Both the longest and largest island in the contiguous United States, Long Island extends 118 miles eastward from New York Harbor to Montauk Point. Its estimated population of 7.9 million, constitutes nearly 40% of New York’s population.
Long Island plays a prominent role in scientific research and in engineering. It is home to the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s research facility, Sperry Rand, Computer Associates, Zebra Technologies and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Additionally, Long Island is home to the East Coast’s largest industrial park, the Hauppauge Industrial Park. As many as 20% of Long Islanders commute to New York City for work. The eastern end of the island is still partly agricultural. In the last 25 years, development of vineyards on the North Fork became a major new industry, replacing potato fields.
Two of the New York City metropolitan area’s three busiest airports, JFK International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are located on the island. In addition, the Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America.