New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Northeastern United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by Delaware Bay and the State of Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 8,882,190 residents as of 2019 and an area of 8,722.58 square miles, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. The capital is Trenton, while the largest city is Newark. All but one county in New Jersey lie within the combined statistical areas of New York City or Philadelphia; consequently, the state's largest metropolitan area falls within Greater New York.
New Jersey was first inhabited by Native Americans for at least 2,800 years, with the Lenape being the dominant group by the time Europeans arrived in the early 17th century. Dutch and the Swedish colonists founded the first European settlements in the state. The English later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey—after the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey—and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. New Jersey was the site of several important battles during the American Revolutionary War. In the 19th century, factories in the "Big Six" cities of Camden, Paterson, Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, and Elizabeth helped drive the nation's Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's central location in the Northeast megalopolis fueled its rapid growth and suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. At the turn of the 21st century, the state's economy increasingly diversified, while its multicultural populace began reverting toward more urban settings within the state, outpacing the growth in suburbs since 2008.
As of 2020, New Jersey was home to the highest number of millionaires per capita of all U.S. states, with 9.76% of households—more than 323,000 of 3.3 million statewide—meeting the criteria. Based on 2017 data, it was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income. New Jersey's public school system consistently ranks at or among the top among all fifty U.S. states.