New Jersey facts for kids
|State of New Jersey|
|Nickname(s): The Garden State|
|Motto(s): Liberty and prosperity|
|Demonym||New Jerseyan (official), New Jerseyite|
|Largest metro||New York metropolitan area|
|- Total||8,722.58 sq mi
|- Width||70 miles (112 km)|
|- Length||170 miles (273 km)|
|- % water||15.7|
|- Latitude||38° 56′ N to 41° 21′ N|
|- Longitude||73° 54′ W to 75° 34′ W|
|Number of people||Ranked 11th|
|- Total||8,944,469 (2016 est)|
|- Density||1210.10/sq mi (467/km2)
|- Average income||$68,357 (7th)|
|Height above sea level|
|- Highest point||High Point
1,803 ft (549.6 m)
|- Average||250 ft (80 m)|
|- Lowest point||Atlantic Ocean
|Before statehood||Province of New Jersey|
|Became part of the U.S.||December 18, 1787 (3rd)|
|Governor||Chris Christie (R)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC -5/-4|
|Abbreviations||NJ, N.J. US-NJ|
|The Flag of New Jersey.|
|The Seal of New Jersey.|
|Insect||Western honey bee|
|Tree||Quercus rubra (northern red oak), dogwood (memorial tree)|
|Colors||Buff and blue
|Food||Northern highbush blueberry (state fruit)|
|Released in 1999|
|Lists of United States state insignia|
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania, and on the southwest by Delaware.
New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements. The English later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey, and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century.
In the 19th century, factories helped to drive the Industrial Revolution.
- Points of interest
- State symbols
- Images for kids
Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa. The pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains. Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers that reached New Jersey. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers, swamps, and gorges.
New Jersey was originally settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time of contact. Scheyichbi is the Lenape name for the land that is now New Jersey.
The Lenape were several autonomous groups that practiced maize agriculture in order to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, and their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade.
The Dutch became the first Europeans to lay claim to lands in New Jersey. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern Middle Atlantic states. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required its colonists to purchase the land that they settled. The first to do so was Michiel Pauw who established a patronship called Pavonia in 1630 along the North River which eventually became the Bergen. Peter Minuit's purchase of lands along the Delaware River established the colony of New Sweden. The entire region became a territory of England on June 24, 1664, after an English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is today New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam, annexing the entire province.
During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to the King. It was from the Royal Square in St. Helier that Charles II of England was proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I.
The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York (later King James II), the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony. James then granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River (the land that would become New Jersey) to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton. The area was named the Province of New Jersey.
Since the state's inception, New Jersey has been characterized by ethnic and religious diversity. New England Congregationalists settled alongside Scots Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed migrants. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres (40 ha), a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Unlike Plymouth Colony, Jamestown and other colonies, New Jersey was populated by a secondary wave of immigrants who came from other colonies instead of those who migrated directly from Europe.
New Jersey remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, and commercial farming developed sporadically. Some townships, such as Burlington on the Delaware River and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York City and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, and New Jersey's population had increased to 120,000 by 1775.
Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule took place along Hackensack River and Arthur Kill – settlers came primarily from New York and New England. On March 18, 1673, Berkeley sold his half of the colony to Quakers in England, who settled the Delaware Valley region as a Quaker colony. (William Penn acted as trustee for the lands for a time.) New Jersey was governed very briefly as two distinct provinces, East and West Jersey, for 28 years between 1674 and 1702, at times part of the Province of New York or Dominion of New England.
New Jersey was then ruled by the governors of New York, but this infuriated the settlers of New Jersey, who accused those governors of favoritism to New York. Judge Lewis Morris led the case for a separate governor, and was appointed governor by King George II in 1738.
Revolutionary War era
New Jersey was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. The New Jersey Constitution of 1776 was passed July 2, 1776, just two days before the Second Continental Congress declared American Independence from Great Britain.
