Top 10 Reasons to Live in New Jersey

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There’s an old saying that goes, “home is where the heart is.” This statement, profound in and of itself, becomes even more noteworthy when one considers the curious love affair America has with the state of New Jersey. Folks just love Jersey and can’t seem to get enough of the Garden State. With this phenomenon in mind, we switch gears from our previous TopTenz topics of reasons NOT to live in particular locations (California and New York, respectively) and instead focus on a place a whole lot of people call home: New Jersey baby! (My deepest apologies to the folks of North and South Dakota – your slice of paradise was MY choice – unfortunately, no one really knows where the Dakotas are). So, without further delay, here are the top ten reasons to make New Jersey home sweet home:

10. Top Ten Transportation

Flight

We mention elsewhere in this list that New Jersey is one of the smallest states (in area), but has a population that belies its size. All of those folks need to be able to get to and from the places they go. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in Jersey being the home of the largest (and most dense) system of highways and railroads. If you need to get somewhere, there’s a highway that will take you if you’re moving through New Jersey. Part of this, no doubt, lies in being a connection between two major metropolitan centers (Philadelphia and New York City). Coincidentally, as a result of all of these vehicles that are being put to use, Jersey is also vehicle theft capital – of the world! So, while you might be able to easily travel from one destination to the next, you might have a little trouble returning when you find your car is missing. But hey, that’s a minor point. Though, in another interesting twist of ‘action reaction’, Jersey also happens to have the highest cost for auto insurance. Go figure.

9. Diversity

diversity

One will get the impression that New Jersey is made up primarily of Italian Americans (this notion being conveyed through all the various images dealing with Jersey – see entry #2). True enough, those of Italian descent do make up a sizeable block in the state (about 25%). However, African Americans and Latinos also comprise healthy blocks of ethnicity in the state. Along with such racial diversity, we also find an appreciative religious one as well. New Jersey has the second largest Jewish and Muslim populations in the country. What’s more enlightening is that for the most part, these various groups of folks get along with one another. Whether it’s in the water or just the culture of the state (which seems to place a strong emphasis on family and related values), Jersey seems to have something going on that a few other states could benefit by emulating.

8. Fun Times for All

fun times for all

Most of us take vacations to get away from the places where we live. In New Jersey, you don’t really have any reason to leave whatsoever. With over 50 resort cities and towns, Jersey is a vacation destination in and of itself. Realistically, one only has to step out their door and a number of entertainment destinations are available. There’s the picturesque Cape Mag or the fun times of the east coast version of Sin City: Atlantic City. The folks of New Jersey know how to enjoy themselves and this is reflected by the extravagance and variety of options that one can find in the state.

7. Chemicals, Chemicals, and More Chemicals

chemicals

An interesting fact about New Jersey is that it is the largest chemical producing state. Including pharmaceuticals (the legal kind of drugs, not the recreational variety), Jersey is home to all kinds of chemical producing entities. This, of course, means jobs for those individuals who work in this field (which probably dovetails well with the fact that Jersey has the highest ratio of scientists and engineers than any other state). Further, it explains why Jersey also has the highest number of toxic waste dumps. I mean, heck, you got to have somewhere to dump your toxic waste; right? Well, with over 180 such dumps, Jersey is awash with places to dump your green slime. Between drugs and the places you dump the leftovers from making them, Jersey is on the high end in the use of progressive technologies (like nuclear power, that amounts to over half of the power that is generated in Jersey). Hmmm… Toxic chemicals, nuclear radiation, this might explain a few things about these people…

6. Full Service Gas Stations

full service gas

If you are younger than 40, then you probably don’t have the slightest idea what a full service gas station is. Ah yes,… I fondly remember the old days when you could pull up to a gas station and an attendant would come out, wash your windows and pump your gas. You didn’t have to do anything more than hand the fellow the cash for the gas and drive off. That all changed in the 80s as full service transitioned into self service. Not in Jersey. In something that is akin to falling into a time warp, self service is actually against the law in New Jersey. If you have to refill, then someone is going to come out to your vehicle and do it for you. Heck, this perk alone is almost reason enough to want to live in New Jersey. Who wants to really pump their own gas? There are those noxious fumes that get into everything, not to mention the inconvenience of having to get out of your car (especially when it’s cold). Plus, it means jobs for a lot of folks. It’s a win-win situation that only New Jersey and Oregon (the only other state that does this) have figured out.

