Capital city Albany
Population 20,215,751 (2020)
Surface 141,205 km²
Governor Kathy Hochul (D)
Member of the US since 1788

A map of New York

New York is one of the fifty states of the United States. New York is located in the northeast of the country and borders the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It also borders Canada. New York’s nickname is The Empire State and its abbreviation is NY. In English, the state is often referred to as New York State so as not to confuse it with New York City, which is the largest city in the state (and the entire country). Although the city and the state have the same name, New York City is not the capital of New York, which is Albany. New York State has a long history. The area was inhabited for a long time by various indigenous tribes. The French were the first Europeans to visit the area, but it was the Dutch who founded their colony of New Netherland here in 1609. This colony was surrendered to the English between 1664 and 1674, who named it New York. The state is named after the Duke of York, brother of the English King Charles II. New York was one of the wealthiest and most populous colonies in North America. During the American Revolutionary Warfought against British rule. After this it became one of the first thirteen states of the US. From the 19th century, New York began to develop further, partly due to the Erie Canal, which made trade with Canada easier. New York is still one of the largest states in terms of population. Only California, Texas and Florida have more inhabitants. The majority of these residents live in New York City. The state actually consists of three parts; Long Island, New York City and Upper State New York. In addition to the many attractions in New York City, the famous Niagara Falls are also located in the state. New York is a blue state, meaning it predominantly votes for the Democratic Party.



Niagara Falls

New York is one of the Mid-Atlantic states and borders the New England region . The state can be divided into two parts. The southern portion is called Downstate New York. This section consists of New York City and Long Island. New York City is located at the mouth of the Hudson River in the Atlantic Ocean. It occupies part of the mainland, the islands of Staten Island and Manhattan, and western Long Island. The rest of Long Island is a lot more rural. The other part is much larger Upperstate New York, which takes up most of the state. This part is a lot more mountainous. To the south are the Catskill Mountains and to the north the Adirondack Mountains. The two mountain ranges are separated by a valley through which the Erie Canal flows. The Erie Canal flows from the Hudson near the city of Albany to the city of Buffalo near the Canadian border. To the north, there is a straight border with Canada, which turns northwest into the Saint Lawrence River. This river originates in Lake Ontario. This lake is again fed by Lake Erie in southwest by means of the River deNiagara. This river is also home to the famous Niagara Falls. Lakes and rivers therefore form almost the entire border with Canada. Lake Champlain is located on the border with the state of Vermont. This flows into a valley of the Hudson, so New York does not share mountain ranges with the eastern states. Other major lakes in the state are the Cayuga Lake, the Oneida Lake, and Pierco Lake. The highest point in the state is Mount Marcy with an elevation of 1,629 meters.


Although Americans often speak of Upperstate and Downstate New York, the state is also divided into regions. These regions do not really have a function, but are mainly used in tourism. There are several ways to divide New York into regions. But the following is used by the New York Department of Commerce:

  1. Western New York
  2. Finger Lakes
  3. Southern Tier
  4. Central New York
  5. North Country
  6. Mohawk Valley
  7. Capital District
  8. Hudson Valley
  9. New York City
  10. Long Island

Flora and fauna

Adirondack Park

New York State has a few species of large mammals, such as foxes, boars, squirrels, otters, raccoons, and deer. The largest mammal species are the moose and the American black bear. In terms of bird species, among others, the pheasant and the turkey can be found in New York. You can also find owls, ducks and eagles. Various turtle species are found in the waters. There are three parks in New York State. Surrounding Niagara Falls is Niagara Falls State Park and is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the United States. The other two parks are Adirondack Park to the north and Catskill Park to the south. The Adirondack Park is the largest park and has the same surface area as the state of Vermont! This park is an important place where many animal species occur.

Biggest Cities in New York

There are many cities in New York. Here are the ten largest. Many cities such as Buffalo also have a conurbation. At Buffalo, the agglomeration has more than one million inhabitants. Also, the metropolitan area of ​​New York City is very large.

