Manhattan facts


Manhattan
Borough of New York City
New York County
View from Midtown Manhattan, facing south toward Lower Manhattan
View from Midtown Manhattan, facing south toward Lower Manhattan
Flag of Manhattan
Flag
Location of Manhattan, shown in red, in New York City
Location of Manhattan, shown in red, in New York City
Country  United States
State  New York
County New York
City New York City
Settled 1624
Government
 • Type Borough (New York City)
 • Borough President Gale Brewer (D)
(Borough of Manhattan)
 • District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. (D)
(New York County)
Area
 • Total 33.6 sq mi (87 km2)
 • Land 22.83 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Water 10.8 sq mi (28 km2)  32%
Population (2015)
 • Total 1,644,518
 • Density 72,033.2/sq mi (27,812.2/km2)
 • Demonym Manhattanite
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
ZIP code format 100xx, 101xx
Area code 212, 646, 917
Website Manhattan Borough President

Manhattan (/mænˈhætən/, /mənˈhætən/) is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and the city's historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, founded on November 1, 1683, as one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson, and Harlem rivers, and also includes several small adjacent islands and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood on the U.S. mainland.

Manhattan is often described as the cultural and financial capital of the world and hosts the United Nations Headquarters. 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, and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Many multinational media conglomerates are based in the borough. It is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders which equals US$1050 today. Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013; residential property sale prices in Manhattan typically exceeded US$1,400 per square foot ($15,000/m2) as of 2017, and Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017.

New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area (larger only than Kalawao County, Hawaii), and is also the most densely populated U.S. county. It is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2015 population of 1,644,518 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2), or 72,033 residents per square mile (27,812/km2), higher than the density of any individual U.S. city. On business days, the influx of commuters increases that number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile (65,600/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.

Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan have become well known, as New York City received a record of nearly 60 million tourists in 2015, and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal. The borough hosts many world-renowned bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge; skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world; and parks, such as Central Park. There are many historically significant places in Manhattan: Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, and the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan, including Columbia University, New York University, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world.

New York City's five boroughs
Jurisdiction Population Land area Density
Borough County Estimate
(2015)
square
miles
square
km
persons /
sq. mi
persons /
sq. km
Manhattan
New York
1,644,518 22.83 59.1 72,033 27,826
The Bronx
Bronx
1,455,444 42 110 34,653 13,231
Brooklyn
Kings
2,636,735 71 180 37,137 14,649
Queens
Queens
2,339,150 109 280 21,460 8,354
Staten Island
Richmond
474,558 58.5 152 8,112 3,132
City of New York
8,550,405 303.33 781.1 28,188 10,947
State of New York
19,795,791 47,214 122,284 416.4 159
Sources: see individual borough articles

Etymology

The name "Manhattan" derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon). A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). The word "Manhattan" has been translated as "island of many hills" from the Lenape language. The United States Postal Service prefers that mail addressed to Manhattan use "New York, NY" rather than "Manhattan, NY".

History

See also: History of New York City

Colonial era

Peter Minuit portrait New Amsterdam 1600s light
Peter Minuit, early 1600s.
CastelloPlanOriginal
The Castello Plan showing the Dutch colonial city of New Amsterdam in 1660 – then confined to the southern tip of Manhattan Island.

The area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – was the first European to visit the area that would become New York City. He entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows aboard his ship La Dauphine and named the land around Upper New York Harbor "New Angoulême", in reference to the family name of King Francis I that was derived from Angoulême in France; he sailed far enough into the harbor to sight the Hudson River, which he referred to in his report to the French king as a "very big river"; and he named the Bay of Santa Margarita – what is now Upper New York Bay – after Marguerite de Navarre, the elder sister of the king.

It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped. Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there in 1609, and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present-day Albany.

George Washington Statue at Federal Hall
J.Q.A. Ward's statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall (on Wall Street) where he was inaugurated as the first U.S. President in 1789.

A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), in what is now Lower Manhattan. The 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.

