USA

Is New York a Country? Common Misconceptions About NYC

Are you wondering if New York is a country? Or is New York perhaps a State? Is New York City on an Island or is New York and Manhattan the same thing?

There is a huge amount of confusion out there about whether or not New York is a city or a state. Or maybe it is an island?

First of all, I can tell you in simple terms: No, New York is not a country.

But it does get a little more complicated when asking if New York is a state or a city.

For that purpose, I have created this in-depth blog post about the multifaceted identity of New York. Learn everything there is to know about the geography and the definitions concerning New York in this post.

Let’s get to it!

picture of the new york city skyline showing clearly the river and that manhattan is an island

Table of Contents

Is New York a Country?

No, New York is not a country. New York is the name of two different things: New York (State) and New York (City).

This leads us to the conclusion that New York is on one hand a state and on the other hand a city. It can sometimes be a bit hard differentiating between the two.

a picture of a map of the usa showing the state of new york in red and showing that it is only one state within a big country
New York State

Is New York a State or a City?

The answer is: both! New York is a state on one hand, but it is also the name of a city within the state.

New York State is a state and is part of the United States of America. New York (State) is located in the northeastern region of the USA.

Both New York city and New York state were named after the Duke of York James Stuart in the 17th century.

The State is the 27th largest state in the USA. In terms of population, New York is the fourth most populated state.

New York is a big city in the state of New York, however it is not the capital city. The capital city of New York State is Albany.

New York City is the largest city in the state of New York.

Let’s take a closer look at New York State and New York City in the following chapters.

Bordering States of New York

If you are wondering: Which states surround New York? – then look no further.

New York shares its borders with several states. All of them are located in the northeastern region of the United States.

The states that are near New York are:

  1. Vermont (east)
  2. Massachusetts (southeast)
  3. Connecticut (southeast)
  4. Pennsylvania (south)
  5. New Jersey (south)
  6. Rhode Island (southeast)
  7. Ontario, Canada, International Border (north)

All of these states surround New York and share borders with New York. Some of these states don’t technically surround New York, but they do share maritime borders with each other.

a picture of the usa showing new york state and its neighboring countries in orange
New York (State) and its bordering states)

Is New York Part of New England?

This is another common misconception about New York. Many of the states surrounding New York are referred to as New England.

So is New York a part of New England?

No, New York is not considered part of New England traditionally.

New England is a region in the northeastern United States. It includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

New York is located in the northeastern part of the United States as well and shares borders with these states.

However, it is not included in the New England region. New York is more often named as part of the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Mid-Atlantic Region consists of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

a picture of a map of america showing a comparison between the mid-atlantic region and new england showing that new york is not in new england

Is Rhode Island in New York?

No, Rhode Island is not in New York. The question whether or not Rhode Island is part of New York is another one of the most discussed topics.

Rhode island is a US-state in the Northeastern United States. Rhode Island is part of the New England region.

While Rhode Island does share a border with New York in the southeast, it is not actually a part of New York. Rhode Island and New York share a small maritime border in Block Island, RI and Long Island, NY.

The distance between New York and Rhode Island is 146 miles. The road distance is 179 miles between New York and Rhode Island.

Is New York Close to Canada?

Something a lot of people wonder is how far it is from New York to Canada.

The state of New York shares international borders with Canada. This means they are right next to each other.

New York City is a bit farther away from Canada.

The drive from New York City to Niagara Falls, which is right on the border of New York and Canada, takes about 6,5 hours. New York City is 400 miles away from the Niagara Falls.

The distance between New York City and Toronto is about 500 miles. It will take you 8 hours of driving time to reach Toronto from New York City. Toronto is the closest Canadian city to New York.

Ottawa is about 450 miles away from New York City. This means about 7 hours of driving time.

The closest town to New York City in Canada is Lacolle, Quebec.

a google maps picture of a route from new york city to the niagara falls to show how close canada is to new york and how long it would take to drive from new york city
New York to Niagara Falls, credit Google Maps

What is the Tri-State Area of New York?

The “Tri-State Area” refers to the region of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

The Tri-State Area is highly urbanized and includes major cities, suburbs, and communities.

