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New Jersey State Guide

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New Jersey is the second wealthiest and the 4th smallest state of the United states and is located in the Mid-Atlantic and north-east regions of the country. The state is nicknamed as the "Golden State" and is bordered by New York State on the north and east, by the Atlantic Ocean on the southeast, by Pennsylvania on the west, and by Delaware on the southwest. New Jersey became the 3rd state of the United States on December 18, 1787 [1].

New Jersey Fast Facts:

Capital city:
Largest city: Newark
Sate Land Animal: The Horse
Sate Bird: The Eastern Goldfinch
State Tree: The Red Oak
State Flower: The Violet
State Ship: A.J Meerwald
State Fruit: Bluberry


History of New Jersey

Before the colonial era, the Native Americans, primarily the Lenni-Lenape settled in New Jersey. The tribes practiced hunting, gathering and agriculture as their livelihood. The matrilinear clan society of the Lenape were divided into 3 phratries. Based on animal sign, they were distinguished as Turkey, Turtle and Wolf. When the Europeans moved to New Jersey, the tribes started fur trade with them.

In the 17th century, the Dutch were regarded as the first European contact in New Jersey. Dutch established the first permanent town in Bergen, which is the present-day Jersey City. In the second half of the 17th century, the British took control of New Jersey from the Dutch. New Jersey Colony was divided into West Jersey and East Jersey.

In the early 18th century, New Jersey became populated due to the immigrants who moved from many other colonies, beside Europe. William Trent established "Trent's Town," is the present-day state’s capital city Trenton. Lewis Morris was elected New Jersey’s first governor. After the American Revolution, the United States Declaration of Independence was signed by representatives, John Witherspoon, Richard Stockton, Francis Hopkinson, Abraham Clark and John Hart. On December 12, 1787, New Jersey joint the Union as the 3rd state and adopted the United States Constitution. The bill of rights was first approved by New Jersey.

During the American Revolutionary War, many notable battles were fought between the British and Americans in New Jersey. The state came to be known as "The Crossroads of the Revolution" due to its significant involvement as a state often crossed by the British and Americans in the midst of the American Revolution. General George Washington established Morristown as the military capital of the revolution.

In the early 19th century, New Jersey abolished slavery and was the last northern state to do so. Eventually, slave population became less in the state. New Jersey witnessed a marked increase in industrialization with the completion of the construction of Morris Canal. With the Industrial Revolution, some cities grew and became wealthier. The Industrial Revolution made a huge growth impact to the state's economy as it shifted from the primary agrarian economy to the industrialized economy. During the second half of the 19th century, iron mining was a leading industry that supported the economic growth of the state.

In the early 20th century, Woodrow Wilson, the Governor of New Jersey, was elected as the President of the United States. New Jersey became prosperous and grew throughout the Roaring Twenties (1920s). In 1921, Miss America Pageant was held for the first time in Atlantic City. Begging licenses were officially given to those unemployed residents of New Jersey during the Great Depression. In the later half of the 19th century, the New Jersey Turnpike opened and also gaming was legalized in the Atlantic City.

New Jersey Timeline History


1721 - Trenton city was established
1738 - Lewis Morris appointed New Jersey's first governor.
1789 - New Jersey ratified the Bill of Rights


1807 - The right to vote was taken away from women
1844 - New Jersey adopted its second state constitution
1883 - Roselle became the first US town to be lighted by electricity


1912 - New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson was elected President of the United States
1921 - Atlantic city hosted the first Miss America Pageant
1951 - The New Jersey Turnpike opened
1993 - Christine Todd Whitman was appointed New Jersey's first female governor


2001 - On September 11, many were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers
2007 - The State recognized the civil union of same-sex couples

Geography of New Jersey

Geography Fast Facts:

Total Area: 8,204.37 square miles
Land Area: 7,504.8 square miles
Longitude: 73o 54′ W to 75o 34′ W
Latitude: 38o 56′ N to 41o 21′ N
Highest point: High Point - 1,803 ft (549.6 m)
Mean point: 250 ft (80 m)
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean - sea level
Time Zone Mountain: Eastern: UTC -5/-4
New Jersey covers a total area of 8,204.37 square miles, of which land area occupies 7,504.8 square miles and 699.57 square miles are water. The State is divided into 21 counties consisting of a total of 566 municipalities [2]. New Jersey is the 11th most populous state of the nation due to the small geographic size of the state. The state is located in the Mid-Atlantic and north-eastern parts of the country and is bordered by on the north and east by New York State, by the Atlantic Ocean on the southeast, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and by Delaware on the southwest. 