According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Dutch colonists acquired Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed Native American people, which are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape, in exchange for trade goods worth 60 guilders, often said to be worth US$24, although accounting for inflation, it actually amounts to around US$1,050 in 2014. The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a representative of the Dutch States-General and member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the States-General in November 1626. In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$23. "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York. Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam. Based on the price of silver, Straight Dope author Cecil Adams calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992. Historians James and Michelle Nevius revisited the issue in 2014, suggesting that using the prices of beer and brandy as equivalencies, the price Minuit paid would have the purchasing power of somewhere between $2,600 and $15,600 in current dollars. According to the writer Nathaniel Benchley, Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsees, who were willing to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for the island that was actually mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks.

In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony. New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653. In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II. The Dutch, under Director General Stuyvesant, successfully negotiated with the English to produce 24 articles of provisional transfer, which sought to retain for the extant citizens of New Netherland their previously attained liberties (including freedom of religion) under new colonial English rulers.

The Dutch Republic regained it in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming the city "New Orange". New Netherland was ceded permanently to the English in November 1674 through the Treaty of Westminster, in exchange for Run Island which was the long-coveted last link in the Dutch nutmeg trading monopoly in Indonesia.

American Revolution and the early United States

Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of major battles in the early American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British political and military center of operations in North America for the remainder of the war. British occupation lasted until November 25, 1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city.

From January 11, 1785, to the fall of 1788, New York City was the fifth of five capitals of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, with the Continental Congress meeting at New York City Hall (then at Fraunces Tavern). New York was the first capital under the newly enacted Constitution of the United States, from March 4, 1789, to August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall. Federal Hall was also the site of where the United States Supreme Court met for the first time, the United States Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified, and where the Northwest Ordinance was adopted, establishing measures for adding new states to the Union.

19th century

George Schlegel - George Degen - New York 1873
Manhattan in 1873. The Brooklyn Bridge was under construction from 1870 until 1883.

New York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury and, later, with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada. By 1810 New York City, then confined to Manhattan, had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party political machine, began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminating in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854. Tammany Hall dominated local politics for decades. Central Park, which opened to the public in 1858, became the first landscaped public park in an American city.

New York City played a complex role in the American Civil War. The city's strong commercial ties to the southern United States, which existed for many reasons, including the industrial power of the Hudson River harbor, which allowed trade with stops such as the West Point Foundry one of the great manufacturing hubs of the early United States, and the city's Atlantic Ocean ports, rendering New York City the American powerhouse in terms of industrial trade between the northern and southern United States. New York's growing immigrant population, which had originated largely from Germany and Ireland, began in the late 1850s to include waves of Italians and Central and Eastern European Jews flowing in en-masse. Anger arose about conscription, with resentment at those who could afford to pay $300 to avoid service leading to resentment against Lincoln's war policies and fomenting paranoia about free Blacks taking the poor immigrants' jobs, culminating in the three-day-long New York Draft Riots of July 1863. These intense war-time riots are counted among the worst incidents of civil disorder in American history, with an estimated 119 participants and passersby massacred.

The rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply after the Civil War, and New York became the first stop for millions seeking a new life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, a gift from the people of France. The new European immigration brought further social upheaval. In a city of tenements packed with poorly paid laborers from dozens of nations, the city was a hotbed of revolution (including anarchists and communists among others), syndicalism, racketeering, and unionization.

In 1883 the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge established a road connection to Brooklyn, across the East River. In 1874 the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County from Westchester County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was annexed. In 1898, when New York City consolidated with three neighboring counties to form "the City of Greater New York", Manhattan and the Bronx, though still one county, were established as two separate boroughs. On January 1, 1914, the New York state legislature created Bronx County, and New York County was reduced to its present boundaries.

Viele Map 1865
The "Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York", commonly known as the Viele Map, was created by Egbert Ludovicus Viele in 1865

20th century

Mulberry Street NYC c1900 LOC 3g04637u edit
Manhattan's Little Italy, Lower East Side, circa 1900

The construction of the New York City Subway, which opened in 1904, helped bind the new city together, as did additional bridges to Brooklyn. In the 1920s Manhattan experienced large arrivals of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the southern United States, and the Harlem Renaissance, part of a larger boom time in the Prohibition era that included new skyscrapers competing for the skyline. New York City became the most populous city in the world in 1925, overtaking London, which had reigned for a century. Manhattan's majority white ethnic group declined from 98.7% in 1900 to 58.3% by 1990.

