Is New York City a County?

New York City is different from other US cities. Even the government systems are unique from the rest of the New York State counties. 

Generally, a county consists of cities, towns, and villages. Each city, town, and village have their governing system. But, New York City is different.

New York City consists of 5 boroughs. These are:

  • Manhattan
  • The Bronx
  • Queens
  • Brooklyn
  • Staten Island

New York City is not a county. Instead, each of these five boroughs is itself a county of New York State. Therefore, NYC has five counties. These are:

  • New York County (Manhattan)
  • Bronx County (The Bronx)
  • Kings County (Brooklyn)
  • Richmond County (Staten Island)
  • Queens County (Queens)

Therefore, if you live in New York City, your borough is your county. For example, if you live in Brooklyn, you are in Kings County. Similarly, if you live in Staten Island, you are in Richmond County. (source)

What County is New York City in?

New York City is a unique city in the USA. New York City doesn’t reside under any county. In fact, in 1898, five counties came together to form New York City. These counties are Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, and New York. 

What County is Manhattan in?

Manhattan is itself a county. In the official document, however, Manhattan is known as New York. Therefore, if you need to choose a county name, put New York as your county name if you live in Manhattan. Many people confuse New York with New York State. Yes, it’s a confusing term, but in New York City, New York means Manhattan.

What County is Brooklyn in?

In New York City, Brooklyn is itself a county. In the official document, however, Brooklyn is known as Kings County. Therefore, choose Kings County if you live in Brooklyn.

What County is the Bronx in?

In New York City, the Bronx is itself a county. Therefore, choose The Bronx as your county in official documents.

What County is Queens in?

In New York City, Queens is itself a county. Therefore, choose Queens as your county in official documents.

In 1898, NYC was consolidated. At that time, all five boroughs came into existence by creating present-day New York City under one municipal government. 

Each of these counties (boroughs) – Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island – has minimal power compared to other counties in New York. Instead, the New York City government oversees these five boroughs. In 1898, the newly enacted New York City charter law eliminated all the county, city, town, and village governments. In short, New York City consists of five counties.     

A borough president represents each borough. However, there is no legislative function within a borough, and the borough presidents have minimal executive powers. However, each borough elects its district attorney (DA), similar to other New York State counties. 

The New York City Mayor is responsible for the executive functions in NYC, and the legislative functions reside with the New York City Council. The borough presidents primarily act as ceremonial leaders, spokesmen, and advocates of their respective boroughs.

Except for the Bronx, all other boroughs reside on an island. Staten Island and Manhattan are islands. Queens and Brooklyn are part of the “Long Island” island.  

If each NYC borough were a city, except for Staten Island, all other boroughs would be in the top 10 populated cities of the US. The following table shows NYC population by county:

BoroughCountyCensus (2020)
The BronxBronx1,472,654
ManhattanNew York1,694,251
Staten IslandRichmond495,747
City of New York8,804,190

New York County (Manhattan):

During Google Maps search, you have noticed that the Manhattan address finishes with “New York.” The name comes from the New York County name.

Manhattan has the highest population density compared to other counties in the US. New York County is not a single island but consists of a cluster of islands. These are:

  • Randall’s Island
  • Wards Island
  • Roosevelt Island
  • Governors Island
  • Liberty Island

Bronx County (The Bronx):

The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the world. The Co-op City in the Bronx is the largest cooperatively owned housing complex in the US.