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Queens is the largest in area, the second largest in population, and the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York Citymarker. The borough is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United Statesmarker.

Located on the western portion of Long Islandmarker, Queens is home to two of the three major New York City area airports, John F. Kennedymarker and LaGuardiamarker; it is also the location of the New York Mets baseball team; the US Openmarker tennis tournament; Flushing Meadows Parkmarker; Kaufman Astoria Studiosmarker; Silvercup Studiosmarker; and Frank Sinatra School of the Artsmarker founded by Tony Bennett.

 American Community Survey, immigrants comprise 47.6% of Queens residents.
With a population of 2.3 million it is the second most populous borough in New York City (behind Brooklyn) and the tenth most populous county in the United States. It is also the nation's fourth-most-densely populated county (after the counties covering Manhattanmarker, Brooklynmarker and the Bronxmarker). The 2.3 million figure is the highest historical population for the borough.Were each borough an independent city, Brooklyn and Queens would be the fourth- and fifth-largest cities in the United States, respectively. If Queens were its own city it would be the fourth largest by population in the U.S.

Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties of New York and was supposedly named for the Queen consort, Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705), the Portuguese princess who married King Charles II of England in 1662.

The borough is often considered one of the more suburban boroughs (in comparison to Manhattanmarker standards) of New York City. Neighborhoods in central Queens (except those situated along Queens Boulevardmarker and the neighborhoods of Flushing and Jamaicamarker), southern Queens, and eastern Queens have a look and feel similar to the bordering suburbs of western Nassau Countymarker. In its northwestern section, however, Queens is home to many urban neighborhoods and several central business districts. Long Island City, on the Queens' waterfront across from Manhattanmarker, is the site of the Citicorp Buildingmarker, the tallest skyscraper in New York City outside of Manhattan, and the tallest building on geographic Long Island.


European colonization brought both Dutchmarker and Englishmarker settlers, as a part of the New Netherlands colony. First settlements occurred in 1635, with colonization at Maspethmarker in 1642,and Vlissingenmarker (now Flushing) in 1643.Other early settlements included Newtown (now Elmhurstmarker) and Jamaicamarker. However, these towns were mostly inhabited by English settlers from New Englandmarker via eastern Long Islandmarker (Suffolk Countymarker) subject to Dutch law. After the capture of the colony by the English and its renaming as New York in 1664, the area (and all of Long Island) became known as Yorkshire.

The Flushing Remonstrance signed by colonists in 1657 is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution's provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. The signers protested the Dutch colonial authorities’ persecution of Quakers in what is today the borough of Queens.

Originally, Queens County included the adjacent area now comprising Nassau Countymarker. It was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created on November 1, 1683.On October 7, 1691, all counties in the Colony of New York were redefined. Queens gained North Brother Islandmarker, South Brother Islandmarker, and Huletts Island (today known as Rikers Islandmarker).On December 3, 1768, Queens gained other islands in Long Island Sound that were not already assigned to a county but that did not abut on Westchester Countymarker (today’s Bronx Countymarker).

Queens played a minor role in the American Revolution, as compared to Brooklynmarker where the Battle of Long Island was largely fought. Queens, like the rest of Long Island, remained under British occupation after the Battle of Long Island in 1776 and was occupied throughout most of the rest of the war. Under the Quartering Act, British soldiers used, as barracks, the public inns and uninhabited buildings belonging to Queens residents. Even though many local people were against unannounced quartering, sentiment throughout the county remained (albeit fairly passively) in favor of the British crown. The quartering of soldiers in private homes, except in times of war, was banned by the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. Nathan Hale was captured by the British on the shore of Flushing Bay in Queens before being executed by hanging in Manhattanmarker for gathering intelligence.

From 1683 until 1784, Queens County consisted of five towns: Flushing, Hempsteadmarker, Jamaica, Newtown, and Oyster Baymarker. On April 6, 1784, a sixth town, the Town of North Hempsteadmarker, was formed through secession by the northern portions of the Town of Hempstead.

