What is the Most Populated City in the US?

The famous skyline of New York City.
The famous skyline of New York City.

Arguably one of the most interesting and expensive places to live in, New York City (NYC) in the State of New York is the most populated city in the US. This city goes by other names like the City of New York or simply as New York and, as of 2016, its population stood at 8,537,673 people. This number is a 4.43% increase compared to the 2010 census estimates. New York City covers an area of 468.484 square miles of which 302.6 square miles is land and 165.841 square miles is water. With a population density of 27,012 people per square mile, NYC is also the most densely inhabited city in the US. Internationally known as the home of UN headquarters, and a global leader in commerce, art, fashion, finance, entertainment, research, education, media, technology and international diplomacy, the city has over 800 different dialects with 3.2 million inhabitants born outside the US thus making it the most diverse city worldwide.

Geography and Climate

Geographically, New York City lies to the southeast of New York State where the Hudson River drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Administratively, the city consists of five boroughs/counties namely; Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Although the smallest, Manhattan is the most densely populated and responsible for most of the city’s global accolades while on the other hand, Brooklyn boasts of cultural, ethnic, and social diversity mixed with a unique architectural heritage. Queens is the largest borough and hosts the JFK International Airport whereas Staten Island is the most suburban of the boroughs. Most areas of Bronx are on mainland US and hosts the New York Yankees. Annually, New York City receives 49.9 inches of precipitation and 234 days of sunshine representing 57% of the year. Here, summers are generally warm (sometimes ranging from hot to humid) while springs and autumns range from chilly to warm with some humidity.


In 2010, statistics indicated that of the total population, 44% are white, 25.5% are Black, 0.7% were Native American, and 12.7% are of Asian origin. Those born outside the US amount to 37% and are mainly from countries like the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Bangladesh. Asians number more than one million with Chinese being the fastest-growing nationality in the city. There is more European and non-Hispanic white population in the city than in any other US city, consequently, New York leads in the number of authorized immigrants admitted into the US with the largest population of Jews and Israelis outside of Israel. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2011; the LGBT community in this city is approximately 570,000 people, the highest in any US city. On matters of religion, Christianity makes up 59% followed and Judaism follows a distant second.

Governance and Politics

Citizens of New York City have a centralized mayor-council system of governance which is responsible for education, welfare services, water, sanitation, recreational facilities, public safety, and correctional institutions. This council is unicameral with 51 elected members representing districts. The mayor and council members serve on a three-consecutive term limit of four years each and is resettable after a four-year break. Of registered political party members, 69% are Democrats and 10% are Republicans explaining why the city has consistently voted for Democratic presidential candidates. These major political parties consider New York as one of the most important sources of political fundraising.

Accolades of New York City

New York has uncountable global accolades including being the most photographed and visited place (having received 61 million visitors in 2016). Times Square is the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world and the city also has bridges, buildings, and parks, as well as the Statue of Liberty (symbolizing democracy) recognizable to millions worldwide.


More in Did You Know