Learn more about New Jersey
|Official language(s)||None, English de facto|
|- Total|| 8,729 sq mi |
|- Width||70 miles (110 km)|
|- Length||150 miles (240 km)|
|- % water||14.9|
|- Latitude||38°55'N to 41°21'23"N|
|- Longitude||73°53'39"W to 75°35'W|
|Population||Ranked 10th (as of 2005)|
|- Total (2000)||8,414,350 (8,717,925 as of 2005)|
|- Density|| 1,134/sq mi |
|- Median income||$56,772 (2nd)|
|- Highest point|| High Point<ref name=usgs>Template:Cite web</ref>|
1,803 ft (550 m)
|- Mean||246 ft (75 m)|
|- Lowest point|| Atlantic Ocean<ref name=usgs/>|
0 ft (0 m)
|Admission to Union||December 18, 1787 (3rd)|
|Governor||Jon Corzine (D)|
|U.S. Senators|| Frank Lautenberg (D)|
Robert Menendez (D)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|Abbreviations||NJ N.J. US-NJ|
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The state is named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. It is bordered on the north by New York, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the southwest by Delaware, and on the west by Pennsylvania. Parts of New Jersey lie within the metropolitan areas of New York and Philadelphia.
Inhabited by Native Americans for more than 11,000 years, the first European settlements in the area were the Swedes and Dutch in the early 1600s. The British later seized control of the region, which was granted to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton as the colony of New Jersey. New Jersey was an important site during the American Revolutionary War; several decisive battles were fought there. The winter quarters of the revolutionary army were established twice by George Washington in Morristown, which was called the military capital of the revolution. The New Jersey Journal, a newspaper published by Shepard Kollock, who established his press in Chatham during 1779, became a catalyst in the revolution. News of events came directly to Kollock from Washington's headquarters in nearby Morristown, which he published to boost the morale of the troops and their families, and he conducted lively debates about the efforts for independence with those who opposed and supported the cause he championed. Later, working-class cities such as Paterson helped to drive the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century. New Jersey's position at the center of the BosWash megalopolis, between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., fueled its rapid growth through the suburban boom of the 1950s and beyond.
- See also: List of New Jersey counties
New Jersey is bordered on the north and northeast by New York; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the south and southwest by Delaware; and on the west by Pennsylvania. The western border of New Jersey is largely defined by the Delaware River. Because of its dense population and because most communities of northern New Jersey do not have the widespread reservoir system of neighboring Greater New York City, the slightest dry season leads to drought warnings; but because there are many streams and rivers close to these communities, the slightest above average rainfall causes frequent flooding as many parts of Northern New Jersey are part of a flood plain. It is also at the center of the Boston to Washington megalopolis.
New Jersey is broadly divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. North Jersey lies within New York City's general sphere of influence (i.e. largely within the New York metropolitan area), and some residents commute to the city to work. Central Jersey is a largely suburban area. South Jersey is within Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's general sphere of influence, and most of it is included in the Delaware Valley. Such geographic definitions are loosely defined, however, and there is often dispute over where one region begins and another ends. Some people do not consider Central Jersey to exist at all, but most believe it is a separate geographic and cultural area from the North and South.
Additionally, the New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth, & Tourism Commission divides the state into six distinct regions to facilitate the state's tourism industry. The regions are:
- Gateway Region, encompassing Hudson County, Essex County, Union County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, and Passaic County.
- Skylands Region, encompassing Sussex County, Morris County, Warren County, Hunterdon County, and Somerset County.
- Shore Region, encompassing Monmouth County and Ocean County.
- Delaware River Region, encompassing Mercer County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.
- Greater Atlantic City Region, encompassing Atlantic County.
- Southern Shore Region, encompassing Cumberland County and Cape May County.
Major rivers include the Manasquan, Maurice, Mullica, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, Rancocas, Raritan, Musconetcong, Toms, and Delaware rivers. The Palisades are a line of steep cliffs on the lower west side of the Hudson River.
Areas managed by the National Park Service include:
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Delaware National Scenic River
- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
- Edison National Historic Site in West Orange
- Ellis Island National Monument
- Gateway National Recreation Area in Monmouth County
- Great Egg Harbor River
- Morristown National Historical Park in Morristown
- New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route
- New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
Prominent geographic features include:
- Delaware Water Gap
- Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
- The Highlands
- New Jersey Meadowlands
- Pine Barrens
- South Mountain
New Jersey has a temperate climate, with warm/hot humid summers and cool/cold winters. During the hurricane season, tropical cyclones can hit New Jersey, though it is uncommon for it to remain at hurricane strength this far to the north. During the winter months, Nor'easters can dump up to two feet of snow at once.
The temperatures vary greatly from the northernmost part of New Jersey to the southernmost part of New Jersey. For example, these are the average high and low temperatures for Cape May, near the state's southernmost ocean-facing point, and Sussex, in the mountainous northwest:
Some claim there is evidence suggesting that people have inhabited New Jersey since 10,500 BC. This would have been a post Ice age culture consisting of traveling hunters. However, the Europeans were the first to document the land. New Jersey’s first European presence was not until the year 1497, when Italian explorer John Cabot first saw New Jersey while sailing up the coast. “Florentine, Giovanni da Verrazano, reportedly visited the coast in 1524” but neither of these men are considered New Jersey’s discoverer (McCormick 3). Cabot failed to explore the land and Verrazano left no record supporting his claim.
Sir Henry Hudson is the explorer generally credited with having discovered New Jersey in 1609. On September 4, 1609 he dropped anchor in Cape May and took a crew of 20 men for a week of exploration. He didn’t leave any European culture behind, but he did document his discovery very well. New Jersey’s first taste of European personality came from Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey. In “1620 he sailed up the Delaware, and in 1624 he erected Fort Nassau at the Mouth of Timber Creek” (Pomfret 5b). He explored the greater Delaware Bay area and confirmed that the land was good for planting. He declared it as ready for colonization and named Cape May in his own honor.
Europeans agreed that the land was good for planting, but they felt discontent towards the inhabitants. The Lenni-Lenape tribe occupied New Jersey at this time. The Europeans found them strange and uncivilized; while in fact that couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Lenni-Lenape Native Americans tribe was part of the larger group of Algonquian-speaking peoples. The tribe was well organized into “three groups, which were geographic distributed” (Worton 27). These sub-tribes each had a sub-chief or sakima. The sub-tribes each had their respective names, “the Minsi, or the people of the stony country in the north; the Unami, or the people down the river in the central portion; and Unilachitgo or the people who leave near the ocean in the south” (ibid 27). The Unami sakima was normally thought to be the chief of the whole Lenni-Lenape tribe. The tribe was in fact so well organized that it had a network of trails resembling the locations of many of our modern-day highways. They were also the leading force of peace within the nation. The tribe was frequently asked to serve as intermediaries to settle inter-tribal conflicts.
