Caldwell is a borough located in northwestern Essex County, New Jersey, about 16 miles (26 km) outside of New York City and 6 miles west of Newark. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,822, reflecting an increase of 238 (+3.1%) from the 7,584 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 35 (+0.5%) from the 7,549 counted in the 1990 Census.
Caldwell was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 10, 1892, from portions of Caldwell Township (now Fairfield Township), based on the results of a referendum held on the previous day. In 1981, the borough's name was changed to the "Township of the Borough of Caldwell", as one of seven Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining four municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. Effective January 26, 1995, it again became a borough.
Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, and the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, was born in Caldwell on March 18, 1837. His father, Rev. Richard Falley Cleveland, was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. The Grover Cleveland birthplace—the church's former rectory—is now a museum and is open to the public.
Though today the Caldwell area is considered to be a suburb of both Newark and New York City, the area originally developed as its own individual, self-contained community and economy rather than as urban sprawl from a larger city. When it was formed, miles of woods separated downtown Caldwell from Newark or any of its developing suburbs.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Caldwell as its third-best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
In 1702, settlers purchased the 14,000 acres (57 km2) Horseneck Tract from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans for goods equal to $325. This purchase encompassed much of western Essex County, from the First Mountain to the Passaic River.