The seat of the county government was located first in Jamaica,but the courthouse was torn down by the British during the American Revolution in order to use the materials to build barracks.After the war, various buildings in Jamaica temporarily served as courthouse and jail until a new building was erected about 1787 (and later completed) in an area near Mineolamarker (now in Nassau County) known then as Clowesville.The 1850 census was the first in which the population of the three western towns exceeded that of the three eastern towns that are now part of Nassau County. Concerns were raised about the condition and distance of the old courthouse, and several sites were in contention for the construction of a new one. In 1870, Long Island City split from the Town of Newton, incorporating itself as a city, consisting of what had been the Village of Astoriamarker and some unincorporated areas within the Town of Newtown. Around 1874, the seat of county government was moved to Long Island City from Mineola.

On March 1, 1860, the eastern border between Queens County (later Nassau County) and Suffolk Countymarker was redefined with no discernible change.On June 8, 1881, North Brother Islandmarker was transferred to New York Countymarker.On May 8, 1884, Rikers Islandmarker was transferred to New York Countymarker.In 1885, Lloyd Neck, which was part of the Town of Oyster Bay and was earlier known as Queens Village, seceded from Queens and became part of the Town of Huntington in Suffolk Countymarker.On April 16, 1964, South Brother Islandmarker was transferred to Bronx Countymarker.

Borough of Queens

The New York City Borough of Queens was authorized on May 4, 1897, by a vote of the New York State Legislature after an 1894 referendum on consolidation.The eastern 280 square miles of Queens that became Nassau County was partitioned on January 1, 1899.

Queens Borough was established on Jan 1, 1898.Long Island City, the towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, and the Rockaway Peninsulamarker portion of the Town of Hempstead were merged to form the new borough, dissolving all former municipal governments (Long Island City, the county government, all towns, and all villages) within the new borough.The areas of Queens County that were not part of the consolidation plan,consisting of the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, and the major remaining portion of the Town of Hempstead, remained part of Queens County until they seceded to form the new Nassau County on January 1, 1899, whereupon the boundaries of Queens County and the Borough of Queens became coterminous. With consolidation, Jamaica once again became the county seat, though county offices now extend to nearby Kew Gardens also.

From 1905 to 1908 the Long Island Rail Road in Queens was electrified. Transportation to and from Manhattanmarker, previously by ferry or via bridges in Brooklyn, opened up when the Queensboro Bridgemarker was finished in 1909, and with railway tunnels under the East Rivermarker in 1910. From 1915 onward, much of Queens was connected to the New York City subway system.With the 1915 construction of the Steinway Tunnel carrying the IRT Flushing Line between Queens and Manhattan, and the emergent expansion of the use of the automobile, the population of Queens more than doubled in the 1920s, from 469,042 in 1920 to 1,079,129 in 1930.Queens was the site of the 1939 New York World's Fair and the 1964 New York World's Fair. LaGuardia Airportmarker, in northern Queens, opened in 1939. Idlewild Airport, in southern Queens and now called JFK Airportmarker, opened in 1948.


Queens County is in the western part of Long Island and includes a few smaller islands, most of which are in Jamaica Baymarker and form part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which is in turn one of the National Parks of New York Harbor.The Rockaway Peninsula sits between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Oceanmarker. The western and northern edge of the borough is defined a watery continuum made up of Newtown Creek which flows into the tidal estuary known as the East Rivermarker, which includes the associated Flushing Baymarker and Flushing Rivermarker. The East River opens into Long Island Soundmarker. The mid-section of Queens is crossed by the Long Islandmarker straddling terminal moraine created by the Wisconsin Glacier. This feature evolved into a land use pun due to the siting of many cemeteries.

The tallest tree in the New York metropolitan areamarker, called the Queens Giantmarker, is also the oldest living thing in the New York metro area. It is located in northeastern Queens, and is 450 years old and tall as of 2005.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of ; of this is land and 38.7% is water.

Adjacent Counties


The United States Postal Service divides the borough into five "towns" based roughly on those in existence at the time of the consolidation of the five boroughs into New York City: Long Island City, Jamaica, Flushing, Far Rockawaymarker, and Floral Park. These ZIP codes do not necessarily reflect actual neighborhood names and boundaries; "East Elmhurstmarker", for example, was largely coined by the USPS and is not an official community. Most neighborhoods have no solid boundaries. The Forest Hillsmarker and Rego Parkmarker neighborhoods, for instance, overlap.

