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Queens is one of the five boroughs of New York City. Geographically the largest borough in the city, Queens is home to many immigrants and two of New York's major airports. ------------------------------ The borough of Queens is coterminous with Queens County, which is also the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. As of the 2000 census immigrants comprise 46% of its residents. It is estimated that by 2010 the majority of its population will be foreign born. With a population of 2.2 million it is the second most populous borough in New York City and the tenth most populous county in the United States. --------------------------------- 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, towns such as Flushing (English corruption of the Dutch town name Vlissingen), Maspeth, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Jamaica and others were founded. 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.-------The United States Postal Service divides the borough into five "towns" based roughly on those in existence at the time of the consolidation of the five boroughs into New York City: Long Island City, Jamaica, Flushing, Far Rockaway, and Floral Park. These ZIP codes do not necessarily reflect actual neighborhood names and boundaries; "East Elmhurst," for example, was largely coined by the United States Postal Service and is not an official community. Most neighborhoods have no solid boundaries. The Forest Hills and Rego Park neighborhoods, for instance, overlap.------------ Residents of Queens often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city as a whole. Postal addresses are written with the neighborhood, state, and then zip code rather than the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity. Howard Beach and Middle Village are home to large Italian-American populations, Rockaway Beach has a large Irish-American population, Astoria, in the northwest, is traditionally home to one of the largest Greek population outside of Greece, and is home to a growing population of young professionals from Manhattan. Maspeth is home to many European immigrants, including a large Polish population, as well as a large Hispanic population.--------------Long Island City is a major commercial center and the home of the Queensbridge housing project. Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Corona make up an enormous conglomeration of Hispanic and Asian American communities. Richmond Hill, in the south, has the largest population of Sikhs outside of India; Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, in central Queens, have traditionally large Jewish populations (many of these communities are Jewish immigrants from Israel, Iran and the former Soviet Union) while Jamaica is home to large African American and Caribbean populations. There are also middle-class African-American, Filipino American, Latino and Caribbean neighborhoods such as Saint Albans, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Rosedale and Laurelton along east and southeast Queens. Together, these neighborhoods comprise the most diverse county in the United States. Some Queens neighborhoods, such as Ozone Park, Bayside, Maspeth, Kew Gardens and Woodside are home to a very diverse mix of many different nationalities.One of the most largest populations are from Guyana.