New York City

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The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States.[8] Located at the southern tip of the State of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.[9][10] A global power city,[11] New York City exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, its fast pace[12] defining the term New York minute.[13] Home to the headquarters of the United Nations,[14] New York is an important center for international diplomacy[15] and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors,[22][24] New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a separate county of New York State.[25] The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898.[26] With a U.S. Census Bureau-estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405[2] distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2),[27] New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States.[28] The city and its metropolitan area constitute the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States,[29][30][31] and as many as 800 languages are spoken in New York,[32][33][34] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.[33][35][36] By 2015 estimates, the New York City metropolitan region remains by a significant margin the most populous in the United States, as defined by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (20.2 million residents)[5] and the Combined Statistical Area (23.7 million residents).[6] In 2013, the MSA produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of nearly US$1.39 trillion,[37] while in 2012, the CSA[38] generated a GMP of over US$1.55 trillion, both ranking first nationally by a wide margin and behind the GDP of only twelve and eleven countries, respectively.[39]

Collage of photos from New York City

New York City traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626.[40] The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664.[40][41] New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.[42] It has been the country's largest city since 1790.[43] The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries[44] and is a symbol of the United States and its democracy.[45] In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship,[46] social tolerance,[47] and environmental sustainability.[48][49]

Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known, and the city received a record of nearly 60 million tourists in 2015,[50] hosting three of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions in 2013.[51] Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world.[52][53][54] Times Square, iconic as the world's "heart"[55] and its "Crossroads",[56] is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District,[57] one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections,[58][59] and a major center of the world's entertainment industry.[60] The names of many of the city's bridges, skyscrapers,[61] and parks are known around the world. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world,[20][62][63][64][65][66] and the city is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.[67][68] Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world.[69][70] Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[71][72] with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city.[73][74] Providing continuous 24/7 service,[75] the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 469 stations in operation.[76][77][78] New York City's higher education network comprises over 120 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world.[79][80]


Etymology and early history

During the Wisconsinan glaciation, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth. The ice sheet scraped away large amounts of soil, leaving the bedrock that serves as the geologic foundation for much of New York City today. Later on, movement of the ice sheet would contribute to the separation of what are now Long Island and Staten Island.[81]

In the precolonial era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by various bands of Algonquian tribes of Native Americans, including the Lenape, whose homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included Staten Island; the western portion of Long Island, including the area that would become Brooklyn and Queens; Manhattan; the Bronx; and the Lower Hudson Valley.

The first documented visit by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown, who sailed his ship La Dauphine into New York Harbor. He claimed the area for France and named it "Nouvelle Angoulême" (New Angoulême).

A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 aboard the purpose-built caravel "La Anunciada" and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Rio de San Antonio. Heavy ice kept him from further exploration, and he returned to Spain in August. The first scientific map to show the North American East coast continuously, the 1527 world map known as the Padrón Real, was informed by Gomes' expedition, and labeled the Northeast as Tierra de Esteban Gómez in his honor.

In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson re-discovered the region when he sailed his ship the Halve Maen ("Half Moon" in Dutch) into New York Harbor while searching for the Northwest Passage to the Orient for his employer, the Dutch East India Company. He proceeded to sail up what he named the North River, also called the Mauritis River, and now known as the Hudson River, to the site of the present-day New York State capital of Albany in the belief that it might represent an oceanic tributary. When the river narrowed and was no longer saline, he realized it was not a maritime passage and sailed back downriver. He made a ten-day exploration of the area and claimed the region for his employer. In 1614, the area between Cape Cod and Delaware Bay would be claimed by the Netherlands and called Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland).

The first non-Native American inhabitant of what would eventually become New York City was Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez (transliterated to Dutch as Jan Rodrigues). Born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, he arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–1614, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch. Broadway, from 159th Street to 218th Street, is named Juan Rodriguez Way in his honor.[82][83]

A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 – making New York the 12th oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States [84] – with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on a citadel and a Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam).[85][87] The colony of New Amsterdam was centered at the site which would eventually become Lower Manhattan. The Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small band of the Lenape, in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders[88] (about $1000 in 2006);[89] a disproved legend says that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.[90][92]

In 1664, Peter Stuyvesant, the Director-General of the colony of New Netherland, surrendered New Amsterdam to the English without bloodshed. The English promptly renamed the fledgling city "New York" after the Duke of York (later King James II).