Residents of Queens often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city as a whole. Unlike the situation in other boroughs, postal addresses are usually written with the neighborhood, state, and then zip code rather than the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity:

Together, these neighborhoods comprise the most diverse county in the United States.Several of these neighborhoods are home to a diverse mix of many different ethnicities.


Party affiliation of Queens registered voters
Party 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
Democratic 62.94% 62.52 62.85 62.79 62.99 62.52 62.30 62.27 62.28 62.33
Republican 14.60% 14.66 14.97 15.04 15.28 15.69 16.47 16.74 16.93 17.20
Other 3.88% 3.93 3.94 3.86 3.37 3.30 3.10 3.20 3.02 2.78
No affiliation 18.58% 18.89 18.24 18.31 18.36 18.49 18.13 17.79 17.77 17.69

Queens County Courthouse

Since New York City's consolidation in 1898, Queens has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a strong mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services in Queens.

The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989 the Supreme Court of the United Statesmarker declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.

Since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Queens' Borough President is Helen Marshall, elected as a Democrat in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. Queens Borough Hallmarker is the seat of government and is located in Kew Gardens.

The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. Sixty-three percent of registered Queens voters are Democrats. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in Queens include development, noise, and the cost of housing.

Presidential election results
Year Republican Democratic
2008 24.4% 145,898 74.9% 447,906
2004 27.4% 165,954 71.7% 433,835
2000 22.0% 122,052 75.0% 416,967
1996 21.1% 107,650 72.9% 372,925
1992 28.3% 157,561 62.9% 349,520
1988 39.7% 217,049 59.5% 325,147
1984 46.4% 285,477 53.3% 328,379
1980 44.8% 251,333 48.0% 269,147
1976 38.9% 244,396 60.5% 379,907
1972 56.3% 426,015 43.4% 328,316
1968 40.0% 306,620 53.6% 410,546
1964 33.6% 274,351 66.3% 541,418
1960 45.1% 367,688 54.7% 446,348
1956 59.9% 471,223 40.1% 315,898

There are currently six Democrats representing Queens in the U.S. Congress:

Each of the city's five counties has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Richard A. Brown, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Queens County since 1991.Queens has 12 seats on the New York City Council, the second largest number among the five boroughs. It also has 14 administrative districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents.

Although it is heavily Democratic, Queens is considered a swing county in New York politics. Republican political candidates who do well in Queens usually win citywide or statewide elections. Republicans such as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg won majorities in Queens. Republican State Senator Serphin Maltese represented a district in central and southern Queens for twenty years until his defeat in 2008 by Democratic City Councilman Joseph Addabbo. In 2002, Queens voted against incumbent Republican Governor of New York George Pataki in favor of his Democratic opponent, Carl McCall by a slim margin.

Queens has not voted for a Republican candidate in a presidential election since 1972, when Queens voters chose Richard Nixon over George McGovern. Since the 1996 presidential election, Democratic presidential candidates have received over 70% of the popular vote in Queens.


The economy of Queens is based on tourism, industry, and trade. Because the New York metropolitan areamarker has three major airports, the airspace overhead is among the busiest and most regulated in the world. John F. Kennedy International Airportmarker, alongside Jamaica Bay, is the country's busiest airport in terms of international travelers. La Guardia Airportmarker, on the East River, mostly serves eastern North America. Queens has witnessed the rebirth of film production — the return of an industry that had departed decades earlier — notably the Kaufman Studiosmarker in Astoria and the Silvercup Studiosmarker in Long Island City, where a number of notable television shows are made, including Sesame Street.

The Queens Museum of Artmarker and the New York Hall of Sciencemarker are further east, in Flushing Meadows Parkmarker — site of both the 1939 New York World's Fair, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair and the annual US Openmarker tennis tournament at the USTA National Tennis Centermarker. Citi Fieldmarker, the home of the New York Mets baseball team, is located north of the USTA National Tennis Center. The park is the third largest in New York City at , making it larger than Central Parkmarker in Manhattanmarker.

Several large companies have their headquarters in Queens, including watchmaker Bulova, based in East Elmhurst; internationally renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sonsmarker in Long Island City; Glacéau, the makers of Vitamin Water, headquartered in Whitestone; and JetBlue Airways, the low-cost airline based in John F. Kennedy Airport, is located in the neighborhood of Forest Hills.