During the American Revolutionary War, British and American armies crossed New Jersey numerous times, and several pivotal battles took place in the state. Because of this, New Jersey today is often referred to as "The Crossroads of the American Revolution." The winter quarters of the Continental Army were established there twice by General George Washington in Morristown, which has been called "The Military Capital of the American Revolution".
On the night of December 25–26, 1776, the Continental Army under George Washington crossed the Delaware River. After the crossing, he surprised and defeated the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. Slightly more than a week after victory at Trenton, American forces gained an important victory by stopping General Cornwallis's charges at the Second Battle of Trenton. By evading Cornwallis's army, Washington made a surprise attack on Princeton and successfully defeated the British forces there on January 3, 1777. Emanuel Leutze's painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware became an icon of the Revolution.
American forces under Washington met the forces under General Henry Clinton at the Battle of Monmouth in an indecisive engagement in June 1778. Washington attempted to take the British column by surprise; when the British army attempted to flank the Americans, the Americans retreated in disorder. The ranks were later reorganized and withstood the British charges.
In the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall at Princeton University, making Princeton the nation's capital for four months. It was there that the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war.
On December 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the United States Constitution.
On November 20, 1789, the state became the first in the newly formed Union to ratify the Bill of Rights.
On February 15, 1804, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish new slavery and enacted legislation that slowly phased out existing slavery. This led to a gradual decrease of the slave population. By the close of the Civil War, about a dozen African Americans in New Jersey were still held in bondage.
Industrialization accelerated in the northern part of the state following completion of the Morris Canal in 1831. The canal allowed for coal to be brought from eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey's growing industries in Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.
In 1844, the second state constitution was ratified and brought into effect.
In the Industrial Revolution, cities like Paterson grew and prospered. Previously, the economy had been largely agrarian, which was problematically subject to crop failures and poor soil. This caused a shift to a more industrialized economy, one based on manufactured commodities such as textiles and silk.
Inventor Thomas Edison also became an important figure of the Industrial Revolution, having been granted 1,093 patents, many of which for inventions he developed while working in New Jersey. Edison's facilities, first at Menlo Park and then in West Orange, are considered perhaps the first research centers in the U.S. Christie Street in Menlo Park was the first thoroughfare in the world to have electric lighting. Transportation was greatly improved as locomotion and steamboats were introduced to New Jersey.
Iron mining was also a leading industry during the middle to late 19th century. Bog iron pits in the southern New Jersey Pinelands were among the first sources of iron for the new nation. Mines such as Mt. Hope, Mine Hill and the Rockaway Valley Mines created a thriving industry. Mining generated the impetus for new towns and was one of the driving forces behind the need for the Morris Canal. Zinc mines were also a major industry, especially the Sterling Hill Mine.
Through both World Wars, New Jersey was a center for war production, especially in naval construction.
Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers were made in this state.
New Jersey prospered through the Roaring Twenties. The first Miss America Pageant was held in 1921 in Atlantic City, the Holland Tunnel connecting Jersey City to Manhattan opened in 1927, and the first drive-in movie was shown in 1933 in Camden. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the state offered begging licenses to unemployed residents, the zeppelin airship Hindenburg crashed in flames over Lakehurst, and the SS Morro Castle beached itself near Asbury Park after going up in flames while at sea.
In 1951, the New Jersey Turnpike opened, permitting fast travel by car and truck between North Jersey (and metropolitan New York) and South Jersey (and metropolitan Philadelphia).
In the 1960s, race riots erupted in many of the industrial cities of North Jersey. The first race riots in New Jersey occurred in Jersey City on August 2, 1964. Several others ensued in 1967, in Newark and Plainfield. Other riots followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968, just as in the rest of the country. A riot occurred in Camden in 1971.
As a result of an order from the New Jersey Supreme Court to fund schools equitably, the New Jersey legislature passed an income tax bill in 1976. Prior to this bill, the state had no income tax.
In the early part of the 2000s, two light rail systems were opened: the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail in Hudson County and the River Line between Camden and Trenton.