It was their contact with the early Dutch traders that would be the beginning of the end for the Lenni-Lenape. In 1638, a company of Swedes and ethnic Finns, under the supervision of Dutch political and commercial interests, set sail for the New World. They sailed across the North Atlantic, south along the New Jersey Coast, then into the Delaware Bay and up the Delaware River to Wilmington. They began to settle both sides of the Delaware at a site not far from what would become Salem. A fort named Old Fort Elfsborg became the central hub for trade. The Scandinavian influence prevails today as linguists theorize that certain speech patterns in Southern New Jersey area are traceable to the mixed and changing Swedish-English vocabulary.
 Colonial era
Much of New Jersey was claimed by the Dutch. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern New York (Nieuw Amsterdam) and New Jersey. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch policy required formal purchase of all land settled upon, and the first such purchase was of Manhattan, by Peter Minuit.
The entire region became a territory of England in 1664, when a English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is today New York Harbor and took over the colony, against extremely little resistance.
During the English Civil War the Channel Isle of Jersey remained loyal to the Crown and gave sanctuary to the King. It was from the Royal Square in St. Helier that Charles II of England was first 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.
Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule was in the Hudson River region and came primarily from New England. On March 18, 1673, Berkeley sold his half of the colony to Quakers in England (with William Penn acting as trustee for a time), who settled the Delaware Valley region as a Quaker colony. New Jersey was governed as two distinct provinces, West Jersey and East Jersey, for the 28 years between 1674 and 1702. In 1702, the two provinces were united under a royal, rather than a proprietary, governor.
 Revolutionary War era
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 Britain.
New Jersey representatives Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, and Abraham Clark were among the men who signed the United States Declaration of Independence. These men, just like all the others, took tremendous risks in order to fight for independence and all went on to serve their newly founded country for the rest of their lives. Distinguished lawyer Richard Stockton, New Jersey-born and College of New Jersey graduate, sacrificed his royal judicial title and his considerable international economic interest in order to be an elected delegate for New Jersey at the General Congress. John Witherspoon was a Scottish immigrant. He came to New Jersey to serve as the sixth president of the College of New Jersey. He was a world renowned Presbyterian minister and became a leading member of the Continental Congress. Witherspoon went on to become one of the leaders of the new national Presbyterian church. Francis Hopkinson was somewhat of a renaissances man for his time. He was articulate in several fields of the arts and a very impressive scientist. Perhaps the capstone of his career was being appointed by President George Washington to the federal bench. John Hart was prominent land owner and judge of the Hunterdon County court. Like Stockton, he sacrificed his high standing with the royal court and dedicated his life to the New Jersey Assembly. After signing the Declaration of Independence, he went on to become the speaker of the New Jersey Assembly. The last of the men was native to Elizabethtown, Abraham Clark. He was slightly different from his fellow New Jersey representatives. He jumped from job to job working as a farmer, surveyor, transporter, legal adviser, and finally politician. He was well liked in all these field and had become a prominent member of society, but he found his home in government. He held numerous political positions at all the various levels of government.
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 a reconciliation with Great Britain.
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 Revolution."
On Christmas Day, 1776, the Continental Army under George Washington crossed the Delaware River and engaged the unprepared Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. Slightly more than a week after victory at Trenton, on January 3, 1777, the American forces gained an important victory by stopping Cornwallis's charges at the Second Battle of Trenton. By evading Cornwallis's army, Washington made a surprise attack on Princeton, and successfully defeated the British forces there.
Later, American forces under Washington met the forces under General Henry Clinton at the Battle of Monmouth in an indecisive engagement. Washington attempted to take the British column by surprise; when the British army attempted to flank the Americans, the Americans retreated in disorder. The 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.
New Jersey was 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 and keeping tariffs on goods imported from Europe. In 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 both women and blacks; although not married women, who could not own property. Both sides, in several elections, claimed that the other side had had unqualified women vote, and mocked them for use of "petticoat electors" (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. (This was less revolutionary than it sounds: the "constitution" was itself only an act of the legislature.)<ref>Klinghoffer and Elkis ("The Petticoat Electors: Women’s Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776–1807." Journal of the Early Republic 12, no. 2 (1992): 159–193.)</ref>
 Nineteenth century
On February 15, 1804, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish slavery by enacting legislation that slowly phased out slavery. However, by the close of the Civil War, about a dozen African-Americans in New Jersey were still apprenticed freedmen. New Jersey initially refused to ratify the Constitutional Amendments banning slavery and granting rights to America's Black population.
Unlike the Revolutionary War, no Civil War battles took place within the state. However, throughout the course of the Civil War, over 80,000 enlisted in the Northern army to defeat the Southern rebels. In total, soldiers from New Jersey formed 4 militia regiments, 33 infantry regiments, 3 cavalry regiments, and 5 batteries of light artillery.
New Jersey was one of the few states to reject President Abraham Lincoln twice in national elections, and sided with Stephen Douglas and George B. McClellan during their campaigns. McClellan later became governor. During the war, the state was led first by Republican Governor Charles Smith Olden, then by Democrat Joel Parker.
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 1961.
While the Governorship was stronger than under the 1776 constitution (it could hardly be weaker), the 1844 created many offices that were not responsible to him, or to the people, and gave him a three-year term, but he could not succeed himself.
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. Transportation was greatly improved as locomotion and steamboats were introduced to New Jersey.
Iron mining was also a prevalent industry during the middle to late 1800s. Mines such as Mt. Hope, Mine Hill and the Rockaway Valley Mines created a thriving industry, which spawned new towns and was one of the driving forces behind the need for the Morris Canal.
 Twentieth century
Through both World Wars, New Jersey was a center for war production, especially in naval construction. Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers were all made in this state. In addition, Camp Kilmer, Fort Dix (originally called "Camp Dix"), and Camp Merritt were all constructed to help 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, especially for the defense of New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. PT-109, commanded by Lt.(jg) John F. Kennedy, was built at the Elco Boatworks in Bayonne, and the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6) was briefly docked at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne in the 1950s before she was sent to Japan to be scrapped.
New Jersey became a prosperous state through the Roaring Twenties but fell in prosperity under the Great Depression. Begging licenses were even offered to the unemployed by the state government in order to provide money for those who could not be helped by the exhausted state funds.<ref>Gerdes, Louise I. The 1930s, Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000.</ref> During this time period, the zeppelin Hindenburg went up in flames over Lakehurst.
In the 1960s, several race riots sprang up in New Jersey, the first of which occurred in Jersey City on August 2, 1964. Several other riots ensued in 1967, in the cities of Newark and Plainfield. Camden also dealt with race riots in 1971. The 1960s race riots in Freehold are mentioned in the Bruce Springsteen song "My Hometown".
