Linden is a city in southeastern Union County, New Jersey, United States. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area, located about 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Manhattan and bordering Staten Island, a borough of New York City, across the Arthur Kill. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 40,499, reflecting an increase of 1,105 (+2.8%) from the 39,394 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,693 (+7.3%) from the 36,701 counted in the 1990 Census.
Linden was originally formed as a township on March 4, 1861 from portions of Elizabeth, Rahway and Union Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Cranford (March 14, 1871), Linden Borough (March 30, 1882) and Roselle (December 20, 1894). Linden was incorporated as a city by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 1, 1925, replacing both Linden Township and Linden Borough, based on the results of a referendum held on November 8, 1923. The city's name derives from linden trees brought from Germany.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 11.407 square miles (29.545 km2), including 10.675 square miles (27.648 km2) of land and 0.732 square miles (1.897 km2) of water (6.42%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Bayway, Grasselli, Morris Mills, Tremley, Vreeland Hills, Warners and Wheatshead.
The city borders the municipalities of Clark Township, Cranford Township, Elizabeth, Rahway, Roselle and Winfield Township in Union County; Carteret and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County; and Staten Island in New York City across the Arthur Kill tidal strait.
Linden is a regional hub of Polish immigration and features a significant number of establishments featuring the food and culture of Poland. 13.1% of residents are of Polish origin and 15.6% of its residents five years old and above in the center of the city of Linden primarily speak the Polish language at home. The Skulski Art Gallery of the Polish Cultural Foundation of neighboring Clark has exhibited Linden-based artists. Polish-American grocery specialty shop Pulaski Meats takes up nearly a city block. Polish language services are held at two Roman Catholic churches, including at the heavily Polish parish St.