New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered on the northeast by New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware. The state can be thought of as five regions, based on natural geography and population. Northeastern New Jersey, the Gateway Region, lies within the New York metropolitan area, and some residents commute into the city to work. Northwestern New Jersey, or the "Skylands", is, compared to the northeast, more wooded, rural, and mountainous, but still a popular place to live. The "Shore", along the Atlantic Coast in the central-east and southeast, has its own natural, residential, and lifestyle characteristics owing to its location by the ocean. The central-west and southwest are within metropolitan Philadelphia, and are included in the Delaware Valley. The fifth region is the Pine Barrens in the interior of the southern part. Covered rather extensively by mixed pine and oak forest, it has a much lower population density than much of the rest of the state. It is the most densely populated state in the United States. The area was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. New Jersey's position at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., fueled its rapid growth through the suburban boom of the 1950s and beyond. Today, New Jersey has the highest population density and the second highest median income of any state in the United States.
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