Main Births etc
State of New Jersey
Flag of New Jersey State seal of New Jersey
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Garden State[1]
Motto(s): Liberty and prosperity
Map of the United States with New Jersey highlighted
Official language(s) None
Spoken language(s) * English (only) 69.4%
Demonym New Jerseyan (official),[3] New Jerseyite[4][5]
Capital Trenton
Largest city Newark
Largest metro area New York metropolitan area
Area  Ranked 47th in the U.S.
 - Total 8,722.58 sq mi
(22,591.38 km2)
 - Width 70 miles (112 km)
 - Length 170 miles (273 km)
 - % water 15.7
 - Latitude 38° 56′ N to 41° 21′ N
 - Longitude 73° 54′ W to 75° 34′ W
Population  Ranked 11th in the U.S.
 - Total 9,288,994
 - Density 1210.10/sq mi  (467/km2)
Ranked 1st in the U.S.
 - Median household income  $82,545[6] (3rd)
 - Highest point High Point[7][8]
1,803 ft (549.6 m)
 - Mean 250 ft  (80 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[7]
sea level
Admission to Union  December 18, 1787 (3rd)
Governor Phil Murphy (D)
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver (D)
Legislature New Jersey Legislature
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house General Assembly
U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D)
Cory Booker (D)
U.S. House delegation 10 Democrats, 2 Republicans (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
Abbreviations NJ N.J. US-NJ

New Jersey State Symbols
Flag of New Jersey
The Flag of New Jersey.

Seal of New Jersey
The Seal of New Jersey.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Eastern goldfinch[9]
Fish Brook trout[10]
Flower(s) Viola sororia[11]
Insect Western honey bee[12]
Mammal(s) Horse[13]
Tree Quercus rubra (northern red oak),[14] dogwood (memorial tree)[14]

Inanimate insignia
Colors Buff and blue
Dance None
Food Northern highbush blueberry (state fruit)[15]
Fossil Hadrosaurus foulkii[16]
Soil Downer[17]
Song(s) None

Route marker(s)
New Jersey Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of New Jersey
Released in 1999

Lists of United States state insignia

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware. At 7,354 square miles (19,050 km2), New Jersey is the fifth-smallest state based on land area, but with close to 9.3 million residents,[18] is the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated. New Jersey's state capital is Trenton, while the state's most populous city is Newark. With the sole exception of Warren County,[19] all counties in the state lie within the combined statistical areas of New York City or Philadelphia; consequently, the state's largest metropolitan area falls within Greater New York.

New Jersey was first inhabited by Native Americans for at least 2,800 years, with the Lenape being the dominant group when Europeans arrived in the early 17th century. Dutch and the Swedish colonists founded the first European settlements in the state.[20] The English later seized control of the region and established the Province of New Jersey, after the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey.[21][22] The colony's fertile lands and relative religious tolerance drew a large and diverse population. New Jersey was among the Thirteen Colonies that opposed Great Britain, hosting numerous pivotal battles and military commands in the American Revolutionary War. The state remained in the Union during the American Civil War, and thereafter became a major center of manufacturing and immigration; it helped drive the nation's Industrial Revolution,[23] and became the site of numerous technological and commercial innovations into the mid 20th century.

New Jersey's central location in the Northeast megalopolis fueled its rapid growth and suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. At the turn of the 21st century, its economy increasingly diversified, with major sectors including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, specialized agriculture, and informational technology. New Jersey remains a major destination for immigrants, with one of the most multicultural populations in the U.S.[24][25] Echoing historic trends, the state has increasingly re-urbanized, with growth in the cities outpacing the suburbs since 2008.[26] New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., with the second highest median household income in 2017.[27] Almost one-tenth of all households, or over 323,000 of 3.3 million, are millionaires, the highest rate per capita in the country.[28] New Jersey's public school system consistently ranks at or among the top of all U.S. states.[29][30][31][32]


Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa. The pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains. Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers that reached New Jersey. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers, swamps, and gorges.[33]

New Jersey was originally settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time of contact. Scheyichbi is the Lenape name for the land that is now New Jersey.[34] The Lenape were several autonomous groups that practiced maize agriculture in order to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. The Lenape society was divided into matrilinear clans that were based upon common female ancestors. These clans were organized into three distinct phratries identified by their animal sign: Turtle, Turkey, and Wolf. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, and their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade.

Colonial era[]

Nieuw Nederland and Nya Sverige

The relative location of the New Netherland and New Sweden settlements in eastern North America

The Dutch became the first Europeans to lay claim to lands in New Jersey. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern Middle Atlantic states. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required its colonists to purchase the land that they settled. The first to do so was Michiel Pauw who established a patronship called Pavonia in 1630 along the North River which eventually became the Bergen. Peter Minuit's purchase of lands along the Delaware River established the colony of New Sweden. The entire region became a territory of England on June 24, 1664, after an English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is now New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam, annexing the entire province.

During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to the King. It was from the Royal Square in Saint Helier that Charles II of England was proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I. The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York (later King James II), the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony (as opposed to a royal colony). James then granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River (the land that would become New Jersey) to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton.[35] The area was named the Province of New Jersey.

Since the state's inception, New Jersey has been characterized by ethnic and religious diversity. New England Congregationalists settled alongside Scots Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed migrants. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres (40 ha), a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Unlike Plymouth Colony, Jamestown and other colonies, New Jersey was populated by a secondary wave of immigrants who came from other colonies instead of those who migrated directly from Europe. New Jersey remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, and commercial farming developed sporadically. Some townships, such as Burlington on the Delaware River and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York City and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, and New Jersey's population had increased to 120,000 by 1775.

Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule took place along Hackensack River and Arthur Kill—settlers came primarily from New York and New England. On March 18, 1673, Berkeley sold his half of the colony to Quakers in England, who settled the Delaware Valley region as a Quaker colony. (William Penn acted as trustee for the lands for a time.) New Jersey was governed very briefly as two distinct provinces, East and West Jersey, for 28 years between 1674 and 1702, at times part of the Province of New York or Dominion of New England.

In 1702, the two provinces were reunited under a royal governor, rather than a proprietary one. Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, became the first governor of the colony as a royal colony. Britain believed that he was an ineffective and corrupt ruler, taking bribes and speculating on land. In 1708 he was recalled to England. New Jersey was then ruled by the governors of New York, but this infuriated the settlers of New Jersey, who accused those governors of favoritism to New York. Judge Lewis Morris led the case for a separate governor, and was appointed governor by King George II in 1738.[36]

Revolutionary War era[]

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, MMA-NYC, 1851

Washington Crossing the Delaware in the winter of 1777, during the New York and New Jersey campaign (painting by Emanuel Leutze, 1851)

New Jersey was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. The New Jersey Constitution of 1776 was passed July 2, 1776, just two days before the Second Continental Congress declared American Independence from Great Britain. It was an act of the Provincial Congress, which made itself into the State Legislature. To reassure neutrals, it provided that it would become void if New Jersey reached reconciliation with Great Britain. New Jersey representatives Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, and Abraham Clark were among those who signed the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

During the American Revolutionary War, British and American armies crossed New Jersey numerous times, and several pivotal battles took place in the state. Because of this, New Jersey today is often referred to as "The Crossroads of the American Revolution".[37] The winter quarters of the Continental Army were established there twice by General George Washington in Morristown, which has been called "The Military Capital of the American Revolution.“[38]


George Washington rallying his troops at the Battle of Princeton

On the night of December 25–26, 1776, the Continental Army under George Washington crossed the Delaware River. After the crossing, they surprised and defeated the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. Slightly more than a week after victory at Trenton, American forces gained an important victory by stopping General Cornwallis's charges at the Second Battle of Trenton. By evading Cornwallis's army, the Americans made a surprise attack on Princeton and successfully defeated the British forces there on January 3, 1777. Emanuel Leutze's painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware became an icon of the Revolution.

American forces under Washington met the British forces under General Henry Clinton at the Battle of Monmouth in an indecisive engagement in June 1778. The Americans attempted to take the British column by surprise. When the British army attempted to flank the Americans, the Americans retreated in disorder. Their ranks were later reorganized and withstood the British charges.

In the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall at Princeton University, making Princeton the nation's capital for four months. It was there that the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war.

On December 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the United States Constitution, which was overwhelmingly popular in New Jersey, as it prevented New York and Pennsylvania from charging tariffs on goods imported from Europe. On November 20, 1789, the state became the first in the newly formed Union to ratify the Bill of Rights.

The 1776 New Jersey State Constitution gave the vote to "all inhabitants" who had a certain level of wealth. This included women and blacks, but not married women, because they could not own property separately from their husbands. Both sides, in several elections, claimed that the other side had had unqualified women vote and mocked them for use of "petticoat electors", whether entitled to vote or not; on the other hand, both parties passed Voting Rights Acts. In 1807, the legislature passed a bill interpreting the constitution to mean universal white male suffrage, excluding paupers; the constitution was itself an act of the legislature and not enshrined as the modern constitution.[39]

19th century[]

On February 15, 1804, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish new slavery and enacted legislation that slowly phased out existing slavery. This led to a gradual decrease of the slave population. By the close of the American Civil War, about a dozen African Americans in New Jersey were still held in bondage.[40] New Jersey voters eventually ratified the constitutional amendments banning slavery and granting rights to the United States' black population.

Line of the Morris Canal, New Jersey, 1827

A map of the 107-mile long Morris Canal across northern New Jersey

Industrialization accelerated in the northern part of the state following completion of the Morris Canal in 1831. The canal allowed for coal to be brought from eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey's growing industries in Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.

In 1844, the second state constitution was ratified and brought into effect. Counties thereby became districts for the state senate, and some realignment of boundaries (including the creation of Mercer County) immediately followed. This provision was retained in the 1947 Constitution, but was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1962 by the decision Baker v. Carr. While the Governorship was stronger than under the 1776 constitution, the constitution of 1844 created many offices that were not responsible to him, or to the people, and it gave him a three-year term, but he could not succeed himself.

