At the 2010 United States Census, the population of New Brunswick was 55,181, reflecting an increase of 6,608 (+13.6%) from the 48,573 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,862 (+16.5%) from the 41,711 counted in the 1990 Census.
New Brunswick was formed by Royal charter on December 30, 1730, within other townships in Middlesex County and Somerset County and was reformed by Royal charter with the same boundaries on February 12, 1763, at which time it was divided into north and south wards. New Brunswick was incorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 1, 1784.
New Brunswick is noted for its ethnic diversity. At one time, one quarter of the Hungarian population of New Jersey resided in the city and in the 1930s one out of three city residents were Hungarian. Today, much of that Hungarian community continues to thrive as well as a growing Hispanic community that has developed around French Street near Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
New Brunswick was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784. It was occupied by the British in the winter of 1776-1777 during the Revolutionary War.
Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.9% were under the age of 18 and 13.8% were 65 or older.
New Brunswick began attracting a Hungarian immigrant population around the turn of the 20th century. Hungarians were primarily attracted to the city by employment at Johnson & Johnson factories located in the city. Hungarians settled mainly in what today is the fifth ward.
The immigrant population grew until the end of the early century immigration boom. During the Cold War, the community was revitalized by the decision to house refugees from the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution at Camp Kilmer, in nearby Edison. Even though the Hungarian population has been largely supplanted by newer immigrants, there continues to be a Hungarian Festival in the city held on Somerset Street on the first Saturday of June each year.
About 50% of New Brunswick's population is self-identified as Hispanic, the 14th highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey. Since the 1960s, many of the new residents of New Brunswick have come from Latin America. Many citizens moved from Puerto Rico in the 1970s. In the 1980s, many immigrated from the Dominican Republic, and still later from Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador and Mexico.
New Brunswick contains a number of examples of urban renewal in the United States. In the 1960s-1970s, the downtown area became blighted as middle class residents moved to newer suburbs surrounding the city, an example of the phenomenon known as "white flight". Beginning in 1975, Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson, and the local government collaborated through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to form the New Brunswick Development Company (DevCo), with the goal of revitalizing the city center and redeveloping neighborhoods considered to be blighted and dangerous (via demolition of existing buildings and construction of new ones).
Johnson & Johnson decided to remain in New Brunswick and built a new World Headquarters building in the area between Albany Street, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Route 18, and George Street, requiring many old buildings and historic roads to be removed. The Hiram Market area, a historic district which by the 1970s had become a mostly Puerto Rican and Dominican-American neighborhood, was demolished to build a Hyatt hotel and conference center, and upscale housing. Johnson & Johnson guaranteed Hyatt Hotels' investment as they were wary of building an upscale hotel in a run-down area.
The redevelopment process has been controversial. Devco, the hospitals, and the city government continue to draw ire from both historic preservationists, those opposing gentrification, and those concerned with eminent domain abuses, and tax abatements for developers.
Rutgers University has three campuses in the city: College Avenue Campus (seat of the University), Douglass Campus, and Cook Campus, which limits extend into outer townships. Rutgers has also added several buildings downtown in the last two decades, both academic and residential.
Three neighboring professional venues, Crossroads Theatre designed by Parsons+Fernandez-Casteleiro Architects from New York. In 1999, the Crossroads Theatre won the prestigious Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Crossroads is the first African American theater to receive this honor in the 33-year history of this special award category.
The "Grease Trucks" are a group of truck-based food vendors located on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University. They are known for serving "Fat Sandwiches", a sub roll containing several ingredients such as steak, chicken fingers, French fries, falafel, cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, gyro meat, bacon, eggs and / or marinara sauce.
New Brunswick's bar scene has been the home to many original rock bands, including some which went on to national prominence such as The Smithereens and Bon Jovi, as well as a center for local punk rock and underground music. Many alternative rock bands got radio airplay thanks to Matt Pinfield who was part of the New Brunswick music scene for over 20 years at Rutgers University radio station WRSU. Local pubs and clubs hosted many local bands, including the Court Tavern until 2012 (scheduled to reopen), and the Melody Bar during the 1980s and 1990s.
On April 18, 1872, at New Brunswick, William Cameron Coup developed the system of loading circus equipment and animals on railroad cars from one end and through the train, rather than from the sides. This system would be adopted by other railroad circuses and used through the golden age of railroad circuses and even by the Ringling shows today.
Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $280,365 (it was $125,700 in 2000)
Mean prices in 2009: All housing units: $308,527; Detached houses: $325,937; Townhouses or other attached units: $217,802; In 2-unit structures: $324,743; In 3-to-4-unit structures: $343,684; In 5-or-more-unit structures: $162,292
Median gross rent in 2009: $1,215.
March 2012 cost of living index in New Brunswick: 125.5 (high, U.S. average is 100)
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