Topography of New Jersey

New Jersey is a state of varied geographical features. Based on geological zones, the geographic regions of the state may be grouped into five regions, namely- 
  • Appalachian Valley and Ridge
  • Highlands
  • Newark Basin Piedmont
  • Inner Coastal Plain
  • Outer Coastal Plain
Appalachian Valley and Ridge

It is located in the north-western region of New Jersey and encompasses the Kittatinny Mountains, the Delaware Water Gap and many smaller valleys. High Point, which is the highest point of the state is also located within this region in the Kittatinny Mountains.


The Highlands Physio-graphic Province is formed from geological activities and comprises of metamorphic rock and Precambrian igneous. The highlands extends from the Delaware River and follow towards northeastern part via the state's Skylands Region along the Ramapo Mountains and the Bearfort Ridge. Many unused mines are located around the regions.

Newark Basin Piedmont

The Newark Basin is a rift basin filled with sediments and lies in the northern part of the state. It consists of red bed clastic sediments, the Watchung basalt flows and the Palisades Sill. The splitting of the super-continent Pangaea many million years ago, which caused many large depressions resulted in the formation of Newark sediment filled basin. The basin covers areas of the state's southern end from Rockland County to Pennsylvania in the south-eastern region.

Inner Coastal Plain

The Inner Coastal Plain province is predominantly made up of Cretaceous deposits, comprising of rolling hills underlain and lowlands. The land is very suitable for agriculture due to its loamy and fertile soil. Many researchers and student survey groups visit this region to explore and learn about paleontology and cretaceous geology. The north-western boundary of the province falls parallel to the Piedmont fall line.

Outer Coastal Plain

The Outer Coastal Plain are primarily made up of less fertile sandy, dry, more acidic soils which are not suitable for agricultural cultivation. The region comprises of loose Tertiary deposits of silt, sands and gravels. This region is mainly famous for its recreational industries and offer many beautiful vacation destinations.

Some of the popular Rivers that flow in and around New Jersey include -

Manasquan River: This waterway begins from central Monmouth County to Atlantic Ocean and drains in between regions of Point Pleasant and Manasquan.

Maurice River: This river is Delaware Bay's tributary that flows in Cumberland and Salem County. The river establish an important ecological link between the Delaware Bay and the Pine Barrens.

Mullica River: The river flows in the southern region of the state and offers the main drainage of the vast Pinelands into the Atlantic Ocean.

Passaic River: The river flows in the northern part of the state and drains the major areas of the northern region and follow a circuitous route around the Great Swamp.

Rahway River: This river drains the portion of the urbanized and suburban regions of the state. It is also the tributary of the Middlesex, Arthur Kill and Union Counties.

Raritan River: This river drains major mountainous areas of the state's central region. The watershed empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Musconetcong River: The river flows in the north-western part of the state and is the Delaware River's tributary. Some part of Musconetcong River is included in the National Wild and Scenic River.

Hudson River: The river flows in the eastern part of the state and follow a north-south direction. The river follow the route from Essex County via Hudson Valley and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Hudson River marks a political boundary between New Jersey and New York.

Delaware rivers: It is a major Atlantic coast river that flows near the Cape May region of New Jersey. Five state, namely New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland are drained by Delaware's watersheds.

Some of the major mountain peaks in New Jersey are given below-

High Point (1,803 ft / 550 m) - It is the highest point in the Kittatinny Mountains in New Jersey.

Sunrise Mountain (1,653 ft / 504 m) - Located near Newton.

Mount Paradise (1,605 ft / 489 m) - Located in the Kittatiny Mountains.

Catfish Mountain (1,560 ft / 475 m) - Located in the Kittatiny Mountain Range.

