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What's the Difference Between New York and New York City?

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The main difference between New York and New York City is that New York is a state, while New York City is a city, which means it is located within the state of New York.

Many people refer to New York City as if it were the same city as New York. While they are both located in the state of New York, these two places are very different!

Key Differences

The difference in both terms

For example, while the term "New York'' refers only to one state (the State of New York), "New York City" can be used to refer exclusively or collectively to five boroughs: Manhattan; Brooklyn; Queens; Staten Island; and the Bronx. Another difference is that while "New Yorkers" live in all five boroughs of NYC, residents of New York State outside of NYC typically use "New York" to refer only to the five boroughs of NYC.


New York City has its own mayor and government that manages the city, while New York is managed by the Governor & the state government. NYC is the most populous city in the United States and has a population of over eight million people, while New York is home to more than 20 million residents.

Tourist Attractions

The most famous street in New York City is Broadway! It has theaters and shops that are visited frequently by tourists from all over the world. There's also Times Square which is full of bright lights and billboards for advertisements. Central Park can be found within its boundaries as well, a favorite for people looking to escape the busy city. Niagara Falls which falls in New York State & not city is an important tourist attraction.


New York state has a total area of 54,555 square miles while NYC has a total area of only 472 square miles.


New York City is full of tall buildings and skyscrapers! While New York has some very tall buildings as well, they are nothing compared to those in New York City. People working there may even have a harder time seeing the sky than their counterparts on Long Island or across upstate New York.

Comparison Chart: New York Vs New York City

ParametersNew York StateNew York City
Size54,555 sq mi472 sq mi
Population8 million+20 million+
Key GovernanceGovernorMayor
DiversityLess DiverseMore Diverse
Tourist AttractionsLessMore

Frequently Asked Questions

Manhattan Vs New York City: What's the Difference?

Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City, the other four being the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

New York City is the name of the city in the state of New York containing the five boroughs just mentioned.

Manhattan has an area of 56.98km², surrounded by the Hudson River to the west, the Upper New York Bay to the south, the East River to the east and the Harlem River to the north.


Despite the differences, people from both NYC & the New York state are identified as "New Yorkers".


New York City is full of culture and diversity, while New York has its fair share as well! They are both very interesting places to visit for those who love big cities like these two. Whether it's visiting the Empire State Building or walking through Central Park, there's plenty of activities available in each location! Both offer an incredibly unique experience, but knowing their difference makes it easier to understand the experiences you're having.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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