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New Jersey

New Jersey

State of New Jersey

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for the British Channel Island of Jersey.

NICKNAME: The Garden State.

CAPITAL: Trenton.

ENTERED UNION: 18 December 1787 (3rd).

SONG: "I'm from New Jersey" (unofficial).

MOTTO: Liberty and Prosperity.

COAT OF ARMS: In the center is a shield with three plows, symbolic of agriculture. A helmet above indicates sovereignty, and a horse's head atop the helmet signifies speed and prosperity. The state motto and the date "1776" are displayed on a banner below.

FLAG: The coat of arms on a buff field.

OFFICIAL SEAL: The coat of arms surrounded by the words "The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey."

BIRD: Eastern goldfinch.

FLOWER: Violet.

TREE: Red oak; dogwood (memorial tree).

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February (sometimes observed on a Friday or Monday closest to this date); Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Good Friday, Friday before Easter, March or April; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Election Day, 1st Tuesday after 1st Monday in November; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.


Situated in the northeastern United States, New Jersey is the smallest of the Middle Atlantic states and ranks 46th among the 50 states.

The total area of New Jersey is 7,787 sq mi (20,168 sq km), of which 7,468 sq mi (19,342 sq km) constitute land and 319 sq mi (826 sq km) are inland water. New Jersey extends 166 mi (267 km) n-s; the extreme width e-w is 57 mi (92 km).

New Jersey is bordered on the n and ne by New York State (with the boundary formed partly by the Hudson River, New York Bay, and Arthur Kill, and passing through Raritan Bay); on the e by the Atlantic Ocean; on the s and sw by Delaware (with the line passing through Delaware Bay); and on the w by Pennsylvania (separated by the Delaware River). Numerous barrier islands lie off the Atlantic coast.

New Jersey's total boundary length is 480 mi (773 km), including a general coastline of 130 mi (209 km); the tidal shoreline is 1,792 mi (2,884 km). The state's geographic center is in Mercer County, near Trenton.


Although small, New Jersey has considerable topographic variety. In the extreme northwest corner of the state are the Appalachian Valley and the Kittatinny Ridge and Valley. This area contains High Point, the state's peak elevation, at 1,803 ft (550 m) above sea level. To the east and south is the highlands region, an area of many natural lakes and steep ridges, including the Ramapo Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain. East of the highlands is a flat area broken by the high ridges of the Watchungs and Sourlands andmost spectacularlyby the Palisades, a column of traprock rising some 500 ft (150 m) above the Hudson River. The mean elevation of the state is approximately 250 ft (76 m).

The Atlantic Coastal Plain, a flat area with swamps and sandy beaches, claims the remaining two-thirds of the state. Its most notable feature is the Pine Barrens, 760 sq mi (1,968 sq km) of pitch pines and white oaks. Sandy Hook, a peninsula more than 5 mi (8 km) long, extending northward into the Atlantic from Monmouth County, is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Sea level at the Atlantic Ocean is the lowest elevation in the state.

Major rivers include the Delaware, forming the border with Pennsylvania, and the Passaic, Hackensack, and Raritan. The largest natural lake is Lake Hopatcong, about 8 mi (13 km) long. Some 550 to 600 million years ago, New Jersey's topography was the opposite of what it is now, with mountains to the east and a shallow sea to the west. Volcanic eruptions about 225 million years ago caused these eastern mountains to sink and new peaks to rise in the northwest; the lava flow formed the Watchung Mountains and the Palisades. The shoreline settled into its present shape at least 10,000 years ago.


Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River, most of New Jersey has a moderate climate with cold winters and warm, humid summers. Winter temperatures are slightly colder and summer temperatures slightly milder in the northwestern hills than in the rest of the state.

In Atlantic City, the yearly average temperature is 54°f (12°c), ranging from 32°f (0°c) in January to 75°f (23°c) in July. Precipitation is plentiful, averaging 46 in (117 cm) annually; snowfall totals about 16 in (41 cm). At Atlantic City, annual precipitation is about 40.3 cm (102 cm). The annual average humidity is 81% at 7 am, reaching a normal high of 87% in September.

Statewide, the record high temperature is 110°f (43°c), set in Runyon on 10 July 1936; the record low is 34°f (37°c), set in River Vale on 5 January 1904. A 29.7-in. (75.4-cm) accumulation on Long Beach Island in 1947 was the greatest 24-hour snowfall in the state's recorded history. Occasional hurricanes and violent spring storms have damaged beachfront property over the years, and floods along northern New Jersey rivers especially in the Passaic River basin, are not uncommon. A serious drought occurs, on average, about once every 15 years.


Although highly urbanized, New Jersey still provides a diversity of natural regions, including a shady coastal zone, the hilly and wooded Allegheny zone, and the Pine Barrens in the south. Birch, beech, hickory, and elm all grow in the state, along with black locust, red maple, and 20 varieties of oak; common shrubs include the spicebush, staggerbush, and mountain laurel. Vast stretches beneath pine trees are covered with pyxie, a small creeping evergreen shrub. Common wild flowers include meadow rue, butter-flyweed, black-eyed Susan, and the ubiquitous eastern (common) dandelion. Among rare plants are Candy's lobelia, floating heart, and pennywort. Six plant species were listed as threatened or endangered in 2006, including the American chaffseed and small whorled pogonia.

Among mammals indigenous to New Jersey are the white-tailed deer, black bear, gray and red foxes, raccoon, woodchuck, opossum, striped skunk, eastern gray squirrel, eastern chipmunk, and common cottontail. The herring gull, sandpiper, and little green and night herons are common shore birds, while the red-eyed vireo, hermit thrush, English sparrow, robin, cardinal, and Baltimore oriole are frequently sighted inland. The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, serves as an important breeding and wintering site for over 70,000 birds each year. The site also supports 38 mammal species, 8 amphibian species, and 11 types of reptiles.

Anglers in the state prize the northern pike, chain pickerel, and various species of bass, trout, and perch. Declining or rare animals include the whippoorwill, hooded warbler, eastern hognose snake, northern red salamander, and northern kingfish. Sixteen animal species (vertebrates and invertebrates) were listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened or endangered in April 2006, including four species of turtle, the Indiana bat, bald eagle, shortnose sturgeon, roseate tern, and three species of whale.


Laws and policies regulating the management and protection of New Jersey's environment and natural resources are administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The state devoted 1.4% of its total budget appropriations, or $225.1 million, to environmental protection in 199697.

The proximity of the populace to industrial plants and to the state's expansive highway system makes air pollution control a special concern in the state. New Jersey had one of the most comprehensive air pollution control programs in the United States, maintaining a network of 105 air pollution monitoring stations, as well as 60 stations that monitor just for particulates and 10 that monitor for radiation. New Jersey was the first state to begin a statewide search for sites contaminated by dioxin, a toxic by-product in the manufacture of herbicides.

The DEP reported that a 1984 review of water quality in the state showed that water quality degradation had been halted and that the quality of streams had been stabilized or improved. The greatest improvements had been made in certain bays and estuaries along the Atlantic coast, where the elimination of discharges from older municipal sewage treatment plants resulted in the reopening of shellfish-harvesting grounds for the first time in 20 years. However, some rivers in highly urbanized areas were still severely polluted.

Approximately 1,500 treatment facilities discharge waste water into New Jersey's surface and groundwaters. Nearly 80% of these facilities comply with the requirements of federal and state clean water laws. Solid waste disposal in New Jersey became critical as major landfills reached capacity. In 1977, the state had more than 300 operating landfills; in 1991 there were about 50 landfills. The state's solid waste stream is 1,100 tons per capita. Some counties and municipalities were implementing recycling programs in 1985, and the state legislature was considering a bill to make recycling mandatory. By the mid-1990s the state of New Jersey had about 30 curbside recycling programs.

New Jersey's toxic waste cleanup program is among the most serious in the United States. In 2003, 23.1 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. In 2003, New Jersey had 551 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 113 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006, including the Federal Aviation Administration Technical Center, the Middlesex Sampling Plant (of the US Department of Energy), and the US Radium Corp., as well as several farm sites. In 2004, New Jersey ranked first in the nation for the highest number of sites on the National Priorities List. In 2005, the EPA spent over $85 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $44 million for the clean water state revolving fund and $19 million for the drinking water revolving fund.

The New Jersey Spill Compensation Fund was established by the state legislature in 1977 and amended in 1980. A tax based on the transfer of hazardous substances and petroleum products is paid into the fund and used for the cleanup of spills.

New Jersey first acquired land for preservation purposes in 1907. Since 1961, the state has bought more than 240,000 acres (97,000 hectares) under a "Green Acres" program for conservation and recreation. In 1984, an $83-million Green Trust Fund was established to expand land acquisition. The Green Acres Program has assisted county and municipal governments in acquiring over 70,000 acres (28,000 hectares). Additionally, Green Acres is assisting nonprofit conservation groups in acquiring over 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares) in a 50% matching grant program established in 1989. The US Congress designated 1.1 million acres (445,000 hectares) in the southern part of the state as the Pinelands National Reserve in 1978. Since then, the state has purchased more than 60,000 acres (24,000 hectares) in the region, bringing the state open-space holding in the Pinelands to more than 270,000 acres (109,000 hectares). As of 1 July 1993, there were approximately 790,000 acres (319,000 hectares) of preserved public open space and recreation land in New Jersey.

There are about 916,000 acres (370,692 hectares) of wetlands in the state. The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge on the Atlantic coast was established in 1984 through the merger of the Brigantine and Barnegat National Wildlife Refuges. The site was designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 1986, primarily for its role as a habitat for breeding and wintering waterbirds. Part of the Delaware Bay Estuary wetlands lie within New Jersey, but jurisdiction of this Ramsar site (designated 1992) lies with the state of Delaware.


New Jersey ranked 10th in population in the United States with an estimated total of 8,717,925 in 2005, an increase of 3.6% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, New Jersey's population grew from 7,730,188 to 8,414,350, an increase of 8.9%. In 2004, New Jersey had the highest population density among the 50 states: 1,175.60 persons per sq mi. The population is projected to reach 9.2 million by 2015 and 9.6 million by 2025.

In 2004, the median age was 37.8. Persons under 18 years old accounted for 24.8% of the population while 12.9% was age 65 or older.

Sparsely populated at the time of the Revolutionary War, New Jersey did not pass the one million mark until the 1880 census. Most of the state's subsequent growth came through migration, especially from New York during the period after 1950 when the New Jersey population stood at 4,835,329. The most significant population growth came in older cities in northern New Jersey and in commuter towns near New York and Philadelphia. The average annual population growth declined from 2.3% in the 1950s to 1.7% in the 1960s, and the state actually experienced a net loss from migration of 275,000 during the 1970s. Total growth rose to 5% during the 1980s.

New Jersey's major population centers, with estimated 2004 population figures, are Newark, 280,451; Jersey City, 239,079; Paterson, 150,869; and Elizabeth, 124,724.


New Jersey is one of the most ethnically heterogeneous states. As of 2000, 1,476,327 New Jerseyites (17.5% of the state's population) were of foreign birth. The leading countries of origin were Italy, 7.3%; Cuba, 6.5%; India, 5.4%; and Germany, 4.4%. As of 2001, New Jersey had the third-highest percentage of foreign-born residents among the 50 states, surpassed only by California and New York.

Blacks first came to New Jersey as slaves in the 1600s; the state abolished slavery in 1804, one of the last of the northern states to do so. Today black people constitute the state's largest (13.6%) ethnic minority, 1,141,821 as of 2000. Newark elected its first black mayor, Kenneth Gibson, in 1970, three years after the city was torn by racial disorders that killed 26 people and injured some 1,500 others. In 2004, 14.5% of the state's population was black.

The estimated Hispanic and Latino population in 2000 was 1,117,191 (up from 868,000 in 1996), or 13.3% of the total. The Puerto Rican population, which increased from 55,361 in 1960 to 366,788 in 2000, lived mostly in Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Paterson, and Passaic. There were 77,337 Cubans in 2000, many of them in Union City and Elizabeth; their numbers were augmented by the migration of Cuban refugees in 1980. Smaller Spanish-speaking groups included Colombians and Dominicans. In 2004, 14.9% of the state's population was Hispanic or Latino.

The estimated number of Asians living in New Jersey in 2000 was 480,276, the fifth-largest total among the 50 states. Pacific Islanders numbered 273,000. The largest group of Asians reported was from India (169,180 in 2000, up from 54,039 in 1990); there were 85,245 Filipinos, 100,355 Chinese (more than double the 1990 figure of 47,068), 65,349 Koreans, and 14,672 Japanese. In 2004, 7% of the state's population was Asian.

The state's total Native American population, including Eskimos and Aleuts, numbered 19,492 in 2000. Among the state's American Indians is a group claiming to be descended from Dutch settlers, black slaves, British and German soldiers, and Leni-Lenape and Tuscarora Indians; incorporated as the Ramapough Mountain Indians in 1978, they live in the Ramapo hills near Ringwood and Mahwah. In 2004, 0.3% of the state's population was American Indian.

In 2004, 1.2% of the state's population reported origin of two or more races.


European settlers found New Jersey inhabited largely by the Leni-Lenape Indians, whose legacy can still be found in such placenames as Passaic, Totowa, Hopatcong, Kittatinny, and Piscataway.

In 2000, 5,854,578 New Jerseyites74.5% of the resident population five years old or olderspoke only English at home, down from 80.5% in 1990.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Asian languages" includes Dravidian languages, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, and Turkish. The category "Other Indic languages" includes Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and Romany. The category "African languages" includes Amharic, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Bantu, Swahili, and Somali.

Population 5 years and over 7,856,268 100.0
  Speak only English 5,854,578 74.5
  Speak a language other than English 2,001,690 25.5
Speak a language other than English 2,001,690 25.5
  Spanish or Spanish Creole 967,741 12.3
  Italian 116,365 1.5
  Chinese 84,345 1.1
  Polish 74,663 1.0
  Portuguese or Portuguese Creole 72,870 0.9
  Tagalog 66,851 0.9
  Korean 55,340 0.7
  Gujarathi 47,324 0.6
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 47,225 0.6
  Arabic 47,052 0.6
  German 41,025 0.5
  Russian 38,566 0.5
  Other Asian languages 36,573 0.5
  Other Indic languages 35,718 0.5
  Hindi 31,395 0.4
  French Creole 28,783 0.4
  Greek 26,566 0.3
  African languages 21,514 0.3

English in New Jersey is rather evenly divided north and south between Northern and Midland dialects. Special characteristics of some New York metropolitan area speech occur in the northeast portion, such as the absence of /r/ after a vowel, a consonant like /d/ or /t/ instead of the /th/ sounds in this or thin, and pronunciations as coop rhyming with stoop, food with good, and goal and fool; faucet has the vowel of father. Dominant in the southern half are run (small stream), baby coach (baby carriage) in the Philadelphia trading area, winnering owl (screech owl), and eel worm (earthworm). Heard also are out as /aot/, muskmelon as /muskmillon/, and keg rhyming with bag, scarce with fierce, spook with book, and haunted with panted.


With a history of religious tolerance, New Jersey has welcomed many denominations to its shores. Dutch immigrants founded a Reformed Church in 1662, the first in the state. After the English took control, Puritans came from New England and Long Island, Congregationalists from Connecticut, and Baptists from Rhode Island. Quaker settlements in Shrewsbury and western New Jersey during the early 1670s predated the better-known Quaker colony in Pennsylvania. Episcopalians, Presbyterians, German Lutherans, and Methodists arrived during the 18th century. The state's first synagogue was established in 1848, in Newark.

About the only religion not tolerated by New Jerseyites was Catholicism; the first Catholic parish was not organized until 1814 and laws excluding Catholics from holding office were on the books until 1844. The Catholic numbers swelled as a result of Irish immigration after 1845, and even more with the arrival of Italians after 1880. Today, Roman Catholics constitute the state's single largest religious group. Passaic is the headquarters of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

In 2004, the number of Roman Catholics within the state was at about 3,479,158. The next largest group is Jewish, with about 468,000 members in 2000. The largest Protestant denomination (with 2000 data) is the United Methodist Church, with 140,133 adherents, followed by the Presbyterian Church USA, with 119,735; the Episcopal Church, 91,964; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 79,264. There were about 120,724 Muslims in the state. Nearly 3.5 million people (about 42.3% of the population) were not counted as members of any religious organization.

American Atheists, a national organization founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair in 1958, is based in Parsippany.


Ever since the first traders sought the fastest way to get from New York to Philadelphia, transportation has been of central importance to New Jersey and has greatly shaped its growth. In the mid-1820s, Hoboken engineer John Stevens built the first steam locomotive operated in the United States. Over the protests of the dominant stagecoach operators, his son Robert obtained a charter in 1830 for the Camden and Amboy Railroad. The line opened in 1834, and six years later it held a monopoly on the lucrative New York-Philadelphia run. Other lines, such as the Elizabeth and Somerville, the Morris and Essex, the Paterson and Hudson, and the Jersey Central, were limited to shorter runs, largely because the Camden and Amboy's influence with the legislature gave it a huge competitive advantage. Camden and Amboy stock was leased to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1871, and the ensuing controversy over whether New Jersey transit should be entrusted to an "alien" company led to the passage of a law opening up the state to rail competition. Industry grew around the rail lines, and the railroads became a vital link in the shipment of products from New York and northern New Jersey.

