Geographically, a large island formed by glacial till deposited by glaciers in the last ice age. Consists of the suburban counties of Nassau and Suffolk, along with the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, with a total population of around 7 million.
Regionally/Politically, just Nassau and Suffolk counties, the eastern four-fifths of the geographical Long Island, with a population of 2.5 million. This is the most common use of the term.
Until the explosion of suburban development following World War II, Long Island was a geographically diverse region, with beaches, hills, woods, praries (yep), petrified forests (that, too), and small, idyllic fishing and farming villages. Now, the landscape is dominated by suburban towns and unincorporated communities that range in population from a couple hundred to around 50,000 people. Beach resort/bedroom communities like The Hamptons
are extremely popular with downstate in the summer months. In addition, Jones Beach is a popular recreational and music venue, while Fire Island is world-famous as a gay mecca and a historic nautical community.
High quality of life, low crime rate, proximity to New York City, reasonably efficient and reliable public transit, attractive beaches, Splish Splash waterpark.
Aging population, rising cost of living, racial segregation, urban sprawl, the necessity of owning a car, beach erosion, increasing problems with gangs, the trashy reputation of some of its younger residents ("lidiot