New York

New York, New York, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1613; Incorporated: 1898
Location: Southeastern New York on the Atlantic coast, United States, North America
Time Zone: 7 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 63.9%; Black, 28.7%; Asian/Pacific Islander, 7%
Elevation: 15–244 m (50–800 ft) above sea level
Latitude and Longitude: 40°45'N, 73°59'W
Coastline: 1,942 km (750 mi)
Climate: Continental climate moderated by the Atlantic Ocean, with hot summers, cold winters, mild springs, and crisp autumns
Annual Mean Temperature: 12.2°C (54.0°F); January 0.1°C (32.2°F); July 24.8°C (76.6°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall : 737 mm (29 in)
Average Annual Precipitation (total of rainfall and melted snow): 1016 mm (40 in)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 212, 718
Postal Codes: 10001–99; 10101–99; 10201–82

2. Getting There

Located at the southeastern-most point in the state of New York, New York City is situated on the Atlantic coastal plain, at the mouth of the Hudson River.


New York City is known for its traffic congestion, and many New Yorkers walk or use public transportation within the city itself. The major north-south interstate routes leading to New York are I-95 and I-87 (which approaches New York from the north only). In New Jersey, I-95 becomes the New Jersey Turnpike. East of the Hudson River, it becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway before heading north up the coast of New England. I-95 leads to the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the George Washington Bridge. I-87 (the New York Thruway) becomes the Major Deegan Expressway as it nears the city from the north. I-80 (the Bergen-Passaic Expressway) approaches New York heading eastward from Pennsylvania.

Bus and Railroad Service

Amtrak offers daily service to New York's Penn Station from Chicago (on the Lake Shore Limited), Miami (the Silver Star), New Orleans (the Crescent), Toronto (the Maple Leaf), and Montreal (the Adirondack). Amtrak also operates a high-speed rail shuttle, the Metroliner , between New York and Washington, D.C. Other rail lines that operate out of Penn Station are the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit. Metro-North operates service from New Haven, Connecticut, and Poughkeepsie, New York, to Manhattan's Grand Central Railroad Terminal.


Almost every major domestic carrier operates flights to and from New York, as do most international airlines as well. The city is served by three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (which handles over 200 international flights per day) and LaGuardia Airport, both in Queens, and Newark International Airport in New Jersey.

New York Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 7,333,000
Area: 800 sq km (308.9 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 63.9% white; 28.7% black; 7% Asian/Pacific Islander
Nicknames: The Big Apple; The Empire City

Metropolitan Area

Population: 16,626,000
Description: New York City and surrounding communities
World population rank1: 5
Percentage of national population2: 6.0%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.4%
Ethnic composition: 91.2% white; 4.4% black; 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander


  1. The New York metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the New York metropolitan area.


New York is home to two Foreign Trade Zones—one at Kennedy International Airport and one at the Brooklyn Navy Yard—which encourage trade by

providing exemptions from certain import duties. Although New York has one of the world's largest and safest harbors, shipping traffic through its port (and that of New Jersey) has been cut by more than half in the past 30 years, as shippers have begun using modern railroad flat cars that cross over land bridges. However, the World Trade Center, home to many of the world's largest trading companies, is still owned by the Port Authority of New York.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

New York's subway system is one of the largest in the world, with 1,149 kilometers (714 miles) of track and 469 stations. Trains run 24 hours a day, making frequent stops during rush hour and other daytime hours. Both local and express trains are available. Buses run daily from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM in all five boroughs; more than 200 routes are covered by a fleet of 3,700 buses. Taxicabs are a popular mode of transportation in Manhattan—during peak traffic hours, an ocean of yellow cabs seem to fill the city's streets. Taxi stands abound throughout the city, and cabs can be easily hailed in most areas.


Visitors may tour New York in organized tours by trolley or double-decker bus, and many walking tours of specific neighborhoods are offered, as well as self-guided walking tours of historic sites in Manhattan. Brief helicopter tours offer a dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline, as do scenic cruises of New York Harbor. In addition there are many specialized tours of specific sites, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City, and the studios of the NBC television network.

7. Government

New York City has a mayor-council government. The mayor and the council president (who presides over council meetings) are elected to four-years terms by all the city's voters. Of the 51 council members (all of whom also serve four-year terms), 35 are elected from their own districts, and 16 are elected at large. New York had an estimated 232,588 city employees in 1997.

22. For Further Study


New York Convention and Visitors Bureau. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

The Official New York City Website. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
1 Centre St. Municipal Building
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-3000

New York City Hall
1 Centre St. Municipal Building
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-3000

New York County
60 Centre St.
New York, NY 10007
(212) 374-8359

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 216-2300

New York Convention & Visitors Bureau
810 7th Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10019
(212) 484-1200


The New York Post
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

The New York Times
229 W. 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036

The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty St.
New York, NY 10281


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