As of 2014, Jersey City's estimated population was 262,146.
- See also: List of counties in New Jersey
New Jersey is bordered on the north and northeast by New York (parts of which are across the Hudson River, Upper New York Bay, the Kill Van Kull, Newark Bay, and the Arthur Kill); on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the southwest by Delaware across Delaware Bay; and on the west by Pennsylvania across the Delaware River.
New Jersey can be thought of as five regions, based on natural geography and population.
Northeastern New Jersey, the Gateway Region, lies closest to Manhattan in New York City, and up to a million residents commute daily into the city to work via automobile or mass transit.
Northwestern New Jersey, or the "Skylands", is, compared to the northeast, more wooded, rural, and mountainous.
The "Shore", along the Atlantic Coast in the central-east and southeast, has its own natural, residential, and lifestyle characteristics owing to its location by the ocean.
The Delaware Valley includes the southwestern counties of the state, which reside within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. The fifth region is the Pine Barrens in the interior of the southern part. Covered rather extensively by mixed pine and oak forest, it has a much lower population density than much of the rest of the state.
New Jersey also can be broadly divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. Some New Jersey residents do not consider Central Jersey a region in its own right, but others believe it is a separate geographic and cultural area from the North and South.
High Point, in Montague Township, Sussex County, is the highest elevation, at 1,803 feet (550 m). The Palisades are a line of steep cliffs on the lower west side of the Hudson River, in Bergen County and Hudson County.
Sandy Hook, along the eastern coast, is a popular recreational beach. It is a barrier spit and an extension of the Barnegat Peninsula along the state's Atlantic Ocean coast.
Long Beach Island ("LBI"), a barrier island along the eastern coast, has popular recreational beaches. The primary access point to the island is by a single bridge connection to the mainland. Barnegat Lighthouse is on the northern tip.
Prominent geographic features include:
- Delaware Water Gap
- Great Bay
- Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
- Hudson Palisades
- Pine Barrens
- South Mountain
There are two climatic conditions in the state. The south, central, and northeast parts of the state have a humid subtropical climate, while the northwest has a humid continental climate (microthermal), with much cooler temperatures due to higher elevation. New Jersey receives between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually.
Summers are typically hot and humid. Northwestern parts of the state have significantly colder winters with sub-0 °F (−18 °C) being an almost annual occurrence. Spring and autumn may feature wide temperature variations, with lower humidity than summer.
During winter and early spring, New Jersey can experience "nor'easters", which are capable of causing blizzards or flooding throughout the northeastern United States.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of New Jersey was 8,958,013 on July 1, 2015, a 1.89% increase since the 2010 United States Census. Residents of New Jersey are most commonly referred to as "New Jerseyans" or, less commonly, as "New Jerseyites". As of the 2010 census, there were 8,791,894 people residing in the state. The racial makeup of the state was:
- 68.6% White American
- 13.7% African American
- 0.3% Native American
- 8.3% Asian American
- 6.4% other races
- 2.7% Multiracial American
17.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
In 2010, undocumented immigrants constituted an estimated 6.4% of the population. This was the fourth highest percentage of any state in the country. There were an estimated 550,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010.
As of 2010, New Jersey is the eleventh-most populous state in the United States, and the most densely populated with most of the population residing in the counties surrounding New York City, Philadelphia, and along the eastern Jersey Shore. It is also the second wealthiest state according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
On October 21, 2013, same-sex marriages commenced in New Jersey.
New Jersey is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states in the country. As of 2011, 56.4% of New Jersey's children under the age of one belonged to racial or ethnic minority groups, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2013, New Jersey was the only U.S. state in which immigrants born in India constituted the largest foreign-born nationality, representing roughly 10% of all foreign-born residents in the state.