On August 24, 1673, Dutch captain Anthonio Colve took over the colony of New York from England and rechristened it "New Orange" to honor the Prince of Orange, King William III. However, facing defeat from the British and French, who had teamed up to destroy Dutch trading routes, the Dutch returned the island to England in 1674.[93]

At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the English gained New Amsterdam (New York) in North America in exchange for Dutch control of Run, an Indonesian island. Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by contact with the Europeans caused sizable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670.[94] By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200.[9]

New York experienced several yellow fever epidemics in the 18th century, losing ten percent of its population to the disease in 1702.[9][9]

New York grew in importance as a trading port while under British rule in the early 1700s. It also became a center of slavery, with 42% of households holding slaves by 1730, more than any other city other than Charleston, South Carolina.[9] Most slaveholders held a few or several domestic slaves, but others hired them out to work at labor. Slavery became integrally tied to New York's economy through the labor of slaves throughout the port, and the banks and shipping tied to the American South. Discovery of the African Burying Ground in the 1990s, during construction of a new federal courthouse near Foley Square, revealed that tens of thousands of Africans had been buried in the area in the colonial years.

The trial in Manhattan of John Peter Zenger in 1735 helped to establish the freedom of the press in North America. In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by King George II as King's College in Lower Manhattan.[9] The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October 1765 as the Sons of Liberty organized in the city, skirmishing over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.

The Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War, was fought in August 1776 entirely within the modern-day borough of Brooklyn. After the battle, in which the Americans were defeated, leaving subsequent smaller armed engagements following in its wake, the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees, as well as escaped slaves who joined the British lines for freedom newly promised by the Crown for all fighters. As many as 10,000 escaped slaves crowded into the city during the British occupation. When the British forces evacuated at the close of the war in 1783, they transported 3,000 freedmen for resettlement in Nova Scotia. They resettled other freedmen in England and the Caribbean.

The only attempt at a peaceful solution to the war took place at the Conference House on Staten Island between American delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Shortly after the British occupation began, the Great Fire of New York occurred, a large conflagration on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, which destroyed about a quarter of the buildings in the city, including Trinity Church.[9]

In 1785, the assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York the national capital shortly after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the first capital under the Constitution of the United States. In 1789, the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time, and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street.[9] By 1790, New York had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

Under New York State's gradual abolition act of 1799, children of slave mothers were born to be eventually liberated but were held in indentured servitude until their mid-to-late twenties.[9][9] Together with slaves freed by their masters after the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves, a significant free-black population gradually developed in Manhattan. Under such influential United States founders as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the New York Manumission Society worked for abolition and established the African Free School to educate black children.[102] It was not until 1827 that slavery was completely abolished in the state, and free blacks struggled afterward with discrimination. New York interracial abolitionist activism continued; among its leaders were graduates of the African Free School. The city's black population reached more than 16,000 in 1840.[10]

In the 19th century, the city was transformed by development relating to its status as a trading center, as well as by European immigration.[10] The city adopted the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan. The 1825 completion of the Erie Canal through central New York connected the Atlantic port to the agricultural markets and commodities of the North American interior via the Hudson River and the Great Lakes.[10] Local politics became dominated by Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish and German immigrants.[10]

Several prominent American literary figures lived in New York during the 1830s and 1840s, including William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, John Keese, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Edgar Allan Poe. Public-minded members of the contemporaneous business elite lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which in 1857 became the first landscaped park in an American city.

Modern history

The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants. Over 200,000 were living in New York by 1860, upwards of a quarter of the city's population.[10] There was also extensive immigration from the German provinces, where revolutions had disrupted societies, and Germans comprised another 25% of New York's population by 1860.[106]

