Staten Island (Template:IPAc-en) is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island 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 a population of 468,730, Staten Island is the least populated of the five boroughs but is the third largest in area at Template:Convert. The Borough of Staten Island is coextensive with Richmond County, the southernmost county in the state of New York. Until 1975, the borough was officially named the Borough of Richmond.[1] Staten Island has been sometimes called "the forgotten borough" by inhabitants who feel neglected by the city government.[2][3]

Staten Island is overall the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City. The North Shore — especially the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Clifton, and Stapleton — is the most urban part of the island; it contains the officially designated St. George Historic District and the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian homes. The South Shore has more suburban-style residential neighborhoods and is home to the two and one-half mile long F.D.R. Boardwalk, the fourth longest in the world. Historically, the central and southern sections of the island were dominated by dairy and poultry farms, almost all of which disappeared in the 20th century. Staten Island used to claim the largest landfill in the world. It was closed in 2001, then shortly afterward reopened to house the debris from the September 11th attacks, and then shortly after closed for good. The landfill is now in the process of being made into what will be New York City's largest public park.

The borough is accessible to Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and to New Jersey via the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge. Staten Island has Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus service and an MTA rapid transit line, the Staten Island Railway, which runs from the ferry terminal at St. George to Tottenville. Staten Island is the only one of the five boroughs of New York City that does not have below-ground rapid transit. The free Staten Island Ferry connects the borough to Manhattan and is a popular tourist attraction, providing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and lower Manhattan.

Template:NYC boroughs

Geology Edit

File:Staten Island Geology.jpg
File:Serpentinite Staten Island.jpg

During the Paleozoic Era , the tectonic plate containing the continent of Laurentia and the plate containing the continent of Gondwanaland were converging, the Iapetus ocean that separated the two continents gradually closed and the resulting collision between the plates formed the Appalachian Mountains. During the early stages of this mountain building known as the Taconic orogeny, a piece of ocean crust from the Iapetus ocean broke off and became incorporated into the collision zone and now forms the oldest bedrock strata of Staten Island, the serpentinite. This strata of the lower paleozoic (approximately 430 million years old) consists predominately of the serpentine minerals, antigorite, chrysotile, and lizardite, it also contains asbestos and talc. At the end of the Paleozoic era (248 million years ago) all major continental masses were joined into the supercontinent of Pangaea.

  • Glacier: Staten Island has been at the southern terminus of various periods of glaciation, the last of which , the Wisconsin Glacier ended approximately 12,000 years ago. The accumulated rock and sediment deposited at the terminus of the glacier is known as the terminal moraine present along the central portion of the island. The evidence of these glacial periods are visible in the remaining wooded areas of Staten Island in the form of glacial erratics and kettle ponds.[4]

At the retreat of the ice sheet, Staten Island was connected by land to Long Island as The Narrows had not yet formed. Geologists' reckonings of the course of the Hudson River have placed it alternatively through the present course of the Raritan River, south of the island, or through present-day Flushing Bay and Jamaica Bay.

History Edit

Native AmericansEdit

File:Burial Ridge Skeletons.jpg

As in much of North America, human habitation appeared in the island fairly rapidly after the retreat of the ice sheet. Archaeologists have recovered tool evidence of Clovis culture activity dating from approximately 14,000 years ago. This evidence was first discovered in 1917 in the Charleston section of the island. Various Clovis artifacts have been discovered since then, on property owned by the Mobil Oil corporation. The island was probably abandoned later, possibly because of the extinction of large mammals on the island. Evidence of the first permanent American Indian settlements and agriculture are thought to date from about 5,000 years ago (Jackson, 1995), although early archaic habitation evidence has been found in multiple locations on the island (Ritchie 1963).

