The City of New York is the most populous city in the United States, and the center of the New York metropolitan area, which is among the most populous urban areas in the world. A leading global city, New York exerts a powerful influence over worldwide commerce, finance, culture, fashion and entertainment. As host of the United Nations headquarters, it is also an important center for international affairs. The city is often referred to as New York City to differentiate it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.

The city consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city's 2008 estimated population exceeds 8.3 million people,and with a land area of 305 square miles,New York City is the most densely populated major city in the United States.The New York metropolitan area's population is also the nation's largest, estimated at 18.8 million people over 6,720 square miles. Furthermore, the Combined Statistical Area containing the Greater New York metropolitan area contained 22.155 million people as of 2008 Census estimates, also the largest in the United States.

The City is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art; abstract expressionism (also known as the New York School) in painting; hip hop, punk, salsa, disco and Tin Pan Alley in music; and is the home of Broadway theater.

New York is notable among American cities for its high use of mass transit, most of which runs 24 hours per day, and for the overall density and diversity of its population. In 2005, nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was born outside the United States.The city is sometimes referred to as "The City that Never Sleeps", while other nicknames include The Capital of the world, Gotham,and the Big Apple.

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