Democratic Party candidates were consistently elected to local office, increasing the city's ties to the South and its dominant party. In 1861, Mayor Fernando Wood called on the aldermen to declare independence from Albany and the United States after the South seceded, but his proposal was not acted on.[102] Anger at new military conscription laws during the American Civil War (1861–1865), which spared wealthier men who could afford to pay a $300 (equivalent to $5,766 in 2015) commutation fee to hire a substitute,[10][10] led to the Draft Riots of 1863, whose most visible participants were ethnic Irish working class.[102] The situation deteriorated into attacks on New York's elite, followed by attacks on black New Yorkers and their property after fierce competition for a decade between Irish immigrants and blacks for work. Rioters burned the Colored Orphan Asylum to the ground, but more than 200 children escaped harm due to efforts of the New York City Police Department, which was mainly made up of Irish immigrants.[106] According to historian James M. McPherson (2001), at least 120 people were killed. In all, eleven black men were lynched over five days, and the riots forced hundreds of blacks to flee the city for Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as well as New Jersey; the black population in Manhattan fell below 10,000 by 1865, which it had last been in 1820. The white working class had established dominance.[106][109] Violence by longshoremen against black men was especially fierce in the docks area.[106] It was one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.[11]

In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens.[11] The opening of the subway in 1904, first built as separate private systems, helped bind the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication.

In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city's worst industrial disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.[111]

New York's non-white population was 36,620 in 1890.[11] New York City was a prime destination in the early twentieth century for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South, and by 1916, New York City was home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America. The Harlem Renaissance of literary and cultural life flourished during the era of Prohibition. The larger economic boom generated construction of skyscrapers competing in height and creating an identifiable skyline.

New York became the most populous urbanized area in the world in the early 1920s, overtaking London. The metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in the early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history.[11] The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello La Guardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.[11]

Returning World War II veterans created a post-war economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's place as the world's dominant economic power. The United Nations Headquarters was completed in 1952, solidifying New York's global geopolitical influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.[11]

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[117]

In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[118] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through that decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[119] By the mid 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy. New York's population reached all-time highs in the 2000 Census and then again in the 2010 Census.

The city and surrounding area suffered the bulk of the economic damage and largest loss of human life in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks when 10 of the 19 terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center and United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and later destroyed them, killing 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers who were in the towers and in the surrounding area.[120] The rebuilding of the area, has created a new One World Trade Center, and a 9/11 memorial and museum along with other new buildings and infrastructure. The World Trade Center PATH station, which opened on July 19, 1909 as the Hudson Terminal, was also destroyed in the attack. A temporary station was built and opened on November 23, 2003. A permanent station, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, is currently under construction.[121] The new One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere[122] and the fourth-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet (541.3 m) in reference to the year of American independence.[123][124][125][126]

The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and spawning the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[127]


New York City is situated in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston.[128] The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port. Most of New York City is built on the three islands of Long Island, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary.[129] The Hudson River separates the city from the U.S. state of New Jersey. The East River—a tidal strait—flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates most of Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely fresh water river in the city.[130]

The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times; reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural relief in topography has been evened out, especially in Manhattan.

The city's total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2). 164.1 sq mi (425 km2) of this is water and 304.8 sq mi (789 km2) is land.[131][132] The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.





New York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct time periods, from the saltbox style Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest section of which dates to 1656, to the modern One World Trade Center, the skyscraper at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan and the most expensive office tower in the world by construction cost.[14]

Manhattan's skyline, with its many skyscrapers, is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. As of 2011, New York City had 5,937 high-rise buildings, of which 550 completed structures were at least 330 feet (100 m) high, both second in the world after Hong Kong,[14][14] with over 50 completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). These include the Woolworth Building (1913), an early gothic revival skyscraper built with massively scaled gothic detailing.

The 1916 Zoning Resolution required setbacks in new buildings and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size, to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.[14] The Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building (1930) and Empire State Building (1931), with their tapered tops and steel spires, reflected the zoning requirements. The buildings have distinctive ornamentation, such as the eagles at the corners of the 61st floor on the Chrysler Building, and are considered some of the finest examples of the Art Deco style.[14] A highly influential example of the international style in the United States is the Seagram Building (1957), distinctive for its façade using visible bronze-toned I-beams to evoke the building's structure. The Condé Nast Building (2000) is a prominent example of green design in American skyscrapers[138] and has received an award from the American Institute of Architects as well as AIA New York State for its design.