Rossville points; a distinct type of arrowhead which defines a Native American cultural period which spans the Archaic period to the Early Woodland period, dating from approximately 1500 to 100 BC., are named for the Rossville section of Staten Island where they were first recognized, having been found in the vicinity of the old Rossville Post Office building.[5]

At the time of European contact the island was inhabited by the Raritan band of the Unami division of the Lenape. The Lenape who spoke Lenape (language) one of the Algonquian languages called Staten Island Aquehonga Manacknong part of the Lenape homeland known as Lenapehoking. The Lenape were known to the Europeans as the "Delaware" because they inhabitated both shores of the Delaware River.

The island was laced with foot trails, one of which followed the south side of the ridge near the course of present day Richmond Road and Amboy Road. The Lenape did not live in fixed encampments, but moved seasonally, using slash and burn agriculture. Shellfish was a staple of their diet, including the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) which was abundant in the waterways throughout the present day New York City region. Evidence of their habitation can still be seen in the form of shell middens along the shore in the Tottenville section, where finding oyster shells larger than twelve inches (305 mm) is not uncommon.

Burial Ridge; a Lenape burial ground located on a bluff overlooking Raritan Bay in what is today the Tottenville section of Staten Island is the largest pre-European burial ground in New York City. Bodies have been reported unearthed at Burial Ridge during various periods in the nineteenth century from 1858 onward. After conducting independent research which included unearthing bodies interred at the site, ethnologist and archaeologist, George H. Pepper, was contracted in 1895 to conduct paid archaeological research at Burial Ridge by the American Museum of Natural History. The burial ground today is unmarked and lies within the confines of Conference House Park.

European Settlement Edit

The first recorded European contact with the island was in 1524 by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who in the employ of the French crown, sailed through The Narrows on the French ship La Dauphine and anchored for one night.

In 1609, the English explorer Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch sailed into Upper New York Bay on his ship the Half Moon. Staaten Eylandt (literally "States Island") was named in honor of the Dutch parliament known as the Staten-Generaal,

The first permanent Dutch settlement of the New Netherland colony was made on Governor's Island in 1624, which had been used as a trading camp by them for over a decade before. In 1626 the colony transferred to the island of Manhattan, and was newly designated as the capital of New Netherland. Staaten Eylandt nevertheless remained uncolonized by the Dutch for many decades. From 1639 to 1655, the Dutch made three separate attempts to establish a permanent settlement on the island, but each time the settlement was destroyed in the conflicts between the Dutch and the local tribes. In 1661, the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Oude Dorp (Dutch for "Old Village"),[6] just south of the Narrows near South Beach, by a small group of Dutch, Walloon, and Huguenot families. Today, the last vestige of Oude Dorp exists as the present-day neighborhood of Old Town, adjacent to Old Town Road.


Historic TimelineEdit


Richmond County Edit

Template:See also

At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667, the Dutch ceded New Netherlands colony to England in the Treaty of Breda, and the Dutch Staaten Eylandt, anglicized as "Staten Island," became part of the new English colony of New York.

In 1670, the Native Americans ceded all claims to Staten Island to the English in a deed to Gov. Francis Lovelace. In 1671, in order to encourage an expansion of the Dutch settlements, the English resurveyed Oude Dorp (which became known as Old Town) and expanded the lots along the shore to the south. These lots were settled primarily by Dutch and became known as Nieuwe Dorp (meaning "New Village"), which later became anglicized as New Dorp.

Captain Christopher Billopp, after years of distinguished service in the Royal Navy, came to America in 1674 in charge of a company of infantry. The following year, he settled on Staten Island, where he was granted a patent for Template:Convert of land. According to one version of an oft-repeated but inaccurate myth, Capt. Billopp's seamanship secured Staten Island to New York, rather than to New Jersey: the Island would belong to New York if the captain could circumnavigate it in one day, which he did, according to the myth. Mayor Michael Bloomberg perpetuated the myth by referring to it at a news conference in Brooklyn on February 20, 2007.[7]

In 1683, the colony of New York was divided into ten counties. As part of this process, Staten Island, as well as several minor neighboring islands, were designated as Richmond County. The name derives from the title of Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, an illegitimate son of King Charles II.

