United States (USA) (GPS: 38 00 N, 97 00 W) is located in North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico. The country’s area measurements are total: 9,833,517 sq km; land: 9,147,593 sq km, water: 685,924 sq km. This sovereign state is about half the size of Russia, about three-tenths the size of Africa, about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil), slightly larger than China, more than twice the size of the European Union. The total irrigated land is 264,000 sq km (2012).
Some of the essential features of the United States (USA): World’s third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India). Denali (Mt. McKinley) is the highest point in North America, and Death Valley, the lowest point globally. The western coast of the United States and southern coast of Alaska lies along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire.
The Aleutian Islands are a chain of volcanic islands that divide the Bering Sea (north) from the central Pacific Ocean (south). They extend about 1,800 km westward from the Alaskan Peninsula. The archipelago consists of 14 larger islands, 55 smaller islands, and hundreds of islets. There are 41 active volcanoes on the islands, which form a large northern section of the Ring of Fire.
Mammoth Cave, in west-central Kentucky, is the world’s most extended known cave system with more than 650 km (405 miles) of surveyed passageways, which is nearly twice as long as the second-longest cave system, the Sac Actun underwater cave in Mexico – the world’s most comprehensive underwater cave system.
Kazuma Cave on the island of Hawaii is the world’s longest and deepest lava tube cave. It surveyed at 66 km (41 mi) long and 1,102 m (3,614 ft) deep.
Bracken Cave, outside of San Antonio, Texas, is the world’s largest bat cave. It is the summer home to the largest colony of bats in the world. An estimated 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats roost in the cave from March to October, making it the world’s largest known mammals concentration.
Its significant, and simultaneously, Washington DC’s GPS coordinates, the principal city, is 38 53 N 77 02 W. Washington DC’s local time is during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC-5, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November. Note: the 50 United States covers six time zones.
Google Maps United States (USA) and Washington DC, North America
About United States (USA) in detail
Flag of the United States (USA)
Map of the United States (USA)
Britain’s American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the United States of America’s new nation following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired several overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation’s history were the Civil War (1861-1865), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world’s most powerful nation-state. Since World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid technological advances.
United States (USA)’s names conventional long form: the United States of America, traditional short form: United States abbreviation: US or USA, etymology: America is derived from Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512), Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer. America derived from Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) – Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer – using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America.
United States (USA)’s terrain is typically vast central plain, mountains in the west, hills and low mountains in the east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii. The country’s mean elevation: 760 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Death Valley -86 m, highest point: Denali (Mount McKinley) 6,190 m.
The general climate in the country; mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest: low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
The total number of border countries is 2, Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,155 km. Note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, leased by the US and is part of Cuba, are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. United States (USA)’s coastline is 19,924 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: not specified. Waterways: 41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012). Land use: agricultural land: 44.5%; arable land 16.8%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 27.4%; forest: 33.3%; other: 22.2% (2011 estimate).
The population in the United States (USA) 329,256,465 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 81.6% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: New York-Newark 18.593 million; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana 12.31 million; Chicago 8.745 million; Miami 5.817 million; Dallas-Fort Worth 5.703 million; WASHINGTON, D.C. (capital) 4.955 million (2015), while United States (USA) has large urban clusters spread throughout the eastern half of the US (particularly the Great Lakes area, northeast, east, and southeast) and the western tier states; mountainous areas, principally the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian chain, deserts in the southwest, the dense boreal forests in the extreme north, and the central prairie states are less densely populated; Alaska’s population concentrated along its southern coast – with particular emphasis on the city of Anchorage – and Hawaii’s centered on the island of Oahu.
Their spoken languages are: English 79.2%, Spanish 12.9%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 3.3%, other 0.9% (2011 estimate). Note: data represents the language spoken at home; the US has no official language national language, but English has acquired official language status in 31 of the 50 states; Hawaiian is an official language in Hawaii. Main religions in United States (USA) are Protestant 46.5%, Roman Catholic 20.8%, Mormon 1.6%, Jehovah’s Witness 0.8%, other Christian 0.9%, Jewish 1.9%, Muslim 0.9%, Buddhist 0.7%, Hindu 0.7%, other 1.8%, unaffiliated 22.8%, don’t know/refused 0.6% (2014 estimate). The nation uses a common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except for Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts. It is a(n) federal constitutional republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 4 July (1776).