The character of New York's large residential districts is often defined by the elegant brownstone rowhouses and townhouses and shabby tenements that were built during a period of rapid expansion from 1870 to 1930.[14] In contrast, New York City also has neighborhoods that are less densely populated and feature free-standing dwellings. In neighborhoods such as Riverdale (in the Bronx), Ditmas Park (in Brooklyn), and Douglaston (in Queens), large single-family homes are common in various architectural styles such as Tudor Revival and Victorian.[14][14][14]

Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835. A distinctive feature of many of the city's buildings is the wooden roof-mounted water towers. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.[15] Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, such as Jackson Heights.[15]

According to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a "slightly lower hazard for tall buildings" in New York City than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near the city, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[15]



New York City's five boroughs
JurisdictionPopulationLand areaDensity
persons /
sq. mi
persons /
sq. km
New York
City of New York
Sources: see individual borough articles

New York City is often referred to collectively as the five boroughs, and in turn, there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods throughout the boroughs, many with a definable history and character to call their own. If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States; these same boroughs are coterminous with the four most densely populated counties in the United States (New York [Manhattan], Kings [Brooklyn], Bronx, and Queens).


Under the Köppen climate classification, New York City lies in the transition zone between humid subtropical (Cfa) and humid continental climates (Dfa), and is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization.[155][156] The suburbs to the immediate north and west completely lie in the humid continental zone.[155][156] The city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually,[157] accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum.[157] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[158]

Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimize the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C);[159] however, temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[159][160] and reach 60 °F (16 °C) several days in the coldest winter month.[159] Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically warm to hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C) in July and an average humidity level of 72%.[159] Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, while daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C).[161] In the warmer months, the dew point, a measure of atmospheric moisture, ranges from 57.3 °F (14.1 °C) in June to 62.0 °F (16.7 °C) in August.[162] Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.[163]

The city receives 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall between 1981 and 2010 has been 25.8 inches (66 cm), but this varies considerably from year to year.[162] Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area, but are not unheard of and always have the potential to strike the area.[164] Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels, and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs.[165] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the city and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[166][167]

Climate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1869–present
Record high °F (°C)72
Mean maximum °F (°C)59.6
Average high °F (°C)38.3
Average low °F (°C)26.9
Mean minimum °F (°C)9.2
Record low °F (°C)−6
Average precipitation inches (mm)3.65
Average snowfall inches (cm)7.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)
Average relative humidity (%)61.560.258.555.362.765.
Mean monthly sunshine hours162.7163.1212.5225.6256.6257.3268.2268.2219.3211.2151.0139.02,534.7
Percent possible sunshine54555757575759635961514857
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)[162][159][157]

See Geography of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.


The City of New York has a complex park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported that the park system in New York City was the second best park system among the 50 most populous US cities, behind the park system of Minneapolis.[169] ParkScore ranks urban park systems by a formula that analyzes median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

National parks

Gateway National Recreation Area contains over 26,000 acres (10,521.83 ha) in total, most of it surrounded by New York City,[170] including the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. In Brooklyn and Queens, the park contains over 9,000 acres (36 km2) of salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and water, including most of Jamaica Bay. Also in Queens, the park includes a significant portion of the western Rockaway Peninsula, most notably Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden. In Staten Island, Gateway National Recreation Area includes Fort Wadsworth, with historic pre-Civil War era Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins, and Great Kills Park, with beaches, trails, and a marina.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are managed by the National Park Service and are in both the states of New York and New Jersey. They are joined in the harbor by Governors Island National Monument, in New York. Historic sites under federal management on Manhattan Island include Castle Clinton National Monument; Federal Hall National Memorial; Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site; General Grant National Memorial ("Grant's Tomb"); African Burial Ground National Monument; and Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Hundreds of private properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark such as, for example, the Stonewall Inn, part of the Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village, as the catalyst of the modern gay rights movement.[171]|

State parks

There are seven state parks within the confines of New York City, including Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, a natural area that includes extensive riding trails, and Riverbank State Park, a 28-acre (110,000 m2) facility that rises 69 feet (21 m) over the Hudson River.[172]

City parks

New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches.[174] The largest municipal park in the city is Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, with 2,765 acres (1,119 ha).[147][175]


Military installations

New York City is home to Fort Hamilton, the U.S. military's only active duty installation within the city.[182] Established in 1825 in Brooklyn on the site of a small battery utilized during the American Revolution, it is one of America's longest serving military forts.[183] Today Fort Hamilton serves as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers as well as for the New York City Recruiting Battalion. It also houses the 1179th Transportation Brigade, the 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, and a military entrance processing station. Other formerly active military reservations still utilized for National Guard and military training or reserve operations in the city include Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Fort Totten in Queens.


