ID:18821 Section: Place

Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Queens ?

Queens Definition

(Wikipedia) - Queens This article is about the New York City borough. For other uses, see Queens (disambiguation). Queens Queens, New York Queens County Country State County City Settled Government  • Type  • Borough President  • District Attorney Area  • Total  • Land  • Water Population (2013)  • Total  • Density ZIP Code prefixes Area code(s) Website
Borough of New York City
Clockwise from top-left: Unisphere, Rockaway Park beach, US Open''s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Queensboro Bridge, Queens-bound 7 train, New York Mets—Citi Field.
Flag Seal
Location of Queens shown in orange, including its two airports and their boundaries.
Coordinates: 40°45′N 73°52′W / 40.750°N 73.867°W / 40.750; -73.867Coordinates: 40°45′N 73°52′W / 40.750°N 73.867°W / 40.750; -73.867
 United States of America
 New York
New York City
Borough (New York City)
Melinda Katz (D) — (Borough of Queens)
Richard Brown — (Queens County)
461.7 km2 (178.28 sq mi)
282.9 km2 (109.24 sq mi)
178.8 km2 (69.04 sq mi)
8,237/km2 (21,333/sq mi)
110--, 111--, 113--, 114--, 116--
718, 347, 917
Official Website of the Queens Borough President

Queens is the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City, geographically adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the western end of Long Island. Coterminous with Queens County since 1899, the borough of Queens is the second-largest in population (behind Brooklyn), with approximately 2.3 million residents in 2013, approximately 48% of them foreign-born; Queens County is also the second most populous county in New York State, behind neighboring Kings County, which is coterminous with the borough of Brooklyn. Queens is the fourth-most densely populated county among New York City''s boroughs, as well as in the United States; and if each New York City borough were an independent city, Queens would also be the nation''s fourth most populous city, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.

The differing character in the neighborhoods of Queens is reflected by its diverse housing stock ranging from high-rise apartment buildings, especially prominent in the more densely urban areas of western and central Queens, such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, Astoria, and Long Island City, 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.

Queens has the second-largest and most diversified economy of all the five boroughs of New York City; the borough is home to two of the three major New York City area airports (and both major airports in New York City proper), JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. These airports are among the busiest in the world, causing the airspace above Queens to be the most congested in the country. Attractions in Queens include Flushing Meadows Park—home to the New York Mets baseball team and the US Open tennis tournament—Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silvercup Studios, and Aqueduct Racetrack.

Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties of New York and was named for the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705), who was at the time queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Queens became a borough of New York City in 1898. From 1683 until 1899, the County of Queens included what is now Nassau County.

New York''s five boroughs overview
Jurisdiction Population Land area
Borough County 1 July 2013 Estimates square miles square km
Manhattan New York 1,626,159 23 59
The Bronx Bronx 1,418,733 42 109
Brooklyn Kings 2,592,149 71 183
Queens Queens 2,296,175 109 283
Staten Island Richmond 472,621 58 151
City of New York 8,405,837 303 786
State of New York 19,651,127 47,214 122,284
Source: United States Census Bureau

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Borough of Queens
  • 2 Geography
    • 2.1 Climate
    • 2.2 Adjacent counties
  • 3 Neighborhoods
  • 4 Demographics
  • 5 Culture
    • 5.1 Languages
    • 5.2 Food
  • 6 Government
  • 7 Economy
    • 7.1 Sports
    • 7.2 Landmarks of Queens
  • 8 Transportation
    • 8.1 Streets
    • 8.2 Waterways
  • 9 Education
    • 9.1 Elementary and secondary education
    • 9.2 Postsecondary institutions
    • 9.3 Public Library
  • 10 Notable people
  • 11 See also
  • 12 Notes
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links

History Part of a series of articles on Topics Regions
  • Geography
  • History
  • Economy
  • Transportation
  • Politics
  • Music
  • People
  • Popular culture
  • Recreation
  • Law enforcement
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Nassau County
  • Suffolk County
  • Municipalities
  • North Shore
  • South Shore
  • North Fork
  • South Fork
  • Long Island Sound
  • Barrier islands
  • v
  • t
  • e

European colonization brought Dutch and English settlers, as a part of the New Netherland colony. First settlements occurred in 1635 followed by early colonizations at Maspeth in 1642, and Vlissingen (now Flushing) in 1643. Other early settlements included Newtown (now Elmhurst) and Jamaica. However, these towns were mostly inhabited by English settlers from New England via eastern Long Island (Suffolk County) subject to Dutch law. After the capture of the colony by the English and its renaming as New York in 1664, the area (and all of Long Island) became known as Yorkshire.

The Flushing Remonstrance signed by colonists in 1657 is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution''s provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. The signers protested the Dutch colonial authorities'' persecution of Quakers in what is today the borough of Queens.

Originally, Queens County included the adjacent area now comprising Nassau County. It was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created on November 1, 1683. It is believed that the county was named after Catherine of Braganza, since she was queen of England at the time. The county was founded alongside Kings County (Brooklyn, which was named after her husband, King Charles II), and Richmond County (Staten Island, named after his illegitimate son, the 1st Duke of Richmond). On October 7, 1691, all counties in the Colony of New York were redefined. Queens gained North Brother Island, South Brother Island, and Huletts Island (today known as Rikers Island). On December 3, 1768, Queens gained other islands in Long Island Sound that were not already assigned to a county but that did not abut on Westchester County (today''s Bronx County).

Queens played a minor role in the American Revolution, as compared to Brooklyn, where the Battle of Long Island was largely fought. Queens, like the rest of Long Island, remained under British occupation after the Battle of Long Island in 1776 and was occupied throughout most of the rest of the war. Under the Quartering Act, British soldiers used, as barracks, the public inns and uninhabited buildings belonging to Queens residents. Even though many local people were against unannounced quartering, sentiment throughout the county remained in favor of the British crown. The quartering of soldiers in private homes, except in times of war, was banned by the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. Nathan Hale was captured by the British on the shore of Flushing Bay in Queens before being executed by hanging in Manhattan for gathering intelligence.

From 1683 until 1784, Queens County consisted of five towns: Flushing, Hempstead, Jamaica, Newtown, and Oyster Bay. On April 6, 1784, a sixth town, the Town of North Hempstead, was formed through secession by the northern portions of the Town of Hempstead.

