116 Fun & Interesting Facts About New Jersey

Are you ready to discover some cool facts about New Jersey? It may be one of the smallest states in the United States, but don’t let its size fool you! New Jersey is packed with exciting history, beautiful beaches, and lots of fun things to do. So, let’s jump right in and learn what makes New Jersey so special!

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Did you know that New Jersey is known as the “Garden State”? That’s because it has so many beautiful gardens and farms. Although it’s famous for its cities and industry, New Jersey also has plenty of places where fruits and vegetables grow. This state can really surprise you with its green side!

New Jersey also has some pretty amazing beaches along its coast. Places like Ocean City and Cape May are perfect spots for building sandcastles, splashing in the waves, and maybe even spotting some dolphins. During the summer, families love to visit the Jersey Shore to enjoy the sun and the sea.

And here’s something cool: New Jersey played a big part in American history. It was one of the thirteen original colonies, and important battles were fought here during the American Revolution. Plus, New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights, which is a big deal in the history of the United States.

Are you excited to learn more facts about New Jersey? From its lush gardens to its sandy beaches and important place in history, there’s so much to explore and discover in this small but mighty state. Let’s keep our curiosity alive and find out all the amazing things that make New Jersey a unique and fascinating place!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about North Dakota and Facts about New York.

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Facts about New Jersey

  1. New Jersey elected its first female governor in 1993, Christine Todd Whitman.
  2.  New Jersey is the only state in the country with all its counties classified as metropolitan areas.
  3. The state is home to 28 Fortune 500 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Avis Budget Group, and Campbell Soup.
  4. The most popular state park in New Jersey is Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The park was built for the country’s 200th anniversary. It features views of the Manhattan skyline, a memorial for the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, and ferry service to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island of New York State, which is just 1984 ft (605 m) offshore from the park.
  5. New Jersey is home to three federally recognized Native American tribes: the Ramapough Lenape, Powhatan Renape, and Lenni Lenape.
  6. More cars are stolen in New Jersey than in both New York City and Los Angeles combined. 
  7. As far as total population goes, New Jersey is home to just under 9 million people, making it the 11th most populous state in the country. 
  8. Students and staff at The Lawrenceville School in central Jersey broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest custard pie fight in November 2010, with 671 active participants. 
  9. The first saltwater taffy in the world was created and distributed in Atlantic City in the 1870s by David Bradley. 
  10. Later in his life, Einstein received an honorary degree from Princeton University where he worked until he died in 1955. 
  11. Although Cooperstown, NY trademarked the phrase “The Birthplace Of Baseball,” the first recorded baseball game played with codified rules was in Hoboken, NJ in 1846. 
  12. More than two-fifths of the land is forested. The state has 28 state parks and 11 state forests.
  13. The home of the Prudential Center is one of New Jersey’s most notable cities. Newark is the biggest city in the state, covering over 25 square miles (65 square km).
  14. The state was nicknamed the “garden state” because of its fertile land. However, due to urban expansion and industrialization, the landscape of the state has changed considerably.
  15. In June 1933, New Jersey opened the world’s first drive-in theater in Pennsauken. The owner, Richard Hollingshead showed the movies using a motion picture projector.
  16. Even though New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the Union, it has five distinct climate regions – Northern, Central, Pine Barrens, Southwest, and Coastal.
  17. Cape May is the nation’s first seaside resort. It is named for the Dutch sea captain Cornelius Jacobsen May.
  18. New Jersey is located about halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, on the eastern coast of the United States.
  19. The Jersey Shore became a major attraction in the 1920s, around the same time the state became the first to ratify prohibition. Needless to say, bootlegging and gangsters seen in shows like Boardwalk Empire are based on facts from the era!
