New York traces its roots to its 1624 founding as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a globally recognized symbol of the United States and its democracy.
Many districts and landmarks in New York City have become well known to its approximately 55 million annual visitors. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world.Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. The names of many of the city's bridges, skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world. New York City's financial district, anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, has been called the world's leading financial center and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world.Manhattan's Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, with several signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 468 stations in operation. Numerous colleges and universities are located in New York, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 35 in the world.
Peter Minuit is credited with the purchase of the island of Manhattan in 1626.
A Spanish expedition led by captain Estêvão Gomes, a Portuguese sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 aboard the purpose-built caravel "La Anunciada" and charted the mouth of the Hudson river, which he named Rio de San Antonio. Heavy ice kept him from further exploration, and he returned to Spain in August. The first scientific map to show the North American East coast continuously, the 1527 world map known as the Padrón Real, was informed by Gomes' expedition, and labeled the Northeast as Tierra de Esteban Gómez in his honor.
The first non-Native American inhabitant of what would eventually become New York City was Dominican trader Juan Rodriguez (transliterated to Dutch as Jan Rodrigues). Born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, he arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–1614, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch. Broadway, from 159th Street to 218th Street, is named Juan Rodriguez Way in his honor.
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 a citadel and a Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam). The colony of New Amsterdam was centered at the site which would eventually become Lower Manhattan. The Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small band of the Lenape, in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders (about $1000 in 2006); a disproved legend says that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.
In 1664, Peter Stuyvesant, the Director-General of the colony of New Netherland, surrendered New Amsterdam to the English without bloodshed. The English promptly renamed the fledgling city "New York" after the Duke of York (later King James II). At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the English gained New Amsterdam (New York) in North America in exchange for Dutch control of Run, an Indonesian island. Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by contact with the Europeans caused sizable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670. By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200.
New York grew in importance as a trading port while under British rule in the early 1700s. It also became a center of slavery, with 42% of households holding slaves by 1730, more than any other city other than Charleston, South Carolina. Most slaveholders held a few or several domestic slaves, but others hired them out to work at labor. Slavery became integrally tied to New York's economy through the labor of slaves throughout the port, and the banks and shipping tied to the South. Discovery of the African Burying Ground in the 1990s during construction of a new federal courthouse near Foley Square revealed that tens of thousands of Africans had been buried in the area in the colonial years.
The Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War, was fought in August 1776 entirely within the modern-day borough of Brooklyn. After the battle, in which the Americans were defeated, leaving subsequent smaller armed engagements following in its wake, the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees, as well as escaped slaves who joined the British lines for freedom newly promised by the Crown for all fighters. As many as 10,000 escaped slaves crowded into the city during the British occupation. When the British forces evacuated at the close of the war in 1783 they transported 3,000 freedmen for resettlement in Nova Scotia. They resettled other freedmen in England and the Caribbean.
Broadway follows the Native American Wickquasgeck Trail through Manhattan.
Under New York State's "Gradual Abolition law of 1799", children of slave mothers were born to be eventually liberated but were held in indentured servitude until their mid-to-late twenties. Together with slaves freed by their masters after the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves, gradually a significant free-black population developed in Manhattan. Under such influential United States founders as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay the New York Manumission Society worked for abolition and established the African Free School to educate black children. It was not until 1827 that slavery was completely abolished in the state, and free blacks struggled afterward with discrimination. New York interracial abolitionist activism continued; among its leaders were graduates of the African Free School. The city's black population reached more than 16,000 in 1840.
In the 19th century, the city was transformed by development relating to its status as a trading center, as well as by European immigration. The city adopted the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan. The 1819 opening of the Erie Canal through central New York connected the Atlantic port to the agricultural markets and commodities of the North American interior via the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. Local politics became dominated by Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish and German immigrants.
The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, and by 1860, one in four New Yorkers—over 200,000—had been born in Ireland. There was also extensive immigration from the German provinces, where revolutions had disrupted societies, and Germans comprised another 25% of New York's population by 1860.