Racial composition2010[185]1990[186]1970[186]1940[186]
Black or African American25.5%28.7%21.1%6.1%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)28.6%24.4%16.2%1.6%
Historical population
Note: Census figures (1790–2010) cover the present area of all five boroughs, before and after the 1898 consolidation. For New York City itself before annexing part of the Bronx in 1874, see Manhattan#Demographics. Sources: 1698–1771,

1790–1890, 1900–1990,[188]

2000 and 2010 Census,[172][191] 2015 Census estimate.[2]

New York City is the most-populous city in the United States,[8] with an estimated record high of 8,550,405 residents as of 2015,[2] incorporating more immigration into the city than outmigration since the 2010 United States Census.[192][193] More than twice as many people live in New York City as in the second-most populous U.S. city (Los Angeles),[8] and within a smaller area. New York City gained more residents between April 2010 and July 2014 (316,000) than any other U.S. city.[8] New York City's population amounts to about 40% of New York State's population and a similar percentage of the New York metropolitan area population.

Population density

In 2015, the city had an estimated population density of 28,053 people per square mile (10,756/km²), rendering it the most densely populated of all municipalities housing over 100,000 residents in the United States; however, several small cities (of fewer than 100,000) in adjacent Hudson County, New Jersey are more dense overall, as per the 2000 Census.[194] Geographically co-extensive with New York County, the borough of Manhattan's 2015 population density of 72,033 people per square mile[195] (27,812/km²) makes it the highest of any county in the United States[196] and higher than the density of any individual American city.

Race and ethnicity

The city's population in 2010 was 44% white (33.3% non-Hispanic white), 25.5% black (23% non-Hispanic black), 0.7% Native American, and 12.7% Asian.[197] Hispanics of any race represented 28.6% of the population,[197] while Asians constituted the fastest-growing segment of the city's population between 2000 and 2010; the non-Hispanic white population declined 3 percent, the smallest recorded decline in decades; and for the first time since the Civil War, the number of blacks declined over a decade.[198]

Throughout its history, the city has been a major port of entry for immigrants into the United States; more than 12 million European immigrants were received at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924.[199] The term "melting pot" was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. By 1900, Germans constituted the largest immigrant group, followed by the Irish, Jews, and Italians.[22] In 1940, whites represented 92% of the city's population.[186]


Approximately 37% of the city's population is foreign born.[202][203] In New York, no single country or region of origin dominates.[202] The ten largest sources of foreign-born individuals in the city as of 2011 were the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago,[22] while the Bangladeshi immigrant population has since become one of the fastest growing in the city, counting over 74,000 by 2013.[22]

Asian Americans in New York City, according to the 2010 Census, number more than one million, greater than the combined totals of San Francisco and Los Angeles.[22] New York contains the highest total Asian population of any U.S. city proper.[22] The New York City borough of Queens is home to the state's largest Asian American population and the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States, and is also the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.[149][150] The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State; multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠), in Brooklyn (布鲁克林華埠), and around Flushing, Queens (法拉盛華埠), are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves, while also expanding rapidly eastward into suburban Nassau County (拿騷縣)[22] on Long Island (長島),[24] as the New York metropolitan region and New York State have become the top destinations for new Chinese immigrants, respectively, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into New York City and surrounding areas.[31][210][211][24][24][24] In 2012, 6.3% of New York City was of Chinese ethnicity, with nearly three-fourths living in either Queens or Brooklyn, geographically on Long Island.[24] A community numbering 20,000 Korean-Chinese (Chaoxianzu (Chinese: 朝鲜族) or Joseonjok (Hangul: 조선족)) is centered in Flushing, Queens, while New York City is also home to the largest Tibetan population outside China, India, and Nepal, also centered in Queens.[215] Koreans made up 1.2% of the city's population, and Japanese 0.3%. Filipinos were the largest Southeast Asian ethnic group at 0.8%, followed by Vietnamese, who made up 0.2% of New York City's population in 2010. Indians are the largest South Asian group, comprising 2.4% of the city's population, with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis at 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.[24] Queens is the preferred borough of settlement for Asian Indians, Koreans, and Filipinos,[24] as well as Malaysians[30] and other Southeast Asians;[25] while Brooklyn is receiving large numbers of both West Indian as well as Asian Indian immigrants.