  20. During the war for independence, New Jersey was the site of more than 100 battles, and it became known as the Crossroads of the Revolution.
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  1. The Holland Tunnel, which connects New York with New Jersey and plunges to depths of up to 93 feet below the Hudson River, was opened in 1927 and became the world’s first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel!
  2. Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb right here in New Jersey.
  3. New Jersey is one of the thirteen original colonies.
  4. Italian Americans are the state’s largest ethnic group.
  5. The honeybee became New Jersey’s state bug in June 1974. These little critters help keep gardens populated and pollinated.
  6. New Jersey is home to the tallest water tower in the world. The Union Watersphere is located in the town of Union and stands at an impressive 212 feet (64.6 meters) tall.
  7. Lakes and ponds cover about 300 square miles of the state’s area. The Delaware is its major river and the state shares it with Pennsylvania. The Hudson River forms the boundary between New Jersey and New York.
  8. In 1642, the first brewery in America opened in Hoboken. 
  9. The famous Hindenburg crash happened while trying to land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township in 1937, leaving 36 people dead. 
  10. Although he’s from Winthrop, Massachusetts, Steve Van Zandt gets to claim membership in two legendary Jersey clans – the E Street Band and The Sopranos. 
  11. Influencing everyone from Eddie Van Halen to Jimmy Page, legendary guitarist Les Paul invented the first solid-body electric guitar in his home in Mahwah, NJ where he continued to work in his basement workshop until his death in 2009. 
  12. The Weird U.S. and States books are a product of the success of the original Weird New Jersey book which began as a biannual newsletter in 1989 and was published as a book in 2003. 
  13. Popcorn Park Zoo’s own Princess the Camel has accurately picked five out of the past six Super Bowl wins correctly, according to her publicist. 
  14. One of the most popular rumors about the whereabouts of Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa after his infamous disappearance in 1975 is that he’s buried under the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. 
  15. As far as total population goes, New Jersey is home to just under 9 million people, making it the 11th most populous state in the country. 
  16. New Jersey’s state flower is the violet, while its state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch. 
  17. New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Because much of Greater New York City spills into Jersey, the state is often associated with the country’s largest city.
  18. Trenton is the capital city of New Jersey. With only 91,000 people, it is the 10th largest city in the state.
  19. New Jersey is a leading producer of tomatoes, blueberries, and cranberries. 
  20. New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. The United States Equestrian Team is headquartered in Gladstone, NJ. 
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  1. New Jersey has the highest population density of any state: 1263 people per mi2 (488 per km2). Only Washington D.C. has a higher density (10 times higher, to be precise!)
  2. The official state motto of New Jersey is “Liberty and prosperity.”
  3. New Jersey is home to the highest concentration of diners in the world, so it is sometimes referred to as the “Diner Capital of the World”.
  4.  Some bizarre old laws are still in existence in New Jersey. For example, it’s against the law to sell a car on Sundays.
  5. New Jersey became a state in 1787. That was also the year the state became the third to ratify the United States Constitution.
  6. Charles Augustus Lindbergh, also known as The Lindbergh Baby, was abducted from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey.
  7. New Jersey’s rich American history continues with the Revolutionary War. A total of 296 Revolutionary War battles were fought in New Jersey. 
  8. The world’s largest light bulb which is 13 feet tall and weighs eight tons stands near Thomas Edison’s old lab in Edison, New Jersey. The light bulb was constructed in 1938 and it is encased by 153 individual pieces of Pyrex.
  9. Thomas Edison filed more than 400 patents from his laboratory in Menlo Park. He used copper in almost all his electrical inventions; inside phones, motors, generators, and electromagnets.
  10. In 1776, crossing the Delaware River into Trenton, New Jersey; George Washington fought with, and ultimately defeated the British forces. This was one of the first major victories in the Revolutionary War.
  11. When New Jersey did get its current name, it was named for Jersey Island, off the coast of the United Kingdom.
  12. The Union Water Sphere is about 212 feet high (or about 65 meters) and is known as the tallest water tower in the world.