As of 2003, the major freight operations were run by CSX and Northfolk Southern. In that same year, there were 2,798 route mi (4,504 km) of track in the state, of which 1,581 mi (2,545 km) was Class I track. In addition, there were one regional, one Canadian, six local, and six switching and terminal railroads operating in the state. As of 2006, daily Amtrak service linked Newark, Trenton, and four other New Jersey cities along the main eastern rail corridor. But the bulk of interstate passenger traffic consists of commuters to New York and Philadelphia on trains operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) and the Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO), a subsidiary of the Delaware River Port Authority.

The New Jersey Transit Corporation, called NJ TRANSIT, is a public corporation created under the Public Transportation Act of 1979. The corporation is charged with coordinating and improving bus and rail services throughout the state. It is the nation's third largest pubic transit agency, providing 223 million passenger trips annually. It operates 711 daily trains on 11 rail lines, and 2,027 buses on 236 routes throughout the state. It also owns and operates the Newark City Subway, a 4.3-mile light rail system providing service through downtown Newark.

Although associated more with the West, the first stagecoach service began in New Jersey, as part of a New York-Philadelphia trek that took some five days in 1723. For a time, colonial law required towns along the way to provide taverns for the passengers, and it was not uncommon for coach operators who were also tavern owners to find some way to prolong the journey an extra night. They traveled on roads that were barely more passable than the Leni-Lenape trails from which they originated. Improvement was slow, but by 1828, the legislature had granted 54 turnpike charters.

Road building has continued ever since. In 2004, there were 38,122 mi (61,376 km) of public roads in the state. The major highways are the New Jersey Turnpike, opened in 1952 and extending 133 mi (214 km) between Bergen and Salem counties, and the Garden State Parkway, completed in 1955 and stretching 173 mi (278 km) from the New York State line to Cape May. There were some 6.218 million registered vehicles in the state in 2004, including about 3.974 million automobiles, approximately 2.076 million trucks of all types, and around 19,000 buses. There were 5,799,532 licensed New Jersey drivers in that same year.

Many bridges and tunnels link New Jersey with New York State, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Twenty-seven bridges cross the Delaware River, connecting New Jersey with Pennsylvania and Delaware.

At the gateway to New York Harbor, ports at Elizabeth and Newark have overtaken New York City ports in cargo volume, and contribute greatly to the local economy. Operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Port Newark has almost 4 mi (6.4 km) of berthing space along Newark Bay, while nearby Port Elizabeth, with better than 3 mi (4.8 km) of berths, is a major handler of containerized cargo. In 2004, ports under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey handled 152.377 million tons of cargo. Private piers in Jersey City and Bayonne handle both containerized and bulk cargoes. The tonnage handled by northern New Jersey port facilities, taken as a whole, make it the largest port on the east coast, and second largest overall in the United States. The Ports of Philadelphia and Camden, Inc., headquartered in Philadelphia, operate facilities along the Delaware River, including the Beckett Street and Broadway Terminals in Camden, that were formerly operated by the South Jer- sey Port Corporation. The port facility at Paulsboro is the most active in the state, with 30.485 million tons of cargo handled in 2004. The port of Camden-Gloucester handled 7.189 million tons that same year. New Jersey in 2004 had 360 mi (579 km) of navigable inland waterways. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 111.661 million tons.

In 2005, New Jersey had a total of 389 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 119 airports, 256 heliports, and 13 seaplane bases. Newark Liberty International Airport is the state's busiest airport, with 15,827,675 passengers enplaned in 2004, making it the 12th-busiest airport in the United States.


The first known inhabitants of what is now New Jersey were the Leni-Lenape (meaning "Original People"), who arrived in the land between the Hudson and Delaware rivers about 6,000 years ago. Members of the Algonkian language group, the Leni-Lenape were an agricultural people supplementing their diet with freshwater fish and shellfish. The peace-loving Leni-Lenape believed in monogamy, educated their children in the simple skills needed for wilderness survival, and clung rigidly to a tradition that a pot of food must always be warm on the fire to welcome all strangers.

The first European explorer to reach New Jersey was Giovanni da Verrazano, who sailed into what is now Newark Bay in 1524. Henry Hudson, an English captain sailing under a Dutch flag, piloted the Half Moon along the New Jersey shore and into Sandy Hook Bay in the late summer of 1609, a voyage that established a Dutch claim to the New World. Hollanders came to trade in what is now Hudson County as early as 1618, and in 1660, they founded New Jersey's first town, called Bergen (now part of Jersey City). Meanwhile, across the state, Swedish settlers began moving east of the Delaware River in 1639. Their colony of New Sweden had only one brief spurt of glory, from 1643 to 1653, under Governor Johan Printz.

The Leni-Lenape lost out to the newcomers, whether Dutch, Swedish, or English, despite a series of treaties that the Europeans thought fair. State and local records describe these agreements: huge tracts of land exchanged for trinkets, guns, and alcohol. The guns and alcohol, combined with smallpox (another European import), doomed the "Original People." In 1758, when a treaty established an Indian reservation at Brotherton (now the town of Indian Mills), only a few hundred Indians remained.

England assumed control in March 1664, when King Charles II granted a region from the Connecticut River to the Delaware River to his brother James, the Duke of York. The duke, in turn, deeded the land between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, which he named New Jersey, to his court friends John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton, and Sir George Carteret, on 23 June 1664. Lord Berkeley and Sir George became proprietors, owning the land and having the right to govern its people. Subsequently, the land passed into the hands of two boards of proprietors in two provinces called East Jersey and West Jersey, with their capitals in Perth Amboy and Burlington, respectively. East Jersey was settled mainly by Puritans from Long Island and New England, West Jersey by Quakers from England. The split cost the colony dearly in 1702, when Queen Anne united East and West Jersey but placed them under New York rule. The colony did not get its own "home rule" until 1738, when Lewis Morris was named the first royal governor.

By this time, New Jersey's divided character was already established. Eastern New Jersey looked toward New York, western New Jersey toward Philadelphia. The level plain connecting those two major colonial towns made it certain that New Jersey would serve as a pathway. Along the makeshift roads that soon crossed the regionmore roads than in any other colonytravelers brought conflicting news and ideas. During the American Revolution, the colony was about equally divided between Revolutionists and Loyalists. William Franklin (illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin), royal governor from 1763 until 1776, strove valiantly to keep New Jersey sympathetic to England, but failed and was arrested. Throughout the Revolutionary period, he remained a leading Loyalist; after the war, he left for England.

Franklin's influence caused New Jersey to dally at first over independence, but in June 1776, the colony sent five new delegates to the Continental CongressAbraham Clark, John Hart, Frances Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, and the Reverend John Witherspoonall of whom voted for the Declaration of Independence. Two days before the Declaration was proclaimed, New Jersey adopted its first state constitution. William Livingston, a fiery anti-British propagandist, was the first elected governor of the state.

New Jersey played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, for the side that controlled both New York and Philadelphia would almost certainly win. George Washington and his battered troops made their winter headquarters in the state three times during the first four years of the war, twice in Morristown and once in Somerville. Five major battles were fought in New Jersey, the most important being the Battle of Trenton on 26 December 1776 and the Battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778. At war's end, Princeton became the temporary capital of the United States from 26 June 1783 to 4 November 1783.

The state languished after the Revolution, with many of its pathway towns ravaged by the passing of competing armies, its trade dependent on New York City, and its ironworks (first established in 1676) shut down because of decreased demand. The state's leaders vigorously supported a federation of the 13 states, in which all states, regardless of size, would be represented equally in one national legislative body. This so-called New Jersey Plan led to the establishment of the US Senate.

Railroads and canals brought life to the state in the 1830s and set it on a course of urbanization and industrialization. The 90-mi (145-km) Morris Canal linked northern New Jersey with the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Considered one of the engineering marvels of the 19th century, the canal rose to 914 feet (279 meters) from sea level at Newark Bay to Lake Hopatcong, then fell 760 feet (232 meters) to a point on the Delaware River opposite Easton, Pa. Old iron mines beside the canal found markets, the dyeing and weaving mills of Paterson prospered, and Newark, most affected by the emerging industries, became the state's first incorporated city in 1836. Another canal, the Delaware and Raritan, crossed the relatively flat land from Bordentown, Trenton, and New Brunswick boomed. Princeton, whose leaders fought to keep the canal away from the town, settled into a long existence as a college community built around the College of New Jersey, founded in Elizabeth in 1746 and transferred to Princeton in 1756.

The canals were doomed by railroad competition almost from the start. The Morris Canal was insolvent long before World War I, and the Delaware Canal, although operative until 1934, went into a long, slow decline after the Civil War. The first railroad, from Bordentown to South Amboy, closely paralleled the Delaware and Raritan Canal and in 1871 became an important part of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The coal brought in on railroad cars freed industry from waterpower; factories sprang up wherever the rails went. The Hudson County waterfront, eastern terminus for most of the nation's railway systems, became the most important railroad area in the United States. Rail lines also carried vacationers to the Jersey shore, building an important source of income for the state.

The Civil War split New Jersey bitterly. Leaders in the Democratic Party opposed the war as a "Black Republican" affair. Prosperous industrialists in Newark and Trenton feared that their vigorous trade with the South would be impaired, Cape May innkeepers fretted about the loss of tourists from Virginia, and even Princeton students were divided. As late as the summer of 1863, after the Battle of Gettysburg, many state "peace Democrats" were urging the North to make peace with the Confederacy. Draft calls were vigorously opposed in 1863, yet the state sent its full quota of troops into service throughout the conflict. Most important, New Jersey factories poured forth streams of munitions and other equipment for the Union army. At war's end, political leaders stubbornly opposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution, and blacks were not permitted to vote in the state until 1870.

During the last decades of the 19th century, New Jersey developed a reputation for factories capable of making the components necessary for thousands of other manufacturing enterprises. Few factories were large, although in 1873, Isaac M. Singer opened a huge sewing machine plant at Elizabeth that employed 3,000 persons. Oil refineries on the Hudson County waterfront had ever-expanding payrolls, pottery firms in Trenton thrived, and Newark gained strength from many diversified manufacturers and also saw its insurance companies become nationally powerful.

Twentieth-century wars stimulated New Jersey's industries. During World War I, giant shipyards at Newark, Kearny, and Camden made New Jersey the nation's leading shipbuilding state. The Middlesex County area refined 75% of the nation's copper, and nearly 75% of US shells were loaded in the state. World War II revived the shipbuilding and munitions industries, while chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, spawned by the World War I cutoff of German chemicals, showed further growth during the second world conflict. Paterson, preeminent in locomotive building during the 19th century, became the nation's foremost airplane engine manufacturing center. Training and mobilization centers at Ft. Dix and Camp Kilmer moved millions of soldiers into the front lines.

The US Census Bureau termed New Jersey officially "urban" in 1880, when the state population rose above 1 million for the first time. Urbanization intensified throughout the 20th century and especially after World War II, as people left the old cities in New Jersey and other northeastern states to buy homes in developments on former farmlands. Places like Cherry Hill, Woodbridge, Clifton, and Middletown Township boomed after 1945, increasing their population as much as sixfold in the decades that followed. New Jersey also experienced many of the problems of urbanization. Its cities have declined; traffic congestion is intense in the morning, when commuters stream into urban areas to work, and again in the evening, when they return home to what once was called "the country." That country now knows the problems of urban growth: increased needs for schools, sewers, police and fire protection, and road maintenance, along with rising taxes.

The state has not surrendered to its problems, however. In 1947, voters overwhelmingly approved a new state constitution, a terse, comprehensive document that streamlined state government, reformed the state's chaotic court system, and mandated equal rights for all. Governor Alfred E. Driscoll promptly integrated the New Jersey National Guard, despite strong federal objectives; integration of all US armed forces soon followed. After 1950 voters passed a wide variety of multi-million-dollar bond issues to establish or rebuild state colleges. Funds were allocated for the purchase and development of new park and forest lands. Large bond issues have financed the construction of highways, reservoirs, and rapid transit systems. In 2000, the state legislature approved the largest construction program in New Jersey history. Settling a long-running battle over how to rebuild the state's deteriorating and overcrowded schools, lawmakers agreed to spend $12 billion system-wide, with benefits to be seen in inner cities as well as in suburbs.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, New Jersey experienced a recession. The unemployment rate climbed to almost 10%. Over 270,000 people left the state. The state's cities were hit particularly hard, suffering both from the loss of manufacturing jobs and from a flight of retailing to suburban malls. The economy of New Jersey in these decades also underwent a dramatic restructuring. While the state lost over 200,000 manufacturing jobs it gained 670,000 jobs in service industries. The economy rebounded during the 1980s, but began to contract again at the end of the decade, declining further during the recession of early 1990s. In 1996 the state's unemployment rate fell below 6% for the first time in six years. By 1999 it had dropped to 4.6%. Observers credited the recovery of the 1990s in part to a skilled workforce that attracted pharmaceutical, biotechnology, electronics, and other high-tech firms to the state. Tax and economic incentives also helped bring business to the state. The state ranked second in the nation in both per capita personal income ($33,953) and low poverty rate (8.6%) in 1998. However, the state faced a severe budget crisis from 200205. Nevertheless, the state's per capita personal income in 2004 was $41,332, third in the nation behind Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In September 1999 New Jersey experienced one of the worst natural disasters in its history; Hurricane Floyd damaged more than 8,000 homes and destroyed several hundred more. A federal aid package approved in 2000 promised victims some relief.

During the second half of the 1900s New Jersey had no predictable political pattern. It gave huge presidential majorities to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, narrowly supported Democrat John F. Kennedy, favored Republican Gerald Ford over Democrat Jimmy Carter by a small margin, gave two big majorities to Republican Ronald Reagan, favored Democrat Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and favored Democrat Al Gore over George W. Bush in 2000. New Jersey gave its 15 electoral votes to Democrat John Kerry in 2004, in a 53% to 46% margin over George W. Bush. For more than 20 years, the state's two US senators, Clifford B. Case (R) and Harrison A. Williams (D), were recognized as like-minded liberals. Democrat Bill Bradley, former Princeton University and New York Knickerbockers basketball star, was elected to Case's seat in 1978. (In 1999 Bradley made a run for the presidency. Though gaining considerable support from the electorate, he dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination in the face of competition from Vice President Al Gore.) In 2006, New Jersey was represented by US Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both Democrats.

Republican Governor Thomas Kean, who served from 198389, helped improve the public image of New Jersey, long perceived as dominated by smoke-belching factories and troubled cities. Kean was succeeded by Democrat Jim Florio who sought to redistribute wealth throughout the state by doubling the income tax of those in the top bracket, raising the sales tax, lowering property taxes for middle- and low-income homeowners and renters, and shifting state aid from public schools in affluent areas to schools in poor and moderate income communities. In 1992, Florio lost his bid for reelection to Republican Christine Todd Whitman, who promised to lower income taxes by 30%. As soon as she took office, Whitman implemented a 5% cut and pushed through another 10% cut as part of her budget package in 1993. Whitman won a second term in the 1996 election. Whitman was named President George W. Bush's head of the Environmental Protection Agency; she took office in January 2001 and resigned in May 2003.

Democrat Richard J. Codey, former state Senate president, became acting governor in November 2004 after Governor James E. McGreevey resigned before his term expired. McGreevey announced his resignation in August 2004 after revealing that he is gay and that he had an adulterous affair with a man.


New Jersey's first state constitution took effect in 1776. A second constitution was written in 1844, and a third in 1947. This last document, as amended (36 times as of January 2005), continues to govern the state today.

The state legislature consists of a 40-member Senate and an 80-member General Assembly. Annual legislative sessions begin in early January and are not limited in length. Special sessions, also of unlimited duration, may be called by petition of a majority of the members in each house. Senators, elected to four-year terms, must be at least 30 years old, and have been New Jersey residents for four years and district residents for a year. Assembly members, elected to two-year terms, must be at least 21 years old, and have been New Jersey residents for two years and district residents for a year. All legislators must be qualified voters prior to election. Both houses of the legislature meet in unlimited annual sessions. The legislative salary was $49,000 as of 2004.

New Jersey is one of only four statesthe others are Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennesseein which the governor is the only statewide elected administrative official. Given broad powers by the state constitution, the governor appoints the heads or commissioners of the major state departments with the advice and consent of the Senate; not subject to Senate approval are more than 500 patronage positions. The governor is also commander-in-chief of the state's armed forces, submits the budget to the legislature each January, presents an annual message on the condition of the state, and may grant pardons and, with the aid of the Parole Board, grant executive clemency. Elected to a four-year term in the odd-numbered year following the presidential election, the governor may run for a second term but not for a third until four years have passed. A candidate for governor must be at least 30 years old and must have been a US citizen for 20 years and a New Jersey resident for seven years in order to qualify for the ballot. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $157,000.

