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United States

"America", "US", "USA", and "The United States of America" redirect here. For the continents, see Americas. For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), The United States of America (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation).

Coordinates:40°N100°W /40°N 100°W /40; -100

The United States (U.S. or US), officially the United States of America (U.S.A. or USA) and commonly known as America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, 326 Indian reservations, and some minor possessions. At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers), it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area. The United States shares significant land borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south as well as limited maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, and Russia. With a population of more than 331 million people, it is the third most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

United States of America
Motto: "In God We Trust"
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Show globe (states and D.C. only)
Show the U.S. and its territories
CapitalWashington, D.C.
38°53′N77°01′W /38.883°N 77.017°W /38.883; -77.017
Largest cityNew York City
40°43′N74°00′W /40.717°N 74.000°W /40.717; -74.000
Official languagesNone at the federal level
National languageEnglish (de facto)
Ethnic groups
(2020)
By race:
By ethnicity:
Religion
(2020)
Demonym(s)American
GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic
Joe Biden (D)
Kamala Harris (D)
Nancy Pelosi (D)
John Roberts
LegislatureCongress
Senate
House of Representatives
Independence
July 4, 1776
March 1, 1781
September 3, 1783
June 21, 1788
August 21, 1959
Area
• Total area
3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km2) (3rd/4th)
• Water (%)
4.66
• Total land area
3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km2)
Population
• 2020 census
331,449,281 (3rd)
• Density
87/sq mi (33.6/km2) (146th)
GDP(PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
$22.940 trillion (2nd)
• Per capita
$69,375 (8th)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
$22.940 trillion (1st)
• Per capita
$69,375 (5th)
Gini (2020) 48.5
high
HDI (2019) 0.926
very high · 17th
CurrencyU.S. dollar ($) (USD)
Time zoneUTC−4 to −12, +10, +11
• Summer (DST)
UTC−4 to −10
Date formatmm/dd/yyyy
Mains electricity110–120 V, 60 Hz
Driving sideright
Calling code+1
ISO 3166 codeUS
Website
usa.gov

Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Disputes with Great Britain over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which established the nation's independence. In the late 18th century, the U.S. began expanding across North America, gradually obtaining new territories, sometimes through war, frequently displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states; by 1848, the United States spanned the continent. Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the second half of the 19th century, when the American Civil War led to its abolition. The Spanish–American War andWorld War I established the U.S. as a world power, a status confirmed by the outcome ofWorld War II. During the Cold War, the United States fought the Korean War and the Vietnam War but avoided direct military conflict with the Soviet Union. The two superpowers competed in the Space Race, culminating in the 1969 spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. The Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991 ended the Cold War, leaving the United States as the world's sole superpower.

The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, and other international organizations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Considered a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, its population has been profoundly shaped by centuries of immigration. The U.S. ranks high in international measures of economic freedom, quality of life, education, and human rights; it has low levels of perceived corruption. However, the country has been criticized for inequality related to race, wealth, and income; use of capital punishment; high incarceration rates; and lack of universal health care.

The United States is a highly developed country, accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP, and is the world's largest economy by GDP at market exchange rates. By value, the United States is the world's largest importer and second-largest exporter of goods. Although its population is only 4.2% of the world's total, it holds 29.4% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. Making up more than a third of global military spending, it is the foremost military power in the world and a leading political, cultural, and scientific force internationally.

Contents

The first known use of the name "America" dates back to 1507, when it appeared on a world map produced by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. On his map, the name is shown in large letters on what would now be considered South America, in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. The Italian explorer was the first to postulate that the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern limit but were part of a previously unknown landmass. In 1538, the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator used the name "America" on his own world map, applying it to the entire Western Hemisphere.

The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" dates from aJanuary 2, 1776 letter written by Stephen Moylan to George Washington's aide-de-camp Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort. The first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, onApril 6, 1776.

The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed no later thanJune 17, 1776, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the 'United States of America'." The final version of the Articles, sent to the states for ratification in late 1777, stated that "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States of America'." In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence. This draft of the document did not surface untilJune 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation.

The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States". "Columbia", a name popular in American poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus; both "Columbus" and "Columbia" appear frequently in U.S. place-names, including Columbus, Ohio, Columbia, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia. Places and institutions throughout the Western Hemisphere bear the two names, including Colón, Panama, the country of Colombia, the Columbia River, and Columbia University.

The phrase "United States" was originally plural in American usage. It described a collection of states—e.g., "the United States are." The singular form became popular after the end of the Civil War and is now standard usage in the U.S. A citizen of the United States is an "American". "United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States.

Indigenous peoples and pre-Columbian history

The Cliff Palace, built by the Native American Puebloans between AD 1190 and 1260

It has been generally accepted that the first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12,000 years ago; however, some evidence suggests an even earlier date of arrival. The Clovis culture, which appeared around 11,000 BC, is believed to represent the first wave of human settlement of the Americas. This was likely the first of three major waves of migration into North America; later waves brought the ancestors of present-day Athabaskans, Aleuts, and Eskimos.

Over time, indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex, and some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast, developed advanced agriculture, architecture, and complex societies. The city-state of Cahokia is the largest, most complex pre-Columbian archaeological site in the modern-day United States. In the Four Corners region, Ancestral Puebloan culture developed from centuries of agricultural experimentation. The Haudenosaunee, located in the southern Great Lakes region, was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. Most prominent along the Atlantic coast were the Algonquian tribes, who practiced hunting and trapping, along with limited cultivation.

Estimating the native population of North America at the time of European contact is difficult. Douglas H. Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution estimated that there was a population of 92,916 in the south Atlantic states and a population of 473,616 in the Gulf states, but most academics regard this figure as too low. Anthropologist Henry F. Dobyns believed the populations were much higher, suggesting around 1.1 million along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, 2.2 million people living between Florida and Massachusetts, 5.2 million in the Mississippi Valley and tributaries, and around 700,000 people in the Florida peninsula.

European settlements

Claims of very early colonization of coastal New England by the Norse are disputed and controversial. The first documented arrival of Europeans in the continental United States is that of Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León, who made his first expedition to Florida in 1513. Even earlier, Christopher Columbus had landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage, and San Juan was settled by the Spanish a decade later. The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico, such as Saint Augustine, often considered the nation's oldest city, and Santa Fe. The French established their own settlements along the Mississippi River, notably New Orleans. Successful English settlement of the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and with the Pilgrims' colony at Plymouth in 1620. The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses, was founded in 1619. Documents such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut established precedents for representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies. Many English settlers were dissenting Christians who came seeking religious freedom. In 1784, the Russians were the first Europeans to establish a settlement in Alaska, at Three Saints Bay. Russian America once spanned much of the present-day state of Alaska.

In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and European settlers. In many cases, however, the natives and settlers came to depend on one another. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts; natives for guns, tools and other European goods. Natives taught many settlers to cultivate corn, beans, and other foodstuffs. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural practices and lifestyles. However, with the increased European colonization of North America, the Native Americans were displaced and often killed. The native population of America declined after European arrival for various reasons, primarily diseases such as smallpox and measles.

The original Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775

European settlers also began trafficking of African slaves into Colonial America via the transatlantic slave trade. Because of a lower prevalence of tropical diseases and better treatment, slaves had a much higher life expectancy in North America than in South America, leading to a rapid increase in their numbers. Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery, and several colonies passed acts both against and in favor of the practice. However, by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves had supplanted European indentured servants as cash crop labor, especially in the American South.

The Thirteen Colonies (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) that would become the United States of America were administered by the British as overseas dependencies. All nonetheless had local governments with elections open to most free men. With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly, eclipsing Native American populations. The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest both in religion and in religious liberty.

During the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), known in the U.S. as the French and Indian War, British forces captured Canada from the French. With the creation of the Province of Quebec, Canada's francophone population would remain isolated from the English-speaking colonial dependencies of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and theThirteen Colonies. Excluding the Native Americans who lived there, the Thirteen Colonies had a population of over2.1 million in 1770, about a third that of Britain. Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas. The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their unprecedented success motivated British monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority.

Independence and expansion

Declaration of Independence, a painting by John Trumbull, depicts the Committee of Five presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.

The American Revolutionary War fought by the Thirteen Colonies against the British Empire was the first successful war of independence by a non-European entity against a European power in modern history. Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism", asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their "rights as Englishmen" and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war.

The Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence onJuly 4, 1776; this day is celebrated annually as Independence Day. In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a decentralized government that operated until 1789.

After its defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, Britain signed a peace treaty. American sovereignty became internationally recognized, and the country was granted all lands east of the Mississippi River. Tensions with Britain remained, however, leading to the War of 1812, which was fought to a draw. Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution, ratified in state conventions in 1788. Going into force in 1789, this constitution reorganized the federal government into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances. George Washington, who had led the Continental Army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.

Although the federal government outlawed American participation in the Atlantic slave trade in 1807, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population. The Second Great Awakening, especially in the period 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism; in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations.

Beginning in the late 18th century, American settlers began to expand westward, prompting a long series of American Indian Wars. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase almost doubled the nation's area, Spain ceded Florida and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819, the Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845 during a period of expansionism, and the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest. Victory in the Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest, making the U.S. span the continent.

The California Gold Rush of 1848–1849 spurred migration to the Pacific coast, which led to the California Genocide and the creation of additional western states. The giving away of vast quantities of land to white European settlers as part of the Homestead Acts, nearly 10% of the total area of the United States, and to private railroad companies and colleges as part of land grants spurred economic development. After the Civil War, new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade, and increased conflicts with Native Americans. In 1869, a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native Americans from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship. Nonetheless, large-scale conflicts continued throughout the West into the 1900s.

Civil War and Reconstruction era

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought between Union and Confederate forces on July 1–3, 1863, around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, marked a turning point in the American Civil War.

Irreconcilable sectional conflict regarding the enslavement of Africans and African Americans ultimately led to the American Civil War. With the 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln, conventions in thirteen slave states declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America (the "South" or the "Confederacy"), while the federal government (the "Union") maintained that secession was illegal. In order to bring about this secession, military action was initiated by the secessionists, and the Union responded in kind. The ensuing war would become the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians. The Union initially simply fought to keep the country united. Nevertheless, as casualties mounted after 1863 and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, the main purpose of the war from the Union's viewpoint became the abolition of slavery. Indeed, when the Union ultimately won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated South was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery except as penal labor. Two other amendments were also ratified, ensuring citizenship for blacks and, at least in theory, voting rights for them as well.

Reconstruction began in earnest following the war. While President Lincoln attempted to foster friendship and forgiveness between the Union and the former Confederacy, his assassination onApril 14, 1865 drove a wedge between North and South again. Republicans in the federal government made it their goal to oversee the rebuilding of the South and to ensure the rights of African Americans. They persisted until the Compromise of 1877 when the Republicans agreed to cease protecting the rights of African Americans in the South in order for Democrats to concede the presidential election of 1876.

Southern white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", took control of the South after the end of Reconstruction, beginning the nadir of American race relations. From 1890 to 1910, the Redeemers established so-called Jim Crow laws, disenfranchising most blacks and some poor whites throughout the region. Blacks would face racial segregation nationwide, especially in the South. They also occasionally experienced vigilante violence, including lynching.

Further immigration, expansion, and industrialization

Film by Edison Studios showing immigrants disembarking at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, which served as a major entry point for European immigration into the U.S.

In the North, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe supplied a surplus of labor for the country's industrialization and transformed its culture. National infrastructure, including telegraph and transcontinental railroads, spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West. The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life.

The United States fought Indian Wars west of the Mississippi River from 1810 to at least 1890. Most of these conflicts ended with the cession of Native American territory and their confinement to Indian reservations. Additionally, the Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that forcibly resettled Indians. This further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets. Mainland expansion also included the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War. American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War. The U.S. Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark in 1917.

Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in the railroad, petroleum, and steel industries. Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. P. Morgan playing a notable role. The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest. These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist, socialist, and anarchist movements. This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era, which saw significant reforms including women's suffrage, alcohol prohibition, regulation of consumer goods, and greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions.

World War I, Great Depression, and World War II

Further information: World War I, Great Depression, and World War II
The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931, during the Great Depression.

The United States remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I in 1914 until 1917 when it joined the war as an "associated power" alongside the Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations. However, the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations.

In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage. The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television. The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal. The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s; whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.

U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic images of the war

At first effectively neutral during World War II, the United States began supplying materiel to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. OnDecember 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers, and in the following year, to intern about 120,000 U.S. residents (including American citizens) of Japanese descent. Although Japan attacked the United States first, the U.S. nonetheless pursued a "Europe first" defense policy. The United States thus left its vast Asian colony, the Philippines, isolated and fighting a losing struggle against Japanese invasion and occupation. During the war, the United States was one of the "Four Powers" who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union, and China. Although the nation lost around 400,000 military personnel, it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence.

The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. As an Allied victory was won in Europe, a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations Charter, which became active after the war. The United States and Japan then fought each other in the largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The United States developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945; the Japanese surrendered on September 2, ending World War II.

Cold War and civil rights era

Martin Luther King Jr. gives his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, 1963.
U.S. president Ronald Reagan (left) and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit in 1985

After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union competed for power, influence, and prestige during what became known as the Cold War, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism. They dominated the military affairs of Europe, with the U.S. and its NATO allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other. The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. While the U.S. and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict.

The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored and occasionally pursued direct action for regime change against left-wing governments, occasionally supporting authoritarian right-wing regimes. American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950–1953. The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first crewed spaceflight initiated a "Space Race" in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the Moon in 1969. The United States became increasingly involved in the Vietnam War (1955–1975), introducing combat forces in 1965.

At home, the U.S. had experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class following World War II. After a surge in female labor participation, especially in the 1970s, by 1985, the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed. Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments. In 1959, the United States formally expanded beyond the contiguous United States when the territories of Alaska and Hawaii became, respectively, the 49th and 50th states admitted into the Union. The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination. Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew, which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war, the Black Power movement, and the sexual revolution.

The launch of a "War on Poverty" expanded entitlements and welfare spending, including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor, respectively, and the means-tested Food Stamp Program and Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation. The United States supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War; in response, the country faced an oil embargo from OPEC nations, sparking the 1973 oil crisis. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, marking the first time an Arab nation recognized Israeli existence.[relevant?] After his election, President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms. Following the collapse of détente, he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback" strategy towards the Soviet Union. The late 1980s brought a "thaw" in relations with the Soviet Union, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War. This brought about unipolarity with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower.

Contemporary history

After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, an ally of the United States. Fearing the spread of instability, in August, President George H. W. Bush launched and led the Gulf War against Iraq; waged until January 1991 by coalition forces from 34 nations, it ended in the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restoration of the monarchy.

Originating within U.S. military defense networks, the Internet spread to international academic platforms and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture. Due to the dot-com boom, stable monetary policy, and reduced social welfare spending, the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history. Beginning in 1994, the U.S. signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), causing trade among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to soar.

On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda terrorist hijackers flew passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. In response, President George W. Bush launched the War on Terror, which included a nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021 and the 2003–2011 Iraq War. A 2011 military operation in Pakistan led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Government policy designed to promote affordable housing, widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance, and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve led to the United States housing bubble in 2006, which culminated with the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the Great Recession, the nation's largest economic contraction since the Great Depression. During the crisis, assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value. Barack Obama, the first multiracial president, with African-American ancestry was elected in 2008 amid the crisis, and subsequently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 economic stimulus and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects and ensure there would not be a repeat of the crisis. In 2010, President Obama led efforts to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the most sweeping reform to Health care in the United States in nearly five decades.

In the 2016 United States presidential election, Republican Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president, a result viewed as one of the biggest political upsets in American history. In the presidential election of 2020, Democrat Joe Biden was elected as the 46th president. On January 6, 2021, supporters of outgoing President Trump stormed the United States Capitol in an unsuccessful effort to disrupt the presidential Electoral College vote count.

Köppen climate classifications of U.S. states and territories

The 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia occupy a combined area of 3,119,885 square miles (8,080,470 km2). Of this area, 2,959,064 square miles (7,663,940 km2) is contiguous land, composing 83.65% of total U.S. land area. Hawaii, occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific, southwest of North America, is 10,931 square miles (28,311 km2) in area. The five populated but unincorporated territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands together cover 9,185 square miles (23,789 km2). Measured by only land area, the United States is third in size behind Russia and China, just ahead of Canada.

