1939–2019), character actor and comedian widely known for his role as C.W. Moss in the film Bonnie and Clyde (1967), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination.
  • Anthony Provenzano (1917–1988), International Brotherhood of Teamsters official and mobster who was allegedly associated with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.
  • Pamela Radcliff (born 1956), historian and professor at the University of California at San Diego; an authority on the history of modern Spain
  • Norman M. Robertson (born 1951), politician who served on the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and later in the New Jersey State Senate, 1997–2001
  • Giuseppe Rossi (born 1987), Italian American soccer player
  • Miriam Sandler, singer and dancer; prolific backup singer during the 1990s for Latin pop artists such as Jon Secada and Gloria Estefan
  • Jon Seda (born 1970), actor best known for his roles in NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street and the movie Selena
  • James P. Shenton (1925–2003), historian of nineteenth-and twentieth-century America and professor at Columbia University.
  • Steve Smith (born 1985), wide receiver for the New York Football Giants
  • Jimmy Snuka (1943–2017), professional wrestler
  • William Staub (1915–2012), inventor of the home treadmill
  • Gloria Struck (born 1925), Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee
  • Walt Szot (1920–1981), football tackle who played five seasons in the National Football League with the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Dave Szott (born 1967), former NFL offensive lineman who played for the New York Jets
  • Patricia Travers (1927–2010), classical violinist
  • Paul L. Troast (1894–1972), building contractor, chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority during its construction, and one-time failed gubernatorial candidate in 1953
  • Joe Lynn Turner (born 1951), singer
  • Lawrence Tynes (born 1978), former NFL kicker who played for the New York Giants.
  • Dave White (born 1979), Derringer Award-winning mystery author and educator
  • Ivan Wilzig (born 1956), techno musician
  • Gerald H. Zecker (born 1942), member of the New Jersey General Assembly; mayor of Clifton 1978–1982
  • Rachel Zegler (born 2001), actress starring in Stephen Spielberg's film adaptation of West Side Story.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clifton (Nueva Jersey) para niños

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