United States

President: Barack H. Obama (2009)

Vice President: Joseph Biden (2009)

Land area: 3,539,225 sq mi (9,166,601 sq km); total area: 3,718,691 sq mi (9,631,420 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 313,847,465 (growth rate: 0.899%); birth rate: 13.68/1000; infant mortality rate: 5.9/1000; life expectancy: 78.49; density per sq mi: 85

Capital (2010 est.): Washington, DC, 601,723

Largest cities (2010 est.): New York, 8,175,133; Los Angeles, 3,792,621; Chicago, 2,695,598; Houston, 2,099,451; Philadelphia, 1,526,006; Phoenix, 1,445,632; San Antonio, 1,327,407; San Diego, 1,307,402; Dallas, 1,197,816; San Jose, 945,942

Monetary unit: dollar

The United States of America

Languages: English 82%, Spanish 11% (2000)

Ethnicity/race (2010 Census): White: 223,553,265 (72.4%); Black: 38,929,319 (12.6%); Asian: 14,674,252 (4.8%); American Indian and Alaska Native: 2,369,431 (0.8%); Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 1,225,195 (0.4%); Hispanic origin:1 50,477,594 (16.3%)

Religions: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, Jewish 1.7%, Muslim 0.6%, none 4% (2007)

Literacy rate: 99% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $15.29 trillion; per capita $49,000. Real growth rate: –1.7%. Inflation: –3.1%. Unemployment: 9%. Arable land: 18%. Agriculture: wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products. Labor force: 153.6 million (includes unemployed); farming, forestry, and fishing 0.6%, manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.6%, managerial, professional, and technical 35.5%, sales and office 24.8%, other services 16.5%; note: figures exclude the unemployed (2007). Industries: leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining. Natural resources: coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber. Exports: $1.497 trillion (2011 est.): agricultural products 9.2% (soybeans, fruit, corn), industrial supplies 26.8% (organic chemicals), capital goods 49.0% (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment), consumer goods 15.0% (automobiles, medicines) (2011). Imports: $2.236 trillion (2011 est.): agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys) (2011). Major trading partners: Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Germany (2011).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 151 million (2009); mobile cellular: 279 million (2009). Radio broadcast stations: AM about 5,000, FM about 10,000, shortwave 18 (2008). Radios: 575 million (2008). Television broadcast stations: more than 1,500 (including nearly 1,000 stations affiliated with the five major networks—NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and PBS; in addition, there are about 9,000 cable TV systems) (2008). Televisions: 498 million (2008). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 498 million (2011 est.). Internet users: 245 million (2009).

Transportation: Railways: total: 224,792 km mainline routes (2007). Highways: total: 6,506,204 km; paved: 4,374,784 km (including 89,426 km of expressways); unpaved: 2,131,420 km (2008). Waterways: 41,009 km of navigable inland channels, exclusive of the Great Lakes (2012). Ports and harbors: Anchorage, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Duluth, Hampton Roads, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Port Canaveral, Portland (Oregon), Prudhoe Bay, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle, Tampa, Toledo. Airports: 15,079 (2010).

International disputes: prolonged drought in the Mexico border region has strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea awaits Russian Duma ratification; maritime boundary disputes with Canada at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; The Bahamas have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other state; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island.

1. Persons of Hispanic origin can be of any race.

Major sources and definitions

U.S. Territories and Outlying Areas

Flag of United States


Federal republic.

The president is elected for a four-year term and may be reelected only once. The bicameral Congress consists of the 100-member Senate, elected to a six-year term with one-third of the seats becoming vacant every two years, and the 435-member House of Representatives, elected every two years. The minimum voting age is 18.

See also United States territories.
See also Encyclopedia: United States.

See also:
U.S. Geography
Current Events
Profile of the United States
U.S. States
U.S. Cities
U.S. Statistics
U.S. Government and History
U.S. History Timeline
Society & Culture
Health Statistics
Gender Issues
Race & Ethnicity
Military Affairs
Business and Finance

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