Democratic Party candidates were consistently elected to local office, increasing the city's ties to the South and its dominant party. In 1861 Mayor Fernando Wood called on the aldermen to declare independence from Albany and the United States after the South seceded, but his proposal was not acted on. Anger at new military conscription laws during the American Civil War (1861–1865) led to the Draft Riots of 1863, led by ethnic Irish working class.
The situation deteriorated into attacks on black New Yorkers and their property, following fierce competition for a decade between immigrants and blacks for work. Rioters burned the Colored Orphan Asylum to the ground, but its more than 200 children escaped harm. Rioters killed an estimated 100 blacks and attacked many more, especially in the docks area. It was one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history. Because of the violence, many blacks left the city for Williamsburg, Brooklyn and New Jersey; the black population in Manhattan fell below 10,000 by 1865, which it had last been in 1820. The white working class had established dominance.
In 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens. The opening of the subway in 1904, first built as separate private systems, helped bind the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication.
New York's non-white population was 36,620 in 1890. In the 1920s, New York City was a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South. By 1916, New York City was home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America. The Harlem Renaissance of literary and cultural life flourished during the era of Prohibition. The larger economic boom generated construction of competing skyscrapers that changed the skyline into its identifiable twentieth-century shape.
New York became the most populous urbanized area in the world in early 1920s, overtaking London. The metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history. The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello La Guardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.
Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's place as the world's dominant economic power. The United Nations Headquarters (completed in 1950) emphasized New York's political influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.
In the 1960s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates, which extended into the 1970s. 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. 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. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy. New York's population reached all-time highs in the 2000 Census and then again in the 2010 Census.
United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the former World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
New York City is in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.
The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural relief in topography has been evened out, especially in Manhattan.
The city's total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2). 164.1 sq mi (425 km2) of this is water and 304.8 sq mi (789 km2) is land. The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.
Modern architecture juxtaposed by historic architecture is seen often in New York City.
New York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct time periods, from the saltbox stylePieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest section of which dates to 1656, to the modern One World Trade Center, the skyscraper currently under construction at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan and currently the most expensive new office tower in the world.
The character of New York's large residential districts is often defined by the elegant brownstonerowhouses and townhouses and shabby tenements that were built during a period of rapid expansion from 1870 to 1930. In contrast, New York City also has neighborhoods that are less densely populated and feature free-standing dwellings. In neighborhoods such as Riverdale (in the Bronx), Ditmas Park (in Brooklyn), and Douglaston (in Queens), large single-family homes are common in various architectural styles such as Tudor Revival and Victorian.
Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835. A distinctive feature of many of the city's buildings is the wooden roof-mounted water towers. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, such as Jackson Heights.
The Condé Nast Building, officially Four Times Square, is a modern skyscraper in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan and one of the most important examples of green design in skyscrapers in the United States. Environmentally friendly gas-fired absorption chillers, along with a high-performing insulating and shading curtain wall, ensure that the building does not need to be heated or cooled for the majority of the year. Office furniture is made with biodegradable and non-toxic materials. The air-delivery system provides 50% more fresh air than is required by New York City Building Code, and a number of recycling chutes serve the entire building. Being the first project of its size to undertake these features in construction, the building has received an award from the American Institute of Architects, as well as AIA New York State. New York has 56 skyscrapers that are over 200 meters.
New York City is located on one of the world's largest natural harbors. The boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island are (primarily) coterminous with islands of the same names, while Queens and Brooklyn are located at the west end of the larger Long Island. This situation led to the development of an extensive infrastructure of bridges and tunnels. Nearly all of the city's major bridges and several of its tunnels have broken or set records. For example, the Holland Tunnel was the world's first vehicular tunnel when it opened in 1927.
Throughout the boroughs there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods, many with a definable history and character to call their own. If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and The Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States.
Manhattan (New York County) is the most densely populated borough and is home to Central Park and most of the city's skyscrapers. Most of the borough is on Manhattan Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River. Manhattan is the financial center of the city and contains the headquarters of many major corporations, the UN, a number of important universities, and many cultural attractions. Manhattan is loosely divided into Lower, Midtown, and Uptown regions. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is Harlem. New York City's remaining four boroughs are collectively referred to as the "outer boroughs".
