New York City

most populous city in the United States

New York, often called New York City (NYC), is the most populous city in the United States. It is at the southern end of the U.S. state of New York. Over 8 million people currently live in the city, and over 22 million people live in the bigger New York metropolitan area. It is the financial capital of the U.S. because it is home to the nation's stock market, Wall Street, and the One World Trade Center.

New York
Official seal of New York
Interactive map of New York City
Coordinates: 40°42′46″N 74°00′22″W / 40.71278°N 74.00611°W / 40.71278; -74.00611[1]
Country United States
State New York
Constituent counties (boroughs)Bronx (The Bronx)
Kings (Brooklyn)
New York (Manhattan)
Queens (Queens)
Richmond (Staten Island)
Historic coloniesNew Netherland
Province of New York
Named forJames, Duke of York
 • TypeStrong mayor–council
 • BodyNew York City Council
 • MayorEric Adams (D)
 • Total472.4 sq mi (1,223.6 km2)
 • Land300.5 sq mi (778.2 km2)
 • Water172.0 sq mi (445.4 km2)
 • Metro
13,318 sq mi (34,490 km2)
Elevation33 ft (10 m)
 • Total8,804,190
 • Rank1st in the United States
1st in New York
 • Density29,303.2/sq mi (11,314.0/km2)
 • Metro20,140,470 (1st)
DemonymNew Yorker
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
100xx–104xx, 11004–05, 111xx–114xx, 116xx
Area code(s)212/646/332, 718/347/929, 917
FIPS code36-51000
GNIS feature ID975772
Major airportsJFK Airport
Newark Liberty Airport
LaGuardia Airport
Islip Airport
White Plains Airport
Stewart Airport
Commuter railLIRR, Metro-North, NJ Transit
Rapid transit
GDP (City, 2019)$884 billion[6] (1st)
GMP (Metro, 2020)$1.67 trillion[7] (1st)
Largest borough by areaQueens (109 square miles or 280 square kilometres)
Largest borough by populationBrooklyn (2020 census: 2,736,074)[8]
Largest borough by GDP (2019)Manhattan ($635.3 billion)[6]
Official nameStatue of Liberty; The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
Criteriai, ii, vi
Designated1984, 2019 (8th, 43rd sessions)
Reference no.Statue of Liberty - UNESCO World Heritage Centre; The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
State PartyUnited States
RegionEurope and North America
Skyline looking westwards

Being on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City is made up of five boroughs, each of which is a county of the state of New York.[9] The five boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island—were combined into one city in 1898.[10] The city and its metropolitan area are an important place for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York,[11] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York has more than 3.2 million people born outside the United States,[12] the biggest foreign-born population of any city in the world as of 2016.[13][14]

New York City started as a trading post created by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626.[15] In 1664, the English controlled the city and the areas around it,[15] and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England gave the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[16] New York was the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790,[17] and has been the biggest U.S. city since 1790.[18] The Statue of Liberty welcomed millions of immigrants as they came to the U.S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,[19] and it is a symbol of the U.S. and its ideals of liberty and peace.[20] In the 21st century, New York has grew into a global hub of creativity and entrepreneurship[21] and environmental sustainability,[22][23] and as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity.[24] In 2019, New York was voted the best city in the world in a survey of over 30,000 people from 48 cities worldwide, because of its cultural diversity.[25]

Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known, including three of the world's ten most visited tourist places in 2013.[26] A record 62.8 million tourists came to New York City in 2017. Times Square is the colorful area of the Broadway Theater District,[27] one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections,[28][29] and a famous area for the world's entertainment industry.[30] Many of the city's landmarks, skyscrapers,[31] and parks are known around the world. Manhattan's real estate market is one of the most expensive in the world.[32][33] New York has more Greek people outside of Greece than anywhere in the world, with many Chinatowns across the city. The New York City Subway is the biggest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. The city has over 120 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, New York University, Rockefeller University, and the City University of New York system, which is the biggest urban public university system in the United States.[34] The world's two largest stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange, located on Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, and NASDAQ, headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, are both in Manhattan.