<tr><td align="center"> 1790 </td><td align="right"> 184,139 </td><td align="right"> - </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1800 </td><td align="right"> 211,149 </td><td align="right"> 14.7% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1810 </td><td align="right"> 245,562 </td><td align="right"> 16.3% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1820 </td><td align="right"> 277,575 </td><td align="right"> 140.% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1830 </td><td align="right"> 320,823 </td><td align="right"> 15.6% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1840 </td><td align="right"> 373,306 </td><td align="right"> 16.4% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1850 </td><td align="right"> 489,555 </td><td align="right"> 31.1% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1860 </td><td align="right"> 672,035 </td><td align="right"> 37.3% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1870 </td><td align="right"> 906,096 </td><td align="right"> 34.8% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1880 </td><td align="right"> 1,131,116 </td><td align="right"> 24.8% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1890 </td><td align="right"> 1,444,933 </td><td align="right"> 27.7% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1900 </td><td align="right"> 1,883,669 </td><td align="right"> 30.4% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1910 </td><td align="right"> 2,537,167 </td><td align="right"> 34.7% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1920 </td><td align="right"> 3,155,900 </td><td align="right"> 24.4% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1930 </td><td align="right"> 4,041,334 </td><td align="right"> 28.1% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1940 </td><td align="right"> 4,160,165 </td><td align="right"> 2.9% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1950 </td><td align="right"> 4,835,329 </td><td align="right"> 16.2% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1960 </td><td align="right"> 6,066,782 </td><td align="right"> 25.5% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1970 </td><td align="right"> 7,168,164 </td><td align="right"> 18.2% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1980 </td><td align="right"> 7,364,823 </td><td align="right"> 2.7% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 1990 </td><td align="right"> 7,730,188 </td><td align="right"> 5.0% </td></tr><tr><td align="center"> 2000 </td><td align="right"> 8,414,350 </td><td align="right"> 8.9% </td></tr>
 State population
Residents of New Jersey are most commonly referred to as "New Jerseyans" or "New Jerseyites". The United States Census Bureau, as of 2005, estimated New Jersey's population at 8,717,925, which represents an increase of 32,759, or 0.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 303,578, or 3.6%, since the last census in 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 220,220 people (that is 604,110 births minus 383,890 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 95,293 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 290,194 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 194,901 people. There are 1.6 million foreign-born living in the state (accounting for 19.2% of the population).
New Jersey is the tenth-most-populous state, but the most densely populated, at 1,134.4 residents per square mile (438.0 per km²), although the density varies widely across the state. It is also the wealthiest state in the United States as per the United States Census Bureau.<ref>http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-P14&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U&-format=US-9</ref>
The center of population for New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Milltown, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike (see map of location).<ref>Population and Population Centers by State: 2000, accessed November 16, 2006</ref>
 Race, ethnicity, and ancestry
|Demographics of New Jersey (csv)|
|AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander|
|2000 (total population)||79.16%||14.98%||0.61%||6.28%||0.13%|
|2000 (Hispanic only)||11.87%||1.29%||0.20%||0.10%||0.05%|
|2005 (total population)||77.68%||15.19%||0.66%||7.70%||0.15%|
|2005 (Hispanic only)||13.66%||1.45%||0.22%||0.12%||0.06%|
|Growth 2000-2005 (total population)||1.68%||5.01%||11.60%||27.06%||18.52%|
|Growth 2000-2005 (non-Hispanic only)||-1.41%||3.89%||8.86%||27.17%||17.30%|
|Growth 2000-2005 (Hispanic only)||19.21%||16.92%||17.36%||20.28%||20.68%|
New Jersey is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse states in the country. It has the largest Jewish population by percent; the second largest Muslim population by percent (after Michigan); the fourth highest Italian-American population by percent of any state according to the 2000 Census; and a large percentage of the population is Black, Hispanic, Arab, and Asian. It has the second highest Indian American population of any state by absolute numbers.<ref>The Foreign Born from India in the United States, dated December 1, 2003</ref><ref>Race/ethnicity citation with state percentages (Adobe PDF)</ref><ref>Diversity index citation with state percentages (Microsoft Excel)</ref><ref>Ancestry citation with state percentages (Adobe PDF)</ref>
Newark and Camden are two of the poorest cities in America, but New Jersey as a whole has the highest median household income among the states. 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 in the nation, and the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed "urban" as defined by the Census Bureau's Combined Statistical Area.<ref>http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/99mfips.txt</ref>
The dominant race, ethnicity, or ancestry by county, according to the 2000 Census, are the following:
- Italian - Bergen, Morris, Somerset, Ocean, Monmouth
- Irish - Sussex
- Black - Essex, Union, Mercer, Hudson
- German - Warren, Hunterdon
- Polish/Slavic - Middlesex
- Puerto Rican/Hispanic - Hudson, Passaic
6.7% of its population were reported as under 5, 24.8% under 18, and 13.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.5% of the population.
Religion has always been strong in New Jersey. As of 2006, the number of people who do not follow a Christian faith is growing.
Protestant: 39.0% Catholic: 36.20% Muslim: 2.55% Jewish: 3.00% No religion or other: 17.9%
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Jersey's total state product in 2004 was $416 billion.<ref>Bureau of Economic Analysis</ref> Its per capita personal income in 2004 was $41,636, 4th in the U.S. and 126% of the national average of $33,041.<ref>Bureau of Economic Analysis</ref> Its median household income is the highest in the nation with $55,146. It is ranked 2nd 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 in the wealthiest 100 of the country. Women in New Jersey earn the highest per capita income as stated in a 2002 article in the Newark Star-Ledger.
New Jersey has seven tax brackets for determining income tax rates. The rates range from 1.4 to 8.97%. The standard sales tax rate is 7%, applicable to all retail sales unless specifically exempt by law. Exemptions include most food items for at-home preparation, medicines, clothing (except fur items), footwear, and disposable paper products for use in the home. Approximately 30 New Jersey municipalities are designated as Urban Enterprise Zones and shoppers are charged a 3½% tax rate, half of the rate charged outside the UEZs. Sections of Elizabeth and Jersey City are examples of communities that are subject to the lower sales tax rate.
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, but it does impose an inheritance tax.
The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is one of the world's largest container ports although its imports are being threatened by the relatively low Bayonne Bridge. Newark Liberty International Airport is ranked seventh among the nation's busiest airports and among the top 20 busiest airports in the world.
Its agricultural outputs are nursery stock, horses, vegetables, fruits and nuts, seafood, and dairy products. In particular, cranberries and eggplant are two of the state's largest crops. Hammonton in the southern part of the state is known as the blueberry capital of the world. Its industrial outputs are pharmaceutical and chemical products, food processing, electric equipment, printing and publishing, and tourism. New Jersey's economy has a large base of industry and chemical manufacturing. Additionally, New Jersey is home to the largest petroleum containment system outside of the Middle East.
