New Jersey

State of New Jersey
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Garden State,[1] Crossroads of the Revolution
Motto(s): Liberty and prosperity
Official language(s) None
Demonym New Jerseyan,[2] New Jerseyite[3]
Capital Trenton
Largest city Newark
Area  Ranked 47th in the US
 - Total 8,721 sq mi
(22,608 km2)
 - Width 70 miles (110 km)
 - Length 150 miles (240 km)
 - % water 14.9
 - Latitude 38° 56′ N to 41° 21′ N
 - Longitude 73° 54′ W to 75° 34′ W
Population  Ranked 11th in the US
 - Total 8,707,739 (2009 est.).)[4]
8,414,350 (2000)
Density 1,134/sq mi  (438/km2)
Ranked 1st in the US
 - Median income  $70,378 (2nd)
Elevation  
 - Highest point High Point[5]
1,803 ft  (550 m)
 - Mean 246 ft  (75.2 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[5]
0 ft  (0 m)
Admission to Union  December 18, 1787 (3rd)
Governor Chris Christie (R)
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (R)
Legislature New Jersey Legislature
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house General Assembly
U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D)
Bob Menendez (D)
U.S. House delegation 8 Democrats, 5 Republicans (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations NJ N.J. US-NJ
Website http://www.nj.gov
New Jersey State Symbols
The Flag of New Jersey.

The Seal of New Jersey.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Eastern Goldfinch
Fish Brook trout
Flower(s) Viola sororia
Grass None
Insect European honey bee
Reptile None
Tree Quercus rubra

Inanimate insignia
Beverage None
Colors Buff and Blue
         
Dance Square Dance
Fossil duck-billed dinosaur
Gemstone None
Mineral None
Soil Honeoye
Song(s) None
Tartan None

Route marker(s)
[[Image:Circle sign 33.svg
New Jersey Route Marker]]

State Quarter
Released in 1999

Lists of United States state insignia

New Jersey (, ) is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the northeast by New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware. New Jersey lies largely within the sprawling metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia. It is the most densely populated state in the United States.

The area was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements.[6] The British later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey. It was granted as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. At this time, it was named after the largest of the British Channel Islands, Jersey, where Carteret had been born.[7] New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War.

In the 19th century, factories in cities such as Elizabeth, Paterson and Trenton helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's position at the center of the Northeast 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. Today, New Jersey has the highest population density and the second-highest median income of any state in the United States, behind only Maryland.

The current Governor of New Jersey is Republican Chris Christie.

Geography

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

New Jersey can be thought of as five regions, based on natural geography and population. Northeastern New Jersey, the Gateway Region, lies within the New York metropolitan area, and some residents commute into the city to work. Northwestern New Jersey, or the "Skylands", is, compared to the northeast, more wooded, rural, and mountainous, but still a popular place to live. The "Shore", along the Atlantic Coast in the central-east and southeast, has its own natural, residential, and lifestyle characteristics owing to its location by the ocean. The central-west and southwest are within metropolitan Philadelphia, and are included in the Delaware Valley. The fifth region is the Pine Barrens in the interior of the southern part. Covered rather extensively by mixed pine and oak forest, it has a much lower population density than much of the rest of the state.

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

The federal Office of Management and Budget divides New Jersey's counties into seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas, including sixteen counties in the New York City or Philadelphia metro areas. Four counties have independent metro areas, and Warren County joins another Pennsylvania-based metro area. (See Metropolitan Statistical Areas of New Jersey for details.)

It is also at the center of the Northeast megalopolis.

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:

High Point, in Montague Township, Sussex County, is the highest elevation, at . The Palisades are a line of steep cliffs on the lower west side of the Hudson River.

Major rivers include the Hudson, Delaware, Raritan, Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, Musconetcong, Mullica, Rancocas, Manasquan, Maurice, and Toms rivers.

Sandy Hook, along the eastern coast, is a popular recreational beach. It is a barrier spit and an extension of the Barnegat Peninsula along the state's Atlantic Ocean coast.

Long Beach Island ("LBI"), a barrier island along the eastern coast, has popular recreational beaches. The primary access point to the island is by a single bridge connection to the mainland. Barnegat Lighthouse is on the northern tip.

Areas managed by the National Park Service include:

Prominent geographic features include:

Climate

As with many other geographic features, New Jersey's climate divides into regions; the south, central, and northeast parts of the state have a humid mesothermal climate, while the northwest has a humid continental climate (microthermal), with slightly cooler temperatures due to higher elevation.

Summers are typically hot and humid, with statewide average high temperatures of and lows of ; however, temperatures exceed on average −25 days each summer, though rarely exceed . Winters are usually cold, with average high temperatures of and lows of for most of the state, but temperatures could, for brief interludes, be as low as and sometimes rise to . Northwestern parts of the state have slightly colder winters with average temperatures just below freezing. Spring and autumn may feature wide temperature variations, ranging from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with lower humidity than summer.[8]

Average annual precipitation ranges from , uniformly spread through the year. Average snowfall per winter season range from in the south and near the seacoast, in the northeast and central part of the state, to about in the northwestern highlands, but this varies from year to year. Precipitation falls on an average of 120 days a year, with 25 to 30 thunderstorms, most of which occur during the summer.

During winter and early spring, New Jersey can in some years experience "nor'easters", which are capable of causing blizzards or flooding throughout the northeastern United States. New Jersey may also experience drought and rain-free period for weeks. Hurricanes and tropical storms (such as Hurricane Floyd in 1999), tornadoes and earthquakes are rare.

colspan="14" (°F)
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sussex (33/14) (38/16) (46/25) (59/36) (70/45) (78/54) (83/59) (82/57) (73/48) (63/38) (52/30) (39/21)
Newark (38/25) (41/27) (50/34) (61/45) (72/54) (81/64) (84/70) (82/68) (75/61) (64/48) (54/39) (43/30)
Atlantic City (42/28) (44/30) (48/38) (57/45) (66/56) (75/64) (80/70) (80/70) (73/64) (64/54) (55/44) (46/34)
Cape May (43/27) (43/28) (52/36) (61/43) (70/54) (79/63) (84/66) (82/66) (77/61) (66/48) (55/39) (46/30)
colspan="13"

History

Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa. The pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains. Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers that reached New Jersey. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers, swamps, and gorges.[9]

New Jersey was originally settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time Europeans arrived. The Lenape were loosely organized groups that practiced small-scale agriculture (mainly based on corn) in order to increase their largely mobile hunter-gatherer society in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. The Lenape society was divided into matrilinear clans that were based upon common female ancestors. These clans were organized into three distinct phratries identified by their animal sign: Turtle, Turkey, and Wolf. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, and their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade.