Staten Island is one of 5 boroughs in New York City and located in the southwest area of the city. Staten Island is separated from New York by the New York Bay and New Jersey by the Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill (tidal straits).
Staten Island has an estimated population of 475,000, which makes it the least populated of the five boroughs, despite being the third-largest with 59 square miles of land. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as "the forgotten borough" by residents who feel neglected. Staten Island has a population density of 8,112 people per square mile, or 3,132 per square kilometer.
The most urban part of the island is the North Shore, with the neighborhoods of Stapleton, Clifton, Tompkinsville and St. George. The East Shore, meanwhile, has the FDR Boardwalk, which is the 4th longest boardwalk in the world at 2.5 miles. The West Shore is the least populated and mostly industrial while the South Shore is primarily suburbs.
Staten Island Demographics
According to the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic breakdown of Staten Island was:
- White: 75.7% (Non-Hispanic: 65%)
- Black or African American: 10.6%
- Asian: 7.5%
- 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native
- Other race (non-Hispanic): 0.2%
- Two or more races: 2.6%
- Hispanic or Latino of any race: 17.3%
Staten Island is the only New York City borough with a non-Hispanic white majority. About 20% of the population is foreign born, but 78% were born were the United States.
Common European ancestry groups in Staten Island:
- Italian: 34.7%
- Irish: 14.2%
- German: 5.7%
- Russian: 3.8%
- Polish: 3.4%
- English: 1.6%
- Ukrainian: 1.3%
- Norwegian: 1.0%
- Greek: 1.0%
There is a large Russian population on Staten Island in South Beach, Great Kills and Rossville, as well as a large Polish community in Midland Beach and South Beach. On the northeastern tip of the island and around Victory Boulevard there is a sizable Sri Lankan population. Little Sri Lanka of Staten Island is one of the largest Sri Lankan communities outside of Sri Lanka. There is also a community of Chinanteco-speaking Mexican Americans. Most of the Hispanic and African American people in Staten Island live north of the Staten Island Expressway.
Staten Island Facts
- Before it was closed in 2001, Staten Island had the world's largest landfill. It was temporarily reopened to receive debris from the September 11th terrorist attacks. It will be turned into the second largest public park of New York City.
- The Staten Island Ferry connects Staten Island to Manhattan and offers views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
- Staten Island is the only borough with a non-Hispanic white majority.
- Scheduled to be completed in 2016, the New York Wheel may become the world's tallest Ferris wheel once it's constructed in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island.
- Movies filmed in Staten Island include The Godfather, GoodFellas, Analyze This, Big Daddy and a Beautiful Mind.
- Once it is completed, Freshkills Park in Staten Island will be 3x larger than Central Park.
- The towns of Staten Island were dissolved in 1898 and consolidated into the City of Greater New York. The jail system was not transferred until 1942, however, unlike the other boroughs. A 1993 referendum to secede from NYC had a 65% vote to secede, but it was blocked.
- The area was named Statten Eylandt by Henry Hudson in 1609.