The state of new jersey is renowned for its native musical legends—Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Jon Bon Jovi, among others—but it’s also home to world-class universities and top technology and biological science firms. And New Jersey is the place to be for sports enthusiasts, with its 130 miles of Atlantic coastline and major professional and amateur sporting events.
The first European to explore the area was Henry Hudson, who sailed into the bay in 1609. Small trading colonies developed along the coast and on the interior, with the Dutch establishing a settlement in Bergen. After the American Revolution, the British split New Jersey into two parts—West and East—but it was reunited in 1702. The state became an important manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution.
Today, the economy is diversified and New Jersey leads the nation in high-tech industries. The Garden State is also home to many airports and major train terminals, as well as a fast turnpike. And, its beaches and historic towns like Asbury Park and Cape May offer the pleasures of a seaside vacation without the crowds.
With an estimated 9.5 million people living in the state, traffic congestion is a frequent complaint. The Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest in the country, while New York City’s Penn Station can experience significant delays. And, it’s not uncommon for commuters to travel into the city from New Jersey to work.
Its unique geography and topography have helped shape New Jersey’s development as a commercial and industrial center. New Jersey has four distinct physical regions: the rugged ridge and valley section of the northwest, which is cut by the folded Appalachian Mountains; the rolling central Piedmont; the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with its sandy beaches and historic districts; and the Pine Barrens, with its forests of white cedar in poorly drained sites and oak and pine elsewhere.
A wide variety of plant species can be found throughout the state. Common trees include oak, sugar maple, hickory, hemlock, spruce and pine. In the coastal areas, salt marshes are populated by wild sedges and water lilies.
New Jersey ratified the Constitution on December 18, 1787, and was admitted to the Union. It is bordered by New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania and its capital is Trenton. Census data is available for New Jersey at the national, state, county and city levels. A number of data tools and apps are available for use as well, including the experimental Business Trends and Outlook Survey.