New York facts

(Redirected from New York (state))
State of New York
Flag of New York State seal of New York
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Empire State
Motto(s): 'Excelsior (Latin)
Ever upward'
State anthem: I Love New York
Map of the United States with New York highlighted
Official language None
Spoken languages
  • English (only) 69.6%
  • Spanish 15.1%
  • Chinese 3.1%
  • Indic 1.9%
  • French 1.6%
  • Russian 1.2%
  • Italian 0.9%
  • Yiddish 0.7%
  • Arabic 0.5%
  • Korean 0.5%
Demonym New Yorker
Capital Albany
Largest city New York City
Largest metro New York metropolitan area
Area Ranked 27th
 - Total 54,555 sq mi
(141,300 km2)
 - Width 285 miles (455 km)
 - Length 330 miles (530 km)
 - % water 13.5
 - Latitude 40° 30′ N to 45° 1′ N
 - Longitude 71° 51′ W to 79° 46′ W
Number of people Ranked 4th
 - Total 19,795,791 (2015 est)
 - Density 416.42/sq mi  (159/km2)
Ranked 7th
 - Average income $58,005 (2016) (23rd)
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Mount Marcy
5,344 ft (1,629 m)
 - Average 1,000 ft  (300 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean
sea level
Became part of the U.S. July 26, 1788 (11th)
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)
U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
U.S. House delegation 18 Democrats,
9 Republicans (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
Abbreviations NY, N.Y. US-NY
Website www.ny.gov
New York State symbols
Animate insignia
Bird(s) Eastern bluebird
Fish Brook trout (fresh water), Striped bass (salt water)
Flower(s) Rose
Insect Nine-spotted ladybug
Mammal(s) Beaver
Reptile Common snapping turtle
Tree Sugar maple

Inanimate insignia
Beverage Milk
Fossil Eurypterus remipes
Gemstone Garnet
Shell Bay scallop

Route marker(s)
[[File:|125px|New York Route Marker]]

State Quarter
Quarter of New York
Released in

Lists of United States state insignia

New York is a state in the northeastern United States, and is the 27th-most extensive, fourth-most populous, and seventh-most densely populated U.S. state.

New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border in the Atlantic Ocean with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the west and north.

The state of New York, with an estimated 19.8 million residents in 2015, is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City, the state's most populous city and its economic hub.

With an estimated population of 8.55 million in 2015, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States.

The New York Metropolitan Area is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.

New York City is a global city, exerting a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, its fast pace defining the term New York minute.

The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York City is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.

New York City makes up over 40% of the population of New York State. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York City Metropolitan Area, and nearly 40% lives on Long Island. Both the state and New York City were named for the 17th-century Duke of York, future King James II of England. The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany.

New York has a diverse geography. The southern part of the state consists of Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley, most of which lie within the wider Atlantic Coastal Plain. The large region known as Upstate New York consists of several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, including the Allegheny Plateau and Catskills along New York's Southern Tier, and the Adirondack Mountains, Thousand Islands archipelago, and Saint Lawrence Seaway in the Northeastern lobe of the state. These more mountainous regions are bisected by two major river valleys—the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley, which forms the core of the Erie Canal. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes Region and straddles Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Between the two lakes lies Niagara Falls. The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination.

New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York.

The first Europeans to arrive were French colonists and Jesuit missionaries who arrived southward from settlements at Montreal for trade and proselytizing.

Many landmarks in New York are well known to both international and domestic visitors, with New York State hosting four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls (shared with Ontario), and Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.

History

16th century

Giovanni da Verrazzano by Ximenes, Battery Park, NYC
Giovanni da Verrazzano statue in Battery Park, Manhattan, New York

In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French crown, explored the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay. On April 17, 1524 Verrazanno entered New York Bay, by way of the strait now called the Narrows into the northern bay which he named Santa Margherita, in honor of the King of France's sister. Verrazzano described it as "a vast coastline with a deep delta in which every kind of ship could pass" and he adds: "that it extends inland for a league and opens up to form a beautiful lake. This vast sheet of water swarmed with native boats". He landed on the tip of Manhattan and possibly on the furthest point of Long Island. Verrazanno's stay was interrupted by a storm which pushed him north towards Martha's Vineyard.