As of 2010, 71.31% (5,830,812) of New Jersey residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 14.59% (1,193,261) spoke Spanish, 1.23% (100,217) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.06% (86,849) Italian, 1.06% (86,486) Portuguese, 0.96% (78,627) Tagalog, and Korean was spoken as a main language by 0.89% (73,057) of the population over the age of five. In total, 28.69% (2,345,644) of New Jersey's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
A diverse collection of languages has since evolved amongst the state's population, given that New Jersey has become cosmopolitan and is home to ethnic enclaves of non-English-speaking communities:
- Albanian (shqip) – Paterson, Garfield
- Arabic (العربية) – Paterson, Jersey City
- Armenian (հայերեն) – Bergen County
- Bahasa Indonesia – Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties
- Bengali (বাংলা) – Paterson
- Cantonese (粵語)
- Farsi (فارسی) – Bergen County
- Greek (ελληνικά) – Bergen County
- Gujarati (ગુજરાતી)
- Hebrew (עִבְרִית)
- Hindi (हिन्दी)
- Italian (italiano)
- Japanese (日本語) – Edgewater and Fort Lee boroughs in Bergen County
- Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ)
- Korean (한국어) – Bergen County (numerous municipalities); Cherry Hill
- Macedonian (македонски јазик) – Bergen County
- Malayalam (മലയാളം) – Bergen County
- Mandarin Chinese (国语)
- Marathi (मराठी)
- Polish (język polski) – Garfield; Wallington borough of Bergen County
- Portuguese (português) – Ironbound section of Newark; Elizabeth
- Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ)
- Russian (ру́сский язы́к) – Fair Lawn borough of Bergen County
- Spanish (español)
- Tagalog (wikang Tagalog)
- Tamil (தமிழ்)
- Telugu (తెలుగు)
- Turkish (türkçe) – Little Istanbul section of Paterson
- Ukrainian (українська мова)
- Urdu (اُردُو)
- Vietnamese (tiếng Việt) – Atlantic City, Camden/Cherry Hill, Edison Township, Jersey City
- Yiddish (ייִדיש) – Lakewood Township, Ocean County
- See also: List of counties in New Jersey
- Bergen County: 905,116
- Middlesex County: 809,858
- Essex County: 783,969
- Hudson County: 634,266
- Monmouth County: 630,380
- Ocean County: 576,567
- Union County: 536,499
- Camden County: 513,657
- Passaic County: 501,226
- Morris County: 492,276
New Jersey's largest cities
- Newark - population 277,140
- Jersey City - population 247,597
- Paterson - population 146,199
- Elizabeth - population 124,969
- Edison - population 99,967
- Woodbridge - population 99,585
- Lakewood - population 92,843
- Toms River - population 91,239
- Hamilton - population 88,464
- Trenton - population 84,913
New Jersey's economy is multifaceted but is nevertheless centered upon the pharmaceutical industry, the financial industry, chemical development, telecommunications, food processing, electric equipment, printing, publishing, and tourism.
New Jersey's agricultural outputs are nursery stock, horses, vegetables, fruits and nuts, seafood, and dairy products. New Jersey ranks second among states in blueberry production, third in cranberries and spinach, and fourth in bell peppers, peaches, and head lettuce. New Jersey harvests the fourth-largest number of acres planted with asparagus.
Shipping is a strong industry in New Jersey because of the state's strategic geographic location, the Port of New York and New Jersey being the busiest port on the East Coast. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal was the world's first container port and is one of the world's largest container ports.
New Jersey's location as a crossroads of commerce and its extensive transportation system have put over one third of all United States residents and many Canadian residents within overnight distance by land. This accessibility to consumer revenue has enabled seaside resorts such as Atlantic City and the remainder of the Jersey Shore, as well as the state's other natural and cultural attractions, to contribute significantly to New Jersey's record tourism revenue of $43.4 billion and 95 million tourist visitations in 2015, directly supporting 318,330 jobs and sustaining more than 512,000 jobs including peripheral impacts.
The New Jersey Turnpike is one of the most prominent and heavily traveled roadways in the United States. This toll road carries interstate traffic between Delaware and New York, and the East Coast in general.