A bill may be introduced in either house of the legislature. Once passed, it goes to the governor, who may sign it, return it to the legislature with recommendations for change, or veto it in its entirety. A two-thirds vote by the members in each house is needed to override a veto. If the governor neither signs nor vetoes a bill, it becomes law after 45 days as long as the legislature is in session.

Amendments to the state constitution may originate in either house. If, after public hearings, both houses pass the proposal by a three-fifths vote, the amendment is placed on the ballot at the next general election. If approved by a majority, but by less than a three-fifths vote in both houses, the amendment is referred to the next session of the legislature, at which time, if again approved by a majority, it is placed on the ballot. The amendment goes into effect 30 days after ratification by the electorate.

To vote in New Jersey, one must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen, and a New Jersey and county resident for at least 30 days prior to election day. Restrictions apply to those convicted of crimes in New Jersey or another state.


From the 1830s through the early 1850s, Democrats and Whigs dominated the political life of New Jersey. Exercising considerable, though subtle, influence in the decade before the Civil War was the Native American (Know-Nothing) Party, an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic group that won several assembly and Senate seats. Wary of breaking ties with the South and ambivalent about the slavery issue, New Jerseyites, especially those in Essex and Bergen counties, did not lend much support to the abolitionist cause. Early Republicans thus found it advantageous to call themselves simply "Opposition;" the state's first Opposition governor was elected in 1856. Republicans controlled the state for most of the 1860s; but with heavy support from business leaders, the Democrats regained control in 1869 and held the governorship through 1896. They were succeeded by a series of Progressive Republican governors whose efforts were largely thwarted by a conservative legislature. Sweeping reforms- including a corrupt-practices act, a primary election law, and increased support for public education-were implemented during the two years that Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, served as governor before being elected to the presidency. Between 1913 and 1985, Democrats held the statehouse almost two-thirds of the time.

New Jersey's unenviable reputation for corruption in government dates back at least to 1838, when ballot tampering resulted in the disputed election of five Whigs to the US House of Representatives. (After a House investigation, the Whigs were barred and their Democratic opponents given the seats.) Throughout the rest of the century, corruption was rampant in local elections: Philadelphians, for example, were regularly imported to vote in Atlantic City elections, and vote buying was a standard election-day procedure in Essex and Hudson counties. Wilson's 1911 reform bill eliminated some of these practices, but not the bossism that had come to dominate big-city politics. Frank Hague of Jersey City controlled patronage and political leaders on the local, state, and national level from 1919 to 1947; during the 1960s and 1970s, Hague's successor John V. Kenny, Jersey City mayor Thomas Whelan, and Newark mayor Hugh Addonizio, along with numerous other state and local officials, were convicted of corrupt political dealings. From 1969 to mid-1975, federal prosecutors indicted 148 public officials, securing 72 convictions. Brendan Byrne, who had never before held elective office, won the governorship in 1973, mainly on the strength of a campaign that portrayed him as the "judge who couldn't be bought." On the national level, New Jersey Representative Peter Rodino gained a reputation for honesty and fairness when he chaired the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon. However, the state's image suffered a further blow in 1980, when, as a result of the FBI's "ABSCAM" investigation, charges of influence peddling were brought against several state officials, including members of the Casino Control Commission, whose function was to prevent corruption and crime in Atlantic City's gambling establishments.

Later in the year, New Jersey Democrat Harrison Williams became the nation's first US senator to be indicted, on charges of bribery and conspiracy, as a result of the ABSCAM probe. He was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to prison. As a result of the same investigation, US Representative Frank Thompson Jr., was convicted in 1980 on bribery and conspiracy charges. A New Jerseyite, Raymond Donovan, was named secretary of labor by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, but he resigned in 1985 after being

New Jersey Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
1948 16 Dewey (R) 895,455 981,124 42,683 10,521 10,593 3,354 5,825
1952 16 *Eisenhower (R) 1,015,902 1,373,613 5,589 8,593 5,815 3,850
1956 16 *Eisenhower (R) 850,337 1,606,942 5,317 9,147 6,736 4,004
1960 16 *Kennedy (D) 1,385,415 1,363,324 8,708 4,262 11,402
1964 17 *Johnson (D) 1,867,671 963,843 7,075 8,181
1968 17 *Nixon (R) 1,264,206 1,325,467 262,187 8,084 6,784 8,667
1972 17 *Nixon (R) 1,102,211 1,845,502 5,355 34,378 4,544 2,233
1976 17 Ford (R) 1,444,653 1,509,688 7,716 1,650 9,449 3,686 1,662
1980 17 *Reagan (R) 1,147,364 1,546,557 8,203 20,652 2,198 2,555
1984 16 *Reagan (R) 1,261,323 1,933,630 8,404 6,416 1,564
1988 16 *Bush (R) 1,320,352 1,743,192 5,139 9,953 8,421 3,454 2,587
IND. (Perot) IND. (Bradford) TAXPAYERS
1992 15 *Clinton (D) 1,436,206 1,356,865 3,513 521,829 6,822 4,749 2,670
1996 15 *Clinton (D) 1,652,329 1,103,078 32,465 262,134 14,763
IND. (Buchana)
2000 15 Gore (D) 1,788,850 1,284,173 94,554 6,989 6,312
IND. (Nader) GREEN (Cobb) CONSTITUTION (Peroutka) SOCIALIST (Brown)
2004 15 Kerry (D) 1,911,430 1,670,003 19,418 1,807 4,514 2,750 664

indicted late in 1984 for allegedly seeking to defraud the New York City Transit Authority while serving as vice president of the Schiavone Construction Company in Secaucus.

In the 2000 presidential voting, Democrat Al Gore defeated Republican George W. Bush, picking up 56% of the vote to Bush's 41%. Independent Ralph Nader garnered 3%. In 2004, Democratic challenger John Kerry won 52.7% of the vote to incumbent George W. Bush's 46.5%. In 2004, there were 5,009,000 registered voters. In 1998, 25% of registered voters were Democratic, 19% Republican, and 56% unaffiliated or members of other parties. The state had 15 electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.

In 1993, New Jersey elected its first woman as governor, Republican Christine Todd Whitman; she was reelected in 1997. In late 2000 she was named by President George W. Bush to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a post she resigned in June 2003. Democrat James McGreevey was elected New Jersey's governor in 2001; he resigned in August 2004 and was succeeded by state Senate president Richard Codey. In fall 2005 elections, Democratic US senator Jon Corzine was elected governor. Democrat Frank Lautenberg, first elected to the Senate in 1982, and reelected in 1988 and 1994, returned to the Senate in 2002 after having retired in 2000. Following 2004 national elections, the state's delegation to the US House consisted of seven Democrats and six Republicans. Following the 2005 statewide elections, the state Senate contained 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans, while the General Assembly consisted of 48 Democrats and 32 Republicans.


As of 2005, New Jersey had 21 counties, 324 municipal governments, 604 public school districts, and 276 special districts. In 2002, there were 242 townships. Counties are classed by population and whether or not they border the Atlantic Ocean. Cities, boroughs, and towns may employ the mayor-council system, council-manager system, commission system, or other forms of their own devising. Most townships and villages are governed by committee or by a council and a mayor with limited powers. Cities, like counties, are classed by population and location: first-class cities are those over 150,000 in population; second-class, 12,000-150,000; third-class, all others except ocean resorts; and fourth-class, ocean resorts.

The budgets of all local units are supervised by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which also offers municipal aid programs.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 347,538 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in New Jersey operates under executive order and state statute; a counterterrorism office director is named to oversee the state's homeland security activities.

The constitution of 1947 limited the number of state government departments to 20. New Jersey in 1974 became the first state to establish a Public Advocate Department (as of 2006 the Office of the Public Defender), empowered to provide legal assistance for indigent criminal defendants, mental patients, and any citizen with a grievance against a government agency or regulated industry. A Code of Ethics, adopted by the legislature in 1976, seeks to prevent state employees from using their positions for personal gain. By executive order, more than 500 state executive officials must file financial disclosure statements.

The Education Department administers state and federal aid to all elementary and secondary schools, oversees pupil transportation, and has jurisdiction over the state library, museum, and historical commission. State-run colleges and universities and higher education policy are the province of the Commission on Higher Education. All state-maintained highways and bus and rail transportation are the responsibility of the Department of Transportation, which also operates New Jersey Transit, whose function is to acquire and operate public transportation services.

The Human Services Department administers welfare, Medicaid, mental health, and developmentally disabled programs, as well as veterans' institutions and programs and other state-supported social services. Alcohol, drug abuse, and many other health-related programs are monitored by the Health and Senior Services Department, which also oversees hospitals and compiles statewide health statistics.

The Office of the Attorney General, officially titled the Department of Law and Public Safety, is the statewide law enforcement agency. Its functions include criminal justice, consumer affairs, civil rights, alcoholic beverage control, and gaming enforcement; also within this department are the State Police, State Racing Commission, Violent Crimes Compensation Board, and a number of regulatory boards. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs controls the Army and Air National Guard. Correctional institutions, training schools, treatment centers, and parole offices are administered by the Corrections Department.

The Division of Energy monitors the supply and use of fuel and administers the state master plan for energy use and conservation; it forms part of the Board of Public Utilities, which has broad regulatory jurisdiction, ranging from garbage collection to public broadcasting. Other agencies are the departments of agriculture, banking and insurance, commerce, community affairs, environmental protection, labor and workforce development, state, and treasury.


All judges in New Jersey, except municipal court judges, are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. Initial terms for supreme and superior court judges are seven years; after reappointment, judges may serve indefinitely.

The supreme court, the state's highest, consists of six associate justices and a chief justice, who is also the administrative head of the state court system. As the court of highest authority, the supreme court hears appeals on constitutional questions and on certain cases from the superior court, which comprises three divisions: chancery, law, and appellate. The chancery division has original jurisdiction over general equity cases, most probate cases, and divorce actions. All other original cases are tried within the law division. The appellate division hears appeals from the chancery and law divisions, from lower courts, and from most state administrative agencies. A state tax court, empowered to review local property tax assessments, equalization tables, and state tax determinations, has been in operation since 1979; by statute, it may have from 6 to 12 judges. Municipal court judges, appointed by local governing bodies for three-year terms, hear minor criminal matters, motor vehicle cases, and violations of municipal ordinances.

The legislature approved a sweeping reform of the state's criminal law code in 1978. Strict sentencing standards were established, and one result was an overcrowding of the state's prison system. Governor Brendan Byrne signed a law in 1981 imposing a minimum three-year sentence on anyone committing a crime with a gun.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 26,757 prisoners were held in New Jersey's state and federal prisons, a decrease from 27,246 of 1.6% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 1,470 inmates were female, down from 1,517 or 3.1% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), New Jersey had an incarceration rate of 306 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Jersey in 2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 355.7 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 30,943 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 211,313 reported incidents or 2,429.2 reported incidents per 100,000 people. As of 1982, New Jersey has had a death penalty, of which lethal injection is the sole method of execution. However, as of that year through 5 May 2006, the state has yet to carry out an execution. As of 1 January 2006, New Jersey had 13 inmates on death row.

In 2003, New Jersey spent $272,195,275 on homeland security, an average of $32 per state resident.


In 2004, there were 6,392 active-duty military personnel and 13,628 civilian personnel stationed in New Jersey. The largest installation in the state is McGuire Air Force Base in Wrightstown. The US Coast Guard operates a training center in Cape May. New Jersey firms received over $4.1 billion in defense contracts awards in 2004, defense payroll outlays were $1.8 billion.

Of the 582,917 veterans living in New Jersey in 2003, World War II veterans numbered 110,844; Korean conflict, 80,677; Vietnam era, 167,895; and 58,244 served in the Persian Gulf War. For the fiscal year 2004, total Veterans Affairs expenditures in New Hampshire exceeded $1.0 billion.

As of 31 October 2004, the New Jersey State Police employed 2,684 full-time sworn officers.


New Jersey's first white settlers were inter-colonial migrants: Dutch from New Amsterdam, Swedes from west of the Delaware River, and Puritans from New England and Long Island. By 1776, New Jersey's population was about 138,000, of whom perhaps 7% were black slaves.

Population growth lagged during the early 19th century, as discouraged farmers left their worn-out plots for more fertile western soil; farmers in Salem County, for example, went off to found new Salems in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Oregon. Not until the rapid industrial growth of the mid-1800s did New Jersey attract great waves of immigrants. Germans and Irish were the first to arrive, the latter comprising 37% of Jersey City's population by 1870. The late 1800s and early 1900s brought newcomers from Eastern Europe, including many Jews, and a much larger number of Italians to the cities. By 1900, 43% of all Hudson County residents were foreign-born. More recently, migration from Puerto Rico and Cuba has been substantial. In 1990, 143,974 New Jersey residents age 5 and older had lived in Puerto Rico in 1985. In 1996, 1,152,000 New Jersey residents, or 14%, were foreign born. In 1998, 35,091 foreign immigrants entered the state, the fifth-highest total for any state that year.

From World War I on, there has been a steady migration of blacks from southern states; Newark's black population grew by 130,000 between 1950 and 1970. Black as well as Hispanic newcomers settled in major cities just as whites were departing for the suburbs. New Jersey's suburbs were also attractive to residents of New York City, Philadelphia, and other adjacent areas, who began a massive move to the state just after World War II; nearly all of these suburbanites were white. From 1940 to 1970, New Jersey gained a net total of 1,360,000 residents. Between 1970 and 1990, however, the state lost about 250,000 residents through migration. Between 1990 and 1998, New Jersey had a net loss of 350,000 in domestic migration and a net gain of 360,000 in international migration. While the black, Hispanic, and Asian populations were still rising, whites were departing from New Jersey in increasing numbers. As of 1998, New Jersey's black population numbered 1,188,000; Hispanic, 866,000; and Asian, 453,000. Between 1990 and 1998, the state's overall population increased 4.7%. In the period 200005, net international migration was 290,194 and net internal migration was 194,901, for a net gain of 95,293 people.


New Jersey participates in such regional bodies as the Interstate Sanitation Commission, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Of primary importance to the state are its relations with neighboring Pennsylvania and New York. With Pennsylvania, New Jersey takes part in the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, and Delaware River Port Authority; with New York, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and the Waterfront Commission, established to eliminate corruption and stabilize employment at the Hudson River ports. The Delaware River Basin Commission manages the water resources of the 12,750-sq mi (33,000-sq km) basin under the jurisdiction of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates a bridge and ferry between New Jersey and Delaware. In fiscal year 2005, the state received $8.694 billion in federal grants, an estimated $9.086 billion in fiscal year 2006, and an estimated $9.509 billion in fiscal year 2007.


New Jersey was predominantly agricultural until the mid-1800s, when the rise of the railroads stimulated manufacturing in northern New Jersey and opened the Jersey shore to resort development. The steady growth of population in the 1900s fostered the growth of service-related industries, construction, and trade, for which the state's proximity to New York and Philadelphia had long been advantageous.

During the 1970s, New Jersey's economy followed national trends, except that the mid-decade recession was especially severe. Conditions in most areas improved in the latter part of the decade, particularly in Atlantic City, with the construction of gambling casinos and other entertainment facilities. Manufacturing in the central cities declined, however, as industries moved to suburban locations.

Although petroleum refining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, food processing, apparel, fabricated metals, electric and electronic equipment, and other machinery are all important, the state is more noteworthy for the diversity of its manufacturers than for any dominant company or product. The service sector of the economy, led by wholesale and retail trade, continued to grow rapidly during the 1990s. The heaviest concentrations of jobs are in and near metropolitan New York and Philadelphia, but employment opportunities in the central and north-central counties have been increasing. Fresh market vegetables are the leading source of farm income. Overall growth in the state economy was robust coming into the 21st century, with annual growth rates averaging over 6% 1998 to 2000. The national recession and slowdown of 2001 slowed annual growth to 2.2%, but in 2002 the state economy was showing resiliency. Employment losses for the state as a whole started later and were milder than for the nation as a whole.

New Jersey's gross state product (GSP) in 2004 was $416.053 billion of which the real estate sector accounted for the largest share at $65.656 billion or 15.7% of GSP, followed by manufacturing (durable and non durable goods) at $45.357 billion (10.9% of GSP), and professional and technical services at $33.652 billion (8% of GSP). In that same year, there were an estimated 766,323 small businesses in New Jersey. Of the 256,863 businesses that had employees, an estimated total of 252,831 or 98.4% were small companies. An estimated 35,895 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, up 22.8% from the year before. Business terminations that same year came to 50,034, up 35.9% from 2003. There were 684 business bankruptcies in 2004, down 6.8% from the previous year. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 485 filings per 100,000 people, ranking New Jersey as the 29th highest in the nation.


In 2005, New Jersey had a gross state product (GSP) of $431 billion which accounted for 3.5% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 8 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 New Jersey had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $41,626. This ranked fourth in the United States and was 126% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.2%. New Jersey had a total personal income (TPI) of $361,524,402,000, which ranked seventh in the United States and reflected an increase of 5.6% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 5.1%. Earnings of persons employed in New Jersey increased from $252,207,195,000 in 2003 to $265,438,128,000 in 2004, an increase of 5.2%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $56,772 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 8.2% of the population was below the poverty line as compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in New Jersey numbered 4,501,800, with approximately 231,300 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 5.1%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 4,074,900. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in New Jersey was 10.6% in February 1977. The historical low was 3.5% in June 2000. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 4.2% of the labor force was employed in construction; 7.8% in manufacturing; 21.5% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 6.9% in financial activities; 14.6% in professional and business services; 13.9% in education and health services; 8.4% in leisure and hospitality services; and 15.8% in government.