In 1687 and 1688, the English divided the island into four administrative divisions based on natural features: the 5100 acre (21 km²) manorial estate of colonial governor Thomas Dongan in the central hills known as the "Lordship or Manner of Cassiltown," along with the North, South, and West divisions. These divisions would later evolve into the four townships Castleton, Northfield, Southfield, and Westfield. In 1698, the population was 727.[8]

The government granted land patents in rectangular blocks of eighty acres (320,000 m²), with the most desirable lands along the coastline and inland waterways. By 1708, the entire island had been divided up in this fashion, creating 166 small farms and two large manorial estates, the Dongan estate and a 1600 acre (6.5 km²) parcel on the southwestern tip of the island belonging to Christopher Billop (Jackson, 1995).

In 1729, a county seat was established at the village of Richmond Town, located at the headwaters of the Fresh Kills near the center of the island. By 1771, the island's population had grown to 2,847.[8]

The American Revolution and 19th century Edit


The island played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War. On March 17, 1776, the British forces under Lord William Howe evacuated Boston and sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia. From Halifax, Howe prepared to attack New York City, which then consisted entirely of the southern end of Manhattan Island. General George Washington led the entire Continental Army to New York City in anticipation of the British attack. Howe used the strategic location of Staten Island as a staging ground for the invasion. Over 140 British ships arrived over the summer of 1776 and anchored off the shores of Staten Island at the entrance to New York Harbor, which was the largest armada to set sail until the Second World War. The British troops and Hessian mercenaries numbered at about 30,000. Howe established his headquarters in New Dorp at the Rose and Crown Tavern near the junction of present New Dorp Lane and Amboy Road. It is here that the representatives of the British government reportedly received their first notification of the Declaration of Independence.

In August 1776, the British forces crossed the Narrows to Brooklyn and outflanked the American forces at the Battle of Long Island, resulting in the British control of the harbor and the capture of New York City shortly thereafter. Three weeks later, on September 11, 1776, the British received a delegation of Americans consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Edward Rutledge, and John Adams at the Conference House on the southwestern tip of the island (known today as Tottenville) on the former estate of Christopher Billop. The Americans refused the peace offer from the British in exchange for the withdrawal of the Declaration of Independence, however, and the conference ended without an agreement.


On August 22, 1777, the Battle of Staten Island occurred here between the British and several companies of the 2nd Canadian Regiment fighting alongside other American companies. The battle was inconclusive. Both sides surrendered over a hundred troops as prisoners, and the Americans withdrew.

British forces remained on Staten Island throughout the war. Most Patriots fled after the British occupation, and so local sentiment of the remaining population was predominantly Loyalist, However, the islanders found the demands of supporting the troops to be onerous. The British kept headquarters in neighborhoods such as Bulls Head. Many buildings and churches were destroyed, and the military demand for resources resulted in an extensive deforestation of the island by the end of the war. The British again used the island as a staging ground for their final evacuation of New York City on December 5, 1783. After the war, the largest Loyalist landowners fled to Canada and their estates were subdivided and sold.

On July 4, 1827, the end of slavery in New York state was celebrated at Swan Hotel, West Brighton. Rooms at the hotel were reserved months in advance as local abolitionists and prominent free blacks prepared for the festivities. Speeches, pageants, picnics, and fireworks marked the celebration, which lasted for two days.

In 1860, parts of Castleton and Southfield were made into a new town, Middletown. The Village of New Brighton in the town of Castleton was incorporated in 1866, and in 1872 the Village of New Brighton annexed all the remainder of the Town of Castleton and became coterminous with the town.

The Conference House was built by a British Naval Officer in 1680. Built by Captain Christopher Billopp, this grand stone manor overlooking the Arthur Kill and Perth Amboy, New Jersey, around 1680, and his grandson, Colonel Christopher Billopp, owned the house when it was taken over by Admiral Lord Richard Howe, head of the British Forces in the Americas.