New Jersey was one of the few Union states (the others being Delaware and Kentucky) to select a candidate other than Abraham Lincoln twice in national elections, and sided with Stephen Douglas (1860) and George B. McClellan (1864) during their campaigns. McClellan, a native Philadelphian, had New Jersey ties and formally resided in New Jersey at the time; he later became Governor of New Jersey (1878–81). (In New Jersey, the factions of the Democratic party managed an effective coalition in 1860.) During the American Civil War, the state was led first by Republican governor Charles Smith Olden, then by Democrat Joel Parker. During the course of the war, between 65,000 and 80,000 soldiers from the state enlisted in the Union army; unlike many states, including some Northern ones, no battle was fought there.[41]

In the Industrial Revolution, cities like Paterson grew and prospered. Previously, the economy had been largely agrarian, which was problematically subject to crop failures and poor soil. This caused a shift to a more industrialized economy, one based on manufactured commodities such as textiles and silk. Inventor Thomas Edison also became an important figure of the Industrial Revolution, having been granted 1,093 patents, many of which for inventions he developed while working in New Jersey. Edison's facilities, first at Menlo Park and then in West Orange, are considered perhaps the first research centers in the United States. Christie Street in Menlo Park was the first thoroughfare in the world to have electric lighting. Transportation was greatly improved as locomotion and steamboats were introduced to New Jersey.

Iron mining was also a leading industry during the middle to late 19th century. Bog iron pits in the southern New Jersey Pinelands were among the first sources of iron for the new nation.[42] Mines such as Mt. Hope, Mine Hill and the Rockaway Valley Mines created a thriving industry. Mining generated the impetus for new towns and was one of the driving forces behind the need for the Morris Canal. Zinc mines were also a major industry, especially the Sterling Hill Mine.

20th century[]

New Jersey prospered through the Roaring Twenties. The first Miss America Pageant was held in 1921 in Atlantic City, the Holland Tunnel connecting Jersey City to Manhattan opened in 1927, and the first drive-in movie was shown in 1933 in Camden. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the state offered begging licenses to unemployed residents,[43] the zeppelin airship Hindenburg crashed in flames over Lakehurst, and the SS Morro Castle beached itself near Asbury Park after going up in flames while at sea.

Through both World Wars, New Jersey was a center for war production, especially naval construction. The Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company yards in Kearny and Newark and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yard in Camden produced aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.[44] New Jersey manufactured 6.8 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking fifth among the 48 states.[45] In addition, Fort Dix (1917) (originally called "Camp Dix"),[46] Camp Merritt (1917)[47] and Camp Kilmer (1941)[48] were all constructed to house and train American soldiers through both World Wars. New Jersey also became a principal location for defense in the Cold War. Fourteen Nike missile stations were constructed for the defense of the New York City and Philadelphia areas. PT-109, a motor torpedo boat commanded by Lt. (j.g.) John F. Kennedy in World War II, was built at the Elco Boatworks in Bayonne. The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) was briefly docked at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne in the 1950s before she was sent to Kearney to be scrapped.[49] In 1962, the world's first nuclear-powered cargo ship, the NS Savannah, was launched at Camden.

In 1951, the New Jersey Turnpike opened, facilitating efficient travel by car and truck between North Jersey (and metropolitan New York) and South Jersey (and metropolitan Philadelphia).[50] 1959, Air Defense Command deployed the CIM-10 Bomarc surface-to-air missile to McGuire Air Force Base. On June 7, 1960, an explosion in a CIM-10 Bomarc missile fuel tank caused the accident and subsequent plutonium contamination.[51]

In the 1960s, race riots erupted in many of the industrial cities of North Jersey. The first race riots in New Jersey occurred in Jersey City on August 2, 1964. Several others ensued in 1967, in Newark and Plainfield. Other riots followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968, just as in the rest of the country. A riot occurred in Camden in 1971. As a result of an order from the New Jersey Supreme Court to fund schools equitably, the New Jersey legislature passed an income tax bill in 1976. Prior to this bill, the state had no income tax.[52]

21st century[]

In the early part of the 2000s, two light rail systems were opened: the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail in Hudson County and the River Line between Camden and Trenton. The intent of these projects was to encourage transit-oriented development in North Jersey and South Jersey, respectively. The HBLR in particular was credited with a revitalization of Hudson County and Jersey City in particular.[53][54][55][56] Urban revitalization has continued in North Jersey in the 21st century. As of 2014, Jersey City's Census-estimated population was 262,146,[57] with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010,[58] representing an increase of 5.9% from the 2010 United States Census, when the city's population was enumerated at 247,597.[59][60] Between 2000 and 2010, Newark experienced its first population increase since the 1950s.

New Jersey State Symbols
Flag of New Jersey
The Flag of New Jersey.

Seal of New Jersey
The Seal of New Jersey.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Eastern goldfinch[9]
Fish Brook trout[10]
Flower(s) Viola sororia[11]
Insect Western honey bee[12]
Mammal(s) Horse[13]
Tree Quercus rubra (northern red oak),[14] dogwood (memorial tree)[14]

Inanimate insignia
Colors Buff and blue
Food Northern highbush blueberry (state fruit)[15]
Fossil Hadrosaurus foulkii[16]
Soil Downer[17]

Route marker(s)
New Jersey Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of New Jersey
Released in 1999

Lists of United States state insignia


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Spring Lake, New Jersey Beach at Sunrise
Cape may
Sunrise on the Jersey Shore at Spring Lake, Monmouth County (above), and sunset on the Shore at Sunset Beach, Cape May County (below).
Delaware Water Gap

New Jersey, seen here in Warrren County, shares the Delaware Water Gap with neighboring Pennsylvania.

Clinton NJ Easter 2014

The Raritan River is the longest river entirely within New Jersey, flowing from the Raritan Valley near Clinton, Hunterdon County (above), eastward to the Raritan Bay.

Palisades cliff

Part of the Palisades Interstate Park, the cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades in Bergen (seen here) and Hudson counties overlook the Hudson River.

A beautiful Autumn day in Paterson, NJ (6326116759)

The Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, Passaic County, dedicated as a U.S. National Historical Park in November 2011, incorporates one of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States.[61]

The state of New Jersey is bordered on the north and northeast by New York (parts of which are across the Hudson River, Upper New York Bay, the Kill Van Kull, Newark Bay, and the Arthur Kill); on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the southwest by Delaware across Delaware Bay; and on the west by Pennsylvania across the Delaware River. This is New Jersey's only straight border.

New Jersey is often broadly divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. Some New Jersey residents do not consider Central Jersey a region in its own right, but others believe it is a separate geographic and cultural area from the North and South.

Within those regions are five distinct areas, based upon natural geography and population concentration. Northeastern New Jersey lies closest to Manhattan in New York City, and up to a million residents commute daily into the city for work, many via public transportation.[62] Northwestern New Jersey is more wooded, rural, and mountainous. The chief tree of the northern forests is the oak. The Jersey Shore, along the Atlantic Coast in Central and South Jersey, has its own unique natural, residential, and cultural characteristics owing to its location by the ocean. The Delaware Valley includes the southwestern counties of the state, which reside within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. The Pine Barrens region is in the southern interior of New Jersey; covered rather extensively by mixed pine and oak forest, this region has a lower population density than most of the rest of the state. Forests cover 45%, or approximately 2.1 million acres, of New Jersey's land area.[63]

The federal Office of Management and Budget divides New Jersey's counties into seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas, with 16 counties included in either the New York City or Philadelphia metro areas. Four counties have independent metro areas, and Warren County is part of the Pennsylvania-based Lehigh Valley metro area. New Jersey is also at the center of the Northeast megalopolis.

High Point, in Montague Township, Sussex County, is the state's highest elevation, at 1,803 feet (550 m) above sea level. The state's highest prominence is Kitty Ann Mountain in Morris County, rising 892 feet (272 m). The Palisades are a line of steep cliffs on the west side of the Hudson River, in Bergen and Hudson Counties. Major New Jersey rivers include the Hudson, Delaware, Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, Musconetcong, Mullica, Rancocas, Manasquan, Maurice, and Toms rivers. Due to New Jersey's peninsular geography, both sunrise and sunset are visible over water from different points on the Jersey Shore.

Prominent geographic features[]

  • Delaware Water Gap
  • Great Bay
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
  • Highlands
  • Hudson Palisades
  • Jersey Shore
    • On the shore, New Jersey hosts the highest number of oceanside boardwalks in the United States.
  • Meadowlands
  • Pine Barrens
  • Ramapo Mountain
  • South Mountain


There are two climatic conditions in the state. The south, central, and northeast parts of the state have a humid subtropical climate, while the northwest has a humid continental climate (microthermal), with much cooler temperatures due to higher elevation. New Jersey receives between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually.[64]

Climate change is affecting New Jersey faster than much of the rest of the United States. As of 2019, New Jersey was one of the fastest-warming states in the nation. Since 1895, average temperatures have climbed by almost 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, double the average for the other Lower 48 states.[65]

Summers are typically hot and humid, with statewide average high temperatures of 82–87 °F (
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  - Invalid output type
{4}="def", in {{Convert|16|to|28|def|...}}. ) for most of the state, but temperatures can, for brief periods, fall below 10 °F (−12 °C) and sometimes rise above 50 °F (10 °C). Northwestern parts of the state have significantly colder winters with sub-0 °F (−18 °C) being an almost annual occurrence. Spring and autumn may feature wide temperature variations, with lower humidity than summer. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone classification ranges from 6 in the northwest of the state, to 7B near Cape May.[66] All-time temperature extremes recorded in New Jersey include 110 °F (43 °C) on July 10, 1936, in Runyon, Middlesex County and −34 °F (−36.7 °C) on January 5, 1904, in River Vale, Bergen County.[67]

Average annual precipitation ranges from 43 to 51 inches (1,100 to 1,300 mm), uniformly spread through the year. Average snowfall per winter season ranges from 10–15 inches (25–38 cm) in the south and near the seacoast, 15–30 inches (38–76 cm) in the northeast and central part of the state, to about 40–50 inches (1.0–1.3 m) in the northwestern highlands, but this often varies considerably from year to year. Precipitation falls on an average of 120 days a year, with 25 to 30 thunderstorms, most of which occur during the summer.

During winter and early spring, New Jersey can experience "nor'easters", which are capable of causing blizzards or flooding throughout the northeastern United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms (such as Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999[68]), tornadoes, and earthquakes are rare, although New Jersey was impacted by a hurricane in 1903, and Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 with the storm making landfall in the state with top winds of 90 mph (145 km/h).

