All About New York Geographic Area
New York is a state in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. New York is the 27th-most extensive, the fourth-most populous, and the seventh-most densely populated of the 50 United States. 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 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 is often referred to as New York State or the State of New York to distinguish it from New York City, the state's largest city.
New York City, with a Census-estimated population of over 8.4 million in 2013, is the most populous city in the United States. It is the nucleus of the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States—the New York City Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. New York City is also known for being the location of Ellis Island, the largest historical gateway for immigration in the history of the United States. A global power city, New York City exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. 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. New York City alone makes up over 40 percent of the population of New York State. Two-thirds of the state's population live in the New York City Metropolitan Area, and nearly 40% live 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 earliest Europeans in New York were French colonists and Jesuit missionaries who came down from settlements at Montreal for trade and proselytizing. New York was inhabited by various tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian speaking Native Americans at the time Dutch settlers moved into the region in the early 17th century. In 1609, the region was first claimed by Henry Hudson for the Dutch. They built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany later developed. The Dutch soon also settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson River Valley, establishing the colony of New Netherland based on trade and profitmaking. It was a multicultural community from the earliest days and the center of trade and immigration. The British annexed the colony from the Dutch in 1664. The borders of the British colony, the Province of New York, were quite similar to those of the present-day state. Both the Dutch and the British imported African slaves as laborers to the city and colony; African Americans were integral to the rise of the city. New York had the second-highest population of slaves after Charleston, SC.
About one-third of the battles of the U.S. Revolutionary War took place in New York. The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. 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.
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. After his return to the Netherlands, word of his findings quickly spread and Dutch merchants began to explore the coast in search for profitable fur trade.
During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts from the Lenape, Iroquois, and other indigenous peoples 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,returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later.
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, including the right to representative government. At the same time, with strong trading, business and personal ties to Britain among many New York residents, many 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 endorsed the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776. The New York State constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston on Sunday evening, April 20, 1777, when the new constitution drafted by John Jay was adopted with but one dissenting vote. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. On July 30, 1777, George Clinton was inaugurated as the first Governor of New York at Kingston.
The first major battle of the American Revolutionary War after 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. With the British victory, they 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.
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 and related forces, the Sullivan Expedition of 1778 and 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 and western 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.
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. Following heated debate, which included the publication of the now quintessential constitutional interpretation—The Federalist Papers—as a series of installments in New York City newspapers, New York was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. 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. Hamilton's revival of the heavily indebted United States economy after the war and the creation of a national bank significantly contributed to New York City becoming the financial center of the new nation.
Transportation in western New York was difficult before canals were built in the early part of the 19th century. The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers could be navigated only as far as Central New York. While the Saint Lawrence River could be navigated to Lake Ontario, the way westward to the other Great Lakes was blocked by Niagara Falls, and so the only route to western New York was over land.
Governor DeWitt Clinton strongly advocated building a canal connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and thus all of the Great Lakes. Work commenced in 1817, and the Erie Canal was finished in 1825. Packet boats traveled up and down the canal with sightseers and visitors on board. The canal was used even more extensively for commercial transport, as commodities were shipped from the Midwest, and finished goods transported along the canals in return from industries along the Mohawk Valley and New York City. It was considered 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. The construction of railroads through the state superseded the canal.
New York City and upstate textile mills did extensive business with the South during the antebellum years. Nearly half of New York exports were related to cotton, and Southern planters and businessmen were so frequent in New York as to have favorite hotels. At the same time, activism for abolitionism was strong in the city and upstate, where many communities also supported the Underground Railroad. In the early days of the American Civil War, the mayor of New York recommended that the city secede so its trade would not be damaged, but ultimately the city supported the war. During the Civil War, New York 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.
Since the early 19th century, New York City has been the largest port of entry for immigration into the United States. Immigration has built the city and nation. In the United States, the federal government did not assume direct jurisdiction for immigration until 1890. Prior to this time, the matter was delegated to the individual states, then via contract between the states and the federal government. 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.
The first permanent immigration depot in New York was established in 1855 at Castle Garden; a converted War of 1812 era fort located at the Battery at the tip of Manhattan. Today it stands within Battery Park. The first immigrants to arrive at the new depot were aboard three ships that had just been released from quarantine. Castle Garden served as New York's immigrant depot until it closed on April 18, 1890 when the federal government assumed control over immigration. During that period, more than 8 million immigrants passed through its doors (two out of every three U.S. immigrants).
When the federal government assumed control, it established the Bureau of Immigration, which chose the three-acre Ellis Island in Upper New York Harbor for an entry depot. Already federally controlled, the island had served as an ammunition depot. It was chosen due its relative isolation with proximity to New York City and the rail lines of Jersey City, New Jersey, via a short ferry ride. While the island was being developed and expanded via land reclamation, the federal government operated a temporary depot at the Barge Office at the Battery.
