About Long Island New York
Long Island is an island in southeastern New York, USA, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises four counties, two of which (Queens and Brooklyn) are boroughs of New York City, and two of which (Nassau and Suffolk) are suburbs of that city.
True to its name, Long Island is much longer than it is wide, jutting out some 118 miles (190 km) from New York Harbor, and varies in width between 12 and 23 miles (19 and 37 km) between the southern Atlantic coast and Long Island Sound. Long Island has an area of 1,401 square miles (3,629 km2), making it the largest island in the continental United States and the 149th largest island in the world. It is connected to the mainland by several bridges and tunnels through New York City, and ferries to Connecticut from Suffolk County.
Long Island had a population of 7,448,618 as of the 2000 census, with the population estimated at 7,559,372 as of July 1, 2006, making it the most populated island in any U.S. state or territory. It is also the 17th most populous island in the world, ahead of Ireland, Jamaica and the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Its population density is 5,470 people per square mile (2,110 per km2).
Long Island is one of the most densely populated regions in the United States. As of the United States 2000 Census , the total population of all four counties of Long Island was 7,448,618. New York City’s portion of the census was 4,694,705, with Brooklyn’s population at 2,465,326 and Queens having 2,229,379 residents.
The combined population of Nassau and Suffolk counties was 2,753,913 people; Suffolk County’s share at 1,419,369 and Nassau County’s at 1,334,544. Nassau County had a larger population for decades, but Suffolk County surpassed it in the 1990 census as growth and development continued to spread eastward As Suffolk County has over twice the land area of Nassau County, the latter still has a much higher population density. Combined, Long Island’s population is greater than 38 of the 50 United States. If it were an independent nation, it would rank as the 96th most populated nation , falling between Switzerland and Israel .
As of the 2000 census, the racial makeup of the island was 57.16% White , 21.18% African American , 0.36% Native American , 9.06% Asian , 0.05% Pacific Islander , 8.17% other races , and 4.01% from two or more races. 17.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau Census 2000  show that non-whites are in the majority in the two urban counties of New York City, while whites are in the majority in the two suburban counties of Nassau and Suffolk:
•Kings County: 41.2% white, 36.4% black, 19.8% Hispanic/Latino, 7.5% Asian, and 0.4% American Indian/Native Alaskan.
•Queens County: 44.1% white, 25.0% Hispanic/Latino, 20.0% black, 17.6% Asian, and 0.1% American Indian/Native Alaskan.
•Nassau County: 79.3% white, 10.3% Hispanic/Latino, 10.1% black, 4.7% Asian, and 0.2% American Indian/Native Alaskan.
•Suffolk County: 84.6% white, 10.9% Hispanic/Latino, 6.9% black, 2.4% Asian, and 0.3% American Indian/Native Alaskan.
The counties of Nassau and Suffolk have long been renowned for their affluence. Long Island has a very high standard of living with residents paying some of the highest property taxes in the country. In opulent pockets of the North Shore of Long Island and South Shore, assets have passed from one generation to the next over time.
From about 1930 to about 1990, Long Island was considered one of the aviation centers of the United States, with companies such as Grumman Aircraft having their headquarters and factories in the Bethpage area. Grumman has long been the source of top warplanes for the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps , as seen in the movie Top Gun and numerous WW-II naval and Marine Corps aviation movies. Prominent WW-II Grumman aircraft included the F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat fighters, and the TBF Avenger bomber, flown by hundreds of U.S. and Allied pilots, including former President George H.W. Bush .
Long Island has played a prominent role in scientific research and in engineering. It is the home of the Brookhaven National Laboratories in nuclear physics and Department of Energy research. In recent decades companies such as Sperry Rand and Computer Associates , headquartered in Islandia , have made Long Island a center for the computer industry. Gentiva Health Services , a national provider of home health and pharmacy services, also is headquartered in Long Island. Stonybrook University of the New York state system conducts far-ranging medical and technology research. Long Island is also home to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory , which was directed for 35 years by James D. Watson (who co-discovered the double helix structure of DNA with Francis Crick ).
Tourism is a good part of the Long Island economy in certain regions. Tourism thrives primarily in the summer because of the natural beauty, parks and beaches in Long Island along with the warmer weather of summer. Regions of Long Island that are major tourist attractions include the North Fork on the east end of Suffolk County, known for fishing villages, quaint towns, ferries to Connecticut, and for world-famous wineries. The South Fork is known for similar features, including golf, equestrian, boating, surfing, and fine dining in the Hamptons and Montauk. The village of Patchogue has a fine theater, the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, which is the official home theater of the Atlantic Wind Symphony .
The eastern end of the island is still partly agricultural. For the last 25 years, this has included many vineyards and pumpkin farms as well as traditional truck farming . Fresh fruit picking is a popular activity of many Long Islanders for much of the year. Fishing continues to be an important industry, especially at Northport and Montauk .
Long Island is home to the East Coast’s largest industrial park, the Hauppauge Industrial Park. The park has over 1,300 companies employing more than 55,000 Long Islanders. Companies in the park and abroad are represented by the Hauppauge Industrial Association .