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The Tall Apple: Number of Stories in NYC Skyscrapers Might Floor You

New York City is a rather tall place. The skyline is iconic, and the city is known, in particular, for its skyscrapers.

But how many floors does the Big Apple have?

It’s a pretty tricky question. The city’s Department of Buildings publishes ample data (go ahead and check how many times your building failed an elevator inspection; you might be inspired to take the stairs). But it’s difficult to collect data about the number of floors because that’s locked up in PDFs.

We do have a rough guide, though, based on the committed aficionados at SkyscraperPage.com, which has a reliable database of buildings over 10 stories in major cities, the Big Apple included.

SkyscraperPage has 6,080 buildings that are higher than 10 stories in its New York dataset. Add in buildings under construction — which include the skyline-defining 104-story One World Trade Center — and you have 6,176 buildings. This set of buildings has an average of 18.7 floors and a median of 16 floors, according to my analysis of the site’s data.

So, among buildings over 10 stories, New York has a whopping 115,523 floors. The tallest 2,000 buildings contain half of all the floors. The tallest 10 percent of buildings contain more than a fifth of the floors (22 percent).

If the average story is about 10 feet tall, then New York’s buildings, stacked on top of one another, stand about 1,155,230 feet (we’re not including spires). That’s roughly 218 miles high. That’s about 10 miles shy of reaching the International Space Station.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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