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 when the last person detained on the island, Norwegian seaman Arne Peterssen, was released. He had overstayed his shore leave and left on the 10:15 a.m. Manhattan-bound ferry to return to his ship.
More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. In the 21st century, more than 100 million Americans across the United States can trace their ancestry to these immigrants.
Ellis Island was the subject of a contentious and long-running border and jurisdictional dispute between New York State and the State of New Jersey, as both claimed it. The issue was settled in 1998 by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that the original 3.3 acre island was New York State territory and that the balance of the 27.5 acres (11 ha) added after 1834 by landfill was in New Jersey. The island was added to the National Park Service system in May 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and is still owned by the Federal government as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island was opened to the public as a museum of immigration in 1990.
On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. The towers collapsed. 7 World Trade Center also collapsed due to damage from fires. The other buildings of the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the 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 already died.
A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011. A permanent museum later opened at the site on March 21, 2014. When completed that year, the new One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, was the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, at 1,776 feet. Other skyscrapers are under construction at the site.
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 probably due to global warming and rise in sea levels.
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 on its western end.
Most of the southern part of the state is on the Allegheny Plateau, which rises from the southeast to the Catskill Mountains. The western section of the state is drained by the Allegheny River and rivers of the Susquehanna and Delaware 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.
New York's borders touch (clockwise from the west) two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River); the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada; 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 only state that touches both the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, and is the second-largest of the original Thirteen Colonies.
In contrast with New York City's urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state's geographic area is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. It 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, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular attraction.
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 Canadian border to everything north of the Mohawk River.
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.
The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions 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 (Southern Plateau). The summer climate is cool in the Adirondacks, Catskills and higher elevations of the Southern Plateau.
The New York City/Long Island area and lower portions of the Hudson Valley have rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid-80s °F (25 to 30 °C), over much of the state.
New York ranks 46th among the 50 states in the amount of greenhouse gasses generated per person. This relative efficiency 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.
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 bobcats, 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.
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.
Due to its long history, the state of New York has several overlapping (and often conflicting) definitions of regions within the state. This is further exacerbated by the colloquial use of such 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:
The Department of Economic Development also groups the counties into eleven regions for tourism purposes:
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.
These are the ten counties with the largest populations as of 2010:
There are 62 cities in New York. The largest city in the state and the most populous city in the United States is New York City, which comprises five counties (boroughs): Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), and Richmond (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population. Albany, the sixth-largest city, is the state capital. The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, in Oneida County. Hempstead is the town with the largest population. If it were a city, it would be the second largest in the state, with over 700,000 residents.
The following are the top ten metropolitan areas in the state as of the 2010 Census:
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.
The distribution of change in population growth is uneven in New York State; the New York City metropolitan area is growing considerably, along with Saratoga County, while most of Western New York is nearly stagnant. According to immigration statistics, the state is a leading recipient of migrants from around the globe. Between 2000 and 2005, immigration failed to surpass emigration, a trend that has been reversing since 2006. New York State lost two House seats in the 2011 congressional reapportionment, secondary to relatively slow growth when compared to the rest of the United States. In 2000 and 2005, more people moved from New York to Florida than from any one state to another. However, New York State has the second largest international immigrant population in the country among the American states, at 4.2 million as of 2008; most reside in and around New York City, due to its size, high profile, vibrant economy, and cosmopolitan culture.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of New York was 19,746,227 on July 1, 2014, a 1.9% increase since the 2010 United States Census. 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 of 8,336,697 residents as of 2012, incorporating more immigration into the city than emigration 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, which, according to the United States Census Bureau, is estimated to total 6,572,655. Long Island alone accounted for a Census-estimated 7,740,208 residents in 2013, representing 39.4% of New York State's population.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 racial makeup of New York State was as follows by self-identification:
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 largest African-American population and the second largest Asian-American population in the United States. New York's Black population declined between 2000 and 2010 as some people migrated to the South. In addition it is home to the largest Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Jamaican American populations in the continental 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.
Queens, also 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.
The Chinese population constitutes the fastest-growing nationality in New York State; multiple satellites of the original Manhattan Chinatown (紐約華埠), 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. Long Island, including Queens and Nassau County, is also home to several Little Indias and a large Koreatown (롱 아일랜드 코리아타운), with large and growing attendant populations of Indian Americans and Korean Americans, respectively. Brooklyn has been a destination for West Indian immigrants of African descent, as well as Asian Indian immigrants.
In the 2000 Census, Italian Americans in New York were the largest in any state; they made up the largest self-identified ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish-Americans. Albany and the Mohawk Valley also have populations with high numbers of ethnic Irish and ethnic Italian, 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.
6.5% of New York's population were under five years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females made up 51.8% of the state's population.
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), Hudson Valley English (including 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.
