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New Jersey Facts For Kids

New Jersey Facts

New Jersey is a northeastern state that is one of the smallest in the nation (#47 in area). Despite its size, the state has the eleventh largest population in the country.

It also features national parks, museums, historical sites, harbor towns, resorts, and even popular entertainment spots like Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore.

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Quick Facts

  • Capital: Trenton
  • Population: 9 million
  • Nickname: The Garden State
  • Key Cities: Newark, Jersey City, Atlantic City, Trenton
  • Postal Abbreviation: NJ
  • Major Industries: Biopharmaceuticals, transportation, manufacturing, health care, technology, tourism

History

  • How did New Jersey get its name: In 1664, James, Duke of York granted land to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. In honor of Carteret, the charter referred to the land as New Jersey. Carteret had been born on the island of Jersey in the English Channel and was the Lieutenant Governor of the island for several years.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Tuesday, December 18, 1787

Geography

  • Size: 8,723 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean at sea level
  • Highest point: High Point at 1,803 feet
  • Counties: 21
  • Famous locations: Atlantic City Boardwalk, Cape May Point Lighthouse, Liberty State Park, Princeton University, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Jersey Shore

Famous New Jerseyites

  • Meryl Streep- actress
  • Shaquille O’Neal- basketball player
  • Chelsea Handler- comedian/talk show host
  • Derek Jeter- baseball player
  • Count Basie- jazz musician
  • Whitney Houston- singer

Fun Facts

  • New Jersey has the highest population density of any U.S. state (the most people per square mile). The state has an average of 1,030 people per square mile. That’s 13 times the national average!
  • New Jersey is home to more diners than any other location in the world (over 500), so it’s sometimes referred to as the diner capital of the world. It also has over 50 resort cities and towns, including the very famous Atlantic City, Cape May, and Seaside Heights.
  • Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture projector in his lab in Melo Park, New Jersey. The famous inventor became known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park.”

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  • Atlantic City, New Jersey has the world’s longest boardwalk. Another claim to fame? The street names in the board game Monopoly are named after real streets in Atlantic City.
  • The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1845. The first college football game was played in New Brunswick, New Jersey between Rutgers College and Princeton in 1869. Rutgers won.
  • The Lambert Castle Museum in Paterson, New Jersey features a spoon exhibit that houses over 5,400 spoons from every state and almost every country in the world.