The Garden State Parkway, or simply "the Parkway," carries relatively more in-state traffic than interstate traffic and runs from the town of Montvale along New Jersey's northern border to its southernmost tip at Cape May for 172.4 miles (277.5 km). It is the trunk that connects the New York metropolitan area to Atlantic City and is consistently one of the safest roads in the nation. With a total of 15 travel and 6 shoulder lanes, the Driscoll Bridge on the Parkway, spanning the Raritan River in Middlesex County, is the widest motor vehicle bridge in the world by number of lanes as well as one of the busiest.
New Jersey is connected to New York City via various bridges and tunnels. The double-decked George Washington Bridge carries the heaviest load of motor vehicle traffic of any bridge in the world, at 102 million vehicles per year, over fourteen lanes; Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1/9 cross the Hudson River via the "GWB", while U.S. Route 46, which lies entirely within New Jersey, ends halfway across the bridge at the state border with New York. The Lincoln Tunnel connects to Midtown Manhattan carrying New Jersey State Route 495 and the Holland Tunnel connects to Lower Manhattan carrying I-78. These are the three major Hudson River crossings that see heavy vehicular traffic. New Jersey is also connected to Staten Island by three bridges — from south to north: the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge.
Bridge tolls are collected in one direction only – it is free to cross into New Jersey, but motorists must pay when exiting the state. Exceptions to this are the Dingman's Ferry Bridge and the Delaware River – Turnpike Toll Bridge where tolls are charged both ways. The Washington Crossing and Scudders Falls (on I-95) bridges near Trenton, as well as Trenton's Calhoun Street and Bridge Street ("Trenton Makes") bridges, are toll-free. In addition, * Riverton-Belvidere Bridge, Northampton Street Bridge, Riegelsville Bridge, and Upper Black Eddy-Milford Bridge are free Delaware River bridges into and out of NJ.
New Jersey became the only U.S. state where all fuel dispensing stations are required to sell full-service gasoline to customers at all times, after Oregon's introduction of restricted self-service gasoline availability took effect in 2016. It is unlawful for a customer to serve oneself gasoline in New Jersey.
Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States. Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the other two major airports in the New York metropolitan area (John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport), it is one of the main airports serving the New York City area. The adjacent Newark Airport railroad station provides access to the trains of Amtrak and NJ Transit along the Northeast Corridor Line.
Rail and bus
The NJ Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) operates extensive rail and bus service throughout the state. NJ Transit has eleven lines that run throughout different parts of the state. Most of the trains start at various points in the state and most end at either Pennsylvania Station, in New York City, or Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken.
NJ Transit also operates three light rail systems in the state.
Amtrak also operates numerous long-distance passenger trains in New Jersey to and from neighboring states and around the country.
SEPTA also has two lines that operate into New Jersey.
AirTrain Newark is a monorail connecting the Amtrak/NJ Transit station on the Northeast Corridor to the airport's terminals and parking lots.
Some private bus carriers still remain in New Jersey.
There are slips at Port Liberte, Liberty Harbor, Exchange Place in Jersey City, Port Imperial and Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken, Hoboken Terminal and 14th Street in Hoboken. Statue Cruises has service from Liberty State Park and Statue of Liberty National Monument, including Ellis Island.
On the Delaware Bay, the Delaware River and Bay Authority operates the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The agency also operates the Forts Ferry Crossing for passengers across the Delaware River. The Delaware River Port Authority operates the RiverLink Ferry between the Camden waterfront and Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Private bus carriers
Several private bus lines provide transportation service in the state of New Jersey.
