Hackensack is a city in Bergen County in New Jersey, United States, and serves as its county seat. The area was officially named New Barbadoes Township until 1921, but it was informally known as Hackensack since at least the 18th century. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 43,010, reflecting an increase of 333 (+0.8%) from the 42,677 counted in the 2000 Census, which had, in turn, increased by 5,628 (+15.2%) from the 37,049 counted in the 1990 Census.
An inner suburb of New York City, Hackensack is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan and about 7 miles (11 km) from the George Washington Bridge. From a number of locations, the New York City skyline can be seen.
The Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University straddles the Hackensack River in both Hackensack and Teaneck. Hackensack is also the home of the New Jersey Naval Museum and the World War II submarine USS Ling. Astronaut Wally Schirra is perhaps Hackensack's most famous native son.
The city has diverse neighborhoods and land uses located close to one another. Within its borders are the prominent Hackensack University Medical Center, a trendy high-rise district about a mile long, classic suburban neighborhoods of single-family houses, stately older homes on acre-plus lots, older two-family neighborhoods, large garden apartment complexes, industrial areas, the Bergen County Jail, a tidal river, Hackensack River County Park, Borg's Woods Nature Preserve, various city parks, large office buildings, a major college campus, the Bergen County Court House, a vibrant small-city downtown district, and various small neighborhood business districts.
The first inhabitants of the area were the Lenni Lenape, an Algonquian people who became known to settlers as 'the Delaware Indians.' They lived along a river they called 'Achinigeu-hach,' or "Ackingsah-sack", which translates to 'stony ground'—today this river is more commonly known by the name 'the Hackensack River.' A representation of Chief Oratam of the Achkinhenhcky appears on the Hackensack municipal seal. The most common explanation is that the city was named for the Native American tribe, though other sources attribute it to a Native American word variously translated as meaning "hook mouth", "stream that unites with another on low ground", "on low ground" or "land of the big snake", while another version described as "more colorful than probable" attributes the name to an inn called the "Hock and Sack".
Settlement by the Dutch West India Company in New Netherland on west banks of the North River (Hudson River) across from New Amsterdam (present-day lower Manhattan) began in the 1630s at Pavonia, eventually leading to the establishment of Bergen (at today's Bergen Square in Jersey City) in 1660.
Oratam, sachem of the Lenni Lenape, deeded the land along mid-Hackensack River to the Dutch in 1665. The area was soon taken by the English in 1667, but kept its Dutch name.