Average high and low temperatures in various cities of New Jersey °C (°F)[1] [2] [3]
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sussex 1/−9 (34/16) 3/−8 (38/18) 8/−4 (47/26) 15/2 (59/36) 21/7 (70/45) 25/12 (78/55) 28/16 (82/60) 27/14 (81/58) 23/10 (73/50) 17/4 (62/38) 11/−1 (51/31) 4/−6 (39/22)
Newark 4/−4 (39/24) 6/−3 (42/27) 10/1 (51/34) 17/7 (62/44) 22/12 (72/53) 28/17 (82/63) 30/20 (86/69) 29/20 (84/68) 25/15 (77/60) 18/9 (65/48) 13/4 (55/39) 6/−1 (44/30)
Atlantic City 5/−2 (42/29) 6/−1 (44/31) 10/3 (50/37) 14/8 (58/46) 19/13 (67/55) 24/18 (76/64) 27/21 (81/70) 27/21 (80/70) 24/18 (75/64) 18/11 (65/53) 13/6 (56/43) 8/1 (46/34)
Cape May 6/−2 (42/28) 7/−2 (44/29) 11/2 (51/35) 16/7 (61/44) 21/12 (70/53) 26/17 (79/63) 29/20 (85/68) 29/19 (83/67) 25/16 (78/61) 19/9 (67/50) 14/4 (57/41) 8/0 (47/32)

Administrative divisions[]

Counties by population[]

  1. Bergen County: 936,692
  2. Middlesex County: 829,685
  3. Essex County: 799,767
  4. Hudson County: 676,061
  5. Monmouth County: 621,354
  6. Ocean County: 601,651
  7. Union County: 558,067
  8. Camden County: 507,078
  9. Passaic County: 503,310
  10. Morris County: 494,228
  11. Burlington County: 445,384
  12. Mercer County: 369,811
  13. Somerset County: 331,164
  14. Gloucester County: 291,408
  15. Atlantic County: 265,429
  16. Cumberland County: 150,972
  17. Sussex County: 140,799
  18. Hunterdon County: 124,714
  19. Warren County: 105,779
  20. Cape May County: 92,560
  21. Salem County: 62,607

For its overall population and nation-leading population density, New Jersey has a relative paucity of classic large cities. This paradox is most pronounced in Bergen County, New Jersey's most populous county, whose more than 930,000 residents in 2019 inhabited 70 municipalities, the most populous being Hackensack, with 44,522 residents estimated in 2018. Many urban areas extend far beyond the limits of a single large city, as New Jersey cities (and indeed municipalities in general) tend to be geographically small; three of the four largest cities in New Jersey by population have under 20 square miles (52 km2) of land area, and eight of the top ten, including all of the top five have land area under 30 square miles (78 km2). As of the 2010 United States census, only four municipalities had populations in excess of 100,000, although Edison and Woodbridge came very close.

Largest municipalities in New Jersey in terms of area
Rank Name Area (sq.mi.) Area (km2) County
1 Galloway Township 115.2 298 Atlantic County
2 Hamilton Township 113.0 293 Atlantic County
3 Washington Township 102.9 267 Burlington County
4 Jackson Township 100.1 259 Ocean County
5 Lacey Township 98.5 255 Ocean County
6 Woodland Township 96.4 250 Burlington County
7 Maurice River Township 95.7 248 Cumberland County
8 Middle Township 83.1 215 Cape May County
9 Manchester Township 82.9 215 Ocean County
10 West Milford 80.4 208 Passaic County
11 Bass River Township 78.2 203 Burlington County
12 Egg Harbor Township 75.0 194 Atlantic County
13 Little Egg Harbor Township 73.2 190 Ocean County
14 Lower Alloways Creek Township 72.6 188 Salem County
15 Vernon Township 70.5 183 Sussex County
16 Upper Township 68.5 177 Cape May County
17 Wantage Township 67.5 175 Sussex County
18 Dennis Township 64.3 167 Cape May County
19 Pemberton Township 62.5 162 Burlington County
20 Howell Township 61.0 158 Monmouth County
21 Middletown Township 59.3 154 Monmouth County
22 Hopewell Township 58.7 152 Mercer County
23 Winslow Township 58.1 150 Camden County
24 Mullica Township 56.9 147 Atlantic County
25 Berkeley Township 55.8 145 Ocean County
26 Hillsborough Township 54.8 142 Somerset County
26 Stafford Township 54.8 142 Ocean County
Largest cities or towns in New Jersey
Rank County Pop.
Jersey City
Jersey City
1 Newark Essex 311,549 Paterson
2 Jersey City Hudson 292,449
3 Paterson Passaic 159,732
4 Elizabeth Union 137,298
5 Lakewood Township Ocean 135,158
6 Edison Township Middlesex 107,588
7 Woodbridge Township Middlesex 103,639
8 Toms River Ocean 95,438
9 Hamilton Township (Mercer) Mercer 92,297
10 Clifton Passaic 90,296


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 184,139
1800 211,149 14.7%
1810 245,562 16.3%
1820 277,575 13.0%
1830 320,823 15.6%
1840 373,306 16.4%
1850 489,555 31.1%
1860 672,035 37.3%
1870 906,096 34.8%
1880 1,131,116 24.8%
1890 1,444,933 27.7%
1900 1,883,669 30.4%
1910 2,537,167 34.7%
1920 3,155,900 24.4%
1930 4,041,334 28.1%
1940 4,160,165 2.9%
1950 4,835,329 16.2%
1960 6,066,782 25.5%
1970 7,168,164 18.2%
1980 7,364,823 2.7%
1990 7,730,188 5.0%
2000 8,414,350 8.9%
2010 8,791,894 4.5%
Source: 1910–2020[70]
Nj pop dens

New Jersey population density map (2020)


The United States Census Bureau tabulated in the 2020 United States census that the population of New Jersey was 9,288,994 on April 1, 2020, a 5.7% increase since the 2010 United States census.[18] Residents of New Jersey are most commonly referred to as New Jerseyans or, less commonly, as New Jerseyites. At the 2010 census, there were 8,791,894 people living in the state.

Race and ethnicity[]

Ethnic composition as of the 2020 census
Race and Ethnicity[71] Alone Total
White (non-Hispanic) Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Hispanic or Latino[lower-alpha 1] Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
African American (non-Hispanic) Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Asian Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Native American Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Pacific Islander Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Other Template:Bartable Template:Bartable
Historical racial demographics
Racial composition 1970[72] 1990[72] 2000[73] 2010[74]
White 88.6% 79.3% 72.5% 68.6%
Black 10.7% 13.4% 13.6% 13.7%
Asian 0.3% 3.5% 5.7% 8.3%
Native 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
Other race 0.3% 3.6% 5.4% 6.4%
Two or more races  –  – 2.5% 2.7%

The 2019 Vintage Year Census data reported the following makeup estimates: 71.9% White alone, 15.1% Black or African American alone, 10.0% Asian alone, 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Native alone, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, and 2.3% Two or more races. Hispanic or Latino accounted for 20.9%, while White alone (non Hispanic or Latino) accounted for 54.6% of the population.[75]

In 2010, unauthorized immigrants constituted an estimated 6.2% of the population. This was the fourth-highest percentage of any state in the country.[76] There were an estimated 550,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010.[77] Among the municipalities which are considered sanctuary cities are Camden, Jersey City, and Newark.[78]

As of 2010, New Jersey was the eleventh-most populous state in the United States, and the most densely populated, at 1,185 residents per square mile (458 per km2), with most of the population residing in the counties surrounding New York City, Philadelphia, and along the eastern Jersey Shore, while the extreme southern and northwestern counties are relatively less dense overall. It was also the second wealthiest state by median household income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[27]

The center of population for New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Milltown, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike.[79]

New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.[80][81][82]

On October 21, 2013, same-sex marriages commenced in New Jersey.[83]

Bar Chart of Race & Ethnicity in New Jersey (2015)

Race and ethnicity (2015)

New Jersey is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states in the United States. As of 2011, 56.4% of New Jersey's children under the age of one belonged to racial or ethnic minority groups, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white.[84] The state has the second-largest Jewish population by percentage (after New York);[85] the largest Muslim population by percentage;[86] the largest population of Peruvians in the United States; the largest population of Cubans outside of Florida; the third highest Asian population by percentage; and the second highest Italian population,[87] according to the 2000 Census. African Americans, Hispanics (Puerto Ricans and Dominicans), West Indians, Arabs, and Brazilian and Portuguese Americans are also high in number. New Jersey has the third highest Asian Indian population of any state by absolute numbers and the highest by percentage,[88][89][90][91] with Bergen County home to America's largest Malayali community.[92] Overall, New Jersey has the third largest Korean population, with Bergen County home to the highest Korean concentration per capita of any U.S. county[93] (6.9% in 2011). New Jersey also has the fourth largest Filipino population, and fourth largest Chinese population, per the 2010 U.S. Census. The five largest ethnic groups in 2000 were: Italian (17.9%), Irish (15.9%), African (13.6%), German (12.6%), Polish (6.9%).

India Square, in Bombay, Jersey City, Hudson County,[94] is home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere.[95] Meanwhile, Central New Jersey, particularly Edison and surrounding Middlesex County, is prominently known for its significant concentration of Asian Indians. The world's largest Hindu temple was inaugurated in Robbinsville in 2014, a BAPS temple.[96] The growing Little India is a South Asian-focused commercial strip in Middlesex County, the U.S. county with the highest concentration of Asian Indians, at nearly 20% in 2020.[97][98][99] The Oak Tree Road strip runs for about 1+1+2{{{4}}} miles (2.4 km) through Edison and neighboring Iselin in Woodbridge Township, near the area's sprawling Chinatown and Koreatown, running along New Jersey Route 27.[100] It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States.[101][102] Carteret's Punjabi Sikh community, variously estimated at upwards of 3,000, is the largest concentration of Sikhs in the state.[103] Monroe Township in Middlesex County has experienced a particularly rapid growth rate in its Indian American population, with an estimated 5,943 (13.6%) as of 2017,[104] which was 23 times the 256 (0.9%) counted as of the 2000 Census; and Diwali is celebrated by the township as a Hindu holiday. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi.[105]

Newark was the fourth poorest of U.S. cities with over 250,000 residents in 2008,[106] but New Jersey as a whole had the second-highest median household income as of 2014.[27] This is largely because so much of New Jersey consists of suburbs, most of them affluent, of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey is also the most densely populated state, and the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed "urban" as defined by the Census Bureau's Combined Statistical Area.[107]


Bergen County (버건 군), New Jersey, across the George Washington Bridge from New York City (뉴욕), is a growing hub and home to all of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population,[108] led (above) by Palisades Park (벼랑 공원),[109] the municipality with the highest density of ethnic Koreans in the Western Hemisphere. Displaying ubiquitous Hangul (한글) signage and known as the Korean village,[110] Palisades Park uniquely comprises a Korean majority (52% in 2010) of its population,[111][112] with both the highest Korean-American density and percentage of any municipality in the United States.

