Cape May, NJ
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Living in Cape May


Cape May is a very small coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of New Jersey. With a population of 3,514 people and five constituent neighborhoods, Cape May is the 372nd largest community in New Jersey.

Cape May home prices are not only among the most expensive in New Jersey, but Cape May real estate also consistently ranks among the most expensive in America.

Cape May is a military town: the armed forces employs 23.13% of the workforce, making the military a major focus of life in the city. In the civilian sector, Retail and Accommodation are important in the local economy and are the city’s largest civilian employers, employing 13.72% and 12.20% of the civilian workforce respectively.

Of important note, Cape May is also a city of artists. Cape May has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90% of the communities in America. This concentration of artists helps shape Cape May’s character.

Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 8.64% of people work from home. While this number may seem small overall, as a fraction of the total workforce it is high relative to the nation. These workers are often telecommuters who work in knowledge-based, white-collar professions. For example, Silicon Valley has large numbers of people who telecommute. Other at-home workers may be self-employed people who operate small businesses out of their homes.

Because there are quite a few people attending college in Cape May, it is thought of as a college town. To the benefit of the many students in the area, Cape May provides a number of services, amenities and opportunities geared towards their needs and activities.

Another notable thing is that Cape May is a major vacation destination. Much of the city’s population is seasonal: many people own second homes and only live there part-time, during the vacation season. The effect on the local economy is that many of the businesses are dependent on tourist dollars, and may operate only during the high season. As the vacation season ends, Cape May’s population drops significantly, such that year-round residents will notice that the city is a much quieter place to live.

Cape May is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Such areas are often places that visitors and locals go for waterfront activities or taking in the scenery.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Cape May spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 16.34 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

The education level of Cape May ranks among the highest in the nation. Of the 25-and-older adult population in Cape May, 43.59% have at least a bachelor's degree. The typical US community has just 21.84% of its adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree.

The per capita income in Cape May in 2010 was $39,278, which is middle income relative to New Jersey, and wealthy relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $157,112 for a family of four. However, Cape May contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Cape May is a somewhat ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Cape May home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Cape May residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Cape May include German, Italian, English, and Polish.

The most common language spoken in Cape May is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and German.