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village killed 146 garment workers. The disaster eventually led to overhauls of the city's fire department, building codes, and workplace regulations.

The period between the World Wars saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the fall of Tammany Hall after 80 years of political dominance. As the city's demographics stabilized, labor unionization brought new protections and affluence to the working class, the city's government and infrastructure underwent a dramatic overhaul under La Guardia. Despite the Great Depression, some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline today, most notably the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the GE Building.

Kissing the War Goodbye
Victory over Japan Day in Times Square, 1945

Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom, which led to the development of huge housing developments targeted at returning veterans, the largest being Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947. In 1952, the UN relocated from its first headquarters near Queens, to the East Side of Manhattan.

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.

In the 1970s job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City, including Manhattan, to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates. 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 the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.

The 1980s saw a rebirth of Wall Street, and Manhattan reclaimed its role at the center of the worldwide financial industry. The 1980s also saw Manhattan at the heart of the AIDS crisis, with Greenwich Village at its epicenter. The organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) were founded to advocate on behalf of those stricken with the disease.

By the 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. Murder rates that had reached 2,245 in 1990 plummeted to 537 by 2008, and the crack epidemic and its associated drug-related violence came under greater control. The outflow of population turned around, as the city once again became the destination of immigrants from around the world, joining with low interest rates and Wall Street bonuses to fuel the growth of the real estate market. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in Manhattan's economy.

The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909 
A construction worker on top of the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930. To the right, is the Chrysler Building
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. 
United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the first World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. 

21st century

Hurricane Sandy Flooding Avenue C 2012
Flooding on Avenue C caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center, and the towers subsequently collapsed. 7 World Trade Center collapsed due to fires and structural damage caused by heavy debris falling from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The other buildings within the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage to other surrounding buildings and skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the planes. Since 2001, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored, but there has been controversy surrounding the rebuilding. However, many rescue workers and residents of the area developed several life-threatening illnesses that have led to some of their subsequent deaths. A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in 2014. In 2014, the new One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (541 m) and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, while other skyscrapers were under construction at the site.

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.

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction in the borough, ravaging portions of Lower Manhattan with record-high storm surge from New York Harbor, severe flooding, and high winds, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of city residents and leading to gasoline shortages and disruption of mass transit systems. The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the borough and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.

Geography

See also: Geography of New York City
Modern redrawing of 1807 version of Commissioner's Grid plan for Manhattan, a few years before 1811 adoption. Central Park is absent. Dark color denotes existing blocks, light gray were planned.
Central Park in the center of satellite image. Manhattan is bound by Hudson River to the west, Harlem River to the north, and East River.

Components

The borough consists of Manhattan Island, Marble Hill, and several small islands, including Randalls Island and Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York County has a total area of 33.6 square miles (87 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 10.8 square miles (28 km2) (32%) is water. The northern segment of Upper Manhattan represents a geographic panhandle. Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (59 km2) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).

Manhattan Island

Manhattan Island is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan's east and west sides. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. To the north, the Harlem River divides Manhattan Island from the Bronx and the mainland United States.

Early in the 19th century, landfill was used to expand Lower Manhattan from the natural Hudson shoreline at Greenwich Street to West Street. When building the World Trade Center in 1968, 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 m³) of material was excavated from the site. Rather than dumping the spoil at sea or in landfills, the fill material was used to expand the Manhattan shoreline across West Street, creating Battery Park City. The result was a 700-foot (210-m) extension into the river, running six blocks or 1,484 feet (452 m), covering 92 acres (37 ha), providing a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) riverfront esplanade and over 30 acres (12 ha) of parks.

Marble Hill

One neighborhood of New York County is contiguous with the mainland. Marble Hill at one time was part of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895 to improve navigation on the Harlem River, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan as an island between the Bronx and the remainder of Manhattan. Before World War I, the section of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from The Bronx was filled in, and Marble Hill became part of the mainland.

Marble Hill is one example of how Manhattan's land has been considerably altered by human intervention. The borough has seen substantial land reclamation along its waterfronts since Dutch colonial times, and much of the natural variation in its topography has been evened out.

