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This article is about the U.S. state. |

New York State


State of New York
Flag of New York State seal of New York
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Empire State
Motto(s): Excelsior (Latin)[1]
Ever upward
Map of the United States with New York highlighted
Official language None
Spoken languages English (only) 72%
Spanish 14%
Others 14%[2]
Demonym New Yorker
Capital Albany
Largest city New York City
Largest metro New York metropolitan area
Area Ranked 27th
 - Total 54,556[3] sq mi
(141,300 km2)
 - Width 285 miles (455 km)
 - Length 330 miles (530 km)
 - % water 13.5
 - Latitude 40° 30′ N to 45° 1′ N
 - Longitude 71° 51′ W to 79° 46′ W
Population Ranked 3rd
 - Total 19,570,261 (2012 est)[4]
 - Density 412/sq mi  (159/km2)
Ranked 7th
Elevation
 - Highest point Mount Marcy[5][6][7]
5,344 ft (1628.85 m)
 - Mean 1,000 ft  (304.8 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[6][7]
sea level
Admission to Union July 26, 1788 (11th)
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy (D)
Legislature New York Legislature
 - Upper house State Senate
 - Lower house State Assembly
U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
U.S. House delegation 21 Democrats,
6 Republicans (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
Abbreviations NY, US-NY

website = www.ny.gov

New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th-most extensive, the third-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 by 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 Ontario to the west and north, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State, so as to distinguish it from New York City.

New York City, with a Census-estimated population of over 8.3 million in 2012,[8][9] is the most populous city in the United States.[10][11] Alone, it makes up over 40 percent of the population of New York state. It is known for its status as a center for finance and culture and for its status as the largest gateway for immigration to the United States. New York City attracts considerably more foreign visitors than any other US city.[12] Both the state and city were named for the 17th century Duke of York, future King James II of England.

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. Fort Nassau was built near the site of the present-day capital of Albany in 1614. The Dutch soon also settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson River Valley, establishing the colony of New Netherland. The British took over the colony by annexation in 1664.

The borders of the British colony, the Province of New York, were roughly similar to those of the present-day state. About one third of all the battles of the 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.

History

17th century

Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage marked the beginning of the European involvement with that 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.[13] After his return 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 expanded into 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 once again in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange, but returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later.[14]

American Revolution

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: a gathering of representatives from across the Thirteen Colonies that 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.

New York in 1777

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.[15] The New York state constitution was framed by a convention which assembled at White Plains, New York on July 10, 1776, and after repeated adjournments and changes of location, terminated its labors at Kingston, New York 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. British victory made New York City their military and political base of operations in North America for the duration of the conflict, and consequently the center of attention for General George Washington‘s intelligence network.

The notorious British prison ships of Wallabout Bay saw more American combatants die of intentional neglect than were killed in combat in every battle of the war, combined.

The first of two major British armies were captured by the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, influencing France to ally with the revolutionaries.

British general John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga in 1777.

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 Oneidas and their dependents the Tuscaroras allied themselves to the Americans.[16] The Sullivan Expedition of 1778 and 1779 destroyed nearly 50 Iroquois villages and adjacent croplands, forcing many refugees to British-held Niagara.[17] As allies of the British, the Iroquois were resettled in Canada after the war. 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 are the subject of modern-day claims by the individual tribes. More than 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of former Iroquois territory was put up for sale in the years after the Revolutionary War, leading to rapid development in upstate New York.[18] 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 afterwards celebrated as Evacuation Day.[19]

New York City was the national capital under the first attempt at a national government, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. That government was found to be insufficient, and prominent New Yorker Alexander Hamilton advocated for a new government that would included an executive, national courts, and the power to tax. Hamilton led the Annapolis Convention (1786) which called for the Philadelphia Convention that created the United States Constitution, and he also participated in. The new government would create a strong federal national government to replace the relatively weaker government by 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.[20] 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 center of finance in the new nation.

