New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world—the New York metropolitan area. The city is referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, of which it is a part. A global power city, New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.
On one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a county of New York State. The five boroughs—the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—were consolidated into a single city in 1898. With a census-estimated 2013 population of 8,405,837 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. By 2013 census estimates, the New York Metropolitan Area's population remains by a significant margin the United States' largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, with approximately 19.9 million people, and is also part of the most populous Combined Statistical Area in the United States, containing an estimated 23.4 million people. New York's 2012 gross metropolitan product of over US$1.3 trillion ranked behind the GDP of only twelve nations.
Central Park is an urban park in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was initially opened in 1857, on 778 acres (315 ha) of city-owned land (it is 843 acres today). In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they titled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year, continued during the American Civil War, and was completed in 1873. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the city government. The Conservancy is a non-profit organization that contributes 83.5% of Central Park's $37.5 million annual budget and employs 80.7% of the park's maintenance staff.