Staten Island (/ˌstætən ˈaɪlənd/) is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Richmond County, in the U.S. state of New York. Located in the southwest portion of the city, the borough is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull and from the rest of New York by New York Bay. With an estimated population of 476,179 in 2018, Staten Island is the least populated of the boroughs but is the third-largest in land area at 58.5 sq mi (152 km). The borough also contains the southern-most point in the state, South Point.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Richmond County has a total area of 102.5 square miles (265 km), of which 58.5 square miles (152 km) is land and 44.0 square miles (114 km) (43%) is water. It is the third-smallest county in New York by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.
Although Staten Island is officially an administrative borough of New York City and its coterminous Richmond County is an administrative county of New York State, Staten Island is topographically and geologically a part of New Jersey. Staten Island is separated from Long Island by the Narrows and from mainland New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull. Staten Island is positioned at the center of New York Bight, a sharp bend in the shoreline between New Jersey and Long Island. The region is considered vulnerable to sea-level rise. On October 29, 2012, the island experienced severe damage and loss of life along with the destruction of many homes during Hurricane Sandy.
In addition to the main island, the borough and county also include several small uninhabited islands:
The highest point on the island, the summit of Todt Hill, elevation 410 ft (125 m), is also the highest point in the five boroughs, as well as the highest point on the Atlantic Coastal Plain south of Great Blue Hill in Massachusetts and the highest point on the coast proper south of Maine’s Camden Hills. Ward’s Point in the neighborhood of Tottenville is the southernmost point in the state of New York.
Staten Island is the only borough in New York City that does not share a land border with another borough (Marble Hill in Manhattan is contiguous with the Bronx). The borough has a land border with Elizabeth and Bayonne, New Jersey, on uninhabited Shooters Island.
As of the 2018 Estimate, 22.2% of residents are foreign born. 11.9% of residents live below the poverty line, the lowest of the five boroughs. Average per capita income was $33,922, while median household income was $76,244. There are 181,199 housing units, with a 69.5% owner occupancy rate, the highest of the five boroughs, as well as a median value of $460,200. There are 166,150 households, with 2.82 persons per household.
At the 2010 Census, there were 468,730 people living in Staten Island, which is an increase of 5.6% since the 2000 Census.
Staten Island is the only New York City borough with a non-Hispanic White majority. According to the 2010 Census, 64.0% of the population was non-Hispanic White, down from 79% in 1990, 10.6% Black or African American, 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 7.5% Asian, 0.2% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 2.6% of two or more races. 17.3% of Staten Island’s population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race).
In 2009, approximately 20.0% of the population was foreign born, and 1.8% of the populace was born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parents. Approximately 28.6% of the population over five years of age spoke a language other than English at home, and 27.3% of the population over twenty-five years of age had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the borough’s population was 75.7% White (65.8% non-Hispanic White alone), 10.2% Black or African American (9.6% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone), 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 7.4% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 4.6% from Some other race, and 1.9% from Two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race made up 15.9% of the population.
According to the survey, the top ten European ancestries were the following:
The borough has the highest proportion of Italian Americans of any county in the United States. Since the 2000 census, a large Russian community has been growing on Staten Island, particularly in the Rossville, South Beach, and Great Kills area. There is also a significant Polish community mainly in the South Beach and Midland Beach area and there is also a large Sri Lankan community on Staten Island, concentrated mainly on Victory Boulevard on the northeastern tip of Staten Island towards St. George. The Little Sri Lanka in the Tompkinsville neighborhood is one of the largest Sri Lankan communities outside of the country of Sri Lanka. The borough is also home to a Chinanteco-speaking Indigenous Mexican American community.
Most of the borough’s African American and Hispanic residents live north of the Staten Island Expressway, or Interstate 278. In terms of religion, the borough’s population is largely Roman Catholic, peaking near 60 percent in the 2000 census. There is a growing presence of Egyptian Copts, most of whom are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Per the 2009 American Community Survey, the median income for a household was $55,039, and the median income for a family was $64,333. Males had a median income of $50,081 versus $35,914 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,905. About 7.9% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2010, 70.39% (306,310) of Staten Island residents age 5 and older spoke only English at home, while 10.02% (43,587) spoke Spanish, 3.14% (13,665) Russian, 3.11% (13,542) Italian, 2.39% (10,412) Chinese, 1.81% (7,867) other Indo-European languages, 1.38% (5,990) Arabic, 1.01% (4,390) Polish, 0.88% (3,812) Korean, 0.80% (3,500) Tagalog, 0.76% (3,308) other Asian languages, 0.62% (2,717) Urdu, 0.57% (2,479) other Indic languages, and African languages were spoken as a main language by 0.56% (2,458) of the population over the age of five. In total, 29.61% (128,827) of Staten Island’s population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.