5. Great Place for Shopping

new jersey shopping

If you live in a rural area, you are familiar with the headache of having to travel a good distance to get to a shopping mall. Even in many urban areas, shopping malls and the like are at a premium; you still might have to travel around a bit to find what appeals to you. Not so in New Jersey. There are more shopping malls (and diners) per sq mile than any other locale in the United States. Man, you can’t move in New Jersey without running into the stores that are looking for you to drop some money on the counter. One supposes this is not surprising considering the dense population in Jersey. All these people have needs. And make no mistake about it, those needs are met. Take the borough of Paramus for example. Boasting 4 large malls, this area generates $5 billion in annual sales. That’s a lot of shoes…

4. The Mob lives there

mob

Now this might sound like a bad thing, but not really. See, the mob works in New York. But when they are done extorting, running numbers, and whacking; they have to have somewhere to relax and put their feet up like anyone else. That place, of course, is New Jersey. The plus in this is that no one wants to bring their work home with them, so they leave a lot of their more nefarious activity on the other side of the state border. Chances are that if you live next to a mobster, your neighborhood is going to be fairly safe and peaceful (notwithstanding the occasional cable TV van that is constantly seen parked with the antenna sticking out and guys wearing dark glasses sitting in it). Mob guys like John Riggi (the so-called mafia gentlemen), Anthony “little pussy” Russo, Sam “the plumber” DeCavlcante and others called Jersey home. And, as proof that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, an episode of the Sopranos was ripped right out of the annals of Jersey mob life. Back in 2002, a number of mob guys were due to get out of prison within an 18 month period, creating a literal flood of button men on the streets at one time. But really, where else would they go? You get out of prison and you go…home.

3. The Rich and Famous Call it Home

rich and famous

Or rather, they used to. Believe it or not there are a lot of famous folks that hail from Jersey. Maybe it’s in the water or something, but if you can make a claim of being from the Garden State, you just may have a better chance than most to make it big in entertainment. This list of folks we know and love that were born and/or raised in the Garden State reads like who’s who list of the rich and famous: Jason Alexander, Supreme court justices Samuel Alito and William Brennan, Count Basie, Jon Bon Jovi, Valerie Cruz, Danny Devito, Michael Douglas, James Avery, Regina Bella to just name a few. There are a slew of professional athletes that can trace their lineage back to Jersey. With such prestigious pedigree of talent, it’s not a stretch to say that Jersey living bodes well for some degree of success in life. Indeed, with median income of $70,000 annually per household across the state, Jersey leads the nation.

2. Reality Show Mecca

reality show

Everybody loves Jersey. This is evident by the spate of reality TV shows that are centered around and/or about folks in New Jersey. We just can’t get enough of these interesting people that occupy a portion of our eastern seaboard. As a result, we can’t turn on our TV without seeing one of those folks with the east coast nasal twang going about their wacky lives. In fact, your claim to fame does not have to include a stint in LA any longer. Nope, you just have to hop a train to Jersey (and being loud and obnoxious doesn’t hurt either). Just check out the reality TV landscape: We have Snookie (reason enough to want to live in Jersey) and company on Jersey Shore; there’s Jerseylicious (a cool name indeed) about all too real drama that takes place at beauty salons; Real House Wives of New Jersey, the reality TV soap that is soooo much better than the one in New York; and Cake Boss, the delectable show about pastry and cakes in Hoboken. Next up, a show returning for its second season titled Jersey Couture, which follows the craziness that takes place in a family owned dress shop. I repeat: we just can’t get enough of life in New Jersey. Really.

1. It isn’t New York

new-york

We have previously dealt with the travails of residing in New York. Obviously, given an alternative, sound minded folks who find it necessary to maintain employment in New York might choose to live elsewhere. Why deal with issues like traffic congestion and rampant crime, when the neighboring state of New Jersey offers a more tranquil and peaceful environment. Sure, being couched between (sorta) Pennsylvania and New York (or more specifically Philadelphia and New York City) has relegated New Jersey to the role of the middle step child. But as we have shown, believe me – well consider that the latest census data counted 8,791,894 people living in New Jersey. Unfortunately, New Jersey happens to be one of the smallest states (47th) in the union, measuring out to just over 8,000 sq miles. That’s a lot of folks crammed in. But – hey, they’re happy and that’s all that really counts.

by Lee Standberry


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43 Comments

  1. The other side of the NJ border on

    Obviously the author has never even been to Jersey and is just ripping this from some other website promoting NJ. No one in their right mind would want to live in what is considered the red headed ginger stepchild of the tri state area. Ugly state, ugly people, one of the most corrupt states. Let’s not forget about those three lovely crime ridden cities which are among the most dangerous in the nation. Newark, Camden and Jersey City. Ever drive through Camden on the way to Philly? Drive fast, doors locked and don’t stop for any red lights.