India Square JC jeh

India Square, in Bombay, Jersey City,[94] home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere.[95] Immigrants from India constituted the largest foreign-born nationality in New Jersey in 2013.[113]

The old Beis Madrash Building of BMG

Beth Medrash Govoha (Hebrew:בית מדרש גבוה), in Lakewood Township, Ocean County, is the world's largest yeshiva outside the State of Israel. Orthodox Jews represent one of the fastest-growing segments of New Jersey's population.[114][115]

New Jersey Counties by metro area labeled

Metropolitan statistical areas and divisions of New Jersey. The New York City Metropolitan Area includes the counties shaded in blue hues, as well as Mercer and Warren counties, the latter representing part of the Lehigh Valley. Counties shaded in green hues, as well as Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties, belong to the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area.

In 2010, 6.2% of its population was reported as under age 5, 23.5% under 18, and 13.5% were 65 or older; and females made up approximately 51.3% of the population.[116]

A study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2013, New Jersey was the only U.S. state in which immigrants born in India constituted the largest foreign-born nationality, representing roughly 10% of all foreign-born residents in the state.[113]

For further information on various ethnoracial groups and neighborhoods prominently featured within New Jersey, see the following articles:

  • Hispanics and Latinos in New Jersey
  • Indians in the New York City metropolitan region
  • Chinese in the New York City metropolitan region
  • List of U.S. cities with significant Korean American populations
  • Filipinos in the New York City metropolitan region
  • Filipinos in New Jersey
  • Russians in the New York City metropolitan region
  • Bergen County
  • Jersey City
  • India Square in Jersey City, home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere
  • Ironbound, a Portuguese and Brazilian enclave in Newark
  • Five Corners, a Filipino enclave in Jersey City
  • Havana on the Hudson, a Cuban enclave in Hudson County
  • Koreatown, Fort Lee, a Korean enclave in southeast Bergen County
  • Koreatown, Palisades Park, also a Korean enclave in southeast Bergen County
  • Little Bangladesh, a Bangladeshi enclave in Paterson
  • Little India (Edison/Iselin), the largest and most diverse South Asian hub in the United States
  • Little Istanbul, also known as Little Ramallah, a Middle Eastern enclave in Paterson
  • Little Lima, a Peruvian enclave in Paterson

Birth data[]

As of 2011, 56.4% of New Jersey's population younger than age 1 were minorities (meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white).[117]

Note: Births in table do not add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Race 2014[118] 2015[119] 2016[120] 2017[121] 2018[122] 2019[123] 2020[124]
White: 71,033 (68.8%) 72,400 (70.2%) ... ... ... ... ...
> non-Hispanic White 48,196 (46.6%) 47,425 (46.0%) 46,076 (44.9%) 45,825 (45.3%) 45,500 (44.9%) 45,368 (45.6%) 44,709 (45.6%)
Black 20,102 (19.4%) 18,363 (17.8%) 13,870 (13.5%) 13,684 (13.5%) 13,886 (13.7%) 13,394 (13.4%) 12,951 (13.2%)
Asian 11,977 (11.6%) 12,192 (11.8%) 12,053 (11.7%) 11,691 (11.5%) 11,452 (11.3%) 11,112 (11.2%) 10,451 (10.7%)
American Indian 193 (0.2%) 172 (0.2%) 62 (0.0%) 72 (0.1%) 67 (0.1%) 94 (0.1%) 41 (>0.1%)
Hispanic (of any race) 27,267 (26.4%) 27,919 (27.1%) 28,083 (27.3%) 27,354 (27.0%) 27,597 (27.3%) 27,443 (27.6%) 27,205 (27.8%)
Total New Jersey 103,305 (100%) 103,127 (100%) 102,647 (100%) 101,250 (100%) 101,223 (100%) 99,585 (100%) 97,954 (100%)
  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


Most common non-English languages spoken in New Jersey
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2010)[125]
Spanish 14.59%
Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) 1.23%
Italian 1.06%
Portuguese 1.06%
Filipino 0.96%
Korean 0.89%
Gujarati 0.83%
Polish 0.79%
Hindi 0.71%
Arabic 0.62%
Russian 0.56%

As of 2010, 71.31% (5,830,812) of New Jersey residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 14.59% (1,193,261) spoke Spanish, 1.23% (100,217) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.06% (86,849) Italian, 1.06% (86,486) Portuguese, 0.96% (78,627) Tagalog, and Korean was spoken as a main language by 0.89% (73,057) of the population over the age of five. In total, 28.69% (2,345,644) of New Jersey's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[125]

A diverse collection of languages has since evolved amongst the state's population, given that New Jersey has become cosmopolitan and is home to ethnic enclaves of non-English-speaking communities:[126][127][128][129]

  • Albanian Paterson, Garfield
  • Arabic Paterson, Jersey City
  • Armenian Bergen County
  • Bahasa Indonesia Gloucester City, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties
  • Bengali Paterson
  • Cantonese
  • Farsi
  • Greek
  • Gujarati and Hindi Jersey City, all of Middlesex County, Cherry Hill, Parsippany, Princeton
  • Hebrew
  • Italian widespread across the state especially in Camden County, Essex, and Bergen counties
  • Japanese Edgewater and Fort Lee boroughs in Bergen County
  • Kannada
  • Korean Bergen County (numerous municipalities); Cherry Hill
  • Macedonian Bergen County
  • Malayalam Bergen County
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Marathi
  • Polish Bergen County (Garfield, Wallington); Mercer County (Top Road, Lawrence Township, Hopewell); Linden
  • Portuguese Ironbound section of Newark; Elizabeth
  • Punjabi
  • Russian Fair Lawn borough of Bergen County, Princeton area and Mercer County
  • Spanish widespread across the state
  • Tagalog
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Turkish Little Istanbul section of Paterson, Mount Ephraim (which has a large, vibrant and growing Turkish Community), Delran, Cherry Hill
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu Mount Ephraim has a significant number of residents of Pakistani origin.
  • Vietnamese Atlantic City, Camden/Cherry Hill, Edison Township, Jersey City
  • Yiddish Lakewood Township, Ocean County


Religion in New Jersey (2014)[136]
Religion Percent
Eastern Orthodox
Jehovah's Witness
Other faith
Don't know

By number of adherents, the largest denominations in New Jersey, according to the Association of Religion Data Archives in 2010, were the Roman Catholic Church with 3,235,290; Islam with 160,666; and the United Methodist Church with 138,052.[137] In September 2021, the State of New Jersey aligned with the World Hindu Council to declare October as Hindu Heritage Month. The world's largest Hindu temple was inaugurated in Robbinsville, Mercer County, in central New Jersey during 2014, a BAPS temple.[96] In January 2018, Gurbir Grewal became the first Sikh American state attorney general in the United States.[138] In January 2019, Sadaf Jaffer became the first female Muslim American mayor, first female South Asian mayor, and first female Pakistani-American mayor in the United States, of Montgomery in Somerset County.[139]


Tree Map of Employment by Industries in New Jersey (2015)

Employment by industries

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Jersey's gross state product in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $639.8 billion.[142] New Jersey's estimated taxpayer burden in 2015 was $59,400 per taxpayer.[143] New Jersey is nearly $239 billion in debt.[144]


New Jersey's per capita gross state product in 2008 was $54,699, second in the U.S. and above the national per capita gross domestic product of $46,588.[145] Its per capita income was the third highest in the nation with $51,358.[145] In 2020, New Jersey had the highest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, approximately 9.76% of households.[28] The state is ranked second in the nation by the number of places with per capita incomes above national average with 76.4%. Nine of New Jersey's counties are among the 100 wealthiest U.S. counties.

Map of Income by Location in New Jersey

A heat map showing median income distribution by county in New Jersey

Fiscal policy[]

New Jersey has seven tax brackets that determine state income tax rates, which range from 1.4% (for income below $20,000) to 8.97% (for income above $500,000).[146]

The standard sales tax rate as of January 1, 2018, is 6.625%, applicable to all retail sales unless specifically exempt by law. This rate, which is comparably lower than that of New York City, often attracts numerous shoppers from New York City, often to suburban Paramus, New Jersey, which has five malls, one of which (the Garden State Plaza) has over Template:Convert/e6ft2 of retail space. Tax exemptions include most food items for at-home preparation, medications, most clothing, footwear and disposable paper products for use in the home.[147] There are 27 Urban Enterprise Zone statewide, including sections of Paterson, Elizabeth, and Jersey City. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half the rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.[148][149][150]

New Jersey has the highest cumulative tax rate of all 50 states with residents paying a total of $68 billion in state and local taxes annually with a per capita burden of $7,816 at a rate of 12.9% of income.[151] All real property located in the state is subject to property tax unless specifically exempted by statute. New Jersey does not assess an intangible personal property tax or an estate tax, but it does impose an inheritance tax (which is levied only on heirs who are not direct descendants).[152]

Federal taxation disparity[]

New Jersey consistently ranks as having one of the highest proportional levels of disparity of any state in the United States, based upon what it receives from the federal government relative to what it gives. In 2015, WalletHub ranked New Jersey the state least dependent upon federal government aid overall and having the fourth lowest return on taxpayer investment from the federal government, at 48 cents per dollar.[153]

New Jersey has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.[154] Factors for this include the large federal tax liability which is not adjusted for New Jersey's higher cost of living and Medicaid funding formulas.


Cranberrys beim Ernten

Cranberry harvest

New Jersey's economy is multifaceted, but is centered on the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, information technology, the financial industry, chemical development, telecommunications, food processing, electric equipment, printing, publishing, and tourism. New Jersey's agricultural outputs are nursery stock, horses, vegetables, fruits and nuts, seafood, and dairy products.[155] New Jersey ranks second among states in blueberry production, third in cranberries and spinach, and fourth in bell peppers, peaches, and head lettuce.[156] The state harvests the fourth-largest number of acres planted with asparagus.[157]

New Jersey has a strong scientific economy and is home to major pharmaceutical and telecommunications firms, drawing on the state's large and well-educated labor pool. There is also a strong service economy in retail sales, education, and real estate, serving residents who work in New York City or Philadelphia. Thomas Edison invented the first electric light bulb at his home in Menlo Park, Edison in 1879. New Jersey is also a key participant in the renewable wind industry. New Jersey has more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere in the world,[158] and is a global leader in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, life sciences, and technology.[159][160]

Shipping is a key industry in New Jersey because of the state's strategic geographic location, the Port of New York and New Jersey being the busiest port on the East Coast. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal was the world's first container port and today is one of the world's largest.

