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NYC 101: Essential Facts to Know About New York City

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Whether you’re in the city for a visit or you’ve been here your whole life, there are certain things you ought to know about New York City. I’m not talking about the social etiquette things like never stopping in the middle of the sidewalk or not hogging the entire pole in subway cars; I’m talking about hardcore facts that will actually provide you with the context needed to understand life in this crazy metropolis. So here are 17 of the most essential facts you need to know about New York.

1. New York City is made up of five boroughs: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

Although we commonly refer to Manhattan as “the city,” all five boroughs make up New York City. Each borough used to be its own city/town/village until it was all consolidated in 1898.

2. The Dutch founded the colony of New Amsterdam (which was later renamed New York under the British) as a money-making venture.

3. Staten Island voted to leave NYC in 1993.

Staten Islanders felt that they weren’t getting enough services in return for what they were providing to the rest of the city. However, the borough’s secession was thwarted by politicians in Albany.

Map of Long Island Facts about New York
VIa Wikimedia Commons

4. New York City is made up of at least 36 islands, the majority of which are uninhabited.

The Bronx is the only part of the city that is connected to the mainland United States.

5. Brooklyn and Queens share the western end of Long Island.

But they aren’t part of the region known as Long Island, a.k.a. Nassau and Suffolk counties.

6. Brooklyn is the most populous borough in New York, but Queens has the most land mass.

Grand Central Station Facts about New York

7. New York is made up of 14 percent parkland, with the biggest parks in the Bronx.

8. As of 2019, 8.6 million people reside in New York, making it the largest city in the United States.

The New York metro area is even larger, with more than 21 million people living in and around NYC.

9. Manhattan has a residential population of 1.4 million; however, the weekday daytime population balloons up to 3.4 million because of commuters and visitors.

10. New York City receives 63 million tourists per year, up substantially from the 33 million tourists it received two decades ago.

11. Nearly 40 percent of New York’s population is made up of immigrants.

Around 14 percent of New York’s population is from another US state. Only 48 percent of New Yorkers were born in New York City.

12. More than 800 languages are spoken in New York City.

Spanish is the most spoken language after English.

Borough Hall Brooklyn

13. Nearly one million millionaires call New York home.

14. The median individual income for New Yorkers is $50,825.

The median household income is $57,782.

15. The most common job in NYC is retail salesperson.

16. New York’s subway system is over 100 years old and transports 5.4 million passengers per day, operating 24/7.

17. New York’s crime rate has fallen more than 81 percent since 1990.

Mayor Bill de Blasio likes to call NYC ‘the safest big city in America.’

Learned anything new about New York? What else do you think is essential to know about NYC? Let me know in the comment section!

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6 responses to “NYC 101: Essential Facts to Know About New York City”

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  4. O Lamothe Avatar
    O Lamothe

    Thanks. You have given me some perspective as to what I could do. Such as, making more effort to learn about the city in which I live. New York is definitely a unique place. Your blog is identified important information not only for the people who live in this great city but, also for visitors.

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