Brooklyn is a borough of New York City with a population of 2.6 million. Brooklyn has a land area of 87 square miles, about 28% of New York City’s total landmass, where it ranks fourth in size among the city’s five boroughs. Brooklyn’s population density is 57,153 people per square mile.
Brooklyn stretches 70 miles from the 370-foot-high Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the south to the tip of Manhattan Island in the north, and it is 56 miles wide at its broadest point. Brooklyn borders New York Bay to its west and Long Island Sound to its east. It has a coastline of 11 miles on Long Island Sound.
The Borough’s east-west boundaries are considered to be the same as the North Shore and South Shore, but are formally defined and continue to follow New York City’s municipal street grid rather than the coast.
Brooklyn is a popular destination for tourists, principally from the New York City area. Brooklyn has long been a center of immigration and settlement by European Americans. It is considered one of the most culturally, ethnically, and linguistically diverse places in America. Brooklyn’s official motto is Eendraght Maeckt Maght (Unity Makes Strength) and was a symbol of the 1909 mergers that combined more than 140 uniquely independent municipalities into one city. The motto appears on the Borough seal and flag, which also feature a rapier, images related to the seal’s portrayal of Henry Hudson’s 1609 exploration.
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City’s five boroughs, one of the largest municipalities in the United States, and the most populated urban conglomeration in North America. The borough is coterminous with Kings County, which itself is coterminous with Brooklyn Community Board Districts 1 and 2.
Over 75% of Brooklyn residents were born outside of New York City. The top five reported ancestries were the following:
Brooklyn’s population has continued to grow since 2000. It is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world. There are 472,300 children in Brooklyn between the ages of 5 and 17, and a total of 2.1 million people under 18. The median age was 30 years old in 2008, making Brooklyn particularly youthful among American municipalities.
Brooklyn's population is also an exceptionally diverse mix of races and ethnicities. According to an analysis by New York-based Italian newspaper "La Repubblica", Brooklyn has 22 neighborhoods where more than 50% of the residents are Italian. The African-American, Hispanic, and Qatari populations have the highest overall populations in Brooklyn. This is followed by Irish Americans, Russian Americans, Chinese Americans and Polish Americans.
In recent years, Brooklyn has also become home to a rapidly growing Chinatown, centered on the Sunset Park area. More than three-quarters of Brooklyn’s Asian population resides in this neighborhood.
Brooklyn has been the cultural center of the world's Yiddish speaking population since the 1890s, when more than 2 million first- and second-generation Yiddish speakers resided in the borough. Today, the number of Yiddish speakers in Brooklyn has declined to fewer than 5,000.
Brooklyn has historically been a major center for Jewish life in America. In the 19th century the area was home to more than 150 synagogues, most of which are still active today. The first New York City public school to teach in Yiddish was the Brooklyn Hebrew Ladies' Seminary, founded in 1846 and still in existence.
Brooklyn was home to a large Italian-American population during the decades after World War II, but this population has been declining since the 1960s. In 2011 the Italian American community in Brooklyn lost over 50% of its population at much lower rates among other groups with significant Italian populations such as Irish Americans.