19th century

The creation of the Erie Canal led to rapid industrialization in New York.

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 to connect 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. It was considered an engineering marvel. Packet boats traveled up and down the canal with sightseers and visitors on board.[21] The canal 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.

During the American Civil War, New York provided more than 370,000 soldiers to the Union armies. Over 53,000 New Yorkers died in service, roughly 1 of every 7 who served.[22]

Immigration

Castle Garden when it operated as New York’s first immigrant depot. Over 8 million immigrants passed through these doors.

Ellis Island in 1905

Scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island

New York City was the main immigration port of entry into the United States from the early 19th century until the middle of the 20th century. In the United States, although immigration acts had been passed, there was no formal routine for implementing immigration policy on a national level until the federal government assumed direct jurisdiction in 1890. Prior to this time the matter was delegated to the individual states then via contract between the states with the federal government. Most immigrants to New York would disembark at the bustling docks along the Hudson and East Rivers, in what is today Downtown Manhattan. On May 4, 1847 the New York State Legislature created the Board of Commissioners of Immigration to regulate immigration.[23]

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, which is today in Battery Park. The first immigrants to arrive at the new depot were onboard three ships that had just been released from quarantine.Castle garden would serve as New York’s immigrant depot until it closed on April 18, 1890 when the federal government assumed control over immigration. During that period of time more than 8 million immigrants passed through its doors (two out of every three U.S. immigrants).[24]

When the federal government assumed control over immigration it established the Bureau of Immigration which chose the three-acre Ellis Island in Upper New York Harbor. The island; already a federal possession had served as an ammunition depot. It was chosen due its relative isolation as an island yet it was still in close proximity to New York City and the rail lines of Jersey City, New Jersey, via a short ferry ride. The island needed improvements including expansion via land reclamation, prior to being used, so the federal government operated a temporary depot at the Barge Office at the Battery.[25]

Ellis Island opened on January 1, 1892, and operated as a central immigration center until the National Origins Act was passed in 1924, then the only immigrants to pass through there were displaced persons or war refugees. The island ceased all immigration processing on November 12, 1954 when the last person detained on the island, a Norwegian seaman named Arne Peterssen who had overstayed his shore leave was released. He left on the 10:15 a.m. Manhattan-bound ferry to return to his ship.

More than 12 million immigrants had passed through Ellis Island, between 1892 and 1954 and today, over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants, who first arrived in America through Castle Clinton and Ellis Island, before settling throughout the United States.

Ellis Island was the subject of a contentious and long-running border dispute between New York State and the State of New Jersey over within whose borders the island lies. 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.[26]

Today the island is still owned by the Federal government, it was added to the National Park system in May 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island was opened to the public as a museum of immigration in 1990.[27]

Geography

New York terrain.
Map of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers.

New York covers 54,556 square miles (141,300 km2) and ranks as the 27th largest state by size.[3] The Great Appalachian Valley dominates eastern New York, while Lake Champlain is the chief northern feature of the valley, which also includes the Hudson River flowing southward to the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged Adirondack Mountains, with vast tracts of wilderness, lie west of the valley.

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.[28]

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 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.[29] 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.

The Hudson River begins at 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 and then the Saint Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City’s five boroughs are 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.

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.[30] Unofficial and loosely defined regions of Upstate New York include the Southern Tier, which often includes the counties along the border with Pennsylvania,[31] and the North Country, which can mean anything from the strip along the Canadian border to everything north of the Mohawk River.[32]

Climate

Lake-effect snow is a major contributor to snowfall totals in western New York.