Although migrant workers are still employed at south Jersey tomato farms and fruit orchards, the number of farm workers coming into the state is declining with the increased use of mechanical harvesters.

The state's first child labor law was passed in 1851, and in 1886, workers were given the right to organize. Labor's gains were slow and painful, however. In Paterson, no fewer than 137 strikes were called between 1881 and 1900, every one of them a failure. A 1913 strike of Paterson silkworkers drew nationwide headlines but, again, few results. Other notable strikes were a walkout at a Carteret fertilizer factory in 1915, during which six picketers were killed by guards; a yearlong work stoppage by Passaic textile workers in 1926; and another Paterson silkworkers' strike in 1933, this one finally leading to union recognition and significant wage increases. That year, the state enacted a law setting minimum wages and maximum hours for women. This measure was repealed in 1971, in line with the trend toward nonpreferential labor standards.

The BLS reported that in 2005, a total of 791,000 of New Jersey's 3,868,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 20.5% of those so employed, up from 19.8% in 2004, well above the national average of 12%. New Jersey is one of only five states whose union membership rate exceeds 20%. Overall in 2005, a total of 838,000 workers (21.7%) in New Jersey were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. New Jersey is also one of 28 states that does not have a right-to-work law.

As of 1 March 2006, New Jersey had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $6.15 per hour, which will increase on October 1, 2006 to $7.15 per hour. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 46.2% of the employed civilian labor force.


New Jersey is a leading producer of fresh fruits and vegetables. Its total farm income was $862 million in 2005. In 2004, it ranked fourth in cranberries, spinach, and lettuce, and eighth in fresh market tomatoes.

Some 820,000 acres (about 332,000 hectares) were in 9,900 farms in 2004. The major farm counties are: Warren for grain and milk production, Gloucester and Cumberland for fruits and vegetables, Atlantic for blueberries, Burlington for nursery production and berries, Salem for processing vegetables, and Monmouth for nursery and equine.

In 2004, New Jersey produced 265,140 tons of fresh market vegetables. Leading crops (in hundredweight units) were: bell peppers, 962,000; cabbage, 928,000; sweet corn, 525,000; tomatoes, 690,000; and head lettuce, 164,000. New Jersey farmers also produced 56,440 tons of vegetables for processing. Fruit crops in 2004 (in pound units) included apples, 40,000,000, and peaches, 32,500,000. In 2004, cranberry production was 40 million lb. The expansion of housing and industry has increased the value of farm acreage and buildings in New Jersey to over $9,750 per acre, fourth highest in the nation after Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.


In 2005, New Jersey had an estimated 44,000 cattle and calves, valued at $48.8 million. During 2004, New Jersey farmers had an estimated 11,000 hogs and pigs valued at $1.3 million. In 2003, poultry farmers produced 686,000 million lb (312 million kg) of turkey, 3 million lb (1.4 million kg) of chickens, and 556 million eggs. The state's total milk yield was 216 million lb (98.1 million kg) in 2003.


In 2004, New Jersey had a commercial fish catch of 185.6 million lb (84.3 million kg) worth $139.4 million, the eighth highest catch volume in the nation. Cape May-Wildwood had the 15th-highest value and 13th-largest volume of all US ports, bringing in 97.5 million lb (44.3 million kg) of fish, worth $68.1 million. Clams, scallops, swordfish, tuna, squid, lobster, and flounder are the most valuable species. The state ranked second in the nation for volume of Atlantic mackerel landings, at 35.5 million lb (16.1 million kg). The state also led the nation in landings of surf clams (43.5 million lb/19.8 million kg) and quahogs (17.6 million lb/8 million kg). In 2003, there were 15 processing and 83 wholesale plants in the state with about 2,050 employees. The commercial fleet in 2001 had 397 vessels.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior maintains a total of 190,000 acres (76,900 hectares) on 12 different sites with boating access. The state stocks over 1.8 million fish per year to lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. The Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery and the Pequest Trout Hatchery are major suppliers.

Recreational fishermen catch finfish and shellfish along the Atlantic coast and in the rivers and lakes of northern New Jersey. In 2004, the state issued 169,418 sport fishing licenses.


Over 42% of New Jersey's land area, or 1,876,000 acres (759,000 hectares), was forested in 2003. Of that total, 1,288,000 acres (521,000 hectares) were private commercial timberland. The forests of New Jersey are important for their function in conservation and recreation. Wood that is harvested contributes to specialty markets and quality veneer products. State forests cover 382,000 acres (155,000 hectares).


According to preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production by new Jersey in 2003 was $272 million, an increase from 2002 of about 5%.

According to the preliminary data for 2003, crushed stone, and construction sand and gravel were the state's top nonfuel minerals, by value. These were followed by industrial sand and gravel, and greens and marl.

According to preliminary figures for 2003, a total of 22.5 million metric tons of crushed stone were produced, for a total value of $142 million, while construction sand and gravel output totaled 15.2 million metric tons, with a value of $92 million. Industrial sand and gravel production in 2003 totaled 1.51 million metric tons, for a value of $33.8 million. New Jersey in 2003 continued to be the only state that produced greensand marl, also known as the mineral glauconite, which is processed and sold mainly as a water-softening filtration medium to remove soluble iron and manganese from well water. A secondary use is as an organic conditioner for soils.


As of 2003, New Jersey had 37 electrical power service providers, of which nine were publicly owned and one was a cooperative. Of the remainder, four were investor owned, six were owners of independent generators that sold directly to customers, 12 were generation-only suppliers and five were delivery-only providers. As of that same year there were 3,737,697 retail customers. Of that total, 3,624,915 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 11,267 customers, while publicly owned providers had 56,447 customers. There were seven independent generator or "facility" customers, 12 generation-only customers. There was no data on the number of delivery-only customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 18.647 million kW, with total production that same year at 57.399 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, only 3.3% came from electric utilities, with the remaining 96.7% coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 29.709 billion kWh (51.8%), came from nuclear generating plants, with natural gas fired plants in second place at 14.775 billion kWh (25.7%) and coal fueled plants in third at 9.789 billion kWh (17.1%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 2.4% of all power generated, with petroleum fired plants at 2.7%. Pumped storage and hydroelectric generation, and plants using other types of gases made up the remainder.

As of 2006, New Jersey had three operating nuclear power stations: the Hope Creek in Lower Alloways Township; the Oyster Creek plant at Forked River; and the Salem Creek plant near Salem.

New Jersey has no known proven reserves or production of crude oil and natural gas. However, the state has six crude oil refineries, some of which are the largest in the United States. As of 2005, the state's refineries had a distillation capacity of 615,000 barrels per day. New Jersey produces little of its own energy, importing much of its electric power and virtually all of its fossil fuels.


New Jersey's earliest industries were glassmaking and iron working. In 1791, Alexander Hamilton proposed the development of a planned industrial town at the Passaic Falls. The Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, an agency charged with developing the town, tried but failed to set up a cotton mill at the site, called Paterson, in 1797. By the early 1800s, however, Paterson had become the country's largest silk manufacturing center and by 1850, it was producing locomotives as well. On the eve of the Civil War, industry already had a strong foothold in the state. Newark had breweries, hat factories, and paper plants; Trenton, iron and paper; Jersey City, steel and soap; and Middlesex, clays and ceramics. The late 1800s saw the birth of the electrical industry, the growth of oil refineries on Bayonne's shores, and emerging chemical, drug, paint, and telephone manufacturing centers. All these products retain their places among the state's diverse manufactures.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, New Jersey's manufacturing sector covered some 20 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $94.125 billion. Of that total, chemical manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $26.911 billion. It was followed by petroleum and coal products manufacturing at $12.222 billion; food manufacturing at $9.481 billion; computer and electronic product manufacturing at $6.115 billion; and fabricated metal product manufacturing at $5.241 billion.

In 2004, a total of 308,566 people in New Jersey were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 201,419 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the chemical manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 50,881 with 25,643 actual production workers. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at 30,235 employees (21,120 actual production workers); food manufacturing at 28,958 employees (18,783 actual production workers); computer and electronic product manufacturing at 28,710 employees (14,868 actual production workers); and plastics and rubber products manufacturing with 25,186 employees (18,778 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that New Jersey's manufacturing sector paid $14.447 billion in wages. Of that amount, the chemical manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $3.084 billion. It was followed by computer and electronic product manufacturing at $1.603 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $1.241 billion; printing and related support activities at $1.111 billion; and miscellaneous manufacturing at $1.078 billion.


With one of the nation's busiest ports, one of the busiest airports (Newark), the largest length of highways and railroads per state area, and many regional distribution centers, New Jersey is an important commercial state.

According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, New Jersey's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $256.9 billion from 16,803 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 9,293 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 6,281 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 1,229 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $125.9 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $107.06 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $23.9 billion. The state's wholesale trade is largely concentrated near manufacturing centers and along the New Jersey Turnpike. Bergen, Union, and Essex counties accounted for most of the state's wholesale trade.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, New Jersey was listed as having 34,741 retail establishments with sales of $102.1 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: food and beverage stores (6,824); clothing and clothing accessories stores (5,782); miscellaneous store retailers (3,423); and health and personal care stores (2,866). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts stores accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $26.3 billion, followed by food and beverage stores at $19.1 billion; general merchandise stores at $10.3 billion; nonstore retailers at $8.01 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers at $7.4 billion. A total of 434,574 people were employed by the retail sector in New Jersey that year.

Port Newark and the Elizabeth Marine Terminal, foreign-trade zones operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have been modernized and enlarged in recent years, and together account for most of the cargo unloaded in New York Harbor. In 2005, New Jersey exported $21.08 billion to foreign countries. Leading exports were chemicals, electronics, and industrial machinery. Most exports went to Canada, Japan, the UK, and Mexico.


Consumer fraud cases are handled by the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Office of the Attorney General, both of which are under the Department of Law and Public Safety. The Division of Consumer Affairs also supervises the activities of 41 boards and committees, which are responsible for regulating over 80 occupations and professions.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's Attorney General's Office can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; administer consumer protection and education programs; handle formal consumer complaints; and exercise broad subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; initiate criminal proceedings; and represent counties, cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The offices of the Division of Consumer Affairs are located in Newark. County government consumer affairs offices are located in Atlantic City, Blackwood, Bridgeton, Cape May Court House, East Orange, Flemington, Freehold, Hackensack, Jersey City, Mount Holly, New Brunswick, Somerville, Toms River, Trenton, Wayne, Westfield and Woodbury. City government consumer affairs offices are located in Middlesex, Nutley, Perth Amboy, Plain-field, Secaucus, Union and Woodbridge.


The colonies' first bank of issue opened in Gloucester in 1682. New Jersey's first chartered bank, the Newark Banking and Insurance Co., was the first of many banks to open in that city. By the mid-l800s, Newark was indisputably the financial center of the state. For the most part, commercial banking in New Jersey is overshadowed by the great financial centers of New York City and Philadelphia.

As of June 2005, New Jersey had 136 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 20 state-chartered and 226 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island market area accounted for the largest portion of the state's financial institutions and deposits in 2004, with 233 institutions and $770.488 billion in deposits, followed by the Trenton-Ewing market area with 25 institutions and $9.302 billion in deposits. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 5.1% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $9.559 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 94.9% or $178.820 billion in assets held.

Regulation of all state-chartered banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations and limited purpose trust companies is the responsibility of the Department of Banking and Insurance. National or federally chartered banks are regulated by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency. The principal regulator of federally chartered savings and loan associations is the Office of Thrift Supervision.

In 2004, the median net interest margin (the difference between the lower rates offered to savers and the higher rates charged on loans) was 3.54%, down slightly from 3.55% in 2003. A large number of New Jersey's banks are residential lenders, and the widespread use of long-term mortgages in results in higher concentrations of long-term assets in New Jersey, around twice that reported by other banks elsewhere in the nation.

In 2004, the median percentage of past-due/nonaccrual loans to total loans was 0.88%, up from 0.85% in 2003.


In 2004, there were over 4.4 million individual life insurance policies in force in New Jersey, with a total value of over $540.6 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was $902.4 billion. The average coverage amount is $120,600 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $2.1 billion.

As of 2003, there were 81 property and casualty and 7 life and health insurers domiciled in the state. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled $16.9 billion. That year, there were 189,830 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $33.1 billion. About $6 billion of coverage was held through FAIR plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas.

In 2004, 62% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 3% held individual policies, and 20% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 15% of residents were uninsured. New Jersey ranks as having the third-highest percentage of employment-based insureds among the fifty states. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 16% for single coverage and 20% for family coverage. The state offers a 12-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 5.1 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $15,000 per individual and $30,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $5,000. Personal injury protection is also required. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $1,188.42, which ranked as the highest average in the nation.

All insurance agents, brokers, and companies in the state are licensed and regulated by the Department of Banking and Insurance.


There are no stock or commodity exchanges in New Jersey. Regulation of securities trading in the state is under the control of the Bureau of Securities of the Division of Consumer Affairs, within the Department of Law and Public Safety.

In 2005, there were 5,310 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 12,690 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 517 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 167 NASDAQ companies, 112 NYSE listings, and 45 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had 22 Fortune 500 companies; Johnson and Johnson (based in New Brunswick) ranked first in the state and 32nd in the nation with revenues of over $50.5 billion, followed by Medco Health Solutions (Franklin Lakes), Prudential Financial (Newark), Honeywell Intl., (Morristown), and Merck (Whitehouse Station). All five of these companies are listed on the NYSE.


The annual budget, prepared by the Treasury Department's Division of Budget and Accounting, is submitted by the governor to the legislature for approval. The fiscal year (FY) runs from 1 July through 30 June.

Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $28.4 billion for resources and $27.5 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to New Jersey were $11.3 billion.

In the fiscal year 2007 federal budget, New Jersey was slated to receive: $110.5 million in State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to help the state provide health coverage to low-income, uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid. This funding is a 23% increase over fiscal year 2006; and $52 million for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to help New Jersey fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. This funding is a 12% increase over fiscal year 2006.


In 2005, New Jersey collected $22,934 million in tax revenues or $2,631 per capita, which placed it 10th among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Sales taxes accounted for 28.6% of the total, selective sales taxes 15.8%, individual income taxes 35.9%, corporate income taxes 9.7%, and other taxes 10.1%.

As of 1 January 2006, New Jersey had six individual income tax brackets ranging from 1.4 to 8.97%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 9.0%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $18,229,254,000 or $2,099 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state as having the highest property taxes in the nation. Local governments collected $18,225,594,000 of the total and the state government $3,660,000.

New Jersey taxes retail sales at a rate of 6%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is tax exempt. The tax on cigarettes is 240 cents per pack, which ranks second among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. New Jersey taxes gasoline at 14.50 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

Per dollar of federal tax paid in 2004, New Jersey citizens received only $0.55 in federal spending, the lowest amount in the nation and down from 1922 when it received $0.66 per dollar sent to Washington.


New Jersey's controlled budget and relatively low business tax burden have helped encourage new businesses to enter the state. The New Jersey Commerce, Economic Growth and Tourism Commission is the state's lead agency in coordinating efforts between gov-

New JerseyState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue 50,588,543 5,824.82
  General revenue 37,904,075 4,364.31
    Intergovernmental revenue 9,580,081 1,103.06
    Taxes 20,981,428 2,415.82
      General sales 6,261,700 720.98
      Selective sales 3,478,584 400.53
      License taxes 1,177,242 135.55
      Individual income tax 7,400,733 852.13
      Corporate income tax 1,896,998 218.42
      Other taxes 766,171 88.22
    Current charges 4,316,948 497.06
    Miscellaneous general revenue 3,025,618 348.37
  Utility revenue 591,310 68.08
  Liquor store revenue - -
  Insurance trust revenue 12,093,158 1,392.42
Total expenditure 46,455,897 5,348.98
  Intergovernmental expenditure 9,813,688 1,129.96
  Direct expenditure 36,642,209 4,219.02
    Current operation 23,411,920 2,695.67
    Capital outlay 3,465,474 399.02
    Insurance benefits and repayments 8,131,855 936.31
    Assistance and subsidies 471,762 54.32
    Interest on debt 1,161,198 133.7
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 3,129,159 360.29
Total expenditure 46,455,897 5,348.98
  General expenditure 36,064,484 4,152.50
    Intergovernmental expenditure 9,813,688 1,129.96
    Direct expenditure 26,250,796 3,022.54
  General expenditures, by function:
    Education 12,122,842 1,395.84
    Public welfare 8,593,086 989.42
    Hospitals 1,616,323 186.11
    Health 770,150 88.68
    Highways 2,388,481 275.01
    Police protection 431,279 49.66
    Correction 1,375,329 158.36
    Natural resources 330,844 38.09
    Parks and recreation 399,223 45.97
    Government administration 1,404,840 161.75
    Interest on general debt 1,156,794 133.19
    Other and unallocable 5,475,293 630.43
  Utility expenditure 2,259,558 260.17
  Liquor store expenditure - -
  Insurance trust expenditure 8,131,855 936.31
Debt at end of fiscal year 35,770,241 4,118.62
Cash and security holdings 87,493,366 10,074.08

ernment and the private sector to provide access to a broad range of technical, financial and other assistance that helps businesses grow and contribute to economic development. The commission administers a number of development programs designed to retain and attract business and jobs. The state's Economic Development Authority (EDA) is an independent authority established to provide financing programs, including loans, loan guarantees, and tax-free and taxable bond packages.