In 1540 French traders from New France built a chateau on Castle Island, within present-day Albany; due to flooding, it was abandoned the next year. In 1614, the Dutch under the command of Hendrick Corstiaensen, rebuilt the French chateau, which they called Fort Nassau. Fort Nassau was the first Dutch settlement in North America, and was located along the Hudson River, also within present-day Albany. The small fort served as a trading post and warehouse. Located on the Hudson River flood plain, the rudimentary "fort" was washed away by flooding in 1617, and abandoned for good after Fort Orange (New Netherland) was built nearby in 1623.

17th century

See also: Province of New York
Castelloplan
New Amsterdam, present-day Lower Manhattan, 1660

Henry Hudson's 1609 voyage marked the beginning of European involvement with the area. Sailing for the Dutch East India Company and looking for a passage to Asia, he entered the Upper New York Bay on September 11 of that year. Word of his findings encouraged Dutch merchants to explore the coast in search for profitable fur trading with local Native American tribes.

During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois, and other tribes were founded in the colony of New Netherland. The first of these trading posts were Fort Nassau (1614, near present-day Albany); Fort Orange (1624, on the Hudson River just south of the current city of Albany and created to replace Fort Nassau), developing into settlement Beverwijck (1647), and into what became Albany; Fort Amsterdam (1625, to develop into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City); and Esopus, (1653, now Kingston).

The success of the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck (1630), which surrounded Albany and lasted until the mid-19th century, was also a key factor in the early success of the colony.

The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. The city of New York was recaptured by the Dutch in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange. It was returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later.

18th century, the American Revolution, and statehood

NewYork1777MapRestoredSmall
New York and neighboring jurisdictions in 1777

The Sons of Liberty were organized in New York City during the 1760s, largely in response to the oppressive Stamp Act passed by the British Parliament in 1765.

The Stamp Act Congress met in the city on October 19 of that year, composed of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies who set the stage for the Continental Congress to follow. The Stamp Act Congress resulted in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was the first written expression by representatives of the Americans of many of the rights and complaints later expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence. This included the right to representative government. At the same time, with strong trading between Britain and the United States on both business and personal levels many New York residents were Loyalists. The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga provided the cannon and gunpowder necessary to force a British withdrawal from the Siege of Boston in 1775.

New York was the only colony to not vote for independence, as the delegates were not authorized to do so. New York then endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776.

On July 30, 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston.

About one-third of the battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in New York; the first major battle after U.S. independence was declared—and the largest battle of the entire war—was fought in New York at the Battle of Long Island (a.k.a. Battle of Brooklyn) in August 1776. After their victory, the British occupied New York City, making it their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the focus of General George Washington's intelligence network.

On the notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay, more American combatants died of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war, combined. Both sides of combatants lost more soldiers to disease than to outright wounds.

The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, a success that influenced France to ally with the revolutionaries.The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

Preceded by
Virginia
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Ratified Constitution on July 26, 1788 (11th)
Succeeded by
North Carolina
Surrender of General Burgoyne
British general John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga in 1777.

In an attempt to retain their sovereignty and remain an independent nation positioned between the new United States and British North America, four of the Iroquois Nations fought on the side of the British; only the Oneida and their dependents, the Tuscarora, allied themselves with the Americans. In retaliation for attacks on the frontier led by Joseph Brant and Loyalist Mohawk forces, the Sullivan Expedition of 1779 destroyed nearly 50 Iroquois villages, adjacent croplands and winter stores, forcing many refugees to British-held Niagara.

As allies of the British, the Iroquois were forced out of New York, although they had not been part of treaty negotiations. They resettled in Canada after the war and were given land grants by the Crown. In the treaty settlement, the British ceded most Indian lands to the new United States. Because New York made treaty with the Iroquois without getting Congressional approval, some of the land purchases have been subject to land claim suits since the late 20th century by the federally recognized tribes. New York put up more than 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of former Iroquois territory for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in upstate New York. As per the Treaty of Paris, the last vestige of British authority in the former Thirteen Colonies—their troops in New York City—departed in 1783, which was long afterward celebrated as Evacuation Day.