New Jersey hosts several business headquarters. Fifty Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in or conduct business from Morris County alone. New Jersey is said to have the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the world: nearly one hundred companies on the Fortune 500 list have headquarters or conduct business from New Jersey. Paramus is noted for having one of the highest retail sales per person ratios in the nation. Several New Jersey counties such as Somerset (#7), Morris (10), Hunterdon (13), Bergen (21), Monmouth (42) counties have been ranked among the highest-income counties in the United States. Four others are also in the top 100.
New Jersey is infamous for its abundance of oil refineries. The smell given off by the refineries is common to motorists who travel the New Jersey Turnpike which runs through the central industrial corridor of the state. This is a list of the major oil refineries in the state:
- Bayway Refinery (ConocoPhillips), Linden 230,000 barrels per day (bpd)
- Eagle Point Refinery (Sunoco), Westville 145,000 bpd
- Paulsboro Asphalt Refinery (Citgo), Paulsboro 51,000 bpd
- Paulsboro Refinery (Valero), Paulsboro 160,000 bpd
- Perth Amboy Refinery (Chevron), Perth Amboy 80,000 bpd
- Port Reading Refinery (Hess), Port Reading 62,000 bpd
While home to many chemical plants New Jersey also is home to major pharmacutical firms Merck, Wyeth, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Hoffman-LaRoche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Schering-Plough. It draws upon its large and well-educated labor pool which also supports the myriad of industries that exist today.
 Professional sports teams
New Jersey currently has five teams from major professional sports leagues playing in the state, although the Major League Soccer team and two National Football League teams identify as being from New York. It is currently the most populous state without a team in each of the major leagues, although this is largely due to the close proximity of New York City and Philadelphia. It is also the most populous state without a Major League Baseball team, though most residents support the New York Yankees, New York Mets, or Philadelphia Phillies.
The state's four major professional sports teams play at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. The Devils and Nets play in Continental Airlines Arena, and the Giants and Jets play in Giants Stadium. The Meadowlands and its sports venues are widely considered to be outdated by today's professional sports standards. This led to the Devils announcement that they will be leaving the Meadowlands upon the completion of their new arena in Newark in 2007. The Nets also have plans to leave the Meadowlands for Brooklyn as soon as a new arena for them is completed. The Giants and Jets though announced in 2005 that they will be staying in the Meadowlands, and a new stadium for both teams should be ready by the 2010 season. The new stadium is part of the Xanadu Project taking shape at the sports complex. The Xanadu Project, when completed in 2007, will be the largest retail and entertainment complex in New Jersey.
The sports complex is also home to the Meadowlands Racetrack one of three major horse racing tracks in the state. The Meadowlands Racetrack along with Freehold Raceway in Freehold are two of the major harness racing tracks in North America. Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, is also a popular spot for thoroughbred racing in New Jersey and the northeast. It will host the Breeders' Cup in 2007, and its turf course was recently renovated in preparation.
In 1978, the New Jersey legislature approved casino gambling in Atlantic City.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson is one of the largest theme parks in the world. It is home to the largest wild safari outside Africa and is now home to the world's tallest, fastest rollercoaster, Kingda Ka. As of 2001, New Jersey makes $30 billion each year from tourism, as stated in the Star-Ledger article "The Best Of New Jersey". New Jersey is one of the top ten most visited states in the nation.
New Jersey Musical Concert 2006 (Jersey Rhythms 2006)
The New Jersey Turnpike is one of the best-known and most-trafficked roadways in the United States. This toll road carries interstate traffic between Delaware and New York, and 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 as diverse as inventor Thomas Edison; United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton; United States Presidents Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson; writers James Fenimore Cooper, Joyce Kilmer, and Walt Whitman; patriot Molly Pitcher; Red Cross advocate Clara Barton; and football coach Vince Lombardi.
The Garden State Parkway, or simply "the Parkway", carries more in-state traffic and runs from the town of Montvale along New Jersey's northern border to its southernmost tip at Cape May for 172.4 miles. It is the trunk that connects the New York metropolitan area to Atlantic City.
Other expressways in New Jersey include the Atlantic City Expressway, the Palisades Interstate Parkway, Interstate 76, Interstate 78, Interstate 80, Interstate 195, Interstate 280, Interstate 287, and Interstate 295.
New Jersey has interstate compacts with all three neighboring states. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Delaware River Port Authority (with Pennsylvania), and the Delaware River and Bay Authority (with Delaware) operate most of the major transportation routes into and out of New Jersey. Bridge tolls are collected in one direction only — it is free to cross into New Jersey, but motorists must pay when exiting the state. Exceptions to this are the Dingman's Ferry Bridge and the Delaware River-Turnpike Toll Bridge where tolls are charged both ways. The Washington Crossing and Scudders Falls (on I-95) bridges near Trenton, as well as Trenton's Calhoun Street and Bridge Street ("Trenton Makes") bridges, are toll-free.
- See also: List of New Jersey State Highways
Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States. Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the other two major airports in the New York City region (John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport), it is one of the main airports serving the New York City area. Continental Airlines is the facility's largest tenant, operating an entire terminal at Newark, which it uses as one of its primary hubs. United Airlines and FedEx operate cargo hubs. The adjacent Newark Airport railroad station provides access to the trains of Amtrak and New Jersey Transit along the Northeast Corridor Line.
Two smaller commercial airports, Atlantic City International Airport and Trenton-Mercer Airport, also operate in other parts of New Jersey. Teterboro Airport, in Bergen County, is a general aviation airport popular with private and corporate aircraft, due to its proximity to New York City.
 Rail and bus
- Further information: New Jersey Transit Bus Operations, New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and Port Authority Transit Corporation
The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) operates extensive rail and bus service throughout the state. NJ Transit is a state-run corporation that began with the consolidation of several private bus companies in North Jersey. In the early 1980s, it acquired the commuter train operations of Conrail that connect towns in northern and central New Jersey to New York City. NJ Transit has eight lines that run throughout different parts of the state. Most of the trains start at various points in the state and most end at either Pennsylvania Station, in New York City, or Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken. NJ Transit began service between Atlantic City and Lindenwold in 1989 and extended it to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1990s.
NJ Transit also operates three light rail systems in the state. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail connects Bayonne to North Bergen, with planned expansion into Bergen County communities. The Newark City Subway is the only subway system in the state. Its Main Line connects Newark Penn Station with Grove St. station in Bloomfield. The Broad Street Line of the subway, the first component of the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link, opened in the summer of 2006. The last of the three light rail lines is the River LINE which connects Trenton and Camden.
The PATH links North Jersey and New York City. The PATH operates four lines that connect various points of North Jersey and New York. The lines all start in either Hudson County or Essex County, New Jersey and end either at the World Trade Center station or at 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
The PATCO High Speedline links Camden County and Philadelphia. PATCO operates a single elevated and subway line that runs from Lindenwold to Center City Philadelphia. PATCO operates stations in Lindenwold, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Haddon Township, Collingswood, and Camden, along with 4 stations in Philadelphia.