Brooklyn (Kings County) on the western tip of Long Island, is the city's most populous borough and was an independent city until 1898. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods and a distinctive architectural heritage. Downtown Brooklyn is the only central core neighborhood in the outer boroughs. The borough has a long beachfront shoreline including Coney Island, established in the 1870s as one of the earliest amusement grounds in the country.
Staten Island (Richmond County) is the most suburban in character of the five boroughs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City as it provides unsurpassed views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and lower Manhattan. In central Staten Island, the 2,500 acres (10 km2) Staten Island Greenbelt has some 28 miles (45 km) of walking trails and one of the last undisturbed forests in the city. Designated in 1984 to protect the island's natural lands, the Greenbelt comprises seven city parks.
Under the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) coldest month (January) isotherm, New York City itself experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and New York 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 transition zone from a humid subtropical (Cfa) to a humid continental climate (Dfa). The area 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 falls under 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 of 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); however, temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter, and reach 50 °F (10 °C) several days each 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 July daily mean temperature of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C). 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.
The city receives 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year. Normal winter snowfall for 1981 to 2010 has been 25.8 inches (66 cm), but this varies considerably from year to year.Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area, but are not unheard of and always have the potential to strike the area.Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels, and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs. The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the city and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.
Note: Census figures (1790–2010) cover the present area of all five boroughs, before and after the 1898 consolidation. For New York City itself before annexing part of the Bronx in 1874, see Manhattan#Demographics.Sources: 1698–1771,
1790–1890, 1900–1990, 2000 and 2010 Census.
2013 Census estimates.
Brooklyn's growing Jewish community is the largest in the U.S., with approximately 600,000 individuals.
New York City is the most-populous city in the United States, with an estimated record high of 8,405,837 residents as of 2013, incorporating more immigration into the city than outmigration since the 2010 United States Census. More people live in New York City than in the next two most-populous U.S. cities (Los Angeles and Chicago) combined. This amounts to about 40% of the state of New York's population and a similar percentage of the metropolitan regional population. In 2006, demographers estimated that New York's population will reach between 9.2 and 9.5 million by 2030.
In 2010, the city had a population density of 27,532 people per square mile (10,630/km²), rendering it the most densely populated of all municipalities housing over 100,000 residents in the United States; however, several small cities (of less than 100,000) in adjacent Hudson County, New Jersey are more dense overall, as per the 2000 Census. Geographically co-extensive with New York County, the borough of Manhattan's population density of 66,940 people per square mile (25,846/km²) makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.
The city's population in 2010 was 44% white (33.3% non-Hispanic white), 25.5% black (23% non-Hispanic black), 0.7% Native American and 12.7% Asian.Hispanics of any race represented 28.6% of the population, while Asians constituted the fastest-growing segment of the city's population between 2000 and 2010; the non-Hispanic white population declined 3 percent, the smallest recorded decline in decades; and for the first time since the Civil War, the number of blacks declined over a decade.
Throughout its history, the city has been a major port of entry for immigrants into the United States; more than 12 million European immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. The term "melting pot" was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. By 1900, Germans constituted the largest immigrant group, followed by the Irish, Jews, and Italians. In 1940, whites represented 92% of the city's population.
Approximately 37% of the city's population is foreign born. In New York, no single country or region of origin dominates. The ten largest sources of foreign-born individuals in the city as of 2011 were the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago, while the Bangladeshi immigrant population has since become one of the fastest growing in the city, counting over 74,000 by 2013. The New York region continues to be by far the leading metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants admitted into the United States, substantially exceeding the combined totals of Los Angeles and Miami, the next most popular gateway regions.