Is New York a Peninsula?

Now that we have looked at New York state and all its geographical mysteries, it is time to have a closer look at questions concerning New York City.

One of the most asked questions about New York City is whether it is a Peninsula.

The answer is: no, New York City is not a peninsula.

New York City is not a peninsula itself. But it is situated on a series of islands. New York City is connected to the mainland by bridges and tunnels.

4 of the 5 New York boroughs are islands.

Manhattan, one of the boroughs of New York City, is considered an island. It is surrounded by water on all sides.

The Bronx is part of the mainland, but it is connected to the rest of the city by bridges.

Staten Island is another borough is an actual island.

Brooklyn and Queens are located on the western end of Long Island.

So, while New York City as a whole is not a peninsula, it does include islands and areas that are surrounded by water.

picture of google maps of a map of new york showing the 5 districts of new york with blue circles and showing which are islands and which peninsulas
The boroughs of New York, credit Google Maps

The Boroughs of New York

New York is made up of five boroughs. They sometimes get easily mixed up with each other, so it is important to have a closer look at them.

  1. Manhattan:
    • Manhattan is the heart of New York City. It is an economic, cultural, and historical center.
    • It’s famous for its iconic skyline. Important sights are the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, and Wall Street.
    • Manhattan is considered to be an island.
  2. Brooklyn:
    • Brooklyn is located on the western end of Long Island.
    • It’s famous for its artistic and creative scene. Neighborhoods like Williamsburg and DUMBO are popular for galleries, boutiques, and music events.
  3. Queens:
    • Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. It has a rich mix of cultures and communities.
    • Brooklyn is the largest borough in terms of land area.
    • Queens is mostly a residential area with suburban and urban neighborhoods.
  4. The Bronx:
    • The Bronx is located to the north of Manhattan.
    • The Bronx is known for its rich history, including being the birthplace of hip-hop music.
    • It’s home to the Bronx Zoo.
    • The Bronx’s neighborhoods range from urban areas to residential communities.
  5. Staten Island:
    • Staten Island is situated to the southwest of Manhattan.
    • The Staten Island Ferry offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
    • The borough features parks, beaches, and green spaces.

Is New York City an Island?

The answer is: No, New York City is not an island.

New York City is composed of several islands.

Manhattan is the most famous one. Manhattan is often called an island because it is surrounded by water on all sides. It is surrounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east.

As I have mentioned before, the Bronx is located on the mainland. Staten Island is an island indeed. The Brooklyn and Queens are geographically part of Long Island.

So it’s important to note that New York City as a whole is not entirely an island. New York City consists of multiple boroughs, some of them are located on the mainland of North America.

new york skyline with picture of manhattan from staten island ferry to show that manhattan is an island

How Big is New York City?

New York City covers an area of approximately 468.9 square miles (1,214.4 square kilometers).

This includes all five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.

Length: From the northernmost point of the Bronx to the southern tip of Staten Island, the length of New York City is around 33 miles (53 kilometers).

Width: From the western edge of Queens to the eastern edge of Brooklyn, the width of New York City is around 16 miles (26 kilometers).

Of course New York City is not a perfect rectangle, so the results can vary depending on where you measure.

How Old is New York City?

New York is approximately 399 years old in 2023.

New York City has a long and complex history. It was once inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years.

Later on, Europeans colonized the United States. The area around New York was first explored in 1609 by Henry Hudson, an English navigator. The Dutch founded a trading post called New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan Island in 1626.

In 1664, the English captured the city from the Dutch. They named it New York in honor of the Duke of York. He later became King James II of England.

New York City played a big role in the American Revolutionary War. It was the capital of the United States from 1785 to 1790.

New York City was officially founded as New Amsterdam in 1626. But, the city’s history goes back even further to its indigenous roots.

picture of the new york skyline

Is New York the Capital of America?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about New York City. Many people believe that NYC is the capital of the United State of America.

But New York is not the capital of the United States.

The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is a district between the states of Maryland and Virginia. It is the political and administrative center of the country.

It is where the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, and various federal government agencies are located.