Amtrak also operates numerous long-distance passenger trains in New Jersey to and from neighboring states and around the country. In addition to the Newark Airport connection, other major Amtrak railway stations include Trenton Rail Station, Metropark, and the grand historic Newark Penn Station.
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.
 Private bus carriers
- Bergen Avenue IBOA
- Broadway IBOA
- Coach USA Properties including Red & Tan
- Greyhound- provides interstate service
- Lakeland Bus Lines
- MARTZ- does not receive state funding or buses
- Montgomery & West Side IBOA
- Trans-Bridge Lines
 Law and government
- Further information: Governor of New Jersey, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, New Jersey Legislature, and 2006 New Jersey State Government Shutdown
Jon Corzine (Democrat) is the governor. The Governor of New Jersey is considered one of the most powerful governors in the nation, as it is currently the only state-wide elected office in the state and appoints many government officials. Formerly, an acting governor was even more powerful as he simultaneously served as president of the senate, thus directing half of the legislative and all of the executive process. Richard Codey was the last to serve that way as the result of a constitutional amendment approved by the voters in 2005.
New Jersey is currently one of the few states that has no Lieutenant Governor. The first Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey will take office in January, 2010 and will be elected conjointly with the Governor of New Jersey. The position was created as the result of a Constitutional amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution passed by the voters on November 8, 2005 and effective as of January 17, 2006.
The current version of the New Jersey State Constitution was adopted in 1947. It provides for a bicameral Legislature consisting of a Senate of 40 members and an Assembly of 80 members. Each of the 40 legislative districts elects one Senator and two Assembly members. Assembly members are elected by the people for a two-year term in all odd-numbered years; Senators are elected in the years ending in 1, 3, and 7 and thus serve either four or two year terms. See for the constitution
The New Jersey Supreme Court<ref>Supreme Court of New Jersey</ref> 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.
 State shutdown
On July 1, 2006, at 9:30 am, the government of New Jersey closed down amid a budget dispute between Governor Jon Corzine and Assembly Democrats over a rise in the state's sales tax from 6% to 7% in order to fill a budget gap. The closure immediately shut down most government services, including road construction and the state lottery, and caused a temporary layoff of 45,000 state employees. Governor Corzine announced that state parks, state-run beaches, and casinos in Atlantic City (regulated by the state government's New Jersey Casino Control Commission) would close by the morning of July 5, 2006, if no budget agreement had passed by then, due to the lack of state monitors from NJCCC, which is required to be present at casinos by law. New Jersey law provides for essential services, such as state police and emergency services, to remain running regardless of the lack of a budget. However, all payments would be delayed until the annual appropriation bill was passed.<ref>http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/01/nj.budget.ap/index.html</ref> Finally, the Governor and lawmakers reached an agreement to end this government shutdown on July 6, 2006. This agreement includes a hike in New Jersey's current 6% sales tax to 7% which will generate 1.1 billion dollars in revenue; half of this $1.1 billion will be used to lower property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation.<ref>New Jersey Reaches Budget Deal After Six-Day Shutdown</ref>
- Further information: List of New Jersey counties
New Jersey is broken up into 21 counties, 13 of which 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. New Jersey is the only state in the nation where elected county officials are called "Freeholders", governing each county as part of its own Board of Chosen Freeholders. The number of freeholders in each county is determined by referendum, and cannot exceed nine members.
Depending on the county, the executive and legislative functions may be performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders or split into separate branches of government. In some counties, members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders perform both legislative and executive functions on a commission basis, with each Freeholder assigned responsibility for a department or group of departments. In other counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Mercer), there is a directly-elected County Executive who performs the executive functions while the Board of Chosen Freeholders 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 has 566 municipalities; It was 567 before Pahaquarry Township was absorbed by Hardwick Township in 1997. Unlike other states, all of its municipalities are incorporated entities with fixed boundaries, and no local government can simply absorb land from another.
 Types of government
When the types of government were devised in the nineteenth century, the intention was that cities would be large built-up areas, with progressively smaller boroughs, towns, and villages; the rural areas in between would be relatively large townships. This is still often true, although Shrewsbury Township has been divided over the years; today it is less than a square mile, consisting only of a single housing development. Some townships — notably Middletown, Brick, Hamilton, and Toms River — have, without changing their boundaries, become large stretches of suburbia, as populous as cities, often focused around shopping centers and highways rather than traditional downtowns and main streets.
As with Toms River, many locations in New Jersey are simply neighborhoods, with no exact boundaries; often the cluster of houses, the traditional neighborhood, the postal district, and the Census designated place will differ.
The Federal Government has often failed to understand that a New Jersey township is just another municipality, and some municipalities have changed forms to become the Township of the Borough of Verona or the Township of South Orange Village to receive more Federal aid.
 Forms of government
|New Jersey Municipal Government Image:Flag of New Jersey.svg
The five types of municipality differ mostly in name. Originally, each type had its own form of government but more modern forms are available to any municipality, even though the original type is retained in its formal name. Only boroughs can have the "borough form" of government.
Starting in the 1900s, 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, which provided for a 3- or 5-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 Council-Manager government with an (ideally apolitical) 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 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 with the village type of government, Loch Arbour is the only one remaining with the village form of government. The three other villages—Ridgefield Park (now with a Walsh Act form), Ridgewood (now with a Faulkner Act Council-Manager charter), and most confusingly, South Orange (now the Township of South Orange Village) —have all migrated to other non-village forms.
New Jersey was once a politically competitive state in the past but has become a Democratic stronghold since 1980s; the legislature has also switched hands, and one house was evenly divided from 1999–2001. Three of the last five gubernatorial elections have been close. The Congressional seats have also been as evenly divided as thirteen seats can be. Currently; the Democrats hold the post of Governor, have majority control of both the houses of state legislature, have both Congressional Senate seats and also most positions in state delegation to House of Representatives.
In national elections, the state leans heavily towards the national Democratic Party. It was, however, a Republican stronghold for years in the past, having given comfortable margins of victory to the Republican candidate in the close elections of 1948, 1968, and 1976. New Jersey was a crucial swing state in the elections of 1960, 1968, and 1992.
In national elections, the state has given large victories to Democrats since the 1990's. The last elected Republican to hold a Senate seat from New Jersey was Clifford P. Case in 1979. (Nicholas F. Brady was appointed a U.S. Senator by Governor Thomas Kean in 1982 after Harrison A. Williams resigned the Senate seat following the Abscam investigations.)
The state's Democratic strongholds include Mercer County around Trenton and Princeton; Essex County and Hudson County, the state's two most urban counties, around the state's two largest cities, Newark and Jersey City; Camden County and most of the other urban communities just outside of Philadelphia and New York; and more suburban northern counties in New York's orbit, such as Union County and Middlesex County.