The Urban Enterprise Zone Program seeks to revitalize urban areas by granting tax incentives and relaxing some government regulations. The Office of Business Services was established as a clearinghouse to help, support, and promote the development of small, women- and minority-owned enterprises. The Office of International Trade and Protocol seeks to boost the state's exports and bring more foreign companies into the state. Other offices within the department promote tourism and motion picture production. Besides financing, EDA offers a full range of real estate development services, training for entrepreneurs, and technical support. Specific categories targeted for assistance are small and mid-size businesses, high-tech businesses, nonprofits, and brown-fields. There are also separate divisions for advocating Smart Growth principles and for trade adjustment assistance.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 4.9 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 13.5 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 36.3 per 1,000 women in 2000, representing the third-highest rate in the country (after the District of Columbia and New York). In 2003, about 80.2% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 83% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 8.5 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 262; cancer, 207.5; cerebrovascular diseases, 46.8; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 33.6; and diabetes, 29.5. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 8.9 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 21.2 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 52.9% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 18.8% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, New Jersey had 78 community hospitals with about 22,800 beds. There were about 1.1 million patient admissions that year and 14.7 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 16,900 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,411. Also in 2003, there were about 356 certified nursing facilities in the state with 50,551 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 87.7%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 75.8% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. New Jersey had 333 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 928 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there were a total of 7,045 dentists in the state.

About 11% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid programs in 2003; 14% were enrolled in Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 15% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $12.7 million.

The state's only medical school, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is a public institution that combines three medical schools, one dental school, a school of allied professions, and a graduate school of biomedical sciences.


Through the Department of Human Services, New Jersey administers the major federal welfare programs, as well as several programs specifically designed to meet the needs of New Jersey minority groups. Among the latter in the 1990s was the Cuban-Haitian Entrant Program. Additional assistance went to refugees from such areas as Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

In 2004, about 332,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $331. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 392,416 persons (186,661 households); the average monthly benefit was about $92.89 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $437.4 million.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. New Jersey's TANF program is called Work First New Jersey (WFNJ). In 2004, the state program had 108,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $274 million in fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 1,370,440 New Jersey residents. This number included 939,010 retired workers, 123,960 widows and widowers, 148,650 disabled workers, 57,990 spouses, and 100,810 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 15.7% of the total state population and 91.3% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $1.054; widows and widowers, $993; disabled workers, $976; and spouses, $509. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $516 per month; children of deceased workers, $705; and children of disabled workers, $310. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 150,151 New Jersey residents, averaging $415 a month.


Before 1967, New Jersey took a laissez-faire attitude toward housing. With each locality free to fashion its own zoning ordinances, large tracts of rural land succumbed to "suburban sprawl"single-family housing developments spread out in two huge arcs from New York City and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the tenement housing of New Jersey's central cities was left to deteriorate. Because poor housing was at least one of the causes of the Newark riot in 1967, the state established the Department of Community Affairs to coordinate existing housing aid programs and establish new ones. The state legislature also created the Mortgage Finance Agency and Housing Finance Agency to stimulate home buying and residential construction. In an effort to halt suburban sprawl, local and county planning boards were encouraged during the 1970s to adopt master plans for controlled growth. Court decisions in the late 1970s and early 1980s challenged the constitutionality of zoning laws that precluded the development of low-income housing in suburban areas.

In 2004, the state had an estimated 3,414,739 housing units, of which 3,134,481 were occupied; 68.1% were owner-occupied. About 54.6% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Nearly 60% of the entire housing stock was built before 1969. Utility gas is the most common heating energy source, followed by fuel oil and kerosene. It was estimated that 98,620 units lacked telephone service, 10,054 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 16,364 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household had 2.71 members.

In 2004, 36,900 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $291,294, the fifth highest in the country. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,847, the highest rate in the country. Renters paid a median of $877, the second-highest rate in the country, after California. In 2006, the state received over $8.3 million in community development block grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


Public education in New Jersey dates from 1828, when the legislature first allocated funds to support education; by 1871, a public school system was established statewide. In 2004, 87.6% of persons 25 years and older were high school graduates. Some 34.6% of persons obtained a bachelor's degree or higher.

The total enrollment for fall 2002 in New Jersey's public schools stood at 1,367,000. Of these, 979,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 389,000 attended high school. Approximately 57.9% of the students were white, 17.7% were black, 17.2% were Hispanic, 7% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.2% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 1,386,000 in fall 2003 and was expected to be 1,415,000 by fall 2014, an increase of 3.5% during the period 200214. Expenditures for public education in 200304 were estimated at $20.8 billion or $12,981 per student, the highest among the 50 states. There were 204,732 students enrolled in 964 private schools. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005 eighth graders in New Jersey scored 284 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 361,733 students enrolled in institutions of higher education; minority students comprised 34.3% of total postsecondary enrollment. In 2005, New Jersey had 58 degree-granting institutions including, 14 public four-year schools, 19 public two-year schools, and 21 nonprofit, private four-year schools. Rutgers, the state university, began operations as Queen's College in 1766 and was placed under state control in 1956, encompassing the separate colleges of Rutgers, Douglass, Livingston, and Cook, among others. As of 2005, the university had campuses at New Brunswick/Piscataway, Camden, and Newark. The major private university in the state and one of the nation's leading institutions is Princeton University, founded in 1746. Other major private universities are Seton Hall (1856); Stevens Institute of Technology (1870); and Fairleigh Dickinson (1942), with three main campuses.

The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education offers tuition aid grants and scholarships to state residents who attend colleges and universities in the state. Guaranteed loans for any qualified resident are available through the New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority.


During the late 1800s and early 1900s, New Jersey towns, especially Atlantic City and Newark, were tryout centers for shows bound for Broadway. The New Jersey Theater Group, a service organization for nonprofit professional theaters, was established in 1978; several theatersincluding the Tony Award-winning McCarter Theater at Princeton and Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburnare members of the Theater Group.

Around the turn of the century, Ft. Lee was the motion picture capital of the world. Most of the best-known "silents"including the first, The Great Train Robbery, and episodes of The Perils of Pauline were shot there, and in its heyday the state film industry supported 21 companies and 7 studios. New Jersey's early preeminence in cinema, an era that ended with the rise of Hollywood, stemmed partly from the fact that the first motion picture system was developed by Thomas Edison at Menlo Park in the late 1880s. The state created the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission in 1977; in the next six years, production companies spent $57 million in the state. Notable productions during this period included two Woody Allen pictures, Broadway Danny Rose and The Purple Rose of Cairo.

The New Jersey State Council of the Arts consists of 17 members appointed by the governor. In 2005, the New Jersey State Council of the Arts and other New Jersey arts organizations received 29 grants totaling $1,186,200 from the National Endowment for the Arts. State and private sources also contributed funding to New Jersey's arts programs. The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) was founded in 1973 and consists of a 25-member board of trustees. As of 2006 ongoing programs associated with the NJCH included the annual Humanities Festival Week, a week of programs adhering to a particular humanities theme chosen each year; Ideas at Work, promoting forums for thoughts on humanity topics in the work place; and the Horizons Speakers Bureau, providing lectures in humanities across the state. In 2005, the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $2.6 million to 36 state programs.

The state's long history of support for classical music dates at least to 1796, when William Dunlap of Perth Amboy wrote the libretto for The Archers, the first American opera to be commercially produced. The state's leading orchestra is the New Jersey Symphony, which makes its home in the new New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; there are other symphony orchestras in Plainfield and Trenton. As of 2006 the New Jersey Symphony of Newark was noted for providing educational and community programs that included the Newark Early Strings Program, which provides free string instruction to second, third and fourth grade students in the Newark Public School District, and REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony,) which presents a variety of musical programs that allow for personal interaction with the artists. The New Jersey State Opera performs in Newark's Symphony Hall, while the Opera Festival of New Jersey makes its home in Lawrenceville. Noteworthy dance companies include the American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, described as a "cross-cultural contemporary dance company."

The jazz clubs of northern New Jersey and the seaside rock clubs in Asbury Park have helped launch the careers of many local performers. The city of Asbury Park was scheduled to host its 18th annual Jazz Festival in June 2006. Famous rock music star Bruce Springsteen grew up in southern New Jersey and titled his first album with Columbia Records, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973). Atlantic City's hotels and casinos host numerous star performances every year.


For calendar year 2001, New Jersey had 309 public library systems, with a total of 458 libraries, 149 of which were branches. The state's public library systems that same year housed 31,035,000 volumes of books and serial publications, and had a total circulation of 49,171,000. The system also had 1,076,000 audio and 789,000 video items, 43,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and 15 bookmobiles. The Newark Public Library was the largest municipal system with 1,452,336 volumes and 10 branches. Distinguished by special collections on African-American studies, art and archaeology, economics, and international affairs, among many others, Princeton University's library is the largest in the state, with 4,973,619 volumes and 34,182 periodical subscriptions in 1998; Rutgers University ranked second with 3,238,416. The New Jersey State Library in Trenton contained 470,000 volumes, mostly on the state's history and government. One of the largest business libraries, emphasizing scientific and technical data, is the AT&T Bell Laboratories' library system, based in Murray Hill. In 2001, operating income for the state's public library system was $315,890,000 and included $1,509,000 in federal grants and $9,730,000 in state grants.

New Jersey has more than 177 museums, historic sites, botanical gardens and arboretums. Among the most noteworthy museums are the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark and New Jersey State Museum in Trenton; the Newark Museum, containing both art and science exhibits; Princeton University's Art Museum and Museum of Natural History; and the Jersey City Museum. Also of interest are the early waterfront homes and vessels of Historic Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City, as well as Grover Cleveland's birthplace in Caldwell; the Campbell Museum in Camden (featuring the soup company's collection of bowls and utensils); Cape May County Historical Museum; Clinton Historical Museum Village; US Army Communications-Electronics Museum at Ft. Monmouth; Batsto Village, near Hammonton; Morristown National Historic Park (where George Washington headquartered during the Revolutionary War); Sandy Hook Museum; and one of the most popular attractions, the Edison National Historic Site, formerly the home and workshop of Thomas Edison, in West Orange. In 1984, the grounds at the Skylands section of Ringwood State Park were designated as the official state botanical garden.


Many communications breakthroughsincluding Telstar, the first communications satellitehave been achieved by researchers at Bell Labs in Holmdel, Whippany, and Murray Hill. Three Bell Labs researchers shared the Nobel Prize in physics (1956) for developing the transistor, a device that has revolutionized communications and many other fields. In 1876, at Menlo Park, Thomas Edison invented the carbon telephone transmitter, a device that made the telephone commercially feasible.

The first mail carriers to come to New Jersey were, typically enough, on their way between New York and Philadelphia. Express mail between the two cities began in 1737, and by 1764, carriers could speed through the state in 24 hours. In colonial times, tavern keepers generally served as the local mailmen. The nation's largest bulk-mail facility is in Jersey City. In 2004, 95.1% of the state's occupied housing units had telephones. Additionally, by June of that same year there were 6,326,459 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 65.5% of New Jersey households had a computer and 60.5% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 1,654,477 high-speed lines in New Jersey, 1,479,635 residential and 174,842 for business.

Because the state lacks a major television broadcasting outlet, New Jerseyites receive more news about events in New York City and Philadelphia than in their own towns and cities. In 2005, there were 60 major radio stations (8 AM, 52 FM) and 7 television stations, none of which commanded anything like the audiences and influence of the stations across the Hudson and Delaware rivers. In 1978, in cooperation with public television's WNET (licensed in Newark but operated in New York), New Jersey's public stations began producing New Jersey's first nightly newscast.

A total of 251,401 Internet domain names were registered in New Jersey in the year 2000.


New Jersey has not been known for having a very powerful press. In 1702, Queen Anne banned printers from the colony. The state's first periodical, founded in 1758, died two years later. New Jersey's first daily paper, the Newark Daily Advertiser, did not arrive until 1832.

Many present-day newspapers, most notably the Newark Star-Ledger, have amassed considerable circulation. However, no newspaper has been able to muster statewide influence or match the quality and prestige of the nearby New York Times or Philadelphia Inquirer, both of which are read widely in the state, along with other New York City and Philadelphia papers. In 2005, there were 18 morning dailies, 1 evening, and 15 Sunday papers. Most of the largest papers are owned by either Gannett Co., Inc (of Virginia) or Advance Publications (of New York).

The following table shows leading New Jersey dailies with their approximate 2005 circulation:

*owned by Gannett Co., Inc. +owned by Advance Publications.
Atlantic City Press (m,S) 74,655 93,129
Camden-Cherry Hill Courier-Post * (m,S) 75,408 89,922
Hackensack (Bergen County) Record (m,S) 176,177 212,333
Neptune-Asbury Park Asbury Park Press * (m,S) 160,399 212,471
Newark Star-Ledger + (m,S) 400,042 608,257
Trenton Times + (m,S) 67,600 73,006

Numerous scholarly and historical works have been published by the university presses of Princeton and Rutgers. The offices of Pearson Education and its division, Prentice-Hall, are located in Upper Saddle River. Several New York City publishing houses maintain their production and warehousing facilities in the state. Periodicals published in New Jersey include Home, Medical Economics, New Jersey Monthly, and Personal Computing.


In 2006, there were over 10,065 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 6,826 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations.

Princeton is the headquarters of several education-related groups, including the Educational Testing Service, Graduate Record Examinations Board, the International Mathematical Union, Independent Educational Services, and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Seeing Eye of Morristown was one of the first organizations to provide seeing-eye dogs for the blind. Other medical and health-related organizations are National Industries for the Blind (Wayne), the American Council for Headache Education (Mount Royal), the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (Cherry Hill), and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (Teaneck). Birthright USA, an anti-abortion counseling service, has its headquarters in Woodbury; the National Council on Crime and Delinquency is in Ft. Lee. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Piscataway is a professional organization with national membership. There are statewide professional organizations representing most professions.

Hobby and sports groups include the US Golf Association, the International Golf Federation, and the World Amateur Golf Council in Far Hills; US Equestrian Team in Gladstone; Babe Ruth Baseball/Softball in Trenton; the International Boxing Federation in East Orange; the American Double Dutch League in Cherry Hill; and National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association in Upper Montclair. The Miss America Organization, established in 1921, sponsors the annual Miss America competition in Atlantic City. The American Vegan Society is based in Malaga.

Several religious organizations have base offices in New Jersey, including the American Coptic Association, the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, USA, the National Interfaith Hospitality Network, and the Xaverian Missionaries of the United States. The American Atheists organization is also based in the state.

There are numerous arts and cultural organizations. Some of national interest include the Music Critics Association of North America, the Musical Heritage Society, the National Music Council, the Royal Academy of Dance, and the World Congress of Teachers of Dancing. The American Accordionist's Associations and an American Accordion Musicological Society are both based in New Jersey. There are a number of local historical societies. The Heritage Institute of Ellis Island is located in Jersey City.


Tourism is a leading industry in New Jersey, accounting for a sizeable part of the state's revenues. One out of nine New Jersey workers has a job in tourism, which was the fastest growing economic sector in 2005, with $36.6 billion in revenue. In 2005, there were 72.2 million visitors to the state, 57% of which were day-trip travelers. About 34% of all trips are made by residents within the state. Nearly 25% of all visitors are from New York and 19% are from Pennsylvania. The Jersey shore has been a popular attraction since 1801, when Cape May began advertising itself as a summer resort. Dining, entertainment, and gambling are also popular.

Of all the shore resorts, the largest has long been Atlantic City, which by the 1890s was the nation's most popular resort city and by 1905 was the first major city with an economy almost totally dependent on tourism. That proved to be its downfall, as improvements in road and air transportation made more modern resorts in other states easily accessible to easterners. By the early 1970s, the city's only claims to fame were the Miss America pageant and the game of Monopoly, whose standard version uses its street names. In an effort to restore Atlantic City to its former luster and revive its economy, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1976 to allow casinos in the resort. Some 33 million people visit Atlantic City annually. New Jersey has 127 miles of beaches from Sandy Hook to Cape May and Ocean City. Casino taxes were earmarked to reduce property taxes of senior citizens. New Jersey's close proximity to New York also makes it attractive to visitors. New Jersey hosts the Liberty Science Center with ferry rides to the Statue of Liberty. Camden has a Six Flags amusement park and Columbia features the Lakota Wolf Preserve.