Long Island City is a major manufacturing and back office center. Flushing is a major commercial hub for Chinese American and Korean American businesses, while Jamaica is the major civic and transportation hub for the borough


Queens Compared
2000 Census Queens NY City NY State
Total population 2,229,379 8,008,278 18,976,457
Population density 20,409
/sq mi
/sq mi
/sq mi
Median household income
$37,439 $38,293 $43,393
Per capita income $19,222 $22,402 $23,389
Bachelor's degree or higher 23% 27% 24%
Foreign born 48% 36% 20%
White 45% 45% 62%
Black 19% 27% 16%
Asian 21% 10% 6%
Hispanic (any race) 26% 27% 14%

According to the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the borough's population was 45.8% White (31.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 20.3% Black or African American (18.4% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 21.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 13.4% from some other race and 1.9% from two or more races. 26.2% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

48.3% of the population were foreign born (another 1.9% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or abroad to American parents), 54.5% spoke a language other than English at home and 28.0% had a Bachelor's degree or higher.

As of the census of , there were 2,229,379 people, 782,664 households, and 537,690 families residing in the county. The population density was 7,879.6/km² (20,409.0/sq mi). There were 817,250 housing units at an average density of 2,888.5/km² (7,481.6/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 44.08% White, 20.01% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 17.56% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 11.68% from other races, and 6.11% from two or more races. 24.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to a Census Bureau estimate, the population increased to 2,293,007 in 2008.

Some main European ancestries in Queens, 2000:

In Queens, 48.5% of the population are foreign-born. Of that, 49.5% were born in Latin America, 33.5% in Asia, 14.8% in Europe, 1.8% in Africa and 0.4% in North America. The Hispanic or Latino population increased 61% between 1990-2006, now accounting for 26.5% of the borough’s total population, for a total of 597,773.

  • Queens has the largest Colombian population in NYCmarker, accounting for 76.6% of the city’s total Colombian population, for a total of 80,116.
  • Queens has the largest Ecuadorianmarker population in NYCmarker, accounting for 62.2% of the city’s total Ecuadorianmarker population, for a total of 101,339.
  • Queens has the largest Peruvianmarker population in NYCmarker, accounting for 69.9% of the city’s total Peruvianmarker population, for a total of 30,825
  • The Mexicanmarker population in Queens has increased 457% to 71,283, the second highest in NYCmarker.

Queens is home to 49.6% of NYC's Asian population. Among the five boroughs, Queens has the largest population of Chinese-, Asian Indian-, Korean-, Filipino-, Bangladeshi- and Pakistani-Americans. Queens has the largest Asian American population-by-county outside of the Western United States: According to the 2006 American Community Survey, Queens ranks 5th among US counties with 477,772 (21.18%) Asian Americans, behind Los Angeles County, California, Honolulu County, Hawaiimarker, Santa Clara County, Californiamarker, and Orange County, Californiamarker. The 2000 census showed that the borough is home to the largest concentration of Indian-Americans in the nation, with a total population of 129,715 (5.79% of the borough population),as well as Pakistani-Americans, who number 15,604.Queens has the second largest Sikh population in the nation after Californiamarker.

  • Chinese: 173,123; 39.8% of the city’s total Chinese population.
  • Indian: 147,525; 64% Asian Indian population.
  • Korean: 65,131; 66.4% of the city’s total Korean population.
  • Filipino: 41,784; 61.3% of the city’s total Filipino population.
  • Bangladeshi: 18,310; 66% of the city’s total Bangladeshi population.
  • Pakistani: 10,884; 39.5% of the city’s total Pakistani population.

According to author Mordecai Plaut , a 2002 UJA/Federation of New York study found that Queens was home to 186,000 Jewish Americans at the time.

Population of Queens County
1698 3,565
1771 10,980
1790 16,014 9,855 6,159 -
1800 16,916 10,274 6,642 7.8%
1810 19,336 11,892 7,444 12.1%
1820 21,519 13,273 8,246 10.8%
1830 22,460 13,411 9,049 9.7%
1840 30,324 15,844 14,480 60.0%
1850 36,833 18,240 18,593 28.4%
1860 57,391 24,488 32,903 77.0%
1870 73,803 28,335 45,468 38.2%
1880 90,574 34,015 56,559 24.4%
1890 128,059 41,009 87,050 53.9%
1900 152,999 75.8%
1910 284,041 85.6%
1920 469,042 65.1%
1930 1,079,129 130.1%
1940 1,297,634 20.2%
1950 1,550,849 19.5%
1960 1,809,578 16.7%
1970 1,986,473 9.8%
1980 1,891,325 – 4.8%
1990 1,951,598 3.2%
2000 2,229,379 14.2%