1800LowsNYstate
1800 map of New York from Low's Encyclopaedia

New York City was the national capital under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the first government. That organization was found to be insufficient, and prominent New Yorker Alexander Hamilton advocated a new government that would include an executive, national courts, and the power to tax.

Hamilton led the Annapolis Convention (1786) that called for the Philadelphia Convention, which drafted the United States Constitution, in which he also took part. The new government was to be a strong federal national government to replace the relatively weaker confederation of individual states.

New York remained the national capital under the new constitution until 1790, and was the site of the inauguration of President George Washington, the drafting of United States Bill of Rights, and the first session of the United States Supreme Court.

Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony; New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, SC. Slavery was extensive in New York City and some agricultural areas. The state passed a law for the gradual abolition of slavery soon after the Revolutionary War, but the last slave in New York was not freed until 1827.

19th century

Lockport bartlett color crop
The Erie Canal at Lockport, New York in 1839

Transportation in western New York was by expensive wagons on muddy roads before canals opened up the rich farm lands to long-distance traffic.

Governor DeWitt Clinton promoted the Erie Canal that connected New York City to the Great Lakes, by the Hudson River, the new canal, and the rivers and lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal opened in 1825. Packet boats pulled by horses on tow paths traveled slowly over the canal carrying passengers and freight.

Farm products came in from the Midwest, and finished manufactured moved west. It was an engineering marvel which opened up vast areas of New York to commerce and settlement. It enabled Great Lakes port cities such as Buffalo and Rochester to grow and prosper. It also connected the burgeoning agricultural production of the Midwest and shipping on the Great Lakes, with the port of New York City. Improving transportation, it enabled additional population migration to territories west of New York. After 1850, railroads largely replaced the canal.

New York City was a major ocean port and had extensive traffic importing cotton from the South and exporting manufacturing goods. Nearly half of the state's exports were related to cotton. Southern cotton factors, planters and bankers visited so often that they had favorite hotels.

The state provided more than 370,000 soldiers to the Union armies. Over 53,000 New Yorkers died in service, roughly one of every seven who served.

Immigration

Ellis Island in 1905
Ellis Island in 1905

Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for legal immigration into the United States. Most immigrants to New York would disembark at the bustling docks along the Hudson and East Rivers, in the eventual Lower Manhattan. On May 4, 1847 the New York State Legislature created the Board of Commissioners of Immigration to regulate immigration.

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, and operated as a central immigration center until the National Origins Act was passed in 1924, reducing immigration. After that date, the only immigrants to pass through were displaced persons or war refugees. The island ceased all immigration processing on November 12, 1954.

More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. More than 100 million Americans across the United States can trace their ancestry to these immigrants.

Ellis Island was opened to the public as a museum of immigration in 1990.

September 11, 2001 attacks

UA Flight 175 hits WTC south tower 9-11 edit
Flight 175 hit the original South Tower on September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, and the towers collapsed. 7 World Trade Center also collapsed. The other buildings of the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and demolished soon thereafter. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 2,753 victims, including 147 aboard the two planes. Since September 11, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored. In the years since, many rescue workers and residents of the area have developed several life-threatening illnesses, and some have died.

A memorial at the site, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was opened to the public on September 11, 2011. A permanent museum later opened at the site on March 21, 2014. Upon its completion in 2014, the new One World Trade Center became the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet (541 m). Other skyscrapers are under construction at the site.

Hurricane Sandy, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Flooding Avenue C 2012
Flooding on Avenue C in Lower Manhattan caused by Hurricane Sandy

On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction of the state's shorelines, ravaging portions of New York City and Long Island with record-high storm surge, with severe flooding and high winds causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and leading to gasoline shortages and disruption of mass transit systems. The storm and its profound effects have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of New York City and Long Island to minimize the risk from another such future event. This is considered highly probable due to global warming and rise in sea levels.

