kids encyclopedia robot

Passaic, New Jersey facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Passaic, New Jersey
City of Passaic
St. Mary's General Hospital
St. Mary's General Hospital
Map of Passaic in Passaic County. Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Passaic in Passaic County. Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Passaic, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Passaic, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Passaic
Settled 1679
Incorporated April 2, 1873
 • Type Faulkner Act (mayor–council)
 • Body City Council
 • Total 3.24 sq mi (8.39 km2)
 • Land 3.13 sq mi (8.11 km2)
 • Water 0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)  3.33%
Area rank 326th of 565 in state
11th of 16 in county
98 ft (30 m)
 • Total 70,537
 • Rank 524th in country (as of 2019)
16th of 566 in state
3rd of 16 in county
 • Density 22,535.8/sq mi (8,697.5/km2)
 • Density rank 7th of 566 in state
1st of 16 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3403156550
GNIS feature ID 0885342

Passaic ( pə-SAY-ik or pə-SAYK) is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2020 United States Census, the city had a total population of 70,537, ranking as the 16th largest municipality in New Jersey. Among cities with more than 50,000 people, Passaic is the fifth-most-densely-populated municipality in the United States, with more than 22,000 people per square mile.

Located north of Newark on the Passaic River, it was first settled in 1678 by Dutch traders, as Acquackanonk Township. The city and river draw their name from the Lenape word "pahsayèk" which has been variously attributed to mean "valley" or "place where the land splits."


West Main Avenue, Passaic, NJ
Main Avenue in 1911

The city originated from a Dutch settlement on the Passaic River established in 1679 which was called Acquackanonk. Industrial growth began in the 19th century, as Passaic became a textile and metalworking center. Passaic was formed within Acquackanonk Township on March 10, 1869, and was incorporated as an independent village on March 21, 1871. Passaic was chartered as a city on April 2, 1873.

The 1926 Passaic Textile Strike led by union organizer Albert Weisbord saw 36,000 mill workers leave their jobs to oppose wage cuts demanded by the textile industry. The workers successfully fought to keep their wages unchanged but did not receive recognition of their union by the mill owners.

Passaic has been called "The Birthplace of Television". In 1931, experimental television station W2XCD began transmitting from DeForest Radio Corporation in Passaic. It has been called the first television station to transmit to the home, and was the first such station to broadcast a feature film. Allen B. DuMont, formerly DeForest's chief engineer, opened pioneering TV manufacturer DuMont Laboratories in Passaic in 1937, and started the DuMont Television Network, the world's first commercial television network, in 1946. The Okonite company began manufacturing electrical cable here in 1888, with early uses of the company's insulated wires including some of the earliest telegraph cables and the wiring for Thomas Edison's Pearl Street Station in Lower Manhattan.

In 1992, the voters of Passaic Township in Morris County voted to change the name of their municipality to Long Hill Township, to avoid confusion between the City of Passaic and the largely rural community 22 miles (35 km) away, as well as association with the more urban city.

Passaic is served by two newspapers, The Record and Herald News.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 3.244 square miles (8.401 km2), including 3.146 square miles (8.149 km2) of land and 0.098 square miles (0.253 km2) of water (3.01%).

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Davis Bridge and Pleasant Plains.

Passaic's only land border is with neighboring Clifton, which borders Passaic to the north, south, and west. The Passaic River, which flows to the east of Passaic, provides the city with four additional borders across the water in Bergen County: East Rutherford, Garfield, Rutherford and Wallington. Passaic and Wallington are connected by four bridges (Market Street Bridge, Eighth Street Bridge, Gregory Avenue Bridge, Main Avenue Bridge), while the city connects with Garfield at two bridges (Monroe Street Bridge, Passaic Street Bridge) and Rutherford at the Union Avenue Bridge, which is located on New Jersey Route 21. One cannot cross from Passaic into East Rutherford by vehicle, however, as there is no bridge connecting the two municipalities; Drivers wanting to cross from Passaic to East Rutherford must use either the Main Avenue Bridge, which is located near Wallington's border with East Rutherford, or the Union Avenue Bridge, where East Rutherford can be accessed via surface streets.

