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Nevertheless, the wards remain relatively distinct. Industrial uses, coupled with the airport and seaport lands, are concentrated in the East and South Wards, while residential neighborhoods exist primarily in the North, Central, and West Wards.State law requires that wards be compact and contiguous and that the largest ward may not exceed the population of the smallest by more than 10% of the average ward size.Newark was settled in 1666 by Connecticut Puritans led by Robert Treat from the New Haven Colony.
During the 20th century, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was able to reclaim 68 acres (28 ha) of the marshland for the further expansion of Newark Airport, as well as the growth of the port lands.
The boundaries of the wards are altered for various political and demographic reasons and sometimes gerrymandered, especially the northeastern portion of the West Ward.
Newark's Central Ward, formerly known as the old Third Ward, contains much of the city's history including the original squares Lincoln Park, Military Park and Washington Park.
Today, Port Newark-Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast.
In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.