LI region DEM-2
Enveloped by the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, New York City and Long Island alone are home to approximately 11 million residents conjointly.
Big Slide Mountain from Cascade
The Adirondack High Peaks region.

Geography

New York terrain.
Map of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers.
Skaneateles Lake seen from the village of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, New York
Skaneateles Lake, one of the eleven Finger Lakes, provides drinking water for the city of Syracuse and nearby areas in central New York.

New York covers 54,555 square miles (141,300 km2) and ranks as the 27th largest state by size. The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York and contains the Lake Champlain Valley as its northern half and the Hudson Valley as its southern half within the state. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the Lake Champlain Valley. The Hudson River begins near Lake Tear of the Clouds and flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu River and then ultimately the Saint Lawrence River. Four of New York City's five boroughs are situated on three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island; Staten Island; and Long Island, which contains Brooklyn and Queens at its western end.

Most of the southern part of the state rests on the Allegheny Plateau, which extends from the southeastern United States to the Catskill Mountains; the section in New York State is known as the Southern Tier. The Tug Hill region arises as a cuesta east of Lake Ontario. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware River systems. The Delaware River Basin Compact, signed in 1961 by New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the federal government, regulates the utilization of water of the Delaware system. The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks, at 5,344 feet (1,629 meters) above sea level; while the state's lowest point is at sea level, on the Atlantic Ocean.

Much of New York State borders water, as is true for New York City as well. Of New York State's total area, 13.5% consists of water. The state's borders touch (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, with New York and Ontario sharing the Thousand Islands archipelago within the Saint Lawrence River; Lake Champlain; three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut); the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York. New York is the second largest of the original Thirteen Colonies and is the only state that touches both the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.

In contrast with New York City's urban landscape, the vast majority of the state's geographic area is dominated by meadows, forests, rivers, farms, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States and is larger than the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic National Parks combined. New York established the first state park in the United States at Niagara Falls in 1885. Niagara Falls is shared between New York and Ontario as it flows on the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Upstate and downstate are often used informally to distinguish New York City or its greater metropolitan area from the rest of New York State. The placement of a boundary between the two is a matter of great contention. Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania, and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canada–US border to everything north of the Mohawk River.

Climate

LakeEffectSnowBuffalo101206
Lake-effect snow is a major contributor to heavy snowfall totals in western New York, including the Tug Hill region.

In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though under the Köppen climate classification, New York City has a humid subtropical climate. Weather in New York is heavily influenced by two continental air masses: a warm, humid one from the southwest and a cold, dry one from the northwest.

Downstate New York, comprising New York City, Long Island, and lower portions of the Hudson Valley, has rather warm summers, with some periods of high humidity, and cold, damp winters which, however, are relatively mild compared to temperatures in Upstate New York, secondary to the former region's lower elevation, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and relatively lower latitude compared to the latter. Upstate New York experiences warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions, with long and cold winters. Western New York, particularly the Tug Hill region, receives heavy lake-effect snows, especially during the earlier portions of winter, before the surface of Lake Ontario itself is covered by ice. The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and at higher elevations of the Southern Tier.

Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid-80s °F (25 to 30 °C), over much of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of −13 °F (−25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F (−15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands of the Southern Tier.

New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gases generated per person. This relative efficient energy usage is primarily due to the dense, compact settlement in the New York City metropolitan area, and the state population's high rate of mass transit use in this area and between major cities.

LizWeehawkenNumberJPG
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.
Niagra Falls-wide image-NPS
Niagara Falls, in the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, flows on the Niagara River connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, two of the five Great Lakes of North America.
Mount Marcy 360
View of the Adirondack Mountains from the 5,344-foot (1,629-meter) summit of Mount Marcy, New York's tallest peak.
Albany Panorama
Panorama of the state capital Albany and the Hudson River from Rensselaer. At the left foreground is the System Administration Building of the State University of New York. The tallest skyscraper visible is one of several buildings in the Empire State Plaza governmental complex.
Boldtcastle
The Thousand Islands constitute an archipelago within the Saint Lawrence River. Boldt Castle, on Heart Island, is seen at center.
G-P Bay
The Great Peconic Bay, with the Atlantic Ocean as its primary inflow, separates the North Fork and South Fork at the East End of Long Island.

