New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. The city is referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, of which it is a part. A global power city, New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural capital of the world.
Located on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a county of New York State. The five boroughs—The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—were consolidated into a single city in 1898. With a census-estimated 2012 population of 8,336,697 distributed over a land area of just 302.64 square miles (783.8 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. By 2012 census estimates, the New York Metropolitan Area's population remains by a significant margin the United States' largest Metropolitan Statistical Area, with approximately 19.8 million people, and is also part of the most populous Combined Statistical Area in the United States, containing an estimated 23.4 million people.