Name Inhabitants County
1. New York City 8.804.190 Various
2. buffalo 278,349 Erie County
3. Yonkers 211.569 Westchester County
4. Rochester 211.328 Monroe County
5. Syracuse 148.620 Onondaga County
6. Albany 99,224 Albany County
7. New Rochelle 79,726 Westchester County
8. Mount Vernon 73,893 Westchester County
9. Schenectady 67,047 Schenectady County
10. utica 65,283 Oneida County


Snowy Streets in New York City

New York largely has a humid continental climate. This continental climate prevails mainly in the north and west of the state (Upper State New York). These areas have cold winters and warm summers. There is also rain all year round, as the wind mainly comes from the Great Lakescoming. The winters are long and there is often snow. During the summers it is very dry, but it can rain a lot. New York City and Long Island have a humid subtropical climate. This means that this region has warm summers and mild winters. The winters are a lot less cold and long than in the rest of New York. This is due to the wind that comes from the sea. However, there can be a lot of snow in winter when the wind comes from the east. This can cover the streets of New York City with a thick layer of snow, which happens for several weeks almost every winter. This region also has to deal with precipitation throughout the year. During the summer, the state may experience what are known as heat waves. These happen on average twice a summer and last three to five days. In addition, there has been a lot of drought in the summers in recent years. Climate change is likely to make this worse. The state experiences an average of ten tornadoes per year, which mainly occur in Upper State New York. Most of these tornadoes are small and virtually harmless. Only once every five years does a tornado cause damage. The state has been increasingly affected by flooding in recent years. Long Island and New Yor City could experience hurricanesand tropical storms. Each year 85 of these storms occur, but mostly we are harmless. The most damaging hurricane in New York state was a 1938 hurricane, which killed 60 people. Most hurricanes make landfall in September. Only the coastal areas are affected by the hurricanes, as hurricanes lose strength when they make landfall.


Chinatown in Manhattan


Just over 20 million people live in New York State. Of these, 8.8 million live in New York City. New York is therefore the fourth most populous state in the United States in terms of population. The population of the state is still increasing. Mainly the big cities get a lot of inhabitants, but other cities get fewer and fewer inhabitants. New York mainly gains new residents through immigration. After the states to the south, New York has the highest immigration rates. Unlike these states, New York favors immigration. About 4.2 million immigrants live in the state. New York has the status of a multicultural state. 52% of the population is white, 19% Latino, 14% African American and 9% Asian American. The other inhabitants are the descendants of several groups. The largest descents are Italian, New York has the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. Many of these Jews went to the United States before, during, or after World War II. Other major groups include Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Koreans, and Indians. New York has the largest group of Italian Americans in the United States. Many Americans of French descent also live in the north. They mainly come from the Canadian province of Québec.


A church in Albany

Under the Constitution, New York has no official language. However, one can consider English as the official language, as all laws are written in English. In addition, English is spoken in education, politics and the judiciary. Also, English is spoken by most people in everyday life. 69.5% of New Yorkers speak English at home, with the remainder having a language other than English as their mother tongue. A large proportion of the non-native speakers also speak English as a second language. The dialect spoken in New York was used as the standard language of American English. Although there are minor differences, the New York dialect has been a major influence. 14% of New York residents are native speakers of Spanish, 2.6% speak Chinese, 1.2% speak Russian, and 1.1% speak Italian. Other commonly spoken languages ​​include French, Yiddish, Korean, and Polish. Most of these languages ​​are spoken by immigrants in New York City. In fact, more than 800 languages ​​are spoken in this city, making New York City the city with the most languages ​​in the world.


One of the buildings of Columbia University

A majority of New York’s residents are Christian. About 60% of the population adheres to a Christian denomination. Of these, 31% adhere to the Roman Catholic Church, while 26% adhere to Protestantism. The remaining 3% adhere to another Christian movement, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church. New York has long been a strict Christian state. 27% of the population says they have no religion or believe in nothing. The other faiths together make up 12% of the population. 7% of the population is adherent to Judaism. Other major religions are Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.


