H ave you ever been to Hudson County in New Jersey? Well, if you drove up Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike) and entered New York City via either the Lincoln Tunnel or the Holland Tunnel, then you did. If you took the Lincoln Tunnel, you drove right through Union City, the most densely populated city in the U.S. If you got a little side-tracked and veered off your course a few miles north, you may have driven through Guttenberg, the most densely populated incorporated place in the U.S. Pretty impressive for the unloved state.
The city of Union City is listed as the most densely populated city in the U.S. According to the U.S. census from 2006, the population of the city is 63,930. Since the city is a little over one square mile, it has a population density of 52,825 persons per square mile. The local nickname to this city is “Havana on the Hudson,” due to its largely Hispanic population. The census states 82.3 percent of residents are persons of Hispanic or Latino origin and 86.1 percent speak a language other than English at home. Personally, I believe that statistic is even higher. Many of the shopping districts contain stores dedicated to the Hispanic population, selling products that aren’t easily found in large chain stores. Union City, New Jersey gives you a taste of Hispanic culture.
If you blink, you might miss it. The town of Guttenberg, New Jersey is only four blocks wide, yet boasts the highest population density in an incorporated place in the U.S. When you cram 10,807 people into 0.24 square miles, you get a population density of 56,012 persons per square mile. To put these numbers in perspective, New York City, largely known as a city with an immense population of over eight million, has a population density of 26,402.9 people per square mile. That is approximately half of the population density of Union City and Guttenberg. Locally, Guttenberg is known for its high density of bars and liquor stores. I could not find an official statistic to prove this, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
I live the next town north from Guttenberg and have friends and family members that live in both Union City and Guttenberg. I can personally attest to the fact that they are both incredibly over-populated, yet no one is complaining. Everyone goes about their day and enjoys their life. Many work in New York City and community back to New Jersey on a daily basis. The rich culture is clearly evident to both visitors and residents. The people of these areas teach us all that no matter what, life must go on.