New Jersey is a heavily Democratic state, and a majority of its legislature is Democrat. It also has a 10-to-2 split in the state’s 12 U.S. House of Representatives seats, and both state houses are dominated by Democrats. In the 1990s, Democrats were elected to the state senate in both major party primaries, including Governor Chris Christie.
New Jersey is home to a wide range of cities and suburban suburbs. Most people live within a ten-mile radius of one of the state’s largest cities. The state’s top cities, and even the largest, are relatively small geographically: three of the four biggest cities have a land area of less than 20 square miles. Similarly, eight of the top ten largest cities in New Jersey are smaller than 78 square miles. In 2010, only four cities in the state had populations of over one hundred thousand. In the same year, Woodbridge and Edison were both within 100 thousand.
The State of New Jersey has an extensive shoreline, which stretches 125 miles. It is made up of long barrier islands separated from the mainland by shallow lagoons and tidal inlets. The state is home to some of the country’s most popular summer resorts, including Cape May and Long Branch. During the nineteenth century, the state was a favorite summer spot for the country’s presidents. Today, New Jersey is home to six professional sports teams, including two Major League Soccer teams and a National Football League team.
New Jersey is also home to many different ecosystems. The Pine Barrens, in particular, is a unique ecosystem that attracts hikers, environmentalists, and students. However, some of these ecosystems have a history of haunting tourists and residents alike. One such cryptid is the Jersey Devil, a mythological creature that is feared to have originated in the Pine Barrens. Despite its dark and scary reputation, the state’s diverse ecosystem offers opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Native Americans inhabited the area for at least 2,800 years. At that time, the Lenape tribes were the dominant culture. Europeans came in the early 17th century, and the first European settlements were established by Dutch and Swedish colonists. The British eventually incorporated New Jersey as a British province and named it after the largest of the Channel Islands. The state was a strong supporter of the American Revolution, and remained a part of the Union during the American Civil War.
New Jersey has a diverse population. While whites make up more than two-thirds of its population, African Americans account for more than one-tenth. The state also boasts a significant Hispanic population, led by Mexicans. Various Latin American groups have also immigrated to the state since the late 20th century.
In the 20th century, New Jersey was at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement and was one of the first states to provide equal education opportunities to people of all races. During the 1960s, race riots were common in New Jersey’s industrialized cities, and continued to increase following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In response, the state introduced an income tax to fund public schools. These changes made the state a symbol of equality.