The United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia and Canada and nearly equal to China. The ranking varies depending on how two territories disputed by China and India are counted, and how the total size of the United States is measured.

The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest. The MississippiMissouri River, the world's fourth longest river system, runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast.

The Rocky Mountains, west of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, peaking around 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in Colorado. Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave. The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 feet (4,300 m). The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California, and only about 84 miles (135 km) apart. At an elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190.5 m), Alaska's Denali is the highest peak in the country and in North America. Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature.

The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate. The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar. Hawaii and the southern tip of Florida are tropical, as well as its territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific. States bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and most of the world's tornadoes occur in the country, mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South. Overall, the United States receives more high-impact extreme weather incidents than any other country in the world.

Wildlife and conservation

The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782.

The U.S. is one of 17 megadiverse countries containing a large amount of endemic species: about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska, and more than 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland. The United States is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species, as well as about 91,000 insect species.

There are 62 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas. Altogether, the government owns about 28% of the country's land area, mostly in the western states. Most of this land is protected, though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching, and about .86% is used for military purposes.

Environmental issues include debates on oil and nuclear energy, dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation, and climate change. The most prominent environmental agency is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order in 1970. The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the Wilderness Act. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The United States is ranked 24th among nations in the Environmental Performance Index. The country joined the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016 and has many other environmental commitments. It left the Paris Agreement in 2020, and rejoined it in 2021.

The United States Capitol,
where Congress meets:
the Senate, left; the House, right
The White House, residence and workplace of the U.S. President

The United States is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and several uninhabited island possessions. It is the world's oldest surviving federation. It is a federal republic and a representative democracy "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law." Since 2015, the U.S. has ranked 25th on the Democracy Index, and is described as a "flawed democracy". On Transparency International's 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, its public sector position deteriorated from a score of 76 in 2015 to 69 in 2019.

In the American federalist system, citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district.

The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. The Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. Article One protects the right to the writ of habeas corpus. The Constitution has been amended 27 times; the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans' individual rights. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review, and any law can be voided if the courts determine that it violates the Constitution. The principle of judicial review, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, was established by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall.

The federal government comprises three branches:

The House of Representatives has 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population. Each state then draws single-member districts to conform with the census apportionment. The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories each have one member of Congress—these members are not allowed to vote.

The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one-third of Senate seats are up for election every two years. The District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories do not have senators. The president serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice. The president is not elected by direct vote, but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the states and the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court, led by the chief justice of the United States, has nine members, who serve for life.

Political divisions

Map of the United States showing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five major U.S. territories

The 50 states are the principal political divisions in the country. Each state holds jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory, where it shares sovereignty with the federal government. They are subdivided into counties or county equivalents and further divided into municipalities. The District of Columbia is a federal district that contains the capital of the United States, the city of Washington. The states and the District of Columbia choose the president of the United States. Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their representatives and senators in Congress; the District of Columbia has three because of the 23rd Amendment. Territories of the United States such as Puerto Rico do not have presidential electors, and so people in those territories cannot vote for the president.

The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. Like the states they have a great deal of autonomy, but also like the states, tribes are not allowed to make war, engage in their own foreign relations, or print and issue currency. Reservations are usually part of a single state, though 12 reservations cross state boundaries. Indian country jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters is shared by tribes, states, and the federal government.

Citizenship is granted at birth in all states, the District of Columbia, and all major U.S. territories except American Samoa.

Parties and elections

since January 20, 2021

The United States has operated under a two-party system for most of its history. For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections. Since the general election of 1856, the major parties have been the Democratic Party, founded in 1824, and the Republican Party, founded in 1854. Since the Civil War, only one third-party presidential candidate—former president Theodore Roosevelt, running as a Progressive in 1912—has won as much as 20% of the popular vote. The president and vice president are elected by the Electoral College.

In American political culture, the center-right Republican Party is considered "conservative" and the center-left Democratic Party is considered "liberal". The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states, known as "blue states", are relatively liberal. The "red states" of the South and parts of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains are relatively conservative.

Democrat Joe Biden, the winner of the 2020 presidential election and former vice president, is serving as the 46th president of the United States. Leadership in the Senate includes Vice President Kamala Harris, President pro tempore Patrick Leahy, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In the 117th United States Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate are narrowly controlled by the Democratic Party. The Senate consists of 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats with two Independents who caucus with the Democrats; the House consists of 222 Democrats and 211 Republicans. Of state governors, there are 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats. Among the D.C. mayor and the five territorial governors, there are three Democrats, one Republican, and one New Progressive.

Foreign relations

Diplomatic relations of the United States
United States
Countries that have diplomatic relations with the United States
Countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the United States
Disputed territories
Antarctica

The United States has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters. Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and many have consulates around the country. Likewise, nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions. However, Iran, North Korea, Bhutan, and the Republic of China (Taiwan) do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States (although the U.S. still maintains unofficial relations with Bhutan and Taiwan). It is a member of the G7, G20, and OECD.

The United States has a "Special Relationship" with the United Kingdom and strong ties with Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and several European Union countries, including France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland. It works closely with fellow NATO members on military and security issues and with its neighbors through the Organization of American States and free trade agreements such as the trilateral United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement. Colombia is traditionally considered by the United States as its most loyal ally in South America.

The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau through the Compact of Free Association.

Government finance

U.S. Government spending and revenue from 1792 to 2018

Taxation in the United States is progressive, and is levied at the federal, state, and local government levels. This includes taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates, and gifts, as well as various fees. Taxation in the United States is based on citizenship, not residency. Both non-resident citizens and Green Card holders living abroad are taxed on their income irrespective of where they live or where their income is earned. The United States is one of the few countries in the world to do so.

In 2010, taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. For 2018, the effective tax rate for the wealthiest 400 households was 23%, compared to 24.2% for the bottom half of U.S. households.

During fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent$3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis. Major categories of fiscal year 2012 spending included: Medicare & Medicaid (23%), Social Security (22%), Defense Department (19%), non-defense discretionary (17%), other mandatory (13%) and interest (6%).

In 2018, the United States had the largest external debt in the world. As a percentage of GDP, it had the 34th largest government debt in the world in 2017; however, more recent estimates vary. The total national debt of the United States was$23.201 trillion, or 107% of GDP, in the fourth quarter of 2019. By 2012, total federal debt had surpassed 100% of U.S. GDP. The U.S. has a credit rating of AA+ from Standard & Poor's, AAA from Fitch, and AAA from Moody's.

Military

The president is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and appoints its leaders, the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Department of Defense administers five of the six service branches, which are made up of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. The Coast Guard, also a branch of the armed forces, is normally administered by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy in wartime. In 2019, all six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces reported1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors.

Global presence of the United States military, showing Unified combatant commands

Military service in the United States is voluntary, although conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System. From 1940 until 1973, conscription was mandatory even during peacetime. Today, American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 11 active aircraft carriers, and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy, and Army's XVIII Airborne Corps and 75th Ranger Regiment deployed by Air Force transport aircraft. The Air Force can strike targets across the globe through its fleet of strategic bombers, maintains the air defense across the United States, and provides close air support to Army and Marine Corps ground forces. The Space Force operates the Global Positioning System, operates the Eastern and Western Ranges for all space launches, and operates the United States' Space Surveillance and Missile Warning networks. The military operates about 800 bases and facilities abroad, and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.

The United States spent$649 billion on its military in 2019, 36% of global military spending. At 4.7% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top 15 military spenders, after Saudi Arabia. Defense spending plays a major role in science and technology investment, with roughly half of U.S. federal research and development funded by the Department of Defense. Defense's share of the overall U.S. economy has generally declined in recent decades, from early Cold War peaks of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 and 69.5% of federal spending in 1954 to 4.7% of GDP and 18.8% of federal spending in 2011. In total number of personnel, the United States has the third-largest combined armed forces in the world, behind the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Indian Armed Forces.

The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and one of nine countries to possess nuclear weapons. The United States possesses the second-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, behind Russia. More than 40% of the world's 14,000 nuclear weapons are held by the United States.

Law enforcement and crime

The New York City Police Department is the nation's largest municipal law enforcement agency.

Law enforcement in the United States is primarily the responsibility of local police departments and sheriff's offices, with state police providing broader services. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights, national security and enforcing U.S. federal courts' rulings and federal laws. State courts conduct most criminal trials while federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts.

A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates "were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher." In 2016, the U.S. murder rate was 5.4 per 100,000.

Total incarceration in the United States by year (1920–2014)

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world. As of 2020, the Prison Policy Initiative reported that there were some2.3 million people incarcerated. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses. The imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100,000 in 2013. About 9% of prisoners are held in privatized prisons, a practice beginning in the 1980s and a subject of contention.

Although most nations have abolished capital punishment, it is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and at the state level in 28 states, though three states have moratoriums on carrying out the penalty imposed by their governors. In 2019, the country had the sixth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt. No executions took place from 1967 to 1977, owing in part to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the practice. Since the decision, however, there have been more than 1,500 executions. In recent years the number of executions and presence of capital punishment statute on whole has trended down nationally, with several states recently abolishing the penalty.

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(October 2021)
The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street is the world's largest stock exchange (per market capitalization of its listed companies). at$23.1 trillion as of April 2018.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of$22.7 trillion constitutes 24% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 16% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity. The United States is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was$635 billion. Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union are its top trading partners.

From 1983 to 2008, U.S. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the G7. The country ranks fifth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and seventh in GDP per capita at PPP. The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.

In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy. While its economy has reached a post-industrial level of development, the United States remains an industrial power. In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of154.1 million people (50%). With21.2 million people, the public sector is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with16.4 million people. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most other high-income countries.

The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation and is one of a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right. 74% of full-time American workers get paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although only 24% of part-time workers get the same benefits. In 2009, the United States had the third-highest workforce productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway.[needs update]

Science and technology

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, 1969

The United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid-20th century. Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the U.S. War Department by the Federal Armories during the first half of the 19th century. This technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, enabled the U.S. to have large-scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles, and other items in the late 19th century and became known as the American system of manufacturing. Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor-saving techniques created the system of mass production. In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone. Thomas Edison's research laboratory, one of the first of its kind, developed the phonograph, the first long-lasting light bulb, and the first viable movie camera. The latter led to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry. In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line. The Wright brothers, in 1903, made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight.

The rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 30s led many European scientists, including Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and John von Neumann, to immigrate to the United States. During World War II, the Manhattan Project developed nuclear weapons, ushering in the Atomic Age, while the Space Race produced rapid advances in rocketry, materials science, and aeronautics.

The invention of the transistor in the 1950s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics, led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U.S. technology industry. This, in turn, led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as Silicon Valley in California. Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel, along with both computer software and hardware companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple Inc., IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems, created and popularized the personal computer. The ARPANET was developed in the 1960s to meet Defense Department requirements, and became the first of a series of networks which evolved into the Internet. The United States was ranked third (after Switzerland and Sweden) in the Global Innovation Index in 2019 and 2020.

Income, wealth, and poverty

Accounting for 4.24% of the global population, Americans collectively possess 29.4% of the world's total wealth, the largest percentage of any country. The U.S. also ranks first in the number of billionaires and millionaires in the world, with 724 billionaires and 10.5 million millionaires as of 2020. Prior to the 2019–2021 global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Credit Suisse listed some 18.6 million U.S. citizens as having a net worth in excess of $1 million. In 2020, the Food Security Index ranked the United States 11th in food security, giving the country a score of 77.5/100. Americans on average have more than twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as EU residents. For 2019, the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 17th among 189 countries in its Human Development Index (HDI) and 28th among 151 countries in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).

Wealth inequality in the U.S. increased between 1989 and 2013.

Wealth, like income and taxes, is highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half possess only 2%. According to the Federal Reserve, the top 1% controlled 38.6% of the country's wealth in 2016. In 2017, Forbes found that just three individuals (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates) held more money than the bottom half of the population. According to a 2018 study by the OECD, the United States has a larger percentage of low-income workers than almost any other developed nation, largely because of a weak collective bargaining system and lack of government support for at-risk workers. The top one percent of income-earners accounted for 52 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2015, where income is defined as market income excluding government transfers.

After years of stagnation, median household income reached a record high in 2016 following two consecutive years of record growth. Income inequality remains at record highs however, with the top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income. The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top one percent, which has more than doubled from nine percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has significantly affected income inequality, leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD members. The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate.

There were about 567,715 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2019, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. In 2011, 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 845,000 U.S. children (1.1%) saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic. As of June 2018[update],40 million people, roughly 12.7% of the U.S. population, were living in poverty, including13.3 million children. Of those impoverished,18.5 million live in deep poverty (family income below one-half of the poverty threshold) and over five million live "in 'Third World' conditions". In 2017, the U.S. states or territories with the lowest and highest poverty rates were New Hampshire (7.6%) and American Samoa (65%), respectively. The economic impact and mass unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic raised fears of a mass eviction crisis, with an analysis by the Aspen Institute indicating that between 30 and 40 million people were at risk for eviction by the end of 2020.

Transportation

All-road transportation

The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous states, which extends 46,876 miles (75,440 km)

Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of public roads. The United States has the world's second-largest automobile market, and has the highest vehicle ownership per capita in the world, with 816.4 vehicles per 1,000 Americans (2014). In 2017, there were 255,009,283 non-two wheel motor vehicles, or about 910 vehicles per 1,000 people.

Aviation

The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978, while most major airports are publicly owned. The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U.S.-based; American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways. Of the world's 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Rail

The United States has the longest rail network in the world, nearly all standard gauge. The network handles mostly freight, with intercity passenger service provided by the government-subsidized Amtrak to all but four states.

Environmental concerns

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The country now ranks as the world's second-highest emitter of greenhouse gases, exceeded only by China. The United States had been the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, and greenhouse gas emissions per capita remain high.

Energy

The United States energy market is about 29,000 terawatt hours per year. In 2018, 37% of this energy came from petroleum, 31% from natural gas, and 13% from coal. The remainder was supplied by nuclear and renewable energy sources.

Population

Historical population
Census Pop.
17903,929,214
18005,308,48335.1%
18107,239,88136.4%
18209,638,45333.1%
183012,866,02033.5%
184017,069,45332.7%
185023,191,87635.9%
186031,443,32135.6%
187038,558,37122.6%
188050,189,20930.2%
189062,979,76625.5%
190076,212,16821.0%
191092,228,49621.0%
1920106,021,53715.0%
1930123,202,62416.2%
1940132,164,5697.3%
1950151,325,79814.5%
1960179,323,17518.5%
1970203,211,92613.3%
1980226,545,80511.5%
1990248,709,8739.8%
2000281,421,90613.2%
2010308,745,5389.7%
2020331,449,2817.4%
Note that the census numbers do
not include Native Americans until 1860.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported 331,449,281 residents as of April 1, 2020. This figure, like most official data for the United States as a whole, excludes the five unincorporated territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and minor island possessions. According to the Bureau's U.S. Population Clock, onJanuary 28, 2021, the U.S. population had a net gain of one person every 100 seconds, or about 864 people per day. The United States is the third most populous nation in the world, after China and India. In 2020, the median age of the United States population was 38.5 years.

In 2018, there were almost90 million immigrants and U.S.-born children of immigrants in the United States, accounting for 28% of the overall U.S. population. The United States has a diverse population; 37 ancestry groups have more than one million members. White Americans of European ancestry, mostly German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish and French, including White Hispanic and Latino Americans from Latin America, form the largest racial group, at 73.1% of the population. African Americans constitute the nation's largest racial minority and third-largest ancestry group, and are around 13% of the total U.S. population. Asian Americans are the country's second-largest racial minority (the three largest Asian ethnic groups are Chinese, Filipino, and Indian).

In 2017, out of the U.S. foreign-born population, some45% (20.7 million) were naturalized citizens,27% (12.3 million) were lawful permanent residents,6% (2.2 million) were temporary lawful residents, and23% (10.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants. Among current living immigrants to the U.S., the top five countries of birth are Mexico, China, India, the Philippines and El Salvador. Until 2017, the United States led the world in refugee resettlement for decades, admitting more refugees than the rest of the world combined.