The more suburban northwestern and southeastern counties of the state are reliably Republican: Republicans have backing along the coast in Ocean County and in the mountainous northwestern part of the state, especially Sussex County, Morris County, and Warren County. Somerset County and Hunterdon County, other suburban counties in the region, are also Republican in local elections but can be competitive in national races. In the 2004 General Election, Bush received about 52% in Somerset and 60% in Hunterdon, while up in rural Republican Sussex County, Bush won with 64% of the vote.
About half of the counties in New Jersey, however, are considered swing counties, but some go more one way than others. For an example, Bergen County, which leans Republican in the northern half of the county, is mostly Democratic in the more populated southern parts, causing it to usually vote slightly Democratic (same with Passaic County, with a highly populated Hispanic Democratic south and a rural, Republican north), other "swing" counties like Cape May County tend to go Republican, as they also have population in conservative areas.
Socially, New Jersey is considered one of the most liberal and progressive states in the nation. Just like other Northeast states, even conservatives and Republicans are moderate and 'walk in the middle of the road'. New Jersey has a domestic partership law which is available to both homosexual and heterosexual couples. Polls indicate 2/3rds of the population are self-described as pro-choice and a majority support same-sex marriage.<ref>SurveyUSA Pro-Life vs. Pro Choice Sorted by State</ref><ref>Garden State Equalty Poll Results from surveys done April 12 - April 14, 2005</ref>
 Prominent cities and towns
Major cities (and their populations):
 Large cities (100,000 or greater)
For its overall population and nation-leading density, New Jersey has a relative paucity of classic large cities. As of the United States 2000 Census, only four municipalities had populations in excess of 100,000. With the 2004 Census estimate, Woodbridge has surpassed Edison in population, as both joined the 100,000 club.
- Newark: 273,546 (Census Estimate 2004: 280,451)
- Jersey City: 240,055 (Census Estimate 2004: 239,079)
- Paterson: 149,222 (Census Estimate 2004: 150,869)
- Elizabeth: 120,568 (Census Estimate 2004: 124,724)
- Edison 97,687 (Census Estimate 2004: 100,142)
- Woodbridge Township: 97,203 (Census Estimate 2004: 100,775)
 Towns and small cities (60,000 up to 100,000)
- Toms River Township: 89,706
- Hamilton Township (Mercer County): 87,109
- Trenton: 85,403
- Camden: 79,904
- Clifton: 78,672
- Brick Township: 76,119
- Cherry Hill Township: 69,965
- East Orange: 69,824
- Passaic: 67,861
- Union City: 67,088
- Middletown Township: 66,327
- Gloucester Township: 64,350
- Bayonne: 61,842
- Irvington: 60,695
- Old Bridge Township 60,456
- Lakewood Township 60,352
 Other (less than 60,000)
The following communities are other notable places in New Jersey with under 60,000 people.
 Wealth of municipalities
Wealth of municipalities and communities by per capita income:
1 Mantoloking, New Jersey $114,017
693 Newark, New Jersey $13,009
Although some problems exist in certain inner city neighborhoods, New Jersey overall is considered to have one of the best public education systems in the United States. 54% of high school graduates continue on to college or university, which is tied with Massachusetts for the second highest rate in the nation (North Dakota holds first place at 59%). New Jersey also has the highest average scores for advanced placement testing in public schools in the nation. Secretary of Education Rick Rosenberg, appointed by Governor Jon Corzine, has created the Education Advancement Initiative (EAI) to increase College admission rates by 10% for New Jersey's High School students, decrease drop out rates by 15%, and increase the amount of money devoted to schools by 10%. Rosenberg was since forced to retract this plan when publicly criticized for taking the money out of healthcare to fund this initiative.
New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.<ref>Delaware / Hudson Valley Hot Spot for biotechnology</ref>
 Colleges and universities
In addition to the above institutions, there are 19 county colleges, serving the 21 counties in the state.
- Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, Atlantic City, and Cape May Court House campuses
- Bergen Community College, Paramus
- Brookdale Community College, Lincroft - the community college of Monmouth County
- Burlington County College, Pemberton
- Camden County College, Blackwood, Camden and Cherry Hill
- County College of Morris, Randolph
- Cumberland County College, Vineland
- Essex County College, Newark & West Caldwell campuses
- Gloucester County College, Sewell
- Hudson County Community College, Jersey City
- Mercer County Community College, West Windsor
- Middlesex County College, Edison
- Ocean County College, Toms River
- Passaic County Community College, Paterson-Wanaque-Wayne
- Raritan Valley Community College, North Branch
- Salem Community College, Carneys Point
- Sussex County Community College, Newton
- Union County College, Cranford, Elizabeth, and Plainfield
- Warren County Community College, Washington
 Jersey Shore
 Theme Parks
 Historic Sites
 Camping & Hiking
 Miscellaneous topics
- The USS New Jersey, one of the most decorated vessels in the United States Navy, was named in honor of this state and is now a tourist attraction in Camden.
- New Jersey is the birthplace of many 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 first use of a submarine in warfare, and the ice cream cone.
- The first officially recorded baseball game in history was played at the Elysian Fields, Hoboken, New Jersey, with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the New York Knickerbockers with a score of 23-1. Alexander Cartwright formalized the rules and umpired.
- The first intercollegiate football game in history was played in New Brunswick, New Jersey on November 6, 1869 with home team Rutgers University defeating Princeton University 6-4. Rutgers University is considered "The Birthplace of College Football".
- The properties in the United States version of the board game Monopoly are named after the streets of Atlantic City.
- The four-mile long Boardwalk in Atlantic City was the world's first boardwalk and is still its largest.
- The Lindbergh kidnapping drama unfolded in New Jersey in 1932.
- New Jersey was the national pioneer of Megan's Law sex offender registries, following the 1994 rape and murder of Megan Kanka.
- New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. The United States Equestrian Team now is headquartered in Gladstone after being founded in Morristown.
- The book Jaws by Peter Benchley, which inspired the classic film of the same name, was based on a series of actual shark attacks during the summer of 1916 that took place in Matawan and elsewhere off the Jersey Shore.
- Diners are common in New Jersey. The state is home to many diner manufacturers and has more diners than any other state: over 600. Due to the state's small size, New Jersey has more diners per square mile than any other state in America and World. 
- Ben Shahn settled in Roosevelt, New Jersey, and did most of his work there.
- Sculptor Jim Gary grew up in Colts Neck Township where he also opened his gallery, Iron Butterfly, before moving it to Red Bank. Jim Gary was the only living sculptor ever invited to have a solo show at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.
- New Jersey is one of only two states (along with Oregon) where self-service filling of gasoline is prohibited.
