This came as a surprise to me. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, New Jersey ranks fourth for entrepreneurial businesses based on emerging technology. That ranking puts my state, known across the world for Jersey Shore and The Sopranos, behind Maryland, Washington, and first place Massachusetts. California, home to Silicon Valley, ranks ninth.
New Jersey residents and companies pay higher overall taxes than every other state, and over the past few years, successful businesses tend to leave New Jersey more than they enter the state.
There is a lot about New Jersey I like. If you get far enough away from Exit 12 on the New Jersey Turnpike, it’s easy to see how the state has been known as the Garden State. Even with rural areas and suburban sprawl, access to major metropolitan and cultural centers like New York City and Philadelphia position the state perfectly.
Delaware, with its reputation for tax-free shopping and a business-friendly environment — many companies incorporate in Delaware to take advantage of looser regulations — ranks sixth, still high on the list but below New Jersey. I attended college in Delaware and had no intention of sticking around in the state much longer. I didn’t intend to spend many more years in New Jersey, either, but I’ve come to embrace some of the state’s better qualities.
Updated October 9, 2016 and originally published November 18, 2010.