About 82% of Americans live in urban areas, including suburbs; about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000. In 2008, 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four cities had over two million (namely New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston). Many U.S. metropolitan populations are growing rapidly, particularly in the South and West.

As of 2018[update], 52% of Americans age 15 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 32% had never been married. As of 2020, the total fertility rate stood at 1.64 children per woman. In 2013, the average age at first birth was 26, and 41% of births were to unmarried women. In 2019, the U.S. had the world's highest rate (23%) of children living in single-parent households; the rates in Canada and Mexico were 15% and 7%, respectively.

Language

English (specifically, American English) is the de facto national language of the United States. Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws—such as U.S. naturalization requirements—standardize English, and most states have declared English as the official language. Three states and four U.S. territories have recognized local or indigenous languages in addition to English, including Hawaii (Hawaiian), Alaska (twenty Native languages), South Dakota (Sioux), American Samoa (Samoan), Puerto Rico (Spanish), Guam (Chamorro), and the Northern Mariana Islands (Carolinian and Chamorro). In Puerto Rico, Spanish is more widely spoken than English.

According to the American Community Survey, in 2010 some 229 million people (out of the total U.S. population of 308 million) spoke only English at home. More than 37 million spoke Spanish at home, making it the second most commonly used language in the United States. Other languages spoken at home by one million people or more include Chinese (2.8 million), Tagalog (1.6 million), Vietnamese (1.4 million), French (1.3 million), Korean (1.1 million), and German (1 million).

The most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, in terms of enrollment numbers from kindergarten through university undergraduate education, are Spanish (around7.2 million students), French(1.5 million), and German (500,000). Other commonly taught languages include Latin, Japanese, American Sign Language, Italian, and Chinese. 18% of all Americans claim to speak both English and another language.

Religion

Percentage of respondents in the United States saying that religion is "very important" or "somewhat important" in their lives (2014)

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment.

The United States has the world's largest Christian population. In a 2014 survey, 70.6% of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians; Protestants accounted for 46.5%, while Catholics, at 20.8%, formed the largest single Christian denomination. In 2014, 5.9% of the U.S. adult population claimed a non-Christian religion. These include Judaism (1.9%), Islam (0.9%), Hinduism (0.7%), and Buddhism (0.7%). The survey also reported that 22.8% of Americans described themselves as agnostic, atheist or simply having no religion—up from 8.2% in 1990. Membership in a house of worship fell from 70% in 1999 to 47% in 2020, much of the decline related to the number of Americans expressing no religious preference. However, membership also fell among those who identified with a specific religious group.

Protestantism is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States, accounting for almost half of all Americans. Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism at 15.4%, and the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest individual Protestant denomination at 5.3% of the U.S. population. Apart from Baptists, other Protestant categories include nondenominational Protestants, Methodists, Pentecostals, unspecified Protestants, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, other Reformed, Episcopalians/Anglicans, Quakers, Adventists, Holiness, Christian fundamentalists, Anabaptists, Pietists, and multiple others.

The Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average. By contrast, religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States.

Health

The Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston is the largest medical complex in the world.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the United States had an average life expectancy at birth of 77.3 years in 2020 (74.5 years for men and 80.2 years for women), down 1.5 years from 2019. According to provisional figures, this was the lowest average U.S. life expectancy recorded by the CDC since 2003, the first overall decline since 2018, and "the largest one-year decline since World War II." Some three-quarters of the decrease was attributed to deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of the rest due to accidents and drug overdoses. The country also has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy countries. Starting in 1998, the average life expectancy in the U.S. fell behind that of other wealthy industrialized countries, and Americans' "health disadvantage" gap has been increasing ever since. From 1999 to 2019, more than 770,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Life expectancy was highest among Asians and Hispanics and lowest among blacks.

Increasing obesity in the United States and improvements in health and longevity outside the U.S. contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987 to 42nd in 2007. In 2017, the United States had the lowest life expectancy among Japan, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and seven nations in western Europe. Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years and are the highest in the industrialized world. Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight. Obesity-related type2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals.

In 2010, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U.S. Low back pain, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability. The most harmful risk factors were poor diet, tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, and alcohol use. Alzheimer's disease, substance use disorders, kidney disease, cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age-adjusted 1990 per-capita rates. U.S. teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among blacks and Hispanics.

Government-funded health care coverage for the poor (Medicaid, established in 1965) and for those age 65 and older (Medicare, begun in 1966) is available to Americans who meet the programs' income or age qualifications. Nonetheless, the United States remains the only developed nation without a system of universal health care. In 2017, 12.2% of the population did not carry health insurance. The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans is a major political issue. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed in early 2010 and informally known as "ObamaCare", roughly halved the uninsured share of the population. The bill and its ultimate effect are still issues of controversy in the United States. The U.S. health care system far outspends that of any other nation, measured both in per capita spending and as a percentage of GDP. However, the U.S. is a global leader in medical innovation.

Education

Columbia University, founded in 1754, is one of the colonial colleges and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

American public education is operated by state and local governments and regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of five or six (beginning with kindergarten or first grade) until they turn 18 (generally bringing them through twelfth grade, the end of high school); some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17.

About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools. 3.4% of children are homeschooled as of 2012. The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending an average of $12,794 per year on public elementary and secondary school students in the 2016–2017 school year. Some 80% of U.S. college students attend public universities.

Of Americans 25 and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a bachelor's degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees. The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%. The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.

The United States has many private and public institutions of higher education. The majority of the world's top universities, as listed by various ranking organizations, are in the U.S. There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition.

In 2018, U21, a network of research-intensive universities, ranked the United States first in the world for breadth and quality of higher education, and 15th when GDP was a factor. As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. trails some other OECD (Organization for Cooperation and Development) nations but spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending. As of 2018[update], student loan debt exceeded1.5 trillion dollars.

For many immigrants, the Statue of Liberty was their first view of the United States. It signified new opportunities in life, and thus the statue is an iconic symbol of the American Dream as well as its ideals.

The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated or were imported as slaves within the past five centuries. Mainstream American culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa. More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot, and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.

Americans have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic, competitiveness, and individualism, as well as a unifying belief in an "American creed" emphasizing liberty, equality, private property, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for limited government. Americans are extremely charitable by global standards: according to a 2006 British study, Americans gave 1.67% of GDP to charity, more than any other nation studied.

The American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants. Whether this perception is accurate has been a topic of debate. While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society, scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values. Americans tend to greatly value socioeconomic achievement, but being ordinary or average is also generally seen as a positive attribute.

Literature, philosophy, and visual art

Mark Twain, American author and humorist

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe, contributing to Western culture. Writers such as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet. A work seen as capturing fundamental aspects of the national experience and character—such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851), Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925) and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)—may be dubbed the "Great American Novel."

Thirteen U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States. The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches, as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo.

The transcendentalists, led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, established the first major American philosophical movement. After the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce and then William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism. In the 20th century, the work of W. V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky, brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia. John Rawls and Robert Nozick also led a revival of political philosophy.

In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism. The 1913 Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene. Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States. The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry. Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography, with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams.

Food

Roasted turkey is a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner.

Early settlers were introduced by Native Americans to such indigenous, non-European foods as turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup. They and later immigrants combined these with foods they had known, such as wheat flour, beef, and milk to create a distinctive American cuisine.

Homegrown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays, Thanksgiving, when some Americans make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion.

The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s. Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans drink three times as much coffee as tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.

Music

Among America's earliest composers was a man named William Billings who, born in Boston, composed patriotic hymns in the 1770s; Billings was a part of the First New England School, who dominated American music during its earliest stages. Anthony Heinrich was the most prominent composer before the Civil War. From the mid-late 1800s John Philip Sousa of the late Romantic era, composed numerous military songs—particularly marches—and is regarded as one of America's greatest composers. By the late 19th century, the Second New England School (sometimes referred to specifically as the "Boston Six") became prominent representatives of the classical tradition, of whom John Knowles Paine was the leading figure.

Although little known at the time, Charles Ives's work of the 1910s established him as the first major U.S. composer in the classical tradition, while experimentalists such as Henry Cowell and John Cage created a distinctive American approach to classical composition. Aaron Copland and George Gershwin—eventually furthered by Leonard Bernstein—developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music.

The 1942 jazz instrumental "Main Stem" by Duke Ellington, performed by the U.S. Army Band in 2010

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The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European and African traditions. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as old-time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences. Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century. Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s.

Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mid-1950s pioneers of rock and roll. Rock bands such as Metallica, the Eagles, and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales. In the 1960s, Bob Dylan emerged from the folk revival to become one of America's most celebrated songwriters and James Brown led the development of funk.

More recent American creations include hip hop, salsa, techno, and house music. Mid-20th-century American pop stars such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley became global celebrities, as have artists of the late 20th century such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and Whitney Houston. Popular artists from the mid-1990s to late 2000s include Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé. Well-known American singers of the 2010s include Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.

Cinema

The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California

Hollywood, a northern district of Los Angeles, California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production. The world's first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City in 1894, using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope. Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there, and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization.

Director D. W. Griffith, an American filmmaker during the silent film period, was central to the development of film grammar, and producer/entrepreneur Walt Disney was a leader in both animated film and movie merchandising. Directors such as John Ford redefined the image of the American Old West, and, like others such as John Huston, broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting. The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Hollywood", from the early sound period until the early 1960s, with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures. In the 1970s, "New Hollywood" or the "Hollywood Renaissance" was defined by grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post-war period. In more recent times, directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron have gained renown for their blockbuster films, often characterized by high production costs and earnings.

Notable films topping the American Film Institute's AFI 100 list include Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941), which is frequently cited as the greatest film of all time, Casablanca (1942), The Godfather (1972), Gone with the Wind (1939), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Graduate (1967), On the Waterfront (1954), Schindler's List (1993), Singin' in the Rain (1952), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929, and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944.

Sports

The most popular sports in the U.S. are American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey.

American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport in the United States; the National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by tens of millions globally. Even on the collegiate level, college football games receive millions of viewers per television broadcast; most notably the College Football Playoff, which averages 25 million viewers. Baseball has been regarded as the U.S. national sport since the late 19th century, with Major League Baseball (MLB) being the top league. Basketball and ice hockey are the country's next two leading professional team sports, with the top leagues being the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). College football and basketball attract large audiences. The NCAA Final Four is one of the most watched sporting events. In soccer (a sport that has gained a footing in the United States since the mid-1990s), the country hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the men's national soccer team qualified for ten World Cups and the women's team has won the FIFA Women's World Cup four times; Major League Soccer is the sport's highest league in the United States (featuring 23 American and three Canadian teams). The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly$69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.

Eight Olympic Games have taken place in the United States. The 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, were the first-ever Olympic Games held outside of Europe. As of 2017[update], the United States has won 2,522 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, more than any other country, and 305 in the Winter Olympic Games, the second most behind Norway. While most major U.S. sports such as baseball and American football have evolved out of European practices, basketball, volleyball, skateboarding, and snowboarding are American inventions, some of which have become popular worldwide. Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact. The most-watched individual sports are golf and auto racing, particularly NASCAR and IndyCar.

Mass media

Further information: Mass media in the United States
The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City

The four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX). The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches. Americans listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two and a half hours a day.

In 1998, the number of U.S. commercial radio stations had grown to 4,793 AM stations and 5,662 FM stations. In addition, there are 1,460 public radio stations. Most of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds, subscriptions, and corporate underwriting. Much public radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR. NPR was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967; its television counterpart, PBS, was created by the same legislation. As of September 30, 2014[update], there are 15,433 licensed full-power radio stations in the U.S. according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Well-known newspapers include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years, the price of newspapers has generally remained low, forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service, such as the Associated Press or Reuters, for their national and world coverage. With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U.S. are privately owned, either by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers; by small chains that own a handful of papers; or in a situation that is increasingly rare, by individuals or families. Major cities often have "alternative weeklies" to complement the mainstream daily papers, such as New York City's The Village Voice or Los Angeles' LA Weekly. Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. The five most popular websites used in the U.S. are Google, YouTube, Amazon, Yahoo, and Facebook.

More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English.

