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Brooklyn Bridge spanning the East River at night.
Total Population: 2,504,700
Population Density: 36,356/sq mi (14,037/km2)
Area: 70.61 sq mi (182.9 km2) Land, 26.29 sq mi (68.1 km2) Water, 96.90 sq mi (251.0 km2) Total

Brooklyn Overview

Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with approximately 2.5 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan). It is also the westernmost county on Long Island. Today, if it were an independent city, Brooklyn would rank as the fourth most populous city in the U.S., behind only the other boroughs of New York City combined, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Brooklyn was an independent city until it was annexed by New York City in 1898. It continues to maintain a distinct culture. The borough is known for its cultural, social and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods and a distinctive architectural heritage. It is also the only borough outside of Manhattan with a distinct downtown neighborhood. The borough features a long beachfront and Coney Island, established in the 1870s as one of the earliest amusement grounds in the country. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate.

Brooklyn's official motto is Eendraght Maeckt Maght. Written in the early modern spelling of the Dutch language, it is inspired by the motto of the United Dutch Provinces (currently the official motto of Belgium) and translated "Unity makes strength". The motto is displayed on the borough seal and flag, which also feature a young robed woman bearing fasces, a traditional emblem of Republicanism. Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.

Although the borough is largely residential, it has a number of industrial plants. Manufacturing has declined in recent years, but a substantial base has remained in apparel and niche manufacturing concerns such as furniture, fabricated metals, and food products.

Much of the foreign commerce arriving in New York City is handled in Brooklyn's port facilities. Due to a steady influx of immigrants to the borough, service and construction sectors have seen steady gains in the last decade. Still over half the residents work in Manhattan, tying the economic destiny of the two boroughs squarely together.


Brooklyn is at the extreme southwestern tip of Long Island and is separated from downtown Manhattan by the East River. Brooklyn's boundaries are the same as those of Kings County. A belt highway system runs along Brooklyn's shores. The Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and subway tunnels are major links with Manhattan. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge leads to Staten Island.


See: Brooklyn Neighborhoods, Brooklyn Neighborhoods Map.

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