There were 782,664 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,439, and the median income for a family was $42,608. Males had a median income of $30,576 versus $26,628 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,222. About 16.9% of families and 21.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over. In Queens the black population earns more than whites on average.Many of these African-Americans live in quiet middle class suburban neighborhoods near the Nassau Countymarker border, such as Laurelton and Cambria Heights which have large black populations whose family income is higher than average. Those areas are known for their well kept homes, suburban feel and low crime rate. The migration of whites from parts of Queens has been long ongoing with departures from Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Bellerose, Floral Park, and Flushing. etc (most of the outgoing population has been replaced with Asian Americans). Neighborhoods such as Whitestone, College Point, North Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside, Middle Village, Little Neck, and Douglaston have not had a substantial exodus of white residents, but have seen an increase of Asian population (mostly South Korean). Queens has recently experienced a real estate boom making most of its neighborhoods very desirable for people who want to reside near Manhattan in a less urban setting. According to a 2001 Claritas study, Queens is the most diverse county in the United States among counties of 100,000+ population.There are 138 languages spoken in the borough.The top languages include:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Chinese
  4. Korean
  5. Italian
  6. Greek
  7. Russian
  8. Tagalog
  9. French
  10. Punjabi
  11. Guarati
  12. Arabic


Queens was an epicenter of jazz in the 1940s. Such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald found refuge from segregation in the mixed communities of the borough, while a younger generation — Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and others — were developing bebop in the clubs of Harlem. Queens is also one of the epicenters of rap and hip-hop with artists such ranging from Run-D.M.C., A Tribe Called Quest and LL Cool J to Nas and Mobb Deep. Lastly in Queens was where the majority of punk rock band The Ramones were raised.

Western Queens is becoming an artistic hub, including SculptureCenter, the Flux Factory, the Noguchi Museummarker, Socrates Sculpture Parkmarker, Fisher Landau Center, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs , and the Museum of the Moving Image. The P.S.marker 1 Contemporary Art Centermarker in the neighborhood of Long Island City is one of the largest and oldest institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. In addition to its renowned exhibitions, the institution also organizes the prestigious International and National Projects series, the Warm Up summer music series, and the Young Architects Program with The Museum of Modern Art. The current poet laureate of Queens is Ishle Yi Park.

Queens is home to many other cultural institutions, including among others:

Queens was the setting for path breaking 1970s sitcom, All in the Family. It is featured in the Spider-Man comics and films as the home of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. On Ugly Betty it is also home to Betty and her family. TV shows shot in Queens include Sesame Street (at Kaufman Astoria Studiosmarker) and 30 Rock (at Silvercup Studiosmarker, although the show's fictional setting is across the East Rivermarker in Manhattan). The two studios have also served as the site for many movies, music videos and commercials.


Queens was the home of Shea Stadiummarker, the former home of New York Mets of Major League Baseball and the New York Jets of the National Football League, as well as the temporary home of the New York Yankees and the New York Football Giants. Citi Fieldmarker, the Mets' current home, is located adjacent to where Shea once stood. The US Openmarker tennis tournament is played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centermarker, located just south of Citi Field in Flushing Meadows-Corona Parkmarker. The US Open was formerly played at the West Side Tennis Clubmarker in Forest Hillsmarker. Queens is also the home of Aqueduct Racetrackmarker, located in Ozone Parkmarker. Just over the Queens line (in Nassau Countymarker) is Belmont Parkmarker Race Track, the home of the Belmont Stakes. In the past, Extreme Championship Wrestling has been held at an Elks lodge in Elmhurstmarker.


Queens is home to restaurants from all cultures. A wide variety of foods from all different cultures, particularly Chinese, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Filipino, Indian, Haitian, Korean, Mexican restaurants, along Roosevelt Avenue; Dominican food in Corona and African-American cuisine in Jamaica. Other cultures, such as Greek, Arab, Latin American, and Southeast Asian, have very prominent standings in Astoria. There are several Bukharian restaurants that serve Central Asian food all around Forest Hills and Rego Park.