Asian Americans in New York City, according to the 2010 Census, number more than one million, greater than the combined totals of San Francisco and Los Angeles. New York contains the highest total Asian population of any U.S. city proper. In 2010, 6.0% of New York City was of Chinese ethnicity, with about forty percent of them living in the borough of Queens alone. Koreans made up 1.2% of the city's population, and Japanese 0.3%. Filipinos were the largest southeast Asian ethnic group at 0.8%, followed by Vietnamese, who made up 0.2% of New York City's population in 2010. Indians are the largest South Asian group, comprising 2.4% of the city's population, with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis at 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.
The New York metropolitan area is home to a self-identifying gay and bisexual community estimated at 568,903 individuals, the largest in the United States.Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter.
New York City has a high degree of income disparity as indicated by its Gini Coefficient of 0.5 for the city overall and 0.6 for Manhattan. In 2005, the median household income in the wealthiest census tract was $188,697, while in the poorest it was $9,320. The disparity is driven by wage growth in high-income brackets, while wages have stagnated for middle and lower-income brackets. In the first quarter of 2013, the average weekly wage in New York County was $2,448, representing the highest total among the largest counties in the United States. New York City is home to the highest number of the world's billionaires, higher than the next five U.S. cities combined, including former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Manhattan also experienced a baby boom between 2000 and 2007, during which period the number of children under age 5 living in the borough grew by more than 32%.
New York is a global hub of international business and commerce and is one of three "command centers" for the world economy (along with London and Tokyo). In 2012, New York City topped the first Global Economic Power Index, published by The Atlantic (to be differentiated from a namesake list published by the Martin Prosperity Institute), with cities ranked according to criteria reflecting their presence on similar lists as published by other entities. The city is a major center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media as well as traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States.
The New York metropolitan area had a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of approximately $1.28 trillion in 2010, making it the largest regional economy in the United States. According to Cinco Dias, New York controlled 40% of the world's finances by the end of 2008, making it the largest financial center in the world.
Many major corporations are headquartered in New York City, including 45 Fortune 500 companies. New York is also unique among American cities for its large number of foreign corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. New York City has been ranked first among cities across the globe in attracting capital, business, and tourists. This ability to attract foreign investment helped New York City top the FDi Magazine American Cities of the Future ranking for 2013.
Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at $914.8 billion for the 2015 fiscal year. The Time Warner Center is the property with the highest-listed market value in the city, at $1.1 billion in 2006. New York City is home to some of the nation's—and the world's—most valuable real estate. 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007 for $510 million, about $1,589 per square foot ($17,104/m²), breaking the barely month-old record for an American office building of $1,476 per square foot ($15,887/m²) set in the June 2007 sale of 660 Madison Avenue.
Creative industries such as new media, advertising, fashion, design and architecture account for a growing share of employment, with New York City possessing a strong competitive advantage in these industries.
High-tech industries like biotechnology, software development, game design, and other fields within information technology are also growing, bolstered by New York's position at the terminus of several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines as well as its growing outdoor wireless connectivity. Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing accounts for a large but declining share of employment. Garments, chemicals, metal products, processed foods, and furniture are some of the principal products. The food-processing industry is the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city. Food making is a $5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents. Chocolate is New York City's leading specialty-food export, with $234 million worth of exports each year.
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, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured by average daily trading volume and overall market capitalization. Financial services account for more than 35% of the city's employment income. Wall Street investment banking fees in 2012 totaled approximately $40 billion, while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as US$324,000 annually.
The financial district has sometimes been a scene of conflict such as with the recurrent protests during "Occupy Wall Street", which subsequently sparked an international Occupy Movement. It has also sometimes turned deadly such as with the Wall Street bombing in 1929.
New York City has been described as the cultural capital of the world by the diplomatic consulates of Iceland and Latvia and by New York's Baruch College. A book containing a series of essays titled New York, culture capital of the world, 1940–1965 has also been published as showcased by the National Library of Australia. In describing New York, author Tom Wolfe said, "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather."
Numerous major American cultural movements began in the city, such as the Harlem Renaissance, which established the African-American literary canon in the United States. The city was a center of jazz in the 1940s, abstract expressionism in the 1950s, and the birthplace of hip hop in the 1970s. The city's punk and hardcore scenes were influential in the 1970s and 1980s, and the city has long had a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.
