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New York City is the most-populous city in the United States, with an estimated record high of 8,491,079 residents as of 2014, incorporating more immigration into the city than outmigration since the 2010 United States Census. More than twice as many people live in New York City as in the second-most populous U.S. city (Los Angeles), and within a smaller area. New York City's population amounts to about 40% of New York State's population and a similar percentage of the New York metropolitan regional population.

In 2014, the city had an estimated population density of 27,858 people per square mile (10,756/km²), rendering it the most densely populated of all municipalities housing over 100,000 residents in the United States; however, several small cities (of fewer than 100,000) in adjacent Hudson County, New Jersey are more dense overall, as per the 2000 Census. Geographically co-extensive with New York County, the borough of Manhattan's population density of 71,672 people per square mile (27,673/km²) makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.

The city's population in 2010 was 44% white (33.3% non-Hispanic white), 25.5% black (23% non-Hispanic black), 0.7% Native American, and 12.7% Asian. Hispanics of any race represented 28.6% of the population, while Asians constituted the fastest-growing segment of the city's population between 2000 and 2010; the non-Hispanic white population declined 3 percent, the smallest recorded decline in decades; and for the first time since the Civil War, the number of blacks declined over a decade