United States

United States of America
Motto: 
Other traditional mottos:[2]
Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner"[3]
Orthographic map of the U.S. in North America
World map showing the U.S. and its territories
CapitalWashington, D.C.
38°53′N 77°01′W / 38.883°N 77.017°W / 38.883; -77.017
Largest cityNew York City
40°43′N 74°00′W / 40.717°N 74.000°W / 40.717; -74.000
National languageEnglish (de facto)
Ethnic groups
(2020)[4][5][6]
By race:
By Hispanic or Latino origin:
Religion
(2021)[7]
  • 29% No religion
  • 6% Other
  • 2% Unanswered
Demonym(s)American[a][8]
GovernmentFederal presidential constitutional republic
• President
Joe Biden
Kamala Harris
Kevin McCarthy
John Roberts
LegislatureCongress
Senate
House of Representatives
Independence 
July 4, 1776 (1776-07-04)
March 1, 1781 (1781-03-01)
September 3, 1783 (1783-09-03)
June 21, 1788 (1788-06-21)
Area
• Total area
3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km2)[9] (3rd[b])
• Water (%)
4.66[10]
• Land area
3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km2) (3rd)
Population
• 2022 estimate
Neutral increase 333,287,557[11]
• 2020 census
331,449,281[c][12] (3rd)
• Density
87/sq mi (33.6/km2) (185th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $25.035 trillion[13] (2nd)
• Per capita
Increase $75,180[13] (8th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $25.035 trillion[13] (1st)
• Per capita
Increase $75,180[13] (7th)
Gini (2020)Negative increase 46.9[14]
high
HDI (2021)Increase 0.921[15]
very high · 21st
CurrencyU.S. dollar ($) (USD)
Time zoneUTC−4 to −12, +10, +11
• Summer (DST)
UTC−4 to −10[d]
Date formatmm/dd/yyyy[e]
Driving sideright[f]
Calling code+1
ISO 3166 codeUS

The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine Minor Outlying Islands,[g] and 326 Indian reservations. The United States is also in free association with three Pacific Island sovereign states: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. It is the world's third-largest country by both land and total area.[b] It shares land borders with Canada to its north and with Mexico to its south. It has maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, Russia, and other nations.[h] With a population of over 333 million,[i] it is the most populous country in the Americas and the third most populous in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C. and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

Paleo-Americans migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and advanced cultures began to appear later on. These advanced cultures had almost completely declined by the time Europeans arrived in North America and began to colonize the continent. The United States emerged from the Thirteen British Colonies when disputes with the British Crown over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolution (1765–1791), which established independence and the United States as the first nation-state founded on Enlightenment principles of liberal democracy.

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 from east to west. The controversy surrounding the practice of slavery culminated in the secession of the Confederate States of America, which fought the remaining states of the Union during the American Civil War (1861–1865). With the Union's victory and preservation, slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment.

By 1900, the United States had become the world's largest economy, and the Spanish–American War and World War I established the country as a world power. After Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. entered World War II on the Allied side. The aftermath of the war left the United States and the Soviet Union as the world's two superpowers. During the Cold War, both countries engaged in a struggle for ideological dominance but avoided direct military conflict. They also competed in the Space Race, which culminated in the 1969 American spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Simultaneously, the civil rights movement (1954–1968) led to legislation abolishing state and local Jim Crow laws and other codified racial discrimination against African Americans. The Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991 ended the Cold War, leaving the United States as the world's sole superpower. In 2001, following the September 11 attacks, the United States became a lead member of the Global War on Terrorism, which included the War in Afghanistan (2001–2021) and the Iraq War (2003–2011).

The United States is a federal republic with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It is a liberal democracy and has a market economy. It ranks very high in international measures of quality of life, income and wealth, economic competitiveness, human rights, innovation, and education; it has low levels of perceived corruption. The United States has the highest median income per person of any polity in the world. It has high levels of incarceration and inequality and lacks universal health care. As a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, the U.S. has been shaped by centuries of immigration.

The United States is a highly developed country, and its economy accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP and is the world's largest by GDP at market exchange rates. By value, the United States is the world's largest importer and second-largest exporter. Although it accounts for just over 4.2% of the world's total population, the U.S. holds over 30% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, and is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The country is responsible for more than a third of global military spending and is the foremost military power in the world, as well as being a leading political, cultural, and scientific force.

  1. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 302
  2. ^ "The Great Seal of the United States" (PDF). U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. 2003. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country". United States Census. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  5. ^ "Race and Ethnicity in the United States: 2010 Census and 2020 Census". United States Census. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  6. ^ "A Breakdown of 2020 Census Demographic Data". NPR. August 13, 2021.
  7. ^ "About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated". Measuring Religion in Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel. Pew Research Center. December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia and Fact-index: Ohio. 1963. p. 336.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Surface water and surface water change". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  11. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Growth in U.S. Population Shows Early Indication of Recovery Amid COVID-19 Pandemic". Census.gov. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  12. ^ "Census Bureau's 2020 Population Count". United States Census. Retrieved April 26, 2021. The 2020 census is as of April 1, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2022". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. October 2022. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020, Table A-3". Census.gov. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  15. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. September 8, 2022. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  16. ^ 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 Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, November 1997, pp. 1, 6, 39n. Both viewed April 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "China". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "United States". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  19. ^ "United States Virgin Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.). Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2020. [...]which also contains its near neighbour, the British Virgin Islands.
  20. ^ "United Kingdom Overseas Territories - Toponymic Information" (PDF). Present Committee on Geographic Names. Retrieved January 7, 2023. - Hosted on the Government of the United Kingdom website.
  21. ^ "Puerto Rico". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.). Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2020.
  22. ^ Anderson, Ewan W. (2003). International Boundaries: A Geopolitical Atlas. Routledge: New York. ISBN 9781579583750; OCLC 54061586
  23. ^ Charney, Jonathan I., David A. Colson, Robert W. Smith. (2005). International Maritime Boundaries, 5 vols. Hotei Publishing: Leiden.
  24. ^ "Pacific Maritime Boundaries". pacgeo.org. Archived from the original on July 31, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2020.


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