From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Skyline of Downtown Brooklyn seen from One World Trade Center

Long Island is one of the world’s most urbanized and highly developed islands. As of 2021, Long Island had a population of 8.1 million people and a gross domestic product of $361 billion. [1] Between 2014 and 2019, Long Island experienced a 4.3% growth in jobs. Median income on the island is $112,000 and the median home price is $450,000. Among those over the age of 25, 42.6% hold a college degree or higher educationally. [2]


The counties of Nassau and Suffolk have long been renowned for their affluence and high standard of living. This affluence is especially pervasive among the hamlets and villages on the North Shore of Long Island as far as western Suffolk, the extreme eastern South Shore (home to the Hamptons) and several wealthy pockets along the South Shore further west[ clarification needed]. However, nearly all of Long Island (especially Nassau County and western Suffolk County) is quite expensive to live on by national standards.

Long Island is home to some of the most expensive mansions in the country. In 2005, the most expensive residence in the country was Three Ponds in Bridgehampton. [3] Several of the nation's largest private residences are also on Long Island, including financier Ira Rennert's, Fair Field, in the Hampton's hamlet of Sagaponack and the country's second largest home, Oheka Castle. Long Island is home to the luxury communities of the Hamptons, Cold Spring Harbor, Dix Hills, Centerport, Huntington Bay, and Lloyd Harbor in Suffolk County, and Hewlett Bay Park, Cove Neck, Oyster Bay Cove, Laurel Hollow, Sands Point, Roslyn, Brookville, Old Brookville, Upper Brookville, Lattingtown, Matinecock, Muttontown, Hewlett Harbor, and Manhasset in Nassau County.

Aviation industry

Long Island industry has long benefited from its proximity to New York City. During the 1930s, the island developed an aviation industry, and until about 1990 was considered one of the aviation centers of the United States, with companies such as Grumman Aircraft having their headquarters and factories in the Bethpage area. Grumman was long a major supplier of warplanes for the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps, as seen in many movies. Prominent WW-II Grumman aircraft included the F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat fighters, and the TBF Avenger torpedo bomber. Following WW II, the Grumman A-6 Intruder were utilized by the US Navy and USMC until their retirement in the 1990s, and the Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, first introduced in 1964, is still in service with the US Navy. In more recent years, Grumman produced the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, a fighter aircraft deployed on U.S. aircraft carriers from 1974 to 2006. Obtained by the Shah of Iran in the 1970s when Iran was an ally, F-14 Tomcat has been placed in service as fighters by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, where it still may be active. The Grumman EA-6B Prowler was also deployed by the US Navy and US Marine Corps, until its respective retirements by each service in 2015 and 2019. Grumman was also prominent in the US space program, being the producer of the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module.

In their early decades, aerospace-related companies were concentrated on Long Island, especially in eastern Nassau County in the Bethpage area. Over the years, the industry also diversified to other locations. The Sperry Gyroscope company did very well during WW-II as military demand skyrocketed; it specialized in high technology devices such as gyrocompasses, analog computer-controlled bombsights, airborne radar systems, and automated take-off and landing systems. These became jumping-off points into the multibillion-dollar annually avionics business. During the Cold War decade of the 1950s, part of Sperry Gyroscope was moved to Phoenix, Arizona. This was to try to preserve parts of this vital defense company in the event of nuclear warfare. Both on Long Island and in Arizona, Sperry continued to excel in avionics, and it also provided avionics systems for such NASA programs as the Space Shuttle.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum illustrates and celebrates Long Island aviation.

Long island is home to major divisions of the aircraft systems manufacturer, B/E Aerospace. Their products range from cabin lighting assemblies to aircraft lavatory systems.

Science and engineering

Long Island, has played a prominent role in scientific research and in engineering. It was once the home of the Grumman Aircraft factories where all the Apollo program Lunar Module spacecraft were built; and it still is the home of the Brookhaven National Laboratories in nuclear physics and United States Department of Energy research, as well as physics and astrophysics research projects at Stony Brook University. Additionally, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, is a leading government-funded research laboratory specializing in biomedical education and research. All of these continuing facilities make Long Island a leading high-technology research area for government research.

In the mid to latter part of the 20th century companies such as Sperry Rand and Computer Associates, headquartered in Islandia, made Long Island a center for the computer industry. Gentiva Health Services, a national provider of home health and pharmacy services, was once headquartered on Long Island, but is now based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Long Island was home to the first Trans-Atlantic radio broadcast, from Rocky Point, New York to Paris, France.


