The state of New Jersey virtually defines suburbanization in the United States. New Jersey is not home to the core of any major metropolitan area but, major portions of the nation’s largest metropolitan area (New York) and the fifth largest metropolitan area (Philadelphia) are in the state (See map). These two metropolitan areas comprise 17 of the state’s 21 counties. Another county (Warren) is in the Allentown, Pennsylvania metropolitan area, while Atlantic (Atlantic City), Cumberland and Cape May are single-county metropolitan areas. No one, however, should make the mistake of imagining that New Jersey is wall to wall suburbanization. In the 2000 census, more than 60 percent of the state’s land area was rural, with urban areas (areas of continuous urban development) making up less than 40 percent of the state’s land area, while 94 percent of the 2000 population was urban (which includes suburban).
The recently released 2010 census data indicates that the dispersion of New Jersey population, which was underway by 1900 and continued apace in the last decade.