State attractions include 10 ski areas in northwestern New Jersey (on Hamburg Mountain alone, more than 50 slopes are available), canoeing and camping at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 3 national wildlife refuges, 31 public golf courses, and 30 amusement parks, including Great Adventure in central Jersey. Dutch Neck Village, created in 1976, includes a living museum and the Old Hickory Arboretum. Jersey Greens, the largest outlet mall in New Jersey, opened in 1999, anticipating revenues of $5.6 million annually.


New Jersey did not have a major league professional team until 1976, when the New York Giants of the National Football League moved across the Hudson River into the newly completed Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex at East Rutherford. The NFL's New York Jets began playing their home games at the Meadowlands in 1984. The Continental Airlines Arena, located at the same site, is the home of the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association and the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. As New York teams that no longer play in their home state, the Giants and the Jets are scorned by some New York sports purists. When the Giants won the Super Bowl in 1987, New York's then mayor, Ed Koch, refused them the ticker-tape parade traditionally given to local sports champions on the grounds that since they play in New Jersey they are not a New York team.

The state did celebrate a championship it could call its own, however, when the Devils won the Stanley Cup in 1995. The Devils repeated their success with two more Stanley Cup victories in 2000 and 2003.

The New Jersey Nets have made a surge in the recent past, becoming one of the most successful teams in the NBA. They captured berths in consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, falling short on both occasions, however.

The Meadowlands is also the home of a dual thoroughbred-harness-racing track. Other racetracks are Garden State Park (Cherry Hill), Monmouth Park (Oceanport), and Atlantic City Race Course for thoroughbreds, and Freehold Raceway for harness racing. Auto racing is featured at speedways in Bridgeport, East Windsor, and New Egypt. Trenton has a minor league baseball team, the Thunder, in the Eastern League. New Jersey has several world-class golf courses, including Baltusrol, the site of seven US Opens and the 2005 PGA Championship. Numerous championship boxing matches have been held in Atlantic City.

New Jersey is historically significant for the births of two major national sports. Princeton and Rutgers played what is claimed to be the first intercollegiate football game on 6 November 1869 at New Brunswick. (Princeton was named national champion several times around the turn of the century, for the last time in 1911). The first game of what is known today as baseball was played in New Jersey at the Elysion Field in Hoboken between the Knickerbockers and the New York Nine on 19 June 1846. Several important college games are held at Giants Stadium each fall. In college basketball, Seton Hall placed high in the rankings repeatedly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning the National Invitational Tournament in 1953. In 1989 they made it to the finals, losing to Michigan by one point in overtime. Rutgers had a formidable men's basketball team in the 1970s, making it to the Final Four in 1976.

Other annual sporting events include the New Jersey Offshore Grand Prix Ocean Races held at Point Pleasant Beach in July and the National Marbles Tournament in Wildwood.


While only one native New Jerseyite, (Stephen) Grover Cleveland (18371908), has been elected president of the United States, the state can also properly claim (Thomas) Woodrow Wilson (b.Virginia, 18561924), who spent most of his adult life there. Cleveland left his birthplace in Caldwell as a little boy, winning his fame and two terms in the White House (188589, 189397) as a resident of New York State. After serving as president, he retired to Princeton, where he died and is buried. Wilson, a member of Princeton's class of 1879, returned to the university in 1908 as a professor and became its president in 1902. Elected governor of New Jersey in 1910, Wilson pushed through a series of sweeping reforms before entering the White House in 1913. Wilson's two presidential terms were marked by his controversial decision to declare war on Germany and his unsuccessful crusade for US membership in the League of Nations after World War I.

Two vice presidents hail from New Jersey: Aaron Burr (17561836) and Garret A. Hobart (184499). Burr, born in Newark and educated at what is now Princeton University, is best remembered for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel at Weehawken in 1804. Hobart was born in Long Branch, graduated from Rutgers College, and served as a lawyer in Paterson until elected vice president in 1896; he died in office.

Four New Jerseyites have become associate justices of the US Supreme Court: William Paterson (b.Ireland, 17451806), Joseph P. Bradley (181392), Mahlon Pitney (18581924), and William J. Brennan Jr. (19061997). Among the relatively few New Jerseyites to serve in the US cabinet was William E. Simon (1927), secretary of the treasury under Gerald Ford.

Few New Jerseyites won important political status in colonial years because the colony was so long under New York's political and social domination. Lewis Morris (b.New York, 16711746) was named the first royal governor of New Jersey when severance from New York came in 1738. Governors who made important contributions to the state included William Livingston (b.New York, 172390), first governor after New Jersey became a state in 1776; Marcus L. Ward (181284), a strong Union supporter; and Alfred E. Driscoll (190275), who persevered in getting New Jersey a new state constitution in 1947 despite intense opposition from the Democratic Party leadership. Other important historical figures are Molly Pitcher (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, 1754?1832), a heroine of the American Revolution, and Zebulon Pike (17791813), the noted explorer.

Two New Jersey persons have won the Nobel Peace Prize: Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and Nicholas Murray Butler (18621947) in 1931. A three-man team at Bell Laboratories in Mur-ray Hill won the 1956 physics award for their invention of the transistor: Walter Brattain (b.China, 190287), John Bardeen (b.Wisconsin, 190891), and William Shockley (b.England, 1910). Dr. Selman Waksman (b.Russia, 18881973), a Rutgers University professor, won the 1952 prize in medicine and physiology for the discovery of streptomycin. Dickinson Woodruff (18951973) won the medicine and physiology prize in 1956, and Joshua Lederberg (b.1925) was a co-winner in 1958. Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (b.Germany, 18791955), winner of a Nobel Prize in 1921, spent his last decades in Princeton. One of the world's most prolific inventors, Thomas Alva Edison (b.Ohio, 18471931) patented over 1,000 devices from workshops at Menlo Park and West Orange. David Dinkins (b.1927), first African-American mayor of New York was born in Trenton, New Jersey. Norman Schwarzkopf (b.1934), commander of US forces in Desert Storm (Gulf War), was born August 22, 1934 in Trenton, New Jersey. Michael Chang (b.1972), 1989 French Open tennis champion, was born in Hoboken.

The state's traditions in the arts began in colonial times. Patience Lovell Wright (172586) of Bordentown was America's first recognized sculptor. Jonathan Odell (17371818) was an anti-Revolutionary satirist, while Francis Hopkinson (b.Pennsylvania, 173791), lawyer, artist, and musician, lampooned the British. Authors of note after the Revolution included William Dunlap (17661839), who compiled the first history of the stage in America; James Fenimore Cooper (17891851), one of the nation's first novelists; Mary Mapes Dodge (b.New York, 18381905), noted author of children's books; Stephen Crane (18711900), famed for The Red Badge of Courage (1895); and Albert Payson Terhune (18721942), beloved for his collie stories.

Quite a number of prominent 20th-century writers were born in or associated with New Jersey. They include poets William Carlos Williams (18831963) and Allen Ginsberg (19261997); satirist Dorothy Parker (18931967); journalist-critic Alexander Woollcott (18871943); Edmund Wilson (18951972), influential critic, editor, and literary historian; Norman Cousins (191290); Norman Mailer (b.1923); Thomas Fleming (b.1927); John McPhee (b.1931); Philip Roth (b.1933); Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones, b.1934); and Peter Benchley (b.New York, 19402006).

Notable 19th-century artists were Asher B. Durand (17961886) and George Inness (b.New York, 182594). The best-known 20th-century artist associated with New Jersey was Ben Shahn (18981969); cartoonist Charles Addams (191288) was born in Westfield. Noted photographers born in New Jersey include Alfred Stieglitz (18641946) and Dorothea Lange (18951965). Important New Jersey composers were Lowell Mason (b.Massachusetts, 17921872), called the "father of American church music," and Milton Babbitt (b.Pennsylvania, 1916), long active at Princeton. The state's many concert singers include Anna Case (18891984), Paul Robeson (18981976), and Richard Crooks (190072). Popular singers include Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (191598), Sarah Vaughan (19241990), Dionne Warwick (b.1941), Paul Simon (b.1942), and Bruce Springsteen (b.1949). Jazz musician William "Count" Basie (190484) was born in Red Bank.

Other celebrities native to New Jersey are actors Jack Nicholson (b.1937), Michael Douglas (b.1944), Meryl Streep (b.1948), and John Travolta (b.1954). Comedians Lou Costello (190659), Ernie Kovacs (191962), Jerry Lewis (b.1926), and Clerow "Flip" Wilson (193398) were also born in the state. New Jersey-born athletes include figure skater Richard "Dick" Button (b.1929), winner of two Olympic gold medals.


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Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.

DeGrove, John Melvin. Planning Policy and Politics: Smart Growth and the States. Cambridge, Mass.: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2005.

Doak, Robin S. Voices from Colonial America. New Jersey. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2005.

Gillette, William. Jersey Blue: Civil War Politics in New Jersey, 18541865. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

League of Women Voters of New Jersey. New Jersey: Spotlight on New Jersey Government. 6th ed. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1992.

Lee, Francis Bazley (ed.). Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. Baltimore, Md.: reprinted for Clearfield Company, Inc. by Genealogical Pub. Co., 2000.

Marzec, Robert P. (ed.). The Mid-Atlantic Region. Vol. 2 in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.

A New Jersey Anthology. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1994.

Roberts, Russell. Discover the Hidden New Jersey. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

Santelli, Robert. Guide to the Jersey Shore: from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2000.

Simon, Bryant. Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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New Jersey


NEW JERSEY. While ranked forty-sixth among the states in size, in 2002 New Jersey ranked ninth in terms of population, with nearly 8.5 million people. New Jersey is by far the nation's most urbanized and most densely populated state, with 1,144 persons per square mile. In contrast, the national population density in 2000 was just 80 persons per square mile.

Between 1991 and 2001, New Jersey saw its population rise steadily, by 0.85 percent per annum. In 2000, 8,414,350 people lived in New Jersey. By July 2001, the state had 8,484,431 residents; New Jersey's population grew faster than any other state in the northeast region during 2000–2001. During those years, the state lost 39,200 inhabitants through domestic migration, but this was offset by the influx of 60,400 international immigrants. As a result, New Jersey ranked sixth among the states in foreign immigration between 2000 and 2001. While the state's population grew, the average household size actually shrank during the 1990s.

New Jersey's radical transformation from rural to industrial society, from vast regions of farmland to suburban sprawl, did not happen quickly but rather very gradually beginning in the seventeenth century.

Colonial Era

New Jersey began as a British colony in 1664, when James, duke of York, granted all his lands between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers to John, Lord Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret. On 10 February 1665 the two new proprietors issued concessions and agreements setting forth their governmental and land policies. Berkeley then sold his interest in the colony in March 1674 to John Fenwick, a Quaker who represented Edward Byllynge, for £1,000. The trustees for Byllynge, including William Penn, tried to establish a Quaker colony in West Jersey, but Fenwick seceded from the Byllynge group and settled at Salem in November 1675, thereby becoming lord proprietor of his tenth of the proprietary lands. In July 1676, the Quintpartite Deed legally separated the lands of New Jersey into east and west; Carteret remained proprietor of East Jersey while Byllynge, William Penn, and two other Quakers became the proprietors of West Jersey. In February 1682, after the death of Carteret, twelve men purchased his lands for £3,400. Following this transaction the Board of Proprietors of East Jersey was formed in 1684; four years later nine men established the Council of Proprietors of West Jersey.

The Crown refused to grant the proprietors of East and West Jersey governmental authority until 1702. Under the new terms of agreement, the British government allowed both groups to retain the rights to the soil and to the collection of quitrents (rents paid on agricultural lands). The boards of proprietors are still in existence and hold meetings at Perth Amboy (for East Jersey) and Burlington (for West Jersey).

Disputes over land titles in the colony resulted in land riots between 1745 to 1755. The English immigrants that settled in East Jersey during the 1660s argued that they did not need to pay proprietary quitrents, since they had purchased the land from indigenous Native Americans. In response to the dispute, James Alexander, an influential councillor of East Jersey, filed a bill in chancery court on 17 April 1745. On 19 September 1745, Samuel Baldwin, one of the claimants to land in East Jersey, was arrested on his land and taken to jail in Newark. One hundred fifty men rescued him from prison. This incident incited sporadic rioting and disruption of the courts and jails in most East Jersey counties. The land rioters did not stop rebelling until 1754, in response to fears of English retaliation, the coming of the French and Indian War, as well as unfavorable court decisions.

From the beginning colonial New Jersey was characterized by ethnic and religious diversity. In East Jersey, New England Quakers, Baptists, and Congregationalists settled alongside Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Dutch migrants from New York. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres, a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. West Jersey had fewer people than East Jersey, and both English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Both Jerseys remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, and commercial farming only developed sporadically. Some townships, though, like Burlington and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, and New Jersey boasted a population of 120,000 by 1775.

New Jersey's "madness" for "municipal multiplication," notes one recent scholar, could clearly be observed in the colonial partisan politics of many founding town-ships, and is especially evident in the historical balkanization of dozens of large townships that developed along the lower bank of the Raritan. South Amboy, for example, would split into nine separate communities—and, by the end of the nineteenth century, there was very little left of the once-huge township. Similar patterns were duplicated throughout the state, such as in the huge township of Shrewsbury in East Jersey. Eventually that single town-ship would be fragmented into seventy-five separate towns spreading over two counties.

Transportation and growth spurred rivalries between townships. During the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries, before the advent of the railroad, South Amboy's growing port served as the link in ferry transportation from Manhattan and Philadelphia. Equally important, a major roadway also took passengers through the township of Piscataway, which then included most of what would become Middlesex and Mercer Counties. After the coming of the railroad, rivalry between South Amboy and New Brunswick eventually altered the role of each township and the relations of power between the two competitive communities.

Hundreds of tales of factional disputes illustrate the pettiness and quarrelsomeness of the issues that came to divide New Jersey's municipalities: struggles involving railroad lands, school district control, moral regulation, and greedy individualism all led to the fracture of townships, towns, and cities. Many factors thwarted the consolidation of large and medium-sized cities, including antiurban prejudices that prevented the early creation of an urban way of life. New Jersey's geography and topography clearly helped shape the state's long tradition of divisiveness and fragmentation. The state's rivers, woodlands, and salt marshes divided towns, boroughs, and villages. Economic considerations and political pressures contributed to the crazy zigzag development of New Jersey's 566 municipalities, as did personal whims and interests. All of these factors combined to draw each boundary line of those hundreds of municipalities as the state's geo-political map was drawn—every line has a story to tell. Hardly ever practical, functional, or straight, the boundary line designs eventually became to resemble, in the words of Alan Karcher, "cantilevered and circumlinear" shapes that formed "rhomboids and parallelograms—geo-metric rectangles and chaotic fractals." As New Jersey evolved, these "often bizarre configurations" became less and less defensible while their boundaries remained "immutable and very expensive memorials" to the designers who concocted them.

From the reunification of East Jersey and West Jersey in 1702 until 1776, the colony was ruled by a royal governor, an appointive council, and an assembly. While the governor of New York served as the governor of New Jersey until 1738, his power was checked and reduced by the assembly's right to initiate money bills, including controlling governors' salaries. From 1763 on, both political factionalism and sectional conflict hindered the role New Jersey played in the imperial crisis that would eventually erupt into the American Revolution. One important pre-revolutionary incident, however, was the robbery of the treasury of the East Jersey proprietors on 21 July 1768, resulting in increased tensions between Governor William Franklin and the assembly. Although most New Jerseyites only reluctantly engaged in brief boycotts and other forms of protest over the Stamp Act and Townshend duties, the colonists of New Jersey found themselves being swept along by their more militant and powerful neighbors in New York and Pennsylvania. Once the Crown had shut down the port of Boston, however, New Jersey quickly joined rank and formed a provincial congress to assume control of the colony. After participating in both sessions of the Continental Congress and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the colony's representatives ratified a state constitution on 2 July 1776.

During the days of the American Revolution, few states suffered as much or as long as New Jersey. In the first few years of war, both British and American armies swept across the state, while Loyalists returned in armed forays and foraging expeditions. Triumphant battles at Trenton on 26 December 1776, Monmouth on 28 June 1778, and Springfield, 23 June 1780, helped ensure American independence. Because of the weak government under the Articles of Confederation, though, New Jersey suffered immensely from the aftershocks of war's devastation and a heavy state debt. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, New Jersey's representative William Paterson addressed the problem of indebtedness by speaking for the interests of smaller states, and advocating the passage of the New Jersey Plan.

Growth of Industry

After the instability of the 1780s, in the Federalist era the young state turned to novel kinds of industrial activities and began to erect a better transportation system to bolster its nascent economy. In November 1791, Alexander Hamilton helped create the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, which began operating a cotton mill in the new city of Paterson. As a promoter of national economic growth, Hamilton spearheaded other industrial ventures. After they had purchased land, Hamilton and other New York and New Jersey Federalists incorporated themselves as the Associates of New Jersey Company on 10 November 1804. Hamilton was shot while dueling with Aaron Burr in New Jersey, and died of his wounds; after his death, neither of his ventures proved successful until the 1820s.

