The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






The Bronx

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Image:Map of New York highlighting Bronx County.png

The Bronx is one of the five boroughs of New York City in the United States. It is coterminous with Bronx County of the State of New York. It is the northernmost and only borough of New York City on the North American mainland, located south of Westchester County. It also includes several small islands in the East River and Long Island Sound. . The Harlem River separates The Bronx from the island of Manhattan.

The Bronx takes its name from Bronck's Farms, after an early settler (1641) in the area, Swedish immigrant Jonas Bronck, whose 500 acre (2 km²) farm lay between the Harlem River and the Aquahung, which now bears his name. The borough's name is officially The Bronx, but the county's name is officially just Bronx, without the definite article. According to a 2003 census estimate, the population of Bronx County was approximately 1,363,198.



The territory now contained within Bronx County was originally part of Westchester County, an original county of New York State. The present Bronx County was contained in four towns: Westchester, Yonkers, Eastchester, and Pelham. In 1846, a new town, West Farms, was created by secession from Westchester; in turn, in 1855, the town of Morrisania seceded from West Farms. In 1873, the town of Kingsbridge seceded from Yonkers.

In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County, consisting of the towns of Kingsbridge, West Farms, and Morrisania, was transferred to New York County, and in 1895 the Town of Westchester and portions of Eastchester and Pelham, were transferred to New York County. City Island, known as New York City's only nautical community, voted to secede from Westchester County and join New York County in 1896. In 1914, those parts of the then New York County which had been annexed from Westchester County were constituted the new Bronx County. New York City had also annexed the present-day Bronx County.

During the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, many of the Bronx's apartment buildings were burned in an arson scam which took advantage of the city's policies toward burn-out victims and the fact that Section 8 checks were addressed to tenants, not landlords (although some did burn their own buildings to collect on fire insurance). This era all but ended during the tenure of Mayor Ed Koch.


In 1997, the Bronx was designated an "All America City " by the National Civic Council . The Bronx cheer and a popular cocktail were both named after this borough.

The Bronx's attractions include Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees baseball club; the Bronx Zoo, Bronx High School of Science, Morris Park, the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, Wave Hill, Fordham University and Manhattan College. It includes two of the largest parks in NYC, Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park . Pelham Bay Park also has a large man made public beach called Orchard Beach created by Robert Moses.

The Bronx also has The Hall of Fame for Great Americans: a national landmark which overlooks the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. It was designed by the renowned architect Stanford White.

The Bronx is also the only Borough that has a freshwater river (the Bronx River) running through it. A smaller river, the Hutchinson River, passes through the northeast Bronx to empty into Eastchester Bay.

The Bronx now has the distinction of being the Birthplace of Hip Hop Music.

Famous Bronxites

Famous include: Danny Aiello, Sholom Aleichem, June Allyson, Christopher Aponte, Anne Bancroft, David Berkowitz, Joey Bishop, Red Buttons, James Caan, George Carlin, Diahann Carroll, Paddy Chayefsky, Tony Curtis, Cus D'Amato, Bobby Darin, Gray Davis, Art Donovan, Marty Glickman, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Gotti, Hank Greenberg, Fat Joe, Billy Joel, Max Kellerman, Afrika Bambaataa, Edward Koch, Stanley Kubrick, Fiorello La Guardia, Jake LaMotta, Ralph Lauren, Jennifer Lopez, Linda Lovelace, Sonia Manzano, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Sal Mineo, Carroll O'Connor, KRS One, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Caz, Kool Herc, Jerry Orbach, Al Pacino, Regis Philbin, Chaim Potok, Colin Powell, Tito Puente, Big Pun, Carl Reiner, Vin Scully, Stan Getz, Edgar Allan Poe, and Neil Simon.

Law and government

Like the other counties which are contained within New York City, the Bronx is nominally presided over by a borough president. The borough is also served by various county courts, as well as a district attorney (public prosecutor).


As a part of New York City, Bronx County contains no other political subdivisions. It is located at 40°42'15" North, 73°55'5" West (40.704234, -73.917927)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 148.7 km² (57.4 mi²). 108.9 km² (42.0 mi²) of it is land and 39.9 km² (15.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 26.82% water.

The Bronx has four large low peninsulas or "necks" of low-lying land that jut into the waters of the East River and were one saltmarsh: Hunt's Point, Clason's Point, Screvin's Neck and Throg's Neck. In the northeast corner of the Bronx, Rodman's Neck lies in Long Island Sound.

Many of the Bronx's streets are numbered, but unlike the street numbering systems in Brooklyn and Queens, the Bronx's system is a continuation of the Manhattan street grid. Because of this, the lowest numbered street in the borough is 132nd Street, and the highest is 263rd Street in the Riverdale section. Like Manhattan, the streets are designated either "east" or "west", with the divider being Jerome Avenue; the divider in Manhattan is Fifth Avenue.

Numerous subway lines run through the Bronx, many of them above ground. In addition, three Metro North commuter railroad lines run through the Bronx. The borough has 12 Metro North stations.


See List of Bronx neighborhoods


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,332,650 people, 463,212 households, and 314,984 families residing in the borough. The population density is 12,242.2/km² (31,709.3/mi²). There are 490,659 housing units at an average density of 4,507.4/km² (11,674.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough is 29.87% White, 35.64% Black or African American, 0.85% Native American, 3.01% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 24.74% from other races, and 5.78% from two or more races. 48.38% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.5% of the population are Whites, not of Hispanic origins.

Some main European Ancesrties of Bronx residents, 2000 :

Irish, Italian, German and Jewish

According to an estimate by the Census Bureau, the population increased to 1,363,198 in 2003.

There are 463,212 households out of which 38.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.4% are married couples living together, 30.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% are non-families. 27.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.78 and the average family size is 3.37.

In the borough the population is spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 80.7 males.

The median income for a household in the borough is $27,611, and the median income for a family is $30,682. Males have a median income of $31,178 versus $29,429 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $13,959. 30.7% of the population and 28.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 41.5% of those under the age of 18 and 21.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

The Bronx has much affordable housing, as well as upscale neighborhoods like Riverdale and Country Club Estates.

External links

(pdf file)

Bronx is also the name of a character on the Walt Disney animated series Gargoyles (named after the New York borough).

Last updated: 10-25-2005 20:03:57
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