In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though under the Köppen climate classification, New York City has a humid subtropical climate.[33] 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 gases generated per person. This relative efficiency is primarily due to the state’s higher rate of mass transit use.[34]

 

Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various New York cities (°F)[35] (Fahrenheit)
City  Jan  Feb  Mar   Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
Albany max
min
31
13
34
16
44
25
57
36
70
46
78
55
82
60
80
58
71
50
60
39
48
31
36
20
Binghamton max
min
28
15
31
17
41
25
53
35
66
46
73
54
78
59
76
57
68
50
57
40
44
31
33
21
Buffalo max
min
31
18
33
19
42
26
54
36
66
48
75
57
80
62
78
60
70
53
59
43
47
34
36
24
Lake Placid max
min
27
5
32
8
40
16
54
29
66
39
74
48
78
53
76
51
69
44
56
34
44
25
32
12
Long Beach max
min
39
23
40
24
48
31
58
40
69
49
77
60
83
66
82
64
75
57
64
45
54
36
44
28
New York City max
min
38
26
41
28
50
35
61
44
71
54
79
63
84
69
82
68
75
60
64
50
53
41
43
32
Rochester max
min
31
17
33
17
43
25
55
35
68
46
77
55
81
60
79
59
71
51
60
41
47
33
36
23
Syracuse max
min
31
14
34
16
43
24
56
35
68
46
77
55
82
60
80
59
71
51
60
40
47
32
36
21
Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various New York cities (°C) (Celsius)
City  Jan  Feb  Mar   Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
Albany max
min
−1
−11
1
−9
7
−4
14
2
21
8
26
13
28
16
27
14
22
10
16
4
9
−1
2
−7
Binghamton max
min
−2
−9
−1
−8
5
−4
12
2
19
8
23
12
26
15
24
14
20
10
14
4
7
−1
1
−6
Buffalo max
min
−1
−8
1
−7
6
−3
12
2
19
9
24
14
27
17
26
16
21
12
15
6
8
1
2
−4
Lake Placid max
min
−3
−15
0
−13
4
−9
12
−2
19
4
23
9
26
12
24
11
21
7
13
1
7
−4
0
−11
Long Beach max
min
4
−5
4
−4
9
−1
14
4
21
9
25
16
28
19
28
18
24
14
18
7
12
2
7
−2
New York City max
min
3
−3
5
−2
10
2
16
7
22
12
26
17
29
21
28
20
24
16
18
10
12
5
6
0
Rochester max
min
−1
−8
1
−8
6
−4
13
2
20
8
25
13
27
16
26
15
22
11
16
5
8
1
2
−5
Syracuse max
min
−1
−10
1
−9
6
−4
13
2
20
8
25
13
28
16
27
15
22
11
16
4
8
0
2
−6
Converted from Fahrenheit data (above)

 

State parks

Two major parks in the state are the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park.

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 thinking that led to the creation of the Park first appeared in George Perkins Marsh‘s Man and Nature, published in 1864. Marsh argued that deforestation could lead to desertification; referring to the clearing of once-lush lands surrounding the Mediterranean, he asserted “the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon.”

The Catskill Park was protected in legislation passed in 1885,[36] 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,[36] 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.

National Parks

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.

Regions

Economic regions of New York

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. They divide the state into ten economic regions,[37] which approximately correspond to terminology used by local residents:

  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

Tourism regions of New York

The Department of Economic Development also groups the counties into eleven regions for tourism purposes:[38]

  1. Chautauqua–Allegheny
  2. Niagara Frontier
  3. Finger Lakes
  4. Thousand Islands
  5. Central Region (formerly Central-Leatherstocking)
  6. Adirondack Mountains
  7. Capital District
  8. Catskill Mountains
  9. Hudson Valley
  10. New York City
  11. Long Island

Administrative divisions

Map of the counties in New York

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.

In New York City, each county is coterminous with a city borough.

Cities and metro areas

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.

 

In New York, as is the case in most older states, the metropolitan statistical area is a more accurate gauge of the state’s population centers, as newly urbanized areas due to sprawl were not absorbed into their corresponding city proper. The following are the twelve largest metro areas in the state:[39]

  1. New York City (18,897,109 in NY/NJ/PA, 12,368,525 in NY)
  2. Buffalo-Niagara Falls (1,135,509)
  3. Rochester (1,054,323)
  4. Albany and the Capital District (870,716)
  5. Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley (670,301)
  6. Syracuse (662,577)
  7. Utica-Rome (299,397)
  8. Binghamton (251,725)
  9. Kingston (182,493)
  10. Glens Falls (128,923)
  11. Ithaca (101,564)
  12. Elmira (88,830)

The southern tip of New York State (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, a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston south to the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The location of the major cities within the state stays remarkably true to the key transportation and trade routes in the early 19th century, primarily the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, Interstate 90 acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes.