Consolidation with New York City Edit

The towns and villages of Staten Island were dissolved in 1898 with the consolidation of the City of Greater New York, with Richmond as one of its five boroughs.

The construction of the Verrazano Bridge, along with the other three major Staten Island bridges, created a new way for commuters and tourists to travel from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Manhattan, and areas farther east on Long Island. The network of highways running between the bridges has effectively carved up many of the borough's old neighborhoods.

The Verrazano had another effect, opening up many areas of the borough to residential and commercial development, especially in the central and southern parts of the borough, which had previously been largely undeveloped. Staten Island's population doubled between from about 221,000 in 1960 to about 443,000 in 2000.

Throughout the 1980s, a movement to secede from the city steadily grew in popularity, reaching its peak during the mayoral term of David Dinkins. In a 1993 referendum, 65% voted to secede, but implementation was blocked in the State Assembly.[9][10]

In the 1980s, the United States Navy had a base on Staten Island called Naval Station New York. It was composed of two sections: a home port in Stapleton and a larger section around Fort Wadsworth, where the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge enters the island. Originally, this base was to be the home port for the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), but an explosion in one of the ship's turrets led to the vessel's decommissioning. A number of other vessels, including the frigates USS Donald B. Beary FF 1085 and USS Ainsworth FF 1090 and at least one cruiser, the USS Normandy (CG-60), were based there. The base was closed in 1994 through the Base Realignment and Closure process because of its small size and the expense of basing personnel there. It was recently announced that the property will be converted into a mixed-use waterfront neighborhood with an announced completion date of 2009.

Opened as a "temporary landfill" in 1947, Fresh Kills Landfill was a repository of trash for the city of New York. The landfill was closed in 2001,[11] but was briefly re-opened for the debris from Ground Zero following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The Fresh Kills Landfill has been treated and cleaned up. A park larger than Central Park is in the works. Its creeks and wetlands have been designated a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Fresh Kills and its tributaries are part of the largest tidal wetland ecosystem in the region. Plans for the park include a bird-nesting island, public roads, boardwalks, soccer and baseball fields, bridle paths and a 5,000-seat stadium.[12] Today, freshwater and tidal wetlands, fields, birch thickets and a coastal oak maritime forest, as well as areas dominated by non-native plant species, are all within the boundaries of Fresh Kills. Already, many of the landscapes of Fresh Kills possess a stark beauty, with 360 degree, wide horizon views from the hills, over Template:Convert of salt marsh and a winding network of creeks.

Geography Edit

Template:See also According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough-county has a total area of 102.5 square miles (265.5 km²). Land comprises 58.5 square miles (151.5 km²) and water 44.0 square miles (114.0 km²) of it (42.95%).

Staten Island is separated from Long Island by the Narrows and from mainland New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull.

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.

In the late 1960s the island was the site of important battles of open-space preservation, resulting in the largest area of parkland in New York City and an extensive Greenbelt that laces the island with woodland trails.

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).

Adjacent counties Edit

File:Winter Dorm Views at Wagner.JPG

Parks & Wildlife Edit

Staten Island comprises hundreds of acres of federal, state and local park land including the "greenbelt" and "blue belt" park systems and the Gateway National Recreation Area.

The Island is home to Deer, Turkey, Hawks, Egrets, HorseShoe Crabs, Rabbits, Opossums, Garter snakes, Red eared slider turtles, Newts, Spring peeper frogs and Snapping Turtles.

There are five national parks in Staten Island managed by the U.S. National Park Service:

U.S. Park Police Officers and NPS Law Enforcement Rangers patrol the National Parks on Staten Island as well as the surrounding commuties providing law enforcement both on and off park property as authorized by the New York State Criminal Procedure Law. The National Park Service also maintains wildland firefighters and wildfire brush trucks in Staten Island to combat wildland fires which occur every year in the federal parks in staten island (typically Great Kills Park)

There are two parks managed by the New York State Office of Parks located on Staten Island:

New York State Park Police officers are assigned to patrol the state owned parks as well as the surrounding streets adjacent to the state lands

