Camden: The City of Lost Hope Once a city, now a disaster

You’re driving to Philadelphia and you’re only 5 minutes away from the river that goes from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, but then you see a little town or a city but you can’t really tell which it is. It sure used to be a city, but now it’s a wasteland where the population was once 100,000 it is now 50,000. That city is Camden, the city where the infamous Walt Whitman was born and grew up. It is also America’s most dangerous and poorest city. Why is it dangerous you may ask. Well shut down companies, violence, and poverty is the answer to this question.

This is what a typical street looks like in Camden


This paragraph is about Camden’s crime rates and other rates and statistics. Camden, New Jersey has a big issue with violence. According to Neighborhood Scout out of 1,000 residents, about 60 are victims of a crime. That might not sound too bad, but most of us haven’t been victims of serious crime in our lives so 60/1000 or 6% is very bad. Camden is also has the most murders annually. The population of Camden is about 75,000. So If you do the math, about 4,500 Camden residents are victims of crimes annually. There are only 365 days in the year. Think about that for a second. So if you divide those two together, that’s about 13 crimes a day! And the 1950s, according to NJ State Website Camden’s population was 130,000 people! Nearly twice the amount today. That definitely tells you a lot about what the city has become. And for the few that have stayed to tell the story, they say, it wasn’t always like this. Now you have an idea on why Camden is very dangerous.

Camden's crime rates from 2012-2014

Types of People

This paragraph and section is the about the types of people who are residents of Camden, NJ. Camden is a very diverse city. The city is mostly made up of African - Americans, Whites, and Latinos, according to Neighborhood Scout. 40% of Camden residents are below the poverty line. That number is crazy. According to the article of City of Ruins by The Nation, “ There is a 70 percent high school dropout rate, with only 13 percent of students managing to pass the state’s proficiency exams in math.” Also, Camden is filled with diseases and drug addicts. Some of the drugs used are Heroin and wet. Wet is an unusual drug which makes its user think he/she have superhuman strength. There also a lot of sexually transmitted diseases. Lets just say Camden is a city of many different types of people.

People onlooking the mess of Camden


This paragraph is about the history of Camden. Camden actually had a good history. It was a big city that held many big companies such as Campbell Soup and Walt Whitman was born there. They also had many ferry systems that of course shut down. Campbell soup is still there but the bigger facilities are out. This is all according to Camden’s website. There are also a few more ones. The reason for all of this is because who wants to go there! They couldn’t get anymore business once things started getting bad. When a couple left the others couldn’t stand a chance. So now you know some info on Camden’s history.

Making Camden Safer

Even though Camden is dangerous there are probably ways to make it safer. One way I think is to have more stricter police force and carry out with more cruel punishments. Another way I think is to clean up the buildings and invest more money into Camden. But of course, this city is long gone and those goals are a far reach but it can’t get any worse for Camden so you have to start somewhere, in other words you have nothing to lose.It will also take millions of dollars. But these are some ways to start.


So overall, now you know a little bit of everything about Camden. It started from an up and running city with a bright future to a complete dump and wasteland. This place is a big problem and will have to be fixed somewhere in the future because we can’t have anyone human living like this and raising kids like this. But as of right now, it’s America's most dangerous place.

Thank You, Aidan Gelb


Created with images by Blake Bolinger - "Liberty Street row homes in Camden NJ" • Blake Bolinger - "Playing in Camden NJ" • Blake Bolinger - "Abandoned church - Camden NJ" • BruceEmmerling - "camden new jersey shoreline"

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