Definitions of South Jersey


There is no one definition of what constitutes "South Jersey." Ideas on where a boundary line might be discerned vary from one extreme (the Cape May canal!) to the other (the "wasp waist" between Trenton and New Brunswick). Others tend to see three sections to this very small state. (especially those who live in "Central Jersey" :-)


The most common definition is "the lower eight counties." This makes for a somewhat ragged northern border, but one that does run more or less east/west (within seven minutes of latitude). This is definition 7 in the list below.


R. Craig Koedel in South Jersey Heritage includes the lower 6 counties "along with the areas of Burlington and Ocean Counties that border on Pennsauken Creek and the Mullica River" (roughly equivalent to definition 5a below).


While a recent project on mapping what major city people affiliate with most, shows remarkable evidence that the old East Jersey/West Jersey boundary still lives in South Jersey Consciousness, here is a list, based mostly on County lines, of some conceivable boundary lines from minimum to maximum:

1. Cape May canal (a joke, of course, but someone thought to put up this sign on the bridge...) Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.
2. Cape May County line (1 county)
3. Northern borders of Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic (4 counties)
4. Northern borders of Gloucester, Atlantic (5 counties)
5. Northern borders of Camden, Atlantic (6 counties)
5a. Northern borders of Camden, Atlantic, plus fringe (6+) [i.e., + north banks Pennsauken, Little Egg Harbor]
5b. Pennsauken Ck to Barnegat [the earliest official, but short-lived, south Jersey line (more)]
6. Northern border of Burlington County (includes 7 counties)
7. Northern borders of Burlington, Ocean (8 counties) (approximated by Interstate Highway I-195)
8. Northern borders of Burlington, Ocean, Monmouth (9 counties) (the wasp waist)

And lastly, there is what I like to call the "Receding Hairline" definition. :-) Some residents of South Jersey will personally define what is South Jersey by the amount of over-development that occurs. If rural character is used as a yardstick then South Jersey is the area that is less developed than North Jersey. Unfortunately, the hairline continues to recede.


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Last updated: 2007 Seventh Month, 26th.