Smaller islands

See also: List of smaller islands in New York City

In New York Harbor, there are three smaller islands:

Other smaller islands, in the East River, include (from north to south):

  • Randalls and Wards Islands, joined by landfill
  • Mill Rock
  • Roosevelt Island
  • U Thant Island (legally Belmont Island)

Geology

Bedrock

NY-Central-Park-Rock-7333
Manhattan schist outcropping in Central Park

The bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan schist. It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings. In Central Park, outcrops of Manhattan Schist occur and Rat Rock is one rather large example.

Geologically, a predominant feature of the substrata of Manhattan is that the underlying bedrock base of the island rises considerably closer to the surface near Midtown Manhattan, dips down lower between 29th Street and Canal Street, then rises toward the surface again in Lower Manhattan. It has been widely believed that the depth to bedrock was the primary underlying reason for the clustering of skyscrapers in the Midtown and Financial District areas, and their absence over the intervening territory between these two areas. However, research has shown that economic factors played a bigger part in the locations of these skyscrapers.

Updated seismic analysis

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 Manhattan than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near New York City, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.

Locations

Liberty Island photo D Ramey Logan
Liberty Island is an exclave of Manhattan, of New York City, and of New York State, surrounded by New Jersey waters.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • African Burial Ground National Monument
  • Castle Clinton National Monument
  • Federal Hall National Memorial
  • General Grant National Memorial
  • Governors Island National Monument
  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial
  • Lower East Side Tenement National Historic Site
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument (part)
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

Neighborhoods

Manhattan's many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street") or SoHo ("SOuth of HOuston"), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta ("NOrth of Little ITAly"). and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park"). Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands. Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C, and D, to which its name refers. Some have simple folkloric names, such as Hell's Kitchen, alongside their more official but lesser used title (in this case, Clinton).

Some neighborhoods, such as SoHo, are commercial and known for upscale shopping. Others, such as Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, have long been associated with the Bohemian subculture. Chelsea is one of several Manhattan neighborhoods with large gay populations, and along with SoHo, has become a center of both the international art industry and New York's nightlife. Washington Heights is a primary destination for immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Chinatown has the highest concentration of people of Chinese descent outside of Asia. Koreatown is roughly bounded by 6th and Madison Avenues, between 31st and 33rd Streets, where Hangul (한글) signage is ubiquitous. Rose Hill features a growing number of Indian restaurants and spice shops along a stretch of Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th Streets which has become known as Curry Hill.

In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system are oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest). This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street, with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.

Fifth Avenue roughly bisects Manhattan Island and acts as the demarcation line for east/west designations (e.g., East 27th Street, West 42nd Street); street addresses start at Fifth Avenue and increase heading away from Fifth Avenue, at a rate of 100 per block on most streets. South of Waverly Place, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Though the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (the southernmost street divided in west and east portions; pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east-west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one-way, with the few exceptions generally being the busiest cross-town thoroughfares (14th, 23rd, 34th, and 42nd Streets, for example), which are bidirectional across the width of Manhattan Island. The rule of thumb is that odd-numbered streets run west, while even-numbered streets run east.

Public housing in the foreground on the Lower East Side 
MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village 
The Upper East Side Historic District 

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization. The suburbs to the immediate north and west lie in the transitional zone between humid subtropical and humid continental climates (Dfa). The city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum. The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.

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); temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter, and reach 60 °F (16 °C) several days in the coldest winter month. 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. 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). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.

Summer evening temperatures are elevated by the urban heat island effect, which causes heat absorbed during the day to be radiated back at night, raising temperatures by as much as 7 °F (4 °C) when winds are slow.


