New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the north and west, and Quebec to the north. New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City.
About one third of all the battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. New York became an independent state on July 9, 1776, and enacted its constitution in 1777. The state ratified the United States Constitution on July 26, 1788 to become the eleventh state of the union.
New York City, with a population of over 8,000,000 people, is the most populous city in the United States. It covers 49,576 square miles (128,400 km2) and ranks as the 27th largest state. There are 62 cities in New York, which comprises five counties, the Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), and Richmond (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population.
It is known for its status as a financial, cultural, transportation, and manufacturing center, and for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is also a destination of choice for many foreign visitors.
In contrast with New York City's urban atmosphere, the vast majority of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. New York's Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States. New York established the first state park in the United States at Niagara Falls in 1885. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, is a popular attraction. However, New York City is world renowned as a city of lights.