  1. Other traditional mottos include"E pluribus unum" (Latin for "Out of many, one") and the two phrases on the reverse of the Great Seal,"Annuit cœptis"
    (Latin for "Providence favors our undertakings") and"Novus ordo seclorum" (Latin for "New order of the ages")
  2. English is the official language of 32 states; English and Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii, and English and 20 Indigenous languages are official in Alaska. Algonquian, Cherokee, and Sioux are among many other official languages in Native-controlled lands throughout the country. French is a de facto, but unofficial, language in Maine and Louisiana, while New Mexico law grants Spanish a special status. In five territories, English as well as one or more indigenous languages are official: Spanish in Puerto Rico, Samoan in American Samoa, and Chamorro in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Carolinian is also an official language in the Northern Mariana Islands.
  3. Those who identify with two or more races are counted by all chosen races.
  4. The historical and informal demonym Yankee has been applied to Americans, New Englanders, or northeasterners since the 18th century.
  5. The United States is the third-largest country, after Canada, if coastal and territorial waters are included. If excluded, it is the fourth-largest, after China. Coastal/territorial waters included: 3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,517 km2) Coastal/territorial waters excluded: 3,696,100 sq mi (9,572,900 km2)
  6. Excludes Puerto Rico and the other unincorporated islands because they are counted separately in U.S. census statistics.
  7. See Time in the United States for details about laws governing time zones in the United States.
  8. dd/mm/yyyy and yyyy-mm-dd are also used.
  9. A single jurisdiction, the U.S. Virgin Islands, uses left-hand traffic.
  10. The five major territories are American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. There are eleven smaller island areas without permanent populations: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, and Palmyra Atoll. U.S. sovereignty over Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island, Serranilla Bank, and Wake Island is disputed.
  11. People born in American Samoa are non-citizen U.S. nationals, unless one of their parents is a U.S. citizen. In 2019, a court ruled that American Samoans are U.S. citizens, but the litigation is onging.
  12. Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unanga (Aleut), Denaʼina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwichʼin, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Hän, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.
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    United States
United States Language Watch Edit America US USA and The United States of America redirect here For the continents see Americas For other uses see America disambiguation US disambiguation USA disambiguation The United States of America disambiguation and United States disambiguation Coordinates 40 N 100 W 40 N 100 W 40 100 The United States U S or US officially the United States of America U S A or USA and commonly known as America is a country primarily located in North America It consists of 50 states a federal district five major unincorporated territories 326 Indian reservations and some minor possessions j At 3 8 million square miles 9 8 million square kilometers it is the world s third or fourth largest country by total area e The United States shares significant land borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south as well as limited maritime borders with the Bahamas Cuba and Russia 20 With a population of more than 331 million people it is the third most populous country in the world The national capital is Washington D C and the most populous city is New York City United States of AmericaFlag Coat of armsMotto In God We Trust a 2 Anthem The Star Spangled Banner 3 source track track track track Show globe states and D C only Show the U S and its territoriesCapitalWashington D C 38 53 N 77 01 W 38 883 N 77 017 W 38 883 77 017Largest cityNew York City 40 43 N 74 00 W 40 717 N 74 000 W 40 717 74 000Official languagesNone at the federal level b National languageEnglish de facto Ethnic groups 2020 6 7 By race c 71 0 White 14 2 Black 7 2 Asian 2 9 Native American 0 5 Pacific Islander 15 1 Other By ethnicity 81 3 Non Hispanic or Latino 18 7 Hispanic or LatinoReligion 2020 8 65 Christianity 42 Protestantism 21 Catholicism 2 Other Christian28 No religion6 Other1 UnansweredDemonym s American d 9 GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic PresidentJoe Biden D Vice PresidentKamala Harris D House SpeakerNancy Pelosi D Chief JusticeJohn RobertsLegislatureCongress Upper houseSenate Lower houseHouse of RepresentativesIndependence from Great Britain DeclarationJuly 4 1776 ConfederationMarch 1 1781 Treaty of ParisSeptember 3 1783 ConstitutionJune 21 1788 Last state admittedAugust 21 1959Area Total area3 796 742 sq mi 9 833 520 km2 e 10 3rd 4th Water 4 66 11 Total land area3 531 905 sq mi 9 147 590 km2 Population 2020 census331 449 281 f 12 3rd Density87 sq mi 33 6 km2 146th GDP PPP 2021 estimate Total 22 940 trillion 13 2nd Per capita 69 375 13 8th GDP nominal 2021 estimate Total 22 940 trillion 13 1st Per capita 69 375 13 5th Gini 2020 48 5 14 highHDI 2019 0 926 15 very high 17thCurrencyU S dollar USD Time zoneUTC 4 to 12 10 11 Summer DST UTC 4 to 10 g Date formatmm dd yyyy h Mains electricity110 120 V 60 Hz 16 Driving sideright i Calling code 1ISO 3166 codeUSWebsite usa wbr gov Paleo Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12 000 years ago and European colonization began in the 16th century The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast Disputes with Great Britain over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolutionary War 1775 1783 which established the nation s independence In the late 18th century the U S began expanding across North America gradually obtaining new territories sometimes through war frequently displacing Native Americans and admitting new states by 1848 the United States spanned the continent Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the second half of the 19th century when the American Civil War led to its abolition The Spanish American War and World War I established the U S as a world power a status confirmed by the outcome of World War II During the Cold War the United States fought the Korean War and the Vietnam War but avoided direct military conflict with the Soviet Union The two superpowers competed in the Space Race culminating in the 1969 spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon The Soviet Union s dissolution in 1991 ended the Cold War leaving the United States as the world s sole superpower The United States is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three separate branches of government including a bicameral legislature It is a founding member of the United Nations World Bank International Monetary Fund Organization of American States NATO and other international organizations It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Considered a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities its population has been profoundly shaped by centuries of immigration The U S ranks high in international measures of economic freedom quality of life education and human rights it has low levels of perceived corruption However the country has been criticized for inequality related to race wealth and income use of capital punishment high incarceration rates and lack of universal health care The United States is a highly developed country accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP and is the world s largest economy by GDP at market exchange rates By value the United States is the world s largest importer and second largest exporter of goods Although its population is only 4 2 of the world s total it holds 29 4 of the total wealth in the world the largest share held by any country Making up more than a third of global military spending it is the foremost military power in the world and a leading political cultural and scientific force internationally 21 Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 2 1 Indigenous peoples and pre Columbian history 2 2 European settlements 2 3 Independence and expansion 2 4 Civil War and Reconstruction era 2 5 Further immigration expansion and industrialization 2 6 World War I Great Depression and World War II 2 7 Cold War and civil rights era 2 8 Contemporary history 3 Geography 3 1 Wildlife and conservation 4 Government and politics 4 1 Political divisions 4 2 Parties and elections 4 3 Foreign relations 4 4 Government finance 4 5 Military 4 6 Law enforcement and crime 5 Economy 5 1 Science and technology 5 2 Income wealth and poverty 5 3 Transportation 5 3 1 All road transportation 5 3 2 Aviation 5 3 3 Rail 5 3 4 Environmental concerns 5 4 Energy 6 Demographics 6 1 Population 6 2 Language 6 3 Religion 6 4 Health 6 5 Education 7 Culture 7 1 Literature philosophy and visual art 7 2 Food 7 3 Music 7 4 Cinema 7 5 Sports 7 6 Mass media 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External linksEtymologySee also Naming of the Americas Names of the United States Names for United States citizens and American word The first known use of the name America dates back to 1507 when it appeared on a world map produced by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller On his map the name is shown in large letters on what would now be considered South America in honor of Amerigo Vespucci The Italian explorer was the first to postulate that the West Indies did not represent Asia s eastern limit but were part of a previously unknown landmass 22 23 In 1538 the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator used the name America on his own world map applying it to the entire Western Hemisphere 24 The first documentary evidence of the phrase United States of America dates from a January 2 1776 letter written by Stephen Moylan to George Washington s aide de camp Joseph Reed Moylan expressed his wish to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort 25 26 27 The first known publication of the phrase United States of America was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg Virginia on April 6 1776 28 The second draft of the Articles of Confederation prepared by John Dickinson and completed no later than June 17 1776 declared The name of this Confederation shall be the United States of America 29 The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 stated that The Stile of this Confederacy shall be The United States of America 30 In June 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in all capitalized letters in the headline of his original Rough draught of the Declaration of Independence 29 This draft of the document did not surface until June 21 1776 and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation 29 The short form United States is also standard Other common forms are the U S the USA and America Colloquial names are the U S of A and internationally the States Columbia a name popular in American poetry and songs of the late 18th century derives its origin from Christopher Columbus both Columbus and Columbia appear frequently in U S place names including Columbus Ohio Columbia South Carolina and the District of Columbia Places and institutions throughout the Western Hemisphere bear the two names including Colon Panama the country of Colombia the Columbia River and Columbia University The phrase United States was originally plural in American usage It described a collection of states e g the United States are The singular form became popular after the end of the Civil War and is now standard usage in the U S A citizen of the United States is an American United States American and U S refer to the country adjectivally American values U S forces In English the word American rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly connected with the United States 31 HistoryMain articles History of the United States and Outline of United States history Indigenous peoples and pre Columbian history Further information Native Americans in the United States Prehistory of the United States and Pre Columbian era The Cliff Palace built by the Native American Puebloans between AD 1190 and 1260 It has been generally accepted that the first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 12 000 years ago however some evidence suggests an even earlier date of arrival 32 33 34 The Clovis culture which appeared around 11 000 BC is believed to represent the first wave of human settlement of the Americas 35 36 This was likely the first of three major waves of migration into North America later waves brought the ancestors of present day Athabaskans Aleuts and Eskimos 37 Over time indigenous cultures in North America grew increasingly complex and some such as the pre Columbian Mississippian culture in the southeast developed advanced agriculture architecture and complex societies 38 The city state of Cahokia is the largest most complex pre Columbian archaeological site in the modern day United States 39 In the Four Corners region Ancestral Puebloan culture developed from centuries of agricultural experimentation 40 The Haudenosaunee located in the southern Great Lakes region was established at some point between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries 41 Most prominent along the Atlantic coast were the Algonquian tribes who practiced hunting and trapping along with limited cultivation Estimating the native population of North America at the time of European contact is difficult 42 43 Douglas H Ubelaker of the Smithsonian Institution estimated that there was a population of 92 916 in the south Atlantic states and a population of 473 616 in the Gulf states 44 but most academics regard this figure as too low 42 Anthropologist Henry F Dobyns believed the populations were much higher suggesting around 1 1 million along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico 2 2 million people living between Florida and Massachusetts 5 2 million in the Mississippi Valley and tributaries and around 700 000 people in the Florida peninsula 42 43 European settlements Further information Colonial history of the United States and Thirteen Colonies Claims of very early colonization of coastal New England by the Norse are disputed and controversial The first documented arrival of Europeans in the continental United States is that of Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de Leon who made his first expedition to Florida in 1513 Even earlier Christopher Columbus had landed in Puerto Rico on his 1493 voyage and San Juan was settled by the Spanish a decade later 45 The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida and New Mexico such as Saint Augustine often considered the nation s oldest city 46 and Santa Fe The French established their own settlements along the Mississippi River notably New Orleans 47 Successful English settlement of the eastern coast of North America began with the Virginia Colony in 1607 at Jamestown and with the Pilgrims colony at Plymouth in 1620 48 49 The continent s first elected legislative assembly Virginia s House of Burgesses was founded in 1619 Documents such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut established precedents for representative self government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies 50 51 Many English settlers were dissenting Christians who came seeking religious freedom In 1784 the Russians were the first Europeans to establish a settlement in Alaska at Three Saints Bay Russian America once spanned much of the present day state of Alaska 52 In the early days of colonization many European settlers were subject to food shortages disease and attacks from Native Americans Native Americans were also often at war with neighboring tribes and European settlers In many cases however the natives and settlers came to depend on one another Settlers traded for food and animal pelts natives for guns tools and other European goods 53 Natives taught many settlers to cultivate corn beans and other foodstuffs European missionaries and others felt it was important to civilize the Native Americans and urged them to adopt European agricultural practices and lifestyles 54 55 However with the increased European colonization of North America the Native Americans were displaced and often killed 56 The native population of America declined after European arrival for various reasons 57 58 59 primarily diseases such as smallpox and measles 60 61 The original Thirteen Colonies shown in red in 1775 European settlers also began trafficking of African slaves into Colonial America via the transatlantic slave trade 62 Because of a lower prevalence of tropical diseases and better treatment slaves had a much higher life expectancy in North America than in South America leading to a rapid increase in their numbers 63 64 Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery and several colonies passed acts both against and in favor of the practice 65 66 However by the turn of the 18th century African slaves had supplanted European indentured servants as cash crop labor especially in the American South 67 The Thirteen Colonies New Hampshire Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia that would become the United States of America were administered by the British as overseas dependencies 68 All nonetheless had local governments with elections open to most free men 69 With extremely high birth rates low death rates and steady settlement the colonial population grew rapidly eclipsing Native American populations 70 The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest both in religion and in religious liberty 71 During the Seven Years War 1756 1763 known in the U S as the French and Indian War British forces captured Canada from the French With the creation of the Province of Quebec Canada s francophone population would remain isolated from the English speaking colonial dependencies of Nova Scotia Newfoundland and the Thirteen Colonies Excluding the Native Americans who lived there the Thirteen Colonies had a population of over 2 1 million in 1770 about a third that of Britain Despite continuing new arrivals the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas 72 The colonies distance from Britain had allowed the development of self government but their unprecedented success motivated British monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority 73 Independence and expansion Further information American Revolution and Territorial evolution of the United States Declaration of Independence a painting by John Trumbull depicts the Committee of Five presenting the draft of the Declaration to the Continental Congress July 4 1776 The American Revolutionary War fought by the Thirteen Colonies against the British Empire was the first successful war of independence by a non European entity against a European power in modern history Americans had developed an ideology of republicanism asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures They demanded their rights as Englishmen and no taxation without representation The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament and the conflict escalated into war 74 The Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4 1776 this day is celebrated annually as Independence Day 75 In 1777 the Articles of Confederation established a decentralized government that operated until 1789 75 After its defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 Britain signed a peace treaty American sovereignty became internationally recognized and the country was granted all lands east of the Mississippi River Tensions with Britain remained however leading to the War of 1812 which was fought to a draw 76 Nationalists led the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution ratified in state conventions in 1788 Going into force in 1789 this constitution reorganized the federal government into three branches on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances George Washington who had led the Continental Army to victory was the first president elected under the new constitution The Bill of Rights forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections was adopted in 1791 77 Territorial acquisitions of the United States between 1783 and 1917 Although the federal government outlawed American participation in the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 after 1820 cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South and along with it the slave population 78 79 80 The Second Great Awakening especially in the period 1800 1840 converted millions to evangelical Protestantism In the North it energized multiple social reform movements including abolitionism 81 in the South Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations 82 Beginning in the late 18th century American settlers began to expand westward 83 prompting a long series of American Indian Wars 84 The 1803 Louisiana Purchase almost doubled the nation s area 85 Spain ceded Florida and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819 86 the Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845 during a period of expansionism 87 and the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Britain led to U S control of the present day American Northwest 88 Victory in the Mexican American War resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California and much of the present day American Southwest making the U S span the continent 83 89 The California Gold Rush of 1848 1849 spurred migration to the Pacific coast which led to the California Genocide 90 and the creation of additional western states 91 The giving away of vast quantities of land to white European settlers as part of the Homestead Acts nearly 10 of the total area of the United States and to private railroad companies and colleges as part of land grants spurred economic development 92 After the Civil War new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with Native Americans 93 In 1869 a new Peace Policy nominally promised to protect Native Americans from abuses avoid further war and secure their eventual U S citizenship Nonetheless large scale conflicts continued throughout the West into the 1900s Civil War and Reconstruction era Main articles American Civil War and Reconstruction era The Battle of Gettysburg fought between Union and Confederate forces on July 1 3 1863 around the town of Gettysburg Pennsylvania marked a turning point in the American Civil War Irreconcilable sectional conflict regarding the enslavement of Africans and African Americans ultimately led to the American Civil War 94 With the 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln conventions in thirteen slave states declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America the South or the Confederacy while the federal government the Union maintained that secession was illegal 95 In order to bring about this secession military action was initiated by the secessionists and the Union responded in kind The ensuing war would become the deadliest military conflict in American history resulting in the deaths of approximately 618 000 soldiers as well as many civilians 96 The Union initially simply fought to keep the country united Nevertheless as casualties mounted after 1863 and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation the main purpose of the war from the Union s viewpoint became the abolition of slavery Indeed when the Union ultimately won the war in April 1865 each of the states in the defeated South was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment which prohibited slavery except as penal labor Two other amendments were also ratified