Passaic is located 10 miles (16 km) from New York City, and 12 miles (19 km) from Newark Airport.

The city

John Baptist Russian Orth Ch Lex Av Passaic jeh
St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church on Lexington Avenue, built in 1959–1960

Passaic has several business districts: Main Avenue begins in Passaic Park and follows the curve of the river to downtown. Broadway runs east–west through the center of the city, ending at Main Avenue in downtown. Main Street has many shops, restaurants and businesses reflecting the city's Latino and Eastern European populations.

The city is home to several architecturally notable churches, including St. John's Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian of Passaic, and St. John's Episcopal Church.

Passaic Park

Southwest Passaic (known as Passaic Park) is a residential and institutional center of Orthodox Judaism, with 25-30 minyanim on Shabbos, and 1,300 families, making it one of the state's fastest-growing Orthodox communities. Home to numerous yeshivas, schools and other institutions, there are also many kosher food and shopping establishments.

Passaic Park takes its name from Third Ward Park. This area is also noted for its large mansions and homes of various architectural styles, especially Victorian and Tudor. Several condominium and cooperative apartment complexes are also located here including: Carlton Tower (at 22 stories, the city's tallest structure), Presidential Towers, and Barry Gardens (which are all located within walking distance of each other near a stretch of Passaic Avenue between Lafayette Avenue and Green Court).


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Passaic has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 6,532
1890 13,028 99.4%
1900 27,777 113.2%
1910 54,773 97.2%
1920 63,841 16.6%
1930 62,959 −1.4%
1940 61,394 −2.5%
1950 57,702 −6.0%
1960 53,963 −6.5%
1970 55,124 2.2%
1980 52,463 −4.8%
1990 58,041 10.6%
2000 67,861 16.9%
2010 69,781 2.8%
2020 70,537 1.1%
Population sources: 1880-1920
1880-1890 1880-1900 1890-1910
1910 1880-1930 1930-1990
2000 20102020

Among the speakers of Polish in Passaic are many Gorals.

Passaic, with over 20 synagogues and an Orthodox Jewish population of 15,000, has one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in New Jersey, along with the townships of Lakewood, Teaneck and Jackson.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 69,781 people, 19,411 households, and 14,597 families residing in the city. The population density was 22,179.6 per square mile (8,563.6/km2). There were 20,432 housing units at an average density of 6,494.2 per square mile (2,507.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the city was 45.06% (31,440) White, 10.64% (7,425) Black or African American, 1.07% (745) Native American, 4.36% (3,040) Asian, 0.04% (27) Pacific Islander, 33.37% (23,284) from other races, and 5.47% (3,820) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 71.02% (49,557) of the population. The city's Hispanic population represented the fourth-highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey as of the 2010 Census.

There were 19,411 households out of which 42.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 23.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 4.02.

In the city, the population was spread out with 31.5% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.2 years. For every 100 females there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 99.2 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $31,135 (with a margin of error of +/− $1,280) and the median family income was $34,934 (+/− $2,987). Males had a median income of $30,299 (+/− $1,883) versus $25,406 (+/− $2,456) for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,424 (+/− $581). About 25.0% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.9% of those under age 18 and 25.5% of those age 65 or over.

Same-sex couples headed 107 households in 2010, a decline from the 142 counted in 2000.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 67,861 people, 19,458 households, and 14,457 families residing in the city of Passaic, New Jersey. The population density was 21,804.7 people per square mile (8,424.8/km2). There were 20,194 housing units at an average density of 6,488.6 per square mile (2,507.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 35.43% White, 13.83% African American, 0.78% Native American, 5.51% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 39.36% from other races, and 5.04% from two or more races. The cultural groupings for Hispanic or Latino of any race were 62.46% of the population. As of the 2000 Census, 59.3% of residents spoke Spanish at home, while 28.9% of residents identified themselves as speaking only English at home. An additional 2.5% were speakers of Gujarati and 2.4% spoke Polish. There were 31,101 foreign-born residents of Passaic in 2000, of which 79.4% were from Latin America, with 31.3% of foreign-born residents from Mexico and 27.2% from the Dominican Republic.

