New Jersey – A Guide to the Northeastern US State

new jersey

New Jersey, a northeastern US state, borders the states of New York and Pennsylvania across the Delaware River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Manhattan is a short ferry ride away, and the Statue of Liberty is on nearby Liberty Island. A swath of sandy beaches, including Cape May and Asbury Park, are popular summer resort destinations. Jersey City, the gateway to Lower Manhattan, is home to a major port and a historic district. Other notable attractions include the Liberty Science Center, the National Museum of American Indians, and the historic Liberty Bell.

Newark is a busy metropolitan area with an impressive skyline, and many smaller cities and towns offer an attractive suburban lifestyle. The state’s economy is primarily industrial, with high-tech companies and pharmaceutical firms prominent among its top employers. The area also is a leader in the manufacturing of chemicals and plastics, and is home to major retail centers.

Before Europeans arrived, the land that is now New Jersey was occupied by the Lenape tribe. In the 16th century, Dutch and Swedish settlers established colonies in what became known as New Netherland and New Sweden. In 1664 the English took over this region, which was renamed New Jersey after an island in the English Channel called Jersey. The state was admitted to the United States on 18 December 1787, becoming the third state in the Union.

North Jersey, which includes Bergen and Passaic counties, is a mixture of small town, affluent suburb, and rugged countryside. Some of the farms that supply the cities have been converted to recreation areas and parks, and New Jersey’s apple industry is thriving.

The densely populated state capital Trenton is in central New Jersey. The rest of the state is largely rural, with large portions of the Inner and Outer Coastal Plains being used for agricultural purposes. Vegetable farming is especially common in the state’s fertile soil, and much of this land is protected by a network of national and state parks and forests.

South Jersey contains a large portion of the state’s population, but it covers only about half the territory. The state’s affluent suburbs are found in the eastern and central parts of this region, which is also home to Rutgers University in the borough of New Brunswick. Somerset and Mercer counties are heavily industrialized, while Hunterdon is a predominantly rural county with some hilly areas.

The state’s famous citizens have included President Grover Cleveland, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, singer Frank Sinatra, and author Judy Blume. New Jersey’s wildlife includes black bears, bobcats, red foxes, and raccoons. Birds that inhabit the state include blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, and American goldfinches. Reptiles include spotted turtles and five-lined skinks, while amphibians are represented by New Jersey chorus frogs and marbled salamanders. The state’s trees include sugar maple, American chestnut, and pitch pine, and flowering dogwood, lilyturf, black-eyed Susans, and Queen Anne’s lace are its wildflowers. In addition, New Jersey has a variety of invasive plants and insects.