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The borough of Queens is also the most ethnically diverse county in the United
States. As of the 2005 American Community Survey, immigrants
comprise 47.6% of its residents. It is estimated that by 2010
the majority of its population will be foreign born.[citation
needed] With a population of 2.2 million it is the second most
populous borough in New York City (behind Brooklyn) and the
tenth most populous county in the United States. The 2.2 million
figure is the highest historical population for the borough.
Queens was established in 1683 as one of the original 12 counties
of New York and was named for the then-queen consort, Catherine
of Braganza, wife of Charles II. The borough is often considered
one of the more suburban boroughs of New York City. Neighborhoods
in eastern Queens have a look and feel similar to the bordering
suburbs of western Nassau County. In its western and central
sections, however, Queens is home to many urban neighborhoods
and several central business districts. Long Island City, on
the Queens' waterfront across from Manhattan, is the site of
the Citicorp Building, the tallest skyscraper in New York City
outside of Manhattan.
European colonization brought both Dutch and English settlers, as a part of the New Netherlands colony. First settlements occurred in 1635, with colonization at Maspeth in 1642, and Vlissingen (now Flushing) in 1643.Other early settlements included Newtown (now Elmhurst) and Jamaica. However, these towns were mostly inhabited by English settlers from New England via eastern Long Island (Suffolk County) subject to Dutch law. After the capture of the colony by the English and its renaming as New York in 1664, the area (and all of Long Island) became known as Yorkshire.
The borough of Queens was originally named after Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II of England. Originally, Queens County included the adjacent area now comprising Nassau County. It was an original county of New York State, one of twelve created in 1683. By 1870, Queens County consisted of six towns: Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica, North Hempstead, Hempstead, and Oyster Bay. In 1870, the city of Long Island City was incorporated, consisting of what had been the Village of Astoria and some unincorporated areas in the Town of Newtown. As a result of a referendum, Long Island City, Newtown, Flushing, Jamaica, and the Rockaway Peninsula of the Town of Hempstead became the Borough of Queens in New York City on January 1, 1898. The part of Queens County that was not consolidated into New York City, consisting of the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and all of the Town of Hempstead, except the Rockaway Peninsula, was constituted as the new Nassau County in 1899.
Queens played a minor role in the American Revolution, as compared to Brooklyn where the Battle of Long Island was largely fought. Queens, like the rest of Long Island, fell under British occupation after the Battle of Long Island in August, 1776 and remained occupied throughout most of the rest of the war. Under the Quartering Act, British soldiers used the private homes of Queens residents as refuge during the war, against the will of many of the local people. The quartering of soldiers in private homes was banned by the 3rd Amendment to the US Constitution largely because of this. Nathan Hale was captured by the British in Queens before being executed in Manhattan.
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are its density and diversity. The New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel. It is also home to nearly a quarter of the nation's South Asians, and the largest African American community of any city in the country. Ethnic composition
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