The City of New York (most often called New York City) is the most populous city in the United States, while the New York metropolitan area ranks among the world’s most populous urban areas. It is a leading global city, exerting a powerful influence over worldwide commerce, finance, culture, and entertainment. The city is also an important center for international affairs, hosting the United Nations headquarters.
Located on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, the city consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. It is the most densely populated major city in the United States, with an estimated 8,274,527 people occupying just under 305 square miles (790 km2). The New York metropolitan area’s population is also the nation’s highest, estimated at 18,815,988 people over 6,720 square miles (17,400 km2).
New York is unique among American cities for its high use of and 24-hour availability of mass transit, and for the overall density and diversity of its population. In 2005, nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was born outside the United States. The city is sometimes referred to as “The City that Never Sleeps”, while other nicknames include Gotham and the Big Apple.
Founded in 1624 as a commercial trading post by the Dutch, who called it New Amsterdam, it served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790, and has been the nation’s largest city since 1790.
Today, the city has many landmarks and neighborhoods that are world famous. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, has been a dominant global financial center since World War II and is home to the New York Stock Exchange. The city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Empire State Building and the twin towers of the former World Trade Center.
New York is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art, abstract expressionism (also known as the New York School) in painting, and hip hop, punk, salsa, disco and Tin Pan Alley in music. It is the home of Broadway theater.