Points of interest
- See also: List of museums in New Jersey
New Jersey has many museums of all kinds. A few major museums in the state are listed.
|New Jersey State Museum||Trenton||1895||General Education|
|Liberty Science Center||Liberty State Park, Jersey City||1993||Science museum|
|Maywood Station Museum||Maywood||2004||Railroad museum|
|Montclair Art Museum||Montclair||1914||Art museum|
|Newark Museum||Newark||1909||Natural Science & Art museum|
|Princeton University Art Museum||Princeton||1884||Art museum|
|Thomas Edison Museum||Menlo Park||1938||Thomas Edison museum|
Entertainment and concert venues
Visitors and residents take advantage of and contribute to performances at the numerous music, theater, and dance companies and venues located throughout the state, including:
|Izod Center||Arena||Meadowlands Sports Complex||1981|
|PNC Bank Arts Center||Amphitheater||Holmdel||1977|
|Paper Mill Playhouse||Regional Theater||Millburn||1968|
|State Theater||Regional Theater||New Brunswick||1921|
|Boardwalk Hall||Arena||Atlantic City||1926|
|Susquehanna Bank Center||Amphitheater||Camden||1995|
|Sun National Bank Center||Arena||Trenton||1999|
|Main Park||Other Parks||Location||Year opened|
|Six Flags Great Adventure||Six Flags Wild Safari, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor||Jackson||1974|
|Clementon Amusement Park||Splash World||Clementon||1907|
|Land of Make Believe||Pirate's Cove||Hope||1958|
|Morey's Piers||Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis Waterparks||Wildwood||1969|
|Casino Pier||None||Seaside Heights||1960|
Like every state, New Jersey has its own cuisine, religious communities, museums, and halls of fame.
New Jersey is the birthplace of modern inventions such as: FM radio, the motion picture camera, the lithium battery, the light bulb, transistors, and the electric train. Other New Jersey creations include: the drive-in movie, the cultivated blueberry, cranberry sauce, the postcard, the boardwalk, the zipper, the phonograph, saltwater taffy, the dirigible, the seedless watermelon, the first use of a submarine in warfare, and the ice cream cone.
There are mineral museums in Franklin and Ogdensburg.
Diners are common in New Jersey. The state is home to many diner manufacturers and has more diners than any other state: over 600. There are more diners in the state of New Jersey than any other place in the world.
New Jersey is the only state without a state song. I'm From New Jersey is incorrectly listed on many websites as being the New Jersey state song, but it was not even a contender when in 1996 the New Jersey Arts Council submitted their suggestions to the New Jersey Legislature.
Due to its position between New York City and Philadelphia, the signature foods of both cities are very popular in their corresponding suburbs. In the New York Metropolitan Area communities of Northern and Central Jersey, pizza, bagels, pastrami, and submarine sandwiches (often called "subs", sometimes called heroes) are popular. In the Delaware Valley towns of South Jersey, hoagies (the Philadelphia term for the aforementioned submarine sandwich), cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, water ices, and scrapple are common. Several of these regional dishes have achieved popularity statewide. Irish potato candy are a familiar South Jersey treat as well.
There are a number of foods which are especially prominent in or unique to the Garden State. North Jersey is renowned as a hot dog stronghold, with several variants that have their roots in its cities.
Trenton, located near the boundary of Central and South Jersey, is known for two foods in particular: tomato pie and pork roll. In Trenton, tomato pie is basically an interchangeable term for pizza, albeit with a subtle difference: While traditional pizzas are prepared by placing the cheese and toppings on top of the sauce and dough, tomato pies are made by laying the cheese directly on top of the dough, then adding the toppings, and finally spreading the sauce atop the mix. This creates a more tomato-intensive taste for the thin-crust pie.
Pork roll is a sausage-like pork product developed by John Taylor in Trenton in the late 19th century and has become a popular breakfast and sandwich meat throughout the Garden State. Also common is the Taylor ham (or pork roll), egg and cheese sandwich, in which taylor ham/pork roll is cooked on a griddle and then topped with a fried egg and American cheese and eaten on a hard roll.
Salt water taffy is a soft taffy originally produced and marketed in the Jersey Shore resort town of Atlantic City beginning in the late 19th century, and is a staple candy and souvenir item of boardwalks in the state. It is widely sold throughout beachfront areas of the East Coast of the United States and Canada.