ensuring citizenship for blacks and at least in theory voting rights for them as well Reconstruction began in earnest following the war While President Lincoln attempted to foster friendship and forgiveness between the Union and the former Confederacy his assassination on April 14 1865 drove a wedge between North and South again Republicans in the federal government made it their goal to oversee the rebuilding of the South and to ensure the rights of African Americans They persisted until the Compromise of 1877 when the Republicans agreed to cease protecting the rights of African Americans in the South in order for Democrats to concede the presidential election of 1876 Southern white Democrats calling themselves Redeemers took control of the South after the end of Reconstruction beginning the nadir of American race relations From 1890 to 1910 the Redeemers established so called Jim Crow laws disenfranchising most blacks and some poor whites throughout the region Blacks would face racial segregation nationwide especially in the South 97 They also occasionally experienced vigilante violence including lynching 98 Further immigration expansion and industrialization Main articles Economic history of the United States and Technological and industrial history of the United States Play media Film by Edison Studios showing immigrants disembarking at Ellis Island in New York Harbor which served as a major entry point for European immigration into the U S 99 In the North urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe supplied a surplus of labor for the country s industrialization and transformed its culture 100 National infrastructure including telegraph and transcontinental railroads spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life 101 The United States fought Indian Wars west of the Mississippi River from 1810 to at least 1890 102 Most of these conflicts ended with the cession of Native American territory and their confinement to Indian reservations Additionally the Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that forcibly resettled Indians This further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation increasing surpluses for international markets 103 Mainland expansion also included the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 104 In 1893 pro American elements in Hawaii overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy and formed the Republic of Hawaii which the U S annexed in 1898 Puerto Rico Guam and the Philippines were ceded by Spain in the same year following the Spanish American War 105 American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War 106 The U S Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark in 1917 107 Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie led the nation s progress in the railroad petroleum and steel industries Banking became a major part of the economy with J P Morgan playing a notable role The American economy boomed becoming the world s largest 108 These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist socialist and anarchist movements 109 This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era which saw significant reforms including women s suffrage alcohol prohibition regulation of consumer goods and greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions 110 111 112 World War I Great Depression and World War II Further information World War I Great Depression and World War II The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1931 during the Great Depression The United States remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I in 1914 until 1917 when it joined the war as an associated power alongside the Allies of World War I helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U S to join the League of Nations However the Senate refused to approve this and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations 113 In 1920 the women s rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women s suffrage 114 The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television 115 The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression After his election as president in 1932 Franklin D Roosevelt responded with the New Deal 116 The Great Migration of millions of African Americans out of the American South began before World War I and extended through the 1960s 117 whereas the Dust Bowl of the mid 1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration 118 U S Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic images of the war At first effectively neutral during World War II the United States began supplying materiel to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend Lease program On December 7 1941 the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor prompting the United States to join the Allies against the Axis powers and in the following year to intern about 120 000 119 U S residents including American citizens of Japanese descent 120 Although Japan attacked the United States first the U S nonetheless pursued a Europe first defense policy 121 The United States thus left its vast Asian colony the Philippines isolated and fighting a losing struggle against Japanese invasion and occupation During the war the United States was one of the Four Powers 122 who met to plan the postwar world along with Britain the Soviet Union and China 123 124 Although the nation lost around 400 000 military personnel 125 it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence 126 The United States played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe s postwar reorganization As an Allied victory was won in Europe a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations Charter which became active after the war 127 The United States and Japan then fought each other in the largest naval battle in history the Battle of Leyte Gulf 128 129 The United States developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 the Japanese surrendered on September 2 ending World War II 130 131 Cold War and civil rights era Main articles History of the United States 1945 1964 History of the United States 1964 1980 and History of the United States 1980 1991 Further information Cold War Civil Rights Movement War on Poverty Space Race and Reaganomics Martin Luther King Jr gives his famous I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington 1963 U S president Ronald Reagan left and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit in 1985 After World War II the United States and the Soviet Union competed for power influence and prestige during what became known as the Cold War driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism 132 They dominated the military affairs of Europe with the U S and its NATO allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies on the other The U S developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence While the U S and Soviet Union engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals the two countries avoided direct military conflict 133 The United States often opposed Third World movements that it viewed as Soviet sponsored and occasionally pursued direct action for regime change against left wing governments occasionally supporting authoritarian right wing regimes 134 American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War of 1950 1953 135 The Soviet Union s 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first crewed spaceflight initiated a Space Race in which the United States became the first nation to land a man on the Moon in 1969 135 The United States became increasingly involved in the Vietnam War 1955 1975 introducing combat forces in 1965 136 At home the U S had experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class following World War II After a surge in female labor participation especially in the 1970s by 1985 the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed 137 Construction of an Interstate Highway System transformed the nation s infrastructure over the following decades Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments 138 139 In 1959 the United States formally expanded beyond the contiguous United States when the territories of Alaska and Hawaii became respectively the 49th and 50th states admitted into the Union 140 The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination with Martin Luther King Jr becoming a prominent leader and figurehead 141 A combination of court decisions and legislation culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968 sought to end racial discrimination 142 143 144 Meanwhile a counterculture movement grew which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war the Black Power movement and the sexual revolution 145 The launch of a War on Poverty expanded entitlements and welfare spending including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor respectively and the means tested Food Stamp Program and Aid to Families with Dependent Children 146 The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation The United States supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War in response the country faced an oil embargo from OPEC nations sparking the 1973 oil crisis In 1979 President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel marking the first time an Arab nation recognized Israeli existence relevant After his election President Ronald Reagan responded to economic stagnation with free market oriented reforms Following the collapse of detente he abandoned containment and initiated the more aggressive rollback strategy towards the Soviet Union 147 148 The late 1980s brought a thaw in relations with the Soviet Union and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War 149 150 151 This brought about unipolarity 152 with the U S unchallenged as the world s dominant superpower 153 Contemporary history Main articles History of the United States 1991 2008 and History of the United States 2008 present The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda in 2001 After the Cold War the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990 when Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait an ally of the United States Fearing the spread of instability in August President George H W Bush launched and led the Gulf War against Iraq waged until January 1991 by coalition forces from 34 nations it ended in the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and restoration of the monarchy 154 Originating within U S military defense networks the Internet spread to international academic platforms and then to the public in the 1990s greatly affecting the global economy society and culture 155 Due to the dot com boom stable monetary policy and reduced social welfare spending the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U S history 156 Beginning in 1994 the U S signed the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA causing trade among the U S Canada and Mexico to soar 157 On September 11 2001 Al Qaeda terrorist hijackers flew passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington D C killing nearly 3 000 people 158 In response President George W Bush launched the War on Terror which included a nearly 20 year war in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021 and the 2003 2011 Iraq War 159 160 A 2011 military operation in Pakistan led to the killing of Osama bin Laden 161 Government policy designed to promote affordable housing 162 widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance 163 and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve 164 led to the United States housing bubble in 2006 which culminated with the financial crisis of 2007 2008 and the Great Recession the nation s largest economic contraction since the Great Depression 165 During the crisis assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value 166 Barack Obama the first multiracial 167 president with African American ancestry 168 was elected in 2008 amid the crisis 169 and subsequently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 economic stimulus and the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects and ensure there would not be a repeat of the crisis In 2010 President Obama led efforts to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act the most sweeping reform to Health care in the United States in nearly five decades 170 In the 2016 United States presidential election Republican Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president a result viewed as one of the biggest political upsets in American history 171 In the presidential election of 2020 Democrat Joe Biden was elected as the 46th president 172 On January 6 2021 supporters of outgoing President Trump stormed the United States Capitol in an unsuccessful effort to disrupt the presidential Electoral College vote count 173 GeographyMain article Geography of the United States Koppen climate classifications of U S states and territories The 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia occupy a combined area of 3 119 885 square miles 8 080 470 km2 Of this area 2 959 064 square miles 7 663 940 km2 is contiguous land composing 83 65 of total U S land area 174 175 Hawaii occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific southwest of North America is 10 931 square miles 28 311 km2 in area The five populated but unincorporated territories of Puerto Rico American Samoa Guam Northern Mariana Islands and U S Virgin Islands together cover 9 185 square miles 23 789 km2 176 Measured by only land area the United States is third in size behind Russia and China just ahead of Canada 177 The United States is the world s third or fourth largest nation by total area land and water ranking behind Russia and Canada and nearly equal to China The ranking varies depending on how two territories disputed by China and India are counted and how the total size of the United States is measured e 178 179 The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont 180 The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest 181 The Mississippi Missouri River the world s fourth longest river system runs mainly north south through the heart of the country The flat fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west interrupted by a highland region in the southeast 181 The Rocky Mountains west of the Great Plains extend north to south across the country peaking around 14 000 feet 4 300 m in Colorado 182 Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave 183 The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 14 000 feet 4 300 m The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California 184 and only about 84 miles 135 km apart 185 At an elevation of 20 310 feet 6 190 5 m Alaska s Denali is the highest peak in the country and in North America 186 Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska s Alexander and Aleutian Islands and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent s largest volcanic feature 187 The United States with its large size and geographic variety includes most climate types To the east of the 100th meridian the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south 188 The Great Plains west of the 100th meridian are semi arid Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate The climate is arid in the Great Basin desert in the Southwest Mediterranean in coastal California and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska Most of Alaska is subarctic or polar Hawaii and the southern tip of Florida are tropical as well as its territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific 189 States bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes and most of the world s tornadoes occur in the country mainly in Tornado Alley areas in the Midwest and South 190 Overall the United States receives more high impact extreme weather incidents than any other country in the world 191 Wildlife and conservation Main articles Fauna of the United States and Flora of the United States The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since 1782 192 The U S is one of 17 megadiverse countries containing a large amount of endemic species about 17 000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska and more than 1 800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii few of which occur on the mainland 193 The United States is home to 428 mammal species 784 bird species 311 reptile species and 295 amphibian species 194 as well as about 91 000 insect species 195 There are 62 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks forests and wilderness areas 196 Altogether the government owns about 28 of the country s land area 197 mostly in the western states 198 Most of this land is protected though some is leased for oil and gas drilling mining logging or cattle ranching and about 86 is used for military purposes 199 200 Environmental issues include debates on oil and nuclear energy dealing with air and water pollution the economic costs of protecting wildlife logging and deforestation 201 202 and climate change 203 204 The most prominent environmental agency is the Environmental Protection Agency EPA created by presidential order in 1970 205 The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964 with the Wilderness Act 206 The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats which are monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service 207 The United States is ranked 24th among nations in the Environmental Performance Index 208 The country joined the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016 and has many other environmental commitments 209 It left the Paris Agreement in 2020 210 and rejoined it in 2021 211 Government and politicsMain articles Federal government of the United States Politics of the United States State governments of the United States and Local government in the United States The United States Capitol where Congress meets the Senate left the House right The White House residence and workplace of the U S President The Supreme Court Building where the nation s highest court sits The United States is a federal republic of 50 states a federal district five territories and several uninhabited island possessions 212 213 214 It is the world s oldest surviving federation It is a federal republic and a representative democracy in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law 215 Since 2015 the U S has ranked 25th on the Democracy Index and is described as a flawed democracy 216 On Transparency International s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index its public sector position deteriorated from a score of 76 in 2015 to 69 in 2019 217 In the American federalist system citizens are usually subject to three levels of government federal state and local The local government s duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments In almost all cases executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U S Constitution which serves as the country s supreme legal document 218 The Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states Article One protects the right to the writ of habeas corpus The Constitution has been amended 27 times 219 the first ten amendments which make up the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans individual rights All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review and any law can be voided if the courts determine that it violates the Constitution The principle of judicial review not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution was established by the Supreme Court in Marbury v Madison 1803 220 in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall 221 The federal government comprises three branches Legislative The bicameral Congress made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives makes federal law declares war approves treaties has the power of the purse 222 and has the power of impeachment by which it can remove sitting members of the government 223 Executive The president is the commander in chief of the military can veto legislative bills before they become law subject to congressional override and appoints the members of the Cabinet subject to Senate approval and other officers who administer and enforce federal laws and policies 224 Judicial The Supreme Court and lower federal courts whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional 225 The House of Representatives has 435 voting members each representing a congressional district for a two year term House seats are apportioned among the states by population Each state then draws single member districts to conform with the census apportionment The District of Columbia and the five major U S territories each have one member of Congress these members are not allowed to vote 226 The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators elected at large to six year terms one third of Senate seats are up for election every two years The District of Columbia and the five major U S territories do not have senators 226 The president serves a four year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice The president is not elected by direct vote but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the states and the District of Columbia 227 The Supreme Court led by the chief justice of the United States has nine members who serve for life 228 Political divisions Main articles Political divisions of the United States U S state Territories of the United States List of states and territories of the United States and Indian reservation Further information Territorial evolution of the United States Map of the United States showing the 50 states the District of Columbia and the five major U S territories The 50 states are the principal political divisions in the country Each state holds jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory where it shares sovereignty with the federal government They are subdivided into counties or county equivalents and further divided into municipalities The District of Columbia is a federal district that contains the capital of the United States the city of Washington 229 The states and the District of Columbia choose the president of the United States Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their representatives and senators in Congress the District of Columbia has three because of the 23rd Amendment 230 Territories of the United States such as Puerto Rico do not have presidential electors and so people in those territories cannot vote for the president 226 The United States also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree as it does with the states sovereignty American Indians are U S citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U S Congress and the federal courts Like the states they have a great deal of autonomy but also like the states tribes are not allowed to make war engage in their own foreign relations or print and issue currency 231 Reservations are usually part of a single state though 12 reservations cross state boundaries 232 Indian country jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters is shared by tribes states and the federal government Citizenship is granted at birth in all states the District of Columbia and all major U S territories except American Samoa k 236 233 Parties and elections Main articles Political parties in the United States Elections in the United States and Political ideologies in the United States Joe Biden 46th President Kamala Harris 49th Vice Presidentsince January 20 2021 The United States has operated under a two party system for most of its history 237 For elective offices at most levels state administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections Since the general election of 1856 the major parties have been the Democratic Party founded in 1824 and the Republican Party founded