As one of the most famous and influential cities in the world, New York City needs no introduction. However, its precise location within the United States is sometimes confused, especially by international visitors and non-Americans.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: New York City is located in the state of New York. It comprises five boroughs and is situated where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll pinpoint where New York City is on a map of the U.S., explain its political status within New York State, describe its geographical boundaries and neighborhoods, compare it to New York State’s other cities, and clear up any common misconceptions about the Big Apple’s location.

New York City on the Map

Northeast U.S. Region

New York City, often referred to as NYC, is located in the northeastern region of the United States. It is situated in the state of New York, which is bordered by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The city itself is not a state but rather the most populous city in the country.

New York City is known for its iconic skyline, which is dominated by skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center. It is a bustling metropolis that attracts millions of tourists each year, offering a wide range of cultural, culinary, and entertainment experiences.

Along the Atlantic Coast

New York City is located along the Atlantic coast, specifically on the eastern edge of the United States. The city stretches across five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. These boroughs are all connected by various bridges and tunnels.

The city’s coastal location not only provides stunning views of the ocean but also offers access to beautiful beaches like Coney Island and Rockaway Beach. New Yorkers and visitors alike can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports during the warmer months.

At a Major Harbor

New York City is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This strategic location has made NYC one of the most important harbors in the world. The city’s port handles a significant amount of international trade, making it a key economic hub.

The harbor also serves as a gateway for cruises, allowing travelers to embark on journeys to various destinations around the world. Additionally, the waterfront areas of New York City, such as Battery Park and the South Street Seaport, offer picturesque views and opportunities for leisurely strolls.

For more information about New York City and its geography, you can visit

New York City’s Political Status

Part of New York State

New York City, often referred to as NYC, is located within the state of New York. It is not a separate state but is one of the major cities within the state. With a population of over 8 million people, NYC is the most populous city in the United States.

Being part of New York State, NYC is subject to the laws and regulations set forth by the state government. It is important to note that while NYC is a part of New York State, it has its own local government and is governed differently from other parts of the state.

Not the State Capital

Contrary to popular belief, New York City is not the capital of New York State. The capital of New York is Albany, which is located about 150 miles north of NYC. Albany serves as the administrative center for the state government and is where the governor’s office and other state agencies are located.

Despite not being the state capital, New York City is often considered the economic and cultural capital of the state and is recognized globally as one of the most influential cities in the world.

Governed by a Mayor

New York City is governed by a mayor who is elected by the residents of the city. The mayor is responsible for overseeing various aspects of the city’s administration, including public safety, education, transportation, and housing.

Currently, the mayor of New York City is Bill de Blasio. The mayor’s office plays a crucial role in shaping the city’s policies and initiatives, as well as addressing the needs and concerns of its residents.

If you want to learn more about the government and governance of New York City, you can visit the official website of the City of New York:

Geographical Boundaries and Boroughs

New York City, often referred to as NYC, is located in the state of New York. It is the most populous city in the United States and is known for its iconic landmarks, bustling streets, and diverse culture.

When it comes to the geographical boundaries of New York City, it is helpful to understand the boroughs that make up this vibrant metropolis.

5 Boroughs

New York City is comprised of five boroughs, each with its own unique character and attractions. These boroughs are:

  • Manhattan: Known as the heart of New York City, Manhattan is home to famous neighborhoods like Times Square, Central Park, and Wall Street.
  • Brooklyn: With its trendy vibe and diverse communities, Brooklyn has become a hotspot for artists, musicians, and food enthusiasts.
  • Queens: Queens is known for its cultural diversity, vibrant neighborhoods, and attractions such as Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
  • The Bronx: The Bronx is famous for being the birthplace of hip-hop music and is home to attractions like the Bronx Zoo and Yankee Stadium.
  • Staten Island: Located in the southwest part of the city, Staten Island offers a more suburban feel and is known for its picturesque views of the New York Harbor.

Bordered by Rivers

New York City is bordered by several rivers, which add to its unique geographical landscape. The Hudson River flows along the western edge of Manhattan, separating it from New Jersey, while the East River separates Manhattan from Brooklyn and Queens.

These rivers not only provide stunning views but also play a vital role in the city’s transportation system, with various bridges and tunnels connecting the boroughs.

Made Up of Islands

One interesting fact about New York City is that it is made up of islands. Manhattan, where the city’s downtown area is located, is an island itself. Other islands within the city’s boundaries include Staten Island, which is the southernmost borough, and parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

These islands contribute to the city’s unique geography and offer residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy waterfront activities and stunning views of the surrounding waterways.

For more information about New York City’s geographical boundaries and its boroughs, you can visit the official website of

Comparison to Other New York State Cities

While New York City is often referred to as just “New York,” it is important to note that it is not the only city in the state. Let’s take a look at how it compares to other major cities in New York.

Much Larger than Albany (the Capital)

One of the key differences between New York City and other cities in the state is its size. Albany, the state capital, has a population of approximately 100,000, while New York City has a population of over 8 million.

This means that New York City is significantly larger, both in terms of population and land area. It is home to iconic landmarks such as Times Square, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty, making it a major tourist destination.

5 Times Bigger than Buffalo

Buffalo, another major city in New York State, is often compared to New York City. However, the two cities are quite different in terms of size. Buffalo has a population of around 260,000, which is significantly smaller than New York City.

In fact, New York City is about five times bigger than Buffalo in terms of population. The bustling streets and skyscrapers of New York City contrast with the more laid-back atmosphere of Buffalo, which is known for its rich history and proximity to Niagara Falls.

Distinct from Upstate New York

It is important to note that New York City is distinct from upstate New York. When people refer to upstate New York, they are generally talking about the region outside of New York City. Upstate New York is known for its beautiful countryside, charming small towns, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

While New York City is a bustling metropolis, upstate New York offers a different experience, with attractions such as the Finger Lakes, the Adirondack Mountains, and the Hudson Valley.

Clearing Up Common Misconceptions

When it comes to the geography of New York City, there are several common misconceptions that often arise. Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions and clear up any confusion.

Not Its Own State

Contrary to popular belief, New York City is not its own state. It is actually located within the state of New York. The city is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

Each borough has its own unique characteristics and attractions, contributing to the vibrant diversity of the city as a whole.

Different from New York State

Although New York City and New York State share the same name, they are distinct entities. New York State is much larger in size and encompasses not only the city, but also vast rural areas, small towns, and other cities.

The state is known for its scenic beauty, including the stunning Adirondack Mountains and the picturesque Finger Lakes region.

Not the Capital of New York

Despite its global prominence and influence, New York City is not the capital of New York. Albany holds the distinction of being the capital city. Albany is located in the eastern part of the state and serves as the political center of New York, housing the state government and many important institutions.

It’s important to clarify these misconceptions to ensure an accurate understanding of the geography and governance of New York City and New York State. For more information, you can visit the official website of the New York State and the New York City government.


While New York City anchors the entire New York metropolitan area, it is just one city within the state. As a major city governed independently from the rest of the state, New York City’s precise location in southern New York State is understandably confusing for those outside the U.S. But rest assured, the Big Apple is proudly situated in the Empire State.

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