Clifton is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. 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.
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 Main Avenue, 07012 Allwood, 07013, 07014 Delawanna and 07015).
The town of Clifton turned 100 years-old in 2017 but documented settlements in the area date back to 1679 when indigenous leader, Captahem, gifted a deed for 11,000 acres along the shores of the Passaic river to Hans Frederick. The modern name of "Clifton" was derived from the cliffs of Garrett Mountain which borders the Montclair Heights neighborhood in the western part of the city. Clifton was an agricultural hub and home to the U.S. Animal Quarantine Station was operated in Clifton by the United States Department of Agriculture starting in 1903. It was served by the Newark Branch of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. It was the primary location on the East Coast where animals from poultry, horses and cattle to zoo animals were held in quarantine after being brought into the United States to ensure that the animals were not infected with diseases that could be spread in the U.S. The station operated in Clifton until the late 1970s, when the facility was relocated to Stewart International Airport.
Although Clifton and surrounding towns have long converted from farmlands to suburban communities, given their close proximity to Manhattan (Clifton is less than 15 miles directly west from Midtown), the town still boasts two small working farms that sell fresh organic vegetables in-season:
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.43 square miles (29.60 km2), including 11.27 square miles (29.19 km2) of land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) of water (1.37%).
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.
The 2010 United States Census counted 84,136 people, 30,661 households, and 21,125 families in the city. The population density was 7,472.0 inhabitants per square mile (2,885.0/km2).