New York City has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries of all sizes. The city government funds the arts with a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts. Wealthy industrialists in the 19th century built a network of major cultural institutions, such as the famed Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, that would become internationally established. The advent of electric lighting led to elaborate theater productions, and in the 1880s New York City theaters on Broadway and along 42nd Street began featuring a new stage form that became known as the Broadway musical. Strongly influenced by the city's immigrants, productions such as those of Harrigan and Hart, George M. Cohan, and others used song in narratives that often reflected themes of hope and ambition.
Times Square has the highest annual attendance rate of any tourist attraction in the US, and according to Travel + Leisure magazine's October 2011 survey, the world.
Tourism is an important industry in New York City, which has witnessed a growing combined volume of international and domestic tourists – receiving approximately 49 million tourists in 2010, 51 million in 2011, and a record 54 million tourists in 2013.
The New York area has a distinctive regional speech pattern called the New York dialect, alternatively known as Brooklynese or New Yorkese. It is generally considered one of the most recognizable accents within American English. The classic version of this dialect is centered on middle and working-class people of European descent, and the influx of non-European immigrants in recent decades has led to changes in this distinctive dialect.
The traditional New York area accent is non-rhotic, so that the sound [ɹ] does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant; hence the pronunciation of the city name as "New Yawk." There is no [ɹ] in words like park[pɑək] or [pɒək] (with vowel backed and diphthongized due to the low-back chain shift), butter[bʌɾə], or here[hiə]. In another feature called the low back chain shift, the [ɔ] vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, chocolate, and coffee and the often homophonous[ɔr] in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American.
In the most old-fashioned and extreme versions of the New York dialect, the vowel sounds of words like "girl" and of words like "oil" become a diphthong [ɜɪ]. This is often misperceived by speakers of other accents as a reversal of the er and oy sounds, so that girl is pronounced "goil" and oil is pronounced "erl"; this leads to the caricature of New Yorkers saying things like "Joizey" (Jersey), "Toidy-Toid Street" (33rd St.) and "terlet" (toilet). The character Archie Bunker from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family (played by Carroll O'Connor) was a good example of such a speaker. This speech pattern is no longer prevalent.
New York has been described as the "Capital of Baseball". There have been 35 Major League Baseball World Series and 73 pennants won by New York teams. It is one of only five metro areas (Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore–Washington, and the San Francisco Bay Area being the others) to have two baseball teams. Additionally, there have been 14 World Series in which two New York City teams played each other, known as a Subway Series and occurring most recently in 2000. No other metropolitan area has had this happen more than once (Chicago in 1906, St. Louis in 1944, and the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989).
Queens is host of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, one of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments. The New York Marathon is one of the world's largest, and the 2004–2006 events hold the top three places in the marathons with the largest number of finishers, including 37,866 finishers in 2006. The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.
Many sports are associated with New York's immigrant communities. Stickball, a street version of baseball, was popularized by youths in the 1930s. A street in the Bronx has been renamed Stickball Blvd, as tribute to New York's most known street sport.
In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that the park system in New York City was the second best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities, behind the park system of Minneapolis. ParkScore ranks urban park systems by a formula that analyzes median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents.
There are seven state parks within the confines of New York City, including Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, a natural area which includes extensive riding trails, and Riverbank State Park, a 28-acre (110,000 m2) facility that rises 69 feet (21 m) over the Hudson River.
Central Park an 883-acre (3.57 km2) park in Manhattan, is the most visited city park in the United States, with 25 million visitors each year. The park contains a myriad of attractions; there are several lakes and ponds, two ice-skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, the 106-acre (0.43 km2) Jackie Onassis Reservoir. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, and the historic Carousel. On October 23, 2012, hedge fund manager John A. Paulson announced a $100 million gift to the Central Park Conservancy, the largest ever monetary donation to New York City's park system.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a 90-acre (360,000 m2) meadow, a lake and extensive woodlands. Within the park is the historic Battle Pass, prominent in the Battle of Long Island.