The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, located just west of the Town of Vernon in Oneida County. Albany is the state capital, and the Town of Hempstead is the civil township with the largest population. If it were a city, it would be the second largest in the state with over 700,000 residents.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 340,120
1800 589,051 73.2%
1810 959,049 62.8%
1820 1,372,812 43.1%
1830 1,918,608 39.8%
1840 2,428,921 26.6%
1850 3,097,394 27.5%
1860 3,880,735 25.3%
1870 4,382,759 12.9%
1880 5,082,871 16.0%
1890 6,003,174 18.1%
1900 7,268,894 21.1%
1910 9,113,614 25.4%
1920 10,385,227 14.0%
1930 12,588,066 21.2%
1940 13,479,142 7.1%
1950 14,830,192 10.0%
1960 16,782,304 13.2%
1970 18,236,967 8.7%
1980 17,558,072 −3.7%
1990 17,990,455 2.5%
2000 18,976,457 5.5%
2010 19,378,102 2.1%
Est. 2012 19,570,261 1.0%
Sources: 1910–2010 1790–1900[40]

Population

New York population distribution map

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of New York was 19,570,261 on July 1, 2012, a 1.0% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[4] In spite of the open land in the state, New York’s population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area.[41]

New York is a slowly growing state with a large rate of domestic migration to other states. In 2000 and 2005, more people moved from New York to Florida than from any one state to another.[42] However, New York State is one of the leading destinations for international immigration and thus has the second largest immigrant population in the country of the American states, at 4.2 million as of 2008. Although Upstate New York also receives considerable immigration, most of the state’s immigrants settle in and around New York City, due to its vibrant economy and cosmopolitan culture.

The center of population of New York is located in Orange County, in the town of Deerpark.[43] New York City and its eight suburban counties (excluding those in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania) have a combined population of 13,209,006 people, or 68.42% of the state’s population.[44]

Racial and ancestral makeup

New York population ethnicity map

According to the US Census Bureau, the 2010 racial makeup of New York State was as follows:[45]

The major ancestry groups in New York State are Hispanic and Latino Americans (17.6%), African American (15.8%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), German (11.1%) and English (6%).[46] According to a 2010 estimate, 21.7% of the population is foreign-born.[45]

The state’s most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic white, has declined from 94.6% in 1940 to 58.3% in 2010.[45][47] As of 2011, 55.6% of New York’s population younger than age 1 were minorities.[48]

New York is home to the largest African-American population and the second largest Asian-American population in the United States. 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 is 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 also the most diverse county in the United States. The second highest volume of Asian-Americans is in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The neighborhood of Flushing in Queens is also a prime center of Chinese and Korean populations, as well as businesses owned by and catering to its Asian-American community. Queens is home to the largest Andean population (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Bolivian) population in the United States.

In the 2000 Census, Italian Americans made up the largest ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish Americans. Albany and southeast-central New York also have populations with many of Irish-American and Italian-American descent. In Buffalo and western New York, German Americans are the largest group; in the northern tip of the state, French Canadians are. Americans of English ancestry are present throughout all of upstate New York. New York State has a higher number of Italian Americans than any other U.S. state.

6.5% of New York’s population were under 5 years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females made up 51.8% of the population.

Languages

The most common American English accents spoken, 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 from the Buffalo and upstate New York area.