There are two parks managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officer patrol the lands. and perform law enforcement duties. A NYS DEC Forest Ranger is also always assigned to the Staten Island district to provide law enforcement and wildfire suppression throughout the island

There are 156 parks managed by the New York City Parks Department in Staten Island including:

Transportation Edit

File:Staten island ferry 2.jpg

Staten Island is connected to New Jersey via three vehicular bridges and one railroad bridge. The Outerbridge Crossing to Perth Amboy, New Jersey is at the southern end of Route 440 and the Bayonne Bridge to Bayonne, New Jersey is at the northern end of Route 440, which continues into Jersey City, New Jersey. From the New Jersey Turnpike, the Goethals Bridge using I-278 connects to the Staten Island Expressway. The Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge carries freight between the northwest part of the island and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Unlike the other four boroughs of New York, Staten Island follows no numbered grid system to any significant degree. The only numbered grid is within a small area in New Dorp, which only goes up to 10th street and does not intersect with any numbered avenues. However, most Staten Island neighborhoods do follow some degree of grid system, but they don't follow a system where streets are perpendicular to avenues, they are not numbered, with few exceptions, and they are often not contiguous to one another. This is one reason why Staten Island is significantly suburban compared to other boroughs. Some neighborhoods, however, do follow an alphabetical organization of their streets.

Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge using I-278, the Staten Island Expressway. Once in Brooklyn, I-278 becomes the Gowanus Expressway and then the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, providing access to Manhattan through various tunnels and bridges.

The only pedestrian link to Staten Island is via a footpath on the Bayonne Bridge.

Staten Island is the most auto-centric borough in New York City, with only 18.4% of all households being autoless. Citywide, the rate is 55%.

Public transportation on the Island is limited to:

  • NYC Department of Transportation (Staten Island Ferry)
  • NYC Transit buses (local service on Island and express service to Manhattan)
  • Staten Island Railway service from St. George to Tottenville


The Staten Island Ferry is the only direct transportation network from Staten Island to Manhattan, roughly a 25 minute trip.[13] The St. George ferry terminal built in 1950 recently underwent a $130-million renovation and now features floor-to-ceiling glass for panoramic views of the harbor and incoming ferries. The ferry had its fare eliminated in 1997.


File:SIR 448 at Great Kills Station.jpg

The Staten Island Railway traverses the island from its northeastern tip to its southwestern tip. The Staten Island Railway has its own Staten Island Rapid Transit Police force. SIRT Police Officers patrol the Island's only passenger railway. Staten Island is the only borough not serviced by the New York City Subway, as the Staten Island Tunnel was abandoned in the middle of construction in the 1920s. It lies dormant beneath Owl's Head Park in Brooklyn. As such, express bus service is provided by NYC Transit throughout Staten Island to lower and midtown Manhattan.

There have been proposals to revive the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway for passenger service. There is also a proposal to build a West Shore Line that would go in the center of the Dr. Martin Luther King Expressway, Staten Island Expressway, and West Shore Expressway, continuing to Richmond Valley, Staten Island to connect with the main line of the Staten Island Railway. See Staten Island light rail.


Beginning September 4, 2007, the MTA began offering bus service from Staten Island to Bayonne, NJ over the Bayonne Bridge via the S89 Bus. It allows passengers to connect to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail's 34th St. Station, giving Staten Island residents a new route into Manhattan. It is notably, despite Staten Island's proximity to New Jersey, the only route directly into New Jersey from Staten Island via public transportation.

Government and politics Edit

Presidential election resultsTemplate:Citation needed
Year Republican Democrat
2008 51.7% 86,062 47.6% 79,311
2004 56.4% 90,325 42.7% 68,448
2000 45.0% 63,903 51.9% 73,828
1996 40.8% 52,207 50.5% 64,684
1992 47.9% 70,707 38.5% 56,901
1988 61.5% 77,427 38.0% 47,812
1984 65.1% 83,187 34.7% 44,345
1980 58.6% 64,885 33.7% 37,306
1976 54.1% 56,995 45.4% 47,867
1972 74.2% 84,686 25.6% 29,241
1968 55.3% 54,631 35.2% 34,770
1964 45.5% 42,330 54.4% 50,524
1960 56.5% 50,356 43.4% 38,673
Main article: Government of Staten Island

Since New York City's consolidation in 1898, Staten Island has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a "strong" mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services on Staten Island.

