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For other meanings, see Brooklyn (disambiguation).

Brooklyn, coterminous with Kings County, is a borough located in New York City in the U.S. State of New York. Kings County was named in honor of the King at the time that counties were established in New York, Charles II. Brooklyn, which was originally the Village of Breuckelen on the shore of the East River near Lower Manhattan was named after the town of Breukelen in the Netherlands. Brooklyn was the site of the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776 during the American Revolutionary War.

With a current population of 2,465,326 (2000 census), Brooklyn is the most populous borough in New York City, and would be the fourth largest city in the USA all by itself. Borough and state government buildings are mostly found in the Brooklyn Civic Center area (including Brooklyn Borough Hall and Kings County Supreme Court) in downtown Brooklyn, near the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Kings County: law and government
3 Geography
4 Demographics
5 Cultural destinations in Brooklyn
6 Parks and historic sites
7 Sports and Recreation
8 Brooklyn based organizations
9 Neighborhoods of Brooklyn
10 External links


Kings County was one of the 12 original counties created in 1683 when New York was first divided into counties and towns. It was originally divided into six towns:

In October 1776, the Battle of Brooklyn is fought for control of New York Harbor during the American War of Independence, as the Continental Army fought to hold strategic points in what is now Brooklyn Heights.

In 1816, the Village of Brooklyn was incorporated within the Town of Brooklyn. In 1827, the Village of Williamsburgh was incorporated within the Town of Bushwick.

In 1834, the first city in Kings County was incorporated and called Brooklyn. It contained the former Town of Brooklyn and reduced the number of towns in Kings County to 5. In 1840 the Village of Williamsburgh became a separate town, seceding from the Town of Bushwick, and became the sixth town in Kings County. In 1851, Kings County got its second city when the Town of Williamsburgh became the City of Williamsburgh.

In 1852, the number of towns in Kings County was again increased to 6, as the Town of New Lots was created by secession from the Town of Flatbush.

In 1854, the City of Brooklyn merged with the City of Williamsburgh and the Town of Bushwick, forming a larger City of Brooklyn. Kings County at this point had one city (Brooklyn) and five towns (Flatbush, Flatlands, Gravesend, New Lots, and New Utrecht).

In 1886 Brooklyn annexed the Town of New Lots, reducing the number of towns in Kings County to four. In 1894, three of the remaining towns (Flatbush, Gravesend, and New Utrecht) were annexed, leaving only one city (Brooklyn) and one town (Flatlands) in Kings County.

In 1896, the City of Brooklyn annexed the Town of Flatlands and became coterminous with Kings County.

Brooklyn in the 1890s as seen from lower Manhattan

Brooklyn merges into New York City

In 1898, Brooklyn joined with Richmond (Staten Island), Queens, New York (Manhattan), and Bronx counties to form one of the boroughs of the City of New York. The status of Kings County remained as one of New York State's counties.

Kings County: law and government

Like the other counties which are contained within New York City, there is no separate county government per se though there is a Borough President's office that is part of New York City government and various Community Boards that have authority over specific neighborhoods. Marty Markowitz is currently Borough President. Unlike other counties outside New York City County Courts do not exist there; they have been replaced by New York City Civil Court that deals with small claims, lawsuits under $25,000 and housing cases. Other state offices such as the district attorney (public prosecutor) are organized as in other non-New York City counties.


As a part of New York City, Kings County/Brooklyn contains no other political subdivisions. It occupies the western part of Long Island, and together with Queens County they form the part of Long Island within New York City. (Long Island contains two other counties, Nassau and Suffolk County.) The highest point of Kings County is the area around Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery, rising approximately 200 feet above sea level. There is also a minor elevation in downtown Brooklyn known as Brooklyn Heights.

The Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883, connected Brooklyn with the island of Manhattan; subsequent bridges include the Williamsburg Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. Brooklyn is connected with Staten Island by the Verrazano Narrows Bridge which opened in 1964.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the County has a total area of 251.0 km² (96.9 mi²). 182.9 km² (70.6 mi²) of it is land and 68.1 km² (26.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 27.13% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 2,465,326 people, 880,727 households, and 583,922 families residing in the County. The population density is 13,480.6/km² (34,916.6/mi²). There are 930,866 housing units at an average density of 5,090.1/km² (13,183.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the County is 41.20% White, 36.44% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 7.54% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 10.08% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. 19.79% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 880,727 households out of which 33.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% are married couples living together, 22.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% are non-families. 27.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.75 and the average family size is 3.41.

In the County the population is spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the County is $32,135, and the median income for a family is $36,188. Males have a median income of $34,317 versus $30,516 for females. The per capita income for the County is $16,775. 25.1% of the population and 22.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 34.0% are under the age of 18 and 21.5% are 65 or older.

Cultural destinations in Brooklyn

Parks and historic sites

Sports and Recreation


Brooklyn based organizations

Neighborhoods of Brooklyn

As stated above, before Brooklyn became the city (or borough) that we know today it was a collection of towns. Many of these town names remain the names of some neighorhoods in Brooklyn. See: List of Brooklyn, New York neighborhoods

External links