The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S., US or the States), or simply America, is a sovereign country mostly in North America. It is divided into 50 states. Forty-eight of these states and the District of Columbia border each other between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They are bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwestern area of the continent and is separated from the other 48 states by Canada making it an exclave. Alaska is bordered by Canada to its east and south and by Russia to its west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is a set of islands in the mid-Pacific located within Polynesia and is about 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) from the mainland. The country also possesses territories, and insular areas, in the Caribbean and Pacific. The capital city is Washington, D.C and the largest city by population is New York City with a population of 8.8 million people. And with a population of 331 million people, the United States is the third most populated country in the world. And with an area 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) it is the third or fourth-largest country in the world by total area.
|Motto: "In God We Trust"|
|Anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner" |
March: "The Stars and Stripes Forever"
|Great Seal of the United States:|
|Official languages||No official language at federal level|
By race:By Hispanic or Latino origin:
18.7% Hispanic or Latino
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|Joe Biden (D)|
|Kamala Harris (D)|
|Mike Johnson (R)|
|House of Representatives|
from Great Britain
|July 4, 1776|
|March 1, 1781|
|September 3, 1783|
|June 21, 1788|
|September 25, 1789|
|August 21, 1959 (Hawaii)|
|May 5, 1992|
• Total area
|3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km2) (3rd/4th)|
• Water (%)
• Total land area
|3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km2)|
• 2020 estimate
• 2010 census
|87/sq mi (33.6/km2) (146th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
|$22.321 trillion (2nd)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|$22.321 trillion (1st)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2017)|| 39.0|
medium · 56th
|HDI (2018)|| 0.920|
very high · 15th
|Currency||United States dollar ($) (USD)|
|Time zone||UTC−4 to −12, +10, +11|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC−4 to −10|
|Mains electricity||120 V–60 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||US|
The land that would one day become the United States was first settled by migrating tribes from Siberia that walked across a land bridge about 20,000 years ago. These people were the ancestors of the Native Americans. European colonization began in the 16th century with several European nations setting up colonies in North America.
The nation was founded by the thirteen colonies of Great Britain along the Atlantic coast. On July 4, 1776, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which announced their independence from Great Britain and their creation of a cooperative union. The disobedient colonies defeated Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, making it the first successful colonial war of independence in history. The Philadelphia Convention adopted the current United States Constitution on September 17, 1787; its approval the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, making up ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many basic civil rights and freedoms, was approved in 1791.
In the 19th century, the United States pursued a policy of manifest destiny where they believed that it was their god given right to expand across the North American continent. They conquered and took over native lands and bought territory from France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Russia, and took over the Republic of Texas and later the Republic of Hawaii.
Arguments between the farming-based South and industrial North over the growth of the institution of slavery and states' rights began the American Civil War. In 1861 The southern states separated from the union and founded their own country called the Confederate States of America after anti-slavery candidate, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidential election. The Union's victory over the Confederacy prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of legal slavery in the United States. By the 1870s, the national wealth was the world's largest. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a military power. In 1945, the United States came out of World War II as a Superpower and was the first country with nuclear weapons. After World War II the United States along with its allies founded the United Nations. Today the United States is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. After the end of World War II the United States and Soviet Union were engaged in an arms race called the Cold War. The United States participated in the Space Race against the Soviet Union that produced rapid advancements in rocket technology. They created the Apollo 11 rocket and it was the first to send people to the moon. It was done by NASA, an American space agency. It went up to space on July 16, 1969, carrying three astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, while Collins stayed in orbit around the Moon. In 1991, the Soviet Union broke up, ending the Cold War and leaving the United States as the only superpower.
Today, the United States is one of the world's most ethnically mixed and multicultural nations, and is the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world, with an estimated 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) of US$ 20.9 trillion (about a quarter of worldwide GDP).
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