New Jersey's official nickname is the Garden State. The nickname for this Eastern state is sometimes said with affection, sometimes with irony, considering the state's much-mocked stretches of highway. It has always been an aggressively industrial state, with strengths in chemicals, oil, pharmaceuticals, instruments, machinery, electrical goods and apparel. It also has the highest population density of any U.S. state. Despite being crowded and industrial, the Garden State really does have a lot of natural beauty, including of 127 miles of white sand beaches, scenic mountains and picturesque towns.
Known as the Crossroads of the East, New Jersey ships products from its 15,000 factories all over the Eastern United States. Tourism is the second-largest industry, concentrated in the numerous resort areas up and down the Atlantic coast. Atlantic City, with its glitzy hotels, popular casinos and exciting entertainment, is a major tourist draw. Agriculture plays a part in New Jersey's economy as well, with 20% of the state used as productive farmland. Agricultural products include vegetables, cranberries, blueberries, peaches, poultry and dairy.
New Jersey is one of the most expensive states in the nation, with an overall cost of living 32% above the national average, and housing a whopping 73% above the average. The state's nearness to Manhattan, with all the employment and entertainment opportunities it provides, is one of the main reasons for the high cost of living. Statewide, average prices for apartment rentals are about $800. One study found that New Jersey is the most expensive place in the nation to rent two-bedroom apartments. On the brighter side, it's a great place to live if you like to experience all four seasons. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are cold and have moderate amounts of snowfall.
New Jersey's largest city is also its oldest. In fact, at well over 300 years old, Newark is the third oldest city in the country; only Boston and New York can claim that they are older than Newark. Often called the Gateway to New Jersey, Newark is the state's center of financial, commercial, transportation and cultural activity. A diverse selection of entertainment, dining, sports and cultural options are available. For those looking for apartments in New Jersey, it's a good time to consider Newark; recent years have seen tremendous growth in new housing, from affordable low-rise and low-income apartments for rent all the way up to upscale condos and luxury apartments.
The capital city of New Jersey, Trenton has a population of about 85,000 residents. Conveniently located between New York City and Philadelphia, Trenton acts as a transportation hub for the area. It's known for its pottery (which dates back to colonial times), textiles, plastics and metal products. There are lots of sites worth seeing, including the gold-domed capitol building and numerous museums and historical sites dating back nearly 300 years. When looking for apartments for rent, be sure to look in the city and at apartment rentals in the flourishing nearby suburbs as well.