In 1664, the city was named after the Duke of York, who would become King James II of England. James's older brother, King Charles II, had chosen the Duke proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, which England had recently taken from the Dutch.[35]

Early history


The oldest part of the city, the island of Manhattan, still has its original Lenape name. Although Native people such as the Lenape and Canaries had lived there for many thousands of years, New York City was first explored by Europeans in the 1500s. When Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano found the entrance to New York Harbor in the year 1524, he gave to this site the name of New Angoulême in the honor of Francois 1st. In 1609, the English explorer Henry Hudson rediscovered New York Harbor while looking for the Northwest Passage to the Orient for the Dutch East India Company.[36] Hudson's first mate said it was "a very good Harbour for all windes" and the river was "a mile broad" and "full of fish".[37]

Juan Rodriguez (transliterated to Dutch as Jan Rodrigues) was one of the first people associated with Europe to live there. He was a merchant from Santo Domingo. He was born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, and he came to Manhattan during the winter of 1613–14. He trapped for pelts and traded with the local people as a representative of the Dutch. Broadway, from 159th Street to 218th Street in Upper Manhattan, is named Juan Rodriguez Way in his honor.[38][39]

Dutch control

Peter Minuit is credited with buying the island of Manhattan in 1626.

New York City was settled by Europeans from The Netherlands in 1624. The Dutch called the whole area of New York Netherland (New Netherland) and they named a fort and town on the south end of Brooklyn.

In 1626, the Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit, acting for the Dutch West India Company, bought the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small Lenape band.[40] He paid "the value of 60 guilders"[41] (about $900 in 2018).[42] A false story says that Manhattan was bought for $24 worth of glass beads.[43][44] 1626 was also the year the Dutch began to bring black slaves there.[45]

After the purchase, New Amsterdam grew slowly.[46] In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant started his job as the last Director-General of New Netherland. During this time, the number of people of New Netherland grew from 2,000 to 8,000.[47][48]

Island New Amsterdam (New Amsterdam),[49] after the capital city of the Netherlands, which was to become present-day New York. The English took over the colony in 1664 during the second Anglo-Dutch War. They changed the name to New York, to honor the Duke of York, who later became King James II of England and James VII of Scotland. The Dutch surrendered Nieuw Amsterdam without fighting.

English control

New Amsterdam, centered in Lower Manhattan, in 1664, the year England took control and renamed it "New York"

By the time the English took New York, there were many other Dutch towns in what would become New York City, including Breukelen (Brooklyn), Vlissingen (Flushing), and Nieuw Haarlem (Harlem). There were already some English towns in the area also, such as Gravesend in Brooklyn and Newtown in Queens. Dutch, English and other people had been living together in New York for a long time.

New York became more important as a trading port while under British rule in the early 1700s.[50] It also became a center of slavery as the British increased the slave trade and built a slave market in the city.[45] 42% of households owned slaves by 1730, the highest percentage outside Charleston, South Carolina.[51]

The 1735 trial and acquittal in Manhattan of John Peter Zenger, who had been accused of seditious libel after criticizing colonial governor William Cosby, helped to create the freedom of the press in North America.[52] In 1754, Columbia University was created under charter by King George II; it was called King's College, and it was in Lower Manhattan.[53]

American Revolution

The Battle of Long Island, the biggest battle of the American Revolution, happened in Brooklyn in 1776.

New York quickly grew to become a large and important port city. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October 1765, as the Sons of Liberty. It organized in the city, and they skirmished over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.[54] The important Battle of Long Island of the American Revolution was fought in Brooklyn in 1776; it was the biggest battle of the war.[55] The Americans lost the battle. The British used the area as its headquarters for the war in North America.