New York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a mayor-council form of government since its consolidation in 1898. The government of New York is more centralized than that of most other U.S. cities. In New York City, the central government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services. The mayor and councilors are elected to four-year terms. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 Council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries. Each term for the mayor and councilors lasts four years and has a three consecutive-term limit. but can run again after a four-year break.
New York City Hall is the oldest City Hall in the United States that still houses its original governmental functions.
The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. As of November 2008, 67% of registered voters in the city are Democrats. New York City has not been carried by a Republican in a statewide or presidential election since President Calvin Coolidge won the five boroughs in 1924. In 2012, Democrat Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate of any party to receive more than 80% of the overall vote in New York City, sweeping all five boroughs. Party platforms center on affordable housing, education, and economic development, and labor politics are of importance in the city.
Following a financial crisis and state bailout in 1975, the New York Financial Control Board was created to oversee municipal spending. The Mayor of New York City and the Governor of New York both serve on the seven-member board. While direct management of the city's budget ended in 1986, the board continues to monitor the city's financial health.
New York is the most important source of political fundraising in the United States, as four of the top five ZIP codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top ZIP code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John Kerry. The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the national and state governments. It receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to the federal government in taxes (or annually sends $11.4 billion more than it receives back). The city also sends an additional $11 billion more each year to the state of New York than it receives back.
Mass transit use in New York City is the highest in the United States, and gasoline consumption in the city is the same rate as the national average in the 1920s. The city's high level of mass transit use saved 1.8 billion US gallons (6,800,000 m3) of oil in 2006; New York City saves half of all the oil saved by transit nationwide. The city's population density, low automobile use and high transit utility make it among the most energy efficient cities in the United States. Its greenhouse gas emissions are 7.1 metric tons per person compared with the national average of 24.5. New Yorkers are collectively responsible for 1% of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions though they comprise 2.7% of the nation's population. The average New Yorker consumes less than half the electricity used by a resident of San Francisco and nearly one-quarter the electricity consumed by a resident of Dallas.
As of July 2010, the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis in service, the largest number in any city in North America.
In recent years, the city has focused on reducing its environmental impact. Large amounts of concentrated pollution in New York has led to a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory conditions among the city's residents. The city government is required to purchase only the most energy-efficient equipment for use in city offices and public housing. New York has the largest clean air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet in the country, and also, by mid-2010 the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis and other clean diesel vehicles, representing around 28% of New York's taxi fleet in service, the most in any city in North America.
The city is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountainswatershed. As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States with drinking water pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.
New York is the only US city in which a majority (52%) of households do not have a car; only 22% of Manhattanites own a car.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been the largest in the United States by a significant margin, with over 35,000 sworn officers. In 2012, New York City had the lowest overall crime rate and the second lowest murder rate among the largest U.S. cities, having become significantly safer after a spike in crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. By 2002, New York City's crime rate was similar to that of Provo, Utah and was ranked 197th in crime among the 216 U.S. cities with populations greater than 100,000.
Violent crime in New York City decreased more than 75% from 1993 to 2005, and continued decreasing during periods when the nation as a whole saw increases. In 2005 the homicide rate was at its lowest level since 1966, and in 2007 the city recorded fewer than 500 homicides for the first time ever since crime statistics were first published in 1963. In the first six months of 2010, 95.1% of all murder victims and 95.9% of all shooting victims in New York City were black or Hispanic; additionally, 90.2 percent of those arrested for murder and 96.7 percent of those arrested for shooting someone were black or Hispanic. New York experienced a record low homicide rate in 2013 and has a far lower murder rate than other major American cities. In 2012 the NYPD came under scrutiny for its use of a stop-and-frisk program.
Sociologists and criminologists have not reached consensus on what explains the dramatic decrease in the city's crime rate. Some attribute the phenomenon to new tactics used by the NYPD, including its use of CompStat and the broken windows theory. Others cite the end of the crack epidemic and demographic changes. Another theory is that widespread exposure to lead pollution from automobile exhaust, which can lower intelligence and increase aggression levels, incited the initial crime wave in the mid-20th century, most acutely affecting heavily trafficked cities like New York. A strong correlation was found demonstrating that violent crime rates in New York and other big cities began to fall after lead was removed from American gasoline in the 1970s.