Regions

Map of New York Economic Regions
Economic regions of New York

Due to its long history, New York has several overlapping and often conflicting definitions of regions within the state. The regions are also not fully definable due to colloquial use of regional labels. The New York State Department of Economic Development provides two distinct definitions of these regions; it divides the state into ten economic regions, which approximately correspond to terminology used by residents:

New York State Department Economic Development Regions
Tourism regions of New York

The department also groups the counties into eleven regions for tourism purposes:

  1. Chautauqua–Allegheny
  2. Niagara Frontier
  3. Finger Lakes
  4. Thousand Islands
  5. Central-Leatherstocking Region
  6. Adirondack Mountains
  7. Capital District
  8. Catskill Mountains
  9. Hudson Valley
  10. New York City
  11. Long Island

State parks

See also: List of New York state parks and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Adirondack and Catskill Parks Locator
Two major state parks (in green) are the Adirondack Park (north) and the Catskill Park (south).

New York has many state parks and two major forest preserves. Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established in 1892 and given state constitutional protection to remain "forever wild" in 1894. The park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined. The thinking that led to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature, published in 1864.

The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885, which declared that its land was to be conserved and never put up for sale or lease. Consisting of 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) of land, the park is a habitat for deer, minks, and fishers. There are some 400 black bears living in the region. The state operates numerous campgrounds, and there are over 300 miles (480 km) of multi-use trails in the Park.

The Montauk Point State Park boasts the 1797 Montauk Lighthouse, commissioned under President George Washington, which is a major tourist attraction on the easternmost tip of Long Island. Hither Hills park offers camping and is a popular destination with surfcasting sport fishermen.

National parks, monuments, and historic landmarks

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor is a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.
African Burial Ground National Monument
General Shuyler's house at Saratoga National Historical Park.

The State of New York is well represented in the National Park System with 22 national parks, which received 16,349,381 visitors in 2011. In addition, there are 4 National Heritage Areas, 27 National Natural Landmarks, 262 National Historic Landmarks, and 5,379 listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan is the only National Monument dedicated to Americans of African ancestry. It preserves a site containing the remains of more than 400 Africans buried during the late 17th and 18th centuries in a portion of what was the largest colonial-era cemetery for people of African descent, both free and enslaved, with an estimated tens of thousands of remains interred. The site's excavation and study were called "the most important historic urban archeological project in the United States."
  • Fire Island National Seashore is a United States National Seashore that protects a 26-mile (42 km) section of Fire Island, an approximately 30-mile (48 km) long barrier island separated from the mainland of Long Island by the Great South Bay. The island is part of Suffolk County.
  • Gateway National Recreation Area is more than 26,000 acres (10,522 ha) of water, salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and shoreline at the entrance to New York Harbor, the majority of which lies within New York. Including areas on Long Island and in New Jersey, it covers more area than that of two Manhattan Islands.
  • General Grant National Memorial is the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant and is the largest mausoleum in North America.
  • Hamilton Grange National Memorial preserves the home of Alexander Hamilton, Caribbean immigrant and orphan who rose to be a United States founding father and associate of George Washington.
  • Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, established in 1945, preserves the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, New York. Springwood was the birthplace, lifelong home, and burial place of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Niagara Falls National Heritage Area was designated by Congress in 2008; it stretches from the western boundary of Wheatfield, New York to the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario, including the communities of Niagara Falls, Youngstown, and Lewiston. It includes Niagara Falls State Park and Colonial Niagara Historic District. It is managed in collaboration with the state.
  • Saratoga National Historical Park preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga, the first significant American military victory of the American Revolutionary War. In 1777, American forces defeated a major British Army, which led France to recognize the independence of the United States, and enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans.
  • Statue of Liberty National Monument includes Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The statue, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi, was a gift from France to the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence; it was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886. It has since become an icon of the United States and the concepts of democracy and freedom.
  • Stonewall National Monument, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, is the first U.S. National Monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights, designated on June 24, 2016. The monument comprises the Stonewall Inn, commonly recognized to be the cradle of the gay liberation movement as the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots; the adjacent Christopher Park; and surrounding streets and sidewalks.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is the birthplace and childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt, the only US President born in New York City.

