The Queens Almanac informs and updates our readers on the essentials of our borough. With interesting facts and information, the following is a compilation from the Queens Chamber of Commerce and other sources on the basic facts of Queens.
Physically located on Long Island, Queens’ land area is 109 square miles, 35.9 percent of the city’s area and is the largest borough of New York City.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (4,930 acres) and LaGuardia Airport (680 acres) provide more than 420,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $52.9 billion in economic activity, making aviation one of the borough’s top industries. In 2014, a total of 53,254,362 passengers arrived or departed from JFK, and more than 27 million arrived or departed from LaGuardia in 2015.
More than 560 bank branches are located in Queens, with many different branches changing hands and being renamed during the last year.
Throgs Neck and Bronx-Whitestone bridges connect with the Bronx; Hell Gate Bridge carries New York Connecting Railroad to the Bronx via Wards and Randall’s Islands; Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly Triborough) connects with Bronx and Manhattan; Roosevelt Island Bridge connects Long Island City and Roosevelt Island; Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge to 59th Street, Manhattan; Greenpoint Avenue, Kosciuszko and Pulaski bridges connect Queens and Brooklyn over Newtown Creek; Grand Street Bridge from Maspeth to Brooklyn; Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge links the Rockaways with Brooklyn; Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge connects the Rockaways with Broad Channel; Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge connects Howard Beach to Broad Channel; Hook Creek Bridge to Nassau County; Francis R. Buono Memorial Bridge connects the Steinway section of Astoria to Rikers Island.
There are approximately 380 public schools and 229 private schools in the borough, which educate more than 400,000 children – about the same number in the entire Chicago school system. Also, there are more than a dozen colleges and universities with campuses in Queens, with a total enrollment of more than 65,000 students.
Con Edison provides electricity to 2.3 million residents with 7,299 miles of overhead wire and 25,208 miles of underground cable in 108 square miles of service areas in all of Queens except for the Rockaways, where 23,718 meters are served by Long Island Power Authority.
Con Edison provides gas through around 800 miles of mains to about 200,000 meters in sections of Queens serving 200,110 residents. In other areas, including the Rockaways, National Grid furnishes gas to 362,653 meters through 1,442 miles of mains.
Queens’ 34.6 miles of parkways include the Grand Central, Jackie Robinson (formerly Interboro) and Belt Parkways (comprised of Cross Island, Laurelton, Shore and Southern Parkways). There are 41 miles of interstate highways, including the Brooklyn-Queens, Clearview, Queens Midtown and Horace Harding – the official names of the Queens portion of the Long Island Expressway – Nassau, Van Wyck and Whitestone Expressways.
Queens is the city’s “home-owner borough” with 43.6 percent owning their own house, according to figures from the 2010 Census. As of 2011, the borough is home to 849,505 housing units.
Queens is home to more than 20 medical facilities and two psychiatric hospitals.
The Queens Borough Public Library, with a central library in Jamaica and 65 locations borough-wide, including 62 community libraries, a teen library in Far Rockaway and family literacy centers in Ravenswood and Queensbridge. The system has hosted 11.2 million visitors in fiscal year 2015. The library system put on more than 52,000 programs, answered three million reference questions, had nearly 972,000 active borrowers and circulated 13.5 million items in the last fiscal year.
New York City parks total more than 29,000 acres, with more than 800 athletic fields and 991 playgrounds. Flushing Meadows Corona Park ranks as the fourth largest city park with 898 acres.
Census data estimated Queens had a population of 2,339,510 in 2015.
There are more than 700 miles of Long Island Rail Road tracks with 124 stations in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau and Suffolk, and 23 stations alone in Queens, including the system’s Jamaica hub – one of the busiest passenger train hubs in the country. New York Connecting Railroad freight and passenger branches link Queens and Long Island to the North American mainland, via Hell Gate Bridge. Sunnyside Yards provides storage for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.
With an estimated 1,000 places of worship listed at QueensChurches.org, Queens is home to 115 Baptist churches, 98 Catholic churches and 52 Lutheran churches, according to its listings. It is also home to about 95 synagogues, 36 Hindu temples, 21 mosques and 13 Buddhist temples.
More than 20 major art, science, cultural and historical museums are located in Queens, including the Queens Museum, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Zoo and the Queens Botanical Garden.
In New York City, there are 2,080 route miles of train track, 2,952 route miles of bus lines and 736 rail and subway stations. According to the MTA, the average daily ridership for the subways and buses is 8,764,983.
Queens-Midtown Tunnel connects to Manhattan. Also linking Queens to Manhattan are four Long Island Rail Road tunnels to 34th Street (Penn Station) and subway tunnels to 42nd Street (7 train), 53rd Street (E and M trains), 60th Street (N,Q, and R trains) and 63rd Street (F train).
New York City’s water supply comes from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains. A number of city-owned wells supplement the supply in Southeast Queens.
Queens has 196 miles of waterfront on Little Neck Bay, the East River, Flushing Bay, Newtown Creek, Jamaica Bay, Head of Bay Basin, Hook Creek and the Atlantic Ocean. There are nearly 10 miles of beaches in the Rockaways.