During the first three decades of the nineteenth century, the nation experienced a transportation revolution, stimulated by capital investment and new manufacturing ventures. Improved roads—especially the Morris Turnpike of 1801—invigorated the state's economy, and steamboats linked New Jersey to the ports of New York and Philadelphia. Furthermore, the construction of the Morris Canal (1824–1838) and the Delaware and Raritan Canal (1826–1838) brought coal and iron to eastern industry, and the Camden and Amboy Railroad was completed in 1834. All these transportation advances increased internal trade and stimulated the infant manufacturing sector and rapid urbanization.

Disputes over school district boroughs, religion, prostitution, gambling, prohibition, exclusivity, zoning and prezoning, and the construction of canals, railroads, roads, and pathways all contributed to New Jerseyites' antiurban bias, myopic sense of community, and preoccupation with the control of property. Every key decision made at the state capital in Trenton regarding taxes, schools, transportation, preservation of natural resources, and a myriad of other issues, observed one political insider, faces the obstacle "that it must accommodate 566 local governments."

Because of these disputes, the number of New Jersey's boroughs rose from 5 to 193 between 1850 and 1917, when more than one hundred of the municipalities still consisted of less than 2,000 inhabitants. After 1930, this fragmentation slowed, with only ten new municipalities created and just three eliminated. New Jersey's communities became more isolated, particularly after the 1947 regulations on zoning took effect.

As the state's political landscape shifted and fragmented over the centuries, in the mid-nineteenth century New Jersey's economic and industrial landscape also underwent massive changes, transforming from a rural farming region into an urban, industrial state. Cities like Camden and Hoboken grew as a result of increased shipping and railroad facilities, while Newark and Jersey City mushroomed with the concentration of specialized industries like leather, shoemaking, and iron. The demand for both skilled and unskilled labor fostered a surge in the urban population of the state's major cities, while the need for cheap, unskilled workers in building and rail construction and factory production was met in part by new waves of immigrants. Starting in the 1840s, Germans, Irish, Poles, and other European immigrants—Protestant, Jewish, and Roman Catholic—added to New Jersey's ethnic and religious diversity. At the turn of the twentieth century, African Americans from the South pushed into the state's already overcrowded urban slums.

The Twentieth Century

New Jersey's political development reflected the changing social and economic climates, and changing demographic patterns. Because New Jersey's state constitution of 1776 envisioned a weak executive with no veto powers, it was not until modern times (like the years under Governor Woodrow Wilson) that the governor wielded more power than the state legislature.

The New Jersey state government has always been sensitive to the demands of business. During the political awakening of the Jacksonian era, the Whig Party forged the first ties between business and state government. Following the Civil War, liberal incorporation laws—and the unremitting pressure industrial giants like Standard Oil and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company placed on legislators—helped establish the corporate control of state politics. Then during the height of the Progressive age at the end of his 1911–1913 governorship, Woodrow Wilson used his newly expanded executive power to begin his assault on these corporations with his "Seven Sisters" monopoly legislation. These political reforms, though, did not prevent the political parties of the early twentieth century from being controlled by urban bosses, such as Frank Hague of Jersey City.

Even with Wilson's gains, it was not until the passage of the new state constitution of 1947 that the governor of New Jersey become a more independent figure with broader discretionary powers. By then, postwar New Jersey had become an even more urbanized and industrialized state, boasting a high standard of living but struggling with a concomitant array of social problems, including environmental pollution, urban decay, racial tension, and rising unemployment among growing minority populations.

With the proliferation of the automobile culture in the 1920s, New Jersey's population quickly decentralized into suburbs along the state's main highways. The rapid suburbanization and population growth (the state had surpassed the seven million mark by 1970), made New Jersey the nation's most urbanized state.

Through the twentieth century, the state developed a varied economic landscape. Its principal industries included recreation facilities, particularly along the Jersey shore; scientific research; chemical and mineral refining; and insurance. By the 1970s, New Jersey led the nation in the production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The state had also developed into four distinct topographical areas: the Hudson-to-Trenton great manufacturing hub, with its heavy concentration of chemical and major pharmaceutical, apparel, petroleum, and glass industries; the Atlantic coastal region (from New York Harbor to Atlantic City and Cape May), the state's vacation land; the Pinelands; and the southern, western, and northern regions, composed primarily of farms, forests, and wealthy suburbs.

The removal, relocation, and decentralization of the state's old manufacturing plants away from older areas in or near the major cities caused dramatic shifts in New Jersey's industrial economy, prompting the Trenton legislature to adopt new public policies toward the wholesale, retail, service, transportation, utilities, and finance industries.

Although urban centers declined in the postwar era—Camden by 13.4 percent, Jersey City by 6.7 percent, and Newark by 7.4 percent—commercial activities in the state's tertiary sector provided jobs for an even larger share of the labor force than industry had. Hudson County suffered the heaviest loss of jobs in the state (with just 2.1 percent growth in the 1980s and grim projections into the 1990s). Only two of New Jersey's major cities—Paterson and Elizabeth—experienced significant growth during these years. Another hard-felt drop in urban population would occur in the 1990s among the largest cities: Camden, Newark, Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne, Trenton, Passaic, and Paterson. These changes—combined with decreasing fertility rates, reduced movement of jobs from New York and Philadelphia to New Jersey, a marked decline in jobs in the Middle Atlantic states, and the state's transient status—led to New Jersey's population increasing by only 5 percent during the 1980s (from 7,365,011 to 7,730,188).

While many cities' populations plummeted after the 1970s, New Jersey retained the distinction of being America's most suburbanized state. By 1990, with practically 90 percent of its population classified as living in urban areas, New Jersey ranked ninth in the nation for population size. The state had an unemployment rate of just 5 percent in 1990, and boasted a per capita income rate second only to Connecticut.

In 1990, the state's largest ethnic group was Italian Americans, while African Americans constituted about 13 percent and Hispanics another 7 percent of the population. Asians were the fastest-growing racial group in the state in the 1990s, with a 77.3 percent growth rate. Dispersal patterns suggest that more than one in every two New Jersey Asians clustered in just three counties (Middlesex, Bergen, and Hudson), making them the largest minority group in Middlesex and Bergen Counties. Among New Jersey's Asian residents, the Indian Asian population ranked first in size and grew the fastest, followed by the Vietnamese, Koreans, Filipinos, Chinese, and Japanese. The Japanese population was the only Asian group to decline in the 1990s.

People of Hispanic descent accounted for more than half of New Jersey's demographic growth in the 1990s. Puerto Ricans constituted the largest Hispanic group, accounting for nearly a third of the state's Hispanic population, with large concentrations in Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Camden counties. Mexicans comprised the fastest growing group among the state's Hispanic population. Cubans were the only Hispanic group to experience a population decline in the 1990s.

During the 1990s, the proportion of non-Hispanic whites in the state dropped from 74 percent to 66 percent, echoing the nationwide pattern of decline.

The decade of the 1990s proved to be another painful one for New Jersey's cities, with the total value of property dropping slightly even as values in suburban and rural towns continued to escalate. New Jersey attempted to improve its battered image by opening of the Garden State Arts Center and the Meadowlands sports complex. By the end of the 1990s, with a booming national economy and the state's concentration of skilled and specialized labor (especially in biotech and pharmaceuticals), most New Jersey cities began to experience a slight rebound.

New Jersey's Future

The State Plan for the early 2000s sought to channel growth by restricting state infrastructure spending in many rural and suburban areas and focusing instead on urban redevelopment. The recession that gripped the nation in 2001 also affected development schemes, and New Jersey's cities faced a difficult future.

One experiment in redevelopment would be watched closely, to see if former industrial sites could be successfully transformed into residential properties. After decades of decline, the Middlesex County city of Perth Amboy (population 47,000) welcomed $600 million in housing and retail development to be built on former industrial sites. One problem facing many of New Jersey's cities was the brownfields, contaminated vacant or underutilized industrial properties. The state attempted to reward developers interested in cities by reducing the red tape associated with brownfields. Before most other industrial cities in New Jersey, Perth Amboy secured an early federal grant and worked out an arrangement with the state environmental officials.

According to the state Planning Commission chairperson, Joseph Maraziti, the city's redevelopment plan had widespread implications for the entire state. "I have seen an evolution in Perth Amboy, and not just a visual change but a spiritual one.…That is exactly the message of the State Plan. We are trying to revitalize New Jersey's cities and towns. If that does not happen, nothing else in the state will work well." Other older industrial cities like New Brunswick, Jersey City, and Newark were also looking at Perth Amboy's example. They were all hoping that a fifty-year history of urban flight was about to be reversed.

When Governor Christine Todd Whitman gave her state-of-the-state address in early January 2001, New Jersey had the sixteenth largest economy in the world and the second highest per capita income in America. Perhaps her biggest accomplishment as governor was the creation of over 435,000 jobs in the state, but budget deficits accrued and a $2.8 billion budget gap developed under Whitman's Republican administration. With the Garden State Preservation Trust, though, Governor Whitman preserved nearly as much land as the combined administrations of governors Jim Florio, Brendan T. Byrne, William T. Cahill, and Richard J. Hughes. Before stepping down as governor in 2001, Whitman boasted that her administration had already created ten new business incubators and thirty "cyberdistricts" in New Jersey, with a focus on promoting high technology.

At the beginning of 2002, the state under Governor James E. McGreevey faced a $2.9 billion to $5 billion shortfall. To address this shortfall, the governor demanded 5 percent cutbacks in all agencies, and laid off 600 non-union public employees. McGreevey suggested that a Newark sports arena would be a catalyst for development, and proposed a stimulus package that would include public investment in the state's other urban centers, such as Camden, and job training programs to improve the quality of the state's work force.

Despite the governor's optimism, in 2002 New Jersey faced revenue shortfalls, pollution that ranked the worst in the nation, problems with the black business economy in northern New Jersey, issues surrounding the state's redevelopment areas, and problems facing New Jersey's "urban 30" cities.


Cunningham, Barbara, ed. The New Jersey Ethnic Experience. Union City, N.J.: Wise, 1977.

Frank, Douglas. "Hittin' the Streets with Clem." Rutgers Focus (19 October 2001): 4–5.

Glovin, Bill. "The Price of Progress." Rutgers Magazine 81, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 20–27, 42–43.

Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Karcher, Alan J. New Jersey's Multiple Municipal Madness. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

Kauffman, Matthew. "New Jersey Looks at Itself." New Jersey Reporter 14 (March 1985): 13–17.

Mappen, Marc. Jerseyana: The Underside of New Jersey History. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1992.

McCormick, Richard P. New Jersey from Colony to State, 1609–1789. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1981.

New Jersey Department of Labor Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research. Southern Region: Regional Labor Market Review. July 1998.

New Jersey Department of Labor Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research. Atlantic Region: Regional Labor Market Review. January 1998.

Projections 2008: New Jersey Employment and Population in the Twenty-First Century, Volume 1, Part B. Trenton: New Jersey Department of Labor Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research, May 2001.

"Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman State of the State, Tuesday, January 9, 2001." In New Jersey Documents. 9 March 2001.

Roberts, Russell, and Richard Youmans. Down the Jersey Shore. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1993.

Salmore, Barbara G., and Stephen A. Salmore. New Jersey Politics and Government: Suburban Politics Comes of Age. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

Schwartz, Joel, and Daniel Prosser, eds. Cities of the Garden State: Essays in the Urban and Suburban History of New Jersey. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt, 1977.

Sullivan, Robert. The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City. New York: Scribners, 1998.

Wu, Sen-Yuan. New Jersey Economic Indicators. Trenton: New Jersey Department of Labor, Division of Labor Market and Demographic Research, January 2002.

Timothy C.Coogan

See alsoAtlantic City ; East Jersey ; Newark ; Suburbanization ; Urbanization .

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New Jersey

New Jersey, Middle Atlantic state of the E United States. It is bordered by New York State (N and, across the Hudson River and New York Harbor, E), the Atlantic Ocean (E), Delaware, across Delaware Bay and River (SW), and Pennsylvania, across the Delaware River (W).

Facts and Figures

Area, 7,836 sq mi (20,295 sq km). Pop. (2010) 8,791,894, a 4.5% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Trenton. Largest city, Newark. Statehood Dec. 18, 1787 (3d of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution). Highest pt., High Point Mt., 1,803 ft (550 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Garden State. Motto, Liberty and Prosperity. State bird, Eastern goldfinch. State flower, purple violet. State tree, red oak. Abbr., N.J.; NJ


New Jersey is surrounded by water except along the 50 mi (80 km) of northern border with New York state. The northern third of the state lies within the Appalachian Highland region, where ridges running northeast and southwest shelter valleys containing pleasant streams and glacial lakes. Beyond the crest of wooded slopes are long-established farms given over to dairying and field crops. The Kittatinny Mts., with the state's highest elevations (up to 1,803 ft/550 m), stretch across the northwest corner of New Jersey from the New York border to the Delaware Water Gap. In 1961 New Jersey, along with three other states and the federal government, signed the Delaware River Basin Compact, providing for the control of water resources and rights throughout the Delaware River basin.

Southeast of the Highlands lie the Triassic lowlands or piedmont plains, extending from the northeastern border to Trenton, the capital, and encompassing every major city of the state except Camden and Atlantic City. The monotony of the lowlands is broken by ancient trap-rock ridges that extend to the Palisades of the Hudson, and many commuter towns lie along the wooded slopes. East of Newark, the largest city, and Hackensack acres of tidal marshes have been converted to industrial, office, and commercial use. This area, called the Meadowlands, also contains a huge sports and entertainment complex. Drainage is provided by the state's major rivers, the Passaic, the Raritan, and the Hackensack.

The busy lowlands give way in the southeast to the coastal plains, which cover more than half the state. The coast itself is highly developed as a resort area. Offshore barrier islands make large harbors impractical but provide 115 mi (185 km) of sheltered waterways that have made possible a superior combination of bay and ocean facilities. Inland from the coast lie the Pine Barrens, a vast area of forests, small rivers, and few settlements.


Only four states are smaller in size than New Jersey, yet New Jersey ranks ninth in the nation in population and has the highest population density of any U.S. state, facts owing in part to its proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia but also indicative of its economic importance. New Jersey is a major industrial center, an important transportation corridor and terminus, and a long-established playground for summer vacationers.

The state is noted for its output of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, machinery, and a host of other products, including electronic equipment, printed materials, and processed foods. Bayonne is the terminus of pipelines originating in Texas and Oklahoma, and there are oil refineries at Linden and Carteret. The long history of heavy industry in New Jersey has left the state with the largest inventory of U.S. Superfund sites, and industrial cleanup is an important issue in its cities.

New Jersey has been a leader in industrial research and development since the establishment in 1876 of Thomas Edison's research facility in Menlo Park. Color televison, the videotape recorder, and the liquid crystal display were invented in New Jersey corporate research labs. Today telecommunications and biotechnology are major industries in the state, and the area near Princeton has developed into a notable high-tech center. Finance, warehousing, and "big box" retailing have also become important to the state's economy, attracting corporations and shoppers and to a large extent reversing New Jersey's onetime role as a suburb for commuters to New York City and Philadelphia.

A tremendous transportation system, concentrated in the industrial lowlands, moves products and a huge volume of interstate traffic through the state. Busy highways like the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike are part of a network of toll roads and freeways. New Jersey is linked to Delaware and Pennsylvania by many bridges across the Delaware River. Traffic to and from New York is served by railway and subway tunnels and by the facilities of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln and Holland vehicular tunnels, and three bridges to Staten Island. Airports are operated by many cities, and Newark airport (controlled by the Port Authority) ranks among the nation's busiest. Shipping in New Jersey centers on the ports of the Newark Bay and New York Bay areas—notably Port Newark and Port Elizabeth—with relatively minor seagoing traffic on the Delaware as far north as Trenton.

This extensive transportation network also serves to maintain New Jersey's well-known vacation industry, reaching ocean beaches, inland lakes, forests, and mountain resort areas. Atlantic City's emergence as a casino gambling center has made it the largest visitor destination in the state.

In addition to being a center of industry, transportation, and tourism, New Jersey is a leading state in agricultural income per acre. The scrub pine area of the southern inland region is used for cranberry and blueberry culture. North of the pine belt the soil is extremely fertile and supports a variety of crops, most notably potatoes, corn, hay, peaches, and vegetables (especially tomatoes and asparagus). Dairy products, eggs, and poultry are also important. Commercial and residential expansion, however, has taken over much of the state's farmland, and New Jersey is now almost one third developed.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

The New Jersey legislature consists of a senate of 40 members and an assembly of 80 members. The governor serves a four-year term and may be reelected once. Republican Christine Todd Whitman, elected governor in 1993, was reelected in 1997. After she resigned (2001) to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Donald T. DiFrancesco, president of the state senate, became acting governor. In 2001, Democrat James E. McGreevey was elected to the office. He resigned in 2004 after disclosing he had had an extramarital homosexual relationship with a political appointee, and Senate President Richard J. Codey became acting governor. Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat, was elected to the governorship in 2005; he lost to Republican Christopher J. Christie in 2009. Christie won a second term in 2013. New Jersey sends 12 representatives and 2 senators to the U.S. Congress and has 14 electoral votes.

