Nassau County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. At the 2010 census, the county's population was 1,339,532, estimated to have increased to 1,369,514 in 2017. The county seat is Garden City but located within the boundaries of the Mineola 11501 ZIP code, and the largest village is Hempstead. Nassau County is situated in western Long Island, bordering New York City's boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn to the west, and Suffolk County to the east. It is the most densely populated and second-most populous county in New York state outside of New York City, with which it maintains extensive rail and highway connectivity, and is considered one of the central counties within the New York metropolitan area. Nassau County contains two cities, three towns, 64 incorporated villages, and more than 60 unincorporated hamlets. Nassau County has a designated police department, fire commission, and elected executive and legislative bodies.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 453 square miles (1,170 km²), of which 285 square miles (740 km²) is land and 169 square miles (440 km²) (37%) is water. Nassau County occupies a portion of Long Island immediately east of the New York City borough of Queens. It is divided into two cities and three towns, the latter of which contain 64 villages and numerous hamlets. The county borders Connecticut across the Long Island Sound.
In 2011, there were about 230,000 Jewish people in Nassau County, representing 17.2% of the population, (as compared to 2% of the total U.S. population). Italian Americans also make up a large portion of Nassau's population. The five most reported ancestries were Italian (23%), Irish (14%), German (7%), American Indian (5%), and Polish (4%). The county's population was highest at the 1970 Census.
The New York Times cited a 2002 study by the non-profit group ERASE Racism, which determined that Nassau, and its neighboring county, Suffolk, are the most de facto racially segregated suburbs in the United States.
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