Long Island, NY is rich in farming history and features many produce farms located on both the North Shore and South Shores. Because the western and central regions of the island are now largely devoted to residential use, the East End of the island is now the primary agricultural area of Long Island.

East End farms and farmers' markets are the major providers of Long Island's remaining supplies of locally grown fruits, berries, vegetables, poultry, and dairy products. Some farms offer pick-your-own peaches, apples, and pumpkins. [2] This has become a traditional spring, summer, and fall outing for many Long Island residents. [3] The island also still has a considerable area and resources, even in Nassau County, devoted to landscaping horticulture.

Long Island wine

In little over quarter of a century the Long Island wine industry has grown from one vineyard to 3,000 acres (12 km2) of vines in thirty wineries. The island's maritime climate, geography and soil characteristics provide good winegrowing conditions.

The Long Island wine region formally encompasses all of Nassau County and Suffolk County, but most island vineyards are located on the North and South Forks. Some of the vineyards can grow European varietal grapes, while others concentrate on hybrid grapes that are better-adapted to North American conditions of climate and pest resistance. [4] Some winery examples are: Palmer Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Bedell Cellars, Pindar Vineyards, Wolffer Estate Vineyard and Martha Clara Vineyards.

News and media

Long Island is the home of one major newspaper and several smaller newspapers and radio stations. Newsday has one of the largest circulations of all U.S. daily newspapers.[ citation needed] The Long Island Press is a weekly paper begun in 2003. The Suffolk Life, based in Riverhead, the lone competitor to Newsday, was founded in 1961 and went out of business in 2008. [4] There are a few specialty newspapers such as the Long Island Business News and there are several weeklies, such as the Express News Group based in the affluent Hamptons that cover smaller community news and current events in the Long Island Communities in East Hampton, Southampton and Sag Harbor. [5] News 12, once owned and operated by Cablevision System Corp (now Altice USA), is the only Long Island TV cable news channel. News 12 also provides local news separately to Brooklyn, Westchester and New Jersey to each of the areas it serves through its cable delivery services. In addition, the metropolitan area is served by PBS' Long Island affiliate, WLIW, with the 3rd largest public television viewership in the U.S., has a national audience [6]


Tourism in the area is primarily focused on the summer season, on Fire Island and on the East End, with visitors attracted by the natural environment, parks and beaches on Long Island.[ citation needed] The North fork on the east end of Suffolk County is known for its fishing villages, tourist towns, ferries to Connecticut and its neighbors, and for the area's wineries. The South fork has similar tourist attractions including golf, equestrian, boating, surfing, and fine dining in the Hamptons and Montauk. Patchogue is also host to the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, which is also the official home theater of the Atlantic Wind Symphony. [7]

Sunrise in Quogue.

Villages are additional tourist destinations on the Island. Some tourism is local Long Islanders visiting nearby friendly villages.[ citation needed] Examples of villages that attract surrounding communities include Huntington Village, Northport Village, Islip Hamlet, Port Jefferson Village, Sayville, and Cold Spring Harbor in Suffolk County.[ citation needed] Roslyn Village, Great Neck, The City of Long Beach, The City of Glen Cove, Massapequa Park and Rockville Centre, Garden City are popular Nassau County Villages.[ citation needed] Discover Long Island provides information about tourism on Long Island. [8]

Other industries

Fishing continues to be an important industry, especially at Northport and Montauk. In fact, following the demise of the oyster industry in the 1950s when oysters had all but disappeared, through concerted efforts by New York state, local government and the resources of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Research Facility in Southold to develop new technology in support of the sector, Suffolk County, in particular, has revitalized the oyster industry through oyster farming. As of 2018, there were 82 registered permits issued for oyster farming, according to the state Department of Conservation. [9]

Since World War II, Long Island has become increasingly suburban and, in some areas, fully urbanized. Levittown was only the first of many new suburbs, and businesses followed residential development eastward.

Long Island is home to the Hauppauge Industrial Park, which was at one time, the East Coast's largest industrial park. The park has over 1,300 companies, and employs over 55,000 Long Islanders.[ citation needed] Companies in the park and abroad are represented by the Hauppauge Industrial Association. It is noticeable to anyone visiting the park, that there is an abundance of For Rent or For Lease signs marking many of the properties. Many corporations that had long-term leases and moved out of facilities in the park, are still bound under lease-obligations. An example would be the news organization, Reuters Group, which occupies 3 separate facilities there, but shuttered its sites when it was acquired by the Thomson Corporation to become Thomson Reuters, in 2008. By sight alone, it appears that about 20-30% of the properties in the industrial park have been vacated.

