New Jersey is one of the 13 original states in the United States, bordered by Delaware and Pennsylvania to the west, and by New York to the north and northeast. It is known for its scenic beauty, a rich culture, and its many natural resources.
The Garden State, as it is often called, has a unique mix of urban and rural characteristics. It is the most densely populated state in the United States, yet a vast majority of its residents live in relatively small towns and cities.
It has a rich and varied history, from its earliest settlements by English colonists to its role in the American Revolution. New Jersey was among the Thirteen Colonies that rebelled against Great Britain in 1776, and five of its representatives signed the Declaration of Independence.
In the modern era, New Jersey has become an important center of trade, commerce, and industry. It is a major shipping and logistics hub, with a large container port and the world’s largest ocean terminal in Atlantic City. The state is also home to a number of information technology, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies.
Agriculture is an important part of the economy in New Jersey. It is particularly productive in the Pine Barrens area of southeastern New Jersey, where sandy soils are ideal for growing grain, fruit, and vegetables. The state is also a major producer of dairy products, including cheeses and milk.
Other important industries include the petrochemical industry, which is primarily located in the Port of Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal; manufacturing, which includes automobiles, machinery, electrical appliances, and industrial machinery; and financial services. The largest banks in the state include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.
Politically, New Jersey is a Democratic stronghold. It has majority control of the State Legislature and a 9-3 split of seats in the U.S. House and Senate.
The governor, who is a statewide elected official, is the top executive official in the state. He appoints the heads of departments, as well as judges of the Supreme and Superior Courts.
His chief of staff, Kim Guadagno, is his second in command. Before 2010, the lieutenant governor was not an elected officeholder; a vacancy in the position would have been filled by the president of the State Senate, who is also an executive officer.
He is aided by the secretary of state, who acts as an advisor and a liaison with federal agencies. He also works with the secretary of labor and other officials on a variety of matters, including coordinating and evaluating government agencies’ responses to emergencies.
A gubernatorial term of office begins when the governor’s inauguration occurs, and ends when a successor is chosen. This is usually a year following the presidential election.
New Jersey has the most electoral districts of any state in the country, with a total of 244 congressional and statewide seats. It has the third-highest percentage of the voting population of any state, behind Massachusetts and California.