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New York City, chartered in 1898, consists of five boroughs, each also a county: Manhattan (New York County), the Bronx (Bronx County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), and Richmond, or Staten Island ( Richmond County). Manhattan, the original New York City, founded 1626, is an island; population 1,537,195, area 22.20 square miles. Brooklyn (settled 1636), on Long Island was formerly an independent city; population 2,465,326, area 80.95 square miles. The Bronx (settled 1641) is on the mainland north of Manhattan; population 1,357,589, area 41.41 square miles. Queens (settled about 1635) is on Long Island; population 2,229,379, area 121.12 square miles. Staten Island (settled about 1638) is in the southwest corner of New York Bay; population 470,000, area 57.15 square miles.
The metropolitan area of New York City is the district within a radius of approximately 40 miles of City Hall and includes parts of New Jersey, Westchester County (N.Y.), Connecticut, and Long Island. The Port of New York, one of the largest in the world, and served by more than 300 motor truck lines and 100 trunkline railroads, embraces the area within a 25-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty with an approximate population of 18,000,000.
The port is fringed by 771 miles of shore line. Along the more than 578 miles within the city limits are 1,800 piers, wharves, and bulk-heads. The North (Hudson) River water front of Manhattan, the most intensively developed, is bordered with the piers of the great transatlantic and South American shipping companies. On the Brooklyn water front are hundreds of large industrial plants, warehouses, and extensive drydocking and ship repair facilities; Bush Terminal is one of the largest docking, storage, and industrial developments in the world. On Staten Island is the only free port zone in the United States.