New York City has the largest European and non-Hispanic white population of any American city. At 2.7 million in 2012, New York's non-Hispanic white population is larger than the non-Hispanic white populations of Los Angeles (1.1 million), Chicago (865,000), and Houston (550,000) combined.[25] The European diaspora residing in the city is very diverse. According to 2012 Census estimates, there were roughly 560,000 Italian Americans, 385,000 Irish Americans, 253,000 German Americans, 223,000 Russian Americans, 201,000 Polish Americans, and 137,000 English Americans. Additionally, Greek and French Americans numbered 65,000 each, with those of Hungarian descent estimated at 60,000 people. Ukrainian and Scottish Americans numbered 55,000 and 35,000, respectively. People identifying ancestry from Spain numbered 30,838 total in 2010.[220] People of Norwegian and Swedish descent both stood at about 20,000 each, while people of Czech, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh descent all numbered between 12,000–14,000 people.[25] Arab Americans number over 160,000 in New York City,[25] with the highest concentration in Brooklyn. Central Asians, primarily Uzbek Americans, are a rapidly growing segment of the city's non-Hispanic white population, enumerating over 30,000, and including over half of all Central Asian immigrants to the United States,[25] most settling in Queens or Brooklyn. Albanian Americans are most highly concentrated in the Bronx.[25]

The wider New York City metropolitan statistical area, with over 20 million people, about 50% greater than the second-place Los Angeles metropolitan area in the United States,[5] is also ethnically diverse,[25] with the largest foreign-born population of any metropolitan region in the world. The New York region continues to be by far the leading metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants admitted into the United States, substantially exceeding the combined totals of Los Angeles and Miami, the next most popular gateway regions.[30] It is home to the largest Jewish as well as Israeli communities outside Israel, with the Jewish population in the region numbering over 1.5 million in 2012 and including many diverse Jewish sects from around the Middle East and Eastern Europe.[215] The metropolitan area is also home to 20% of the nation's Indian Americans and at least 20 Little India enclaves, as well as 15% of all Korean Americans and four Koreatowns;[225][25] the largest Asian Indian population in the Western Hemisphere; the largest Russian American,[210] Italian American, and African American populations; the largest Dominican American, Puerto Rican American, and South American[210] and second-largest overall Hispanic population in the United States, numbering 4.8 million;[220] and includes at least 6 established Chinatowns within New York City alone,[26] with the urban agglomeration comprising a population of 779,269 overseas Chinese as of 2013 Census estimates,[26] the largest outside of Asia.[200][201]


Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, and Brazil were the top source countries from South America for legal immigrants to the New York City region in 2013; the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean; Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria from Africa; and El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in Central America.[26] Amidst a resurgence of Puerto Rican migration to New York City, this population had increased to approximately 1.3 million in the metropolitan area as of 2013.

Sexual and gender orientation

The New York metropolitan area is home to a self-identifying gay and bisexual community estimated at nearly 570,000 individuals, the largest in the United States and one of the world's largest.[229][230] Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter.[26] New York City is also home to the largest transgender population in the United States, estimated at 25,000 in 2016.[26]


Christianity (59%), made up of Roman Catholicism (33%), Protestantism (23%), and other Christians (3%), was the most prevalently practiced religion in New York as of 2014,[233] followed by Judaism, with approximately 1.1 million Jews in New York City,[26][27] over half living in Brooklyn.[236] Islam ranks third in New York City, with official estimates ranging between 600,000 and 1,000,000 observers and including 10% of the city's public schoolchildren,[27] followed by Hinduism, Buddhism, and a variety of other religions, as well as atheism. In 2014, 24% self-identified with no organized religious affiliation.[233]