  13. In 1991, New Jersey terminated ocean dumping. To bring about the shift from ocean dumping to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of discarding the waste, the state had to spend more than $100 million.
  14. Lambert Castle was built in 1892-93 and once belonged to the owner of a silk mill. The castle has seen many renovations, but in 1975, it became a National Historic Place and home to over 400 spoons.
  15. With the most expensive auto insurance and highest property taxes in the nation, New Jersey ranks as the state with the highest cost of living. 
  16. Although New York and New Jersey continue to fight over who actually gets to claim the Statue of Liberty, NJ stands firm on its claim that Lady Liberty stands in New Jersey waters.
  17. The Miss America pageant started in Atlantic City but was eventually moved only to return again to its home turf in recent years. 
  18. The light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture projector were all invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ laboratory. 
  19. Atlantic City, N.J. street names were the basis for Monopoly. It is also known for having the longest boardwalk in the world. 
  20. New Jersey is home to the first-ever drive-in movie theater.
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  1. New Jersey’s six largest cities are (in order of population) Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Lakewood, and Edison (named after Thomas Edison, who had a lab there).
  2. Violets are found growing on New Jersey lawns, fields, and meadows, so it only makes sense that the violet is the official state flower.
  3. There are 58 National Historic Landmarks in New Jersey, a list that includes a historic golf club, prison, farms, churches, lighthouses, a 1930s Negro League baseball stadium, Lucy the Elephant in Atlantic City, and many others.
  4. The world’s first patented drive-in theater was in Camden, New Jersey, developed in 1928 and patented in 1933.
  5. Roselle became the first town in the country to be lighted by electricity in 1883.
  6. The honeybee is New Jersey’s official state bug, while the horse is its official state mammal. The latter is also on the state seal.
  7. Most movies are filmed in Hollywood, but Friday the 13th was actually filmed in Warren County, New Jersey. Camp Crystal Lake, the setting for the film, was, in reality, a local Boy Scout camp.
  8. Thomas Edison created some of his most famous inventions in Menlo Park, N.J. – including the phonograph and the light bulb. 
  9. New Jersey is one of the top contributors of cranberries in the world. 
  10. The Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer lies beneath the Pine Barrens and contains 17 trillion gallons of some of the purest water to be found in the country. 
  11. It’s illegal to pump your own gas anywhere in the state.
  12. Native Americans first inhabited the New Jersey area about 15,000 years ago. That was long before Columbus ever set out to find the New World!
  13. The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the not only world’s oldest boardwalk but also the world’s longest. It opened in 1870 and has a length of approximately 5.5 miles.
  14. The Miss America Beauty Pageant is the country’s most famous pageant. It was first held in Atlantic City in 1921 over Labor Day weekend as a scholarship event.
  15. Stephen Grover Cleveland born in Caldwell, New Jersey, who served as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, is the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office (1885–1889 and 1893–1897).
  16. Wildwood is one of only a few beaches that is actually expanding instead of receding. It’s also home to the largest kite-flying event in the world. 
  17. New Jersey was known as the Pathway of the Revolution, with over 100 battles fought on its soil. 
  18. The Atlantic City Boardwalk was the first in the country and is the longest in the world. 
  19. The Popcorn Park Zoo in the Pine Barrens is the only federally licensed zoo to treat sick and abused animals. 
  20. In New Jersey, 90 percent of the population lives in urban areas. Each county is considered a metropolitan area. 
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  1. Since 2008 the annual “Zombie Walk” has been held every Halloween season. Hundreds of people dress up as zombies and go for a fun and perhaps spooky walk through town.
  2. New Jersey is home to more than 9,800 farms covering 790,000 acres of farmland. Hence the name The Garden State. 
  3. New Jersey was named after the isle of Jersey in the English Channel, off the coast of France. It is a sovereign state of the United Kingdom. One of the first colonists in New Jersey was from Jersey Island.
  4. The state also has the world’s most shopping malls in one area, with 7 major malls in a 25-square-mile radius.
  5. New Jersey is sometimes called the “Diner Capital of the World” because it has more diners than anywhere else. 
