If you know anyone from New Jersey, you’ve probably seen the above image on Facebook or Twitter. However, if this is news to you, it’s a funny yet frighteningly accurate map of the “real” New Jersey, broken down by the demographics of each area.
Seriously, it’s true. I live in the “Middle Class Raritan Valley Line Commuters” swath, while my parents live in the “Drunk Rutgers Students” section. My sister-in-law, who is a lawyer who drives a Prius, lives in the “Lawyers Driving Hybrids” territory. And I grew up in one of the less politically correct sections, but trust me, it’s dead-on.
Hands down, my favorite part is Camden, AKA “Worse than Detroit”. When I lived in Boston, a friend of mine was married in the “Happy White Families” section, and a bunch of us came down and stayed with my parents the night before. My brother gave us directions that boiled down to “Whatever you do, don’t go to Camden.” My friends all thought my brother had an odd fixation on Camden, since we were heading there at 10am on a Sunday morning, until a few weeks later when Camden was named the worst city in America! Worse than Detroit indeed!
This amazing map of New Jersey was created by a Rutgers student, and according to NJ.com, he didn’t expect it to go quite so viral:
“I meant it as a joke. It’s tongue-in-cheek. It’s meant to be silly, meant to be fun,” Steinfeld said Wednesday. He filled the map with stereotypes he said he encountered growing up in and traveling New Jersey, labeling a swath of Bergen County “Well-To-Do Conservatives ‘Christie Country’ ” and parts of Salem and Cumberland counties “Pretty Much Alabama.”
“I didn’t want it to become this,” Steinfeld said of all the internet attention the map has garnered.
He first posted the map on the social media page Reddit.com Monday night under a fake name. By Tuesday afternoon he saw friends on Facebook talking about it and acknowledged ownership. Since then, he’s been bombarded with e-mails and phone calls.
Originally from Westfield, aka “Middle-Class Raritan Valley Line Commuters,” Steinfeld’s inspiration was similar online dissections he saw for Vancouver and Pittsburgh. A part-time Rutgers environmental science research assistant, he said he saw a lot of New Jersey gathering research as a student.
Apparently not everyone in New Jersey thinks it’s funny, but I think it’s hilarious. The only thing that’s missing? Seaside should have a notation about “The Jersey Shore”, and a little circle at the intersection of “Lake Houses owned by New Yorkers/Friendly White Families/Executives Living in Mansions Driving Mercedes-Benz” for the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” section. Otherwise, it’s so pitch-perfect the inventor should sell it as a poster. I’d buy one in a heartbeat!
Do you agree with the New Jersey map? What part of this great state are you from? Let us know in the comments!