Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199, rendering it New Jersey's third-most-populous city. Paterson has the second-highest density of any U.S. city with over 100,000 people, behind only New York City. For 2017, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 148,678, an increase of 1.7% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city as the 174th-most-populous in the nation.
Paterson is at the bottom part of Passaic County, which is near the north edge of New Jersey, as a county which spans some hilly areas and has dozens of lakes. The county covers a region about 30 × 20 miles wide (48 × 32 km). The region is split by major roads, including portions of Interstate 80, which runs through Paterson (see map at left). The Garden State Parkway (GSP) cuts across south of Paterson, near Clifton, NJ. The Passaic River winds northeast past Totowa into Paterson, where the river then turns south to Passaic town, on the way to Newark, further south.
According to then-Mayor Jose Torres, Paterson had 52 distinct ethnic groups in 2014. Paterson's rapidly growing Bangladeshi American, Turkish American, Arab American, Palestinian American, Albanian American, Bosnian American, Dominican American, and Peruvian American communities are among the largest and most prominent in the United States, the latter owing partially to the presence of the Consulate of Peru. Paterson's Muslim population has been estimated at 25,000 to 30,000. Paterson has become a prime destination for one of the fastest-growing communities of Dominican Americans, who have become the city's largest ethnic group. The Puerto Rican American population has established a highly significant presence as well.
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