The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. The Office of Borough President became one focal point for opinions over the Vietnam War when former intelligence agent and peace acrtivist Ed Murphy, ran for office in 1973, sponsored by the Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) and was supported by those who exposed Willowbrook, promoted civil rights and health care activists. Ed Murphy's combat veteran status defelcted traditional right wing attacks on liberals and the campaign facilitated the emergence of more liberal politics on Staten Island. In 1989 the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.[14]

File:Staten Island Borough Hall sign.jpg

Since 1990 the Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Staten Island's Borough President is James Molinaro, a member of the Conservative Party elected in 2001 and reelected in 2005 with the endorsement of the Republican Party. Molinaro is the only Republican-supported borough president in New York City.

Staten Island's politics differ considerably from those of New York City's other boroughs. Although in 2005 44.7% of the borough's registered voters were registered Democrats and 30.6% were registered Republicans, the Republican Party holds a small majority of local public offices. Staten Island is the base of New York City's Republican Party in citywide elections. In the 2001 mayoral election, borough voters chose Republican Michael Bloomberg, with 75.87% of the vote, over Democrat Mark Green, with 21.15% of the vote. Since Green narrowly lost the election citywide, Staten Island provided the margin of Bloomberg's victory. The main political divide in the borough is demarcated by the Staten Island Expressway; areas north of the Expressway tend to be more liberal while the south tends to be more conservative. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and law and order. Two out of Staten Island's three New York City Council members are Republicans.

In national elections Staten Island is not the Republican stronghold it is in local elections, but it is also not the Democratic stronghold the rest of New York City is. The borough is a Republican-leaning swing county, though like the New York suburbs in Long Island and Westchester County it has become increasingly Democratic since the 1990s.

Each of the city's five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Daniel Donovan, a Republican, has been the District Attorney of Richmond County since 2004, and was the Republican nominee for New York Attorney General in 2010. Staten Island has three City Council members, two Republicans and one Democrat, the smallest number among the five boroughs. It also has three administrative districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents. In the 2009 election for city offices, Staten Island elected its first black official, Debi Rose, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in the North Shore city council seat in a primary, and then went on to win the general election.

Staten Island has voted for a Democratic presidential nominee only three times since 1952: in 1964, 1996, and 2000. In the 2004 presidential election Republican George W. Bush received 56% of the vote in Staten Island and Democrat John Kerry received 43%. By contrast, Kerry outpolled Bush in New York City's other four boroughs by a cumulative margin of 77% to 22%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain won 52% of the vote in the borough to Democrat Barack Obama's 48%.

Staten Island lies entirely within New York's 13th congressional district, which also includes parts of southwestern Brooklyn. It is represented by Michael Grimm, elected in 2010.

Staten Island flag

The flag is on a white background in the center of which is the design of a seal in the shape of an oval. Within the seal appears the color blue to symbolize the skyline of the borough, in which two seagulls appear colored in black and white. The green outline represents the countryside of the borough with white outline denoting the residential areas of Staten Island. Below is inscribed the words "Staten Island" in gold. Below this are five wavy lines of blue to symbolize the water that surrounds the island borough on all sides. Gold fringe outlines the flag.[15] Template:See also

Demographics Edit

Main article: Demographics of Staten Island
Staten Island Compared
2000 CensusStaten
New York
New York
Total population443,7288,008,27818,976,457
People per square mile7,58826,403402
People per square km2,93010,194155
Median household
income (1999)