New York City has a high degree of income disparity as indicated by its Gini Coefficient of 0.5 for the city overall and 0.6 for Manhattan.[27] The disparity is driven by wage growth in high-income brackets, while wages have stagnated for middle and lower-income brackets. In the first quarter of 2014, the average weekly wage in New York County (Manhattan) was $2,749, representing the highest total among large counties in the United States.[27] In 2016, Beijing overtook New York City to become the city with the most billionaires in the world, 100 to 95,[27][27] including former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.[27] New York also had the highest density of millionaires per capita among major U.S. cities in 2014, at 4.6% of residents.[27] Lower Manhattan has been experiencing a baby boom, with the area south of Canal Street witnessing 1,086 births in 2010, 12% greater than 2009 and over twice the number born in 2001.[244]


Overview of New York City's economy

Top publicly traded companies
in New York City

(ranked by 2015 revenues)
with City and U.S. ranks
NYC corporation US
1 Verizon Communications 13
2 JPMorgan Chase 23
3 Citigroup 29
4 MetLife 40
5 American International Group 49
6 Pfizer (pharmaceuticals) 55
7 New York Life 61
8 Goldman Sachs 74
9 Morgan Stanley 78
10 TIAA (Teachers Ins. & Annuity) 82
11 INTL FCStone 83
12 American Express 85
Every firm's revenue exceeded $30 billion
Financial services firms in green
Full table at Economy of New York City
Source: Fortune 500

New York is a global hub of international business and commerce. In 2012, New York City topped the first Global Economic Power Index, published by The Atlantic (to be differentiated from a namesake list published by the Martin Prosperity Institute), with cities ranked according to criteria reflecting their presence on similar lists as published by other entities.[245] The city is a major center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media as well as traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States; while Silicon Alley, metonymous for New York's broad-spectrum high technology sphere, continues to expand. The Port of New York and New Jersey is also a major economic engine, handling record cargo volume in the first half of 2014.[246]

Many Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in New York City,[247] as are a large number of foreign corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company.[248] New York City has been ranked first among cities across the globe in attracting capital, business, and tourists.[249][250] This ability to attract foreign investment helped New York City top the FDi Magazine American Cities of the Future ranking for 2013.[251]

Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at US$914.8 billion for the 2015 fiscal year.[252] The Time Warner Center is the property with the highest-listed market value in the city, at US$1.1 billion in 2006.[252] New York City is home to some of the nation's—and the world's—most valuable real estate. 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007 for US$510 million, about $1,589 per square foot ($17,104/m²), breaking the barely month-old record for an American office building of $1,476 per square foot ($15,887/m²) set in the June 2007 sale of 660 Madison Avenue.[254] According to Forbes, in 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten zip codes in the United States by median housing price.[255]

As of 2013, the global advertising agencies of Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group, both based in Manhattan, had combined annual revenues of approximately US$21 billion, reflecting New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry, which is metonymously referred to as "Madison Avenue".[256] The city's fashion industry provides approximately 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages.[257]

Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing accounts for a significant but declining share of employment, although the city's garment industry is showing a resurgence in Brooklyn.[258] Food processing is a US$5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents.

Chocolate is New York City's leading specialty-food export, with up to US$234 million worth of exports each year.[260] Entrepreneurs were forming a "Chocolate District" in Brooklyn as of 2014,[261] while Godiva, one of the world's largest chocolatiers, continues to be headquartered in Manhattan.[262]

Wall Street

New York City's most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S.financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. The city's securities industry, enumerating 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to form the largest segment of the city's financial sector and an important economic engine, accounting in 2012 for 5 percent of the city's private sector jobs, 8.5 percent (US$3.8 billion) of its tax revenue, and 22 percent of the city's total wages, including an average salary of US$360,700.[263] Many large financial companies are headquartered in New York City, and the city is also home to a burgeoning number of financial startup companies.

Lower Manhattan is the third-largest central business district in the United States and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.[67][68] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012,[264] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually.[265] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry generated 19% of New York State's tax revenue.[266] New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy.[267]:31–32[268] In July 2013, NYSE Euronext, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, took over the administration of the London interbank offered rate from the British Bankers Association.[269] New York also leads in hedge fund management; private equity; and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment mangers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers.[267]:34–35 New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States.[270]

Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained over 500 million square feet (46.5 million m2) of office space in 2015,[271] making it the largest office market in the United States,[272] while Midtown Manhattan, with nearly 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) in 2015,[271] is the largest central business district in the world.[274]

