Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City, the largest in area and the second-largest in population. Since 1899, Queens has had the same boundaries as Queens County, which is now the second most populous county in New York State and the fourth-most densely populated county in the United States. Queens, as well as neighboring borough Brooklyn, sits on the west end of geographic Long Island. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the United States with a population of over 2.2 million, 48% of whom are foreign-born, representing over 100 different nations and speaking over 138 different languages.
If each New York City borough were an independent city, Queens would be America's fourth most populous city, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens has the second-largest and most diversified economy of all the five boroughs of New York City. Long Island City, on the Queens waterfront across from Manhattan on the East River, is the site of the Citicorp Building, the tallest skyscraper in New York City outside Manhattan and the tallest building on geographic Long Island.
The differing character in the neighborhoods of Queens is reflected by its diverse housing stock ranging from high-density apartment buildings, especially prominent in the more urban areas of central and western Queens, such as Astoria, Long Island City and Ridgewood, to large free-standing single-family homes, common in the eastern part of the borough, in neighborhoods that have a more suburban layout like neighboring Nassau County, such as Little Neck, Douglaston and Bayside.