Administrative divisions

New York Counties
Map of the counties in New York

New York is divided into 62 counties. Aside from the five counties of New York City, each of these counties is subdivided into towns and cities. Towns can contain incorporated villages or unincorporated hamlets. New York City is divided into five boroughs, each coterminous with a county.

Downstate New York (New York City, Long Island, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley) can be considered to form the central core of the Northeast megalopolis, an urbanized region stretching from New Hampshire to Virginia.

The major cities of the state developed along the key transportation and trade routes of the early 19th century, including the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, the New York Thruway acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes.

Demographics

Population

New York Population Map
New York population distribution map

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of New York was 19,795,791 on July 1, 2015. Despite the open land in the state, New York's population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area, predominantly in the New York City metropolitan area.

Two-thirds of New York State's population resides in New York City Metropolitan Area. New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with an estimated record high population of 8,550,405 in 2015. More than twice as many people live in New York City as in the second-most populous U.S. city (Los Angeles), and within a smaller area. Long Island alone accounted for 7,838,722 residents in 2015, representing 39.6% of New York State's population.

Most populous counties

These are the ten counties with the largest populations as of 2010:

  1. Kings County (Brooklyn): 2,504,700
  2. Queens County (Queens): 2,230,722
  3. New York County (Manhattan): 1,585,873
  4. Suffolk County: 1,493,350
  5. Bronx County (the Bronx): 1,385,108
  6. Nassau County: 1,339,532
  7. Westchester County: 949,113
  8. Erie County: 919,040
  9. Monroe County: 744,344
  10. Richmond County (Staten Island): 468,730

Major cities

There are 62 cities in New York.

New York's largest cities

BuffaloSkyline
Buffalo Skyline
Rochester picture
Rochester
  • Utica - population 62,239

Metropolitan areas

The following are the top ten metropolitan areas in the state as of the 2010 Census:

  1. New York City and the Hudson Valley (19,567,410 in NY/NJ/PA, 13,038,826 in NY)
  2. Buffalo-Niagara Falls (1,135,509)
  3. Rochester (1,079,671)
  4. Albany and the Capital District (870,716)
  5. Syracuse (662,577)
  6. Utica-Rome (299,397)
  7. Binghamton (251,725)
  8. Kingston (182,493)
  9. Glens Falls (128,923)
  10. Watertown-Fort Drum (116,229)

Race and ethnicity

The Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠), home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, at top, and one of several Chinatowns in Brooklyn (布魯克林華埠) below. Chinese in New York constitute the fastest-growing nationality in New York State and on Long Island, with large-scale Chinese immigration continuing into New York.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 racial makeup of New York State was as follows by self-identification:

  • White American – 65.7%
  • Black or African American – 15.9%
  • Asian American – 7.3% (3.0% Chinese, 1.6% Indian, 0.7% Korean, 0.5% Filipino, 0.3% Pakistani, 0.3% Bangladeshi, 0.2% Japanese, 0.1% Vietnamese)
  • Multiracial Americans – 3.0%
  • Native American/American Indian – 0.6%
  • Some other race - 7.5%
New York Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1950 1970 1990 2000 2010
White 93.5% 86.8% 74.4% 67.9% 65.8%
Black 6.2% 11.9% 15.9% 15.9% 15.9%
Asian 0.2% 0.7% 3.9% 5.5% 7.3%
Native 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.4% 0.6%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.1% 0.1%
Other race 0.4% 5.5% 7.1% 7.4%
Two or more races 3.1% 3.0%

In 2004, the major ancestry groups in New York State by self-identification were Hispanic and Latino Americans (17.6%), African American (15.8%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), German (11.1%) and English (6%). According to a 2010 estimate, 21.7% of the population is foreign-born.

