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Gloucester City is a city in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 11,456, reflecting a decline of 28 (-0.2%) from the 11,484 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,165 (-9.2%) from the 12,649 counted in the 1990 Census. It is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and the Port of Philadelphia.
Gloucester City was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 25, 1868, from the remaining portions of Union Township, which was then dissolved. Additional territory was annexed in 1925 from Centre Township and in 1927 from Haddon Township. The city's name derives from Gloucester, England.
Gloucester City is known for its Irish American population, which was ninth-highest in the United States by percentage in the 2000 Census.
The name Fort Nassau was used by the Dutch in the 17th century for several fortifications, mostly trading stations, named for the House of Orange-Nassau. The one built in the 1620s at today's Gloucester City was for trade, mostly in beaver pelts, with the indigenous population of Susquehannock and Lenape. The region along the Delaware River and its bay was called the Zuyd Rivier and marked the southern flank of the province of New Netherland.
From 1638-1655 the area was part of New Sweden, which had been established by Peter Minuit, who had been Director of New Netherland, and was responsible for the famous purchase of the island of Manhattan. The location was disadvantageous since the richest fur-trapping area was on the west side of the river, where Swedish could intercept trade with the natives. In 1651, Peter Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland, dismantled the structure and relocated to a position on the other side of the river, in part to menace the Swedish, calling it Fort Casimir.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.782 square miles (7.206 km2), including 2.320 square miles (6.009 km2) of land and 0.462 square miles (1.197 km2) of water (16.62%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Cloversdale, Gloucester Heights, Highland Park and Newbold.
The city borders Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Camden, Haddon Township, and Mount Ephraim. Gloucester City also borders Westville in Gloucester County and the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, across the Delaware River.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,456 people, 4,248 households, and 2,804 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,937.8 per square mile (1,906.5/km2). There were 4,712 housing units at an average density of 2,031.0 per square mile (784.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.52% (10,370) White, 3.07% (352) Black or African American, 0.14% (16) Native American, 2.68% (307) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.82% (209) from other races, and 1.76% (202) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.70% (767) of the population.
There were 4,248 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.31.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.7 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $52,222 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,589) and the median family income was $58,825 (+/- $7,975). Males had a median income of $49,032 (+/- $3,038) versus $36,560 (+/- $2,335) for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,718 (+/- $1,341). About 12.2% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 11,484 people, 4,213 households, and 2,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,213.7 people per square mile (2,015.5/km2). There were 4,604 housing units at an average density of 2,090.2 per square mile (808.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.14% White, 0.69% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 34.2% of Gloucester City residents were of Irish ancestry, the ninth-highest percentage of any municipality in the United States, and third-highest in New Jersey, among all places with more than 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 4,213 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,855, and the median income for a family was $46,038. Males had a median income of $35,659 versus $24,907 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,912. About 7.7% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.
Portions of the City of Gloucester are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone, one of 27 zones in the state. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (versus the 6.625% rate charged statewide, effective January 1, 2018) at eligible merchants. Established in 2004, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in August 2024.
From 1888 to 1890 the Philadelphia Athletics of the now-defunct American Association played 30 Sunday games in Gloucester City.
Gloucester Point Grounds is a former baseball stadium that was the part-time home to the Philadelphia Athletics from 1888 to 1890, with the Athletics playing games there on Sunday to avoid blue law restrictions in Philadelphia.
John L. Sullivan World Champion Boxer had an exhibition match with William Muldoon Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion in Gloucester in 1889.
Annie Oakley performed in Gloucester City, NJ on July 2, 1888 at the grandstand Gloucester Point Grounds along the Gloucester Beach in New Jersey as part of the Pawnee Bill Frontier Exhibition. Annie Oakley would return to Gloucester City, NJ for exhibitions in 1898.
Gloucester City is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The Mayor is elected at-large and serves a four-year term. Members of the council are elected from three wards to three-year staggered terms, so that there are no council seats up for vote in one year in the three-year cycle. The Mayor and Common Council are responsible for making public policy that addresses the needs of the City and its residents. The Mayor and Common Council also appoint members of the Planning and Zoning Board, as well as the Board of Health.