There were 19,458 households, of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18, 43.7% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 8.2% of Passaic households were same-sex partner households. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 3.93.The city population comprised 30.8% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $33,594, and the median income for a family was $34,935. Males had a median income of $24,568 versus $21,352 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,874. About 18.4% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.


2021-08-25 11 01 13 View north along New Jersey State Route 21 (McCarter Highway) from the southern overpass for Passaic County Route 624 (River Drive) in Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey
Route 21 northbound in Passaic

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 70.14 miles (112.88 km) of roadways, of which 53.20 miles (85.62 km) were maintained by the municipality, 13.82 miles (22.24 km) by Passaic County and 3.12 miles (5.02 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The main highway directly serving Passaic is Route 21. New Jersey Route 3, the Garden State Parkway and I-80 are nearby. The city has six bridges in use spanning the Passaic River. A seventh bridge serves railroad traffic but is not currently in use.

Public transportation

Passaic NJT sta jeh
Passaic Station

Local bus transportation, much passing through the Passaic Bus Terminal, is provided by NJ Transit and Community Coach with service to Paterson, Rutherford, Newark, Clifton, Garfield, and Wallington among other locations on the 74, 702, 703, 705, 707, 709, 744, 758, 780 and 970 routes. NJ Transit bus routes 161 and 190 provide local service and interstate service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

NJ Transit's Passaic rail station is located in the Passaic Park section, providing service on the Main Line southbound to Hoboken Terminal, and to Secaucus Junction for NJ Transit connections to New York Penn Station in New York City, Newark Airport and points north and south. Northbound service is provided to Paterson, Ridgewood and New York City stations in Suffern and Port Jervis.

Passaic formerly had four train stations (Passaic Park, Prospect Street, Passaic and Harrison Street) on the Erie Railroad main line. In 1963, these stations were abandoned and the main line was moved to the Boonton Branch.

Commuter jitney buses operate along Main Avenue providing frequent non-scheduled service to Paterson, Union City, the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Washington Heights, Manhattan, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and points between.


Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+58% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in August 1994, the city Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in August 2025. Overseen by the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation, the program generates $1.2 million annually in tax revenues that are reinvested into the local zone.



The Passaic City School District is a comprehensive community public school district serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide that were established pursuant to the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 17 schools, had an enrollment of 14,504 students and 839.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 17.3:1.

Public School 11 - Passaic
Public School 11

Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Vincent Capuana School No. 15 (277; PreK), Sallie D. Gamble School No. 16 (465; PreK), Thomas Jefferson School No. 1 (788; K-8), George Washington School No. 2 (172; K-1), Mario J. Drago School No. 3 (formerly Franklin School) (803; PreK-8), Benito Juárez School No. 5 (472; K-8), Martin Luther King Jr. School No. 6 (1,124; PreK-8), Ulysses S. Grant School No. 7 (391; PreK-1), Casimir Pulaski School No. 8 (%32; PreK-8), Etta Gero School No. 9 (690; 2-8), Theodore Roosevelt School No. 10 (905; PreK-8), William B. Cruise Veterans Memorial School No. 11 (1,253; K-8), Daniel F. Ryan School No. 19 (874; PreK/2-8), Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy School No. 20 (959; 2-8), Sonia Sotomayor School No. 21 (; PreK-5), Passaic Academy for Science and Engineering (702; 6-11), Passaic Preparatory Academy (701; 6-11) and Passaic High School (2,618; 9-12).

Passaic County Community College opened a new campus in the city on September 11, 2008, which will allow PCCC to reach the 15% of its students who come from the city of Passaic. The college's nursing program will be relocated and expanded at the new campus to provide a qualified program to help fill the longstanding nursing shortage.


St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School is an elementary school founded in 1943 that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson and the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

Established in 1895, the Collegiate School is a private coeducational day school located in Passaic, serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic is an institute of Talmudic learning for post-high-school-age men. It is led by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Stern. Passaic has two primary Orthodox K-8 elementary schools, Yeshiva Ketana and Hillel, each with a boys and girls division.

Noble Leadership Academy is an Islamic school located downtown, serving students 320 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

Notable people

See also

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

kids search engine
Passaic, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.