Mount Tammany (1,549 ft / 472 m) - Located near Belvidere.

Bird Mountain (1,497 ft / 456 m) - Located near Crandon Lakes

Hamburg Mountains High Point (1,495 ft / 456 m) - Located near Vernon Valley

Rattlesnake Mountain (1,492 ft / 455 m) - Located near Crandon Lakes

Bearfort Mountain North (1,480 ft / 451 m) - Located near West Milford

Wawayanda Mountain (1,470 ft / 448 m) - Located near Highland Lake

Boulder Pine Peak (1,420 ft / 433 m) - Located near Highland Lake

Mount Stockholm (1,410 ft / 430 m) - Located near Hamburg

Mount Stockholm (1,410 ft / 430 m) - Located near Hamburg

Bowling Green Mountain (1,381 ft / 421 m) - Located near Dover

Dunker Mountain (1,340 ft / 408 m) - Located near Highland Lake

Bearfort Lookout (1,340 ft / 408 m) - Located near Highland Lake

Mount Gerard (1,302 ft / 397 m) - Located near Hamburg

Buck Mountain (1,240 ft / 378 m) - Located near Kinnelon

Green Pond Mountain (1,289 ft / 393 m) - Located near Victory Gardens

Forests in New Jersey

The forest provides the natural habitat of many flora and fauna. The forests also include many scenic areas that offer amusing varieties of recreation activities. New Jersey State Forestry Divisions is diligently working to protect the forests and its resources and rare flora and many endemic animals. 

Learn more: New Jersey State Forestry Services

Climate of New Jersey

New Jersey has a varied climatic condition. The state experiences 2 climatic conditions. Humid mesothermal climate prevails in the state's northeastern and south, central parts while humid continental climate (microthermal) prevails in the northwestern region of the state. 

In the summer months, the climate is hot and humid. The summer temperature averages a high of around 82–87oF (28–31oC) and a low of around 60–69oF (16–21oC). Thunderstorms are common in the state during the summer season. 

The winter months are cold with the winter average temperature of 34–43oF (1–6oC) and lows of 16 to 28oF (−9 to −2oC) 

Winters months statewide are usually cold and winter temperature averages a high of around 34–43oF (1–6oC) and a low of 16 to 28oF (−9 to −2oC). Temperature across the state varies during spring and autumn with a comparatively less humid climate. 

The annual rainfall in the state averages from 43 to 51 inches.The state also experiences some winter snowfall that is distributed in varied amounts throughout the state and varies annually. Nor Easters bring in blizzards or flooding in the state during early spring and winter seasons. 

Economy of New Jersey

The economy of New Jersey has become more stable in these couple of years and has shown much growth. According to 2013 estimation, the gross domestic product, collectively by all industries of the state was $51,358 and the 3rd largest in the United States[3]. The per capita income of the state is $51,358 and is the 3rd largest in the nation [4]. The state’s unemployment rate as of December 2014 was 6.2% which showed a decrease of 1% from the previous year [5]. The major sectors of employment in New Jersey include agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance, real estate and legal services. 

The Industry sectors in New Jersey with the largest number of projected employment growth are-[6]
  • Educational and Health Services - 112,750
  • Professional and Business Services - 84,500
  • Trade,Transportation & Utilities - 63,400
  • Construction - 36,150
  • Leisure and Hospitality - 25,650
New Jersey employment growth by Industry Sector, 2012-[7]

employment industries

Agriculture in New Jersey

  • The top 5 agricultural products based on revenue generated include horses/mules, greenhouse and nursery products, blueberries, chicken eggs and dairy products. New Jersey's most important agricultural income is from greenhouse and nursery products.

  • Nursery products are ornamental shrubs (holly, arborvitae, juniper) and grass sod.

  • Greenhouse products especially grown for urban markets include roses, geraniums, chrysanthemums, lilies, poinsettias and orchids.

  • The main vegetable crops produced are asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, endive, spinach and lettuce. Additionally filed crops, such as corn, soybeans, and wheat are produced in surplus.

  • The main fruits produced in the state are cranberries, blueberries, apples, strawberries and peaches.

