Union City is a city in the northern part of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. According to the 2010 United States Census the city had a total population of 66,455, reflecting a decline of 633 (−0.9%) from the 67,088 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 9,076 (+15.6%) from the 58,012 counted in the 1990 Census. As of the 2010 Census it was the second most densely populated city in the United States, with a density of 51,810.1 per square mile.
Union City was incorporated as a city by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on June 1, 1925, with the merger of Union Hill and West Hoboken Township. The city's name marks the combination of the two municipalities.
Two major waves of immigration, first of German speakers and then of Spanish speakers, greatly influenced the development and character of Union City. Its two nicknames, "Embroidery Capital of the United States" and "Little Havana on the Hudson", reflect important aspects of that history. Thousands visit Union City each year to see the nation's longest-running passion play and the annual Cuban Day Parade of New Jersey.
The city is notable for being the location where Mallomars were first sold and the site of the first lunch wagon built by Jerry and Daniel O'Mahoney and John Hanf, which helped spark New Jersey's golden age of diner manufacturing, for which the state is colloquially referred to by author Richard J.S. Gutman as the "diner capital of the world".
The area of what is today Union City was originally inhabited by the Munsee-speaking branch of Lenape Native Americans, who wandered into the vast woodland area encountered by Henry Hudson during the voyages he conducted from 1609 to 1610 for the Dutch, who later claimed the area (which included the future New York City) and named it New Netherland. The portion of that land that included the future Hudson County was purchased from members of the Hackensack tribe of the Lenni-Lenape and became part of Pavonia, New Netherland.
The relationship between the early Dutch settlers and Native Americans was marked by frequent armed conflict over land claims. In 1658 by New Netherland colony Director-General Peter Stuyvesant re-purchased the territory. The boundaries of the purchase are described in the deed preserved in the New York State Archives, as well as the medium of exchange: "80 fathoms of wampum, 20 fathoms of cloth, 12 brass kettles, 6 guns, one double brass kettle, 2 blankets, and one half barrel of strong beer." In 1660, he ordered the building of a fortified village at Bergen to protect the area.