The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2016 population of 8,537,673 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world, with an estimated 20.2 million people in its 2016 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23.7 million residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, and sports. The city's fast pace defines the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Queens (Queens County), on Long Island north and east of Brooklyn, is geographically the largest borough, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States, and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Historically a collection of small towns and villages founded by the Dutch, the borough has since developed both commercial and residential prominence. Downtown Flushing has become one of the busiest central core neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. Queens is the site of Citi Field, the baseball stadium of the New York Mets, and hosts the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Additionally, two of the three busiest airports serving the New York metropolitan area, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, are located in Queens. (The third is Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.)
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, a daily commuter ferry which provides unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan. In central Staten Island, the Staten Island Greenbelt spans approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2), including 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.
The Bronx (Bronx County) is New York City's northernmost borough and the only New York City borough with a majority of it a part of the mainland United States. It is the location of Yankee Stadium, the baseball park of the New York Yankees, and home to the largest cooperatively owned housing complex in the United States, Co-op City. It is also home to the Bronx Zoo, the world's largest metropolitan zoo, which spans 265 acres (1.07 km2) and houses over 6,000 animals. The Bronx is also the birthplace of rap and hip hop culture. Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).
The New York metropolitan area is home to a prominent self-identifying gay and bisexual community estimated at nearly 570,000 individuals, the largest in the United States and one of the world's largest. Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter. Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America, wrote that in the era after World War II, "New York City became the literal gay metropolis for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from within and without the United States: the place they chose to learn how to live openly, honestly and without shame." The annual New York City Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan; the parade rivals the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade as the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.
The New York City Fire Department (FDNY), provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services for the five boroughs of New York City. The New York City Fire Department is the largest municipal fire department in the United States and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department. The FDNY employs approximately 11,080 uniformed firefighters and over 3,300 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. The FDNY's motto is New York's Bravest.
The New York City Fire Department faces multifaceted firefighting challenges in many ways unique to New York. In addition to responding to building types that range from wood-frame single family homes to high-rise structures, there are many secluded bridges and tunnels, as well as large parks and wooded areas that can give rise to brush fires. New York is also home to one of the largest subway systems in the world, consisting of hundreds of miles of tunnel with electrified track.
The FDNY headquarters is located at 9 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, and the FDNY Fire Academy is located on Randalls Island. There are three Bureau of Fire Communications alarm offices which receive and dispatch alarms to appropriate units. One office, at 11 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, houses Manhattan/Citywide, Brooklyn, and Staten Island Fire Communications. The Bronx and Queens offices are in separate buildings.
New York City is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed. 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 the majority of whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants. The city's municipal water system is the largest in the United States, moving over one billion gallons of water per day. The Croton Watershed north of the city is undergoing construction of a US$3.2 billion water purification plant to augment New York City's water supply by an estimated 290 million gallons daily, representing a greater than 20% addition to the city's current availability of water. The ongoing expansion of New York City Water Tunnel No. 3, an integral part of the New York City water supply system, is the largest capital construction project in the city's history, with segments serving Manhattan and The Bronx completed, and with segments serving Brooklyn and Queens planned for construction in 2020. In 2018, New York City announced a US$1 billion investment to protect the integrity of its water system and to maintain the purity of its unfiltered water supply.
The New York metropolitan area, also referred to as the Tri-State Area, includes New York City as the most populous city in the United States, Long Island, and the Mid and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the five largest cities in New Jersey: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison, and their vicinities; six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury, and their vicinities.
As per the 2015 United States Census Bureau estimates, the New York metropolitan area remains, by a significant margin, the most populous in the United States, as defined by both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (20.2 million residents) and the Combined Statistical Area (23.7 million residents); it is also one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world, and the single largest in North America. The New York metropolitan area continues to be the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States, with the largest foreign-born population of any metropolitan region in the world. The MSA covers 6,720 sq mi (17,405 km2), while the CSA area is 13,318 sq mi (34,493 km2), encompassing an ethnically and geographically diverse region. The New York metropolitan area's population is larger than that of the state of New York, and the metropolitan airspace accommodated over 130 million passengers in 2016.
New York City has the largest European and non-Hispanic white population of any American city. At 2.7 million in 2012, New York's non-Hispanic white population is larger than the non-Hispanic white populations of Los Angeles (1.1 million), Chicago (865,000), and Houston (550,000) combined. The European diaspora residing in the city is very diverse. According to 2012 Census estimates, there were roughly 560,000 Italian Americans, 385,000 Irish Americans, 253,000 German Americans, 223,000 Russian Americans, 201,000 Polish Americans, and 137,000 English Americans. Additionally, Greek and French Americans numbered 65,000 each, with those of Hungarian descent estimated at 60,000 people. Ukrainian and Scottish Americans numbered 55,000 and 35,000, respectively. People identifying ancestry from Spain numbered 30,838 total in 2010. People of Norwegian and Swedish descent both stood at about 20,000 each, while people of Czech, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh descent all numbered between 12,000–14,000 people. Arab Americans number over 160,000 in New York City, with the highest concentration in Brooklyn. Central Asians, primarily Uzbek Americans, are a rapidly growing segment of the city's non-Hispanic white population, enumerating over 30,000, and including over half of all Central Asian immigrants to the United States, most settling in Queens or Brooklyn. Albanian Americans are most highly concentrated in the Bronx.
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 own 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. Tom Wolfe has quoted regarding New York's culture that "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather."
Although Manhattan remains the epicenter of cultural life in the metropolitan area, the entire region is replete with prominent cultural institutions, with artistic performances and ethnically oriented events receiving international attention throughout the year.