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Staten Island is a borough of New York City. Situated on an eponymous island, Staten Island is the most geographically separate and least populated of the five boroughs.
The Borough of Staten Island is coterminous with Richmond County, the southernmost county in the state of New York. Until 1975 the borough was officially named the Borough of Richmond.
With a population of about 477,377, Staten Island is sometimes called "the forgotten borough," as it is less well-known than other boroughs, namely Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx. While Staten Island may not have the claim to fame of other boroughs, the Staten Island Ferry is a large tourist attraction and thus provides out-of-towners with some frame of reference for Staten Island. It is the third largest borough in area at 59 sq. mi. (approx. 153 km˛).
Staten Island is considered the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City. The North Shore of the island (especially neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton) is the most urban, with the South Shore accommodating more suburban-style residential neighborhoods. Historically, the central and southern sections of the island were once dominated by dairy and poultry farms, the last of which disappeared over a half-century ago. The borough's steady rise in population since the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has added to a sharp increase in traffic, which many residents find troubling, arguing that the City of New York has thus far neglected to implement proper public transportation infrastructure. To date, Staten Island only has one MTA train line (running North-South on the Eastern shore) and MTA bus service.
Staten Island has also historically been known for the Fresh Kills Landfill, the city of New York's former repository of trash. The landfill's closure was imminent at the turn of the millennium, but Fresh Kills became the home of the debris from Ground Zero following 9/11. The landfill was officially closed in 2001, and there is already a plan in place to revitalize the land for park use in the years ahead.
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