    • In response to what u have said u have never been to new jersey I haved lived here my whole life and while it does have its flaws what state doesn’t. I live about 30 min from the shore and love it atlantic city is great if u cant afford vegas and btw no jerseyean would drive thru camden unless the r a drug dealer resident or looking for drugs so before u judge come for a visit and no one really acts like those people on jersey shore or jerseylicious. That girl sammy grew up 2 min from my home town matawan a typical stereotype.

    • See..this is what gives Jersey such a bad rap. People who have only ever been to Newark, Camden and Jersey City. I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the state. Rolling hills, open fields, farms, lush forests, neighbors that are far apart, quiet…most people don’t know that most of the state doesn’t actually look like Newark. And yes, parts of New Jersey aren’t very nice. But you can say that for any state. So please, before you go generalizing and making yourself look ignorant, maybe you should visit more than 5% of the state.

    • NJ is the richest state, abd has the highest % of millionaires of any state, so obviously they want to live there!
      Far from being a “stepchild”, NJ has contributed more accomplishments to the country and world than any other state!
      Ugly state? The only ugly parts of the state are the 2% thats near NYC and Phila, and even there it’s because of billion dollar industry, whose product I’m sure that you’d love to have!
      Ugly people? I think that you’re referring to your own state!
      You obviously need to get an education and travel more!

  2. Good Morning,

    My name is Erin Styles – I am the communications coordinator at Oxygen. Thank you for the mention of our series, Jersey Couture. The show is not new, but is returning for a second season next year. Would you mind updating that information?

    Thank you!

    Erin Styles
    Oxygen Media I Communications
    75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
    P: 212.651.5258 I F: 212.651.2039
    [email protected]

  3. I am a veteran of the US NAVY and for my 4 years of active duty, I was stationed at a very small Naval Base called Naval Weapons Station Earle in the town of Leonardo on Rte.36 which follows the Atlantic Ocean. I found that the White Sand beaches of New Jersey to be among the most beautiful that I have ever seen.

    • That”s a good point Tyler as if you read above I was stationed in New Jersey for 4 years while doing active duty in the NAVY. To me, I just think its because New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States which is a proven fact. There were times when I would drive around on my free time and I would be in a ritzy neighborhood and then seconds later be in a tenement slum. One of the things stated on the list is full service gas stations which in New Jersey is a law, which really freaked me out in a different kind of way. Yep, you CANNOT pump your own gas, attendants have to do it for you.

    • If you believe everything that you read, then you’re naive! You should check out NJ for yourself, and read other websites that are more accurate!

  4. The people and the traffic are reason enough to avoid it at all costs. Not everything about Jersey is evil, but it’s a pretty crappy place.

  5. I’ve lived In New Jersey my whole life and traveled to many different parts of the country. I would’ve moved to these places if I didn’t spend so much simply vacationing to them. Also, as far as beaches go, the majority are disgusting as hell and it would be a good idea to wear thick sandals or shoes, unless you want to risk a syringe in your foot. Live here, then come tell me how awesome it is. Most of us can’t stand it here. Being a “reality television mecca” is also nothing to be proud of.

  6. Ha! I love this list because most of the readers didn’t realize that this is satire at best. Notice how every “good” point the writer brings up can be seen dripping with smiley over the top sarcasm. “Hey the mob lives here! That’s a good thing!” I thought it was great and now just starting to work in NJ while living in NY, this made my day!

  7. I’ve been around the world and the US and met people everywhere I’ve been. Including people from Jersey. One. One single person has said they liked new jersey. It was a 40 year old drunk german we met on the street and he was there for 2 days and he liked it because he hooked up with a hot mom apparently. And thats why he liked it. The new jersey people I know are all ashamed of it. The ones who can say they go to school or work in nyc to sort of escape the jersey association

    • Well, obviously you haven’t experienced enough because most people in NJ say that they love it, check around other web sites, plus NJ is the richest state in the nation and places in it are constantly voted as the best places to live!