As of 2016, the Mayor of Gloucester City is Democrat William James, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the City Council are:
Gloucester City is located in the 1st Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 5th state legislative district.
New Jersey's First Congressional District is represented by Donald Norcross (D, Camden). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 5th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D, Barrington) and in the General Assembly by Patricia Egan Jones (D, Barrington) and William Spearman (D, Camden). Spearman took office in June 2018 followingh the resignation of Arthur Barclay. The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Camden County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members chosen at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year. As of 2018, Camden County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. (D, Collingswood, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2020; term as director ends 2018), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward T. McDonnell (D, Pennsauken Township, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as deputy director ends 2018), Susan Shin Angulo (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), William F. Moen Jr. (D, Camden, 2018), Jeffrey L. Nash (D, Cherry Hill, 2018), Carmen Rodriguez (D, Merchantville, 2019) and Jonathan L. Young Sr. (D, Berlin Township, 2020).
Camden County's constitutional officers, all elected directly by voters, are County clerk Joseph Ripa (Voorhees Township, 2019), Sheriff Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (Camden, 2018) and Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer (Gloucester Township, 2020). The Camden County Prosecutor is Mary Eva Colalillo.
The sheriff of Camden County is Charles H. Billingham, a resident of Gloucester City who had previously served as the city's mayor.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,726 registered voters in Gloucester City, of which 3,320 (49.4%) were registered as Democrats, 660 (9.8%) were registered as Republicans and 2,744 (40.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 65.6% of the vote (2,624 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 32.6% (1,303 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (72 votes), among the 4,058 ballots cast by the city's 7,177 registered voters (59 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 56.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 59.2% of the vote here (2,611 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 37.0% (1,631 votes), with 4,411 ballots cast among the city's 6,711 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 58.9% of the vote here (2,698 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 38.3% (1,755 votes), with 4,578 ballots cast among the city's 6,653 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.0% of the vote (1,309 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.2% (870 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (41 votes), among the 2,310 ballots cast by the city's 7,097 registered voters (90 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 32.5%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 54.8% of the vote here (1,473 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 36.0% (969 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.2% (113 votes), with 2,689 ballots cast among the city's 6,708 registered voters, yielding a 40.1% turnout.
The Gloucester City Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, 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. Students from Brooklawn attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its three schools had an enrollment of 2,064 students and 198.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.4:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Cold Springs Elementary School (888 students in grades PreK-3), Mary Ethel Costello Elementary School (387; 4-6) and Gloucester City Junior-Senior High School (789; 7-12).
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden operates Gloucester Catholic High School, a co-educational four-year Roman Catholic high school. Saint Mary School was a Catholic grammar school that served grade levels from three- and four-year-old pre-school to eighth grade, which was closed by the diocese at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, in the wake of declining enrollment and rising deficits that were beyond the ability of the diocese to cover.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 39.97 miles (64.33 km) of roadways, of which 29.52 miles (47.51 km) were maintained by the municipality, 7.10 miles (11.43 km) by Camden County, 2.63 miles (4.23 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.72 miles (1.16 km) by the Delaware River Port Authority.
Interstate 76 travels through Gloucester City, passes into Camden and re-enters the city where it reaches its northern terminus.
The Walt Whitman Bridge is a suspension bridge carrying Interstate 76, spanning the Delaware River, connecting Philadelphia and Gloucester City. The bridge, which extends for almost 12,000 feet (3,700 m) between abutments, opened to traffic on May 16, 1957. U.S. Route 130 also travels through Gloucester City.
NJ Transit bus service is available to Philadelphia on routes 401 (from Salem), 402 (from Pennsville), 408 (from Millville), 410 (from Bridgeton) and 412 (from Swell), with local service on the 457 route between the Moorestown Mall and Camden.
The city is a planned stop on the Glassboro–Camden Line, an 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system projected for completion in 2019.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Gloucester City include:
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