in 1854 Since the Civil War only one third party presidential candidate former president Theodore Roosevelt running as a Progressive in 1912 has won as much as 20 of the popular vote The president and vice president are elected by the Electoral College 238 In American political culture the center right Republican Party is considered conservative and the center left Democratic Party is considered liberal 239 240 The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes states known as blue states are relatively liberal The red states of the South and parts of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains are relatively conservative Democrat Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election and former vice president is serving as the 46th president of the United States Leadership in the Senate includes Vice President Kamala Harris President pro tempore Patrick Leahy Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 241 Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy 242 In the 117th United States Congress the House of Representatives and the Senate are narrowly controlled by the Democratic Party The Senate consists of 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats with two Independents who caucus with the Democrats the House consists of 222 Democrats and 211 Republicans 243 Of state governors there are 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats Among the D C mayor and the five territorial governors there are three Democrats one Republican and one New Progressive 244 Foreign relations Main articles Foreign relations of the United States and Foreign policy of the United States Diplomatic relations of the United States United States Countries that have diplomatic relations with the United States Countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the United States Disputed territories Antarctica The United States has an established structure of foreign relations It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council New York City is home to the United Nations Headquarters Almost all countries have embassies in Washington D C and many have consulates around the country Likewise nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions However Iran North Korea Bhutan and the Republic of China Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States although the U S still maintains unofficial relations with Bhutan and Taiwan 245 It is a member of the G7 246 G20 and OECD The United States has a Special Relationship with the United Kingdom 247 and strong ties with Canada 248 India Australia 249 New Zealand 250 the Philippines 251 Japan 252 South Korea 253 Israel 254 and several European Union countries including France Italy Germany Spain and Poland 255 It works closely with fellow NATO members on military and security issues and with its neighbors through the Organization of American States and free trade agreements such as the trilateral United States Mexico Canada Agreement Colombia is traditionally considered by the United States as its most loyal ally in South America 256 257 The U S exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for Micronesia the Marshall Islands and Palau through the Compact of Free Association 258 Government finance See also Taxation in the United States and United States federal budget U S Government spending and revenue from 1792 to 2018 Taxation in the United States is progressive 259 260 and is levied at the federal state and local government levels This includes taxes on income payroll property sales imports estates and gifts as well as various fees Taxation in the United States is based on citizenship not residency 261 Both non resident citizens and Green Card holders living abroad are taxed on their income irrespective of where they live or where their income is earned The United States is one of the few countries in the world to do so 262 In 2010 taxes collected by federal state and municipal governments amounted to 24 8 of GDP 263 For 2018 the effective tax rate for the wealthiest 400 households was 23 compared to 24 2 for the bottom half of U S households 264 During fiscal year 2012 the federal government spent 3 54 trillion on a budget or cash basis Major categories of fiscal year 2012 spending included Medicare amp Medicaid 23 Social Security 22 Defense Department 19 non defense discretionary 17 other mandatory 13 and interest 6 265 In 2018 the United States had the largest external debt in the world 266 As a percentage of GDP it had the 34th largest government debt in the world in 2017 however more recent estimates vary 267 The total national debt of the United States was 23 201 trillion or 107 of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2019 268 By 2012 total federal debt had surpassed 100 of U S GDP 269 The U S has a credit rating of AA from Standard amp Poor s AAA from Fitch and AAA from Moody s 270 Military Main article United States Armed Forces The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington CVN 73 The president is the commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces and appoints its leaders the secretary of defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff The Department of Defense administers five of the six service branches which are made up of the Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force and Space Force The Coast Guard also a branch of the armed forces is normally administered by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy in wartime 271 In 2019 all six branches of the U S Armed Forces reported 1 4 million personnel on active duty 272 The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2 3 million 272 The Department of Defense also employed about 700 000 civilians not including contractors 273 Global presence of the United States military showing Unified combatant commands Military service in the United States is voluntary although conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System 274 From 1940 until 1973 conscription was mandatory even during peacetime 275 Today American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force s large fleet of transport aircraft the Navy s 11 active aircraft carriers and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy and Army s XVIII Airborne Corps and 75th Ranger Regiment deployed by Air Force transport aircraft The Air Force can strike targets across the globe through its fleet of strategic bombers maintains the air defense across the United States and provides close air support to Army and Marine Corps ground forces 276 277 278 The Space Force operates the Global Positioning System operates the Eastern and Western Ranges for all space launches and operates the United States Space Surveillance and Missile Warning networks 279 280 281 The military operates about 800 bases and facilities abroad 282 and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries 283 The United States spent 649 billion on its military in 2019 36 of global military spending 284 At 4 7 of GDP the rate was the second highest among the top 15 military spenders after Saudi Arabia 284 Defense spending plays a major role in science and technology investment with roughly half of U S federal research and development funded by the Department of Defense 285 Defense s share of the overall U S economy has generally declined in recent decades from early Cold War peaks of 14 2 of GDP in 1953 and 69 5 of federal spending in 1954 to 4 7 of GDP and 18 8 of federal spending in 2011 286 In total number of personnel the United States has the third largest combined armed forces in the world behind the Chinese People s Liberation Army and Indian Armed Forces 287 The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and one of nine countries to possess nuclear weapons 288 The United States possesses the second largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world behind Russia 288 More than 40 of the world s 14 000 nuclear weapons are held by the United States 288 Law enforcement and crime Main articles Law enforcement in the United States and Crime in the United States See also Law of the United States Human rights in the United States Justice system Incarceration in the United States Police brutality in the United States and Capital punishment in the United States The New York City Police Department is the nation s largest municipal law enforcement agency Law enforcement in the United States is primarily the responsibility of local police departments and sheriff s offices with state police providing broader services Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI and the U S Marshals Service have specialized duties including protecting civil rights national security and enforcing U S federal courts rulings and federal laws 289 State courts conduct most criminal trials while federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts A cross sectional analysis of the World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates were 7 0 times higher than in other high income countries driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25 2 times higher 290 In 2016 the U S murder rate was 5 4 per 100 000 291 Total incarceration in the United States by year 1920 2014 The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world 292 As of 2020 the Prison Policy Initiative reported that there were some 2 3 million people incarcerated 293 According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses 294 The imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100 000 in 2013 295 About 9 of prisoners are held in privatized prisons 293 a practice beginning in the 1980s and a subject of contention 296 Although most nations have abolished capital punishment 297 it is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes and at the state level in 28 states though three states have moratoriums on carrying out the penalty imposed by their governors 298 299 300 In 2019 the country had the sixth highest number of executions in the world following China Iran Saudi Arabia Iraq and Egypt 301 No executions took place from 1967 to 1977 owing in part to a U S Supreme Court ruling striking down the practice Since the decision however there have been more than 1 500 executions 302 In recent years the number of executions and presence of capital punishment statute on whole has trended down nationally with several states recently abolishing the penalty 300 EconomyMain article Economy of the United States See also Economic history of the United States List of companies of the United States by state List of largest companies in the United States by revenue and Lists of companies This section needs to be updated Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information October 2021 The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street is the world s largest stock exchange per market capitalization of its listed companies 303 at 23 1 trillion as of April 2018 304 According to the International Monetary Fund the U S GDP of 22 7 trillion constitutes 24 of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 16 of the gross world product at purchasing power parity 305 13 The United States is the largest importer of goods and second largest exporter 306 though exports per capita are relatively low In 2010 the total U S trade deficit was 635 billion 307 Canada China Mexico Japan and the European Union are its top trading partners 308 309 From 1983 to 2008 U S real compounded annual GDP growth was 3 3 compared to a 2 3 weighted average for the rest of the G7 310 The country ranks fifth in the world in nominal GDP per capita 311 and seventh in GDP per capita at PPP 13 The U S dollar is the world s primary reserve currency 312 In 2009 the private sector was estimated to constitute 86 4 of the economy 313 While its economy has reached a post industrial level of development the United States remains an industrial power 314 In August 2010 the American labor force consisted of 154 1 million people 50 With 21 2 million people the public sector is the leading field of employment The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance with 16 4 million people It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most other high income countries 315 The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation 316 and is one of a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right 317 74 of full time American workers get paid sick leave according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics although only 24 of part time workers get the same benefits 318 In 2009 the United States had the third highest workforce productivity per person in the world behind Luxembourg and Norway 319 320 needs update Science and technology Main articles Science and technology in the United States and Science policy of the United States Buzz Aldrin on the Moon 1969 The United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid 20th century Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the U S War Department by the Federal Armories during the first half of the 19th century This technology along with the establishment of a machine tool industry enabled the U S to have large scale manufacturing of sewing machines bicycles and other items in the late 19th century and became known as the American system of manufacturing Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor saving techniques created the system of mass production 321 In the 21st century approximately two thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector 322 The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor 323 324 In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U S patent for the telephone Thomas Edison s research laboratory one of the first of its kind developed the phonograph the first long lasting light bulb and the first viable movie camera 325 The latter led to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry In the early 20th century the automobile companies of Ransom E Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line The Wright brothers in 1903 made the first sustained and controlled heavier than air powered flight 326 The rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1920s and 30s led many European scientists including Albert Einstein Enrico Fermi and John von Neumann to immigrate to the United States 327 During World War II the Manhattan Project developed nuclear weapons ushering in the Atomic Age while the Space Race produced rapid advances in rocketry materials science and aeronautics 328 329 The invention of the transistor in the 1950s a key active component in practically all modern electronics led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U S technology industry 330 This in turn led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as Silicon Valley in California Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices AMD and Intel along with both computer software and hardware companies such as Adobe Systems Apple Inc IBM Microsoft and Sun Microsystems created and popularized the personal computer The ARPANET was developed in the 1960s to meet Defense Department requirements and became the first of a series of networks which evolved into the Internet 331 The United States was ranked third after Switzerland and Sweden in the Global Innovation Index in 2019 and 2020 332 333 334 335 Income wealth and poverty Further information Income in the United States Poverty in the United States Affluence in the United States United States counties by per capita income and Income inequality in the United States Accounting for 4 24 of the global population Americans collectively possess 29 4 of the world s total wealth the largest percentage of any country 336 337 The U S also ranks first in the number of billionaires and millionaires in the world with 724 billionaires and 10 5 million millionaires as of 2020 338 339 Prior to the 2019 2021 global SARS CoV 2 pandemic Credit Suisse listed some 18 6 million U S citizens as having a net worth in excess of 1 million 340 In 2020 the Food Security Index ranked the United States 11th in food security giving the country a score of 77 5 100 341 Americans on average have more than twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as EU residents 342 For 2019 the United Nations Development Programme ranked the United States 17th among 189 countries in its Human Development Index HDI and 28th among 151 countries in its inequality adjusted HDI IHDI 343 Wealth inequality in the U S increased between 1989 and 2013 344 Wealth like income and taxes is highly concentrated the richest 10 of the adult population possess 72 of the country s household wealth while the bottom half possess only 2 345 According to the Federal Reserve the top 1 controlled 38 6 of the country s wealth in 2016 346 In 2017 Forbes found that just three individuals Jeff Bezos Warren Buffett and Bill Gates held more money than the bottom half of the population 347 According to a 2018 study by the OECD the United States has a larger percentage of low income workers than almost any other developed nation largely because of a weak collective bargaining system and lack of government support for at risk workers 348 The top one percent of income earners accounted for 52 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2015 where income is defined as market income excluding government transfers 349 After years of stagnation median household income reached a record high in 2016 following two consecutive years of record growth Income inequality remains at record highs however with the top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income 350 The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top one percent which has more than doubled from nine percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011 has significantly affected income inequality 351 leaving the United States with one of the widest income distributions among OECD members 352 The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate 353 354 355 There were about 567 715 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U S in January 2019 with almost two thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program 356 In 2011 16 7 million children lived in food insecure households about 35 more than 2007 levels though only 845 000 U S children 1 1 saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year and most cases were not chronic 357 As of June 2018 update 40 million people roughly 12 7 of the U S population were living in poverty including 13 3 million children Of those impoverished 18 5 million live in deep poverty family income below one half of the poverty threshold and over five million live in Third World conditions 358 In 2017 the U S states or territories with the lowest and highest poverty rates were New Hampshire 7 6 and American Samoa 65 respectively 359 360 361 The economic impact and mass unemployment caused by the COVID 19 pandemic raised fears of a mass eviction crisis 362 with an analysis by the Aspen Institute indicating that between 30 and 40 million people were at risk for eviction by the end of 2020 363 Transportation Main article Transportation in the United States All road transportation The Interstate Highway System in the contiguous states which extends 46 876 miles 75 440 km 364 Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles which operate on a network of 4 million miles 6 4 million kilometers of public roads 365 The United States has the world s second largest automobile market 366 and has the highest vehicle ownership per capita in the world with 816 4 vehicles per 1 000 Americans 2014 367 In 2017 there were 255 009 283 non two wheel motor vehicles or about 910 vehicles per 1 000 people 368 Aviation The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since 1978 while most major airports are publicly owned 369 The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U S based American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways 370 Of the world s 50 busiest passenger airports 16 are in the United States including the busiest Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport 371 Rail The United States has the longest rail network in the world nearly all standard gauge The network handles mostly freight with intercity passenger service provided by the government subsidized Amtrak to all but four states 372 Environmental concerns Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States The country now ranks as the world s second highest emitter of greenhouse gases exceeded only by China 373 The United States had been the world s largest producer of greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas emissions per capita remain high 374 Energy Further information Energy policy of the United States The United States energy market is about 29 000 terawatt hours per year 375 In 2018 37 of this energy came from petroleum 31 from natural gas and 13 from coal The remainder was supplied by nuclear and renewable energy sources 376 DemographicsMain articles Americans Demographics of the United States Race and ethnicity in the United States and Family structure in the United States Population See also List of U S states by population and List of United States cities by population Historical populationCensus Pop 17903 929 214 18005 308 48335 1 18107 239 88136 4 18209 638 45333 1 183012 866 02033 5 184017 069 45332 7 185023 191 87635 9 186031 443 32135 6 187038 558 37122 6 188050 189 20930 2 189062 979 76625 5 190076 212 16821 0 191092 228 49621 0 1920106 021 53715 0 1930123 202 62416 2 1940132 164 5697 3 1950151 325 79814 5 1960179 323 17518 5 1970203 211 92613 3 1980226 545 80511 5 1990248 709 8739 8 2000281 421 90613 2 2010308 745 5389 7 2020331 449 2817 4 Note that the census numbers do not include Native Americans until 1860 377 The U S Census Bureau reported 331 449 281 residents as of April 1 2020 378 This figure like most official data for the United States as a whole excludes the five unincorporated territories Puerto Rico Guam the U S Virgin Islands American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands and minor island possessions According to the Bureau s U S Population Clock on January 28 2021 the U S population had a net gain of one person every 100 seconds or about 864 people per day 379 The United States is the third most populous nation in the world after China and India In 2020 the median age of the United States population was 38 5 years 380 In 2018 there were almost 90 million immigrants and U S born children of immigrants in the United States accounting for 28 of the overall U S population 381 The United States has a diverse population 37 ancestry groups have more than one million members 382 White Americans of European ancestry mostly German Irish English Italian Polish and French 383 including White Hispanic and Latino Americans from Latin America form the largest racial group at 73 1 of the population African Americans constitute the nation s largest racial minority and third largest ancestry group and are around 13 of the total U S population 382 Asian Americans are the country s second largest racial minority the three largest Asian ethnic groups are Chinese Filipino and Indian 382 In 2017 out of the U S foreign born population some 45 20 7 million were naturalized citizens 27 12 3 million were lawful permanent residents 6 2 2 million were temporary lawful residents and 23 10 5 million were unauthorized immigrants 384 Among current living immigrants to the U S the top five countries of birth are Mexico China India the Philippines and El Salvador Until 2017 the United States led the world in refugee resettlement for decades admitting more refugees than the rest of the world combined 385 About 82 of Americans live in urban areas including suburbs 179 about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50 000 386 In 2008 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100 