New Jersey Facts

The land that is now new jersey was first settled at least 12,000 years ago by Native American tribes including the Lenape and Munsee (or Minsi). Dutch, Swedish, and Finnish colonists built towns in the early 16th century, and when Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609, the area was named New Netherland. After English control was gained by the British, it became one of the 13 American colonies and then an important manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution.

The state’s economy is based on service industries like finance, insurance, and pharmaceuticals, with high-tech firms also prominent. In addition, a significant amount of agricultural production takes place in the state, particularly of fruits and vegetables. The state is also known for its beaches and resorts, and some of the world’s busiest ports are located in the Port of New York and New Jersey.

More than two-thirds of the state’s population lives in cities. In some of these, the skyline is dense with office and apartment buildings. Others, such as Newark and Jersey City, are crowded with industrial, shipping, and manufacturing plants. The state’s suburbs are largely pleasant and prosperous, although many of them show signs of urban blight. Some, especially in Bergen county, serve as bedroom communities for New York City.

In northwestern new jersey, the scenery changes to more rural farmland and woodlands. The four counties in this region, Passaic, Hudson, and Bergen, are the only ones outside of metropolitan New York that contain a majority of the state’s residents. The area contains small towns, affluent suburban neighborhoods, and rugged countryside. There are some remaining dairy farms and parks and recreation areas.

A large portion of the state’s coastline is on the Atlantic Ocean. The resorts of Wildwood and Atlantic City feature nightlife and entertainment, while other seaside towns such as Asbury Park and Cape May offer more tranquil settings. New Jersey’s dunes are topped with coarse but fragile grass and dotted with osprey nests, and more than two-fifths of the state is forested.

New Jersey is home to many notable people, including Grover Cleveland, the only President born in the state; astronaut Buzz Aldrin; authors Judy Blume and John Grisham; and singer Frank Sinatra. A number of major events took place in the state, including the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolution and the signing of the Constitution of the United States at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The state’s museums and historic districts feature many of the country’s most important documents and artifacts. Its universities are renowned for their research, and the state leads the nation in life sciences and technology. Its many colleges attract students from around the world. It is the birthplace of many famous musicians and the site of several famous sports franchises. New Jersey is also a leader in transportation, with its world-renowned Turnpike and high-speed rail lines. The area is also home to numerous hospitals and other health-care facilities.