Fun Facts: New York

A few weeks ago we created a blog post with some super mega amazing facts about London. It was pretty fun so we thought hey, why not delight you guys and do the same for another of our most popular destinations?

Our English schools in New York are very popular, so here are some fun facts to know about this iconic city:

  • New York is the most populous city in the whole of the US. Over 8.4 million people are packed into just 305 square miles (that’s 27,541 people per square mile!).
  • New York is also the most ethnically diverse city – 40% of the current inhabitants were born outside of the US. In fact, in New York there are more Irish people than in Dublin and more Italians than in Rome. You see, it’s clearly the place to be.
  • This also makes NYC a great place to learn a new language (English). Almost 50% of the city’s residents speak a language other than English at home. You’ll be among many like-minded people.
  • With all of those people in each other’s space, there’s bound to be some animosity; around 1,600 people are reportedly bitten by fellow New Yorkers every year.
  • NYC is known for its freezing winters and hot summers. On an average summer’s day in the city, the pavements reach around 150 °F (66 °C)! Hot enough to fry an egg? Try it when you’re there and let us know.
  • If eggs aren’t your thing, don’t panic. There are hundreds of different cuisines available in New York. Indeed, Chinese food is so popular that over 100 million Chinese food cartons are used yearly! If placed in a line, these would go around the world more than twice (I worked that out myself).

    The Empire State Building with red lights for Valentine's Day

  • The Empire State Building has 1,576 steps. There is an annual race up them, and the world record time is just 9 minutes 33 seconds! Also, the colors of the building’s lights are not permanent, and change according to current events. For more facts, check out our Empire State Building infographic.
  • 25% of all of the world’s gold is held at The Federal Reserve Bank on New York’s Wall Street. Gold is pretty, but these vaults are 80 feet beneath the bank, so not easily accessible, unfortunately.
  • Apparently it takes around 63,000 trees to make enough paper to print all the issues of the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Wow.
  • It is not just anyone that can busk in the NYC Subway. Musicians must apply and then go through competitive auditions to become part of MUNY (Music Under New York). Even in its underground tunnels, New York is strictly top quality.

'Mole people' in the underground tunnels of NYC (photo credit: Chauncey DeVega)

  • Speaking of underground tunnels, under the prosperous and highly populated surface of NYC exists a very different world. The homeless population that dwell in these dark tunnels are known as ‘Mole People’ and live solitary lives alongside subway trains, rats and old shoes
  • The Statue of Liberty, New York’s largest woman, took hundreds of workers (building for ten hours a day, seven days a week) nine years to complete. And then France just gave her away. She weighs 450,000 pounds, has an 11 meter waistline, and has size 879 feet (7.6 meters long).
  • Finally, here are some old NYC laws that are outdated and amusing but have never been officially removed. Women may go topless in public as long as it is not for business; jumping off a building is punishable by death; it is illegal to throw a ball at someone’s head; and a person may not walk around with an ice cream cone in their pocket. But don’t worry, that’s only on Sundays.

Who wouldn’t want to learn English in a city where all of these things are true?!

Amazed? You should be. But don’t leave it there – tell your friends and they’ll think you’re very wise and entertaining.


Populous: containing many residents or inhabitants; heavily populated.

Animosity: a powerful and active dislike or hostility.

Cuisines: styles or manners of cooking.

Busk: to play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

Prosperous: flourishing; rich; wealthy.

Outdated: old-fashioned; obsolete; out-of-date.

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