New York was the capital of the United States under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1788. When the US Constitution was made, it stayed as the capital from 1789 until 1790.[56] In 1789, the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each met for the first time, and the United States Bill of Rights was written, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street.[57] By 1790, New York grew bigger than Philadelphia, so it become the biggest city in the United States. By the end of 1790, because of the Residence Act, Philadelphia became the new capital.[58][59]

Nineteenth century


During the nineteenth century, New York City's population grew from ~60,000 to ~3.43 million.[60] The number of black people in New York City reached more than 16,000 in 1840.[61] Even though slavery and the slave trade were abolished in New York, the slave trade continued illegally for many years.[62]

The Great Irish Famine brought a many Irish immigrants; more than 200,000 were living in New York by 1860, more than a quarter of the city's population.[63] There was also many people from German provinces, and Germans made up another 25% of New York's population by 1860.[64]

During the American Civil War, many white people in the city supported the Confederate States of America, and July 1863 they killed many black New Yorkers in a riot.[45]

Modern history


In 1898, the cities of New York and Brooklyn came together with the Bronx, Staten Island, and the western towns in Queens County to make Greater New York. This is the total area of the City of New York today. Around this time, many new immigrants came into New York City. They came in at Ellis Island, an island in New York's harbor near the Statue of Liberty. Many of them then moved to the Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan, which had over a million people living in just a few square miles.

UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld in front of the United Nations Headquarters building, built in 1952

Early in the twentieth century, with better transportation, more people moved to outer parts of the greater city, and many commuted to Manhattan. Many skyscrapers and other big buildings were put up to provide places to work.

In the 1970s, many jobs were lost due to industrial restructuring. This caused New York City to have economic problems and high crime rates.[65] Though the financial industry grew, which greatly helped the city's economy in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through that decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[66] By the mid 1990s, crime rates started to drop a lot due to different police strategies, better economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both Americans and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, started in the city's economy.[67] New York's population reached all-time highs in the 2000 census and then again in the 2010 census.

United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the original World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

New York had most of the economic damage and biggest loss of human life from the September 11, 2001 attacks.[68] Two of the four planes taken over that day were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, destroying them and killing 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 police officers. The North Tower became the tallest building ever to be destroyed anywhere.[69]

Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs.[70]


The five boroughs:
1. Manhattan
2. Brooklyn
3. Queens
4. Bronx
5. Staten Island
Satellite imagery demonstrating the core of the New York City Metropolitan Area

During the Wisconsin glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City area was at the edge of a big ice sheet over 2,000 feet (610 m) deep.[71] Erosion and the ice moving lead to the creation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. It also left bedrock at a shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers.[72]

New York City is located in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston.[73] The city includes all of Manhattan Island and Staten Island, and the western end of Long Island. There are also many smaller islands.

Water divides several parts of the city. The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary.[74] The Hudson River separates the city from the U.S. state of New Jersey. Part of the Hudson River forms the border between Manhattan and the Bronx on one side, and the State of New Jersey on the other side. The East River forms the border between Manhattan on one side, and Brooklyn and Queens on the other side. The Harlem River forms the border between Manhattan and the Bronx (except for a small part of Manhattan that is on the mainland). Part of Long Island Sound separates the Bronx and Queens. Newtown Creek is part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens. Some parts of the city are very separate from the others because of water, such as Rockaway in Queens and City Island in the Bronx. A small piece of land in Manhattan is international territory and belongs to the United Nations Headquarters. The country of Somalia is the only country whose national flag copied the colors of the UN.[75] The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely fresh water river in the city.[76]

The city's total area is 468.484 square miles (1,213.37 km2), including 302.643 sq mi (783.84 km2) of land and 165.841 sq mi (429.53 km2) of this is water.[77][78] The tallest place in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island. It is at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, and it is the tallest place on the Eastern Seaboard that is south of Maine.[79] The summit of the ridge is mostly woodland as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.[80]

The hallmark of New York city is its many skyscrapers, especially in Manhattan. In New York City there are about 5600 skyscrapers. 48 of them are over 200 metres tall, which is the highest number of skyscrapers in one area in the world.


Jurisdiction Population Land area Density of population GDP
Borough County Census
sq. mile
sq. km
(2022 US$) 2
1,472,654 42.2 109.2 34,920 13,482 $43.7
2,736,074 69.4 179.7 39,438 15,227 $107.3
New York
1,694,251 22.7 58.7 74,781 28,872 $781.0
2,405,464 108.7 281.6 22,125 8,542 $103.3
495,747 57.5 149.0 8,618 3,327 $17.5
8,804,190 300.5 778.2 29,303 11,314 $1,052.8
20,201,249 47,123.6 122,049.5 429 166 $1,763.5
Sources:[81][82][83][84] and see individual borough articles.