New Jersey hosts several business headquarters, including twenty-four Fortune 500 companies.[161] Paramus in Bergen County has become the top retail ZIP code (07652) in the United States, with the municipality generating over US$6 billion in annual retail sales.[162] Several New Jersey counties, including Somerset (7), Morris (10), Hunterdon (13), Bergen (21), and Monmouth (42), have been ranked among the highest-income counties in the United States.


Atlantic City skyline from 47th floor of Revel

Atlantic City is an oceanfront resort and the nexus of New Jersey's gambling industry.

New Jersey's location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis and its extensive transportation system have put over one-third of all United States residents and many Canadian residents within overnight distance by land. This accessibility to consumer revenue has enabled seaside resorts such as Atlantic City and the remainder of the Jersey Shore, as well as the state's other natural and cultural attractions, to contribute significantly to the record 111 million tourist visits to New Jersey in 2018, providing US$44.7 billion in tourism revenue, directly supporting 333,860 jobs, sustaining more than 531,000 jobs overall including peripheral impacts, and generating US$5 billion in state and local tax revenue.[163]


In 1976, a referendum of New Jersey voters approved casino gambling in Atlantic City, where the first legalized casino opened in 1978.[164] At that time, Las Vegas was the only other casino resort in the country.[165] Today, several casinos lie along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the first and longest boardwalk in the world being 5.5 miles long.[166] Atlantic City experienced a dramatic contraction in its stature as a gambling destination after 2010, including the closure of multiple casinos since 2014, spurred by competition from the advent of legalized gambling in other northeastern U.S. states.[167][168] On February 26, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed online gambling into law.[169] Sports betting has become a growing source of gambling revenue in New Jersey since being legalized across the nation by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2018.[170]

Natural resources and energy[]

Some mining activity of zinc, iron, and manganese still takes place in the area in and around the Franklin Furnace.

Although New Jersey is home to many energy-intensive industries, its energy consumption is only 2.7% of the U.S. total, and its carbon dioxide emissions are 0.8% of the U.S. total. New Jersey's electricity comes primarily from natural gas and nuclear power.[171] New Jersey is seventh in the nation in solar power installations,[172] enabled by one of the country's most favorable net metering policies and renewable portfolio standard. The state has more than 140,000 solar installations.[173]


Old Queens, New Brunswick, NJ - looking north, 2014

Old Queens at Rutgers University, the flagship of public higher education in New Jersey

Nassau Hall, Princeton

Nassau Hall at Princeton University, one of the world's most prominent research universities[174]

As of 2010, there were 605 school districts in the state.[175]

Secretary of Education Rick Rosenberg, appointed by Governor Jon Corzine, created the Education Advancement Initiative (EAI) to increase college admission rates by 10% for New Jersey's high school students, decrease dropout rates by 15%, and increase the amount of money devoted to schools by 10%. Rosenberg retracted this plan when criticized for taking the money out of healthcare to fund this initiative.

In 2010, the state government paid all teachers' premiums for health insurance,[175] but currently all NJ public teachers pay a portion of their own health insurance premiums.

New Jersey is known for the quality of its education. In 2015, the state spent more per each public school student than any other U.S. state except New York, Alaska, and Connecticut, amounting to $18,235 spent per pupil; over 50% of the expenditure was allocated to student instruction.[176]

According to 2011 Newsweek statistics, students of High Technology High School in Lincroft, Monmouth County and Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, Bergen County registered average SAT scores of 2145 and 2100, respectively,[177] representing the second- and third-highest scores, respectively, of all listed U.S. high schools.[177]

Princeton University in Princeton, Mercer County, one of the world's most prominent research universities, is often featured at or near the top of various national and global university rankings, topping the 2022 list of U.S. News & World Report.[178] In 2013, Rutgers University, headquartered in New Brunswick, Middlesex County as the flagship institution of higher education in New Jersey, regained medical and dental schools,[179] augmenting its profile as a national research university as well.[180]

In 2014, New Jersey's school systems were ranked at the top of all fifty U.S. states by financial website[181] In 2018, New Jersey's overall educational system was ranked second among all states to Massachusetts by U.S. News & World Report.[32] In both 2019 and 2020, Education Week also ranked New Jersey public schools the best of all U.S. states.[29][30]

Nine New Jersey high schools were ranked among the top 25 in the U.S. on the Newsweek "America's Top High Schools 2016" list, more than from any other state.[182] A 2017 UCLA Civil Rights project found that New Jersey has the sixth-most segregated classrooms in the United States.[183]



Downtown New Brunswick, an educational and cultural district undergoing gentrification


New Jersey has continued to play a prominent role as a U.S. cultural nexus. Like every state, New Jersey has its own cuisine, religious communities, museums, and halls of fame.

New Jersey is the birthplace of modern inventions such as: FM radio, the motion picture camera, the lithium battery, the light bulb, transistors, and the electric train. Other New Jersey creations include: the drive-in movie, the cultivated blueberry, cranberry sauce, the postcard, the boardwalk, the zipper, the phonograph, saltwater taffy, the dirigible, the seedless watermelon,[184] the first use of a submarine in warfare, and the ice cream cone.[185]

A 50's Style Diner

A 1950s-style diner in Orange, Essex County

Diners are iconic to New Jersey. The state is home to many diner manufacturers and has over 600 diners, more than any other place in the world.[186]

New Jersey is the only state without a state song. I'm From New Jersey is incorrectly listed on many websites as being the New Jersey state song, but it was not even a contender when in 1996 the New Jersey Arts Council submitted their suggestions to the New Jersey Legislature.[187]

New Jersey is frequently the target of jokes in American culture,[188] especially from New York City-based television shows, such as Saturday Night Live. Academic Michael Aaron Rockland attributes this to New Yorkers' view that New Jersey is the beginning of Middle America. The New Jersey Turnpike, which runs between two major East Coast cities, New York City and Philadelphia, is also cited as a reason, as people who traverse through the state may only see its industrial zones.[189] Reality television shows like Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey have reinforced stereotypical views of New Jersey culture,[190] but Rockland cited The Sopranos and the music of Bruce Springsteen as exporting a more positive image.[189]


New Jersey is known for several foods developed within the region, including Taylor Ham (also known as pork roll), sloppy joe sandwiches, tomato pies, salt water taffy, and Texas wieners. New York City cuisine has an influence on North Jersey's cuisine, and in Philadelphia cuisine influences South Jersey.

New Jersey third largest industry is food and agriculture just behind pharmaceuticals and tourism. New Jersey is one of the top 10 producers of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash, and asparagus in the United States. Many restaurants in the state get locally grown ingredients because of this.[191]

Campbell's Soup Company has been headquartered in Camden since 1869.[192] Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, operates a corporate headquarters in Jersey City.[193]

Several states with substantial Italian American populations take credit for the development of submarine sandwiches, including New Jersey.[194]


New Jersey has long been an important origin for both rock and rap music. Prominent musicians from or with significant connections to New Jersey include:

  • Singer Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken. He sang with a neighborhood vocal group, the Hoboken Four, and appeared in neighborhood theater amateur shows before he became an Academy Award-winning actor.
  • Bruce Springsteen, who has sung of New Jersey life on most of his albums, is from Freehold. Some of his songs that represent New Jersey life are "Born to Run", "Spirit in the Night", "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", "Thunder Road", "Atlantic City", and "Jungleland".
  • Irvington's Queen Latifah was one of the first female rappers to succeed in music, film, and television.[195]
  • Southside Johnny, eponymous leader of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes was raised in Ocean Grove. He is considered the "Grandfather of the New Jersey Sound"[196] and is cited by Jersey-born Jon Bon Jovi as his reason for singing.[197]
  • Jon Bon Jovi, from Sayreville, reached fame in the 1980s with hard rock outfit Bon Jovi. The band has also written many songs about life in New Jersey, including "Livin' On A Prayer",[198] and named one of their albums after the state.
  • In 1964, the Isley Brothers founded the record label T-Neck Records, named after Teaneck, their home at the time.[199]
  • The Broadway musical Jersey Boys is based on the lives of the members of the Four Seasons, three of whose members were born in New Jersey (Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, and Nick Massi) while a fourth, Bob Gaudio, was born out of state but raised in Bergenfield.[200]


New Meadowlands Stadium Mezz Corner

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is home to the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, and the most expensive stadium ever built.[201]

New Jersey currently has six teams from major professional sports leagues playing in the state, although one Major League Soccer team and two National Football League teams identify themselves as being from the New York metropolitan area.

Professional sports[]


The Prudential Center in Newark, home of the NHL's New Jersey Devils

File:Le Red Bull Arena.jpg

Red Bull Arena in Harrison, home of the MLS's New York Red Bulls

The National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils, based in Newark at the Prudential Center, is the only major league sports franchise to bear the state's name. Founded in 1974 in Kansas City, Missouri, as the Kansas City Scouts, the team played in Denver, Colorado, as the Colorado Rockies from 1976 until the spring of 1982 when naval architect, businessman, and Jersey City native John J. McMullen purchased, renamed, and moved the franchise to Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford's Meadowlands Sports Complex. While the team had mostly losing records in Kansas City, Denver, and its first years in New Jersey, the Devils began to improve in the late 1980s and early 1990s under Hall of Fame president and general manager Lou Lamoriello. The team made the playoffs for the Stanley Cup in 2001 and 2012, and won it in 1995, 2000, and 2003. The organization is the youngest of the nine major league teams in the New York metropolitan area. The Devils have established a following throughout the northern and central portions of the state, carving a place in a media market once dominated by the New York Rangers and Islanders.

In 2018, the Philadelphia Flyers renovated and expanded their training facility, the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, in Voorhees Township in the southern portion of the state.[202]

The New York Metropolitan Area's two National Football League teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets, play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford's Meadowlands Sports Complex.[203] Built for about $1.6 billion,[204] the venue is the most expensive stadium ever built.[201] On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII.

