Interesting facts about New York (state)

new york flag

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States.

It is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and 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 Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest.

As of September 2018, the population of New York was estimated to be about 20 million people. It is the 4th most populous state in the United States.

New York is the 27th largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 141,300 square kilometers (54,555 square miles).

Albany is the capital city of New York. The city is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. Albany is one of the oldest surviving European settlements from the original thirteen colonies and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.


New York City is the most populous city in the United States. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world, as well as the world’s most economically powerful city.

new york city

The geography of New York state varies widely. Most of New York is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes.

The massive Adirondack Mountains are New York’s major landform. In this heavily forested area the highest point is located, Mount Marcy at 1,629 meters (5,344 feet) above sea level.

mount marcy

New York has many significant lakes including the Finger Lakes chain; Lake Champlain forming its natural border with Vermont, and Lake George and Oneida Lake.

According to Iroquois legend, the long, narrow lakes in the landscape west of Syracuse were formed by the impression of the fingers of the Great Spirit. The numerous lakes that make up the Finger Lakes region offer a range of outdoor opportunities in a visually stunning landscape. There are several towns and resorts around the lakes, most of which are particularly busy during the summer months.

finger lakes

The state has 204 kilometers (127 miles) of coastline.

New York has 24 national parks and 9 state parks.

In 1892, Adirondack Park, roughly the size of the state of Vermont and the largest state park in the United States, was established and given state constitutional protection to remain “forever wild” in 1894. The park is larger than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon national parks combined.

adirondack park

Letchworth State Park is one of the most scenic parks in New York. It is home to three sets of waterfalls along the dramatic Genesee River Gorge. Steep cliff walls line the gorge, which is surrounded by forest, and it is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

letchworth state park

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the American state of New York. The three waterfalls are: the Horseshoe Falls (or Canadian Falls), the American Falls, and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. The three waterfalls combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall on Earth.

niagara falls

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York. The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World. Its design and construction were recognized at the time as one of the greatest technical achievements of the 19th century, and, it was hailed as a bridge between art and engineering.

statue of liberty

The Empire State Building is an iconic 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. It was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1972. The building has a roof height of 381 meters (1,250 feet), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 443 meters (1,454 feet) high. The Empire State Building is in the Art Deco style, characterized by decorative, geometric designs.

empire state building

Time Square is one of the most well-recognized spots in New York City. It is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”, “the heart of The Great White Way”, and the “heart of the world”. Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.

time square

George Eastman House is a stunning 50-room mansion located in Rochester. The impressive building was completed in 1905 and has been restored to its appearance in photographs from this time period, allowing visitors to experience this grand house as it would have been 100 years ago. The reputable International Museum of Photography and Film is located within the grounds of the house and is highly recommended for those with a passion for photography.

george eastman house

The history of New York begins around 10,000 BC, when the first people arrived.

By 1100 AD, two main cultures had become dominant as the Iroquoian and Algonquian developed.

European discovery of New York was led by the Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 followed by the first land claim in 1609 by the Dutch.

The state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England.

king james II

One of the original 13 colonies, New York played a crucial political and strategic role during the American Revolution.

New York’s constitution was adopted in 1777, and strongly influenced the United States Constitution.

In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, and environmental sustainability.

The world’s smallest church is found in Oneida, New York. The Cross Island Chapel is 130 x 205 centimeters (51 x 81 inches), making it large enough to sit two people.

world's smallest church

The National Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Cooperstown, New York.

The popular tabloid New York Post is the oldest running newspaper in the United States. It was originally established in 1801 as a Federalist newspaper called the New York Evening Post by Alexander Hamilton, an author of the Federalist papers and the nation’s first secretary of the treasury.

Both the game of Scrabble and the Teddy Bear were invented in New York!

New York was the first state to require license plates on cars.

The first American chess tournament was held in New York in 1843.

New York State is home to 58 species of wild orchids.