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Jersey City was incorporated as The City of Jersey in 1820, and reincorporated under its present name in 1838.
Jersey City was a dock and manufacturing town for most of its years. From 1917-1947, it was ruled by Boss Frank Hague.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.7 km² (21.1 mi²). 38.6 km² (14.9 mi²) of it is land and 16.1 km² (6.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 29.37% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 240,055 people, 88,632 households, and 55,660 families residing in the city. The population density is 6,212.2/km² (16,093.7/mi²). There are 93,648 housing units at an average density of 2,423.4/km² (6,278.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 34.01% White, 28.32% African American, 0.45% Native American, 16.20% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 15.11% from other races, and 5.84% from two or more races. 28.31% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 88,632 households out of which 31.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% are married couples living together, 20.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% are non-families. 29.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.67 and the average family size is 3.37.
In the city the population is spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $37,862, and the median income for a family is $41,639. Males have a median income of $35,119 versus $30,494 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,410. 18.6% of the population and 16.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 27.0% are under the age of 18 and 17.5% are 65 or older.