United States Of America

United States

Washington, DC
318 857 056 (2014)
9 833 517 km2
3 796 741 mi2
6 190 m
20 308 ft
Denali (Mount McKinley)

Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
  • mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest
  • low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains

Northern America

North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico

  • world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India)
  • Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent

  • vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east
  • rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska
  • rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii

Denali (Mount McKinley)
6 190 m
20 308 ft
Death Valley
-86 m
-282 ft
Denali (Mount McKinley) Mount Everest
  • coal
  • copper
  • lead
  • molybdenum
  • phosphates
  • rare earth elements
  • uranium
  • bauxite
  • gold
  • iron
  • mercury
  • nickel
  • potash
  • silver
  • tungsten
  • zinc
  • petroleum
  • natural gas
  • timber
  • arable land
Tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
Volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elev. 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elev. 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elev. 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (elev. 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
  • large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels
  • air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada
  • water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers
  • limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management
  • desertification

9 833 517 km2
3 796 741 mi2
9 147 593 km2
3 531 904 mi2
685 924 km2
264 837 mi2
32.54 % 22.06 % 96.6 % 39.8 % 55.12 % 127.84 % 70.24 % 1.93 %
12048 km
7486 mi
Canada 8893 km/5526 mi
Mexico 3155 km/1960 mi

19 924 km/12 380 mi

33.80 %

16.60 %

44.30 %
  • wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton
  • beef, pork, poultry, dairy products
  • fish
  • forest products
  • highly diversified
  • world leading
  • high-technology innovator
  • second-largest industrial output in the world; petroleum
  • steel
  • motor vehicles
  • aerospace
  • telecommunications
  • chemicals
  • electronics
  • food processing
  • consumer goods
  • lumber
  • mining

318 857 056


50.4 %

49.6 %

19.1 %

66.6 %

14.4 %

32.43 / km2
83.98 / mi2

259 699 506

59 157 550

76.50 yrs

81.30 Years

78.92 Years
28.7 % 7.2 % 42.94 % 60.31 % 82.29 % 845.46 % 4.31 %
  • English 79.2%
  • Spanish 12.9%
  • Other Indo-European 3.8%
  • Asian and Pacific island 3.3%
  • Other 0.9%
  • Protestant 51.3%
  • Roman Catholic 23.9%
  • Mormon 1.7%
  • Other Christian 1.6%
  • Jewish 1.7%
  • Buddhist 0.7%
  • Muslim 0.6%
  • Other or unspecified 2.5%
  • Unaffiliated 12.1%
  • None 4%
  • White 79.96%
  • Black 12.85%
  • Asian 4.43%
  • Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%
  • Native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%
  • Two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)

United States Of America
United States

United States


Estados Unidos

Stati Uniti D'America

Constitution-based federal republic
Strong democratic tradition

The name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512), Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer

Bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats; 2 members directly elected in each of the 50 state constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia and Louisiana which require an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 2 years) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote except in Georgia which requires an absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 2-year terms)

13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; the blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship; red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
Bald eagle
National colors: red, white, blue
President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009)
Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
Note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
  • 4 July 1776
    3 September 1783
    (recognized by Great Britain)

  • Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Washington, DC
38 53 N, 77 02 W

New York-Newark 18.593 million
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana 12.31 million
Chicago 8.745 million
Miami 5.817 million
Dallas-Fort Worth 5.703 million
WASHINGTON, D.C. 4.955 million

50 states and 1 district*
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
13,513 (2013)
beds/1,000 population (2011)
physicians/1,000 population (2011)
US Supreme Court (consists of 9 justices - the chief justice and 8 associate justices)
18 years of age

United States Armed Forces
US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2013)

The US has the most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $54,800. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, and medical, aerospace, and military equipment; however, their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. Based on a comparison of GDP measured at Purchasing Power Parity conversion rates, the US economy in 2014, having stood as the largest in the world for more than a century, slipped into second place behind China, which has more than tripled the US growth rate for each year of the past four decades. ++ ++ In the US, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. ++ ++ Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits. ++ ++ The onrush of technology has been a driving factor in the gradual development of a "two-tier" labor market in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. But the globalization of trade, and especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the return to capital. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income. ++ ++ Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption and oil has a major impact on the overall health of the economy. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the value of the dollar and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. ++ ++ The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012, the federal government reduced the growth of spending and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. ++ ++ Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the budget deficit and public debt. Through 2014, the direct costs of the wars totaled more than $1.5 trillion, according to US Government figures. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than those of most other countries. ++ ++ In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform that was designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on health care - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010. ++ ++ In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight. ++ ++ In December 2012, the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities in an effort to hold down long-term interest rates, and to keep short term rates near zero until unemployment dropped below 6.5% or inflation rose above 2.5%. In late 2013, the Fed announced that it would begin scaling back long-term bond purchases to $75 billion per month in January 2014 and reduce them further as conditions warranted; the Fed ended the purchases during the summer of 2014. In 2014, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, and continued to fall to 5.5% by mid-2015, the lowest rate of joblessness since before the global recession began; inflation stood at 1.7%, and public debt as a share of GDP continued to decline, following several years of increase.

17 419 000 000 000.0
54 629.5
agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2008 est.)
  • China 19.9%
  • Canada 14.8%
  • Mexico 12.5%
  • Japan 5.7%
  • Germany 5.3%
agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 est.)
  • Canada 19.2%
  • Mexico 14.8%
  • China 7.6%
  • Japan 4.1%

1.6% (2014 est.)
6 586 610 km
4 092 728 mi
293 564 km
182 412 mi
41 009 km
25 482 mi
(19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada)
41 per 100 people
country code - 1
multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity
98.41 / 100
87.36 / 100
  • 4 major terrestrial TV networks with affiliate stations throughout the country, plus cable and satellite networks, independent stations, and a limited public broadcasting sector that is largely supported by private grants
  • overall, thousands of TV stations broadcasting
  • multiple national radio networks with many affiliate stations
  • while most stations are commercial, National Public Radio (NPR) has a network of some 600 member stations
  • satellite radio available
  • overall, nearly 15,000 radio stations operating (2008)
AM 4,789
FM 8,961
shortwave 19 (2006)
5 305 569.61 kt
kt per capita
304 082.00
kt CO2 equivalent
524 688.10
kt CO2 equivalent
41 202
99 %
100 %
6 909
kg of oil equivalent per capita
84 %
12 %

Data source: worldbank.com, wikipedia.org, infoplease.com, CIA World Factbook


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