As of 2010, 70.72% (12,788,233) of New York residents aged five and older reported speaking only English at home, while 14.44% (2,611,903) spoke Spanish, 2.61% (472,955) Chinese (which includes Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.20% (216,468) Russian, 1.18% (213,785) Italian, 0.79% (142,169) French Creole, 0.75% (135,789) French, 0.67% (121,917) Yiddish, 0.63% (114,574) Korean, and Polish was spoken by 0.53% (95,413) of the population over the age of five. In total, 29.28% (5,295,016) of New York's population aged five and older reported speaking a language other than English.
In 2000, Catholics comprised more than 40% of the population in New York; Protestants were 30% of the population, Jews 8.4%, Muslims 3.5%, Buddhists 1%, and 13% claimed no religious affiliation (irreligious, agnostics, and atheists).
In 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) reported that the largest denominations were the Catholic Church with 6,286,916; Orthodox Judaism with 588,500; Islam with 392,953; and the United Methodist Church with 328,315 adherents.
Roughly 3.8 percent of the state's adult population self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This constitutes a total LGBT adult population of 570,388 individuals. In 2010, the number of same-sex couple households stood at roughly 48,932. New York was the fifth state to license same-sex marriages, after New Hampshire. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, stated that "same-sex marriages in New York City have generated an estimated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in City revenues" in the first year after the enactment of the Marriage Equality Act". Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter.
New York's gross state product in 2010 was $1.16 trillion, ranking third in size behind the larger states of California and Texas. If New York State were an independent nation, it would rank as the 15th largest economy in the world. Its 2007 per capita personal income was $46,364, placing it sixth in the nation behind Maryland and eighth in the world behind Ireland. New York's agricultural outputs are dairy products, cattle and other livestock, vegetables, nursery stock, and apples. Its industrial outputs are printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism. Sand, gravel, asphalt, and cement production are also significant industries in the state.
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. Wall Street, a metonym for New York City's securities industry, provided approximately $26.7 billion in bonuses, and 16 percent of revenue, or $10.3 billion, for New York State in 2013. Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city.
Silicon Alley, centered in New York City, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York metropolitan region's high technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem; in the first half of 2014, New York State generated nearly $1.8 billion in venture capital investment. 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. In December 2014, New York State announced a $50 million venture-capital fund to encourage enterprises working in biotechnology and advanced materials; according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the seed money would facilitate entrepreneurs in bringing their research into the marketplace.
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.
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.
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, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013. Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012, while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually.
New York exports a wide variety of goods such as foodstuffs, commodities, minerals, computers and electronics, cut diamonds, and automobile parts. 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), 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.
Albany, Saratoga County, and the Hudson Valley are major centers of nanotechnology and integrated microchip circuit manufacturing, while the Rochester area is important in the field of photographic processing and imaging. The state also has a large manufacturing sector that includes printing and the production of garments, furs, railroad equipment and bus line vehicles; many of these industries are concentrated in Upstate regions.
New York is a major agricultural producer, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products such as dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and maple syrup. 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.
New York is the nation's third-largest grape-producing state, and second-largest wine producer by volume, behind California. The south shore of Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides have many vineyards. In addition, the North Fork of Long Island developed vineyards, production and visitors' facilities in the last three decades of the 20th century. In 2004, New York's wine and grape industry brought $6 billion into the state economy.
The state has 30,000 acres (120 km2) of vineyards, 212 wineries, and produced 200 million bottles of wine in 2004. 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.
New York has one of the most extensive and one of the oldest transportation infrastructures in the country. Engineering difficulties because of the terrain of the state and the unique issues of the city brought on by urban crowding have had to be overcome perennially. 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. The New York State Department of Transportation has been criticized for lack of road maintenance in some areas, and for collection of tolls past the payback for construction. Until 2006, tolls were collected on the Thruway within Buffalo. They were dropped late in 2006 during the campaign for governor (both candidates called for their removal).
In addition to New York City's famous mass transit subway, 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. Many other cities 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.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV or DMV) is the governmental agency responsible for registering and inspecting automobiles and other motor vehicles, as well as licensing drivers in the State of New York. As of 2008, the NYSDMV has 11,284,546 drivers licenses on file and 10,697,644 vehicle registrations in force. All gasoline-powered vehicles registered in New York State are required to have an emissions inspection every 12 months, in order to ensure environmental controls are working to prevent air pollution. Diesel-powered vehicles with a Gross Weight Rating over 8 500 lb that are registered in the NY Metropolitan Area must get an annual emissions inspection. All vehicles registered in NYS 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.
In May 2009, the New York City Department of Transportation under the control of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan banned cars from Times Square, in order to improve traffic flow and reduce air pollution, and to reduce pedestrian accidents in an area of high numbers of tourists. On February 11, 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the pedestrian plazas would remain permanent.
