Which States Border New York State?

"Welcome to New York" sign.
"Welcome to New York" sign.

New York is a state located in the northeastern region of the United States. The first inhabitants of the state moved to the area in 10,000 BC. Some of the native communities that lived there were the Algonquian and the Iroquoian. New York shares its borders with five states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. New York also has a maritime boundary with the state of Rhode Island.


The boundary that separates New York and Pennsylvania is situated in the southern section of New York. Historically, the border between the two states is divided into three distinct sections. One of the sections follows the 42nd parallel north, and it was surveyed in 1785 and 1786. Because of the inaccuracies of the surveying methods available at the time, the section does not exactly follow the 42nd parallel.

New Jersey

The states of New Jersey and New York are separated by a border found in New York’s northern region. For more than 60 years during the 1700s, New York and New Jersey were involved in a boundary dispute that was referred to as N.J. Line War. During this period, factions from New York and New Jersey fought over control of territory along the border. Historians estimated that the groups were fighting over roughly 328 square miles of land. The final war between the factions took place in 1765 and resulted in the capture of the leaders of New York.


New York shares a portion of its eastern border with Vermont. During the colonial period, both New York and New Hampshire claimed the territory that later became Vermont. King George II placed the territory under New York's control. Following the king’s declaration that the area was under New York’s control, disgruntled residents declared themselves independent and formed the Vermont Republic.


New York and Connecticut are separated by a border situated in the eastern edge of New York. During the colonial period, Connecticut and New York differed on the exact position of their shared boundary. The issue was presented to the colonial government that required New York and Connecticut to jointly survey the border. However, by 1717, neither state had tried to survey the boundary. In 1717, the government of Connecticut began efforts to survey the border and the government of New York later supported the survey. 


The boundary that separates Massachusetts and New York is located on New York's eastern edge. During the colonial era, Massachusetts and New York were involved in a border dispute that was caused by a grant issued to Massachusetts. In 1785, the Continental Congress appointed a team led by Thomas Hutchins to resolve the dispute. The team resolved the dispute by convincing Massachusetts to give up the disputed territory to New York.

Rhode Island

A maritime boundary located in the Atlantic Ocean separates the states of New York and Rhode Island. The feature that separates New York and Rhode Island is known as the Long Island Sound and was the subject of a Supreme Court case in the 1980s. This case was caused by a jurisdictional dispute among the governments of the US, Rhode Island, and New York. To resolve the issue, the Supreme Court appointed the Special Master. A report by the Special Master classified Long Island Sound as a juridical bay meaning that it was under the jurisdiction of the state governments and not the national government.


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