The seat of the county government was located first in Jamaica, but the courthouse was torn down by the British during the American Revolution to use the materials to build barracks. After the war, various buildings in Jamaica temporarily served as courthouse and jail until a new building was erected about 1787 (and later completed) in an area near Mineola (now in Nassau County) known then as Clowesville. The 1850 census was the first in which the population of the three western towns exceeded that of the three eastern towns that are now part of Nassau County. Concerns were raised about the condition and distance of the old courthouse, and several sites were in contention for the construction of a new one. In 1870, Long Island City split from the Town of Newtown, incorporating itself as a city, consisting of what had been the Village of Astoria and some unincorporated areas within the Town of Newtown. Around 1874, the seat of county government was moved to Long Island City from Mineola.

On March 1, 1860, the eastern border between Queens County (later Nassau County) and Suffolk County was redefined with no discernible change. On June 8, 1881, North Brother Island was transferred to New York County. On May 8, 1884, Rikers Island was transferred to New York County. In 1885, Lloyd Neck, which was part of the Town of Oyster Bay and was earlier known as Queens Village, seceded from Queens and became part of the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County. On April 16, 1964, South Brother Island was transferred to Bronx County.

Borough of Queens See also: History of New York City, List of former municipalities in New York City and List of streetcar lines in QueensLooking south from the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City, this photo was published in 1920 by the Queens Chamber of Commerce to illustrate the borough''s "numerous attractive industrial plants"

The New York City Borough of Queens was authorized on May 4, 1897, by a vote of the New York State Legislature after an 1894 referendum on consolidation. The eastern 280 square miles (730 km2) of Queens that became Nassau County was partitioned on January 1, 1899.

Queens Borough was established on January 1, 1898. Long Island City, the towns of Newtown, Flushing, and Jamaica, and the Rockaway Peninsula portion of the Town of Hempstead were merged to form the new borough, dissolving all former municipal governments (Long Island City, the county government, all towns, and all villages) within the new borough. The areas of Queens County that were not part of the consolidation plan, consisting of the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, and the major remaining portion of the Town of Hempstead, remained part of Queens County until they seceded to form the new Nassau County on January 1, 1899. At this point, the boundaries of Queens County and the Borough of Queens became coterminous. With consolidation, Jamaica once again became the county seat, though county offices now extend to nearby Kew Gardens also.

The borough''s administrative and court buildings are presently located in Kew Gardens and downtown Jamaica respectively, two neighborhoods that were villages of the former Town of Jamaica.

From 1905 to 1908 the Long Island Rail Road in Queens became electrified. Transportation to and from Manhattan, previously by ferry or via bridges in Brooklyn, opened up with the Queensboro Bridge finished in 1909, and with railway tunnels under the East River in 1910. From 1915 onward, much of Queens was connected to the New York City subway system. With the 1915 construction of the Steinway Tunnel carrying the IRT Flushing Line between Queens and Manhattan, and the emergent expansion of the use of the automobile, the population of Queens more than doubled in the 1920s, from 469,042 in 1920 to 1,079,129 in 1930. Queens was the site of the 1939 New York World''s Fair and the 1964 New York World''s Fair. LaGuardia Airport, in northern Queens, opened in 1939. Idlewild Airport, in southern Queens and now called JFK Airport, opened in 1948. American Airlines Flight 587 took off from the latter airport on November 12, 2001, but ended up crashing in Queens'' Belle Harbor area, killing 265 people.

In late-October, 2012, much of Queens'' Breezy Point area was destroyed by a massive six-alarm fire caused by Hurricane Sandy.

GeographyNASA Landsat satellite image of Long Island and surrounding areas.

Queens is on the far west section of geographic Long Island and includes a few smaller islands, most of which are in Jamaica Bay forming part of the Gateway National Recreation Area which in turn is one of the National Parks of New York Harbor.

Brooklyn, the only other New York City borough on geographic Long Island, lies just south and west of Queens, with Newtown Creek, an estuary that flows into the East River, forming part of the border. To the west and north is the East River, across which is Manhattan to the west and The Bronx to the north. Nassau County is east of Queens on Long Island. Staten Island is southwest of Brooklyn, and shares only a 3-mile-long water border (in the Outer Bay) with Queens.

The Rockaway Peninsula, the most southernly part of all of Long Island, sits between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, featuring the most prominent public beaches in Queens. Flushing Bay and the Flushing River are in the north, connecting to the East River. The East River opens into Long Island Sound. The midsection of Queens is crossed by the Long Island straddling terminal moraine created by the Wisconsin Glacier.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has an area of 178.3 square miles (462 km2); 109.2 square miles (283 km2) of this is land, and 38.7% is water.


Queens and the rest of New York City has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with partial shielding from the Appalachian Mountains and moderating influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Queens receives plentiful rainfall all year round with 44.8 inches yearly. Extremes are from 107 °F (41.6 °C) to -3 °F (-19.4 °C). Winters are relatively mild compared to other areas of New York State, though snow is common and blizzards occur about every 4–6 years. Springs are unpredictable and can be chilly to very warm. Summers are hot, humid and wet. Fall is very similar to spring and snowfall begins in December.