Climate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1869–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72
(22.2)
75
(23.9)
86
(30)
96
(35.6)
99
(37.2)
101
(38.3)
106
(41.1)
104
(40)
102
(38.9)
94
(34.4)
84
(28.9)
75
(23.9)
106
(41.1)
Average high °F (°C) 38.3
(3.5)
41.6
(5.33)
49.7
(9.83)
61.2
(16.22)
70.8
(21.56)
79.3
(26.28)
84.1
(28.94)
82.6
(28.11)
75.2
(24)
63.8
(17.67)
53.8
(12.11)
43.0
(6.11)
62.0
(16.67)
Daily mean °F (°C) 32.6
(0.33)
35.3
(1.83)
42.5
(5.83)
53.0
(11.67)
62.4
(16.89)
71.4
(21.89)
76.5
(24.72)
75.2
(24)
68.0
(20)
56.9
(13.83)
47.7
(8.72)
37.5
(3.06)
55.0
(12.78)
Average low °F (°C) 26.9
(-2.83)
28.9
(-1.72)
35.2
(1.78)
44.8
(7.11)
54.0
(12.22)
63.6
(17.56)
68.8
(20.44)
67.8
(19.89)
60.8
(16)
50.0
(10)
41.6
(5.33)
32.0
(0)
47.9
(8.83)
Record low °F (°C) −6
(-21.1)
−15
(-26.1)
3
(-16.1)
12
(-11.1)
32
(0)
44
(6.7)
52
(11.1)
50
(10)
39
(3.9)
28
(-2.2)
7
(-13.9)
−13
(-25)
−15
(-26.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.65
(92.7)
3.09
(78.5)
4.36
(110.7)
4.50
(114.3)
4.19
(106.4)
4.41
(112)
4.60
(116.8)
4.44
(112.8)
4.28
(108.7)
4.40
(111.8)
4.02
(102.1)
4.00
(101.6)
49.94
(1,268.5)
Snowfall inches (cm) 7.0
(17.8)
9.2
(23.4)
3.9
(9.9)
0.6
(1.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
4.8
(12.2)
25.8
(65.5)
Humidity 61.5 60.2 58.5 55.3 62.7 65.2 64.2 66.0 67.8 65.6 64.6 64.1 63.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.4 9.2 10.9 11.5 11.1 11.2 10.4 9.5 8.7 8.9 9.6 10.6 122.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 4.0 2.8 1.8 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 2.3 11.4
Sunshine hours 162.7 163.1 212.5 225.6 256.6 257.3 268.2 268.2 219.3 211.2 151.0 139.0 2,534.7
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)

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

Boroughscapes

Panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline taken from Weehawken, New Jersey in February 2017. 1. Time Warner Center, 2. 220 Central Park South S, 3. One57, 4. 432 Park Avenue, 5. Chrysler Building, 6. Bank of America Tower, 7. Conde Nast Building, 8. The New York Times Building, 9. Empire State Building, 10. Hudson Yards, 13. 30 Park Place, 14. Woolworth Building, 15. 40 Wall Street, 16. Three World Trade Center, 17. Four World Trade Center, 18. One World Trade Center.
Upper Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan as seen from Weehawken, New Jersey. (January 2010)
View of Lower Manhattan at sunset, from Jersey City, New Jersey. One World Trade Center, at center, is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. (November 2014)

Demographics

See also: Demographics of New York City
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1656 1,000 —    
1698 6,788 +578.8%
1711 10,538 +55.2%
1730 11,963 +13.5%
1731 8,628 −27.9%
1756 15,710 +82.1%
1773 21,876 +39.2%
1774 23,600 +7.9%
1782 29,363 +24.4%
1790 33,131 +12.8%
1800 60,489 +82.6%
1810 96,373 +59.3%
1820 123,706 +28.4%
1830 202,589 +63.8%
1840 312,710 +54.4%
1850 515,547 +64.9%
1860 813,669 +57.8%
1870 942,292 +15.8%
1880 1,164,674 +23.6%
1890 1,441,216 +23.7%
1900 1,850,093 +28.4%
1910 2,331,542 +26.0%
1920 2,284,103 −2.0%
1930 1,867,312 −18.2%
1940 1,889,924 +1.2%
1950 1,960,101 +3.7%
1960 1,698,281 −13.4%
1970 1,539,233 −9.4%
1980 1,428,285 −7.2%
1990 1,487,536 +4.1%
2000 1,537,195 +3.3%
2010 1,585,873 +3.2%
2015 1,644,518 +3.7%
Sources:
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census
Racial composition 2012 1990 1950 1900
White 65.2% 58.3% 79.4% 97.8%
 —Non-Hispanic 47.6% 48.9% n/a n/a
Black or African American 18.4% 22.0% 19.6% 2.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 25.8% 26.0% n/a n/a
Asian 12.0% 7.4% 0.8% 0.3%