- The world's highest quality fluorescent minerals and the most number of minerals found in any one location is located in Franklin Furnace. There are mineral museums in Franklin and Ogdensburg.
 State symbols
|The Garden State|
|State bird||Eastern Goldfinch|
|State freshwater fish||Brook Trout|
|State Dance||Square Dance|
|State insect||European Honey Bee|
|State flower||Common Meadow Violet|
|State motto||"Liberty and prosperity"|
|State tree||Northern Red Oak|
(Quercus borealis maxima)
(syn. Quercus rubra)
|State dinosaur||Hadrosaurus foulkii|
|State color||Buff and Jersey Blue|
|State ship||A.J. Meerwald|
|State fruit||Highbush Blueberry|
|State shell||Knobbed whelk|
(Busycon carica gmelin)
|State memorial tree|| Dogwood |
|State Slogan||Come see for yourself.|
- Frank Sinatra, the only child of working-class Italian-American immigrants, was born December 12, 1915 in a tenement at 415 Monroe St. in Hoboken. He sang with a neighborhood vocal group, the Hoboken Four, and appeared in neighborhood theater amateur shows before he became an entertainment legend as an Academy Award winning actor and one of the most famous male vocalists of all time. Some of his greatest hits include "Strangers In The Night", "My Way", "Luck Be A Lady", and "New York, New York."
- Bruce Springsteen, who has sung of New Jersey life on most of his albums, hails from Freehold and is the most popular rock musician to ever come out of the state. 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 the first female rapper to succeed in music, film, and television.
- Redman (Reggie Noble) was born, raised, and resides in Newark. He is the most successful African-American solo Hip-Hop artist out of New Jersey.
- Akon (Aliaune Thiam) was born in Senegal but moved and was raised in Jersey City. He was also arrested & detained for robbery in New Jersey.
- Joe Budden born in East Harlem, he moved to Jersey City at a very young age. Joe currently resides and represents Jersey City.
- All members of The Sugarhill Gang were born in Englewood. The group wrote and recorded the single "Rapper's Delight", which many credit as the first hip hop single. The terms "rap" and "rapper" originate from this song.
- Jon Bon Jovi, who hails from Sayreville, reached fame in the 1980's with hard rock outfit Bon Jovi. The band has also written many songs about life in New Jersey including "Livin' On A Prayer" and even named one of his albums after the state (see New Jersey)
- Dionne Warwick was born in East Orange and has had a long career, including nearly 60 charted hits, from "Do You Know The Way to San Jose?" (winning the first of her five Grammys), "Alfie", "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", and "That's What Friends Are For." She is a cousin of Whitney Houston.
- Whitney Houston was born in the city of Newark but grew up in neighboring East Orange. She had a successful solo career in the 1980's and 1990's and is best known for her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You", which set new records for sales and weeks at number one. Houston has sold well over 180 million records internationally. Her mother is Cissy Houston, winner of two Grammys in her own right.
- Legendary jazz pianist and bandleader Count Basie, was born in Red Bank in 1904. In the 1960s, he collaborated on several albums with fellow New Jersey native Frank Sinatra. There is a theater in Red Bank named in his honor.
- Parliament-Funkadelic, the pioneering funk music collective, was formed in Plainfield by George Clinton. Notable hits include "Flashlight", "One Nation Under a Groove", and "P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)", as well as Clinton's "Atomic Dog".
- Asbury Park is home of The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi frequented early in their careers and is still considered by many to be a "Mecca" for up-and-coming Jersey Shore musicians.
- Former Fugee Lauryn Hill is a South Orange resident and is hip-hop's best-selling solo female artist. Her 1998 debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, sold 10 million copies internationally.
- In 1964, the Isley Brothers founded the record label T-Neck Records, named after Teaneck, their home at the time.
- 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)
- Blues Traveler is an American jam band from Princeton.
- Glenn Danzig, founder of the Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig, is from Lodi, New Jersey.
- All members of My Chemical Romance reside and hail from Belleville or Kearny, New Jersey; except for drummer Bob Bryar- from Chicago.
 Television and film
- Motion picture technology was invented in New Jersey, by Thomas Edison. The early work was done at his West Orange laboratory. His "Black Maria" was the first motion picture studio.
- More recent motion pictures and televisions shows also have been set in New Jersey. The popular television drama The Sopranos depicts the life of a New Jersey organized crime family and is filmed on location at various places throughout the state. The Family Man, starring Nicholas Cage was filmed in Teaneck in 2000. The 1979 film The Amityville Horror was filmed in Toms River.
- Cable network CNBC originates most of its in-studio programming from Englewood Cliffs, while sister network MSNBC broadcasts the bulk of its in-studio programming from Secaucus.
- Daddy Warbucks' mansion from the 1982 movie Annie was built in 1929 by Hubert Parson, the president of F.W. Woolworth. He called it Shadow Lawn. Now it is Woodrow Wilson Hall, owned by Monmouth University at West Long Branch, NJ.
- Although not credited, at least one scene from The Godfather (1972) was filmed in New Jersey. The scene in which Clemenza states the famous line, "Leave the gun. Take the cannolis", was filmed in the marsh along the Hudson River in Jersey City, just west of the Statue of Liberty, in what is now Liberty State Park.
- The film Cop Land (1997) was filmed in Fort Lee, Cliffside Park, Teaneck and Edgewater.
- The 2004 Sundance Film Festival favorite Garden State (starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman) was shot on location in Maplewood and South Orange.
- The popular animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Megas XLR take place primarily in New Jersey.
- Director Kevin Smith's movies have a recurring set of characters (most famously Jay and Silent Bob) who nearly all of come from New Jersey (primarily the "tri-town" area of Atlantic Highlands, Leonardo, and Red Bank). The state appears in all of Smith's films, and his first three films, Clerks., Mallrats and Chasing Amy, were dubbed the "New Jersey Trilogy". The short-lived animated spinoff spawned by Clerks. also took place in the same locations as the movie. Smith's subsequent efforts, Dogma, Jersey Girl, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks II all had scenes taking place in various New Jersey locales.
- 2001's A Beautiful Mind had several scenes shot at both Princeton University and Fairleigh Dickinson University (Madison campus). The movie is a biopic of the mathematician John Nash, who currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
- The 1994 film I.Q., about Albert Einstein's attempt to play matchmaker for his niece, was filmed in Princeton, Lawrenceville, Cranbury, and Rocky Hill.
- Brian Keith, Sandra Dee, and Frank Langella were all born in Bayonne.
- New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter was born in Pequannock.
- Florida Marlins pitcher Joe Borowski was born in Bayonne, and was the pitcher who gave up Derek Jeter's first career grand slam when he was a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in 2005.
- Actor Jack Nicholson grew up on the Jersey shore, and went to Manasquan High School in Monmouth County. The school's auditorium is named after him.