New York has several major universities, including:

  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
  • New York University
  • University of Rochester


State politics

New York’s Parliament Building

New York’s day-to-day administration is headed by the state governor. The current governor of the state is Kathy Hochul of the Democratic Party. The governor is aided by the lieutenant governor and a number of ministers. The lieutenant governor is the deputy to the governor. Both are elected every four years through direct elections. In addition to the government, there is a parliament. The parliament is called the New York State Legislature and consists of two chambers:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 150 members.
  • The Senate, consisting of 63 members.

Both chambers are elected every two years. The Democratic Party has a majority in both chambers. Because New York City has a great influence on the politics of the state of New York, there have been various proposals to divide New York into two or more states. There have been proposals to create a separate Upper State New York. They also wanted to make Long Island a separate state. The state of Niagara had also been proposed. It is very unlikely that New York would ever be divided, as this is what the US Congress is about.

Administrative division

How many counties in New York? New York is divided into 62 counties. These are:

  • Albany County
  • Allegany County
  • Bronx County (The Bronx)*
  • Broome County
  • Cattaraugus County
  • Cayuga County
  • Chatauqua County
  • Chemung County
  • Chenango County
  • Clinton County
  • Columbia County
  • Cortland County
  • Delaware County
  • Dutchess County
  • Erie County
  • Essex County
  • Franklin County
  • Fulton County
  • Genesee County
  • Greene County
  • Hamilton County
  • Herkimer County
  • Jefferson County
  • Kings County (Brooklyn)*
  • Lewis County
  • Livington County
  • Madison County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Nassau County
  • New York County (Manhattan)*
  • Niagara County
  • Oneida County
  • Onondaga County
  • Ontario County
  • Orange County
  • Orleans County
  • Oswego County
  • Otsego County
  • Putnam County
  • Queens County (Queens)*
  • Rensselaer County
  • Richmond County (Staten Island)*
  • Rockland County
  • St. Lawrence County
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Schoharie County
  • Schuyler County
  • Seneca County
  • Steuben County
  • Suffolk County
  • Sullivan County
  • Tioga County
  • Tompkins County
  • Ulster County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Wayne County
  • Westchester County
  • Wyoming County
  • Yates County

A map of all New York counties. In the list on the right, five counties are marked with an asterisk (*). These five counties make up the city of New York City. Since New York City is so big, the counties have handed over their power to the city of New York City. These five counties are therefore called boroughs. They only play a role in administration and justice. These are:

  • The Bronx (Bronx County)
  • Brooklyn (Kings County)
  • Manhattan (New York County)
  • Queens (Queens County)
  • Staten Island (Richmond County)

Federal Politics

Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer

New York is a so-called blue state. During presidential and other federal elections, the state usually votes for the Democratic Party. New York is therefore a safe state for the Democrats. Around 60% of residents vote for the Democratic candidate in presidential elections. The last time a Republican won the state was Ronald Reaganin 1984. Half of the state’s residents are also enrolled as Democrats, while only a quarter are enrolled as Republicans. The reason New York is a safe Democratic state has to do with the fact that New York City is within the borders of the state. New York is also a progressive state, for example in the field of social security and LGBT rights. The north of the state is a lot more Republican the south. New York is represented in the United States Congress by two senators and no fewer than 27 delegates. The two New York senators are Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Schumer is also the leader of the Democrats in the Senate. Of the 27 delegates, 19 are Democrats and 8 Republicans. These delegates also include noted US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the 25th constituency. In American history, five presidents came from New York. These were Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Donald Trump. Many well-known American politicians, such as Alexander Hamilton and Hillary Clinton, were also from New York or have lived in New York for a long time. New York also plays a major role in international politics. The headquarters of the United Nations is located in the city. This headquarters includes the Security Council, one of the most important parts of the United Nations.

New York - The Empire State


New York – The Empire State
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