New Jersey's two best-known institutions of higher learning were established in the 18th cent.—Princeton Univ., at Princeton, as the College of New Jersey in 1746; and Rutgers Univ., mainly at New Brunswick, as Queen's College in 1766. Among other New Jersey educational institutions are Fairleigh Dickinson Univ., with three campuses; Seton Hall Univ., mainly at South Orange; Stevens Institute of Technology, at Hoboken; the Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, with five campuses; and a number of state colleges. The Institute for Advanced Study, at Princeton, is one of the leading research centers of the country.


Early Settlement to Statehood

The history of New Jersey goes back to Dutch and Swedish communities established prior to settlement by the English. Dutch claims to the Hudson and Delaware valleys were based on the voyages of Henry Hudson, who sailed into Newark Bay in 1609. Under the auspices of the Dutch West India Company patroonships were offered for settlement, and small colonies were located on the present sites of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Gloucester City.

Swedes and Finns of New Sweden, who predominated in the Delaware Valley after 1638, were annexed by the New Netherland colony in 1655. In 1664, New Netherland was seized for the English, but the Dutch disputed this claim. Proprietorship of lands between the Hudson (at lat. 41°N) and the northernmost point of the Delaware was granted to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. The original grants to Berkeley and Carteret divided the region in two. The split was further defined in the Quintipartite Deed of 1676, which divided the province into East and West Jersey. East Jersey was held by Carteret.

In 1681 William Penn and 11 other Quakers purchased East Jersey from Carteret's widow. In both Jerseys confusion resulting from the unwieldy number of landowners together with widespread resentment against authority caused the proprietors to surrender voluntarily their governmental powers to the crown in 1702, although they retained their land rights. New Jersey's independence from New York was recognized, but authority was vested in the governor of New York until 1738, when Lewis Morris was appointed governor of New Jersey alone. Under the royal governors the same problems persisted—land titles were in dispute and opposition to the proprietors culminated in riots in the 1740s.

East Jersey was dominated by Calvinism, implanted by Scottish and New England settlers, while in West Jersey the Quakers soon developed a landed aristocracy with strong political and economic influence. Anti-British sentiment gradually spread from its stronghold in East Jersey throughout the colony and took shape in Committees of Correspondence. Although the Tory party was to prove strong enough to raise six Loyalist battalions, the patriot cause was generally accepted, and in June, 1776, the provincial congress adopted a constitution and declared New Jersey a state.

The Revolution and Economic Expansion

Because of its strategic position, New Jersey was of major concern in the American Revolution. Washington's memorable Christmas attack on the Hessians at Trenton in 1776, followed by his victory at Princeton, restored the confidence of the patriots. In June, 1778, Washington fought another important battle in New Jersey, at Monmouth. Altogether, about 90 engagements were fought in the state, and Washington moved his army across it four times, wintering twice at Morristown.

At the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787, the delegates from New Jersey sponsored the cause of the smaller states and carried the plan for equal representation in the Senate. New Jersey was the third state to ratify (Dec., 1787) the Constitution of the United States. By this time New Jersey's population had grown from an estimated 15,000 in 1700 to approximately 184,000. Trenton became the state's capital in 1790. Agriculture had been supplemented by considerable mining and processing of copper and iron and by the production of lumber, leather, and glass.

During the next 50 years, a period of enormous economic expansion, the dominance of the landed aristocracy gave way to industrial growth and to a more democratic state government. The important textile industry, powered by the falls of the Passaic, was initiated at Paterson. Potteries, shoe factories, and brickworks were built. Roads were improved, the Morris Canal and the Delaware and Raritan canals were chartered, and the Camden and Amboy RR completed a line from New York to Philadelphia with monopoly privileges.

Governmental Reform and Civil War

Prior to the Civil War an era of reform resulted in the framing of a new state constitution (1844) in which property qualifications for suffrage were abolished, provisions were made for the popular election of the governor and the assemblymen, and a balance of power and responsibility was established among the executive, legislative, and judicial departments. In spite of some pro-Southern sentiment, New Jersey recruited its quota of regiments in the Civil War and gave valuable financial aid to the Union. The war demands proved lucrative for commerce and industry, and the expanding labor market attracted large numbers of European immigrants.

Political Struggles and a New Constitution

By 1865 the pattern of the state's development was molded. Population and industry showed rapid and steady growth. Large economic interests grasped control of political power, giving rise to sporadic but unsustained popular movements for reform. The Camden and Amboy RR was transferred by lease to the Pennsylvania RR in 1871, and its monopolistic power was lessened by legislation opening the state to all rail lines and by the assessment and taxation of railroad properties.

After the 1870s easy incorporation laws and low corporation tax rates attracted new trusts to incorporate through "dummy" offices in the state. There was much liberal sentiment against the power of "big business." A general reform movement sponsored by Woodrow Wilson when he was governor (1910–12) resulted in such legislation as the direct primary, a corrupt practices act, and the "Seven Sisters" acts for the regulation of trusts (later repealed).

The state voted predominantly Democratic from the Civil War until 1896. Since that time it has frequently voted Republican in national elections, and in state politics it has often divided power between Democratic governors and Republican legislatures. The powerful political machine of Frank Hague, centered in Jersey City, wielded great influence in the Democratic party from 1913 until 1949, when it was defeated by insurgents within its ranks.

In 1947 a new constitution was framed and accepted to replace the antiquated constitution of 1844. The liberal Bill of Rights was preserved and extended, governmental departments were streamlined, the cumbersome court system was simplified, the executive power was strengthened, and labor's right to organize and bargain collectively was recognized. In 1966 another convention was called to rewrite those portions of the 1947 constitution invalidated by application of the U.S. Supreme Court's "one man, one vote" rule to state legislatures. The convention drafted sweeping revisions, which were approved by the electorate in Nov., 1966.

Racial Tensions and New Economic Development

A six-day race riot in Newark in July, 1967, drew attention to the urgent need for social and political reform in many of the state's urban centers. During the early 1970s the state government proposed plans for massive urban renewal and economic development projects, but the trend of movement away from central cities increased throughout the 1970s and 1980s and into the 1990s.

During this period, New Jersey lost thousands of manufacturing jobs but replaced them through the dramatic development of the economy's service and trade sectors. In 1976 the state legalized casino gambling and in 1978 the first casino opened in Atlantic City. The Meadowlands Sports Complex opened in 1976 and now includes a football stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets professional football teams, and an indoor arena. New Jersey was hard hit by recession in the early 1990s and the state suffered from overdevelopment, but increasing economic diversity had fueled a recovery by the decade's end. Many of the state's numerous shore communities and resorts suffered significant damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.


See I. S. Kull, ed., New Jersey: A History (5 vol., 1930); J. E. Pomfret, The Province of West New Jersey, 1609–1702 (1956) and The Province of East New Jersey, 1609–1702 (1962); K. Widmer, The Geography and Geology of New Jersey (1965); J. T. Cunningham, Colonial New Jersey (1971); J. E. Pomfret, Colonial New Jersey (1973); C. A. Stansfield, Jr., New Jersey: A Geography (1983); A. Bernard and L. Sante, New Jersey: An American Portrait (1986); J. Monninger, New Jersey (1987); M. N. Lurie et al., New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (2012).

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New Jersey


Atlantic City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229

Jersey City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241

Newark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255

New Brunswick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269

Paterson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281

Trenton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295

The State in Brief

Nickname: Garden State

Motto: Liberty and Prosperity

Flower: Purple violet

Bird: Eastern goldfinch

Area: 8,721 square miles (2000; U.S. rank: 47th)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 1,803 feet

Climate: Moderate with marked differences between the northwest and southeast extremities

Admitted to Union: December 18, 1787

Capital: Trenton

Head Official: Governor Richard Codey (D) (until 2006)


1980: 7,365,000

1990: 7,730,188

2000: 8,414,350

2004 estimate: 8,698,879

Percent change, 19902000: 8.9%

U.S. rank in 2004: 10th

Percent of residents born in state: 53.4% (2000)

Density: 1,134.4 people per square mile (2000)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 259,789

Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)

White: 6,104,705

Black or African American: 1,141,821

American Indian and Alaska Native: 19,492

Asian: 480,276

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 3,329

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,117,191

Other: 450,972

Age Characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 563,785

Population 5 to 19 years old: 1,720,322

Percent of population 65 years and over: 13.2%

Median age: 36.7 years (2000)

Vital Statistics

Total number of births (2003): 117,127

Total number of deaths (2003): 73,589 (infant deaths, 660)

AIDS cases reported through 2003: 17,089


Major industries: Manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, services, trade, mining, fishing

Unemployment rate: 4.2% (April 2005)

Per capita income: $40,002 (2003; U.S. rank: 3rd)

Median household income: $55,221 (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Percentage of persons below poverty level: 8.2% (3-year average, 2001-2003)

Income tax rate: 1.4% on first $20,000; 1.75% on next

$30,000; 2.45% on next $20,000, 3.5% on next $10,000, 5.525% on $70,000, 6.37% over $150,000

Sales tax rate: 6%

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New Jersey

New Jersey State in e USA, on the Atlantic coast, s of New York; the capital is Trenton. Other major cities include Newark, Atlantic City, and Paterson. Settlement began in the 1620s, when the Dutch founded New Netherland (later New York). The British took the colony in 1664, separated the land between the Hudson and Delaware rivers and named it New Jersey. The n part of the state is in the Appalachian highland region; se of this are the Piedmont plains and more than half the state is coastal plain. Various crops are grown, and cattle and poultry are important. New Jersey is overwhelmingly industrial and densely populated. Industries: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, rubber goods, textiles, electronic equipment, missile components, copper smelting, oil refining. Area: 20,295sq km (7836sq mi). Pop. (2000) 8,414,350.

Statehood :

December 18, 1787

Nickname :

The Garden State

State bird :

Eastern goldfinch

State flower :

Purple violet

State tree :

Red oak

State motto :

Liberty and prosperity

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New Jersey


The history of New Jersey is a study in conflicts geographical, political, social, and economic. One end of the state often seems like a part of New York City; the other end has close ties to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the state retains a healthy agricultural sector, it is better known as a place where industry developed early and then went into decline for a period of time. High unemployment and urban decay have plagued the cities in New Jersey for several decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, better times seemed to be on the horizon for the "Garden State."

In 1524 Italian explorer Giovanni di Verrazano sailed into Newark Bay and became the first known European to reach New Jersey. English Captain Henry Hudson also sailed along the New Jersey shore and established a claim for the Dutch, under whose flag he sailed. Dutch traders founded New Jersey's first town, and Swedish settlers began to settle east of the Delaware River. By the mid-1770s the indigenous Leni-Lanape Indians (whom the English called the Delaware) had exchanged most of their valuable lands for trinkets, guns, and alcohol and had almost disappeared from the area.

England took control in 1664 after King Charles II granted a region from the Connecticut River to the Delaware River to his brother James, Duke of York. The Duke deeded part of the land to his friends Baron John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, making New Jersey a proprietorship (New Jersey was named for one of the British channel islands). The country was later divided into two separate parts, East Jersey and West Jersey, only to be reunited in 1702 by Queen Anne. A royal governor was appointed in 1738. To this day the two areas of New Jersey have quite different characters, with the northeastern section closely identified with New York and the southwestern section looking toward Philadelphia.

New Jersey played an important role in the American Revolution (17751783), but it experienced an economic decline in the aftermath of the war. Its trade with New York was interrupted; its towns were left in ruins; and its profitable iron works were shut down. After New Jersey entered the Union in 1787, however, the state began to recover economically; the town of Paterson, for example, developed as a center of silk manufacturing.

In the 1830s railroads and canals helped to set New Jersey on a course toward urbanization and industrialization. One of the greatest engineering feats of its time, the Morris Canal, connected northern New Jersey with the coal fields of Pennsylvania. The canal benefited many businesses along its route, from iron mines to dyeing and weaving mills. A second canal, the Delaware and Raritan, crossed flat land in the middle of the state. The most important town along the Morris Canal was Newark, the first in the state to be incorporated; it developed around breweries, hat factories, and paper manufacturers. Other towns grew with industries as well: Trenton was noted for its iron and paper plants and Jersey City was noted for its steel and soap operations.

Railroads spelled the end of profitability for the canals, which went into decline after the American Civil War (18611865). The first railroad, the Camden and Amboy, opened in 1834; it soon began to monopolize the New York-Philadelphia corridor. Coal brought by the railroad provided a new source of power other than water, and industries sprang up along the rail-road's route. After the Camden and Amboy was leased to the Pennsylvania Railroad, numerous other rail lines opened up other areas to development.

Despite much political wrangling over the Civil War in New Jersey, the state benefited economically from the war by providing tons of ammunition and equipment for the Union army. After the war factories continued to make many components used by other manufacturers. In 1873 Isaac Singer (18111875) opened a sewing machine plant at Elizabeth; oil refineries grew along the Hudson County waterfront; and pottery manufacturers thrived in Trenton. Newark had a diversified base of manufacturing and a large number of nationally known insurance companies.

New Jersey became the nation's top shipbuilding state during World War I (19141918). In addition, New Jersey refined 75 percent of the copper in the country and loaded an equal percentage of U.S. shells. The war, however, did not substantially hinder labor unrest, which had been a part of New Jersey's history since the 1880s. In 1915, at Carteret, a walkout at a fertilizer factory led to the killing of six strikers by guards. In the postwar era, Passaic textile workers stayed off the job for a year in 1926, and in 1933 Paterson silk workers finally gained union recognition and higher wages after another strike.

By that time, however, many other New Jersey workers were experiencing reduced work weeks or unemployment. As the Great Depression (19291939) worsened, many expected to take advantage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's (19331945) New Deal programs to provide a measure of relief. Unfortunately for many, these government jobs were almost entirely under the control of Frank Hague, Mayor of Jersey City, a corrupt politician with many ties to the Roosevelt administration. According to Thomas Fleming's history of New Jersey, New Jersey: A Bicentennial History, Harry Hopkins, head of the Works Progress Administration, "ignored stacks of testimony and sworn affidavits from men and women who said that they were forced to vote for Hague's candidates and pay 3 percent of their salaries to the [political] machine in return for their jobs." Fleming painted a sorry picture of the relationship between New Jersey politicians and their constituents during this time: "For the first time politicians had access to huge amounts of legal money and jobs. No longer did they have to rely on padded loyal payrolls and money from illegal gambling and phony real estate deals." The power of Hague's political machine in the state was formidable, lasting until his defeat as mayor in 1947.

World War II (19391945) brought a revival of industry in New Jersey, especially in shipbuilding and munitions. Chemical and pharmaceutical companies also thrived, while Paterson became the nation's leading aircraft engine manufacturing center. After the war many people left the older cities to build homes in suburbs like Cherry Hill, Woodbridge, and Middletown Township. Between 1940 and 1950 the population of the state burgeoned by 1.2 million, stretching highway use and housing availability to the limit. New Jersey rapidly became the center for many research laboratories during this time, which helped creation of a number of affluent areas such as Bergen County.

For many in the inner cities, however, postwar hopes of economic opportunity had been crushed. According to Fleming, the many African Americans who had come to Newark seeking jobs after the war "virtually guaranteed tragedy." Only half found employment in the declining industries, and "[s]ome 40 percent of them had to travel to work outside the city every morning while 300,000 suburban workers poured into the central district to work in giant insurance company offices or in the remaining industrial jobs." In 1967 the city of Newark erupted into four days of rioting, looting, and burning, which left the city in shambles, both economically and psychologically.

In the next five years Newark lost 23,000 private jobs. In the 1970s and 1980s, 270,000 people left New Jersey as cities lost manufacturing jobs and retailing moved to suburbia. Unemployment reached nearly 10 percent. By the mid-1980s, however, recovery was on the horizon. With the loss of manufacturing jobs came a resurgence of jobs in the service industries. After another recession in the early 1990s, the state rebounded again. The unemployment rate fell to six percent in 1996 for the first time in six years. The recovery was due at least in part to the presence of a highly skilled workforce, which attracted pharmaceutical, biotechnology, electronics, and other high-technology industries to the state. Along with business incentive programs administered by the state Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the relatively low tax burden in New Jersey has helped to encourage new businesses to come into the state. Per capita personal income in the state in 1996 was over $31,000 and ranked second among all states.

Vitally important to New Jersey's economy are the ports which line New York Harbor. Ports at Elizabeth, with three miles of berthing space, and Newark, with four miles, handle more cargo than New York City ports, benefiting the local economy greatly. Privately owned piers in Jersey City and Bayonne also handle significant cargo. Northern New Jersey port facilities taken together form the largest port in the eastern United States and the second largest in the whole country.

See also: Isaac Singer


Amick, George. The American Way of Graft. 5 vols. Princeton, NJ: Center for Analysis of Public Issues, 1987.

Cunningham, John T. This is New Jersey, 4th ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Fleming, Thomas. New Jersey: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1977.

A New Jersey Anthology. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1994.

New Jersey, State of Economic Policy Council and Office of Economic Policy. 1985 Economic Outlook for New Jersey. Trenton, 1984.

contemporary new jersey is still what governor [jonathan] belcher called it in 1745"the best country for middling fortunes, and for people who have to live by the sweat of their brows."

thomas fleming, new jersey: a bicentennial history, 1977.

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