As of 2010, 70.72% (12,788,233) of New York residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, 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 as a main language 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 age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[2]

Top 10 Non-English Languages Spoken in New York
Language Percentage of population
(as of 2010)[2]
Spanish 14.44%
Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) 2.61%
Russian 1.20%
Italian 1.18%
French Creole 0.79%
French 0.75%
Yiddish 0.67%
Korean 0.63%
Polish 0.53%
Bengali 0.43%

Religion

Brooklyn’s growing Jewish community is the largest in the United States, with approximately 600,000 individuals.[49]

Catholics comprise more than 40% of the population in New York.[50] Protestants are 30% of the population, Jews 8.4%, Muslims 3.5%, Buddhists 1%, and 13% claim no religious affiliation (irreligious, agnostics, and atheists). The largest Protestant denominations are the United Methodist Church with 403,362; the American Baptist Churches USA with 203,297; and the Episcopal Church with 201,797 adherents.[51]

Economy

New York quarter, reverse side, 2001.jpg

The New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies.[52]

LineartPresRev.png

Midtown Manhattan in New York City, the largest central business district in the United States

New York’s gross state product in 2010 was $1.16 trillion, ranking third in size behind the larger states of California and Texas.[53] If New York were an independent nation, it would rank as the 16th largest economy in the world behind Turkey. 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.

A recent review by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found 13 states, including several of the nation’s largest, face budget shortfalls for FY2009. New York faces a deficit that could be as large as $4.3 billion.[54]

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 ($15 billion), United Kingdom ($6 billion), Switzerland ($5.9 billion), Israel ($4.9 billion), and Hong Kong ($3.4 billion). New York’s largest imports are oil, gold, aluminum, natural gas, electricity, rough diamonds, and lumber.

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. Albany and the Hudson Valley are major centers of nanotechnology and microchip manufacturing, while the Rochester area is important in photographic equipment and imaging.

New York is a major agricultural producer, ranking among the top five states for agricultural products such as dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many others. 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 US$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, behind California, and second-largest wine producer by volume. 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 US$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. These areas of the economy have been increasing as environmental protection has led to an increase in ocean wildlife.

As of January 2010, the state’s unemployment rate was 8.8%.[55]

Canada is a very important economic partner for the state. 21% of the state’s total worldwide exports went to Canada in 2007. Tourism from the north is also a large part of the economy. Canadians spent US$487 million in 2004 while visiting the state.

New York City is the leading center of banking, finance and communication in the United States and is the location of the New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar volume. Many of the world’s largest corporations are based in the city.

Transportation

New York State Thruway

The New York City Subway serves more than 5 million rides on a given weekday

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 since the state was young. Population expansion of the state generally followed the path of the early waterways, first the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal. Today, railroad lines and the New York State Thruway follow the same general route. The New York State Department of Transportation is often criticized for how they maintain the roads of the state in certain areas and for the fact that the tolls collected along the roadway have long passed their original purpose. Until 2006, tolls were collected on the Thruway within The City of 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 has fallen into disuse.

License plate introduced on April 1, 2010 for vehicles registered in New York State.
Former License plate design introduced in 2001

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[56] and 10,697,644 vehicle registrations in force.[57] All gasoline powered vehicles registered in New York State must get an emissions inspection every 12 months. 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 easily switch 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 a move designed to improve traffic flow and reduce pollution and pedestrian accidents.[58] On February 11, 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the pedestrian plazas would remain permanent.[59]

Government

New York State Presidential Election Results
Year Democratic Republican
2012 63.35% 4,485,877 35.17% 2,490,496
2008 62.88% 4,804,945 36.03% 2,752,771
2004 58.37% 4,314,280 40.08% 2,962,567
2000 60.21% 4,107,907 35.23% 2,403,374
1996 59.47% 3,756,177 30.61% 1,933,492
1992 49.73% 3,444,450 33.88% 2,346,649
1988 51.62% 3,347,882 47.52% 3,081,871
1984 45.83% 3,119,609 53.84% 3,664,763
1980 43.99% 2,728,372 46.66% 2,893,831
1976 51.95% 3,389,558 47.52% 3,100,791
1972 41.21% 2,951,084 58.54% 4,192,778
1968 49.76% 3,378,470 44.30% 3,007,932
1964 68.56% 4,913,156 31.31% 2,243,559
1960 52.53% 3,830,085 47.27% 3,446,419

The New York State Capitol building in Albany.

