The incredible shrinking Newark urban core is disappointing, fascinating and understandable from an economic opportunity point-of-view.

Here are Census statistics from that official Newark website:

Newark ranked 64st among U.S. cities in total population in 2000. It was 46th in 1980, 30th in 1960 and 35th in 1970. It is the largest city in New Jersey. Population density, 11,254 per square mile.

A few months ago I read 70% of the buildings in Newark sit on the land tax free. In an effort to stay the population and business bleeding of the 70s and 80s the city gave tax advantages to commercial interests to stay or to set up shop in Newark.

Rutgers-Newark, UMDNJ and NJIT all have extensive land and buildings holdings in Newark and none of them collect tax revenue for the city. In an attempt to keep the city populated, Newark gave up most of its tax base and that decision has negative lingering aftereffects that will last long beyond the bodies of its current inhabitants as the Census statistics continue to claim.

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