Newark ( or also locally ) is the largest city (by population) in the U.S. state of New Jersey, and the county seat of Essex County. One of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 277,140 in 2010, making it the nation's 67th most-populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.
Located in the heart of New Jersey's Gateway Region, Newark is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area, approximately west of Manhattan. Port Newark, the major container shipping terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey, is the largest on the East Coast. Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.
Newark is headquarters to numerous corporations, such as Prudential Financial, Panasonic Corporation of North America and PSEG. It is also home to several universities, such as Rutgers–Newark (including the law school and medical school), the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Seton Hall University's Law School. Among others, its cultural and sports venues include: the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Prudential Center, and the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Baseball Stadium.
Newark is divided into five geographical wards, and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. Newark's Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the United States and is home to the nation's largest collection of cherry blossom trees, which number about 4,300.
Newark was originally founded in 1666 by Connecticut Puritans led by Robert Treat from the New Haven Colony. The city saw tremendous industrial and population growth during the 19th century and early 20th century, and experienced racial tension and urban decline in the second half of the 20th century, culminating in the 1967 Newark riots. The city has experienced revitalization during the 1990s and early 21st century.
Newark was originally formed as a township on October 31, 1693, based on the Newark Tract, which was first purchased on July 11, 1667. Newark was granted a Royal charter on April 27, 1713, and was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships. During its time as a township, portions were taken to form Springfield Township (April 14, 1794), Caldwell Township (February 16, 1798; now known as Fairfield Township), Orange Township (November 27, 1806), Bloomfield Township (March 23, 1812) and Clinton Township (April 14, 1834, remainder reabsorbed by Newark on March 5, 1902). Newark was reincorporated as a city on April 11, 1836, replacing Newark Township, based on the results of a referendum passed on March 18, 1836. The previously independent Vailsburg borough was annexed by Newark on January 1, 1905. In 1926, South Orange Township changed its name to Maplewood. As a result of this, a portion of Maplewood known as Ivy Hill was re-annexed to Newark's Vailsburg.