Information about Long Island
Long Island, New York, is a collection of cities, boroughs, villages and townships on a 100-mile-long spit of land extending east from New York City. Its westernmost portions are composed of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, which together make up more than half of the island's population of over 7.8 million, according to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau figures. The remainder of Long Island is composed of the two suburban counties of Suffolk and Nassau, which feature a mix of high-density suburban development, small towns, rural areas and vacation destinations.
The island is part of the Atlantic Coast Plain, an area that features higher amounts of precipitation and a warmer climate than the rest of New York State. During the summer, that warmer climate attracts vacationers, often from New York City, who come to enjoy the beaches and other outdoor amenities, while during the winter, large storms called Nor'easters can dump several feet of snow on the region. Long Island is known for its residents' commitment to community and education and for its general affluence. Per capita, Nassau County is New York State's second-wealthiest county after Manhattan.
Long Island Higher Education
Long Island features a large number of universities and colleges, devoted mainly to liberal arts and technical training. These include Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Briarcliffe College and four campus locations of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. This area is also home to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Saint John's University maintains its campus in Queens. The New York City area is a major nexus for higher education, boasting such institutions as Columbia University, which is among the top-ranked institutions of higher learning nationwide.
Long Island's Economy
Long Island is far from being only a bedroom community for New York City, although many residents do commute into the city each day to work in Manhattan's business districts, which are home to countless international corporations and feature the greatest concentration of advertising, finance, banking and media firms in the country. Many Long Islanders work in suburban Suffolk and Nassau counties, where the computer and information technology industries have become important in recent years. Eastern Suffolk County is rich agriculturally, while fishing is also an important component of the island's economy.