  6. Built in 1881, Lucy the six-story elephant is the most popular non-gaming attraction in the Atlantic City region and is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
  7. Everybody knows the Jersey Devil is said to live in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. But a lesser-known fact is that many organizations have offered a reward for the capture of the creature. The Philadelphia Zoo has offered $10,000 and the Hunt Brothers Circus has offered $100,000! 
  8. New Jersey has an official state dance – the square dance! Although square dancing is mainly associated with the southern states, it’s been a symbol amongst New Jersey residents since 1983.
  9. The world’s first dinosaur statue was discovered in Haddonfield, New Jersey in October 1858. It was the first complete dinosaur skeleton to be found and the first to be publicly displayed as well.
  10. New Jersey is slightly larger than the country of El Salvador and Djibouti.
  11. There are approximately 1,263 people per square mile according to the U.S. Census.
  12. New Jersey was also home to the first Native American reservation, which was created in 1758 and sold to the state by the inhabitants in 1801.
  13. Jack Nicholson was raised by his grandparents in Neptune Park and voted the Class Clown of Manasquan High School in 1954. 
  14. The world’s largest light bulb sits on top of the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison at 13 feet tall.
  15.  Atlantic City legalized gambling in 1978. The city’s first casino was the Resorts International Hotel.
  16. Hadrosaurus Foulkii is the dinosaur excavated by William Parker Foulke in Haddonfield in 1858. 
  17. The first robot worker to replace a human was used in Ewing Township by General Motors in 1961. 
  18. Cheerleading started with the Princeton Tigers way back in 1869. 
  19. Major industries in New Jersey include chemicals, transportation, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. 
  20.  If it were a country, New Jersey would rank between Belize and El Salvador in terms of size.
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  1. New Jersey ranks 2nd in the nation in the production of blueberries, 3rd in spinach and cranberries, and 4th in lettuce, bell peppers, and peaches.
  2. On December 14, 1915, Rutherford, New Jersey, set a record 32 inches of snowfall in 24 hours.
  3. Atlantic City is home to the Miss America pageant and the world’s longest boardwalk.
  4. On July 10, 1936, New Jersey recorded the highest temperature in the state’s history: 110°F (43.33°C) in Runyon. The lowest ever was -34°F (-36.7°C) in River Vale on January 5, 1904
  5. Newark in North Jersey has been called the “Car Theft Capital of the World.”
  6. New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. 
  7. New Jersey hosts more horse races than Kentucky does. 
  8. Everyone knows Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi hail from New Jersey, but the state was also home to a slew of famous entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Tom Cruise, Lauryn Hill, Shaq, John Travolta, Kevin Spacey, Queen Latifah, Ice-T, Bruce Willis, and Jason Alexander to name a few. 
  9. The state is home to 26 known nesting pairs of peregrine falcons, the fastest animals on Earth. The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on earth – catching speeds of over 200 miles per hour.  
  10. Legendary American musician Bruce Springsteen was born in 1949 in Freehold, New Jersey. He has continued to live there his entire career despite his massive success.
  11. The state motto of “Liberty and Prosperity” was never made official. It was adopted because of the State seal, which contains two Roman mythical goddesses.
  12. During the 19th century, Thomas Edison worked from a laboratory in Menlo Park, where he invented countless items we still use today and patented thousands more.
  13. At least 100 battles were fought in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. This was primarily due to its location near the center of the thirteen colonies and between New York and Philadelphia. All ten of New Jersey’s largest cities are within 30 miles of New York or Philadelphia.
  14. New Jersey has 127 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, with more than 50 resort cities, including Asbury Park, Cape May, Seaside Heights, and Atlantic City. 
  15. Square dancing is New Jersey’s State Dance. In fact, New Jersey is 1 of 31 states that have made this popular folk dance their state dance. This dance is characterized by four couples arranged in a square formation.
  16. You legally can’t sell handcuffs to a minor in New Jersey, frown in Bernards township, swear in Raritan, or dance on Main Street in Caldwell.

Do you have even more interesting facts about New Jersey? Share them with us in the comments! 

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