- The 2004 stoner film Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle took place in New Jersey. Several locations seen in the movie include Princeton University, Newark, New Brunswick, and a fictional White Castle in Cherry Hill.
- The 1993 film Coneheads was set and filmed in Paramus.
- Although supposedly set in New York, the 2003 movie School of Rock was filmed primarily in Edison and Mahwah, perhaps due to the significance these towns have on rock music.
- The 1988 comedy film Big starring Tom Hanks, was filmed in Cliffside Park.
- The 1983 cult classic Eddie and the Cruisers was filmed mostly in Somers Point and Ocean City.
- Goodfellas, the 1990 Martin Scorsese film about the mob, had some scenes filmed on location in Fort Lee.
- Although depicting Newark's notorious car thieves, the 1995 film New Jersey Drive  was shot in East Orange and Elizabeth, as well as Brooklyn and Queens, New York.
- The movie War of the Worlds was filmed in many locations in New Jersey, including Bayonne, Howell Township and Newark. The infamous radio show broadcast starring Orson Welles, The War of the Worlds was set in Grover's Mill (a section of West Windsor Township) and other locations around New Jersey.
- The Ron Howard film Cinderella Man and the Elia Kazan film On the Waterfront both take place in the old Hudson County docks.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) was set in New Brunswick, and includes a scene set in "Greasy Tony's"—a real Rutgers-area eatery.
- Actor and comedian Joe Piscopo was born in Passaic. In 1985, he released a comedy album entitled "New Jersey." The cover art parodied the common perception of New Jersey as nothing but freeways and factories. The following year he starred in an HBO comedy special entitled The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special. In 2004, Piscopo announced that he was considering a run for the governor's office.<ref>http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/20/joe.piscopo/</ref>
- Bruce Willis grew up in Penns Grove and graduated from Penns Grove High School. He returns to the borough occasionally to visit family.
- Tom Cruise briefly attended elementary school at Packanack School in the Packanack Lake section of Wayne, and went to high school and lived his teen years in Glen Ridge.
- Susan Sarandon went to Edison High School in Edison.
- Danny Devito was born in Neptune, grew up in Asbury Park, went to school in Summit, and now lives in Manalapan.
- Cosby Show actors Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Keshia Knight Pulliam were born in Jersey City and Newark, respectively.
- The television medical drama House is set in New Jersey and takes place at the fictional Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Overhead images of the building are actually the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University.
- In his comedy special What Am I Doing in New Jersey?, George Carlin comments that he believes New Jersey deserves the title "Toll Booth Capital of the United States of America." He also suggests changing the state nickname from "The Garden State" to "The Toll Booth State."
- The NBC show Ed was based in the fictional town of Stuckeyville, Ohio, but filmed in various locations in New Jersey. Stuckeybowl, one of the main settings of the show and where they also had numerous sets, was located in Northvale, New Jersey before it was demolished in 2006.
- The Adventures of Pete & Pete, set in the fictional town of Wellesville in an unnamed state, was filmed in New Jersey. Originally, the school scenes were shot in Bayonne and the neighborhood scenes in South Orange, and Leonia. For the third season, production took place in Cranford. The occasional New Jersey Transit Bus or other such object in a shot would occasionally give this fact away.
- The first level of the Tony Hawk's Underground video game is set in an unidentified town in New Jersey. The town is depicted as a ghetto/white trash environment, stricken with a large amount of illegal narcotics. The fact that Mike Vallely refers to it as "the old neighborhood" indicates that it may be Edison, New Jersey although this can be neither confirmed or denied.
- The 1998 film One True Thing, starring Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, and William Hurt, was filmed in the towns of Maplewood, Morristown, and at Princeton University.
 Legends and ghosts
A long-circulated legend says a creature, the Jersey Devil or the Leeds Devil, terrorizes the population of the Pine Barrens. The New Jersey Devils are named for this mythical creature. New Jersey is also home to several other legends, such as the ghost of Annie's Road in Totowa; Albino Village in Clifton; Gravity Road in Franklin Lakes; the supposed Ku Klux Klan hotbed Whippoorwill Valley Road in Middletown; the haunted and demon-possessed Clinton Road in West Milford; and the Witch of Igoe Road in Marlboro. There is also the popular attraction of the Atco Ghost—the ghost of a little boy runs across the street late at night chasing a basketball on Burnt Mill Road in Atco. It is also rumored that Jimmy Hoffa, the late leader of the Teamsters Union, is buried beneath Giants Stadium or the New Jersey Turnpike. However, on the popular television show Mythbusters, the myth of Jimmy Hoffa being buried under Giants Stadium was debunked using ground penetrating radar.
Camp NoBeBoSco in Blairstown was the location of the original Friday the 13th movie (some believe the series of films to be set in New Jersey, although this is never confirmed onscreen), which was partially based on real murders that have occurred near the campground, in the state's rural northwest. Such horror stories were the inspiration behind the now nationally famous Weird NJ magazine and website.
 See also
- List of New Jersey-related topics
- List of people from New Jersey
- List of New Jersey state parks
- Ancestry citation with county maps (Adobe PDF)
- Specific ancestry maps by county, place, and census tract
- Scouting in New Jersey
- New Jersey State Police
 External links</div>
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- Official New Jersey state web site
- Official New Jersey state tourism site
- A list of official and unofficial NJ county and municipal web sites
- Descriptions of NJ forms of government (e.g., township, borough, etc.) from NJ State League of Municipalities
- US Census Bureau
- New Jersey Resource Directory and Events Calendar
- Abandoned and Historic Mines of New Jersey
- New Jersey State Facts
- NJ Event and Resource Guide
- Upstage Magazine - New Jersey arts & entertainment news
- AsburyMusic.com - Asbury Park's Online Music Community
- NJ.com, portal site for the Star-Ledger, Asbury Park Press, and Trenton Times
|Image:Flag of New Jersey.svg||State of New Jersey
|Regions||Central Jersey | Delaware Valley | Jersey Shore | Meadowlands | North Jersey | Pine Barrens | South Jersey | New York metro area | Tri-State Region|
|Cities||Atlantic City | Bayonne | Camden | Clifton | East Orange | Elizabeth | Hackensack | Hoboken | Jersey City | Linden | Long Branch | New Brunswick | Newark | Passaic | Paterson | Perth Amboy | Plainfield | Princeton | Toms River | Trenton |Union City | Vineland | In addition to the major cities listed, All Municipalities (by Population)|
|Counties||Atlantic | Bergen | Burlington | Camden | Cape May | Cumberland | Essex | Gloucester | Hudson | Hunterdon | Mercer | Middlesex | Monmouth | Morris | Ocean | Passaic | Salem | Somerset | Sussex | Union | Warren|
|Image:Flag of the United States.svg||Political divisions of the United States|
|Capital||District of Columbia|
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|Insular areas||American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands|
|Minor outlying islands||Baker Island | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island|
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