Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the world and ranks among the most expensive pieces of real estate; Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the world's highest retail rents, with average annual rents at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017. However, due to the high price of retail spaces in Midtown, there are also many vacant storefronts in the neighborhood. Midtown is the country's largest commercial, entertainment, and media center, and also a growing financial center.
Stuyvesant Town from East 20th Street to East 14th Street and First Avenue to Avenue C
Midtown is the original district in the United States to bear the name and included historical but now defunct neighborhoods such as the Ladies' Mile, along Fifth Avenue from 14th to 23rd Street; and the Tenderloin, from 23rd to 42nd Street and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.
The border of Midtown Manhattan is nebulous and further confused by the fact that the term "Midtown Manhattan" can be used to refer either to a district or a group of neighborhoods and districts in Manhattan:
The area between 14th and 86th Streets includes roughly the center of Manhattan; however, the term Midtown Manhattan can also apply to the area between 31st Street and 59th Streets, although there are still office buildings south of 31st Street.
Midtown proper (within the boundaries of Manhattan Community District 5, and excluding overlapping neighborhoods) is located from 34th to 59th Streets between Third Avenue and Eighth Avenue.
The "Plaza District", a term used by Manhattan real estate professionals to denote the most expensive area of midtown from a commercial real estate perspective, lies between 42nd Street and 59th Street, from Third Avenue to Seventh Avenue, about a square kilometer or half a square mile.
"Midtown South" can refer to the part of Midtown between 23rd Street and around 42nd Street (although its northern boundary is defined differently depending on the source).
"Midtown West" can refer to the area between 34th and 59th Streets, and between 5th and 12th Avenues.
"Midtown East" can refer to the area between 42nd and 59th Streets, and between 5th Avenue and the East River.
In 1982, the City of New York identified the "Manhattan Core" as the area that includes some of the City’s most populous neighborhoods, major institutions, parks and transit hubs, and the City’s primary Central Business District (CBD), defined as Manhattan below 60th Street. The "Manhattan Core" includes some areas slightly further north of 86th Street in Manhattan, as well as the area below 14th Street; however, this definition is problematic because it ignores the fact that Manhattan has not one but two zones in which people do business within this area separated by a wide swath of low-rise (by New York City standards) residential development — there is Midtown (which is in Midtown Manhattan), and the Financial District, (also known simply as "Downtown" because of its location in Downtown Manhattan). In other sources, these districts are referred to as separate central business districts.
The skyline of Midtown Manhattan, looking Downtown (south) toward Lower Manhattan, in April 2017
Midtown Manhattan, along with Lower Manhattan, is one of the world's leading financial centers.
Biotechnology is emerging in Midtown Manhattan, bolstered by the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.
Real estate is a major force in Midtown Manhattan's economy, and indeed the city's, as the total value of all New York City property was estimated at US$914.8 billion for the 2015 fiscal year. Manhattan has perennially been home to some of the nation's, as well as the world's, most marketable real estate, including the Time Warner Center, which had the highest-listed market value in the city in 2006 at US$1.1 billion, to be subsequently surpassed in October 2014 by the Waldorf Astoria New York, which became the most expensive hotel ever sold after being purchased by the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, for US$1.95 billion. When 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007, for US$510 million, about US$1,589 per square foot (US$17,104/m2), it broke the barely month-old record for an American office building of US$1,476 per square foot (US$15,887/m2) based on the sale of 660 Madison Avenue. In 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten zip codes in the United States by median housing price. In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States achieved completion in Midtown Manhattan, at a selling price of US$238 million, for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.
According to The Broadway League, shows on Broadway sold approximately US$1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013-2014 season, an increase of 11.4% from US$1.139 billion in the 2012-2013 season; attendance in 2013-2014 stood at 12.21 million, a 5.5% increase from the 2012-2013 season's 11.57 million.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Midtown Manhattan was 28,630, a change of 2,823 (9.9%) from the 25,807 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 692.81 acres (280.37 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 41.3 inhabitants per acre (26,400/sq mi; 10,200/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 64.1% (18,351) White, 4.6% (1,310) African American, 0.1% (34) Native American, 20.8% (5,942) Asian, 0% (8) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (92) from other races, and 2% (569) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.1% (2,324) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 5, which comprises Midtown Manhattan, had 53,120 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 84.8 years.:2, 20 This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are adults: a plurality (45%) are between the ages of 25–44, while 22% are between 45–64, and 13% are 65 or older. The ratio of youth and college-aged residents was lower, at 7% and 12% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community Districts 4 and 5 (including Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen) was $101,981, though the median income in Midtown individually was $120,854. In 2018, an estimated 11% of Midtown Manhattan residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. One in twenty residents (5%) were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 41% in Midtown Manhattan, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Midtown Manhattan is considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Midtown Manhattan is patrolled by two precincts of the NYPD. Midtown North is patrolled by the 18th Precinct,[a] located at 306 West 54th Street, while Midtown South is patrolled by the 14th Precinct,[a] located at 357 West 35th Street. The precincts ranked 69th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. The high per-capita crime rate can be attributed to the low population of the area, as well as the high number of crimes committed against tourists. With a non-fatal assault rate of 25 per 100,000 people, Midtown Manhattan's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 297 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 18th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 84.2% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 3 murders, 21 rapes, 130 robberies, 190 felony assaults, 175 burglaries, 1,875 grand larcenies, and 31 grand larcenies auto in 2018. The 14th Precinct also has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 88.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 0 murders, 19 rapes, 150 robberies, 199 felony assaults, 210 burglaries, 2,005 grand larcenies, and 23 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Engine Co. 54/Ladder Co. 4/Battalion 9
The main part of midtown Manhattan, between 34th and 59th Streets from Lexington Avenue to Eighth Avenue, is served by five fire stations of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY):
Engine Co. 1/Ladder Co. 24 – 215 West 58th Street
The greater Midtown area between 14th Street and 59th Street contains seven additional fire stations.