Climate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1869–present Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °F (°C) Average high °F (°C) Average low °F (°C) Record low °F (°C) Precipitation inches (mm) Snowfall inches (cm) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours Percent possible sunshine
72 (22) 75 (24) 86 (30) 96 (36) 99 (37) 101 (38) 106 (41) 104 (40) 102 (39) 94 (34) 84 (29) 75 (24) 106 (41)
38.3 (3.5) 41.6 (5.3) 49.7 (9.8) 61.2 (16.2) 70.8 (21.6) 79.3 (26.3) 84.1 (28.9) 82.6 (28.1) 75.2 (24) 63.8 (17.7) 53.8 (12.1) 43.0 (6.1) 62.0 (16.7)
26.9 (−2.8) 28.9 (−1.7) 35.2 (1.8) 44.8 (7.1) 54.0 (12.2) 63.6 (17.6) 68.8 (20.4) 67.8 (19.9) 60.8 (16) 50.0 (10) 41.6 (5.3) 32.0 (0) 47.9 (8.8)
−6 (−21) −15 (−26) 3 (−16) 12 (−11) 32 (0) 44 (7) 52 (11) 50 (10) 39 (4) 28 (−2) 7 (−14) −13 (−25) −15 (−26)
3.65 (92.7) 3.09 (78.5) 4.36 (110.7) 4.50 (114.3) 4.19 (106.4) 4.41 (112) 4.60 (116.8) 4.44 (112.8) 4.28 (108.7) 4.40 (111.8) 4.02 (102.1) 4.00 (101.6) 49.94 (1,268.5)
7.0 (17.8) 9.2 (23.4) 3.9 (9.9) 0.6 (1.5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.3 (0.8) 4.8 (12.2) 25.8 (65.5)
10.4 9.2 10.9 11.5 11.1 11.2 10.4 9.5 8.7 8.9 9.6 10.6 122.0
4.0 2.8 1.8 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 2.3 11.4
61.5 60.2 58.5 55.3 62.7 65.2 64.2 66.0 67.8 65.6 64.6 64.1 63.0
162.7 163.1 212.5 225.6 256.6 257.3 268.2 268.2 219.3 211.2 151.0 139.0 2,534.7
54 55 57 57 57 57 59 63 59 61 51 48 57
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990)

See Geography of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.

Climate data for LaGuardia Airport (1981–2010 normals) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °F (°C) Average low °F (°C) Precipitation inches (mm) Snowfall inches (cm) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch)
39.3 (4.1) 42.2 (5.7) 49.8 (9.9) 60.9 (16.1) 71.2 (21.8) 80.5 (26.9) 85.3 (29.6) 83.7 (28.7) 76.3 (24.6) 65.2 (18.4) 54.7 (12.6) 44.3 (6.8) 62.8 (17.1)
26.6 (−3) 28.5 (−1.9) 34.6 (1.4) 44.4 (6.9) 53.9 (12.2) 63.8 (17.7) 69.5 (20.8) 68.9 (20.5) 61.9 (16.6) 51.0 (10.6) 41.8 (5.4) 32.1 (0.1) 48.1 (8.9)
3.19 (81) 2.75 (69.9) 3.97 (100.8) 4.00 (101.6) 3.79 (96.3) 3.94 (100.1) 4.50 (114.3) 4.12 (104.6) 3.73 (94.7) 3.78 (96) 3.41 (86.6) 3.55 (90.2) 44.73 (1,136.1)
8.1 (20.6) 9.3 (23.6) 4.2 (10.7) .5 (1.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) .3 (0.8) 5.2 (13.2) 27.6 (70.2)
10.4 9.6 10.7 10.9 11.1 10.5 9.9 8.7 8.1 8.5 9.2 10.5 118.0
4.7 3.5 2.1 .2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .2 2.6 13.4
Source: NOAA
Climate data for JFK Airport (1981–2010 normals) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Average high °F (°C) Average low °F (°C) Precipitation inches (mm) Snowfall inches (cm) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch)
39.2 (4) 41.8 (5.4) 49.1 (9.5) 59.1 (15.1) 68.4 (20.2) 77.9 (25.5) 83.1 (28.4) 82.0 (27.8) 75.5 (24.2) 64.5 (18.1) 54.4 (12.4) 44.1 (6.7) 61.6 (16.4)
26.3 (−3.2) 28.1 (−2.2) 34.3 (1.3) 43.6 (6.4) 52.8 (11.6) 62.7 (17.1) 68.6 (20.3) 67.9 (19.9) 60.9 (16.1) 49.7 (9.8) 40.8 (4.9) 31.5 (−0.3) 47.3 (8.5)
3.16 (80.3) 2.59 (65.8) 3.78 (96) 3.87 (98.3) 3.94 (100.1) 3.86 (98) 4.08 (103.6) 3.68 (93.5) 3.50 (88.9) 3.62 (91.9) 3.30 (83.8) 3.39 (86.1) 42.77 (1,086.3)
6.8 (17.3) 8.3 (21.1) 3.3 (8.4) .8 (2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) .2 (0.5) 4.7 (11.9) 24.2 (61.5)
10.5 9.6 11.0 11.4 11.5 10.7 9.4 8.7 8.1 8.5 9.4 10.6 119.5
4.7 3.4 2.3 .3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .2 2.8 13.8
Source: NOAA
Adjacent counties
  • Bronx County (borough of the Bronx) (water boundary)
  • Nassau County
  • Kings County (borough of Brooklyn)
  • New York County (borough of Manhattan) (water boundary)
  • Richmond County (borough of Staten Island) (water boundary)
New York County (Manhattan) Bronx County (The Bronx) Long Island Sound
New York County (Manhattan) Nassau County
  Queens County, New York  
Kings County (Brooklyn) Atlantic Ocean Nassau County
NeighborhoodsA typical residential street in Jackson Heights.Long Island City is a neighborhood in western QueensForest Hills GardensRow houses are prominent in many Queens neighborhoods, including Ridgewood (seen here)Main article: Neighborhoods of New York City See also: List of Queens neighborhoods

Four United States Postal Service post offices serve Queens, based roughly on those serving the towns in existence at the consolidation of the five boroughs into New York City: Long Island City (ZIP codes starting with 111), Jamaica (114), Flushing (113), and Far Rockaway (116). In addition the Floral Park post office (110), based in Nassau County, serves a small part of northeastern Queens. Each of these main post offices have neighborhood stations with individual ZIP codes, and unlike the other boroughs, these station names are often used in addressing letters. These ZIP codes do not always reflect traditional neighborhood names and boundaries; "East Elmhurst", for example, was largely coined by the USPS and is not an official community. Most neighborhoods have no solid boundaries. The Forest Hills and Rego Park neighborhoods, for instance, overlap.

