#46. New Jersey



– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 1,548 sq. mi. (20.3% of land area); 1,853,330 people (21.1% of population)

— Moderate drought: 669 sq. mi. (8.8% of land area); 860,105 people (9.8% of population)

— Severe drought: 255 sq. mi. (3.3% of land area); 293,147 people (3.3% of population)

— Extreme drought: 73 sq. mi. (1.0% of land area); 81,940 people (0.9% of population)

— Exceptional drought: zero sq. mi.; 25 people

Moderate drought—the first official drought categorization after the most benign classification, “abnormally dry”—is fairly rare in New Jersey, with the state facing that designation only once or twice a decade. “Severe drought” is next, and that happens in the Garden State only once every 10–20 years. Next, there’s the even rarer “extreme drought,” followed by the worst classification: “exceptional drought,” which only happened once in New Jersey in the 21st century.