At the 2010 Census, there were 1,585,873 people living in Manhattan, an increase of 3.2% since 2000. Since 2010, Manhattan's population was estimated by the Census Bureau to have increased 3.7% to 1,644,518 as of 2015, representing 19.3% of New York City's population and 8.3% of New York State's population. As of the 2000 Census, the population density of New York County was 66,940 per square mile (25,846/km²), the highest population density of any county in the United States. If 2012 census estimates were accurate, the population density then approximated 70,518 people per square mile (27,227/km²). In 1910, at the height of European immigration to New York, Manhattan's population density reached a peak of 101,548 people per square mile (39,208/km²).

According to 2012 Census estimates, 65.2% of the population was White, 18.4% Black or African American, 1.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 12.0% Asian, and 3.1% of two or more races. 25.8% of Manhattan's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race. Manhattan has the second highest percentage of non-Hispanic Whites (48%) of New York City's boroughs, after Staten Island (64%).

In 2006, the New York City Department of City Planning projected that Manhattan's population will increase by 289,000 people between 2000 and 2030, an increase of 18.8% over the period, second only to Staten Island, while the rest of the city is projected to grow by 12.7% over the same period. The school-age population was expected to grow 4.4% by 2030, in contrast to a small decline in the city as a whole. The elderly population was forecast to grow by 57.9%, with the borough adding 108,000 persons ages 65 and over, compared to 44.2% growth citywide. However, these 2006 projections may have become outdated, as Lower Manhattan has been experiencing a baby boom, well above the overall birth rate in Manhattan, 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. The Financial District alone has witnessed growth in its population to approximately 43,000 as of 2014, nearly double the 23,000 recorded at the 2000 Census. The southern tip of Manhattan became the fastest growing part of New York City between 1990 and 2014.

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the average household size was 2.11, and the average family size was 3.21. Approximately 59.4% of the population over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher. Approximately 27.0% of the population is foreign-born, and 61.7% of the population over the age of 5 speak only English at home. People of Irish ancestry make up 7.8% of the population, while Italian Americans make up 6.8% of the population. German Americans and Russian Americans make up 7.2% and 6.2% of the population respectively.

In 2000, 56.4% of people living in Manhattan were White, 17.39% were Black, 14.14% were from other races, 9.40% were Asian, 0.5% were Native American, and 0.07% were Pacific Islander. 4.14% were from two or more races. 27.18% were Hispanic of any race.

There were 738,644 households. 25.2% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 59.1% were non-families. 17.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them. 48% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was two and the average family size was 2.99.

Manhattan's population was spread out with 16.8% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 38.3% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

Manhattan is one of the highest-income places in the United States with a population greater than one million. As of 2012, Manhattan's cost of living was the highest in the United States, but the borough also contained the country's most profound level of income inequality. Manhattan is also the United States county with the highest per capita income, being the sole county whose per capita income exceeded $100,000 in 2010. In 2012, The New York Times reported that "the income gap in Manhattan, already wider than almost anywhere else in the country, rivaled disparities in sub-Saharan Africa. ... The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites made more than 40 times what the lowest fifth reported, a widening gap (it was 38 times, the year before) surpassed by only a few developing countries".

Religion

Manhattan is religiously diverse. In 2000, the largest religious affiliation was the Catholic Church, whose adherents constituted 564,505 persons (more than 36% of the population) and maintained 110 congregations. Jews comprised the second largest religious group, with 314,500 persons (20.5%) in 102 congregations. They were followed by Protestants, with 139,732 adherents (9.1%) and Muslims, with 37,078 (2.4%).

Languages

As of 2010, 59.98% (902,267) of Manhattan residents, ages five and older, spoke only English at home, while 23.07% (347,033) spoke Spanish, 5.33% (80,240) Chinese, 2.03% (30,567) French, 0.78% (11,776) Japanese, 0.77% (11,517) Russian, 0.72% (10,788) Korean, 0.70% (10,496) German, 0.66% (9,868) Italian, 0.64% (9,555) Hebrew, and 0.48% (7,158) African languages as a main language. In total, 40.02% (602,058) of Manhattan's population, ages 5 and older, spoke a language other than English at home.

