Camden is the home of a branch campus of Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey. The USS New Jersey is preserved as a museum on Camden's Delaware River waterfront.

From 1901 through 1929 Camden was headquarters of the Victor Talking Machine Company, and thereafter to its successor RCA Victor, the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs and phonograph records for the first two thirds of the 20th century.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.9 km² (10.4 mi²). 22.8 km² (8.8 mi²) of it is land and 4.0 km² (1.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 15.03% water.

There are 24,177 households out of which 42.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.1% are married couples living together, 37.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% are non-families. 22.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.12 and the average family size is 3.62.

In the city the population is spread out with 34.6% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 16.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 27 years. For every 100 females there are 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $23,421, and the median income for a family is $24,612. Males have a median income of $25,624 versus $21,411 for females. The per capita income for the city is $9,815. 35.5% of the population and 32.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 45.5% are under the age of 18 and 23.8% are 65 or older.