New York Geography, Population, Business and History

New York is a state in the United States, often called The Empire State because of the state’s prominent position in the Union.

New York is located on the east coast and borders the north to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, to the east to the New England states of Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, to the south to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and to the west to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The state has a total area of ​​approximately 141,300 square kilometers and has 19,849,399 residents (US Census, 2017).

New York was listed as the 11th state in the United States on July 26, 1788. The state capital is Albany. New York sends 2 senators and 27 representatives to Congress.

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New York encompasses a variety of natural geographic regions. The area west of the Hudson River and south of the Mohawk River belongs to the Appalachians. This area, which makes up half of the state’s area, includes the Catskill Mountains up to 1,281 feet high and the beautiful Finger Lakes Lake District. At Lake Erie there is a narrow, at Lake Ontario a wider coastal plain.

Between the St. Lawrence Valley to the west and Lake Champlain to the east lies the Adirondack Mountains, separated from the Catskill Mountains to the south of the Mohawk Valley. The mountains are structurally different from the Appalachians, reaching 1629 meters above Mount Marcy, which is the highest point in the state. Mohawk has an outlet in the Hudson River, which comes from Lake Champlain and flows into the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. Below the confluence of the Mohawk, Hudson forms a wide valley, separating the Catskill and Adirondack mountains from the Taconic Mountains to the east.

The state has numerous lakes, especially in the Adirondack Mountains and in the west (Finger Lakes), testifying to the ice age’s landscaping. Long Island and Staten Island belong to the Atlantic coastal plain.

The climate is humid continental. About 45 per cent of the area is wooded (mostly deciduous forest). New York has a large number of state parks and two large forest reserves.


Before European colonization began in the 17th century, the area was populated by various indigenous communities, including Iraqis. Ever since the colonial period, most of the population growth has been due to immigration; before the 1890s, substantially from northern and western Europe, later from southern and eastern Europe. After World War II, many blacks from southern states, Puerto Ricans, and other West Indians immigrated to New York.

In 1970, New York was bypassed by California as the United States’ most populous state; in the 1990s also by Texas. Between 1970 and 1980, the population fell by 3.8 percent (population across the country increased by an average of 11.4 percent), mainly due to the large decline in New York City’s population, while the state experienced a slow growth in the 1990- 2000 (1.3 percent).

55.3 percent of the population is considered white and 17.7 percent black (African American), while Hispanic (Hispanic / Latino) constitutes 19.2 percent and Asians 9.1 percent (US Census, 2017). However, the Blacks and Puerto Ricans are highly concentrated in New York City. The Jewish population is also numerous here.

In 2010, about 88 per cent of the population lived in cities and towns. The largest are New York City, the largest city in the United States and one of the largest in the world with 8,622,698 residents, Buffalo with 258,612 residents, Rochester with 208,046 residents, Yonkers with 202,019 residents, Syracuse with 143,396 residents and the capital Albany with 98,251 residents (US Census, 2017).

The largest metropolitan areas are New York-Newark-Jersey City, or New York metropolitan area – the world’s largest metropolitan region with 20,320,876 residents (US Census, 2017) – and Buffalo-Niagara Falls with 1,136,856 residents.


The economy is heavily dominated by business in New York City, which has two-thirds of the industry and is one of the world’s foremost financial centers and headquarters for the UN. The city’s industry is versatile with an emphasis on printing and publishing, the media, clothing, machinery and pharmaceutical industries and wholesale trade. New York City is one of the world’s largest tourist cities, and the inland mountain and sea area is a favorite vacation and leisure area.

Buffalo is an important center for the heavy industry (iron and steel), Rochester is the main seat of Eastman Kodak (film and photo equipment) and Schenectady (suburb of Albany) has a refrigerator and other electrical products (General Electric Company). Also Syracuse, Utica, Troy and Binghampton (IBM) has substantial industry.

Agriculture produces dairy products, vegetables and fruits for the metropolitan market. Fruit cultivation takes place especially at the seas (Finger Lakes) and in the Hudson Valley. Some salt (farthest southwest), plaster, talc, crude oil, gravel and sand are extracted.

There are a number of universities and other higher education institutions, including the State University of New York, which is part of the University of the State of New York, City University of New York (founded 1847), Columbia University (1754) and New York University (1831) in New York City, Cornell University (1865) in Ithaca, Syracuse University (1870), Union University (1795) in Albany and Schenectady, and State University (SUNY, founded 1948) with branches in Albany, Binghampton, Buffalo and Stony Brook. In Troy lies the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1824) and in Poughkeepsie Vassar College (1861).

Hudson is navigable for seagoing ships from New York City, as one of the world’s largest port cities, to Albany and supplemented by the New York State Canal System (1918). The John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia and Newark (New Jersey) airports serve Greater New York, and are all among the busiest in the world.


The area that now constitutes the state of New York was in practice divided between the Iroquois people and tribes of the Algonquin group when Europeans arrived. The divide was largely along the present Hudson River (the Iroquois west of the river). Although Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano may have sailed into the area of ​​present-day New York City in 1524, Frenchman Samuel de Champlain was the first European to prove the area when he in 1609 embarked on an expedition south from the St. Lawrence district. The same year Henry Hudson traveled up the Hudson River to present-day Albany on behalf of Dutch interests.

In 1623, the Dutch established New Netherlands, which in 1664 was forced by the English to become a British colony under the name New York after the Duke of Albany and York, later King James II. New York continued as a British colony until the Revolution of 1776 (with the exception of a Dutch interlude in the years 1673–1674).

The interaction between the Iroquois and the British had been an important factor in the colony’s success in keeping French interests at a distance. As the Iroquois maintained the alliance with Britain during the Revolutionary War, this had unfortunate consequences for many indigenous communities. The British were decisively defeated in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

New York was one of the original 13 states in the United States. The state capital was New York City until 1797, then Albany.

New York Population 2019

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