Residents of Queens often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity:

  • Howard Beach, Whitestone, and Middle Village are home to large Italian American populations.
  • Ozone Park and South Ozone Park have large Italian American, Hispanic, and Guyanese populations.
  • Rockaway Beach has a large Irish American population.
  • Astoria, in the northwest, is traditionally home to one of the largest Greek populations outside Greece, it also has large Spanish American and Italian American communities, and is also home to a growing population of Arabs, South Asians, and young professionals from Manhattan. Nearby Long Island City is a major commercial center and the home to Queensbridge, the largest housing project in North America.
  • Maspeth and Ridgewood are home to many Eastern European immigrants such as Romanian, Polish, Albanian, and other Slavic populations. Ridgewood also has a large Hispanic population.
  • Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst make up an conglomeration of Hispanic, Asian-American, Tibetan, and South Asian communities.
  • Woodside is home to a large Filipino American community and has a "Little Manila" as well a large Irish American population.
  • Flushing, one of the largest neighborhoods in Queens that has a large Asian community. The community consists of Chinese and Koreans, as well as Hispanics and South Asians. The neighborhood historically contained Italians and Greeks.
  • Richmond Hill, in the south, is often thought of as "Little Guyana" for its large Guyanese community.
  • Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Kew Gardens Hills have traditionally large Jewish populations (many of these communities are Jewish immigrants from Israel, Iran and the former Soviet Union). Also known for large and growing Indian and Hispanic/Latino communities, mainly immigrants from India and South America.
  • Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, and Hollis Hills are also populated with many people of Jewish background. Many Asian families reside in parts of Fresh Meadows as well.
  • Jamaica is home to large African American and Caribbean populations. There are also middle-class African American and Caribbean neighborhoods such as Saint Albans, Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, Laurelton, and Briarwood along east and southeast Queens.
  • Bellerose and Floral Park, originally home to many Irish-Americans, is home to a growing South-Asian population, predominantly Indian-Americans from the northern Indian state of Punjab and the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There are some less diverse, but still prosperous part of Queens, such as South Jamaica.
  • Corona/Corona Heights - Once considered the "Little Italy" of Queens, Corona was a predominantly Italian community with a strong African American community in the northern portion of Corona and adjacent East Elmhurst. From the 1920s through the 1960s, Corona remained a close-knit neighborhood. Corona today has the highest concentration of Latinos of any Queens neighborhood.
  • Bayside, and Little Neck are home to many Italian-Americans, Greek-Americans, Irish-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and Korean-Americans.
Demographics Main article: Demographics of Queens Queens, New York Census Pop.%±
1790 6,159
1800 6,642 7.8%
1810 7,444 12.1%
1820 8,246 10.8%
1830 9,049 9.7%
1840 14,480 60.0%
1850 18,593 28.4%
1860 32,903 77.0%
1870 45,468 38.2%
1880 56,559 24.4%
1890 87,050 53.9%
1900 152,999 75.8%
1910 284,041 85.6%
1920 469,042 65.1%
1930 1,079,129 130.1%
1940 1,297,634 20.2%
1950 1,550,849 19.5%
1960 1,809,578 16.7%
1970 1,986,473 9.8%
1980 1,891,325 −4.8%
1990 1,951,598 3.2%
2000 2,229,379 14.2%
2010 2,230,722 0.1%
Est. 2013 2,296,175 2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census 2013 Estimate
Racial composition 2013 1990 1970 1950
White 49.7% 57.9% 85.3% 96.5%
—Non-Hispanic 26.7% 48.0% n/a n/a
Black or African American 20.9% 21.7% 13.0% 3.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 28.0% 19.5% 7.7% n/a
Asian 25.2% 12.2% 1.1% 0.1%
The Elmhurst Chinatown (艾姆赫斯特 唐人街) at the corner of Broadway and Dongan Avenue.Street scene in Astoria, a largely Greek-American neighborhood.

There is reason to question Census totals for Queens. The New York City Department of City Planning was alarmed by the negligible reported increase in population between 2000 and 2010. Areas with high proportions of immigrants and undocumented aliens are traditionally undercounted for a variety of reasons. New housing and transit statistics suggest otherwise but corrective formulas were not applied. The racial breakdown of the population is similarly suspect. Foreign born people frequently do not interpret racial definitions as the Census suggests.

According to 2012 Census Estimates, 27.2% of the population was White, 20.9% Black or African American, 24.8% Asian, 12.9% from some other race, and 2.7% of two or more races. 27.9% of Queens''s population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race). (Data from US Census)

Among the Asian population, people of Chinese ethnicity make up the largest ethnic group at 9.0% of Queens'' population, with about 200,205 people; the other East and Southeast Asian groups are: Koreans (2.9%), Filipinos (1.7%), Japanese (0.3%), Thais (0.2%), Vietnamese (0.2%), and Indonesians and Burmese both make up 0.1% of the population.

People of South Asian descent make up 7.8% of Queens'' population: Indians (5.3%), Bangladeshi (1.5%), Pakistanis (0.7%), and Nepali (0.2%).

Among the Hispanic population, Puerto Ricans make up the largest ethnic group at 4.6%, next to Mexicans, who make up 4.2% of the population, and Dominicans at 3.9%. Central Americans make up 2.4%,Mostly Salvadorans and South Americans constitute 9.6% of Queens''s population, mainly of Ecuadorian (4.4%) and Colombian descent (3.2%).

Approximately 47.8% of the population is foreign-born. Roughly 2.1% of the population was born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, or abroad to American parents. In addition, 51.2% of the population was born in the United States. Approximately 44.2% of the population over 5 years of age speak English at home; 23.8% speak Spanish at home. Also, 16.8% of the populace speak other Indo-European languages at home. Another 13.5% speak an Asian language at home.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,229,379 people, 782,664 households, and 537,690 families residing in the county. The population density was 20,409.0 inhabitants per square mile (7,879.6/km²). There were 817,250 housing units at an average density of 7,481.6 per square mile (2,888.5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 44.08% White, 20.01% Black or African American, 0.50% Native American, 17.56% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 11.68% from other races, and 6.11% from two or more races. 24.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Some main European ancestries in Queens, 2000

  • Italian: 8.4%
  • Irish: 5.5%
  • German: 3.5%
  • Polish: 2.7%
  • Russian: 2.3%
  • Greek: 2.0%

In Queens, 48.5% of the population are foreign-born. Of that, 49.5% were born in Latin America, 33.5% in Asia, 14.8% in Europe, 1.8% in Africa, and 0.4% in North America. The Hispanic or Latino population increased by 61% to 597,773 between 1990 and 2006 and now accounts for 26.5% of the borough''s population.

