Skip links

Facts about Brooklyn for Kids

Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan).

  • Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate..
  • The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area on the western end of Long Island, also inhabited by a Native American people, the Lenape.
  • A few houses and cemeteries still bear witness to the Dutch origins of the borough of Brooklyn, including the oldest house of New York City, the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Flatlands.
  • In 1894, Brooklyn residents voted by a slight majority to join with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Richmond (later Staten Island) to become the five boroughs of the modern New York City.
  • Brooklyn’s job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national and city economy, population flows and the borough’s position as a convenient back office for New York’s businesses.
  • Brooklyn has long been a magnet for immigrants, and many ethnic groups dominate a particular neighborhood for a time, although the neighborhoods are ever-changing as populations move in and out.
  • “Bed-Stuy” is a hub for African-American culture, often referenced in hip hop and African-American arts.
  • Brooklyn is also home to many Russians and Ukrainians, who are mainly concentrated in community of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.
  • Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are predominant in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and East New York.
  • Italian Americans live throughout most of southern Brooklyn, including Bath Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Bergen Beach.
  • The Carroll Gardens area, as well as the northern half of Williamsburg, also have long-standing Italian-American communities.
  • Other notable religious Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods are in Kensington, Midwood, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Canarsie, Sea Gate and Crown Heights.
  • Brooklyn’s Greek Americans live throughout the borough, but their businesses today are concentrated in Downtown Brooklyn near Atlantic Avenue.
  • Brooklyn’s West Indian community is concentrated in the Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Kensington, and Canarsie neighborhoods in central Brooklyn.
  • The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, is the nation’s second-largest public art museum.
  • Bargemusic and St. Ann’s Warehouse are located on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district.
  • Brooklyn Technical High School, a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States.
  • Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, and was the first public co-ed liberal arts college in New York City.