New York City has five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.


Map of Manhattan borough in 2023

Manhattan (New York County) is the geographically smallest and most densely populated borough. It has Central Park and most of the city's skyscrapers. It is sometimes locally known as The City.[85]



Brooklyn (Kings County), on the western end of Long Island, has the most people living in it than any other borough. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social, and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, unique neighborhoods, and unique architecture.



Queens (Queens County), on Long Island north and east of Brooklyn, is geographically the biggest borough and the most ethnically diverse county in the United States.[86] It is also the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.[87][88]

The Bronx


The Bronx (Bronx County) is New York City's northernmost borough. It is the only New York City borough with most of the land being on the mainland United States. The Yankee Stadium, the baseball park of the New York Yankees, and the biggest cooperatively owned housing complex in the United States, Co-op City, are in the Bronx.[89] The Bronx Zoo, the world's largest metropolitan zoo,[90] is also in the Bronx. It is 265 acres (1.07 km2) big and has more than 6,000 animals.[91] Rap and hip hop culture were created in the Bronx.[92] Pelham Bay Park is the biggest park in New York City, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).[93]

Staten Island


Staten Island (Richmond County) is the most suburban of the five boroughs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It is connected to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry, a daily commuter ferry which has clear views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan. In central Staten Island, the Staten Island Greenbelt is about 2,500 acres (10 km2) big, including 28 miles (45 km) of walking trails and one of the last untouched forests in the city.[94]



Under the Köppen climate classification, New York City experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and a humid continental climate (Dfa).[95][96] The average temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.1 °F (0.1 °C). However, temperatures in winter could for a few days be as low as 10 °F (−12 °C) and as high as 60 °F (16 °C).[97] Summers are typically hot and humid with a July average of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C). New York City gets some snow in winter.



New York City currently has over 8 million people. Over 20 million people live in the New York metropolitan area including the city. The majority of the people in New York City belong to ethnic groups that are minorities in the US. New York City has had large numbers of immigrants for centuries. In the early 19th Century, they came from Ireland and Germany. Later in the 19th century, they came from Italy, Russia and Eastern Europe. Today, many are from Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. Other ethnic groups living in New York City are Turks, Indians, Mexicans, Filipinos, Eastern Europeans, Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Caribbeans and Chinese. New York City has one of the largest Hispanic and Latino population in the United States.[102]


Top publicly traded companies
in New York City

(ranked by 2015 revenues)
with city and U.S. ranks
NYC Corporation US
1 Verizon Communications 13
2 JPMorgan Chase 23
3 Citigroup 29
4 MetLife 40
5 American International Group 49
6 Pfizer (pharmaceuticals) 55
7 New York Life 61
8 Goldman Sachs 74
9 Morgan Stanley 78
10 TIAA (Teachers Ins. & Annuity) 82
11 INTL FCStone 83
12 American Express 85
Every firm's revenue exceeded $30 billion.
Financial services firms in green
Full table at Economy of New York City
Source: Fortune 500[103]

New York City is a global hub of business and commerce, as a center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States. The Port of New York and New Jersey is also a big part of the economy. It received a record cargo volume in 2017, over 6.7 million TEUs.[104] New York City's unemployment rate fell to its record low of 4.0% in September 2018.[105]

Many Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in New York City,[106] as are many multinational corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company.[107] New York City has been ranked first among cities around the world in getting capital, business, and tourists.[108][109] New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry can be seen with "Madison Avenue".[110] The city's fashion industry has about 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages.[111]

Chocolate is New York City's biggest specialty-food export, with up to $234 million worth of exports each year.[112] Entrepreneurs were creating a "Chocolate District" in Brooklyn as of 2014,[113] while Godiva, one of the world's biggest chocolatiers, continues to be headquartered in Manhattan.[114]

Wall Street

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, by a big amount the world's largest stock exchange per market capitalization of its listed companies,[115][116] at $23.1 trillion as of April 2018[117]