The city's public school system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest in the United States. About 1.1 million students are taught in more than 1,200 separate primary and secondary schools.Charter schools, which are partly publicly funded, include Success Academy Charter Schools and Public Prep. There are approximately 900 additional privately run secular and religious schools in the city. About 594,000 students were enrolled as of the 2000 Census in New York City higher education institutions, the highest number of any city in the United States. In 2005, three out of five Manhattan residents were college graduates and one out of four had advanced degrees, forming one of the highest concentrations of highly educated people in any American city.
New York is a prominent location for the American entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there. As of 2012, New York City was the second largest center for film and television production in the United States, employing 130,000 individuals and generating an estimated $7.1 billion in direct expenditures, and by volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production; one-third of all American independent films are produced in New York City. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York.
The television industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city's economy. The four major American broadcast networks are all headquartered in New York: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. Many cable channels are based in the city as well, including MTV, Fox News, HBO, and Comedy Central. In 2005, there were more than 100 television shows taped in New York City. The City of New York operates a public broadcast service, NYCTV, that has produced several original Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods and city government.
Public transit is popular in New York City. 54.6% of New Yorkers commuted to work in 2005 using mass transit. This is in contrast to the rest of the United States, where about 90% of commuters drive automobiles to their workplace. According to the US Census Bureau, New York City residents spend an average of 38.4 minutes a day getting to work, the longest commute time in the nation among large cities. However, due to the high usage of mass transit, New Yorkers spend less of their household income on transportation than the national average. New Yorkers save $19 billion annually on transportation compared to other urban Americans.
The New York City Subway is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by stations in operation, with 468, and by length of routes. It is the third-largest when measured by annual ridership (1.5 billion passenger trips in 2006). New York's subway is also notable because nearly the entire system remains open 24 hours a day, in contrast to the overnight shutdown common to systems in most cities, including Hong Kong,London, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo.
The busiest ferry in the United States is the Staten Island Ferry, which annually carries approximately 20 million passengers on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) run between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. The Staten Island Railway rapid transit system solely serves Staten Island. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson ("PATH" train) links Midtown and Lower Manhattan to northeastern New Jersey, primarily Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark. Like the New York City Subway, the PATH operates 24 hours a day; meaning two of the four rapid transit systems in the world which operate on 24-hour schedules are wholly or partly in New York (the others are a portion of the Chicago 'L' and the PATCO Speedline serving Philadelphia).
New York's high rate of public transit use, 120,000 daily cyclists, and many pedestrian commuters make it the most energy-efficient major city in the United States. Walk and bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city; nationally the rate for metro regions is about 8%. In 2011, Walk Score named it the most walkable city in the United States.Citibank sponsored the introduction of 10,000 public bicycles for the city's bike-share project in the summer of 2013. Research conducted by Quinnipiac University showed that a majority of New Yorkers support the initiative.
New York City is home to Fort Hamilton, the U.S. military's only active duty installation within the city. Established in 1825 in Brooklyn on the site of a small battery utilized during the American Revolution, it is one of America's longest serving military forts. Today Fort Hamilton serves as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Division, United States Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the New York City Recruiting Battalion. It also houses the 1179th Transportation Brigade, the 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, and a Military Entrance Processing Station.
Other formerly active military reservations still utilized for military training or reserve and National Guard operations in the city include Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Fort Totten in Queens.
In 2006, the Sister City Program of the City of New York, Inc. was restructured and renamed New York City Global Partners. New York City has expanded its international outreach via this program to a network of cities worldwide, promoting the exchange of ideas and innovation between their citizenry and policymakers, according to the city's website. The list of historic sister cities above was consolidated into the Global Partners network and joined by the cities below, including Chongqing (Chungking), Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Tel Aviv (four "non-historic" sister cities of New York).