      • B.S.
        new jersey is not the richest state.its like 3rd or 4th.
        you have some of the HIGHEST poverty rates in the country AND some of the highest unemployment rates.
        your state is at the TOP of list for INEQUALITY.
        Your corrupt state consistently scores HIGH in those things and YET you want to talk how RICH some are?
        As if “the number of rich people” somehow make it a better place to live?
        The crime rate is really bad ,PER CAPITA.
        that state has been called by many people “the douchebag state”.
        corruption is a massive problem there; every governor ,with the exception of one,has been indicted on corruption charges.
        Your state has brought us people like,SNOOKI, and GOV. CHRISTIE and the rest of the cast of the “jersey shore” or its more appropriately called the “Jersey Whore”.
        just because YOU live in a “bubble and YOU have what YOU call a good life there does NOT make it a good state.
        the world doesen’t revolve around you.You think YOUR experience is the standard we all should go by.If it hasen’t happened to you then it doesn’t exist.Its all very self centered and self absorbed.
        TYPICAL person from new jersey!
        Your very naive ,Fred ,the exact thing you called someone else,but of course your naive….you live in new jersey.

  8. #4 and #6 is probably related. The reason behind that dumblaw is because the unions lobbied heavily in order to make it illegal for people to pump their own gas (or hire someone not from THEIR union to do it). Yeah, its a great convience to have someone else pump your gas, but you’d be paying 50c to $1 a gallon extra for the privilege. In the off chance that do you decide to pump your own gas, and get caught doing it, expect to have your head bashed into the pavement (which there is no shortage of, as oppose to green spaces) with a baseball bat by the mo— um, I mean union boss.

    You also forgot to mention the incredibly high taxes, which rather than getting spend on services just go to crooked politians, due to the high corruption. Who wouldn’t want to live in such paradise.

    • 1 gas attendants are not union jobs
      2 gas in NJ is cheaper than most of the country
      3 the largest green space in the 95 corridor from DC to Boston is the pinebarrens
      4 despite what you have heard NJ has the LOWEST amount of corruption in the US of any state. The reason that you hear about corrupt NJ politicians is that we actually prosecute them. The rest of the country they just pay off the other corrupt bureaucrats and avoid prosecution.

      • WRONG.
        The CORRUPTION is among the HIGHEST.
        i am not talking about what i “HEARD” ,i am talking about going BACK over the historical record over the past 50-70 YEARS
        You can see this trend going back for the past 50 or 60 YEARS.
        I am talking about READING THE INDICTMENTS,LOOKING AT PAST RECORDS.”So this bunk you talk about “hear”, doesent mean jack.
        you PROSECUTE your corrupt politicians and the rest of the country just lets them pay off??
        and yet the evil douchebag you have in office right now,has YET to pay for his crimes.
        you ALSO fail to mention that the Department of Justice had to step in MANY times ,due to the CORRUPTION and how BAD it actually got.
        They stepped in because the corruption even spread to the people that were SUPPOSED to be prosecuting the crime!
        like 4 out of the last 8 of the governors have been put in PRISON FOR IT,it was THAT bad.
        As far as “gas is among the lowest in the nation”, so then as long as i can get cheap gas who cares if you live in a corrupt hell hole?
        You sound like the morons that defend the low grade state i live in; we have a low cost of living and low gas prices,and YET its a crime ridden crap hole.
        So its OK that we live in hell as long as the rent is CHEAP?
        NAIVE….

  9. "Insert Name Here" on

    John Locke, a famous philosopher, postualted that humans are born to a blank slate. This blank slate, comparable to a sponge, is filled through experience. The person you are today is contingent upon your experiences.

    With that said, good or bad experiences, (which many of us Jersey people encounter on a daily basis), contribute to our identity of self.

    Sure Jersey has its faults.. (Snookie being affiliated with Jersey being one)…However, I am a proud Jersey resident. This is my home. I have experienced many things that when people hear, they are simply baffled. I’ve met many different people in Jersey and they have each contributed to make me the proud, confident, happy, and friendly Jersey boy I am today.

    Boom.

    • Well john Locke is only partially correct.
      He POSTULATED.
      A “postulation” is an ASSUMPTION,NOT HARD FACTS.
      And you know what happens when we “ASSUME”.
      it has been PROVEN that some people are BORN with certain tendencies that INNATE to THAT PERSON (or even people of the same genetic line) due to certain BRAIN CHEMISTRY.
      SOME people are just BORN ROTTEN,due to some abnormality ,that MAY be “normal” for THAT genetic line.
      SOME genetic lines (DONT MAKE THIS A RACE ISSUE,ITS NOT!) ARE predisposed to crime.
      I am talking about a GENETIC LINE,REGARDLESS of race ,color,or creed.
      Its NOT a matter of color or race its a matter of GENETICS.

