New York City, the City that Never Sleeps, the Big Apple, whatever you call it, there’s no denying that it is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It also happens to be one of the richest cities in the world, though the streets here are paved with oysters as the gold lies beneath them! A melting pot of nationalities, NYC is also one of the most ethically and linguistically diverse cities in the world. Intrigued to know more? Here are some of the most interesting facts about New York City, that you may not know!
7 Interesting Facts About New York City
1. New York is the world’s most linguistically diverse city
New York City is in New York State. NYC comprises five boroughs – Manhatten, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. As of 2022, the population of New York City is 8,177,025. It is the most populous city in the United States of America. There are as many as 800 languages spoken in New York City. This makes it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. About 65 per cent of New Yorkers speak English at home and 20 per cent speak Spanish. According to the Endangered Language Alliance (ELA), the borough of Queens contains more languages than anywhere else in the world.
2. NYC is the richest city in the world
As of 2021, Forbes ranked New York City second in terms of billionaires – the city is home to 99 of them. Beijing tops the list with 100 billionaires. Hong Kong is in third place with 80 billionaires. In fact, of the 2,095 billionaires in the world, more than 40 per cent of them live in just ten cities. Even though New York City is second on the list, it is still the richest city in the world. It has a cumulative net worth of more than $560 billion, which is $80 billion more than Beijing’s billionaires. Want to know who the wealthiest person is in NYC? That’ll be media mogul turned politician, Michael Bloomberg.
4. NYC is home to the largest gold vault in the world
New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank is home to the largest gold vault in the world. The vault of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is 80 feet (five-storeys) below the city streets. As of 2019, the vault contained approximately 497,000 gold bars. The weight of these is about 6,190 short tons (5,620 metric tons). This is roughly $350 billion worth of gold, but the exact amount is not known.
5. New York is ethnically diverse
New York City has always been a major destination for immigrants. Official figures show that as of 2019, there are 3.1 million immigrants in NYC which accounts for 37 per cent of the city’s population. It is the eighth-most ethical diverse city in the world. More Chinese people live in NYC than any other city outside of Asia, and more Jewish people live in New York City than any other city outside of Israel.
6. The streets of NYC are paved with oyster shells
Long before pizzas and hotdogs, oysters reigned supreme as the quintessential New York City food. In the 19th-century NYC was famous for its oysters, which were harvested from the harbour. People consumed so many oysters that the piles of shells were turned into mortar paste to aid the building boom taking place across the city. The Trinity Church on Wall Street is an example of a building that uses oyster-shell mortar paste. That the shells were also used to pave Pearl Street.
7. NYC is home to some impressive cultural institutes
The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue is the largest art museum in the United States. It is the fourth largest museum in the world. Occupying an area of 633,100 square feet, it houses more than two million pieces spanning 5,000 years of art from around the world. Another impressive building in NYC is the Public Library. This is the second-largest public library in America – the Library of Congress is bigger – and it is the fourth-largest public library in the world.