Long IslandThis article is about Long Island, the island in the United States. There is also a Long Island in the Bahamas, a Long Island in Turkey, and the town of Long Island, Virginia.
Long Island, a part of New York State, is an island off the North American coast, some 118 miles (190 km) long, and from 12 to 20 miles wide, extending from New York Harbor into the North Atlantic Ocean. To the north of the island is Long Island Sound, which separates it from the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. To the south are the Great South Bay and Jamaica Bay, then a number of small barrier islands, and the Atlantic Ocean.
On the western part of Long Island are the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens; east of them are Nassau and Suffolk counties. New Yorkers reserve the term Long Island or the island for Nassau and Suffolk counties only.
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Geologically, the island is glacial moraine, consisting largely of sand and loose soil and rock, rather than bedrock. The eastern end of the island is still partly agricultural, including many vineyards as well as truck farming. Fishing also continues to be an important industry.
Since World War II, however, Long Island has become increasingly suburban and even urban. Levittown was only the first of many new suburbs, and businesses followed residential development eastward. The Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Expressway, and Northern and Southern State Parkways make east-west travel on the island straightforward, if not always quick. In the 2000 census, the population of Suffolk, the easternmost county on the island, was over a million; the total population of Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens, was more than 8 million.
Long Island is considered by most to be an Island, however it was found in the 1980's that its separation from the mainland was due to canal building by the Dutch who first settled in what is now New York City; thus it is not technically an island.