Queens has the largest Colombian population in NYC, accounting for 76.6% of the city''s total Colombian population, for a total of 80,116.

  • Queens has the largest Ecuadorian population in NYC, accounting for 62.2% of the city''s total Ecuadorian population, for a total of 101,339.
  • Queens has the largest Peruvian population in NYC, accounting for 69.9% of the city''s total Peruvian population, for a total of 30,825
  • The Mexican population in Queens has increased 457% to 71,283, the second highest in NYC, after Brooklyn.
  • Queens has the largest Salvadorans population in NYC, accounting for 50.7% of the city''s for a total population of 25,235

Queens is home to 49.6% of NYC''s Asian population. Among the five boroughs, Queens has the largest population of Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Bangladeshi and Pakistani Americans. Queens has the largest Asian American population by county outside the Western United States: According to the 2006 American Community Survey, Queens ranks 5th among US counties with 477,772 (21.18%) Asian Americans, behind Los Angeles County, California, Honolulu County, Hawaii, Santa Clara County, California, and Orange County, California. The 2000 census showed that the borough is home to the largest concentration of Indian Americans in the nation, with a total population of 129,715 (5.79% of the borough population), as well as Pakistani Americans, who number at 15,604. Queens has the second largest Sikh population in the nation after California.

  • Chinese: 173,123; 39.8% of the city''s total Chinese population.
  • Indian: 147,525; 64% Asian Indian population.
  • Korean: 65,131; 66.4% of the city''s total Korean population.
  • Filipino: 41,784; 61.3% of the city''s total Filipino population.
  • Bangladeshi: 18,310; 66% of the city''s total Bangladeshi population.
  • Pakistani: 10,884; 39.5% of the city''s total Pakistani population.

According to author Mordecai Plaut, a 2011 UJA/Federation of New York study found that Queens was home to 198,000 Jewish Americans, up from 186,000 in 2002.

There were 782,664 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,439, and the median income for a family was $42,608. Males had a median income of $30,576 versus $26,628 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,222. About 16.9% of families and 24.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.8% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over. In Queens, the black population earns more than whites on average. Many of these African Americans live in quiet, middle class suburban neighborhoods near the Nassau County border, such as Laurelton and Cambria Heights which have large black populations whose family income is higher than average. Those areas are known for their well kept homes, suburban feel, and low crime rate. The migration of European Americans from parts of Queens has been long ongoing with departures from Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Bellerose, Floral Park, and Flushing, etc. (most of the outgoing population has been replaced with Asian Americans). Neighborhoods such as Whitestone, College Point, North Flushing, Auburndale, Bayside, Middle Village, Little Neck, and Douglaston have not had a substantial exodus of white residents, but have seen an increase of Asian population (mostly Korean). Queens has recently experienced a real estate boom making most of its neighborhoods very desirable for people who want to reside near Manhattan in a less urban setting. According to a 2001 Claritas study, Queens is the most diverse county in the United States among counties of 100,000+ population.

Culture5 Pointz graffiti exhibit in Long Island CitySee also: Culture of New York City, Music of New York City and List of people from Queens

While Queens has not been the center of any major artistic movements, it has been the home of such notable artists as Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Simon, and Robert Mapplethorpe. The current poet laureate of Queens is Paolo Javier.

Queens has notably fostered African-American culture, with establishments such as The Afrikan Poetry Theatre and the Black Spectrum Theater Company catering specifically to African-Americans in Queens. In the 1940s, Queens was an important center of jazz; such jazz luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald took up residence in Queens, seeking refuge from the segregation they found elsewhere in New York. Additionally, many notable hip-hop acts hail from Queens, including Nas, Run-D.M.C., Kool G Rap, A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, and Heems of Das Racist.

Queens hosts various museums and cultural institutions that serve its diverse communities. They range from the historical (such as the John Bowne House) to the scientific (such as the New York Hall of Science), from conventional art galleries (such as the Noguchi Museum) to unique graffiti exhibits (such as 5 Pointz). Queens''s cultural institutions include, but are not limited to:

  • 5 Pointz
  • Afrikan Poetry Theatre
  • Bowne House
  • Flushing Town Hall
  • King Manor
  • Kupferberg Center for the Arts
  • Noguchi Museum
  • New York Hall of Science
  • P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Queens Museum of Art
  • SculptureCenter
  • Thalia Spanish Theater
  • Ganesh Temple, Flushing, Queens

There are 138 languages spoken in the borough. As of 2010, 43.84% (905,890) of Queens residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 23.88% (493,462) spoke Spanish, 8.06% (166,570) Chinese, 3.44% (71,054) various Indic languages, 2.74% (56,701) Korean, 1.67% (34,596) Russian, 1.56% (32,268) Italian, 1.54% (31,922) Tagalog, 1.53% (31,651) Greek, 1.32% (27,345) French Creole, 1.17% (24,118) Polish, 0.96% (19,868) Hindi, 0.93% (19,262) Urdu, 0.92% (18,931) other Asian languages, 0.80% (16,435) other Indo-European languages, 0.71% (14,685) French, 0.61% (12,505) Arabic, 0.48% (10,008) Serbo-Croatian, and Hebrew was spoken as a main language by 0.46% (9,410) of the population over the age of five. In total, 56.16% (1,160,483) of Queens''s population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.


The cuisine available in Queens reflects its vast cultural diversity. The cuisine of a particular neighborhood often represents its demographics; for example, Astoria hosts many Greek restaurants, in keeping with its traditionally Greek population.

Government Party affiliation of Queens registered voters Party 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
Democratic 62.94% 62.52 62.85 62.79 62.99 62.52 62.30 62.27 62.28 62.33
Republican 14.60% 14.66 14.97 15.04 15.28 15.69 16.47 16.74 16.93 17.20
Other 3.88% 3.93 3.94 3.86 3.37 3.30 3.10 3.20 3.02 2.78
No affiliation 18.58% 18.89 18.24 18.31 18.36 18.49 18.13 17.79 17.77 17.69
Queens County CourthouseMain article: Government of New York City

Since New York City''s consolidation in 1898, Queens has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a strong mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services in Queens.