      BOOM.

  10. This list definitely made me laugh. I grew up in Jersey and I notice there certain humor and sarcastic nature within my area. I didn’t notice this quality until I moved out of New Jersey. Lol, people outside of Jersey thought I was just being mean whenever I made a sarcastic comment. I love the obvious satire and humor of this list. Great job!

  11. lived here my whole life and hate it but gotta tell you when i go to other states people piss me off a little.they seem slow or something.i’m almost used to being rude to ppl…giving the middle finger while driving is the norm here too … so is excessive honking at pp in traffic … i wanna move to washington state or vermont or maine or even michigan …nj is rude as hell and too many a**holes … but hey for now im stuck here

  12. I live in Jersey and go to school in NYC. Honestly, the city’s overrated. It smells, the people are rude, and everything is outrageously expensive. People who hate Jersey have either only been to Newark/Camden or never been at all. We have no sales tax on clothes, full service gas, and overall nice communities. Yeah, there are the trashy ppl you see on TV but theres trashy ppl everywhere; they just televise it here. I love it personally. If you hate Jersey, don’t live here. If you don’t live here, don’t talk about it like know what it’s like to live here. Simple as that.

  13. I moved from Jersey to Texas and I can not wait to go back home!!!! Jersey has it all !!! This article has the perfect titles and I love the humor… :)!!!! I can NOT wait to have my gas service back!!!!! Lol!!

  14. I live in New jersey for the last four years. I have been trying to see what is so good about New Jersey. To be honest, there is not much here, the best thing about Jersey is that is close to New York, If jersey short is the best that New Jersey could offer , you should get outside of New jersey, there is much better places just a little bit south. Property taxes here are crazy, among the highest in the country; for the crappy housing that you get here. Yeah, try to start a business here, you will get f%&* up the butt. Over all, it is a place like many others places with the good and the bad. But there is nothing here to brag about. It has its little nice towns, but those are for the rich, yes, the mega rich. I have experience life in other countries, with the military and on my own. New jersey has nothing to brag about!!! If you are reading this because you are looking to move to New Jersey. I highly recommend that you do a research about New Jersey. The only people that likes to lives here are people from where born here.

  15. I moved to Colorado for my now husband and have been here over a year. I CAN”T wait for us to move back to Jersey in the summer. People in Colorado are rude, fake, drive like crap and full of themselves. The roads have terrible traffic (and I’m from Jersey, HA!) and it’s confusing as hell because everything looks the same. No personality to anything. Take away the mountains and you have a slightly, I mean slightly, greener, newer Arizona.
    I grew up in Wall township near Manasquan and Belmar just a few minutes from the beach. I love the beaches there and all there is to do on the boardwalk. I miss being able to drive to Manasquan inlet on a bad day just to sit in my car. Just smelling the salt air, listening to the sound of waves and watching boats go in and out was my “me time”.

    I miss the trees and sounds of birds. I miss the small town feel but still having everything just minutes away. I miss my very short trips to New Hope, PA just to drive around and go into the small stores. I miss the music screen, whole in the wall bars and all there is to do in the summer. But most of all I miss my family which has lived in Jersey for many generations with lots of Jersey pride.

    I don’t mind what others think of New Jersey. I would rather keep it our little secret.
    JERSEY GIRL forever!!!!!! 🙂

  16. We just moved to NJ about 2 years ago and are LOVING it. We found a great apartment through Garden Communities and they offer a lot of other great resources on their website as well. They listed the top NJ towns!!! Pretty cool! Yay NJ.

  17. I have love for all of New Jersey I love Hoboken NJ its upbeat and laidback at the same time. Walking outside gives me the feeling of being in the city but without the rudeness of new Yorkers and its cleaner. It reminds me of NYC when it was real 80s 90s era NJ forever. STAY MOB CLASSY BABY!!!

  18. I have love for all of New Jersey I love Hoboken NJ its upbeat and laidback at the same time. Walking outside gives me the feeling of being in the city but without the rudeness of new Yorkers and its cleaner. It reminds me of NYC when it was real 80s 90s era NJ forever. LOL STAY MOB CLASSY BABY!!!

  19. I love living in Jersey. I got a great D.R. Horton home in shannon come and i have a freaking 1/2 acre in a great school area. the people here have been wonderful as well.

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