The Financial District, also known as FiDi, is a neighborhood located at the southern tip of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, which comprises the offices and headquarters of many of the city’s major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Anchored on Wall Street in the Financial District, New York City has been called both the most financially powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange by total market capitalization. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Financial District, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.
The neighborhood roughly overlaps with the boundaries of the New Amsterdam settlement in the late 17th century. The Financial District has witnessed growth in its population to approximately 43,000 as of 2014, nearly double the 23,000 recorded at the 2000 Census.
The Financial District encompasses roughly the area south of City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan but excludes Battery Park and Battery Park City. The former World Trade Center complex was located in the neighborhood until the September 11 attacks; the neighborhood includes the successor One World Trade Center. The heart of the Financial District is often considered to be the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, both of which are contained entirely within the district. The northeastern part of the financial district (along Fulton Street and John Street) was known in the early 20th century as the Insurance District, due to the large number of insurance companies that were either headquartered there, or maintained their New York offices there.
Until the late 20th and early 21st century, the neighborhood was considered to be primarily a destination for daytime traders and office workers from around New York City and the surrounding areas. The neighborhood now has a growing number of full-time residents, with estimates made in 2010 showing that there were approximately 61,000 people living in the area, a jump from the 15 to 20 thousand living there before 2001, with many buildings being converted from office space to apartments and condominiums during the 1990s and 2000s.
Although the term is sometimes used as a synonym for Wall Street, the latter term is often applied metonymously to the financial markets as a whole (and is also a street in the district), whereas “the Financial District” implies an actual geographical location. The Financial District is part of Manhattan Community Board 1, which also includes five other neighborhoods (Battery Park City, Civic Center, Greenwich South, Seaport, and Tribeca).