The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city''s budget and proposals for land use. In 1989 the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional because Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment''s Equal Protection Clause following the high court''s 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.

Since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Queens'' Borough President is Melinda Katz, elected in November 2013 as a Democrat with 80.3% of the vote . Queens Borough Hall is the seat of government and is located in Kew Gardens.

The Democratic Party holds most public offices. Sixty-three percent of registered Queens voters are Democrats. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in Queens include development, noise, and the cost of housing.

Presidential election results Year Republican Democratic
2012 19.9% 118,589 79.1% 470,732
2008 24.4% 145,898 74.9% 447,906
2004 27.4% 165,954 71.7% 433,835
2000 22.0% 122,052 75.0% 416,967
1996 21.1% 107,650 72.9% 372,925
1992 28.3% 157,561 62.9% 349,520
1988 39.7% 217,049 59.5% 325,147
1984 46.4% 285,477 53.3% 328,379
1980 44.8% 251,333 48.0% 269,147
1976 38.9% 244,396 60.5% 379,907
1972 56.3% 426,015 43.4% 328,316
1968 40.0% 306,620 53.6% 410,546
1964 33.6% 274,351 66.3% 541,418
1960 45.1% 367,688 54.7% 446,348
1956 59.9% 471,223 40.1% 315,898

As of 2012, there were four Democrats and one Republican representing Queens in the U.S. Congress:

  • Gary Ackerman represented the fifth district, which included Corona, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Bayside, and Little Neck, as well as northwest Nassau County communities from Great Neck east to Roslyn. On March 15, 2012 Ackerman announced he would not seek re-election.
  • Joseph Crowley represented Woodside, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and College Point in seventh district, as well as the east Bronx from Soundview to City Island, also serves as head of the Queens Democratic Party;
  • Gregory Meeks represented areas in the sixth district including Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Laurelton, Queens Village and Far Rockaway – his was the only congressional district entirely within Queens County;
  • Robert Turner was the representative of the ninth district. He replaced Anthony D. Weiner in a special election when he resigned. The Ninth District included Forest Hills, Rego Park, Middle Village, Fresh Meadows, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach and Rockaway Beach, plus such southeast Brooklyn communities as Midwood, Manhattan Beach and Mill Island;
  • Portions of Woodside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood were represented by Nydia Velazquez, whose largely Brooklyn-based district stretches from Red Hook to Bushwick and included part of Manhattan''s Lower East Side;
  • Astoria and Long Island City were roughly geographically half and demographically a third of the 14th district of Carolyn Maloney, the rest of whose district extended across the east side of Manhattan from the East Village through Carnegie Hill.

Each of the city''s five counties has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Richard A. Brown, who ran on both the Republican and Democratic Party tickets, has been the District Attorney of Queens County since 1991. Queens has 12 seats on the New York City Council, the second largest number among the five boroughs. It is divided into 14 community districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents.

Although it is heavily Democratic, Queens is considered a swing county in New York politics. Republican political candidates who do well in Queens usually win citywide or statewide elections. Republicans such as former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg won majorities in Queens. Republican State Senator Serphin Maltese represented a district in central and southern Queens for twenty years until his defeat in 2008 by Democratic City Councilman Joseph Addabbo. In 2002, Queens voted against incumbent Republican Governor of New York George Pataki in favor of his Democratic opponent, Carl McCall by a slim margin.

Queens has not voted for a Republican candidate in a presidential election since 1972, when Queens voters chose Richard Nixon over George McGovern. Since the 1996 presidential election, Democratic presidential candidates have received over 70% of the popular vote in Queens.

EconomyTWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International AirportSee also: Economy of New York City

Queens has the second-largest economy of New York City''s five boroughs, second only to Manhattan. In 2004, Queens had 15.2% (440,310) of all private sector jobs in New York City and 8.8% of private sector wages. Queens has the most diversified economy of the five boroughs, with evenly spread jobs across the health care, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and film and television production sectors. No single sector is overwhelmingly dominant.

The diversification in Queens'' economy is reflected in the large amount of employment in the export-oriented portions of its economy—such as transportation, manufacturing, and business services—that serve customers outside the region. This accounts for more than 27% of all Queens jobs and offers an average salary of $43,727, 14% greater than that of jobs in the locally oriented sector.

The borough''s largest employment sector—trade, transportation, and utilities—accounted for nearly 30% of all jobs in 2004. Queens is home to two of the three major New York City area airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. These airports are among the busiest in the world, leading the airspace above Queens to be the most congested in the country. This airline industry is particularly important to the economy of Queens, providing almost one quarter of the sector''s employment and more than 30% of the sector''s wages.

Education and health services is the next largest sector in Queens and comprised almost 24% of the borough''s jobs in 2004. The manufacturing and construction industries in Queens are the largest of the City and account for nearly 17% of the borough''s private sector jobs. Comprising almost 17% of the jobs in Queens is the information, financial activities, and business and professional services sectors.

As of 2003, Queens had almost 40,000 business establishments. Small businesses act as an important part of the borough''s economic vitality with two thirds of all business employing between one to four people.

Several large companies have their headquarters in Queens, including watchmaker Bulova, based in East Elmhurst; internationally renowned piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons in Astoria; Glacéau, the makers of Vitamin Water, headquartered in Whitestone; and JetBlue Airways, an airline based in Long Island City.

Long Island City is a major manufacturing and back office center. Flushing is a major commercial hub for Chinese American and Korean American businesses, while Jamaica is the major civic and transportation hub for the borough.

Sports See also: Sports in New York CityCiti Field, the home of the New York Mets, 2010Shea Stadium and vicinity, with Manhattan in the background, 1981

Citi Field, home ballpark of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Shea Stadium, the former home of the Mets and the New York Jets of the National Football League, as well as the temporary home of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants Football Team stood where Citi Field''s parking lot is now located. The US Open tennis tournament is played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, located just south of Citi Field. Arthur Ashe Stadium is the biggest tennis stadium in the world. The US Open was formerly played at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. Queens is also the home of Aqueduct Racetrack, located in Ozone Park. Extreme Championship Wrestling has been held at an Elks lodge in Elmhurst.