Silicon Alley

Silicon Alley, centered in Manhattan, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York City metropolitan region's high technology industries[276] involving the Internet, new media, telecommunications, digital media, software development, biotechnology, game design, financial technology ("fintech"), and other fields within information technology that are supported by its entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments. In 2015, Silicon Alley generated over US$7.3 billion in venture capital investment across a broad spectrum of high technology enterprises,[46] most based in Manhattan, with others in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in the region. High technology startup companies and employment are growing in New York City and the region, bolstered by the city's position in North America as the leading Internet hub and telecommunications center, including its vicinity to several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines,[277] New York's intellectual capital, and its extensive outdoor wireless connectivity.[278] Verizon Communications, headquartered at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, was at the final stages in 2014 of completing a US$3 billion fiberoptic telecommunications upgrade throughout New York City.[279] As of 2014, New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector.[280][281]

The biotechnology sector is also growing in New York City, based upon the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. On December 19, 2011, then Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a US$2 billion graduate school of applied sciences called Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital.[282][283] By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.[284]


Tourism is a vital industry for New York City, which has witnessed a growing combined volume of international and domestic tourists, receiving a sixth consecutive record of nearly 60 million visitors in 2015.[50] Tourism had generated an all-time high US$61.3 billion in overall economic impact for New York City in 2014,[50] pending 2015 statistics. Approximately 12 million visitors to New York City were from outside the United States, with the highest numbers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, and China. New York is the most popular destination in the United States for international travelers.[50]

I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is both a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and have been used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City,[285] and later to promote New York State as well. The trademarked logo, owned by New York State Empire State Development,[32] appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the city and state, some licensed, many not. The song is the state song of New York.

Major tourist destinations include Times Square; Broadway theater productions; the Empire State Building; the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; the United Nations Headquarters; museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; greenspaces such as Central Park and Washington Square Park; Rockefeller Center; the Manhattan Chinatown; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick's Day parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at Summerstage.[287] Major attractions in the boroughs outside Manhattan include Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Unisphere in Queens; the Bronx Zoo; Coney Island, Brooklyn; and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The New York Wheel, a 630-foot ferris wheel, was under construction at the northern shore of Staten Island in 2015,[32] overlooking the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.[32]

Manhattan was on track to have an estimated 90,000 hotel rooms at the end of 2014, a 10% increase from 2013.[32] In October 2014, the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York for US$1.95 billion, making it the world's most expensive hotel ever sold.[32]

Media and entertainment

New York is a prominent location for the American entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there.[32] As of 2012, New York City was the second largest center for filmmaking and television production in the United States, producing about 200 feature films annually, employing 130,000 individuals; the filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly US$9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015,[32] and by volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production[32] – one-third of all American independent films are produced in New York City.[296] The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York.[297] In the first five months of 2014 alone, location filming for television pilots in New York City exceeded the record production levels for all of 2013,[298] with New York surpassing Los Angeles as the top North American city for the same distinction during the 2013/2014 cycle.[299]

New York City is additionally a center for the advertising, music, newspaper, digital media, and publishing industries and is also the largest media market in North America.[300] Some of the city's media conglomerates and institutions include Time Warner, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, the Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P., the News Corporation, The New York Times Company, NBCUniversal, the Hearst Corporation, AOL, and Viacom. Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks have their headquarters in New York.[301] Two of the top three record labels' headquarters are in New York: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group also has offices in New York. New media enterprises are contributing an increasingly important component to the city's central role in the media sphere.

More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city,[296] and the publishing industry employs about 25,000 people.[303] Two of the three national daily newspapers in the United States are New York papers: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. Major tabloid newspapers in the city include: The New York Daily News, which was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson[304] and The New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton. The city also has a comprehensive ethnic press, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages.[306] El Diario La Prensa is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation.[307] The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a prominent African American newspaper. The Village Voice is the largest alternative newspaper.

The television industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city's economy. The three major American broadcast networks are all headquartered in New York: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Many cable networks are based in the city as well, including MTV, Fox News, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, Food Network, AMC, and Comedy Central. The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, NYCTV,[308] that has produced several original Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods and city government.

New York is also a major center for non-commercial educational media. The oldest public-access television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971.[310] WNET is the city's major public television station and a primary source of national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programming. WNYC, a public radio station owned by the city until 1997, has the largest public radio audience in the United States.[311]

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