Queensboro Bridge facing the neighborhood of Long Island City.

Queens has crucial importance in international and interstate air traffic. Two of the New York metropolitan areamarker's three major airports are located there; LaGuardia Airportmarker is in northern Queens, while John F. Kennedy International Airportmarker is to the south on the shores of Jamaica Baymarker. AirTrain JFK provides a rail link between JFK and local rail lines.

A commuter train system, the Long Island Rail Road, operates 20 stations in Queens with service to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Jamaica Stationmarker is a hub station where all the lines in the system but one (the Port Washington Branch) converge. It is the busiest commuter rail hub in the United States. Sunnyside Yardmarker is used as a staging area by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit for intercity and commuter trains from Penn Station in Manhattan.

Twelve New York City Subway routes traverse Queens, serving 81 stations on seven main lines. The A, G, J, and M routes connect Queens to Brooklyn without going through Manhattan first. The F, N, and R trains connect Queens and Brooklyn via Manhattan, while the E, V, W, and 7 connect Queens to Manhattan only.

About 100 local bus routes move people around within Queens, and another 15 express routes shuttle commuters between Queens and Manhattan, under the MTA New York City Bus and MTA Bus brands.

Queens is traversed by three trunk east-west highways. The Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) runs from the Queens Midtown Tunnelmarker on the west through the borough to Nassau County on the east. The Grand Central Parkway, whose western terminus is the Robert F.marker Kennedy Bridgemarker, extends east to the Queens/Nassau border, where its name changes to the Northern State Parkway. The Belt Parkway begins at the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, and extends east into Queens, past Aqueduct Racetrackmarker and JFK Airport. On its eastern end at the Queens/Nassau border, it splits into the Southern State Parkway which continues east, and the Cross Island Parkway which turns north.

There are also several major north-south highways in Queens, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278), the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678), the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295), and the Cross Island Parkway.


The streets of Queens are laid out in a semi-grid system, with a numerical system of street names (similar to Manhattan and the Bronx). Nearly all roadways oriented north-south are "Streets", while east-west roadways are "Avenues", beginning with the number 1 in the west for Streets and in the north for Avenues. In some parts of the borough, several consecutive streets may share numbers (for instance, 72nd Street followed by 72nd Place, or 52nd Avenue followed by 52nd Road, 52nd Drive, and 52nd Court), often causing confusion for non-residents. In addition, incongruous alignments of street grids, unusual street paths due to geography, or other circumstances often lead to the skipping of numbers (for instance, on Ditmars Boulevard, 70th Street is followed by Hazen Street which is followed by 49th Street).

This confusion stems from the fact that many of the village street grids of Queens had only worded names, some were numbered according to local numbering schemes, and some had a mix of words and numbers. In the early 1920s a "Philadelphia Plan" was instituted to overlay one numbered system upon the whole borough. Train stations were only partly renamed, thus now share dual names after the original street names. On the number 7 line in Sunnyside, there are 40th-Lowery St.marker, 46th-Bliss St.marker, 52nd St.-Lincoln Ave.marker and so forth. Numbered roads tend to be residential, although numbered commercial streets are not rare.

A fair number of streets that were country roads in the 18th and 19th centuries (especially major thoroughfares such as Northern Boulevard, Queens Boulevardmarker, Hillside Avenue, and Jamaica Avenue) carry names rather than numbers, typically though not uniformly called "Boulevards" or "Parkways".

The Rockaway Peninsula does not follow the same system as the rest of the borough and has its own numbering system. Streets are numbered in ascending order heading west from near the Nassau County border, and are prefixed with the word "Beach." Streets at the easternmost end, however, are nearly all named. Another deviance from the norm is Broad Channelmarker; it maintains the north-south numbering progression but uses only the suffix "Road," as well as the prefixes "West" and "East," depending on location relative to Cross Bay Boulevard, the neighborhood's major through street.

The other exception is the neighborhood of Ridgewood, which for the most part shares a grid and house numbering system with the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwickmarker. The grid runs east-west from the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch right-of-way to Flushing Avenue; and north-south from Forest Avenue in Ridgewood to Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn before adjusting to meet up correctly with the Bedford-Stuyvesantmarker grid at Broadway. All streets on the grid have names.


