Island east of Manhattan and southeast of Connecticut, USA, separated from the mainland by Long Island Sound and the East River; 193 km/120 mi long by about 48 km/30 mi wide; area 3,627 sq km/1,400 sq mi; population (2000 est) 7,448,600. It is mainly a residential district with farming in the east. Henry Hudson discovered the island in 1609, and it was settled by the Dutch from New Amsterdam (in the west) and the English from New England (in the east) from the 1640s.
The two New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn form the western eighth of the island; combined population (2000 est) 4,694,700. East of them are the counties of Nassau and Suffolk. Along the northern shore, facing the sound, are the wealthy Gold Coast communities, such as Great Neck and Oyster Bay. On the southern shore, facing the Atlantic, are the popular summer-resort communities of the sandy barrier beaches, Coney Island (actually a peninsula in the southwest, with a boardwalk (promenade) 3 km/2 mi long), the Rockaways, Long Beach, Fire Island, and the Hamptons.
The last glaciation of the Ice age came as far south as Long Island, leaving its rocky moraine to distinguish the cliffed and rolling north shore from the flat and sandy south; the westernmost extent of the moraine is in Jamaica, Queens.
The largest employer is Northrop-Grumman, a major military contractor. Vegetable farms, orchards, vineyards, dairies, poultry and horse raising, and fishing and shellfishing exist here but are losing ground to suburban developments and pollution.
Levittown, a major innovation in town planning, was an extensive development of inexpensive suburban home suburban homes for military veterans; 17,500 were built by 1951. The island's many public and private facilities include museums (including the world's largest automotive museum and a whaling museum) parks, parkways, beaches, marinas, nature reserves, golf, tennis, and country clubs; the New York Aquarium, Jones Beach state park, Shea Stadium, and Belmont and Aquaduct raceways are here. The Brookhaven National Laboratory for atomic research is also located on Long Island. Educational institutions include Adelphi, Hofstra, C W Post, Farmingdale and Stony Brook-SUNY, and various branches of the City University. Long Island University (1926) has several campuses. La Guardia, Kennedy, and MacArthur airports service the region, and several bridges and tunnels connect the island to Manhattan and the Bronx.
We're sorry this article wasn't helpful. Tell us how we can improve.