A growing entertainment industry presence can also be found on the Island. Most recently producer Mitchell Kriegman established Wainscott Studios in Water Mill, where the PBS children's show It's a Big Big World is shot.

Transportation infrastructure

As a hub of commercial aviation, Long Island is home to two of the New York City metropolitan area's three busiest airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, [a] in addition to Long Island MacArthur Airport; as well as two major air traffic control radar facilities, the New York TRACON and the New York ARTCC. Nine bridges and thirteen navigable tunnels (road and railroad tunnels but not metropolitan water tunnels) connect Brooklyn and Queens to the three other boroughs of New York City. Ferries connect Suffolk County northward across Long Island Sound to the state of Connecticut. The Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America and operates continually. [10]


Nassau County high school students often feature prominently as winners of the International Science and Engineering Fair and similar STEM-based academic awards. [11] Biotechnology companies and scientific research play a significant role in Long Island's economy, [12] including research facilities at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Stony Brook University, New York Institute of Technology, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, the City University of New York, and Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Largest employers

According to Newsday, the largest employers on Long Island, as of 2017, are: [13]

# Employer # of employees
1 Northwell Health 31,153
2 State of New York 20,304
3 Catholic Health Services of Long Island 17,000
4 Nassau County 16,784
5 US Federal Government 16,391
6 Suffolk County 11,075
7 Stop & Shop 8,100
8 Winthrop-University Hospital 7,700
9 Long Island Rail Road 6,960
10 Walmart 5,056
11 Town of Hempstead 4,550
12 Home Depot 4,361
13 CVS 3,983
14 Nassau Board of Cooperative Educational Services 3,755
15 King Kullen 3,649

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2017 the employment of Suffolk and Nassau counties in the following sectors was: [14]

Sector Nassau County Suffolk County Total Percent
Health care and social assistance 149,349 107,764 257,113 14.3%
Retail trade 92,484 90,881 183,365 10.2%
Local government 69,597 72,882 142,479 7.9%
Finance and insurance 81,354 58,030 139,384 7.7%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 71,148 66,618 137,766 7.7%
Real estate and rental and leasing 73,725 45,175 118,900 6.6%
Accommodation and food services 54,754 55,404 110,158 6.1%
Construction 42,483 64,781 107,264 6.0%
Other services (except government) 54,770 49,147 103,917 5.8%
Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 45,394 54,894 100,288 5.6%
Manufacturing 19,623 56,521 76,144 4.2%
Wholesale trade 31,738 44,166 75,904 4.2%
Transportation and warehousing 25,260 25,577 50,837 2.8%
Educational services 32,207 18,225 50,432 2.8%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 21,334 20,695 42,029 2.3%
State government 4,879 21,281 26,160 1.5%
Information 13,058 10,352 23,410 1.3%
Management of companies and enterprises 11,527 9,740 21,267 1.2%
Federal civilian 5,287 11,214 16,501 0.9%
Utilities 4,422 1,038 5,460 0.3%
Military 2,559 2,549 5,108 0.3%
Farming 99 3,007 3,106 0.2%
Forestry, fishing, and related activities Not reported 1,556 1,556 0.1%
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction Not reported 714 714 0.0%
Total 908,475 892,211 1,800,686 100.0%

2008-2009 recession

See also



  1. ^ "GDP by county in 2021" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Long Island" at New York Fed
  3. ^ "The Most Expensive Homes in America — Special Edition — Yahoo! Finance". Retrieved December 5, 2005.
  4. ^ 27 East, retrieved March 1, 2021
  5. ^ Express News Group, About Us, retrieved March 1, 2021
  6. ^ WLIW21, the Third Most-Watched Public Television Station in the Nation, Becomes Available in High Definition on Most Cable Providers, Press Release, June 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Home".
  8. ^ "Home".
  9. ^ Growing culture: Oyster farming's resurgence on Long Island, Tom Schlichter, Newsday, December 7, 2019, retrieved June 25, 2020
  10. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter and End-of-Year 2014" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA). March 3, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  11. ^ "Student Science a Resource of Society for Science & the Public". Society for Science & the Public. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  12. ^ [1] Archived November 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Accessed November 16, 2016.
  13. ^ Long Island's largest employers
  14. ^ Bureau of Economic Analysis: Total Full-Time and Part-Time Employment by NAICS Industry