Landmarks and architecture

See also: List of skyscrapers in New York City
A. T. Stewart 1870
A. T. Stewart in 1870, 9th Street, Manhattan
Park and 57th street Manhattan New York photo D Ramey Logan
Numerous buildings have a jagged façade, exemplified at Park Avenue and 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan

Broadway and the Theater District surrounding Times Square, Central Park, Chinatown, the Chrysler Building, Columbia University, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, Fulton Center, Grand Central Station, Harlem, the High Line, Koreatown, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Little Italy, Madison Square Garden, Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue, the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, New York University and the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village, One World Trade Center, Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Stonewall Inn, Trump Tower, gateways to numerous iconic river-crossing bridges, and an emerging number of supertall skyscrapers, are all located on densely populated Manhattan Island; the Statue of Liberty rests on a pedestal on Liberty Island, an exclave of Manhattan. The borough has many energy-efficient green office buildings, such as the Hearst Tower, the rebuilt 7 World Trade Center, and the Bank of America Tower—the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED Certification.

Architectural history

The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan's distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City's identity since the end of the 19th century. From 1890 to 1973, the title of world's tallest building resided continually in Manhattan (with a gap between 1901 and 1908, when the title was held by Philadelphia City Hall), with nine different buildings holding the title. The New York World Building on Park Row, was the first to take the title in 1890, standing 309 feet (94 m) until 1955, when it was demolished to construct a new ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge. The nearby Park Row Building, with its 29 stories standing 391 feet (119 m) high took the title in 1899. The 41-story Singer Building, constructed in 1908 as the headquarters of the eponymous sewing machine manufacturer, stood 612 feet (187 m) high until 1967, when it became the tallest building ever demolished. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, standing 700 feet (210 m) at the foot of Madison Avenue, wrested the title in 1909, with a tower reminiscent of St Mark's Campanile in Venice. The Woolworth Building, and its distinctive Gothic architecture, took the title in 1913, topping off at 792 feet (241 m). Structures such as the Equitable Building of 1915, which rises vertically forty stories from the sidewalk, prompted the passage of the 1916 Zoning Resolution, requiring new buildings to withdraw progressively at a defined angle from the street as they rose, in order to preserve a view of the sky at street level.

The Roaring Twenties saw a race to the sky, with three separate buildings pursuing the world's tallest title in the span of a year. As the stock market soared in the days before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, two developers publicly competed for the crown. At 927 feet (283 m), 40 Wall Street, completed in May 1930 in only eleven months as the headquarters of the Bank of Manhattan, seemed to have secured the title. At Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street, auto executive Walter Chrysler and his architect William Van Alen developed plans to build the structure's trademark 185-foot (56 m) spire in secret, pushing the Chrysler Building to 1,046 feet (319 m) and making it the tallest in the world when it was completed in 1929. Both buildings were soon surpassed with the May 1931 completion of the 102-story Empire State Building with its Art Deco tower reaching 1,250 feet (380 m) at the top of the building. The 203-foot (62 m) high pinnacle was later added bringing the total height of the building to 1,453 ft (443 m).

The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were located in Lower Manhattan. At 1,368 and 1,362 feet (417 and 415 m), the 110-story buildings were the world's tallest from 1972 until they were surpassed by the construction of the Willis Tower in 1974 (formerly known as the Sears Tower, located in Chicago). One World Trade Center, a replacement for the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1961, the Pennsylvania Railroad unveiled plans to tear down the old Penn Station and replace it with a new Madison Square Garden and office building complex. Organized protests were aimed at preserving the McKim, Mead & White-designed structure completed in 1910, widely considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style and one of the architectural jewels of New York City. Despite these efforts, demolition of the structure began in October 1963. The loss of Penn Station—called "an act of irresponsible public vandalism" by historian Lewis Mumford—led directly to the enactment in 1965 of a local law establishing the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is responsible for preserving the "city's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage". The historic preservation movement triggered by Penn Station's demise has been credited with the retention of some one million structures nationwide, including nearly 1,000 in New York City.