The state's most populous racial group, non-Hispanic white, has declined as a proportion of the state population from 94.6% in 1940 to 58.3% in 2010. As of 2011, 55.6% of New York's population younger than age 1 were minorities. New York's robustly increasing Jewish population, the largest outside of Israel, was the highest among states both by percentage and absolute number in 2012. It is driven by the high reproductive rate of Orthodox Jewish families, particularly in Brooklyn and communities of the Hudson Valley.

New York is home to the second-largest African American population (after Georgia) and the second largest Asian-American population (after California) in the United States. The New York City neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major cultural capital for African-Americans of sub-Saharan descent, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn has the largest such population in the United States. Meanwhile, New York's uniracial Asian population increased by a notable 36% from 2000 to 2010, to 1,420,244. Queens, in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian-American population and is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States; it is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.

Queens is home to the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States. In addition, New York has the largest Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Jamaican American populations in the continental United States.

The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State; multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown (曼哈頓華埠), 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), on Long Island (長島). New York State has become the top destination for new Chinese immigrants, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into the state. Brooklyn has been a destination for West Indian immigrants of African descent, as well as Asian Indian immigrants.

In the 2000 Census, New York had the largest Italian American population, composing the largest self-identified ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish Americans. Albany and the Mohawk Valley also have large communities of ethnic Italians and Irish Americans, reflecting 19th and early 20th-century immigration.

In Buffalo and western New York, German Americans comprise the largest ancestry. In the North Country of New York, French Canadians represent the leading ethnicity, given the area's proximity to Quebec. Americans of English ancestry are present throughout all of upstate New York, reflecting early colonial and later immigrants.

Languages

Most common non-English languages spoken in New York
Language Population (as of 2010)
Spanish 14.44%
Chinese (incl. Cantonese and Mandarin) 2.61%
Russian 1.20%
Italian 1.18%
French Creole 0.79%
French 0.75%
Yiddish 0.67%
Korean 0.63%
Polish 0.53%
Bengali 0.43%

In 2010, the most common American English dialects spoken in New York, besides General American English, were the New York City area dialect (including New York Latino English and North Jersey English), the Western New England accent around Albany, and Inland Northern American English in Buffalo and western New York State. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

Economy

Madison Square from the Empire State Building June 2004
Silicon Alley has expanded well beyond its cradle in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.
ChryslerBuildingMidtownManhattanNewYorkCity
Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the largest central business district in the world.

New York's gross state product in 2015 was $1.44 trillion. If New York State were an independent nation, it would rank as the 12th or 13th largest economy in the world.

Wall Street

NYC NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies.

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.

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, as measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.

Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained approximately 520 million square feet (48.1 million m2) of office space in 2013, making it the largest office market in the United States, while Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the nation.

Silicon Alley

Madison Square from the Empire State Building June 2004
Silicon Alley has expanded well beyond its cradle in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on the North Shore of Long Island is an internationally renowned biomedical research facility and home to eight scientists awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Silicon Alley, Silicon Alley generated over US$7.3 billion in venture capital investment in 2015.

High tech industries including digital media, biotechnology, software development, game design, and other fields in information technology are growing, bolstered by New York City's position at the terminus of several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, its intellectual capital, as well as its growing outdoor wireless connectivity.

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 on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital.

Tech Valley

Albany, Saratoga County, Rensselaer County, and the Hudson Valley, collectively recognized as eastern New York's Tech Valley, have experienced significant growth in the computer hardware side of the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector, digital electronics design, and water- and electricity-dependent integrated microchip circuit manufacturing, involving companies including IBM and its Thomas J. Watson Research Center, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor, among others.

Media and entertainment

1 times square night 2013
Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, hub of the Broadway theater district, a media center, and one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections.

Creative industries, which are concerned with generating and distributing knowledge and information, such as new media, digital media, film and television production, advertising, fashion, design, and architecture, account for a growing share of employment, with New York City possessing a strong competitive advantage in these industries.

Tourism

I Love New York
The I Love New York logo has been used by the state since 1977.

