New Jersey Is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the northeast by New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware. New Jersey lies largely within the sprawling metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia. It is the most densely populatedstate in the United States.
The area was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements. The English later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey. It was granted as a colony to Sir George Carteret and JohnBerkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. At this time, it was named after the largest of the British Channel Islands, Jersey, where Carteret had been born. New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War
In the 19th century, factories in cities such as Elizabeth, Paterson and Trenton helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey'sposition at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., fueled its rapid growth through the suburban boom of the 1950s and beyond. Today, New Jersey has the highest population density and the second-highest median income of any state in the United States, behind only Maryland.
The current Governor of New Jersey isRepublican Chris Christie.
New Jersey is divided into 21 counties; 13 date from the colonial era. New Jersey was completely divided into counties by 1692; the present counties were created by dividing the existing ones; most recently Union County in 1857. New Jersey is the only state in the nation where elected county officials are called "Freeholders," governing each county as part ofits own Board of Chosen Freeholders. The number of freeholders in each county is determined by referendum, and must consist of three, five, seven or nine members.
Depending on the county, the executive and legislative functions may be performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders or split into separate branches of government. In 16 counties, members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders performboth legislative and executive functions on a commission basis, with each Freeholder assigned responsibility for a department or group of departments. In the other 5 counties (Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Mercer), there is a directly elected County Executive who performs the executive functions while the Board of Chosen Freeholders retains a legislative and oversight role. In countieswithout an Executive, a County Administrator (or County Manager) may be hired to perform day-to-day administration of county functions.
New Jersey has 566 municipalities; the number was 567 before Pahaquarry Township was absorbed by Hardwick Township in 1997. Unlike states in the west and south, all New Jersey land is part of a municipality.
In 2008, Governor JonCorzine proposed cutting state aid to all towns under 10,000 people, to encourage mergers to reduce administrative costs.
In May 2009, the Local Unit Alignment Reorganization and Consolidation Commission (LUARC) began a study of about 40 small communities in South Jersey to decide which ones might be good candidates for consolidation.
NewJersey is bordered on the north and northeast by New York (parts of which are across the Hudson River, Upper New York Bay, the Kill Van Kull, Newark Bay, and the Arthur Kill); on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the southwest by Delaware across Delaware Bay; and on the west by Pennsylvania across the Delaware River.
New Jersey can be thought of as five regions, based on natural geography...