The entirety and the rest of the New York state are overshadowed by its famous city, New York City. The New York State, however, has a fascinating history and has many current scenes that you should know about. Learn more with these 70 New York State facts.
- 01The state covers an estimated 141,300 km² of area.
- 02Water makes up an estimated 19,000 km² or 14% of the state’s area.
- 03As of 2021, an estimated 20 million people live in the state.
- 04It has an estimated population density of 159 people for every km².
- 05An estimated 44% of the state’s population lives in New York City alone, while another estimated 40% live on Long Island.
New York State has distinct geography.
Most people think that heavily-developed urban areas dominate the state’s landscape. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering the association comes from the state’s most famous city, New York. However, outside the cities, the state has a surprisingly idyllic landscape of forests, lakes, meadows, mountains, and even rivers.
The Allegheny Plateau makes up most of the southern part of the state and rises to merge with the Southern Tier of the Catskill Mountains. The Great Appalachian Valley makes up the state’s northeast, while the Hudson Valley makes up the state’s southeast. Finally, the rest of the state stands on the Marcellus Shale, which extends west to Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The state has various water bodies and island groups in its area.
These include the Hudson River, which begins in the Adirondack Mountains and flows through the eastern part of the state to empty into the Upper New York Bay. There’s also Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara River, and the Saint Lawrence River.
As for islands, Manhattan Island makes up the most important island in the state, followed soon after by Staten Island and Long Island. In fact, these three islands share four of five boroughs that together form New York City. New York State also shares the Thousand Islands Archipelago with the Canadian province of Ontario, given the archipelago’s location on the Saint Lawrence River.
Mount Marcy makes up its highest point.
Located in New York State’s Essex County, Mount Marcy rises to an estimated height of 1.63 km. This height proved a factor in its Native American names, Tewawe’éstha, or “it pierces” in Mohawk, and Tahawus, or “cloud-piercer” in Algonquin. In contrast, its English name comes from William Marcy, who served as Governor of New York State between 1833 and 1838. He gained this honor from ordering the survey of the surrounding region, with a team of climbers reaching the mountain’s summit on August 1837.
The mountain also gained a place in American history when then-Vice President Teddy Roosevelt went hunting on its slopes. In the middle of the hunt, messages arrived informing him of US President William McKinley’s assassination. This forced Roosevelt to immediately return to Washington D.C., where he found himself sworn in as the new President of the United States.
New York State enjoys a mostly uniform climate.
Specifically, a humid continental climate, featuring warm summers as well as long and cold winters. In contrast, New York City makes up a small exception within the state, with a humid subtropical climate. This gives the city and its surroundings hot and humid summers as well as cold and wet winters. Scientists attribute this difference to the city’s closeness to the Atlantic Ocean, which increases the humidity in the air.
Temperatures across the state tend to average between 23 and 28 degrees Celsius in the summer, and between 15 and 25 degrees below zero Celsius in winter. On average, the state enjoys an estimated 1.5 meters of rain in a single year.
Climate change has become a major issue in the state.
Scientists have noted that New York State has seen average temperatures rise by 3 degrees over the last century. They’ve also predicted, based on current trends on global greenhouse gas emissions, that temperatures will rise by another nine degrees by 2080. They also expect that by that time, the state will have a humid subtropical climate. Rising sea levels from melting Arctic and Antarctic ice caused by global warming also prove a major concern.
Scientists predict that by 2080, sea levels in the state will rise by over a meter, with property damages in the billions of dollars. More than that, they expect that same rise in sea levels to completely submerge the Southampton Barrier Islands.