The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer play in Red Bull Arena, a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison across the Passaic River from downtown Newark. On July 27, 2011, Red Bull Arena hosted the 2011 MLS All-Star Game.[205]

From 1977 to 2012, New Jersey had a National Basketball Association team, the New Jersey Nets. WNBA's New York Liberty played in New Jersey from 2011 to 2013 while their primary home arena, Madison Square Garden was undergoing renovations.[206] In 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA opened their new headquarters and training facility, the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex, in Camden.[207]

The Meadowlands Sports Complex is home to the Meadowlands Racetrack, one of three major harness racing tracks in the state. The Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway in Freehold are two of the major harness racing tracks in North America. Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport is a popular spot for thoroughbred racing in New Jersey and the northeast. It hosted the Breeders' Cup in 2007, and its turf course was renovated in preparation.

Major league sports[]

New Jersey teams[]

Club Sport League Stadium (capacity) Established Titles
New Jersey Devils Ice hockey NHL Prudential Center (16,514) 1974 3
Metropolitan Riveters NWHL Barnabas Health Hockey House at the Prudential Center (5,000) 2015 1
NJ/NY Gotham FC Soccer NWSL Red Bull Arena (25,000) 2007 1

New York teams that play in New Jersey[]

Club Sport League Stadium (capacity) Established Titles
New York Giants Football NFL MetLife Stadium (82,500) 1925 8
New York Jets 1959 1
New York Red Bulls Soccer MLS Red Bull Arena (25,000) 1994 0

Semi-pro and minor league sports[]

New Jersey teams[]

Club Sport League Stadium (capacity) Established Titles
Somerset Patriots Baseball MiLB (AA-Northeast) TD Bank Ballpark (6,100) 1997 6
Jersey Shore BlueClaws MiLB (A+-East) FirstEnergy Park (8,000) 1987 3
Trenton Thunder MLB Draft League Trenton Thunder Ballpark (6,440) 1980 3
New Jersey Jackals Frontier League Yogi Berra Stadium (5,000) 1998 5
Sussex County Miners Skylands Stadium (4,200) 2015 1
Jersey Express Basketball ABA Wayne YMCA 2005 0

New York minor league teams that play in New Jersey[]

Club Sport League Stadium (capacity) Established Titles
New York Red Bulls II Soccer USL MSU Soccer Park at Pittser Field (5,000) 2015 1

College sports[]

Major schools[]

New Jerseyans' collegiate allegiances are predominantly split among the three major NCAA Division I programs in the state: the Rutgers University (New Jersey's flagship state university) Scarlet Knights, members of the Big Ten Conference; the Seton Hall University (the state's largest Catholic university) Pirates, members of the Big East Conference; and the Princeton University (the state's Ivy League university) Tigers.

The intense rivalry between Rutgers and Princeton athletics began with the first intercollegiate football game in 1869. The schools have not met on the football field since 1980, but they continue to play each other annually in all other sports offered by the two universities.

Rutgers, which fields 24 teams in various sports, is nationally known for its football program, with a 6–4 all-time bowl record; and its women's basketball programs, which appeared in a National Final in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, Rutgers expanded their football home, Rutgers Stadium, now called SHI Stadium, on the Busch Campus. The basketball teams play at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Livingston Campus. Both venues and campuses are in Piscataway, across the Raritan River from New Brunswick. The university also fields men's basketball and baseball programs. Rutgers' fans live mostly in the western parts of the state and Middlesex County; its alumni base is the largest in the state.

Rutgers' satellite campuses in Camden and Newark each field their own athletic programs—the Rutgers–Camden Scarlet Raptors and the Rutgers–Newark Scarlet Raiders—which both compete in NCAA Division III.

Seton Hall fields no football team, but its men's basketball team is one of the Big East's storied programs. No New Jersey team has won more games in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, and it is the state's only men's basketball program to reach a modern National Final. The Pirates play their home games at Prudential Center in downtown Newark, about 4 miles (6 km) from the university's South Orange campus. Their fans hail largely from the predominantly Roman Catholic areas of the northern part of the state and the Jersey Shore. The annual inter-conference rivalry game between Seton Hall and Rutgers, whose venue alternates between Newark and Piscataway, the Garden State Hardwood Classic, is planned through 2026.[208]

Other schools[]

The state's other Division I schools include the Monmouth University Hawks (West Long Branch), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders (Newark), the Rider University Broncs (Lawrenceville), and the Saint Peter's University Peacocks and Peahens (Jersey City).

Fairleigh Dickinson University competes in both Division I and Division III. It has two campuses, each with its own sports teams. The teams at the Metropolitan Campus are known as the FDU Knights, and compete in the Northeast Conference and NCAA Division I. The college at Florham (FDU-Florham) teams are known as the FDU-Florham Devils and compete in the Middle Atlantic Conferences' Freedom Conference and NCAA Division III.

Among the various Division III schools in the state, the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks have fielded the longest continuously running collegiate men's lacrosse program in the country. 2009 marked the 125th season.

High school[]

New Jersey high schools are divided into divisions under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[209]'[210] Founded in 1918, the NJSIAA currently represents 22,000 schools, 330,000 coaches, and almost 4.5 million athletes.

Stadiums and arenas[]

Venue City Capacity Type Tenants Opened
SHI Stadium Piscataway 52,454 Stadium Rutgers Scarlet Knights 1994
Jadwin Gymnasium Princeton 6,854 Arena Princeton Tigers 1969
Rutgers Athletic Center Piscataway 8,000 Arena Rutgers Scarlet Knights 1977
MetLife Stadium East Rutherford 82,500 Stadium New York Giants, New York Jets 2010
Princeton Stadium Princeton 27,800 Stadium Princeton Tigers 1998
Prudential Center Newark 18,711 Arena New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall Pirates 2007
Red Bull Arena Harrison 25,189 Stadium New York Red Bulls 2010

Other notable sports venues[]

  • Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
  • Trenton Speedway
  • Atlantic City Race Course
  • Freehold Raceway
  • Garden State Park Racetrack
  • Monmouth Park Racetrack
  • Meadowlands Sports Complex
    • Meadowlands Arena
    • Meadowlands Racetrack
    • Meadowlands Grand Prix


USA telephone area code map - New Jersey

New Jersey's area codes


  • Asbury Park Press
  • Burlington County Times
  • Courier News
  • Courier-Post
  • Cranford Chronicle
  • Daily Record (Morristown)[211]
  • The Express-Times
  • Gloucester County Times
  • Herald News
  • Home News Tribune
  • Hunterdon County Democrat
  • Independent Press
  • Jersey Journal
  • The New Jersey Herald[212]
  • The News of Cumberland County
  • The Press of Atlantic City
  • The Record[213]
  • The Record-Press and Suburban News
  • The Reporter (Somerset)
  • The Star-Ledger
  • The Times (Trenton)
  • Today's Sunbeam
  • Trentonian (Mercer)
  • The Warren Reporter

Radio stations[]

Television and film[]

Motion picture technology was developed by Thomas Edison, with much of his early work done at his West Orange laboratory. Edison's Black Maria was the first motion picture studio. America's first motion picture industry started in 1907 in Fort Lee and the first studio was constructed there in 1909.[214] DuMont Laboratories in Passaic developed early sets and made the first broadcast to the private home.

A number of television shows and films have been filmed in New Jersey. Since 1978, the state has maintained a Motion Picture and Television Commission to encourage filming in-state.[215] New Jersey has long offered tax credits to television producers. Governor Chris Christie suspended the credits in 2010, but the New Jersey State Legislature in 2011 approved the restoration and expansion of the tax credit program. Under bills passed by both the state Senate and Assembly, the program offers 20 percent tax credits (22% in urban enterprise zones) to television and film productions that shoot in the state and meet set standards for hiring and local spending.[216] When Governor Phil Murphy took office, he instated the New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program in 2018 and expanded it in 2020. The benefits include a 30% tax credit on film projects and a 40% subsidy for studio developments.[217]



Map of New Jersey NA

Map of New Jersey showing major transportation networks and cities

George Washington Bridge from New Jersey-edit

The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee (foreground) in Bergen County across the Hudson River to New York City, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.[218][219]

The New Jersey Turnpike is one of the most prominent and heavily trafficked roadways in the United States. This toll road, which overlaps with Interstate 95 for much of its length, carries traffic between Delaware and New York, and up and down the East Coast in general. Commonly referred to as simply "the Turnpike", it is known for its numerous rest areas named after prominent New Jerseyans.

The Garden State Parkway, or simply "the Parkway", carries relatively more in-state traffic than interstate traffic and runs from New Jersey's northern border to its southernmost tip at Cape May. It is the main route that connects the New York metropolitan area to the Jersey Shore. With a total of fifteen travel and six shoulder lanes, the Driscoll Bridge on the Parkway, spanning the Raritan River in Middlesex County, is the widest motor vehicle bridge in the world by number of lanes as well as one of the busiest.[220]

New Jersey is connected to New York City via various key bridges and tunnels. The double-decked George Washington Bridge carries the heaviest load of motor vehicle traffic of any bridge in the world, at 102 million vehicles per year, across fourteen lanes.[218][219] It connects Fort Lee, New Jersey to the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, and carries Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1/9 across the Hudson River. The Lincoln Tunnel connects to Midtown Manhattan carrying New Jersey Route 495, and the Holland Tunnel connects to Lower Manhattan carrying Interstate 78. New Jersey is also connected to Staten Island by three bridges—from north to south, the Bayonne Bridge, the Goethals Bridge, and the Outerbridge Crossing.

New Jersey has interstate compacts with all three of its neighboring states. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Delaware River Port Authority (with Pennsylvania), the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (with Pennsylvania), and the Delaware River and Bay Authority (with Delaware) operate most of the major transportation routes in and out of the state. Bridge tolls are collected only from traffic exiting the state, with the exception of the private Dingman's Ferry Bridge over the Delaware River, which charges a toll in both directions.

It is unlawful for a customer to serve themselves gasoline in New Jersey. It became the last remaining U.S. state where all gas stations are required to sell full-service gasoline to customers at all times in 2016, after Oregon's introduction of restricted self-service gasoline availability took effect.[221]


Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is one of the busiest airports in the United States. Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, it is one of the three main airports serving the New York metropolitan area. United Airlines is the airport's largest tenant, operating an entire terminal there, which it uses as one of its primary hubs. FedEx Express operates a large cargo terminal at EWR as well. The adjacent Newark Airport railroad station provides access to Amtrak and NJ Transit trains along the Northeast Corridor Line.