Landmarks of Queens Further information: List of New York City Designated Landmarks in Queens Transportation See also: Transportation in New York City46th Street – Bliss Street (IRT Flushing Line) subway stationQueens-Midtown Tunnel

Queens has crucial importance in international and interstate air traffic. Two of the New York metropolitan area''s three major airports are located there; LaGuardia Airport is in northern Queens, while John F. Kennedy International Airport is to the south on the shores of Jamaica Bay. AirTrain JFK provides a rail link between JFK and local rail lines.

Twelve New York City Subway routes traverse Queens, serving 81 stations on seven main lines. The A, G, J, M, and Z routes connect Queens to Brooklyn without going through Manhattan first. The F, M, N, Q, and R trains connect Queens and Brooklyn via Manhattan, while the E, 7, and 7d trains connect Queens to Manhattan only. It is of note that M trains travel through Queens twice in the same trip, as both terminals are in Queens.

A commuter train system, the Long Island Rail Road, operates 22 stations in Queens with service to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Jamaica station is a hub station where all the lines in the system but one (the Port Washington Branch) converge. It is the busiest commuter rail hub in the United States. Sunnyside Yard is used as a staging area by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit for intercity and commuter trains from Penn Station in Manhattan. 61st Street – Woodside acts as one of the many LIRR connections to the New York City Subway.

About 100 local bus routes move people around within Queens, and another 15 express routes shuttle commuters between Queens and Manhattan, under the MTA New York City Bus and MTA Bus brands.

Queens is traversed by three trunk east-west highways. The Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) runs from the Queens Midtown Tunnel on the west through the borough to Nassau County on the east. The Grand Central Parkway, whose western terminus is the Triborough Bridge, extends east to the Queens/Nassau border, where its name changes to the Northern State Parkway. The Belt Parkway begins at the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, and extends east into Queens, past Aqueduct Racetrack and JFK Airport. On its eastern end at the Queens/Nassau border, it splits into the Southern State Parkway which continues east, and the Cross Island Parkway which turns north.

There are also several major north-south highways in Queens, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278), the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678), the Clearview Expressway (Interstate 295), and the Cross Island Parkway.

  • Queensboro Bridge

  • Triborough Bridge

  • Throgs Neck Bridge

  • Air Train JFK path above the Van Wyck Expressway

  • A Queens-bound 7 train pulling into Queensboro Plaza

StreetsStandard cross-street signs in Queens.

The streets of Queens are laid out in a semi-grid system, with a numerical system of street names (similar to Manhattan and the Bronx). Nearly all roadways oriented north-south are "Streets", while east-west roadways are "Avenues", beginning with the number 1 in the west for Streets and in the north for Avenues. In some parts of the borough, several consecutive streets may share numbers (for instance, 72nd Street followed by 72nd Place and 72nd Lane, or 52nd Avenue followed by 52nd Road, 52nd Drive, and 52nd Court), often causing confusion for non-residents. In addition, incongruous alignments of street grids, unusual street paths due to geography, or other circumstances often lead to the skipping of numbers (for instance, on Ditmars Boulevard, 70th Street is followed by Hazen Street which is followed by 49th Street).

The structure of a Queens address was designed to provide convenience in locating the address itself; the first half of a number in a Queens address refers to the nearest cross street, the second half refers to the house or lot number from where the street begins from that cross street, followed by the name of the street itself. For example, to find an address in Queens, 14-01 120th Street, one could ascertain from the address structure itself that the listed address is at the intersection of 14th Avenue and 120th Street, and that the address must be closest to 14th Avenue rather than 15th Avenue, as it is the first lot on the block. This structure doesn''t stop when a street is named either, assuming that there is an existing numbered cross-street. For example, Queens College is situated at 65–30 Kissena Boulevard, and is so named because the cross-street closest to the entrance is 65th Avenue.

This confusion stems from the fact that many of the village street grids of Queens had only worded names, some were numbered according to local numbering schemes, and some had a mix of words and numbers. In the early 1920s a "Philadelphia Plan" was instituted to overlay one numbered system upon the whole borough. Subway stations were only partly renamed, thus now share dual names after the original street names. On the IRT Flushing Line in Sunnyside, there are 33rd – Rawson St., 40th – Lowery St., 46th – Bliss St., 52nd St. – Lincoln Ave. and so forth. Numbered roads tend to be residential, although numbered commercial streets are not rare.

A fair number of streets that were country roads in the 18th and 19th centuries (especially major thoroughfares such as Northern Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, and Jamaica Avenue) carry names rather than numbers, typically though not uniformly called "Boulevards" or "Parkways".

The Rockaway Peninsula does not follow the same system as the rest of the borough and has its own numbering system. Streets are numbered in ascending order heading west from near the Nassau County border, and are prefixed with the word "Beach." Streets at the easternmost end, however, are nearly all named. Streets in Bayswater, which is on Jamaica Bay, has its numbered streets prefixed with the word "Bay" rather than "Beach". Another deviation from the norm is Broad Channel; it maintains the north-south numbering progression but uses only the suffix "Road," as well as the prefixes "West" and "East," depending on location relative to Cross Bay Boulevard, the neighborhood''s major through street. Broad Channel''s streets were a continuation of the mainland Queens grid in the 1950s; formerly the highest numbered avenue in Queens was 208th Avenue rather today''s 165th Avenue in Howard Beach & Hamilton Beach.

The other exception is the neighborhood of Ridgewood, which for the most part shares a grid and house numbering system with the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. The grid runs east-west from the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch right-of-way to Flushing Avenue; and north-south from Forest Avenue in Ridgewood to Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn before adjusting to meet up with the Bedford-Stuyvesant grid at Broadway. All streets on the grid have names.

According to the 2000 Census, 37.7% of all Queens households did not own a car. The citywide rate is 55%.

In 2012, some numbered streets in the Douglaston Hill historic district of Queens were renamed to their original names, with 43rd Avenue becoming Pine Street.

WaterwaysNewtown Creek with the Midtown Manhattan skyline in the background.

