North New Jersey Cities


North New Jersey Ghetto Cities Story

The North New Jersey ghetto cities, which can often be considered to be part of New York City by outsiders, have built its own reputation separate from NYC.

Like other Northeast and Midwest cities, people moved to North New Jersey during the days of the World Wars, as job recruitment brought many new residents to help with the need of workers for the wartime factories.

The first to arrive were southern African-American families, who began to relocate into the North New Jersey cities during the early 1900s, in places like Paterson and Newark.

The black residents were then followed by the Latino community, which in some places have been around since the 1950s, together with other ethnicities from the Caribbean’s.


With the Northeast being one of the most diverse regions in the country, the North New Jersey Latino population is located in multiple communities that are made up by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, along with Mexicans, Colombians, Cubans, and others.

Puerto Ricans were the first Latino group to live in New Jersey, with some being around since the early part of the 20th century, most came around the mid-1900s, as this region offered employment opportunities.

Dominicans, which make up the third most after the Mexican community, came into the state between the 1960s and 1980s. Other Latino groups would slowly follow, especially beginning in the 1970s when the Hispanic population had risen.

north new jersey ghetto cities

Elizabeth, NJ

Today, the Latino population is the second largest in New Jersey, while living in many communities throughout the northern part of the state, with sections like Bergenline Avenue, Union City, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Passaic, West New York, Perth Amboy, and a couple of other cities.

Each Latino group is not limited to any of these places, as some may reside in smaller communities of different cities, along with the population expanding creating newer neighborhoods.

While the African-American and Latino neighborhoods have many similarities, New Jersey’s black population has been in the state as long as any other group, as well as having the most history within the New Jersey communities.

Many black families originally resided in places like Newark, Paterson, or Jersey City, along with a few other locations, but not until after the race riots of the late 1960s and a population flight into areas outside of New Jersey’s older and traditional neighborhoods, did the black community spread into other places of North New Jersey.


What started in Newark would later spread into other towns of North New Jersey, like Plainfield, Paterson, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, and even Englewood, as people of the black community would battle the police and protest heavily in their native neighborhood.

The riot initially began in Newark, by the time nearby sections of north New Jersey heard about what was going on in Newark, with similar situations occurring in their area, the riot spread throughout the North New Jersey ghetto cities.

north new jersey ghetto cities

East Orange, NJ

Since the 1970s and 1980s, after the riots, North New Jersey ghetto cities like Paterson, Elizabeth, East Orange, Irvington, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, and New Brunswick have loss thousands of residents.

For many blacks, the primary location for when they first arrived was in communities like Newark’s Central Ward.

After integration and white flight, the black population spread into places like Irvington. In the recent years, many have been newly moving and living in the small towns of Middlesex and Bergen Counties or cities like West Orange.

By the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, many North New Jersey ghetto cities and their neighborhoods became part of the trend across the country as the streets led to new movements, like the Double ii, Sex Money & Murder, Grape Street, and G – Shine, together with the Hispanic affiliations of the Latin Kings, MS 13, and others.

north new jersey ghetto cities

Irvington, NJ

During these times, respected neighborhoods began to be noticed, Paterson’s Dog Pound / Alabama Projects or the Down The Hill and Up The Hill areas, East Orange from DoddTown to the South Side, the City of Orange with the old 325 Mechanics and 108 Projects, Irvington neighborhoods of Grove Street or the Lane, Elizabeth aka Eastwick with infamous areas like the Port, the West End of Plainfield, and many other sections of the North New Jersey ghetto.


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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research.  Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.