Economic overview for the country: The US has the most technologically robust economy globally, with a per capita GDP of $59,500. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, pharmaceuticals, medical, aerospace, and military equipment; however, their advantage has narrowed since World War II. Based on a comparison of GDP measured at purchasing power parity conversion rates, the US economy in 2014, having stood as the largest in the world for more than a century, slipped into second place behind China, which has more than tripled the US growth rate for each year of the past four decades. In the US, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace.
US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan to expand capital plants, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products. At the same time, businesses face higher barriers to enter their rivals’ home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. Long-term problems for the US include stagnation of wages for lower-income families, inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, energy shortages, and sizable current account and budget deficits. The surge of technology has been a driving factor in the gradual development of a “two-tier” labor market in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. But the globalization of trade, especially the rise of low-wage producers such as China, has put additional downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on capital return.
Since 1975, practically all household income gains have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other after-tax income category. Imported oil accounts for more than 50% of US consumption, and oil has a significant impact on its overall health. Crude oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006; the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers’ budgets, and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices climbed another 50% between 2006 and 2008, and bank foreclosures more than doubled in the same period. Besides dampening the housing market, soaring oil prices caused a drop in the dollar value and a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion in 2008. Because the US economy is energy-intensive, falling oil prices since 2013 have alleviated many of the problems the earlier increases had created. The sub-prime mortgage crisis, falling home prices, investment bank failures, tight credit, and the global economic downturn pushed the US into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program in October 2008.
The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009, Congress passed, and former President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus used over ten years – two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts – to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP. In 2012, the Federal Government reduced spending, and the deficit shrank to 7.6% of GDP. US revenues from taxes and other sources are lower as a percentage of GDP than those of most other countries. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the budget deficit and public debt growth. Through FY 2018, the direct costs of the wars will have totaled more than $1.9 trillion, according to US Government figures. In March 2010, former President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a health insurance reform designed to extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans by 2016 through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on healthcare – public plus private – rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010. In July 2010, the former president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a law designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are “too big to fail,” and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system – in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.
The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) announced plans in December 2012 to purchase $85 billion per month of mortgage-backed and Treasury securities to hold down long-term interest rates and keep short-term rates near zero until unemployment dropped below 6.5% or inflation rose above 2.5%. The Fed ended its purchases during the summer of 2014 after the unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, inflation stood at 1.7%, and public debt fell below 74% of GDP. In December 2015, the Fed raised its target for the benchmark federal funds rate by 0.25%, the first increase since the recession. With continued low growth, the Fed opted to raise rates several times since then, and in December 2017, the target rate stood at 1.5%. In December 2017, Congress passed, and President Donald TRUMP signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which, among its various provisions, reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%; Lowers the individual tax rate for those with the highest incomes from 39.6% to 37%, and by lesser percentages for those at lower income levels; Changes many deductions and credits used to calculate taxable income; And eliminates in 2019 the penalty imposed on taxpayers who do not obtain the minimum amount of health insurance required under the ACA. The new taxes took effect on 1 January 2018; The tax cut for corporations is permanent, but those for individuals are scheduled to expire after 2025. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) under the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new law will reduce tax revenues and increase the federal deficit by about $1.45 trillion over the 2018-2027 period. This amount would decline if economic growth were to exceed the JCT’s estimate.
Natural resources of United States (USA): coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber, arable land. Note: the US has the world’s largest coal reserves, with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of its total.
Main export partners for United States (USA), North America are Canada 18.6%, Mexico 15.7%, China 7.7%, Japan 4.2% (2015) for agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2008 estimate), while the main import partners for the country are: China 21.5%, Canada 13.2%, Mexico 13.2%, Japan 5.9%, Germany 5.5% (2015) for agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, (2008 estimate).
When you visit this country in North America, consider the natural hazards in United States (USA): Tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquake activity around Pacific Basin, hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast, mud slides in California, forest fires in the west, flooding, permafrost in northern Alaska, a significant impediment to development volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands, both Mauna Loa (elevation 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elevation 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations, Pavlof (elevation 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a primary flight path between North America and East Asia, St. Helens (elevation 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today, numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii, they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell, in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof, in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan, and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood, while infectious diseases are N/A.
Also, note that United States (USA) faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution, Large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers, Limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management, Deforestation, Mining, Desertification, Species Conservation, Invasive species (the Hawaiian Islands are particularly vulnerable).
You may also be interested in the countries next to United States (USA) around its total: 12,048 km border, like Canada, Mexico, Cuba.