000 nine cities had more than one million residents and four cities had over two million namely New York Los Angeles Chicago and Houston 387 Many U S metropolitan populations are growing rapidly particularly in the South and West 388 As of 2018 update 52 of Americans age 15 and over were married 6 were widowed 10 were divorced and 32 had never been married 389 As of 2020 the total fertility rate stood at 1 64 children per woman 390 In 2013 the average age at first birth was 26 and 41 of births were to unmarried women 391 In 2019 the U S had the world s highest rate 23 of children living in single parent households the rates in Canada and Mexico were 15 and 7 respectively 392 Language Main article Languages of the United States English specifically American English is the de facto national language of the United States Although there is no official language at the federal level some laws such as U S naturalization requirements standardize English and most states have declared English as the official language 393 Three states and four U S territories have recognized local or indigenous languages in addition to English including Hawaii Hawaiian 394 Alaska twenty Native languages l 395 South Dakota Sioux 396 American Samoa Samoan Puerto Rico Spanish Guam Chamorro and the Northern Mariana Islands Carolinian and Chamorro In Puerto Rico Spanish is more widely spoken than English 397 According to the American Community Survey in 2010 some 229 million people out of the total U S population of 308 million spoke only English at home More than 37 million spoke Spanish at home making it the second most commonly used language in the United States Other languages spoken at home by one million people or more include Chinese 2 8 million Tagalog 1 6 million Vietnamese 1 4 million French 1 3 million Korean 1 1 million and German 1 million 398 The most widely taught foreign languages in the United States in terms of enrollment numbers from kindergarten through university undergraduate education are Spanish around 7 2 million students French 1 5 million and German 500 000 Other commonly taught languages include Latin Japanese American Sign Language Italian and Chinese 399 400 18 of all Americans claim to speak both English and another language 401 Religion Main article Religion in the United States Percentage of respondents in the United States saying that religion is very important or somewhat important in their lives 2014 402 The First Amendment of the U S Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment The United States has the world s largest Christian population 403 In a 2014 survey 70 6 of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians 404 Protestants accounted for 46 5 while Catholics at 20 8 formed the largest single Christian denomination 405 In 2014 5 9 of the U S adult population claimed a non Christian religion 406 These include Judaism 1 9 Islam 0 9 Hinduism 0 7 and Buddhism 0 7 406 The survey also reported that 22 8 of Americans described themselves as agnostic atheist or simply having no religion up from 8 2 in 1990 405 407 408 Membership in a house of worship fell from 70 in 1999 to 47 in 2020 much of the decline related to the number of Americans expressing no religious preference However membership also fell among those who identified with a specific religious group 409 410 Protestantism is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States accounting for almost half of all Americans Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism at 15 4 411 and the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest individual Protestant denomination at 5 3 of the U S population 411 Apart from Baptists other Protestant categories include nondenominational Protestants Methodists Pentecostals unspecified Protestants Lutherans Presbyterians Congregationalists other Reformed Episcopalians Anglicans Quakers Adventists Holiness Christian fundamentalists Anabaptists Pietists and multiple others 411 The Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation s average By contrast religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States 412 Health See also Health care in the United States Health care reform in the United States and Health insurance in the United States The Texas Medical Center in downtown Houston is the largest medical complex in the world The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC reported that the United States had an average life expectancy at birth of 77 3 years in 2020 74 5 years for men and 80 2 years for women down 1 5 years from 2019 According to provisional figures this was the lowest average U S life expectancy recorded by the CDC since 2003 the first overall decline since 2018 and the largest one year decline since World War II Some three quarters of the decrease was attributed to deaths from the COVID 19 pandemic with most of the rest due to accidents and drug overdoses 413 The country also has one of the highest suicide rates among wealthy countries 414 415 Starting in 1998 the average life expectancy in the U S fell behind that of other wealthy industrialized countries and Americans health disadvantage gap has been increasing ever since 416 From 1999 to 2019 more than 770 000 Americans died from drug overdoses 417 Life expectancy was highest among Asians and Hispanics and lowest among blacks 418 419 Increasing obesity in the United States and improvements in health and longevity outside the U S contributed to lowering the country s rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987 to 42nd in 2007 In 2017 the United States had the lowest life expectancy among Japan Canada Australia the United Kingdom and seven nations in western Europe 420 421 Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years and are the highest in the industrialized world 422 423 Approximately one third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight 424 Obesity related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals 425 In 2010 coronary artery disease lung cancer stroke chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U S Low back pain depression musculoskeletal disorders neck pain and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability The most harmful risk factors were poor diet tobacco smoking obesity high blood pressure high blood sugar physical inactivity and alcohol use Alzheimer s disease substance use disorders kidney disease cancer and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age adjusted 1990 per capita rates 426 U S teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations especially among blacks and Hispanics 427 Government funded health care coverage for the poor Medicaid established in 1965 and for those age 65 and older Medicare begun in 1966 is available to Americans who meet the programs income or age qualifications Nonetheless the United States remains the only developed nation without a system of universal health care 428 In 2017 12 2 of the population did not carry health insurance 429 The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans is a major political issue 430 431 The Affordable Care Act ACA passed in early 2010 and informally known as ObamaCare roughly halved the uninsured share of the population The bill and its ultimate effect are still issues of controversy in the United States 432 433 The U S health care system far outspends that of any other nation measured both in per capita spending and as a percentage of GDP 434 However the U S is a global leader in medical innovation 435 Education Main articles Education in the United States and Higher education in the United States Columbia University founded in 1754 is one of the colonial colleges and the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States American public education is operated by state and local governments and regulated by the United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants In most states children are required to attend school from the age of five or six beginning with kindergarten or first grade until they turn 18 generally bringing them through twelfth grade the end of high school some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17 436 About 12 of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools 3 4 of children are homeschooled as of 2012 437 The U S spends more on education per student than any nation in the world 438 spending an average of 12 794 per year on public elementary and secondary school students in the 2016 2017 school year 439 Some 80 of U S college students attend public universities 440 Of Americans 25 and older 84 6 graduated from high school 52 6 attended some college 27 2 earned a bachelor s degree and 9 6 earned graduate degrees 441 The basic literacy rate is approximately 99 179 442 The United Nations assigns the United States an Education Index of 0 97 tying it for 12th in the world 443 The United States has many private and public institutions of higher education The majority of the world s top universities as listed by various ranking organizations are in the U S 444 445 446 There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies shorter academic programs and lower tuition In 2018 U21 a network of research intensive universities ranked the United States first in the world for breadth and quality of higher education and 15th when GDP was a factor 447 As for public expenditures on higher education the U S trails some other OECD Organization for Cooperation and Development nations but spends more per student than the OECD average and more than all nations in combined public and private spending 448 449 As of 2018 update student loan debt exceeded 1 5 trillion dollars 450 451 CultureMain article Culture of the United States For many immigrants the Statue of Liberty was their first view of the United States It signified new opportunities in life and thus the statue is an iconic symbol of the American Dream as well as its ideals 452 The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups traditions and values 453 454 Aside from the Native American Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated or were imported as slaves within the past five centuries 455 Mainstream American culture is a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources such as traditions brought by slaves from Africa 453 456 More recent immigration from Asia and especially Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics 453 Americans have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic competitiveness and individualism 457 as well as a unifying belief in an American creed emphasizing liberty equality private property democracy rule of law and a preference for limited government 458 Americans are extremely charitable by global standards according to a 2006 British study Americans gave 1 67 of GDP to charity more than any other nation studied 459 460 461 The American Dream or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility plays a key role in attracting immigrants 462 Whether this perception is accurate has been a topic of debate 463 464 465 While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society 466 scholars identify significant differences between the country s social classes affecting socialization language and values 467 Americans tend to greatly value socioeconomic achievement but being ordinary or average is also generally seen as a positive attribute 468 Literature philosophy and visual art Main articles American literature American philosophy Architecture of the United States and Visual art of the United States Mark Twain American author and humorist In the 18th and early 19th centuries American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe contributing to Western culture Writers such as Washington Irving Nathaniel Hawthorne Edgar Allan Poe and Henry David Thoreau established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century s second half Emily Dickinson virtually unknown during her lifetime is now recognized as an essential American poet 469 A work seen as capturing fundamental aspects of the national experience and character such as Herman Melville s Moby Dick 1851 Twain s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1885 F Scott Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby 1925 and Harper Lee s To Kill a Mockingbird 1960 may be dubbed the Great American Novel 470 Thirteen U S citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature William Faulkner Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century 471 Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo 472 The transcendentalists led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson established the first major American philosophical movement After the Civil War Charles Sanders Peirce and then William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism In the 20th century the work of W V O Quine and Richard Rorty and later Noam Chomsky brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia John Rawls and Robert Nozick also led a revival of political philosophy In the visual arts the Hudson River School was a mid 19th century movement in the tradition of European naturalism The 1913 Armory Show in New York City an exhibition of European modernist art shocked the public and transformed the U S art scene 473 Georgia O Keeffe Marsden Hartley and others experimented with new individualistic styles Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright Philip Johnson and Frank Gehry 474 Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz Edward Steichen Edward Weston and Ansel Adams 475 Food Main article Cuisine of the United States Roasted turkey is a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner 476 Early settlers were introduced by Native Americans to such indigenous non European foods as turkey sweet potatoes corn squash and maple syrup They and later immigrants combined these with foods they had known such as wheat flour 477 beef and milk to create a distinctive American cuisine 478 479 Homegrown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America s most popular holidays Thanksgiving when some Americans make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion 480 The American fast food industry the world s largest 481 pioneered the drive through format in the 1940s 482 Characteristic dishes such as apple pie fried chicken pizza hamburgers and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants 483 484 French fries Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed 485 Americans drink three times as much coffee as tea 486 Marketing by U S industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages 487 488 Music Main article Music of the United States Grammy Museum at L A Live Among America s earliest composers was a man named William Billings who born in Boston composed patriotic hymns in the 1770s 489 Billings was a part of the First New England School who dominated American music during its earliest stages Anthony Heinrich was the most prominent composer before the Civil War From the mid late 1800s John Philip Sousa of the late Romantic era composed numerous military songs particularly marches and is regarded as one of America s greatest composers 490 By the late 19th century the Second New England School sometimes referred to specifically as the Boston Six became prominent representatives of the classical tradition of whom John Knowles Paine was the leading figure Although little known at the time Charles Ives s work of the 1910s established him as the first major U S composer in the classical tradition while experimentalists such as Henry Cowell and John Cage created a distinctive American approach to classical composition Aaron Copland and George Gershwin eventually furthered by Leonard Bernstein developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music Main Stem source source The 1942 jazz instrumental Main Stem by Duke Ellington performed by the U S Army Band in 2010Problems playing this file See media help The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African American music have deeply influenced American music at large distinguishing it from European and African traditions Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as old time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences Jazz was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century Country music developed in the 1920s and rhythm and blues in the 1940s 491 Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mid 1950s pioneers of rock and roll Rock bands such as Metallica the Eagles and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales 492 493 494 In the 1960s Bob Dylan emerged from the folk revival to become one of America s most celebrated songwriters and James Brown led the development of funk More recent American creations include hip hop salsa techno and house music Mid 20th century American pop stars such as Bing Crosby Frank Sinatra 495 and Elvis Presley became global celebrities 491 as have artists of the late 20th century such as Michael Jackson Prince Madonna and Whitney Houston 496 497 Popular artists from the mid 1990s to late 2000s include Mariah Carey Britney Spears Justin Timberlake Christina Aguilera and Beyonce Well known American singers of the 2010s include Katy Perry Bruno Mars Lady Gaga Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande 498 499 Cinema Main article Cinema of the United States The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles California Hollywood a northern district of Los Angeles California is one of the leaders in motion picture production 500 The world s first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City in 1894 using Thomas Edison s Kinetoscope 501 Since the early 20th century the U S film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization 502 Director D W Griffith an American filmmaker during the silent film period was central to the development of film grammar and producer entrepreneur Walt Disney was a leader in both animated film and movie merchandising 503 Directors such as John Ford redefined the image of the American Old West and like others such as John Huston broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting The industry enjoyed its golden years in what is commonly referred to as the Golden Age of Hollywood from the early sound period until the early 1960s 504 with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures 505 506 In the 1970s New Hollywood or the Hollywood Renaissance 507 was defined by grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post war period 508 In more recent times directors such as Steven Spielberg George Lucas and James Cameron have gained renown for their blockbuster films often characterized by high production costs and earnings Notable films topping the American Film Institute s AFI 100 list include Orson Welles s Citizen Kane 1941 which is frequently cited as the greatest film of all time 509 510 Casablanca 1942 The Godfather 1972 Gone with the Wind 1939 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 The Wizard of Oz 1939 The Graduate 1967 On the Waterfront 1954 Schindler s List 1993 Singin in the Rain 1952 It s a Wonderful Life 1946 and Sunset Boulevard 1950 511 The Academy Awards popularly known as the Oscars have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929 512 and the Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944 513 Sports Main article Sports in the United States The most popular sports in the U S are American football basketball baseball and ice hockey 514 American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport in the United States 515 the National Football League NFL has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world and the Super Bowl is watched by tens of millions globally 516 Even on the collegiate level college football games receive millions of viewers per television broadcast most notably the College Football Playoff which averages 25 million viewers 517 Baseball has been regarded as the U S national sport since the late 19th century with Major League Baseball MLB being the top league Basketball and ice hockey are the country s next two leading professional team sports with the top leagues being the National Basketball Association NBA 518 and the National Hockey League NHL College football and basketball attract large audiences The NCAA Final Four is one of the most watched sporting events 519 In soccer a sport that has gained a footing in the United States since the mid 1990s the country hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup the men s national soccer team qualified for ten World Cups and the women s team has won the FIFA Women s World Cup four times Major League Soccer is the sport s highest league in the United States featuring 23 American and three Canadian teams 520 The market for professional sports in the United States is roughly 69 billion roughly 50 larger than that of all of Europe the Middle East and Africa combined 521 Eight Olympic Games have taken place in the United States The 1904 Summer Olympics in St Louis Missouri were the first ever Olympic Games held outside of Europe 522 As of 2017 update the United States has won 2 522 medals at the Summer Olympic Games more than any other country and 305 in the Winter Olympic Games the second most behind Norway 523 While most major U S sports such as baseball and American football have evolved out of European practices basketball volleyball skateboarding and snowboarding are American inventions some of which have become popular worldwide 524 Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact 525 The most watched individual sports are golf and auto racing particularly NASCAR and IndyCar 526 527 Mass media Further information Mass media in the United States See also Newspapers in the United States Television in the United States Internet in the United States and Radio in the United States The headquarters of the National Broadcasting Company NBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City The four major broadcasters in the U S are the National Broadcasting Company NBC Columbia Broadcasting System CBS American Broadcasting Company ABC and Fox Broadcasting Company FOX The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches 528 Americans listen to radio programming also largely commercial on average just over two and a half hours a day 529 In 1998 the number of U S commercial radio stations had grown to 4 793 AM stations and 5 662 FM stations In addition there are 1 460 public radio stations Most of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds subscriptions and corporate underwriting Much public radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR 530 NPR was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 its television counterpart PBS was created by the same legislation As of September 30 2014 update there are 15 433 licensed full power radio stations in the U S according to the U S Federal Communications Commission FCC 531 Well known newspapers include The Wall Street Journal The New York Times and USA Today 532 Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years the price of newspapers has generally remained low forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service such as the Associated Press or Reuters for their national and world coverage 533 With very few exceptions all the newspapers in the U S are privately owned either by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers by small chains that own a handful of papers or in a situation that is increasingly rare by individuals or families Major cities often have alternative weeklies to complement the mainstream daily papers such as New York City s The Village Voice or Los Angeles LA Weekly Major cities may also support a local business journal trade papers relating to local industries and papers for local ethnic and