Okay, everyone knows that NY City is composed of 5 boroughs. It also has 5 counties. What's the difference?

The names are easy, well easy for a native or many residents. How do they differ otherwise?


* Not quite. The county names are correct, and most people don't get that far, however, counties and boroughs are NOT coterminous. And no, it has nothing to do with offshore islands and New Jersey's claim to some of them.

Update 2:

** Dix, the political administration is somewhat complex, and New York is the only city that has to deal with the concept of counties being combined to constitute a city. Of course that dates back to the consolidation of the 1890's when the City of Brooklyn was absorbed. But, as you acknowledge, this is a geography question, so that's not what I was after.

It's actually a very strange quirk.

Update 3:

*** Upon further review, I found some info that contradicted my understanding of the disctinction. As I dug deeper and, although I'm still not certain, my research indicates that a 1939 court decision supports that contradiction , so I have to give Max credit for a correct answer. What I was looking for was that New York County is not coterminous with the Borough of Manhattan, and Bronx County is not coterminous with the Borough of The Bronx. Why? There's a small neighborhood on the mainland, which would logically seem to be part of the Bronx, that was, for a long time (and may still be) in New York County, despite remaining in the Borough of Manhattan. It's a neighborhood known as Marble Hill. In the 19th century, Spuyten Duyvil Creek was rechannelled, and Manhattan reconfigured, leaving a "piece of Manhattan" on the mainland.

Please accept my apology for posting a question without researching the answer as thoroughly as I should have.

Mea maxima culpa

2 Answers

  • Max
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The City of New York is divided into 5 separate boroughs. These are really just geographic divisions intended to better streamline government services. The borough Manhattan is coterminous with New York County. The borough of The Bronx is coterminous with Bronx County. The borough of Queens is coterminous with Queens County. The borough of Brooklyn is coterminous with Kings County. The borough of Staten Island is coterminous with Richmond County.

    Staten Island - Richmond Co.

    Brooklyn - Kings Co.

    Manhattan - New York Co.

    Queens - Queens Co.

    Bronx - Bronx Co.

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  • 1 decade ago

    My guess:

    The boroughs of NYC have presidents and the counties have commissioners?

    The borough presidents are elected and therefore part of the political system. County commissioners are appointed and part of the administrative system.

    hmmm...that can't be right. The question is in the geography category.

    I think you've stumped me again.

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