Two smaller commercial airports, Atlantic City International Airport and rapidly growing Trenton-Mercer Airport, also operate in other parts of the state. Teterboro Airport in Bergen County, and Millville Municipal Airport in Cumberland County, are general aviation airports popular with private and corporate aircraft due to their proximity to New York City and the Jersey Shore, respectively.

NEC train 3967 passing through Rahway station, June 2007

A NJ Transit train heads down the Northeast Corridor through Rahway, New Jersey

Rail and bus[]

Hudson bergen exchange place

Two Hudson-Bergen Light Rail trains in Jersey City

NJ Transit operates extensive rail and bus service throughout the state. A state-run corporation, it began with the consolidation of several private bus companies in North Jersey in 1979. In the early 1980s, it acquired Conrail's commuter train operations that connected suburban towns to New York City. Today, NJ Transit has eleven commuter rail lines that run through different parts of the state. Most of the lines end at either Penn Station in New York City or Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken. One line provides service between Atlantic City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

NJ Transit also operates three light rail systems in the state. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail connects Bayonne to North Bergen, through Hoboken and Jersey City. The Newark Light Rail is partially underground, and connects downtown Newark with other parts of the city and its suburbs, Belleville and Bloomfield. The River Line connects Trenton and Camden.

The PATH is a rapid transit system consisting of four lines operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It links Hoboken, Jersey City, Harrison and Newark with New York City. The PATCO Speedline is a rapid transit system that links Camden County to Philadelphia. Both the PATCO and the PATH are two of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to operate 24 hours a day.

Amtrak operates numerous long-distance passenger trains in New Jersey, both to and from neighboring states and around the country. In addition to the Newark Airport connection, other major Amtrak railway stations include Trenton Transit Center, Metropark, and the historic Newark Penn Station.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, has two commuter rail lines that operate into New Jersey. The Trenton Line terminates at the Trenton Transit Center, and the West Trenton Line terminates at the West Trenton Rail Station in Ewing.

AirTrain Newark is a monorail connecting the Amtrak/NJ Transit station on the Northeast Corridor to the airport's terminals and parking lots.

Some private bus carriers still remain in New Jersey. Most of these carriers operate with state funding to offset losses and state owned buses are provided to these carriers, of which Coach USA companies make up the bulk. Other carriers include private charter and tour bus operators that take gamblers from other parts of New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, and Delaware to the casino resorts of Atlantic City.


The Cape May–Lewes Ferry connects New Jersey and Delaware across Delaware Bay.


New York Waterway has ferry terminals at Belford, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Edgewater, with service to different parts of Manhattan. Liberty Water Taxi in Jersey City has ferries from Paulus Hook and Liberty State Park to Battery Park City in Manhattan. Statue Cruises offers service from Liberty State Park to the Statue of Liberty National Monument, including Ellis Island. SeaStreak offers services from the Raritan Bayshore to Manhattan, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates the Cape May–Lewes Ferry on Delaware Bay, carrying both passengers and vehicles between New Jersey and Delaware. The agency also operates the Forts Ferry Crossing for passengers across the Delaware River. The Delaware River Port Authority operates the RiverLink Ferry between the Camden waterfront and Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.

Government and politics[]


Philip D. Murphy (cropped)
Phil Murphy (D)
56th Governor
since January 16, 2018
Lt Gov Sheila Oliver
Sheila Oliver (D)
2nd Lt. Governor
since January 16, 2018

The position of Governor of New Jersey is one of the most powerful in the nation. The governor is elected on a ticket with their lieutenant governor as the only statewide elected executive officials in the state; the governor appoints the entire executive cabinet and judges of the Supreme and Superior Courts. Phil Murphy (D) is the governor. The governor's mansion is Drumthwacket, located in Princeton.

Before 2010, New Jersey was one of the few states without a lieutenant governor. Republican Kim Guadagno was elected the first lieutenant governor of New Jersey on the Republican ticket with Governor Chris Christie and took office on January 19, 2010. The position was created as the result of a Constitutional amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution passed by the voters in 2005. Previously a gubernatorial vacancy would be filled by the president of the New Jersey State Senate as acting governor, thus directing half of the legislative and all of the executive process.


New Jersey State House

The New Jersey State House in Trenton

The current version of the New Jersey State Constitution was adopted in 1947. It provides for a bicameral New Jersey Legislature, consisting of an upper house Senate of 40 members and a lower house General Assembly of 80 members. Each of the 40 legislative districts elects one state senator and two Assembly members. Assembly members are elected for a two-year term in all odd-numbered years; state senators are elected in years ending in 1, 3, and 7 and thus serve either four- or two-year terms.

New Jersey is one of only five states that elects its state officials in odd-numbered years (the others are Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia). New Jersey holds elections for these offices every four years, in the year following each federal Presidential election year.


The New Jersey Supreme Court[222] consists of a chief justice and six associate justices. All are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of a majority of the membership of the state senate. Justices serve an initial seven-year term, after which they can be reappointed to serve until age 70.

Most of the day-to-day work in the New Jersey courts is carried out in the Municipal Court, where simple traffic tickets, minor criminal offenses, and small civil matters are heard.

More serious criminal and civil cases are handled by the Superior Court for each county. All Superior Court judges are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of a majority of the membership of the state senate. Each judge serves an initial seven-year term and can be reappointed to serve until age 70. New Jersey's judiciary is unusual in that it still has separate courts of law and equity, like its neighbor Delaware but unlike most other U.S. states. The New Jersey Superior Court is divided into Law and Chancery Divisions at the trial level; the Law Division hears both criminal cases and civil lawsuits where the plaintiff's primary remedy is damages, while the Chancery Division hears family cases, civil suits where the plaintiff's primary remedy is equitable relief, and probate trials.

The Superior Court also has an Appellate Division, which functions as the state's intermediate appellate court. Superior Court judges are assigned to the Appellate Division by the Chief Justice.

There is also a Tax Court, which is a court of limited jurisdiction. Tax Court judges hear appeals of tax decisions made by County Boards of Taxation. They also hear appeals on decisions made by the director of the Division of Taxation on such matters as state income, sales and business taxes, and homestead rebates. Appeals from Tax Court decisions are heard in the Appellate Division of Superior Court. Tax Court judges are appointed by the governor for initial terms of seven years, and upon reappointment are granted tenure until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70. There are 12 Tax Court judgeships.


New Jersey is divided into 21 counties; 13 date from the colonial era. New Jersey was completely divided into counties by 1692; the present counties were created by dividing the existing ones; most recently Union County in 1857.[223] New Jersey was formerly the only state in the nation where elected county officials were called "freeholders". Elected county officials are now called county commissioners as of bill S855 signed by Governor Murphy on August 8, 2020. The county commissioners govern each county as part of its own Board of Chosen County Commissioners[224] The number of county commissioners in each county is determined by referendum, and must consist of three, five, seven or nine members.

Depending on the county, the executive and legislative functions may be performed by the Board of County Commissioners or split into separate branches of government. In 16 counties, members of the Board of Chosen County Commissioners perform both legislative and executive functions on a commission basis, with each freeholder assigned responsibility for a department or group of departments. In the other five counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Mercer), there is a directly elected County Executive who performs the executive functions while the Board of Chosen County Commissioners retains a legislative and oversight role. In counties without an Executive, a County Administrator (or County Manager) may be hired to perform day-to-day administration of county functions.


New Jersey currently has 565 municipalities; the number was 566 before Princeton Township and Princeton Borough merged to form the municipality of Princeton on January 1, 2013. Unlike other states, all New Jersey land is part of a municipality. In 2008, Governor Jon Corzine proposed cutting state aid to all towns under 10,000 people, to encourage mergers to reduce administrative costs.[225] In May 2009, the Local Unit Alignment Reorganization and Consolidation Commission began a study of about 40 small communities in South Jersey to decide which ones might be good candidates for consolidation.[226]

Forms of municipal government[]

New Jersey Municipal Government Flag of New Jersey
Traditional forms
Borough Township
City Town
Modern Forms
Walsh Act/Commission
1923 Municipal Manager
Faulkner Act Forms
Mayor-Council Council-Manager
Small Municipality
Nonstandard Forms
Special Charter
Changing Form of Municipal Government
Charter Study Commission

Starting in the 20th century, largely driven by reform-minded goals, a series of six modern forms of government was implemented. This began with the Walsh Act, enacted in 1911 by the New Jersey Legislature, which provided for a three- or five-member commission elected on a non-partisan basis. This was followed by the 1923 Municipal Manager Law, which offered a non-partisan council, provided for a weak mayor elected by and from the members of the council, and introduced a Council-manager government structure with an appointed manager responsible for day-to-day administration of municipal affairs.

The Faulkner Act, originally enacted in 1950 and substantially amended in 1981, offers four basic plans: Mayor-Council, Council-Manager, Small Municipality, and Mayor-Council-Administrator. The act provides many choices for communities with a preference for a strong executive and professional management of municipal affairs and offers great flexibility in allowing municipalities to select the characteristics of its government: the number of seats on the council; seats selected at-large, by wards, or through a combination of both; staggered or concurrent terms of office; and a mayor chosen by the council or elected directly by voters. Most large municipalities and a majority of New Jersey's residents are governed by municipalities with Faulkner Act charters. Municipalities can also formulate their own unique form of government and operate under a Special Charter with the approval of the New Jersey Legislature.

While municipalities retain their names derived from types of government, they may have changed to one of the modern forms of government, or further in the past to one of the other traditional forms, leading to municipalities with formal names quite baffling to the general public. For example, though there are four municipalities that are officially of the village type, Loch Arbour is the only one remaining with the village form of government. The other three villages—Ridgefield Park (now with a Walsh Act form), Ridgewood (now with a Faulkner Act Council-Manager charter) and South Orange (now operates under a Special Charter)—have all migrated to other non-village forms.