Queens is connected to the Bronx by the Bronx Whitestone Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Hell Gate Bridge. Queens is connected to Manhattan by the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, and the Queens Midtown Tunnel; and to Roosevelt Island by the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

While most of the Queens/Brooklyn border is on land, the Kosciuszko Bridge crosses the Newtown Creek connecting Maspeth to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Pulaski Bridge connects McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint to 11th Street, Jackson Avenue, and Hunters Point Avenue in Long Island City. The J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge (a.k.a. Greenpoint Avenue Bridge) connects Greenpoint and Long Island City avenues of the same name, which, east of Queens Boulevard (NY-25), becomes Roosevelt Avenue. A lesser bridge connects Grand Avenue in Queens to Grand Street in Brooklyn.

The Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge traverses Jamaica Bay to connect the Rockaway Peninsula to the rest of Queens. Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge links the western part of the Peninsula with Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn''s longest thoroughfare. Both crossings were built and continue to be operated by what is now known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels. The IND Rockaway Line parallels the Cross Bay, has a mid-bay station at Broad Channel which is just a short walk from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, now part of Gateway National Recreation Area and a major stop on the Atlantic Flyway.

One year-round scheduled ferry service connects Queens and Manhattan. New York Water Taxi operates service across the East River from Hunters Point in Long Island City to Manhattan at 34th Street and south to Pier 11 at Wall Street. In 2007, limited weekday service was begun between Breezy Point, the westernmost point in the Rockaways, to Pier 11 via the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Summertime weekend service provides service from Lower Manhattan and southwest Brooklyn to the peninsula''s Gateway beaches.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012, which caused massive infrastructure damage to the IND Rockaway Line (A train) south of the station at Howard Beach – JFK Airport, severing all direct subway connections between the Rockaway Peninsula and Broad Channel, Queens and the Queens mainland for many months, ferry operator SeaStreak began running a city-subsidized ferry service between a makeshift ferry slip at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park, Queens and Pier 11/Wall Street, then continuing on to the East 34th Street Ferry Landing. In August 2013, a stop was added at Brooklyn Army Terminal. Originally intended as just a stopgap alternative transportation measure until subway service was restored to the Rockaways, the ferry proved to be popular with both commuters and tourists and was extended several times, as city officials evaluated the ridership numbers to determine whether to establish the service on a permanent basis. The fare was raised to $3.50 per ride during the extension period from $2 previously. Since its inception, the service has carried close to 200,000 riders, city officials said. When the city government announced its budget in late June 2014 for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, the ferry only received a $2 million further appropriation, enough to temporarily extend it again through October, but did not receive the approximately $8 million appropriation needed to keep the service running for the full fiscal year. Local officials and community activists expressed dismay with the decision, saying it was a blow to the Rockaways as the area continues to struggle economically in the aftermath of the 2012 hurricane. A spokesperson for the city government''s Economic Development Corporation said that “We will continue to examine ridership and seek a sustainable funding stream that can support the $25-$30 subsidy per trip — the highest by far of any public transportation in the city.”

Education See also: Education in New York City and List of high schools in New York City § Queens Elementary and secondary education

Elementary and secondary school education in Queens is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States. Most private schools are affiliated to or identify themselves with the Roman Catholic or Jewish religious communities.

Postsecondary institutionsQueens College is part of the City University of New York.
  • Bramson ORT College is an undergraduate college in New York City operated by the American branch of the Jewish charity World ORT. Its main campus is in Forest Hills, Queens, with a satellite campus in Brooklyn.
  • LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY), is known as "The World''s Community College" for its diverse international student body representing more than 150 countries and speaking over 100 languages. The college has been named a National Institution of Excellence by the Policy Center on the First Year of College and one of the top three large community colleges in the United States. The college hosts the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.
  • Queens College is one of the elite colleges in the CUNY system. Established in 1937 to offer a strong liberal arts education to the residents of the borough, Queens College has over 16,000 students including more than 12,000 undergraduates and over 4,000 graduate students. Students from 120 different countries speaking 66 different languages are enrolled at the school, which is located in Flushing. Queens College is also the host of CUNY''s law school. The Queens College Campus is also the home of Townsend Harris High School and the Queens College School for Math, Science, and Technology (PS/IS 499).
  • Queensborough Community College, originally part of the State University of New York, is in Bayside and is now part of CUNY. It prepares students to attend senior colleges mainly in the CUNY system.
  • St. John''s University is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Fathers. With over 19,000 students, St. John''s is known for its pharmacy, business and law programs as well as its men''s basketball and soccer teams.
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is a private, cutting edge, degree granting institution located across the Grand Central Parkway from LaGuardia Airport. Its presence underscores the importance of aviation to the Queens economy.
  • York College is one of CUNY''s leading general-purpose liberal arts colleges, granting bachelor''s degrees in more than 40 fields, as well as a combined BS/MS degree in Occupational Therapy. Noted for its Health Sciences Programs York College is also home to the Northeast Regional Office of the Food and Drug Administration.
Queens Library in Flushing ChinatownPublic Library

The Queens Borough Public Library is the public library system for the borough and one of three library systems serving New York City. Dating back to the foundation of the first Queens library in Flushing in 1858, the Queens Borough Public Library is one of the largest public library systems in the United States. Separate from the New York Public Library, it is composed of 63 branches throughout the borough. In fiscal year 2001, the Library achieved a circulation of 16.8 million. First in circulation in New York State since 1985, the Library has maintained the highest circulation of any city library in the country since 1985 and the highest circulation of any library in the nation since 1987. The Library maintains collections in many languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, Polish, and six Indic languages, as well as smaller collections in 19 other languages.

Notable people See also: List of people from New York City

Various public figures have grown up or lived in Queens such as business magnate and television personality Donald Trump, and literary icon Jack Kerouac. Musicians who have lived in the borough include singer Nadia Ali, rappers Nas, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, Simon & Garfunkel and Johnny Ramone. Actors such as Adrien Brody, and Lucy Liu grew up in the borough. Actress and singer Idina Menzel was born in Queens. Porn star Ron Jeremy was born in Queens and attended Queens College. Other actors such as Mae West have also lived in Queens. Physician Joshua Prager was born in Whitestone and attended Flushing High School. Mafia Boss John Gotti lived in Queens for many years.

Queens has also been home to athletes such as professional basketball player Rafer Alston Basketball Players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Metta World Peace were both born in Queens. Olympic Athlete Bob Beamon. Tennis star John McEnroe was born in Douglaston.

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