New York City's biggest economic part is the U.S. financial industry, also known as Wall Street. The city's securities industry, which has 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to be the biggest part of the city's financial sector and an important economic part. In 2012, Walls Street made 5.0% of the city's private sector jobs, 8.5% ($3.8 billion) of its tax revenue, and 22% of the city's total wages, including an average salary of $360,700.[118]

In Lower Manhattan, there is the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's biggest and second biggest stock exchanges, respectively.[119][120] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled about $40 billion in 2012,[121] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 every year.[122] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry made 19% of New York State's tax revenue.[123]

Many of the world's biggest media conglomerates are also in the city. Manhattan had more than 500 million square feet (46.5 million m2) of office space in 2018,[124] making it the biggest office market in the United States.[125] Midtown Manhattan, with 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) in 2018,[124] is the biggest central business area in the world.[126]

Media and entertainment

Rockefeller Center is home to NBC Studios.



WABC American Broadcasting Company

USA Network

Showtime (TV channel)


New York is an important place for the American entertainment industry, with many movies, television series, books, and other media being set there.[127] As of 2012, New York City was the second biggest center for filmmaking and television production in the United States, making about 200 feature films every year, making about 130,000 jobs. The filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, providing nearly $9 billion to the New York City economy as of 2015.[128] By amount, New York is the world leader in independent film production—one-third of all American independent films are created there.[129][130] The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York.[131]

New York City is also an important place for the advertising, music, newspaper, digital media, and publishing industries, and it is the biggest media market in North America.[132] Some of the city's media conglomerates and companies include Time Warner, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, the Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P., the News Corporation, The New York Times Company, NBCUniversal, the Hearst Corporation, AOL, and Viacom. Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks have their headquarters in New York.[133] Two of the top three record labels' headquarters are in New York: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group also has offices in New York.

More than 200 newspapers and 350 magazines have an office in the city,[130] and the publishing industry has about 25,000 jobs.[134] Two of the three national daily newspapers with the biggest circulations in the United States are published in New York: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. Big tabloid newspapers in the city include The New York Daily News, which was created in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson,[135] and The New York Post, created in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton.[136] The city also has a many ethnic presses, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages.[137] El Diario La Prensa is New York's biggest Spanish-language daily newspaper, and it is the oldest in the United States.[138] The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a big African American newspaper. The Village Voice, historically the biggest alternative newspaper in the United States, announced in 2017 that it would end publication of its print version, and it will only publish online.[139]

New York is also an important place for non-commercial educational media. The oldest public-access television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, created in 1971.[140]



The New York City Public Schools system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the biggest public school system in the United States. It serves about 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 different primary and secondary schools.[141]

The New York City Charter School Center helps the creation of new charter schools.[142] There are about 900 additional private secular and religious schools in the city.[143]

College and university


More than 600,000 students are enrolled in New York City's more than 120 colleges and universities, which is the most of any city in the United States and more than other major global cities such as London,[144] and Tokyo.[145] More than half a million are just in the City University of New York (CUNY) system as of 2020, including both degree and professional programs.[146] New York City's colleges and universities had also higher average scores than those two cities in 2019, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.[147] New York City has many famous private universities such as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Rockefeller University, and Yeshiva University; many of these universities are ranked as some of the best universities in the world.[148][149]


Statue of Liberty
The United Nations building in Manhattan

The mayor of New York is Eric Adams, a Democrat. The city also has a City Council that makes some local laws. Most laws in New York City are set by the state government in Albany.



Subway transportation is provided by the New York City Subway system, one of the biggest in the world.[150] Pennsylvania Station, the busiest train station in the United States, is here.[151]

John F. Kennedy International Airport, which is in the Queens borough of New York, is one of the busiest airports in the United States.

Famous sights

Sight Where
Statue of Liberty Harbor
Empire State Building Midtown
Rockefeller Center Midtown
George Washington Bridge Uptown
United Nations Headquarters Midtown
Central Park Manhattan
St. Patrick's Cathedral Midtown
Grant's Tomb Uptown
Times Square Midtown
World Trade Center site Downtown
Flatiron Building Midtown
Brooklyn Bridge Downtown
Charging Bull Downtown


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  1. Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. Official weather observations for Central Park were conducted at the Arsenal at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street from 1869 to 1919, and at Belvedere Castle since 1919.[98]

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