Concept

Central Jersey

Summary
Central Jersey is the central region of the U.S. state of New Jersey. The designation of Central New Jersey is a distinct administrative toponym. While the State of New Jersey is often divided into North Jersey and South Jersey, many residents, including the governor, Phil Murphy, recognize Central Jersey as a distinct entity. All descriptions of Central Jersey include Middlesex County, the center of population of New Jersey, and tend to include much of nearby Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. The inclusion of adjacent areas of Union and Ocean are a source of debate. In 2015, New Jersey Business magazine, a publication of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, defined Central Jersey more narrowly as the five counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset. In 2022, legislation was proposed in the New Jersey Legislature to establish distinct geographic categories for tourism in the state of New Jersey. Bill A4711 is sponsored by Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Sadaf Jaffer, and Anthony Verrelli in the New Jersey General Assembly (the lower house in the New Jersey Legislature). This would include an official designation of the region of Central Jersey, in which this legislation defines more broadly as the seven counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union. The four bills within this legislation went into a joint meeting of the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee and the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee. As of February 17, 2023, the bills have been cleared by these committees and will now advance to a vote in the General Assembly. The New Jersey Senate version of this legislation has yet to have advanced to a vote. The intersection of the two busiest highways in New Jersey, namely the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, is located in Woodbridge, Middlesex County. Trenton, the seat of Mercer County, is the state capital of New Jersey. New Jersey's geographic center is located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County.
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