New York City has played a big historical and cultural role in the United States. It used to be the country’s capital briefly during the late 18th century. However, the capital was later moved to Washington, D.C. in 1800.

Is New York City Manhattan?

New York City consists of multiple boroughs. Manhattan is one of those boroughs.

Manhattan is the most well-known and iconic part of New York City. But it is only one part of a much bigger whole.

The other four boroughs are Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Each of these boroughs has its neighborhoods, communities, and characteristics.

So, to clarify, Manhattan is a part of New York City. But New York City is more than just Manhattan.

picture of the author standing on the empire state building overlooking the rockefeller center

Why is New York called the Empire State?


New York State is often called the “Empire State”. Especially due to its historical and economic significance.

The term “Empire State” was first popular in the early 19th century.

Many people think it is called the Empire State because of its economic power, political influence or geographical significance.

Conclusion: Is New York a Country?

In this blog post I have cleared up some of the most common misconceptions of New York vs New York City. We have discovered, that New York is a state, but also a city within that state.

We have determined, that New York City is neither a peninsula nor an island. We checked out the neighboring states of New York and talked about what region New York is part of.

Of course we also discussed the history of New York City and why it is called the Empire State.

So to close: No, New York is not a country!

FAQ: Is New York a Country?

Is New York a country?

No, New York is not a country; it is a state within the United States of America. New York city is a big city in the state of New York consisting of five boroughs, including Manhattan and Brooklyn.

New York City vs New York State?

New York City is a major metropolitan area composed of five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. New York State, on the other hand, is an entire U.S. state that includes New York City and many other regions like Buffalo, Albany, and rural areas. The city is within the state but is only a part of it.

What States are near New York?

New York is bordered by several states: to the north, Vermont and Canada; to the east, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont; to the south, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and to the west, Pennsylvania.

Is New York bigger than Los Angeles?

No, New York City is not physically larger than Los Angeles in terms of land area. Los Angeles covers a larger land area due to its sprawling layout, while New York City is denser and more compact. However, New York City has a larger population than Los Angeles, making it more populous.

Is Rhode Island in New York?

No, Rhode Island is not in New York. Rhode Island is a separate U.S. state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east and Connecticut to the west. New York is a neighboring state to the west of both Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Is New York close to Canada?

Yes, New York State shares a border with Canada. The northernmost part of New York State, particularly in the region around Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River, is adjacent to the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The proximity to Canada allows for cross-border interactions and trade between the two regions.

Is New York an island or peninsula?

New York City is not an island or a peninsula itself, but it includes various islands and areas connected by bridges and tunnels. Manhattan, one of its boroughs, is often thought of as an island, while The Bronx is part of the mainland. Brooklyn and Queens are on Long Island, and Staten Island is a separate island.

How old is New York City?

New York City was founded as New Amsterdam by the Dutch in 1626. It became New York when the English captured it in 1664. So, as of 2023, the city is around 397 years old since its Dutch establishment and about 359 years old since becoming New York under English control.

Is Long Island Part of New York City?

Long Island is not part of New York City, but it is geographically close and adjacent to it. Long Island is a densely populated island east of New York City and consists of Nassau and Suffolk counties. New York City includes Brooklyn and Queens on the western end of Long Island but does not encompass the entire island.

Is New York part of New England?


No, New York is not considered part of New England. New England refers to a region in the northeastern United States that includes six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. New York is a neighboring state to the west of New England and is not included within its geographic boundaries.

What country is New York City in?

New York City is located in the United States of America. It’s one of the most populous and well-known cities in the country, situated in the state of New York.

Why is New York the Empire State?

New York State earned the nickname “Empire State” due to its historical and economic significance. It originated in the early 19th century when New York played a central role in the country’s growth and development. The term “empire” represents the state’s economic dominance, influence, and the grandeur of its diverse geography, culture, and contributions to the United States.

Is New York in the Ocean?

No, New York is not located in the ocean. New York City is situated on the Atlantic Ocean’s coastline, with parts of the city bordered by various bodies of water such as the Hudson River, the East River, and the Upper New York Bay. However, the city itself is not submerged in the ocean; it is built on land, islands, and the edges of bodies of water.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.