Under its present constitution (adopted in 1938), New York is governed by the same three branches that govern all fifty states of the United States: the executive branch, consisting of the Governor of New York and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative branch, consisting of the bicameral New York State Legislature (senate and assembly); and the judicial branch, consisting of the state’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, and lower courts. The state has two U.S. senators, 29 members in the United States House of Representatives, and 31 electoral votes in national presidential elections (a drop from its 47 votes during the 1940s).

New York’s capital is Albany. The state’s subordinate political units are its 62 counties. Other officially incorporated governmental units are towns, cities, and villages. New York has more than 4,200 local governments that take one of these forms. About 52% of all revenue raised by local governments in the state is raised solely by the government of New York City, which is the largest municipal government in the United States, whereas New York City houses only 42% of the state population.[60]

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.[61] The state ranks near the bottom, in 42nd place, in federal spending per tax dollar.[62]

Many of New York’s public services are carried out by public-benefit corporations, frequently called authorities or development corporations. Well known public benefit corporations in New York include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees New York City’s public transportation system, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bi-state transportation infrastructure agency.

By a statute of reception, New York’s legal system is explicitly based upon the common law of England. English decisions are regarded as highly persuasive precedent in New York where New York and English law have not substantially diverged, and reciprocally English judges have frequently made direct or indirect reference to New York law, and particularly decisions of the New York Court of Appeals in determining cases based chiefly on the common law in areas novel to England.

Federal representation

As of the 2000 census and the redistricting for the 2002 elections, the state has 29 members in the United States House of Representatives, and two U.S. senators. Two seats in the House will be lost in 2013 due to a decline in the state’s rate of population growth.[63] New York has 31 electoral votes in national presidential elections (a drop from its highest of 47 votes from 1933 to 1953).

New York is represented by Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the United States Senate and has 29 representatives to the United States House of Representatives, behind California’s 53 congressional districts and Texas’ 32 congressional districts.

Capital punishment

Capital punishment was reintroduced in 1995 under the Pataki administration but the statute was declared unconstitutional in 2004, when the New York Court of Appeals ruled in People v. LaValle that it violated the state constitution. The remaining death sentence was commuted by the court to life imprisonment in 2007, in People v. John Taylor, and the death row was disestablished in 2008, under executive order from Governor Paterson. No execution has taken place in New York since 1963. Legislative efforts to amend the statute have failed, and death sentences are no longer sought at the state level, though certain crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government are subject to the federal death penalty.[64][65][66]

Politics

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 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.

Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011 and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter.[67]

New York City is the most important source of political fund-raising 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.[68]

Education

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 schools for children of African-American descent. In 1900, the state passed another law requiring integrated schools.[69]

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 additionally funded by the city. The SUNY system consists of 64 community colleges, technical colleges, undergraduate colleges, and doctoral-granting institutions including several universities. The four SUNY university centers, offering a wide array of academic programs, are University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University.

In addition there are many notable private universities, including the oldest Catholic institution in the Northeast, Fordham University. New York is home to both Columbia University in New York City and Cornell University in Ithaca, making it the only state to contain more than one Ivy League school. 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 banks of the Hudson River.

During the 2007–2008 school year, New York spent more per pupil on public education than any other state.[70]

Sports

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 will host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. 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 all through the State of New York, such as the Long Island Ducks.

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

General
Government
Tourism and recreation
Culture and history
Maps and Demographics

 

Preceded by
Virginia
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Ratified Constitution on July 26, 1788 (11th)
Succeeded by
North Carolina

Coordinates: 43°N 75°W / 43°N 75°W / 43; -75 (New York)

 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article New York State, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.