Parkland

17.8% of the borough, a total of 2,686 acres (10.87 km2), is devoted to parkland. Almost 70% of Manhattan's space devoted to parks is located outside of Central Park, including 204 playgrounds, 251 Greenstreets, 371 basketball courts and many other amenities.

Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue, on the south by West 59th Street, and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Along the park's borders, these streets are usually referred to as Central Park North, Central Park West, and Central Park South, respectively (Fifth Avenue retains its name along the eastern border). The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The 843-acre (3.41 km2) park offers extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and grassy areas used for various sporting pursuits, as well as playgrounds for children. The park is a popular oasis for migrating birds, and thus is popular with bird watchers. The 6-mile (9.7 km) road circling the park is popular with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, especially on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 pm, when automobile traffic is banned. While much of the park looks natural, it is almost entirely landscaped and contains several artificial lakes. The construction of Central Park in the 1850s was one of the era's most massive public works projects. Some 20,000 workers crafted the topography to create the English-style pastoral landscape Olmsted and Vaux sought to create. Workers moved nearly 3,000,000 cubic yards (2,300,000 m3) of soil and planted more than 270,000 trees and shrubs.

The African Burial Ground National Monument at Duane Street preserves a site containing the remains of over 400 Africans buried during the 17th and 18th centuries. The remains were found in 1991 during the construction of the Foley Square Federal Office Building.

One World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere as of 2016 
The Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the city and the world from 1930–1931. 
The Empire State Building was the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1972, and the city's tallest from 2001 to 2014. 
The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were the city's tallest from their opening in 1972 to their destruction in 2001
Manhattan has served as home to the headquarters of the United Nations since 1952. 

Culture and contemporary life

See also: Culture of New York City and Music of New York City
Guggenheim museum exterior
Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Manhattan is the borough most closely associated with New York City by non-residents; regionally, residents within the New York City metropolitan area, including natives of New York City's boroughs outside Manhattan, will often describe a trip to Manhattan as "going to the City".

Manhattan has been the scene of many important American cultural movements. In 1912, about 20,000 workers, a quarter of them women, marched upon Washington Square Park to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 workers on March 25, 1911. Many of the women wore fitted tucked-front blouses like those manufactured by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a clothing style that became the working woman's uniform and a symbol of women's liberation, reflecting the alliance of labor and suffrage movements.

The Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s established the African-American literary canon in the United States and introduced writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Manhattan's vibrant visual art scene in the 1950s and 1960s was a center of the American pop art movement, which gave birth to such giants as Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. Perhaps no other artist is as associated with the downtown pop art movement of the late 1970s as Andy Warhol, who socialized at clubs like Serendipity 3 and Studio 54.

Lincoln Center Twilight
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. Plays and musicals are staged in one of the 39 larger professional theatres with at least 500 seats, almost all in and around Times Square. Off-Broadway theatres feature productions in venues with 100–500 seats. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to 12 influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall.

Manhattan is also home to some of the most extensive art collections in the world, both contemporary and historical, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum. The Upper East Side has many art galleries, and the downtown neighborhood of Chelsea is known for its more than 200 art galleries that are home to modern art from both upcoming and established artists.

Manhattan is the center of LGBT culture in New York City. The borough is widely acclaimed as the cradle of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, with its inception at the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan. Multiple gay villages have developed, spanning the length of the borough from the Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village, through Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen, uptown to Morningside Heights.

The borough has a place in several American idioms. The phrase New York minute is meant to convey an extremely short time such as an instant, sometimes in hyperbolic form, as in "perhaps faster than you would believe is possible". This term refers to the rapid pace of life in Manhattan. The expression "melting pot" was first popularly coined to describe the densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side in Israel Zangwill's play The Melting Pot, which was an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set by Zangwill in New York City in 1908. The iconic Flatiron Building is said to have been the source of the phrase "23 skidoo" or scram, from what cops would shout at men who tried to get glimpses of women's dresses being blown up by the winds created by the triangular building. The "Big Apple" dates back to the 1920s, when a reporter heard the term used by New Orleans stablehands to refer to New York City's horse racetracks and named his racing column "Around The Big Apple." Jazz musicians adopted the term to refer to the city as the world's jazz capital, and a 1970s ad campaign by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau helped popularize the term.

Images


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