  • The state's major livestock product is horse. 

  • Other livestock products include cattle, calves, dairy products and chicken eggs.

Industries in New Jersey

  • Pharmaceutical industries lead the manufacturing sector of the state and many top pharmaceutical companies have their headquarters in New Jersey.

  • The state ranked 2nd ranked in manufacturing sector of food products, such as bakery products, fruits, beverages, meats, sugar, vegetables, roasted coffee and confectionery products.

  • The state also ranked 3rd in the manufacturing of some valuable products, such as electronic products and computers.

  • The valuable mined products of the state include sand and gravel, and crushed stone (granite, traprock,).

  • The state is famous for its clam produce.

  • Tourism is New Jersey’s second largest industry. New Jersey State Department of Tourism has pointed out 6 distinct tourist regions in the state, namely-

  1. The Gateway
  2. Greater Atlantic City
  3. The Southern Shore Region
  4. The Delaware River Region
  5. The Shore Region
  6. The Skylands Region

New Jersey Health Care

The New Jersey Department of Health works efficiently to improve the health and living standards of the community by implementing many health improvement services and policies. The health department has its sub divisions which provide all vital records and health statistics of the state. The health department also implements various plans and policies for the community and environmental health to minimize illness and people lives a healthy life. Mary E. O'Dowd, is the Commissioner of the New Jersey department of health. New Jersey's thousands of licensed and well equipped hospitals, health care centers, and nursing homes are serving the people of the state in providing superior health care facilities and services.

According to the U.S News and World Report, the top 5 hospitals in New Jersey are- Hackensack University Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center, Atlanti Care Regional Medical Cente, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

Learn more: New Jersey Health Care

Demographics of New Jersey

New Jersey is the 11th most populous state in the United States and had an estimated population of 8,938,175 as of 2014 estimation by the U.S Census Bureau, which reflected an increase of 1.7% since the year 2010. The population density of the state is 1195.5 person per square mile which is the highest in the nation [8]. New Jersey's center of population is situated in Middlesex County, Milltown town.

Racial Distribution of the State-

White alone: 73.4%
Black or African American: 14.7%
Asian: 9.2%
Native American or Alaska Native: 0.6%
Native Hawaiian & other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 2%
Hispanic or Latino: 18.9%
The common languages spoken in the state are-

Spanish; Italian; Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin)
Portuguese; Filipino;
Korean; Gujarati;
Polish; Hindi
Arabic; Russian

New Jersey Population Quick Facts:
  • Population, 2014 - 8,938,175
  • Population, 2013 - 8,911,502
  • Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 – 1.7%
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013 - 6%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013 - 22.7%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013 - 14.4%
  • Female persons, percent, 2013 - 51.2%
The majority of the people of New Jersey are Catholic and some fewer groups of people are Baptist, Methodist, Christian, Jewish, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Anglican, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims. 

The top 10 largest cities of New Jersey are-
Jersey City
Edison Middlesex
Toms River

Government of New Jersey

The Government of New Jersey is guarded and established by the New Jersey State Constitution. New Jersey became a 3rd state of the United States on December 18, 1787 [1]. The government of New Jersey is divided into three distinct branches, namely the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch. 

The New Jersey Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the government of New Jersey and several state government departments work under the executive branch. Chris Christie is the current governor of New Jersey. The governor may serve the State for any number of terms but not more than two consecutive terms. Kim Guadagno is the current Lieutenant governor of New Jersey.

New Jersey State Legislature is the body of the state government of New Jersey which is divided into two separate houses, namely General Assembly and New Jersey Senate. All legislators must reside in their respective districts they represent. The two legislatures meet in the Legislative Building at the New Jersey Capitol in Trenton.

The New Jersey State Senate is the upper house of the state legislature and consists of 40 state senators. The New Jersey General Assembly is the lower house of the New Jersey legislature, consisting of 80 members elected for a term of two years. Vincent Prieto is the current speaker of the house.

Under the New Jersey Constitution, the Judiciary branch applies and interprets laws and regulations to ensure justice in the state. The judicial system of New Jersey is served by numerous efficient professionally trained judges. The courts in state consist of Supreme Court; Superior Court, Appellate Division; Superior Court; Municipal Courts and Tax Court.

