The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City in the U.S. state of New York, located south of Westchester County. Many bridges and tunnels link the Bronx to the island and borough of Manhattan to the west over and under the narrow Harlem River, as well as three longer bridges south over the East River to the borough of Queens. Of the five boroughs, the Bronx is the only one on the U.S. mainland and, with a land area of 42 square miles (109 km2) and a population of 1,438,159 in 2014, has the fourth largest land area, the fourth highest population, and the third-highest population density.
The Bronx is divided by the Bronx River into a hillier section in the west, closer to Manhattan, and a flatter eastern section, closer to Long Island. East and west street addresses are divided by Jerome Avenue—the continuation of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. The West Bronx was annexed to New York City in 1874, and the areas east of the Bronx River in 1895. Bronx County was separated from New York County in 1914.
Although the Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., about a quarter of its area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo in the borough's north and center, on land deliberately reserved in the late 19th century as urban development progressed northwards and eastwards from Manhattan with the building of roads, bridges and railways.
The Bronx is named after Jonas Bronck who created the first settlement as part of the New Netherland colony in 1639. The native Lenape were displaced after 1643 by settlers. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Bronx received many immigrant groups as it was transformed into an urban community, first from various European countries (particularly Ireland, Germany and Italy) and later from the Caribbean region (particularly Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic), as well as African American migrants from the American South. This cultural mix has made the Bronx a wellspring of both Latin music and hip hop.
The Bronx contains one of the five poorest Congressional Districts in the U.S., the 15th, but its wide diversity also includes affluent, upper-income and middle-income neighborhoods such as Riverdale, Fieldston, Spuyten Duyvil, Schuylerville, Pelham Bay, Pelham Gardens, Morris Park and Country Club. The Bronx, particularly the South Bronx, saw a sharp decline in population, livable housing, and the quality of life in the late 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in a wave of arson. Since then the communities have shown significant redevelopment starting in the late 1980s before picking up pace in the 1990s into today.