The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. Coextensive with Bronx County, it was the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated. Located north of Manhattan and Queens, and south of Westchester County, the Bronx is the only borough that is located primarily on the mainland (a very small portion of Manhattan, the Marble Hill neighborhood, is physically located on the mainland, due to the rerouting of the Harlem River in 1897). The Bronx's population is 1,385,108 according to the 2010 United States Census. The borough has a land area of 42 square miles (109 km2), making it the fourth-largest in land area of the five boroughs, the fourth most populated, and the third-highest in density of population.

The Bronx is divided by the Bronx River into a hillier section in the west, closer to Manhattan, and the flatter East Bronx, closer to Long Island. The West Bronx was annexed to New York City (then largely confined to Manhattan) in 1874, and the areas east of the Bronx River were annexed in 1895. The Bronx first assumed a distinct legal identity when it became a borough of Greater New York in 1898. Bronx County, with the same boundaries as the borough, was separated from New York County (afterwards coextensive with the Borough of Manhattan) as of January 1, 1914.

Although the Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., about a quarter of its area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo in the borough's north and center, on land deliberately reserved in the late 19th century as urban development progressed northwards and eastwards from Manhattan with the building of roads, bridges and railways.

The Bronx River was named after Jonas Bronck, who created the first settlement as part of the New Netherland colony in 1639, and eventually lent its name to the entire borough. The native Lenape were progressively displaced after 1643 by settlers. The Bronx received many Irish, German, Jewish and Italian immigrants as its once-rural population exploded between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. They were succeeded after 1945 by African Americans and Hispanic Americans from the Caribbean basin — especially Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, but also from Jamaica. In recent years, this cultural mix has made the Bronx a wellspring of both Latin music and hip hop.

The Bronx contains one of the five poorest Congressional Districts in the U.S., the 16th, but its wide variety of neighborhoods also includes the affluent and middle to upper class Riverdale, Schuylerville and Country Club. The Bronx, particularly the South Bronx, saw a sharp decline in population, livable housing, and the quality of life in the late 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in a wave of arson, but has shown some signs of revival in recent years.

New York's five boroughs overview
Jurisdiction Population Land area
Borough of County of 1 July 2011
Manhattan New York 1,601,948 23 59
The Bronx Bronx 1,392,002 42 109
Brooklyn Kings 2,532,645 71 183
Queens Queens 2,247,848 109 283
Staten Island Richmond 470,467 58 151
City of New York 8,244,910 303 786
State of New York 19,465,197 47,214 122,284
Source: United States Census Bureau

Read more about Bronx:  History, Education, Cultural Life and Institutions

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Famous quotes containing the word bronx:

    who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery
    to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children
    brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain and drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926)