New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. 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 capital of the world.
Located 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 2012 population of 8,336,697 distributed over a land area of just 302.64 square miles (783.8 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 2012 census estimates, the New York Metropolitan Area's population remains by a significant margin the United States' largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, with approximately 19.8 million people, and is also part of the most populous Combined Statistical Area in the United States, containing an estimated 23.4 million people.
Manhattan is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is coterminous with New York County, an original county of the U.S. state of New York. The borough mostly consists of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson and Harlem Rivers, but also includes several small adjacent islands and a small area on the mainland. Manhattan has been described as the economic and cultural center of the United States and is home to the United Nations Headquarters. Wall Street in Lower Manhattan is one of the financial capitals of the world, has an estimated GDP of over $1.2 trillion, and is home of both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Manhattan's real estate market is among the most expensive in the world, and many multinational media conglomerates are based in the borough.
New York County is the most densely populated county in the United States, more dense than any individual American city. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a 2010 population of 1,585,873 living in a land area of 22.96 square miles (59.5 km2), or about 69,071 residents per square mile (26,668/km²). It is also one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, with a 2005 per capita income above $100,000. Manhattan is the third-largest of New York's five boroughs in population, after Brooklyn and Queens, and it is the smallest borough in land area.