250 pixel
Queens is connected to the Bronx by the Bronx Whitestone Bridgemarker, the Throgs Neck Bridgemarker, the Robert F.marker Kennedy Bridgemarker and the Hell Gate Bridge. Queens is connected to Manhattan by the Robert F.marker Kennedy Bridgemarker, the Queensboro Bridgemarker, and the Queens Midtown Tunnelmarker; and to Roosevelt Islandmarker by the Roosevelt Island Bridgemarker.

While most of the Queens/Brooklyn border is on land, the Kosciuszko Bridge crosses the Newtown Creek connecting Maspeth to Greenpoint, Brooklynmarker. The Pulaski Bridgemarker connects McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint to 11th Street, Jackson Avenue, and Hunters Point Avenue in Long Island City. The Greenpoint Avenue Bridge connects Greenpoint and Long Island City avenues of the same name, which, east of Queens Boulevard (NY-25), becomes Roosevelt Avenue. A lesser bridge connect Grand Avenue in Queens to Grand Street in Brooklyn.

The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridgemarker traverses Jamaica Bay to connect the Rockaway Peninsula to the rest of Queens. Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridgemarker links the western part of the Peninsula with Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn's longest thoroughfare. Both crossings were built and continue to be operated by what is now known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The IND Rockaway Line parallels the Cross Bay, has a mid-bay station at Broad Channelmarker which is just a short walk from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refugemarker, now part of Gateway National Recreation Area and a major stop onthe Atlantic Flyway.

One year-round scheduled ferry service connects Queens and Manhattan. New York Water Taxi operates service across the East Rivermarker from Hunters Pointmarker in Long Island City to Manhattan at 34th Street and south to Pier 11 at Wall Streetmarker. During baseball season, New York Waterway ferries operate to Shea Stadium for New York Mets weekend home games.In 2007, limited weekday service was begun between Breezy Pointmarker, the westernmost point in the Rockaways, to Pier 11 via theBrooklyn Army Terminalmarker. Summertime weekend service provides service from Lower Manhattan and southwest Brooklyn to the peninsula's Gateway beaches.


Elementary and secondary education

Elementary and secondary school education in Queens is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States. Most private schools are affiliated to or identify themselves with the Roman Catholic or Jewish religious communities.

Postsecondary institutions

  • LaGuardia Community Collegemarker, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), is known as "The World's Community College" for its diverse international student body representing more than 150 countries and speaking over 100 languages. The college has been named a National Institution of Excellence by the Policy Center on the First Year of College and one of the top three large community colleges in the United States.
The college hosts the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.

  • Queens College is one of the elite colleges in the CUNY system. Established in 1937 to offer a strong liberal arts education to the residents of the borough, Queens College has over 16,000 students including more than 12,000 undergraduates and over 4,000 graduate students. Students from 120 different countries speaking 66 different languages are enrolled at the school, which is located in Flushing. Queens College is also the host of CUNY's law school. The Queens College Campus is also the home of Townsend Harris High School and the Queens College School for Math, Science, and Technology (PS/IS 499).

  • St. John's Universitymarker is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Fathers. With over 19,000 students, St. John's is known for its pharmacy, business and law programs as well as its men's basketball and soccer teams.

  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is a private, cutting edge, degree granting institution located across the Grand Central Parkway from LaGuardia Airport. Its presence underscores the importance of aviation to the Queens economy.

  • York Collegemarker is one of CUNY's leading general-purpose liberal arts colleges, granting bachelor's degrees in more than 40 fields, as well as a combined BS/MS degree in Occupational Therapy. Noted for its Health Sciences Programs York College is also home to the Northeast Regional Office of the Food and Drug Administration.

Public Library

The Queens Borough Public Librarymarker is the public library system for the borough and one of three library systems serving New York City. Dating back to the foundation of the first Queens library in Flushing in 1858, the Queens Borough Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in the United States. Separate from the New York Public Librarymarker, it is composed of 63 branches throughout the borough. In fiscal year 2001, the Library achieved a circulation of 16.8 million. First in circulation in New York State since 1985, the Library has maintained the highest circulation of any city library in the country since 1985 and the highest circulation of any library in the nation since 1987. The Library maintains collections in many languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, Polish, and six Indic languages, as well as smaller collections in 19 other languages.

External links


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