Per capita income$23,905$22,402$23,389
Bachelor's degree
or higher



Foreign born16%36%20%
Hispanic (any race)15%27%14%

The United States Census Bureau estimated that 491,730 people lived in Staten Island on July 1, 2009.[16]

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.[17]

According to the survey, the top ten European ancestries were the following:

Approximately 20.0% of the population is foreign born, and 1.8% of the populace was born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parents. In addition, 78.2% of the population was born in the United States. 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.[18]  

Staten Island population
By town, by census
1790 805 * 1,021 855 1,154 3,835
1800 1,056 * 1,377 932 1,198 4,564
1810 * * * * * 5,347
1820 1,527 * 1,980 1,012 1,616 6,135
1830 2,204 * 2,171 975 1,734 7,082
1840 4,275 * 2,745 1,619 2,326 10,965
1850 5,389 * 4,020 2,709 2,943 15,061
1860 6,778 6,243 4,841 3,645 3,985 25,492
1870 9,504 7,589 5,949 5,082 4,905 33,029
188012,679 9,029 7,014 4,980 5,289 38,991
189016,42310,577 9,811 6,644 8,258 51,713
1900 * * * * * 67,021
1910 * * * * * 85,969
1920 * * * * *116,531
1930 * * * * *158,346
1940 * * * * *174,441
1950 * * * * *191,555
1960 * * * * *221,991
1970 * * * * *295,443
1980 * * * * *352,029
1990 * * * * *378,977
2000 * * * * *443,728
2010 * * * * *492,714

Staten Island (Richmond County) has a higher percentage of Italian Americans than any other county in the United States, though it comes in 27th place among Italian American communities.[20] 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.

The vast majority of the borough's African American and Hispanic residents live north of the Staten Island Expressway, or Interstate 278. In terms of religion, the population is largely Roman Catholic. There is a growing presence of Egyptian Copts, the vast majority of whom are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church.[21]

As of 2000, there were 464,573 people, 256,341 households, and 214,128 families residing in the borough/county. The population density was 7,587.9 inhabitants per square mile (2,929.6/km²). There were 163,993 housing units at an average density of 2,804.3 per square mile (1,082.7/km²). The racial makeup was 77.60% White, 9.67% Black, 0.25% Native American, 5.65% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.14% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.07% of the population.

There were 156,341 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% are married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. Individuals occupied 23.2% of all households, and 8.4% of households had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.31.

The population is spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household is $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.

Tourism on Staten Island Edit

In 2009, Borough President James Molinaro started a program to increase tourism on Staten Island. At the top of that program was a new website,

The tourism program also includes a "Staten Island Attractions" video that is aired in both the Staten Island and the Manhattan Whitehall ferry terminals, as well as informational kiosks at the terminals, which supply printed information on Staten Island attractions, entertainment and restaurants.


Culture Edit

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Local support for the arts Edit

Artists and musicians have been moving to Staten Island's North Shore so they can be in close proximity to Manhattan but also have enough affordable space to live and work in. Recently The New York Times[3][22] and NY1 News[23] featured Staten Island as a haven for artists and musicians. Filmmakers, most of whom work independently, also play an important part on Staten Island's art scene, which has been recognized by the local government. Conceived by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation to introduce independent and international films to a broad and diverse audience, the Staten Island Film Festival (SIFF) held its first four-day festival in 2006.

Attractions Edit

Historic Richmond Town is New York City’s living history village and museum complex. Visitors can explore the diversity of the American experience, especially that of Staten Island and its neighboring communities, from the colonial period to the present. The village area occupies Template:Convert of a Template:Convert site with about 15 restored buildings, including homes, commercial and civic buildings, and a museum.

The island is home to the Staten Island Zoo, which recently opened a newly refurbished reptile exhibit and is in the process of designing a new carousel and leopard enclosure. Zoo construction commenced in 1933 as part of the Federal Government’s works program on an eight-acre (three-hectare) estate willed to New York City. It was opened on June 10, 1936, the first zoo in the U.S. specifically devoted to an educational mandate. The Society has remained steadfast in its concentration on this goal, which is still a vital part of the Society’s current mission. The Staten Island Zoo was also the first zoo anywhere to exhibit all the 32 varieties of rattlesnakes known to occur in the United States. In the late 1960s the Zoo maintained the most complete rattlesnake collection in the world with 39 varieties.