Social attitudes and issues[]

Socially, New Jersey is considered one of the more liberal states in the nation. Polls indicate that 60% of the population are self-described as pro-choice, although a majority are opposed to late trimester and intact dilation and extraction and public funding of abortion.[227][228] In a 2009 Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll, a plurality supported same-sex marriage 49% to 43% opposed.[229] On October 18, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court rendered a provisional, unanimous (7–0) order authorizing same-sex marriage in the state, pending a legal appeal by Governor Chris Christie,[230] who then withdrew this appeal hours after the inaugural same-sex marriages took place on October 21, 2013.[83]

New Jersey also has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the U.S. These include bans on assault firearms, hollow-nose bullets and slingshots. No gun offense in New Jersey is graded less than a felony. BB guns and black-powder guns are all treated as modern firearms. New Jersey does not recognize out-of-state gun licenses and aggressively enforces its own gun laws.[231]


Robert Menendez official Senate portrait
Robert Menendez (D)
Senior U.S. Senator
Cory Booker, official portrait, 114th Congress
Cory Booker (D)
Junior U.S. Senator
United States presidential election results for New Jersey[232]
Year Republican / Whig Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,883,313 41.25% 2,608,400 57.14% 73,469 1.61%
2016 1,601,933 41.00% 2,148,278 54.99% 156,512 4.01%
2012 1,478,749 40.50% 2,126,610 58.25% 45,781 1.25%
2008 1,613,207 41.61% 2,215,422 57.14% 48,778 1.26%
2004 1,670,003 46.23% 1,911,430 52.92% 30,704 0.85%
2000 1,284,173 40.29% 1,788,850 56.13% 114,203 3.58%
1996 1,103,078 35.86% 1,652,329 53.72% 320,400 10.42%
1992 1,356,865 40.58% 1,436,206 42.95% 550,523 16.47%
1988 1,743,192 56.24% 1,320,352 42.60% 36,009 1.16%
1984 1,933,630 60.09% 1,261,323 39.20% 22,909 0.71%
1980 1,546,557 51.97% 1,147,364 38.56% 281,763 9.47%
1976 1,509,688 50.08% 1,444,653 47.92% 60,131 1.99%
1972 1,845,502 61.57% 1,102,211 36.77% 49,516 1.65%
1968 1,325,467 46.10% 1,264,206 43.97% 285,722 9.94%
1964 963,843 33.86% 1,867,671 65.61% 15,256 0.54%
1960 1,363,324 49.16% 1,385,415 49.96% 24,372 0.88%
1956 1,606,942 64.68% 850,337 34.23% 27,033 1.09%
1952 1,374,613 56.81% 1,015,902 41.99% 29,039 1.20%
1948 981,124 50.33% 895,455 45.93% 72,976 3.74%
1944 961,335 48.95% 987,874 50.31% 14,552 0.74%
1940 945,475 47.93% 1,016,808 51.55% 10,269 0.52%
1936 720,322 39.57% 1,083,850 59.54% 16,265 0.89%
1932 775,684 47.59% 806,630 49.48% 47,749 2.93%
1928 926,050 59.77% 616,517 39.79% 6,814 0.44%
1924 675,162 62.17% 297,743 27.41% 113,174 10.42%
1920 611,541 67.65% 256,887 28.42% 35,515 3.93%
1916 268,982 54.40% 211,018 42.68% 14,442 2.92%
1912 88,835 20.53% 178,289 41.20% 165,615 38.27%
1908 265,326 56.79% 182,567 39.08% 19,305 4.13%
1904 245,164 56.68% 164,566 38.05% 22,817 5.28%
1900 221,754 55.27% 164,879 41.10% 14,573 3.63%
1896 221,535 59.68% 133,695 36.02% 15,981 4.31%
1892 156,101 46.24% 171,066 50.67% 10,456 3.10%
1888 144,360 47.52% 151,508 49.87% 7,933 2.61%
1884 123,440 47.31% 127,798 48.98% 9,683 3.71%
1880 120,555 49.02% 122,565 49.84% 2,808 1.14%
1876 103,517 47.01% 115,962 52.66% 714 0.32%
1872 91,656 54.52% 76,456 45.48% 0 0.00%
1868 80,131 49.12% 83,001 50.88% 0 0.00%
1864 60,723 47.16% 68,024 52.84% 0 0.00%
1860 58,346 48.13% 62,869 51.87% 0 0.00%
1856 28,338 28.51% 46,943 47.23% 24,115 24.26%
1852 38,556 46.33% 44,305 53.24% 359 0.43%
1848 40,015 51.48% 36,901 47.47% 819 1.05%
1844 38,318 50.46% 37,495 49.37% 131 0.17%
1840 33,351 51.74% 31,034 48.15% 69 0.11%
1836 26,137 50.53% 25,592 49.47% 0 0.00%

New Jersey is a Democratic stronghold. New Jersey Democrats have majority control of both houses of the New Jersey Legislature (Senate, 26–14, and Assembly, 54–26), a 10–2 split of the state's twelve seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and both U.S. Senate seats. There have been recent Republican governors, however: Christine Todd Whitman won election in 1993 and 1997 and Chris Christie in 2009 and 2013.

In federal elections, the state leans heavily towards the Democratic Party, having last voted for a Republican for president in 1988. New Jersey was a crucial swing state in the elections of 1960, 1968, and 1992. The last elected Republican to hold a Senate seat from New Jersey was Clifford P. Case in 1979. Newark Mayor Cory Booker was elected in October 2013 to join Robert Menendez to make New Jersey the first state with concurrently serving black and Latino U.S. senators.[233]

The state's Democratic strongholds include Camden County, Essex County (typically the state's most Democratic county—it includes Newark, the state's largest city), Hudson County (the second-strongest Democratic county, including Jersey City, the state's second-largest city); Mercer County (especially around Trenton and Princeton), Middlesex County, and Union County (including Elizabeth, the state's fourth-largest city).[234]

The northwestern and southeastern counties of the state are reliably Republican: Republicans have support along the coast in Ocean County and in the mountainous northwestern part of the state, especially Morris County, Sussex County, and Warren County. Other suburban counties, especially Bergen County and Burlington County, had the majority of votes go to the Democratic Party.

To be eligible to vote in a U.S. election, all New Jerseyans are required to start their residency in the state 30 days prior to an election and register 21 days prior to election day.[235]

In a 2020 study, New Jersey was ranked as the 16th easiest state for citizens to vote in.[236]Template:Importance-inline

Capital punishment[]

On December 17, 2007, Governor Jon Corzine signed into law a bill that would eliminate the death penalty in New Jersey. New Jersey was the first state to pass such legislation since Iowa and West Virginia eliminated executions in 1965.[237] Corzine also signed a bill that would downgrade the Death Row prisoners' sentences from "Death" to "Life in Prison with No Parole".[238]

Points of interest[]


Museum Location Year opened Type
New Jersey State Museum Trenton 1895 General education
Franklin Mineral Museum Franklin, Sussex County 1964 Mineral museum
Liberty Science Center Liberty State Park, Jersey City 1993 Science museum
Maywood Station Museum Maywood 2004 Railroad museum
Montclair Art Museum Montclair 1914 Art museum
Newark Museum Newark 1909 Natural science and art museum
Princeton University Art Museum Princeton 1884 Art museum
Thomas Edison Center Menlo Park 1938 Thomas Edison museum

National Park Service areas[]

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Crossroads of the American Revolution
  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Gateway National Recreation Area
  • Great Egg Harbor National Scenic and Recreational River
  • Morristown National Historical Park
  • New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
  • Patterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument (with Ellis Island)
  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route[239]

Entertainment and concert venues[]

Visitors and residents take advantage of and contribute to performances at the numerous music, theater, and dance companies and venues located throughout the state, including:

Venue Type Location Year opened
Prudential Center Arena Newark 2007
Meadowlands Arena Arena Meadowlands Sports Complex 1981
PNC Bank Arts Center Amphitheater Holmdel 1977
NJPAC Concert Hall Newark 1997
Paper Mill Playhouse Regional Theater Millburn 1968
State Theater Regional Theater New Brunswick 1921
Boardwalk Hall Arena Atlantic City 1926
Susquehanna Bank Center Amphitheater Camden 1995
Sun National Bank Center Arena Trenton 1999


Atlantic City Boardwalk view north from Caesars Atlantic City by Silveira Neto June 24 2012

Atlantic City Boardwalk view from Caesars Atlantic City. Opened in 1870, it was the first boardwalk built in the United States. At 5+1+2{{{4}}} miles (9 km) long, it is also the longest in the world.

New Jersey is the location of most of the boardwalks in the U.S., with nearly every town and city along the Jersey Shore having a boardwalk with various attractions, entertainment, shopping, dining, arcades, water parks, amusement parks.

Venue Amusement Park Location Year opened
Asbury Park Boardwalk Asbury Splash Park Asbury Park 1871
Atlantic City Boardwalk Steel Pier Atlantic City 1870
Jenkinson's Boardwalk None Point Pleasant Beach 1928
Ocean City Boardwalk Gillian's Wonderland Pier Ocean City 1929
Pier Village None Long Branch 2005
Seaside Heights Boardwalk Casino Pier Seaside Heights 1932
Wildwood Boardwalk Morey's Piers The Wildwoods 1969

Theme parks[]

Skyline of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, Ocean County, the world's largest theme park as of 2013[240] To the far left is Kingda Ka, the world's tallest roller coaster
Skyline of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, Ocean County, the world's largest theme park as of 2013[240] To the far left is Kingda Ka, the world's tallest roller coaster.[241]
Main park Other parks Location Year opened
Clementon Amusement Park Splash World Clementon 1907
Diggerland West Berlin 2014
DreamWorks Waterpark East Rutherford 2020[242]
Fantasy Island Thundering Surf Water Park Beach Haven 1985
The Funplex (Mount Laurel) The Funplex (East Hanover) Mount Laurel
iPlay America Freehold 2011
Keansburg Amusement Park Runaway Rapids Keansburg 1904
Land of Make Believe Pirate's Cove Hope 1954
Mountain Creek Waterpark Vernon 1998
Nickelodeon Universe East Rutherford 2019[243]
Six Flags Great Adventure Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Jackson 1974
Storybook Land Egg Harbor Township 1955
Wild West City Stanhope 1957

See also[]

Portal New Jersey
Flag of the United States United States


  1. ^ Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin are not distinguished between total and partial ancestry


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  240. ^ "Six Flags Great Adventure To Become The World's Largest Theme Park in 2013". 2012—Everything New Jersey. All Rights Reserved. August 30, 2012. 
  241. ^ KarlFabricius (September 20, 2010). "10 Highest Roller Coasters on Earth". 2011 
  242. ^, Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for (September 3, 2020). "American Dream announces reopening date, but it's far away.". 
  243. ^, Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for (October 17, 2019). "Nickelodeon Universe opens next week at American Dream. Here's what it'll cost to go.". 

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Coordinates: 40°11′27″N 74°40′22″W / 40.1907, -74.6728 (State of New Jersey)

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at New Jersey. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.