Newark (/njurk/,locally /njrk/) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 281,764 in 2016, making it the nation's 67th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.
Settled in 1666 by Puritans from New Haven Colony, Newark is one of the oldest European cities in the United States. Its location at the mouth of the Passaic River (where it flows into Newark Bay), has made the city's waterfront an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Today, Port Newark-Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast. In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.
Several leading companies have their headquarters in Newark, including Prudential, PSEG, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Audible.com, IDT Corporation, and Manischewitz. A number of important higher education institutions are also in the city, including the Newark campus of Rutgers University (which includes law and medical schools and the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies); the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Seton Hall University's law school. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sits in the city as well. Local cultural venues include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall, the Prudential Center and the Newark Museum.
Newark is divided into five political wards; the East, West, South, North and Central wards and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. Newark's Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the United States and is home to the nation's largest collection of cherry blossom trees, numbering over 5,000.
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