social groups The five most popular websites used in the U S are Google YouTube Amazon Yahoo and Facebook 534 More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English 535 536 See also North America portal United States portal Index of United States related articles Lists of U S state topics Outline of the United StatesNotes Other traditional mottos include E pluribus unum 1 Latin for Out of many one and the two phrases on the reverse of the Great Seal Annuit cœptis 1 Latin for Providence favors our undertakings and Novus ordo seclorum 1 Latin for New order of the ages English is the official language of 32 states English and Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii and English and 20 Indigenous languages are official in Alaska Algonquian Cherokee and Sioux are among many other official languages in Native controlled lands throughout the country French is a de facto but unofficial language in Maine and Louisiana while New Mexico law grants Spanish a special status In five territories English as well as one or more indigenous languages are official Spanish in Puerto Rico Samoan in American Samoa and Chamorro in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Carolinian is also an official language in the Northern Mariana Islands 4 5 Those who identify with two or more races are counted by all chosen races The historical and informal demonym Yankee has been applied to Americans New Englanders or northeasterners since the 18th century a b c The United States is the third largest country after Canada if coastal and territorial waters are included If excluded it is the fourth largest after China Coastal territorial waters included 3 796 742 sq mi 9 833 517 km2 18 Coastal territorial waters excluded 3 696 100 sq mi 9 572 900 km2 19 Excludes Puerto Rico and the other unincorporated islands because they are counted separately in U S census statistics See Time in the United States for details about laws governing time zones in the United States dd mm yyyy and yyyy mm dd are also used A single jurisdiction the U S Virgin Islands uses left hand traffic The five major territories are American Samoa Guam the Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands There are eleven smaller island areas without permanent populations Baker Island Howland Island Jarvis Island Johnston Atoll Kingman Reef Midway Atoll and Palmyra Atoll U S sovereignty over Bajo Nuevo Bank Navassa Island Serranilla Bank and Wake Island is disputed 17 People born in American Samoa are non citizen U S nationals unless one of their parents is a U S citizen 233 In 2019 a court ruled that American Samoans are U S citizens but the litigation is onging 234 235 Inupiaq Siberian Yupik Central Alaskan Yup ik Alutiiq Unanga Aleut Denaʼina Deg Xinag Holikachuk Koyukon Upper Kuskokwim Gwichʼin Tanana Upper Tanana Tanacross Han Ahtna Eyak Tlingit Haida and Tsimshian References a b c The Great Seal of the United States PDF U S Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs 2003 Retrieved February 12 2020 36 U S C 302 An Act To make The Star Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States of America H R 14 Act of March 3 1931 71st United States Congress Cobarrubias 1983 p 195 Garcia 2011 p 167 2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country United States Census Retrieved August 13 2021 Race and Ethnicity in the United States 2010 Census and 2020 Census United States Census Retrieved August 13 2021 Measuring Religion in Pew Research Center s American Trends Panel Measuring Religion in Pew Research Center s American Trends Panel Pew Research Center Pew Research Center January 14 2021 Archived from the original on February 8 2021 Retrieved February 9 2021 Compton s Pictured Encyclopedia and Fact index Ohio 1963 p 336 Areas of the 50 states and the District of Columbia but not Puerto Rico nor other island territories per State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates Census gov August 2010 Retrieved March 31 2020 reflect base feature updates made in the MAF TIGER database through August 2010 Surface water and surface water change Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development OECD 2015 Retrieved October 11 2020 Census Bureau s 2020 Population Count United States Census Retrieved April 26 2021 The 2020 census is as of April 1 2020 a b c d e f World Economic Outlook Database October 2021 IMF org International Monetary Fund Retrieved October 13 2021 Income inequality in America is the highest it s been since Census Bureau started tracking it data shows The Washington Post Retrieved July 27 2020 Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier Human Development and the Anthropocene PDF United Nations Development Programme December 15 2020 Retrieved December 15 2020 Electricity 101 United States Department of Energy Retrieved July 14 2021 U S State Department Common Core Document to U N Committee on Human Rights December 30 2011 Item 22 27 80 And U S General Accounting Office Report U S Insular Areas application of the U S Constitution November 1997 pp 1 6 39n Both viewed April 6 2016 China CIA World Factbook Retrieved June 10 2016 United States Encyclopaedia Britannica Archived from the original on December 19 2013 Retrieved January 31 2010 Simpson Victoria May 6 2020 Countries with Which the US Shares Maritime Borders WorldAtlas Cohen 2004 History and the Hyperpower BBC April 2008 Country Profile United States of America Geographical trends of research output Research Trends Retrieved March 16 2014 The top 20 countries for scientific output Open Access Week Retrieved March 16 2014 Granted patents European Patent Office Retrieved March 16 2014 Sider 2007 p 226 Szalay Jessie September 20 2017 Amerigo Vespucci Facts Biography amp Naming of America Live Science Retrieved June 23 2019 Jonathan Cohen The Naming of America Fragments We ve Shored Against Ourselves Retrieved February 3 2014 DeLear Byron July 4 2013 Who coined United States of America Mystery might have intriguing answer Historians have long tried to pinpoint exactly when the name United States of America was first used and by whom This latest find comes in a letter that Stephen Moylan Esq wrote to Col Joseph Reed from the Continental Army Headquarters in Cambridge Mass during the Siege of Boston The two men lived with Washington in Cambridge with Reed serving as Washington s favorite military secretary and Moylan fulfilling the role during Reed s absence Christian Science Monitor Boston MA Touba Mariam November 5 2014 Who Coined the Phrase United States of America You May Never Guess Here on January 2 1776 seven months before the Declaration of Independence and a week before the publication of Paine s Common Sense Stephen Moylan an acting secretary to General George Washington spells it out I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain to seek foreign assistance for the cause New York Historical Society Museum amp Library Fay John July 15 2016 The forgotten Irishman who named the United States of America According to the NY Historical Society Stephen Moylan was the man responsible for the earliest documented use of the phrase United States of America But who was Stephen Moylan IrishCentral com To the inhabitants of Virginia by A PLANTER Dixon and Hunter s April 6 1776 Williamsburg Virginia Letter is also included in Peter Force s American Archives The Virginia Gazette 5 1287 Archived from the original on December 19 2014 a b c Safire 2003 p 199 Mostert 2005 p 18 Wilson Kenneth G 1993 The Columbia guide to standard American English New York Columbia University Press pp 27 28 ISBN 978 0 231 06989 2 Erlandson Rick amp Vellanoweth 2008 p 19 Savage 2011 p 55 Haviland Walrath amp Prins 2013 p 219 Waters amp Stafford 2007 pp 1122 1126 Flannery 2015 pp 173 185 Gelo 2018 pp 79 80 Lockard 2010 p 315 Martinez Sage amp Ono 2016 p 4 Fagan 2016 p 390 Dean R Snow 1994 The Iroquois Blackwell Publishers Ltd ISBN 978 1 55786 938 8 Retrieved July 16 2010 a b c Perdue amp Green 2005 p 40 a b Haines Haines amp Steckel 2000 p 12 Thornton 1998 p 34 Fernando Opere 2008 Indian Captivity in Spanish America Frontier Narratives University of Virginia Press p 1 ISBN 978 0 8139 2587 5 Not So Fast Jamestown St Augustine Was Here First NPR org February 28 2015 Retrieved March 5 2021 Christine Marie Petto 2007 When France Was King of Cartography The Patronage and Production of Maps in Early Modern France Lexington Books p 125 ISBN 978 0 7391 6247 7 James E Seelye Jr Shawn Selby 2018 Shaping North America From Exploration to the American Revolution 3 volumes ABC CLIO p 344 ISBN 978 1 4408 3669 5 Robert Neelly Bellah Richard Madsen William M Sullivan Ann Swidler Steven M Tipton 1985 Habits of the Heart Individualism and Commitment in American Life University of California Press p 220 ISBN 978 0 520 05388 5 OL 7708974M Remini 2007 pp 2 3 Johnson 1997 pp 26 30 Russians settle Alaska History Retrieved February 21 2021 Ripper 2008 p 6 Ripper 2008 p 5 Calloway 1998 p 55 Joseph 2016 p 590 Cook Noble 1998 Born to Die Disease and New World Conquest 1492 1650 Cambridge Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 0 521 62730 6 Treuer David The new book The Other Slavery will make you rethink American history The Los Angeles Times Retrieved October 10 2019 Stannard 1993 p xii The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology Archived February 8 2016 at the Wayback Machine Arthur C Aufderheide Conrado Rodriguez Martin Odin Langsjoen 1998 Cambridge University Press p 205 ISBN 978 0 521 55203 5 Bianchine Russo 1992 pp 225 232 Thomas Hugh 1997 The Slave Trade The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1440 1870 Simon and Schuster pp 516 ISBN 0 684 83565 7 Tadman 2000 p 1534 Schneider 2007 p 484 Lien 1913 p 522 Davis 1996 p 7 Quirk 2011 p 195 Bilhartz Terry D Elliott Alan C 2007 Currents in American History A Brief History of the United States M E Sharpe ISBN 978 0 7656 1817 7 Wood Gordon S 1998 The Creation of the American Republic 1776 1787 UNC Press Books p 263 ISBN 978 0 8078 4723 7 Walton 2009 pp 38 39 Foner Eric 1998 The Story of American Freedom 1st ed W W Norton pp 4 5 ISBN 978 0 393 04665 6 story of American freedom Walton 2009 p 35 Otis James 1763 The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved ISBN 9780665526787 Humphrey Carol Sue 2003 The Revolutionary Era Primary Documents on Events from 1776 To 1800 Greenwood Publishing pp 8 10 ISBN 978 0 313 32083 5 a b Fabian Young Alfred Nash Gary B Raphael Ray 2011 Revolutionary Founders Rebels Radicals and Reformers in the Making of the Nation Random House Digital pp 4 7 ISBN 978 0 307 27110 5 Wait Eugene M 1999 America and the War of 1812 Nova Publishers p 78 ISBN 978 1 56072 644 9 Boyer 2007 pp 192 193 Cogliano Francis D 2008 Thomas Jefferson Reputation and Legacy University of Virginia Press p 219 ISBN 978 0 8139 2733 6 Walton 2009 p 43 Gordon 2004 pp 27 29 Clark Mary Ann May 2012 Then We ll Sing a New Song African Influences on America s Religious Landscape Rowman amp Littlefield p 47 ISBN 978 1 4422 0881 0 Heinemann Ronald L et al Old Dominion New Commonwealth a history of Virginia 1607 2007 2007 ISBN 978 0 8139 2609 4 p 197 a b Carlisle Rodney P Golson J Geoffrey 2007 Manifest Destiny and the Expansion of America Turning Points in History Series ABC CLIO p 238 ISBN 978 1 85109 833 0 Billington Ray Allen Ridge Martin 2001 Westward Expansion A History of the American Frontier UNM Press p 22 ISBN 978 0 8263 1981 4 Louisiana Purchase PDF National Park Services Retrieved March 1 2011 Klose Nelson Jones Robert F 1994 United States History to 1877 Barron s Educational Series p 150 ISBN 978 0 8120 1834 9 Morrison Michael A April 28 1997 Slavery and the American West The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War University of North Carolina Press pp 13 21 ISBN 978 0 8078 4796 1 Kemp Roger L 2010 Documents of American Democracy A Collection of Essential Works McFarland p 180 ISBN 978 0 7864 4210 2 Retrieved October 25 2015 McIlwraith Thomas F Muller Edward K 2001 North America The Historical Geography of a Changing Continent Rowman amp Littlefield p 61 ISBN 978 0 7425 0019 8 Retrieved October 25 2015 Wolf Jessica Revealing the history of genocide against California s Native Americans UCLA Newsroom Retrieved July 8 2018 Rawls James J 1999 A Golden State Mining and Economic Development in Gold Rush California University of California Press p 20 ISBN 978 0 520 21771 3 Paul Frymer Building an American Empire The Era of Territorial and Political Expansion Princeton Princeton University Press 2017 Black Jeremy 2011 Fighting for America The Struggle for Mastery in North America 1519 1871 Indiana University Press p 275 ISBN 978 0 253 35660 4 Stuart Murray 2004 Atlas of American Military History Infobase Publishing p 76 ISBN 978 1 4381 3025 5 Retrieved October 25 2015 Harold T Lewis 2001 Christian Social Witness Rowman amp Littlefield p 53 ISBN 978 1 56101 188 9 O Brien Patrick Karl 2002 Atlas of World History Concise ed New York NY Oxford University Press p 184 ISBN 978 0 19 521921 0 Vinovskis Maris 1990 Toward A Social History of the American Civil War Exploratory Essays Cambridge New York Cambridge University Press p 4 ISBN 978 0 521 39559 5 Shearer Davis Bowman 1993 Masters and Lords Mid 19th Century U S Planters and Prussian Junkers Oxford UP p 221 ISBN 978 0 19 536394 4 Jason E Pierce 2016 Making the White Man s West Whiteness and the Creation of the American West University Press of Colorado p 256 ISBN 978 1 60732 396 9 Marie Price Lisa Benton Short 2008 Migrants to the Metropolis The Rise of Immigrant Gateway Cities Syracuse University Press p 51 ISBN 978 0 8156 3186 6 John Powell 2009 Encyclopedia of North American Immigration Infobase Publishing p 74 ISBN 978 1 4381 1012 7 Retrieved October 25 2015 Winchester pp 351 385 Michno Gregory 2003 Encyclopedia of Indian Wars Western Battles and Skirmishes 1850 1890 Mountain Press Publishing ISBN 978 0 87842 468 9 Toward a Market Economy CliffsNotes Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Retrieved December 23 2014 Purchase of Alaska 1867 Office of the Historian U S Department of State Retrieved December 23 2014 The Spanish American War 1898 Office of the Historian U S Department of State Retrieved December 24 2014 Ryden George Herbert The Foreign Policy of the United States in Relation to Samoa New York Octagon Books 1975 Virgin Islands History Vinow com Retrieved January 5 2018 Kirkland Edward Industry Comes of Age Business Labor and Public Policy 1961 ed pp 400 405 Zinn 2005 pp 321 357 Paige Meltzer The Pulse and Conscience of America The General Federation and Women s Citizenship 1945 1960 Frontiers A Journal of Women Studies 2009 Vol 30 Issue 3 pp 52 76 James Timberlake Prohibition and the Progressive Movement 1900 1920 Harvard UP 1963 George B Tindall Business Progressivism Southern Politics in the Twenties South Atlantic Quarterly 62 Winter 1963 92 106 McDuffie Jerome Piggrem Gary Wayne Woodworth Steven E 2005 U S History Super Review Piscataway NJ Research amp Education Association p 418 ISBN 978 0 7386 0070 3 Voris Jacqueline Van 1996 Carrie Chapman Catt A Public Life Women and Peace Series New York City Feminist Press at CUNY p vii ISBN 978 1 55861 139 9 Carrie Chapmann Catt led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920 Catt was one of the best known women in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women Winchester pp 410 411 Axinn June Stern Mark J 2007 Social Welfare A History of the American Response to Need 7th ed Boston Allyn amp Bacon ISBN 978 0 205 52215 6 Lemann Nicholas 1991 The Promised Land The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America New York Alfred A Knopf p 6 ISBN 978 0 394 56004 5 James Noble Gregory 1991 American Exodus The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 507136 8 Retrieved October 25 2015 Mass Exodus From the Plains American Experience WGBH Educational Foundation 2013 Retrieved October 5 2014 Fanslow Robin A April 6 1997 The Migrant Experience American Folklore Center Library of Congress Retrieved October 5 2014 Walter J Stein 1973 California and the Dust Bowl Migration Greenwood Press ISBN 978 0 8371 6267 6 Retrieved October 25 2015 The official WRA record from 1946 state it was 120 000 people See War Relocation Authority 1946 The Evacuated People A Quantitative Study p 8 This number does not include people held in other camps such as those run by the DoJ or U S Army Other sources may give numbers slightly more or less than 120 000 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11 2007 Woodward C Vann 1947 The Battle for Leyte Gulf New York Macmillan ISBN 978 1 60239 194 9 The Largest Naval Battles in Military History A Closer Look at the Largest and Most Influential Naval Battles in World History Military History Norwich University Retrieved March 7 2015 Why did Japan surrender in World War II The Japan Times The Japan Times Retrieved February 8 2017 Pacific War Research Society 2006 Japan s Longest Day New York Oxford University Press ISBN 978 4 7700 2887 7 Wagg Stephen Andrews David 2012 East Plays West Sport and the Cold War Routledge p 11 ISBN 978 1 134 24167 5 Blakemore Erin March 22 2019 What was the Cold War National Geographic Retrieved August 28 2020 Blakeley 2009 p 92 a b Collins Michael 1988 Liftoff The Story of America s Adventure in Space New York Grove Press ISBN 9780802110114 Chapman Jessica M August 5 2016 Origins of the Vietnam War Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History Oxford University Press doi 10 1093 acrefore 9780199329175 013 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Impending War at Taiwan Strait University Press of America p 179 ISBN 978 0 7618 3434 2 Understanding the Victory Disease From the Little Bighorn to Mogadishu and Beyond Diane Publishing 2004 p 1 ISBN 978 1 4289 1052 2 Akis Kalaitzidis Gregory W Streich 2011 U S Foreign Policy A Documentary and Reference Guide ABC CLIO p 313 ISBN 978 0 313 38375 5 Persian Gulf War Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc 2016 Retrieved January 24 2017 Winchester pp 420 423 Dale Reginald February 18 2000 Did Clinton Do It or Was He Lucky The New York Times Retrieved March 6 2013 Mankiw N Gregory 2008 Macroeconomics Cengage Learning p 559 ISBN 978 0 324 58999 3 Retrieved October 25 2015 North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA United States Trade Representative www ustr gov Archived from the original on March 17 2013 Retrieved January 11 2015 Thakur Manab Thakur Gene E Burton B N Srivastava 1997 International Management Concepts and Cases Tata McGraw Hill Education pp 334 335 ISBN 978 0 07 463395 3 Retrieved October 25 2015 Akis Kalaitzidis Gregory W Streich 2011 U S Foreign Policy A Documentary and Reference Guide ABC CLIO p 201 ISBN 978 0 313 38376 2 Flashback 9 11 As It Happened Fox News September 9 2011 Retrieved March 6 2013 America remembers Sept 11 attacks 11 years later CBS News Associated Press September 11 2012 Retrieved March 6 2013 Day of Terror Video Archive CNN 2005 Retrieved March 6 2013 Walsh Kenneth T December 9 2008 The War on Terror Is Critical to President George W Bush s Legacy U S News amp World Report Retrieved March 6 2013 Atkins Stephen E 2011 The 9 11 Encyclopedia Second Edition ABC CLIO p 872 ISBN 978 1 59884 921 9 Retrieved October 25 2015 Wong Edward February 15 2008 Overview The Iraq War The New York Times Retrieved March 7 2013 Johnson James Turner 2005 The War to Oust Saddam Hussein Just War and the New Face of Conflict Rowman amp Littlefield p 159 ISBN 978 0 7425 4956 2 Retrieved October 25 2015 Durando Jessica Green Shannon Rae December 21 2011 Timeline Key moments in the Iraq War USA Today Associated Press Retrieved March 7 2013 Cooper Helene May 1 2011 Obama Announces Killing of Osama bin Laden The New York Times Archived from the original on May 2 2011 Wallison Peter 2015 Hidden in Plain Sight What Really Caused the World s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again Encounter Books ISBN 978 978 59407 7 0 Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission 2011 Financial Crisis Inquiry Report PDF ISBN 978 1 60796 348 6 Taylor John B January 2009 The Financial Crisis and the Policy Responses An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong PDF Hoover Institution Economics Paper Series Retrieved January 21 2017 Hilsenrath Jon Ng Serena Paletta Damian September 18 2008 Worst Crisis Since 30s With No End Yet in Sight The Wall Street Journal Altman Roger C The Great Crash 2008 Foreign Affairs Archived from the original on December 23 2008 Retrieved February 27 2009 Barack Obama Face Of New Multiracial Movement NPR November 12 2008 Barack Obama elected as America s first black president History com A amp E Television Networks LLC October 31 2019 Retrieved November 11 2019 Washington Jesse Rugaber Chris July 10 2011 African American Economic Gains Reversed By Great Recession Associated Press Archived from the original on June 16 2013 Oberlander Jonathan June 1 2010 Long Time Coming Why Health Reform Finally Passed Health Affairs 29 6 1112 1116 doi 10 1377 hlthaff 2010 0447 ISSN 0278 2715 PMID 20530339 Smith Harrison November 9 2016 Donald Trump is elected president of the United States The Washington Post Retrieved October 27 2020 Lemire Jonathan November 7 2020 Biden defeats Trump for White House Say s time to heal Associated Press Retrieved January 20 2021 Penaloza Marisa January 6 2021 Trump Supporters Storm U S Capitol Clash with Police npr org NPR Retrieved January 16 2021 Field Listing Area The World Factbook cia gov State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates Geography U S Census Bureau State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates U S Department of Commerce Retrieved September 11 2017 2010 Census Area PDF census gov U S Census Bureau p 41 Retrieved January 18 2015 Area The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency Retrieved January 15 2015 United States Encyclopaedia Britannica given in square miles excluding a b c United States The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency January 3 2018 Retrieved January 8 2018 Geographic Regions of Georgia Georgia Info Digital Library of Georgia Retrieved December 24 2014 a b Lew Alan PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE US GSP 220 Geography of the United States North Arizona University Archived from the original on April 9 2016 Retrieved December 24 2014 Harms Nicole Facts About the Rocky Mountain Range Travel Tips USA Today Retrieved December 24 2014 Great Basin Encyclopaedia Britannica Retrieved December 24 2014 Mount Whitney California Peakbagger Retrieved December 24 2014 Find Distance and Azimuths Between 2 Sets of Coordinates Badwater 36 15 01 N 116 49 33 W and Mount Whitney 36 34 43 N 118 17 31 W Federal Communications Commission Retrieved December 24 2014 Poppick Laura August 28 2013 US Tallest Mountain s Surprising Location Explained LiveScience Retrieved May 2 2015 O Hanlon Larry March 14 2005 America s Explosive Park Discovery Channel Archived from the original on March 14 2005 Retrieved April 5 2016 Boyden Jennifer Climate Regions of the United States Travel Tips USA Today Retrieved December 24 2014 World Map of Koppen Geiger Climate Classification PDF Retrieved August 19 2015 Perkins Sid May 11 2002 Tornado Alley USA Science News Archived from the original on July 1 2007 Retrieved September 20 2006 Rice Doyle USA has the world s most extreme weather USA TODAY Retrieved May 17 2020 Len McDougall 2004 The Encyclopedia of Tracks and Scats A Comprehensive Guide to the Trackable Animals of the United States and Canada Lyons Press p 325 ISBN 978 1 59228 070 4 Morin Nancy Vascular Plants of the United States PDF Plants National Biological Service Archived from the original PDF on July 24 2013 Retrieved October 27 2008 Osborn Liz a, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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