UNITED STATES
STATISTICS
 
 
 
 
 

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND
The United States became the world's first modern democracy after its break with Great Britain (1776) and the adoption of a constitution (1789).  During the 19th century, many new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions.  The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s.  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.  The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

 

GEOGRAPHY

LOCATION
North America, bordering both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
AREA
total:  9,629,091 sq km
land:  9,158,960 sq km
water:  470,131 sq km
note:  includes only the 50 states and the District of Columbia
MARITIME CLAIMS
contiguous zone:  24 NM
continental shelf:  not specified
exclusive economic zone:  200 NM
territorial sea:  12 NM
CLIMATE
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
TERRAIN
vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged volcanic topography in Hawaii
NATURAL RESOURCES
coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
LAND USE
arable land:  19%
permanent crops:  0%
permanent pastures:  25%
forests and woodlands:  30%
others:  26% (1993 est.)

 

PEOPLE

POPULATION
278,058,881 (July 2001 est.) 
AGE STRUCTURE
0-14 years:  21.12% (male 30,034,674; female 28,681,253)
15-64 years:  66.27% (male 91,371,753; female 92,907,199)
65 years and over:  12.61% (male 14,608,948; female 20,455,054) (2001 est.)
POPULATION GROWTH RATE
0.9% (2001 est.) 
BIRTH RATE
14.2 births/1,000 population (2001 est.) 
DEATH RATE
8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.) 
NET MIGRATION RATE
3.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.) 
SEX RATIO
at birth:  1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years:  1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years:  0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over:  0.71 male(s)/female
total population:  0.96 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
LIFE EXPECTANCY (At Birth)
total population:  77.26 years
male:  74.37 years
female:  80.05 years
ETHNIC GROUPS
white 83.5%, black 12.4%, Asian 3.3%, Amerindian 0.8% (1992)
note:  a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (especially of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)
RELIGIONS
Protestant 56%, Roman Catholic 28%, Jewish 2%, other 4%, none 10% (1989) 
LANGUAGES
English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable minority) 
LITERACY
definition:  age 15 and over who can read and write
total population:  97%
male:  97%
female:  97%

 

TRANSPORTATION

RAILWAYS
total:  225,750 km mainline routes
standard gauge:  1.435-m gauge (1999) 
HIGHWAYS
total:  6,370,031 km
paved:  5,733,028 km (including 74,091 km of expressways)
unpaved:  637,003 km (1997)
WATERWAYS
41,009 km
note:  navigable inland channels, exclusive of the Great Lakes
PIPELINES
petroleum products 276,000 km; natural gas 331,000 km (1991) 
PORTS & 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 
MERCHANT MARINE
total:  376 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 10,814,622 GRT/14,416,517 DWT
ships by type:  barge carrier 9, bulk 68, cargo 29, chemical tanker 13, combination bulk 3, container 80, liquefied gas 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 3, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 98, roll on/roll off 49, short-sea passenger 3, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 9 (2000 est.)
AIRPORTS
14,720 (2000 est.) 

 

Sources
CIA - World Factbook - United States