I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is a slogan, a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and has been used since 1977 to promote tourism in the state of New York, including New York City. The trademarked logo is owned by New York State Empire State Development.

The Broadway League reported that Broadway shows sold approximately US$1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013–2014 season. Attendance in 2013–2014 stood at 12.21 million.

The I Love New York song is the state song of New York.

Exports

North Fork - Vineyards 03
Vineyard in New York
Maple sap buckets - Beaver Meadow Audubon Center
Maple trees with taps and buckets for collecting sap, to be made into maple syrup, at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, North Java, NY.

New York exports a wide variety of goods such as prepared foods, computers and electronics, cut diamonds, and other commodities. In 2007, the state exported a total of $71.1 billion worth of goods, with the five largest foreign export markets being Canada (US$15 billion), the United Kingdom (US$6 billion), Switzerland (US$5.9 billion), Israel (US$4.9 billion), and Hong Kong (US$3.4 billion).

New York's largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber. The state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes printing and the production of garments, mainly in New York City; and furs, railroad equipment, automobile parts, and bus line vehicles, concentrated in Upstate regions.

New York is the nation's third-largest grape producing state, and second-largest wine producer by volume, behind California. In 2012, New York had 320 wineries and 37,000 grape bearing acres.

New York is a major agricultural producer overall, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products including maple syrup, apples, cherries, cabbage, dairy products, onions, and potatoes.

The state is the largest producer of cabbage in the U.S. The state has about a quarter of its land in farms and produced $3.4 billion in agricultural products in 2001.

The south shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear and peach orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain.

A moderately sized saltwater commercial fishery is located along the Atlantic side of Long Island. The principal catches by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder.

Transportation

TappanZeeBridgeFromBelow
The Tappan Zee Bridge, linking Westchester and Rockland counties, is the second-longest bridge in the northeastern United States.
R46 Subway Car, 5732, F, September 5th, 2014
The New York City Subway is one of the world's busiest, serving a passenger ridership of over 5 million per average weekday.
JFK Plane Queue
John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States.

New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Population expansion of the state has followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and Mohawk River, then the Erie Canal. In the 19th century, railroads were constructed along the river valleys, followed by the New York State Thruway in the 20th century.

In addition to the well known New York City Subway system – which is confined within New York City – four suburban commuter railroad systems enter and leave the city: the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, and five of New Jersey Transit's rail lines. Other cities and towns in New York have urban and regional public transportation. In Buffalo, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs the Buffalo Metro Rail light-rail system; in Rochester, the Rochester Subway operated from 1927 until 1956, but fell into disuse as state and federal investment went to highways.

All gasoline-powered vehicles registered in New York State are required to have an emissions inspection every 12 months, in order to ensure that environmental quality controls are working to prevent air pollution. All vehicles registered in New York State must get an annual safety inspection.

Portions of the transportation system are intermodal, allowing travelers to switch easily from one mode of transportation to another. One of the most notable examples is AirTrain JFK which allows rail passengers to travel directly to terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport as well as to the underground New York City Subway system.

Sports

Belmont Park on Long Island hosts the Belmont Stakes, part of the horse racing Triple Crown
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County
Baseball Hall of Fame 2009 2
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown draws about 300,000 visitors each year.

New York State is geographically home to one National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills, based in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park. Although the New York Giants and New York Jets represent the New York metropolitan area and were previously located in New York City, they play in MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

New York also has two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees (based in the Bronx) and the New York Mets (based in Queens).

New York is home to three National Hockey League franchises: the New York Rangers in Manhattan, the New York Islanders in Brooklyn, and the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo.

New York has two National Basketball Association teams, the New York Knicks in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn. New York is the home of a Major League Soccer franchise, New York City FC, currently playing in the Bronx. Although the New York Red Bulls represent the New York metropolitan area, they play in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

New York hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid.

The annual United States Open Tennis Championships is one of the world's four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens.

Several U.S. national sports halls of fame are or have been situated in New York. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cooperstown, Otsego County. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, honors achievements in the sport of thoroughbred horse racing.

Images


New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.