Media and entertainmentEdit


Movies filmed partially or wholly on Staten Island include:


Literature Edit

American Wildflower, a novel about life on Staten Island in the 1970s was written by Bobby Clark, who was born on the island and lived there for forty years.

Ki Longfellow was born on the island. Longfellow is the author of The Secret Magdalene and other books.

Lois Lowry, the author of The Gossamer and many other books, attended school on Staten Island.

The late writer, Paul Zindel, lived in Staten Island during his youth and based most of his teenage novels in the Island.

Music Edit

Main article: Music of New York City

Staten Island also has a great local music scene. Most shows are at the cup or the old Dock Street. These venues in the North shore are part of the art movement mentioned above. Local bands include many punk, ska, hardcore punk, indie, metal, and pop punk bands. Most of these bands have their show's taped and allow free download of their music and shows which are posted on social media sites like Facebook under "The Staten Island local Show Closet".

Musicians who were born or reside on Staten Island and groups that formed on Staten Island are found at List of people from Staten Island


  • Staten Island's local paper is The Staten Island Advance. The paper also has an affiliated website called
  • SI Parent, Staten Island's parenting magazine, has been publishing monthly issues since 1989. Their website debuted in 2005. The parent company, Family Resource Publications, Inc. has also published an annual S.I. Parent Resource Handbook since 1997.
  • The free monthly full color What's Good? Magazine (a guide to Staten Island) was being published by Reduced Printing & BluePrint Media of NY from September 2009 until December 2009. What's Good? Magazine's president and founder, Richard N. Castaldo, and Director of Advertising sales, Albert J. Franzone, appeared on NY1 news in late September 2009. What's Good? was the first magazine to try uplift the perception of Staten Island, detailing monthly activities to visit around the island.


  • Time Warner Cable's news channel NY1 airs a weekly show called This Week on Staten Island, currently hosted by Anthony Pascale. The magazine style show takes content from NY1's daily/hourly newscasts called "Your Staten Island News Now".

Theater Edit

The beautiful, newly renovated St. George Theatre serves as a cultural arts center for a myriad of activities including outreach educational programs, architectural tours, television and film shoots, concerts, comedy, Broadway touring companies and small and large scale children's shows. It has featured many known artists such as The B52s, The Jonas Brothers, Tony Bennett, and Don McLean.

File:St. George Theater, Staten Island, New York.jpg

Museums Edit


Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Alice Austen House Museum, the Conference House, the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Historic Richmond Town, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, Sandy Ground Historical Museum,[25] Staten Island Children's Museum, the Staten Island Museum and the Staten Island Botanical Garden, home of The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden.

The National Lighthouse Museum is currently untertaking a major fundraising project and hopes to open in 2012.

Sports Edit

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File:Richmond County Bank Ballpark.jpg

Hospitals Edit

Education Edit

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Public schools Edit

Education in Staten Island is provided by a number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States.

Public middle schools include Intermediate Schools 2, 7, 14, 16, 21, 24, 27, 32, 35, 34, 49, 51, 61, 63, 72 and 75, and 861, a K to 8 school as well as part of the Petrides School (which runs from kindergarten to High School)

Public high schools include:

Private schools Edit

  • Staten Island Academy is the only independent private (non-public, non-religious) grade school on the island and is one of the oldest in the entire country.

Non-denominational - Christian

Moore Catholic and St. Joseph by the Sea are the only co-educational Catholic high schools on the island.

Colleges and universities Edit

Libraries Edit

Twelve branches of the New York Public Library serve the borough.

Notable natives and residents Edit

Main article: List of people from Staten Island

See alsoEdit

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Notes Edit

References Edit

External links Edit

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