The Government of New York is the governmental structure of the State of New York as established by the New York State Constitution. It is composed of three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.
The New York State Legislature is bicameral and consists of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. The Assembly consists of 150 members; the Senate varies in its number of members, but currently has 63. The Legislature is empowered to make laws, subject to the Governor's power to veto a bill. However, the veto may be overridden by the Legislature if there is a two-thirds majority in favor of overriding in each House. The permanent laws of a general nature are codified in the Consolidated Laws.
The Governor is the State's chief executive and is assisted by the Lieutenant Governor. Both are elected on the same ticket. Additional elected officers include the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Comptroller. There are also several state government departments.
The highest court of appeal in the Unified Court System is the Court of Appeals whereas the primary felony trial courts are the Supreme Court and the county courts (outside of New York City). The Supreme Court also acts as the intermediate appellate court for many cases, and the local courts handle a variety of other matters including small claims, traffic ticket cases and local zoning matters, and are the starting point for all criminal cases. The New York City Courts make up the largest local court system.
The state is divided into counties, cities, towns, and villages, which are all municipal corporations with their own government, as well as various corporate entities that serve single purposes that are also local governments, such as school, fire districts, and New York state public-benefit corporations, frequently known as authorities or development corporations. It also has 10 Indian reservations. Each municipal corporation is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the New York Constitution.
In the last few decades, New York State has generally supported candidates belonging to the Democratic Party in national elections. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won New York State by 25 percentage points in 2008, a bigger margin than John Kerry in 2004. New York City is a major Democratic stronghold with liberal politics. Many of the state's other urban areas, such as Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are also Democratic. Rural upstate New York, however, is generally more conservative than the cities and tends to favor Republicans. Heavily populated suburban areas downstate, such as Westchester County and Long Island, have swung between the major parties over the past 25 years, but more often than not support Democrats.
New York City is the most important source of political fundraising in the United States for both major parties. 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 2000 presidential campaigns of both George W. Bush and Al Gore.
The State of New York sends 27 members to the House of Representatives in addition to its two United States Senators. As of the 2000 census and the redistricting for the 2002 elections, the state had 29 members in the House, but the representation was reduced to 27 in 2013 due to the state's slower overall population growth relative to the overall national population growth. From 2016 New York will have 29 electoral votes in national presidential elections (a drop from its peak of 47 votes from 1933 to 1953).
New York is represented by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate and has the nation's third equal highest number of congressional districts, equal with Florida and behind California's 53 and Texas's 36.
The state has a strong imbalance of payments with the federal government. New York State receives 82 cents in services for every $1 it sends in taxes to the federal government in Washington. The state ranks near the bottom, in 42nd place, in federal spending per tax dollar.
The University of the State of New York oversees all public primary, middle-level, and secondary education in the state, while the New York City Department of Education manages the public school system in New York City. In 1894, reflecting general racial discrimination, the state passed a law that allowed communities to set up separate schools for children of African-American descent. But the Free African School had been set up in New York City in the early 19th century. In 1900, the state passed another law requiring integrated schools.
At the post-secondary level, the statewide public university system is the State University of New York commonly referred to as SUNY. New York City also has its own City University of New York, which is funded by the city. The SUNY system consists of 64 community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges, and doctoral-granting institutions including several universities. Many were founded in the 19th century as Normal Schools for the training of teachers, when public education was expanded. The four SUNY university centers, offering a wide array of academic programs, are the University at Albany, Binghamton University, the University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University.
Notable private universities include the New York Institute of Technology, New York University, and Fordham University, the oldest Catholic institution in the Northeast. New York state is home to both Columbia University in New York City and Cornell University in Ithaca. Syracuse University is located in the city of Syracuse in Central New York. West Point, the service academy of the U.S. Army, is located just south of Newburgh, on the west bank of the Hudson River.
During the 2007–2008 school year, New York spent more per pupil on public education than any other state.
New York hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. The 1980 Games are known for the USA–USSR hockey game dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" in which a group of American college students and amateurs defeated the heavily favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4–3 and went on to win the gold medal against Finland. Along with St. Moritz, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, Lake Placid is one of the three cities to have hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice. New York City bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics but lost to London.
New York is the home of one National Football League team, the Buffalo Bills (based in the 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. The Meadowlands stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, in which New York and New Jersey will share hosting duties. There was much controversy over several proposals for a new New York Jets football stadium. The owners of the New York Jets were willing to split the $1.5 billion cost of building a new football stadium over Manhattan's West Side rail yards, but the proposal never came to fruition.
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 on Long Island 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. There are a variety of minor league teams that can be found throughout the State of New York, such as the Long Island Ducks. New York is the home of a Major League Soccer franchise, New York City FC. Although the New York Red Bulls represent the New York metropolitan area, they play in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.