In addition to its local foods, New Jersey boasts a plethora of ethnic cuisines due to its large immigrant population. Some of the more prominent examples include Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Italian, Polish, and Greek food. Cuban cuisine has also had an impact in New Jersey (especially in the Hudson County area). Typical Cuban food found in the state includes Christianos y Moros (also known as arroz Moros), lechon, the Cuban sandwich, arroz salteado and dulce de leche.
New Jersey is renowned for its multitude of diners, many of which are open 24 hours a day. A large number of them are owned or were founded by Greeks and offer Greek dishes in addition to standard diner fare. New Jersey has more diners per capita than any other state in the U.S., at well over 500.
The Grease Trucks of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey have also popularized "fat sandwiches", which are sandwiches usually consisting of various combinations of chicken fingers, french fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and other fried foods. The Grease Trucks have been made famous by mentions in USA Today and Maxim Magazine, among other media outlets.
- Singer Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken. He sang with a neighborhood vocal group, the Hoboken Four, and appeared in neighborhood theater amateur shows before he became an Academy Award–winning actor.
- Bruce Springsteen, who has sung of New Jersey life on most of his albums, is from Freehold. Some of his songs that represent New Jersey life are "Born to Run", "Spirit In The Night," "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", "Thunder Road", "Atlantic City", and "Jungleland".
- The Jonas Brothers all reside in Wyckoff, New Jersey, where the eldest and youngest brothers of the group, Kevin and Frankie Jonas, were born.
- Irvington's Queen Latifah was the first female rapper to succeed in music, film, and television.
- Lauryn Hill is from South Orange, New Jersey. Her 1998 debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, sold 10 million copies internationally.
- Southside Johnny, eponymous leader of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes was raised in Ocean Grove. He is considered the "Grandfather of the New Jersey Sound"
- Redman (Reggie Noble) was born, raised, and resides in Newark. He is the most successful African-American solo hip-hop artist out of New Jersey.
- All members of The Sugarhill Gang were born in Englewood.
- Roc-A-Fella Records rap producer Just Blaze is from Paterson, New Jersey.
- Jon Bon Jovi, from Sayreville, reached fame in the 1980s with hard rock outfit Bon Jovi. The band has also written many songs about life in New Jersey including "Livin' On A Prayer" and named one of their albums after the state. (see New Jersey)
- Singer Dionne Warwick was born in East Orange.
- Singer Whitney Houston (who is Dionne Warwick's cousin) was born in Newark, and grew up in neighboring East Orange.
- Jazz pianist and bandleader Count Basie was born in Red Bank in 1904. The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank is named in his honor.
- Parliament-Funkadelic, the funk music collective, was formed in Plainfield by George Clinton.
- Asbury Park is home of The Stone Pony, which Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi frequented early in their careers
- In 1964, the Isley Brothers founded the record label T-Neck Records, named after Teaneck, their home at the time.
- The Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" is based on the lives of the members of the Four Seasons, three of whose members were born in New Jersey (Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, and Nick Massi) while a fourth Bob Gaudio was born out of state but raised in Bergenfield, NJ.
- Jazz pianist Bill Evans was born in Plainfield in 1929.
Comics and video games
|State bird||Eastern goldfinch
|State freshwater fish||Brook trout
|State folk dance||Square dance|
|State insect||European honey bee
|State flower||Common meadow violet
|State motto||"Liberty and Prosperity"|
|State tree||Northern red oak
(Quercus borealis maxima)
(syn. Quercus rubra)
|State dinosaur||Hadrosaurus foulkii|
|State color||Buff and Jersey Blue|
|State ship||A. J. Meerwald|
|State fruit||Northern highbush blueberry
|State vegetable||Jersey tomato
|State shell||Knobbed whelk
(Busycon carica gmelin)
|State memorial tree||Dogwood
|State slogan||Come See For Yourself|
Images for kids
New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.