Preterm and teenage births in Midtown Manhattan are lower than the city average. In Midtown Manhattan, there were 67 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 4 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Midtown Manhattan has a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 11%, slightly less than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Midtown Manhattan is 0.0113 milligrams per cubic metre (1.13×10−8 oz/cu ft), more than the city average.:9 Eleven percent of Midtown Manhattan residents are smokers, which is less than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Midtown Manhattan, 10% of residents are obese, 5% are diabetic, and 18% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 9% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Ninety-one percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 86% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," more than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Midtown Manhattan, there are 11 bodegas.:10
Midtown Manhattan is located within six primary ZIP Codes. West of Fifth Avenue, Midtown is located in 10018 between 34th and 41st Streets, 10036 between 41st and 48th Streets, and 10019 between 48th and 59th Streets. East of Fifth Avenue, Midtown is located in 10016 between 34th and 40th Streets, 10017 between 40th and 49th Streets, and 10022 between 49th and 59th Streets. The area southwest of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, sometimes considered to be in Midtown, is part of 10001. Other areas between 14th and 34th Streets are covered by ZIP Codes 10003, 10009, 10010, and 10011, though these are generally not considered to be part of Midtown proper. There are also thirty-three ZIP Codes assigned to individual buildings or building complexes.
In addition, the James A. Farley Station, the city's main post office, is located at 421 8th Avenue. The post office stopped 24-hour service in 2009 due to decreasing mail traffic.
Midtown Manhattan generally has a higher rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. A majority of residents age 25 and older (78%) have a college education or higher, while 6% have less than a high school education and 17% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Midtown Manhattan students excelling in math rose from 61% in 2000 to 80% in 2011 and reading achievement increased from 66% to 68% during the same time period.
Midtown Manhattan's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In Midtown Manhattan, 19% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 92% of high school students in Midtown Manhattan graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.:6
There are no public elementary or middle schools in Midtown.
There are also five circulating branches in Midtown:
The 53rd Street branch is located at 18 West 53rd Street. The three-level branch opened in 2016, replacing the former Donnell Library Center that had been open from 1955 to 2008.
The 58th Street branch is located at 127 East 58th Street. The branch opened in a Carnegie library building in 1907 and moved to its current two-story space in 1969.
The Grand Central branch is located at 135 East 46th Street. The two-story library opened in 2008.
The Mid-Manhattan branch is located on the ground level of the Schwarzman Building. It was founded in 1970 and moved to a five-story space in 8 East 40th Street in 1981. That location was closed for renovations from 2017 to 2020.
The Terence Cardinal Cooke-Cathedral branch is located in the basement of 560 Lexington Avenue, adjacent to the 51st Street subway station. It opened in 1887 and is the second-smallest branch of the NYPL system.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal is located at Eighth Avenue and 41st Street at the western edge of Midtown. The terminal is the largest in the United States and busiest in the world by volume of traffic, serving more than 65 million people per year.
Traffic congestion is common, especially for crosstown traffic. In 2011, a new system of traffic light control, known as "Midtown in Motion" was announced, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion. Approximately 750,000 vehicles enter Midtown Manhattan on a fall business day. According to the 2011 Traffic Data Report for New York State, 777,527 vehicles a day went through select toll facilities into Manhattan.
^ abOfficially, the precincts are known as the 14th and 18th Precincts. However, they are respectively publicly referred to as the Midtown South and Midtown North Precincts, making them one of the few unnumbered NYPD precincts in New York City.
^Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Juvenile Delinquency: Comic Books. Motion Pictures. Obscene and Pornographic Materials. Television Programs. Greenwood Press, 1969. 47. Retrieved on January 25, 2011. "American Comics Group, 45 West 45th Street, New York, NY"
^This does not include five additional branches located between 14th and 59th Streets but are not part of Midtown proper. These are the Columbus, Epiphany, Kips Bay, and Muhlenberg branches and the Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library.