The Supreme and Superior courts judges are appointed by the governor with the approval of the senate. The judges are appointed for seven-year terms and may be re-appointed, after which they have the liability to serve till 70 years of age.

New Jersey Taxation

The New Jersey department of the Treasury manages and administers a standard tax laws in the state. Tax laws include entire laws and taxes on income, sales, property, luxury, bingo, and estate. The type of income tax system implemented in New Jersey is a progressive structure in which the tax rate depends on taxable base amount.
Important Tax Rates: [3]

  • Sales and Use Tax Rate: 7%

  • Gross Income Tax Rate: 1.4% – 8.97%

  • Corporation Tax Rates:

Education in New Jersey

The education system in New Jersey comprises of the public and private schools, public and private universities, colleges and high schools. The New Jersey Department of Education is the division which is responsible to assess and manage the workings of all schools, colleges and universities in the state. The department’s mission is to provide world class education and best values to the students to ensure success in education, workplace and in every spheres of life. Rick Rosenberg is the Secretary of Education. New Jersey offers a vast range of higher education options.

Learn and grow

Some of the top Universities and Colleges of New Jersey are-

There are 4 major professional sports leagues teams in New Jersey, namely-

  • New Jersey Devils - Ice Hockey
  • New York Giants - Football
  • New York Jets - Football
  • New York Red Bulls – Soccer

Transportation in New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) ensures safe and convenient commuting of people and transfer of goods. NJDOT owns, manages and maintains numerous lane-miles of roadways, bridges, tunnels, rails and also responsible for air and water quality, communities and roadsides cleanliness. NJDOT implemented a new approach called the Asset Management, which is a systematic cost effective method of upgrading and maintaining physical and infrastructure assets. Jamie Fox is the current Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

The road transportation in New Jersey comprises of several interstate highways, state routes, bridges and tunnels. NJDOT administers numerous state highways, tunnels and many moveable bridges to provide easy and safe connectivity to various cities and states. New Jersey Transit serves as the state's main intrastate public transportation. NJ transit oversees 3 separate light rail systems, 11 commuter rail lines, and a state-wide bus system. New Jersey Transit serves the state with over 200 bus routes across the state. New Jersey 
transit offers commuter, local and long-distance bus services in all twenty-one counties of New Jersey. Ride sharing was initially proposed to help minimize travel cost to half, reduce traffic congestion and struggle for parking spaces.

The New Jersey Transit Rail Operations operates large mileage of rail tracks in the nation and also serves large number of weekday riders. There are 3 separate light rail lines that are managed by New Jersey Transit. The entire light rail systems of the state function on a proof-of-payment fare system. Amtrak serves as a major passenger rail route that provides interstate connectivity to and from New Jersey

New Jersey Air Transportation is a major mode that offers all round efficient and easy intercity and interstate connectivity. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in New Jersey State. The primary airports that provide commercial services include-Atlantic City International Airport, Trenton–Mercer Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

A combination of 11 independent New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) projects, called Portway was implemented to help improve the connectivity to many major ports and facilities that serve as a very important gateway to global and domestic business and commerce. 

Learn more: Transportation in New Jersey

Interesting Facts about New Jersey

  • The State Song is "I'm From New Jersey"

  • New Jersey’s population density is the highest in the United States and also has the highest urban population in the nation.

  • New Jersey is the sole state in the nation where all its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

  • New Jersey is famously known as the diner capital of the world because the state has the most diners in the world.

  • The first Miss America Pageant was held in the Atlantic City.

  • The tallest water tower in the world is in New Jersey.

  • Liberty and Prosperity is the State motto

  • New Jersey state bug is honeybee, apis mellifera.

  • Pierre Eugene du Simitiere designed the state seal.

  • Blueberry is the State fruit.


  1. New Jersey Statehood
  2. New Jersey Area and Size
  3. Gross Domestic Product
  4. Per Capita Income
  5. Unemployment Rate
  6. Industry Sectors
  7. Employment Growth
  8. Demographics

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