In our vast United States, city names are filled with history and influence. Cities often have the names of individuals whose mark on the nation was indelible.

But you can have a real sense of deja vu when you realize how many states have dozens of towns with the same exact names.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 24/7 Tempo examined close to 31,000 places, cities, towns, boroughs, villages and census-designated locations.

By cross-referencing population figures from the same source, they sought to find patterns in the way places are named.

What they discovered is that there is a lot of randomness involved. There are apparently not a lot of rigid rules to naming towns.

Instead, it’s a lot of different influences at play, from the founders' visions to geographical features, linguistic nuances and even whimsy. That makes for a lot of very interesting names and a lot of repetition.

It’s a numbers game, really. A huge country like the U.S. has to have repetition, with a staggering 15,000 names showing up anywhere from 2-32 times.

That creates a situation where we have city names that are not just popular, but also pretty inventive.

In fact, in NJ we have 48 of the top 50 most common names for cities. (Remember we’re including cities, towns, boroughs, villages, and census-designated locations.)

Come to think of it, it’s easier to name the town names that we don’t share with anyone in the top 34 as opposed to the names we do share. So here you go.

Number 34 on the list of the 34 most popular names in the country is Winchester. We don’t have one.

Nor do we have a Plymouth (#33)

Nor do we have a Troy (#27) (I know, we have a Troy Hills. But we don’t have a Troy.)

(26) Richmond

(25) Lincoln (yep, we have a Lincoln Park but no Lincoln.)

(24) Hudson (we’ve got a county, but no city.)

OK, are you ready to hear the most popular town names that NJ shares with the rest of the country?

Some of them are going to really surprise you. I had never heard of half of these Jersey places till I googled it.

Most popular town names that NJ shares with the rest of the country

We’ve got five:

Franklin Borough, Sussex County.
Franklin Township, Somerset County.
Franklin Township, Hunterdon County.
Franklin Township, Gloucester County.
Franklin Township, Warren.

A shopper's paradise in a quaint NJ town

Check out this quaint little NJ town

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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