Tag Archives: Queens

Just How Big Is New York City?

Map courtesy of http://www.new-york-hotels-offer.com/map.html

New York City (now) consists of five boroughs. I qualify this with “now” because, as recently as one hundred and twenty-five years ago, when New York City consisted of simply Manhattan, and the other four boroughs were cities unto themselves.


In order to get some semblance of how frickin’ big New York City with the five boroughs, if we were to separate them out, four out of the five boroughs would still make the top ten most populous cities in America. From the 2010 census:

  1. Los Angeles, California – 3,792,621
  2. Chicago, Illinois - 2,695,598
  3. Brooklyn, New York - 2,504,700
  4. Queens, New York - 2,230,722
  5. Houston, Texas – 2,099,451
  6. Manhattan, New York – 1,585,873
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1,526,006
  8. Phoenix, Arizona – 1,445,632
  9. The Bronx, New York  - 1,385,108
  10. San Antonio, Texas - 1,327,407
Staten Island, with it’s population at 468,730, would sit somewhere between 35th and 40th place, roughly the size of Sacramento.


New York City is big. Really big.  At 8,175,133, it’s over twice the size of Los Angeles’s population. Yet, from a square mileage perspective, it’s 75% of Los Angeles’s size.


I can remember my first time on Manhattan, and looking up and down the Avenue, and my brain going “pop”, because it was unable to grasp the evidence directly in front of it.  If you’ve never been to Manhattan , it’s impossible to imagine what 1.5 million people sitting on  22.7 square miles looks like.  If you have been, many of you will understand the awe that this borough presents to you inspires.


Consider this – Philadelphia, a city roughly the size of Manhattan,   fits roughly the same number of people in 134.1 square miles, roughly six times the land mass of the Island of Manhattan.


I realize that we throw around the word “awesome” like some men throw around singles at a strip club. It is one of the more unfortunate idioms of this current era.  So believe me when I say this: Manhattan is awesome, in that it can and does inspire awe.