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USA/US (United States of America)


About USA


Official NameUnited States of America
Short form / AbbreviationUnited States / U.S.A. / U.S.
Area9,826,675 sq. km.
Population320,351, 371 (as on February15, 2015)
CapitalWashington, D.C.
LanguageEnglish
ReligionChristianity
CurrencyUnited States Dollar (USD)
National Income (Per Capita)USD 54, 678 (as on 2014 )
GDPUSD 18,286 billion (2015 estimate)
Independence DayJuly 4, 1776
National EmblemThe Bald Eagle
National AnthemThe Star-Spangled Banner
National AnimalNone
National BirdBald Eagle
National FlowerRose
Literacy99.00%
Time Zone(s)9 Time Zones
UTC -4 (AST) ; UTC -5 (EST) ; UTC -6 (CST) ; UTC -7 (MST) ;
UTC -8 (PST) ; UTC -9 (AKST) ; UTC -10 (HAST) ; UTC -11 (SST); UTC +10 (ChST)
ClimateMostly Temperate


MapsofWorld Top Ten
Top Ten US Cities
Los Angeles, California
  1. New York City, New York
  2. Los Angeles, California
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Houston, Texas
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Phoenix, Arizona
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. San Diego, California
  9. Dallas, Texas
  10. San Jose, California
Source: United States Census Bureau
Top Ten US Museums
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
  1. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  2. The Getty Center, Los Angeles
  3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  4. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans
  5. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
  6. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
  7. USS Midway Museum, San Diego
  8. Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle
  9. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
  10. Newseum, Washington DC
Source: TripAdvisor

Top Ten US Tourist Spots
New York City, New York
  1. Grand Rapids & Lake Michigan's Gold Coast, Michigan
  2. Yosemite National Park, California
  3. Boston, Massachusetts
  4. Central Coast, California
  5. Jersey Shore, New Jersey
  6. Kansas City, Missouri
  7. Cumberland Island, Georgia
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada
  9. Sun Valley, Idaho
  10. Lana'i, Hawaii
Source: Lonely Planet
Top Ten US Landmarks
Statue of Liberty, New York
  1. Statue of Liberty, New York
  2. Niagara Falls, New York
  3. Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.
  4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
  5. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
  6. Grand Canyon, Arizona
  7. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
  8. Gateway Arch, St. Louis
  9. The Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas
  10. Hoover Dam, Colorado River
Source: Travel + Leisure

Top Ten US Dishes
Buffalo Wings, New York
  1. Cheeseburger
  2. Reuben sandwich
  3. Hot dogs
  4. Philly cheese steak
  5. Nachos
  6. Chicago-style pizza
  7. Delmonico's steak
  8. Blueberry cobbler
  9. Green chili stew
  10. Chocolate-chip cookies
Source: CNN Travel
Top Ten US Drinks
Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
  1. Coca-Cola
  2. Orange Juice
  3. Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
  4. Chocolate Milk Shake
  5. Martini
  6. Manhattan
  7. Long Island Iced Tea
  8. Cosmopolitan
  9. The Mint Julep
  10. Irish Car Bomb
Source: Travel websites

Top Ten US Brands
Walmart
  1. Walmart
  2. Google
  3. Coca-Cola
  4. Microsoft
  5. McDonald's
  6. Apple
  7. Nike
  8. Facebook
  9. Amazon.com
  10. IBM
Source: Online Aggregators
Top Ten US Shopping Destinations
Dallas, Texas
  1. New York City, New York
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  5. Los Angeles, California
  6. Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Honolulu, Hawaii
  9. Dallas, Texas
  10. Baltimore, Maryland
Source: US News and Forbes

Geography
Physical Geography
Location
LocationThe United States of America (U.S.A.) is located in North America. It is bound in the north by Canada, in the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, in the south by Mexico, and in the west by the North Pacific Ocean.

The geographic coordinates of the country are 38 degrees 00 minutes north and 97 degrees 00 minutes west. While the northernmost point of the country is Point Barrow in Alaska, the southernmost point is Ka Lae in Hawaii. The easternmost point is West Quoddy Head in Maine and Cape Wrangell in Alaska is considered the westernmost point. With the exception of Alaska, the entire country lies between 50 degrees north and 25 degrees north latitude.

The U.S.A. is divided into nine time zones. These are the AST- Atlantic Standard Time (UTC -4), EST-Eastern Stand Time (UTC -5), CST-Central Standard Time (UTC -6), MST-Mountain Standard Time (UTC -7), PST-Pacific Standard Time (UTC -8), AKST-Alaska Standard Time (UTC -9), HAST-Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (UTC -10), SST-Samoa Standard Time (UTC -11) and Chamorro Standard Time (UTC+10).

Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time begins for most of the 50 states of the U.S. on the second Sunday of March and reverts to Standard Time on the first Sunday of November each year. With the clock set forward by 1 hour the names of the time zones also change to EDT-Eastern Daylight Time (UTC -4), CDT-Central Daylight Time (UTC -5), MDT-Mountain Daylight Time (UTC -6), PDT-Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7), AKDT-Alaska Daylight Time (UTC -8), HADT-Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time (UTC -9) and SDT-Samoa Daylight Time (UTC -10).

Physiography
The total area of the U.S.A. is 9,826,675 sq km, making it the third largest country in the world. Of this, the land area is 9,161,966 sq km while the remaining 664,709 sq km is covered by water.

The vast geographical extent of the country has many distinct landforms. Extensive plains cover most of the central part and are called the Great Plains. These plains are bound by the high Rocky Mountains in the west and low mountains and hills of the Appalachian Range in the east. Alaska is characterized by rugged mountains and broad river valleys while the islands of Hawaii have volcanic topography. The coastal areas of the country comprise beaches, bays, deltas, marshes, mudflats and swamps.

The highest point in the country is Mount McKinley in Alaska, which is 6,194 m high. The lowest point is the Death Valley in California which lies at 86 m below sea level.

Climate
The U.S.A has a large latitudinal extent because of which the temperature varies considerably across the country from north to south. The annual mean temperature ranges from as low as -3 degrees centigrade at Fairbanks in Central Alaska, to about 11 degrees centigrade at Seattle on the western seaboard, New York on the eastern seaboard and Denver on the Great Plains. The mean temperature reaches as high as 24 degrees centigrade at Miami in Florida.

Rainfall in the country reduces from the west to east, i.e., from the Rockies across the Great Plains. However, the central Great Plains or the Mid-West is a meeting ground for cold northerly winds from the Arctic and the humid southerly winds from the Gulf of Mexico making it a tornado prone zone, especially in spring. The high rainfall areas of the country are south-eastern region (Miami 1,400 mm) and the north-western coastal belt (Seattle 940 mm). In late summer and early autumn high temperatures in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico trigger hurricanes, which bring heavy rain to the Gulf States and sometimes to the entire eastern seaboard.

In general terms, there are four seasons in the U.S - Spring (April to June), Summer (July to September), Fall (October to December), and Winter (January to March).

Hydrology
The Continental U.S is crisscrossed by over 800 rivers. The major rivers of the country are the Colorado, Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Rio Grande, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Snake River, and the Yellowstone. The Mississippi-Missouri river system is the longest in the country and drains more than half of the U.S.A.

Of the five great lakes, Lake Superior, Huron, Erie and Ontario are shared by the U.S.A. and Canada and only Michigan lies entirely in the U.S.A. Amongst the other largest lakes in the country are the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Lake Okeechobee in Florida, and Lake Iliamna in Alaska.

Demography
Population
US PopulationAccording to the U.S Census Bureau, the population was 320,351, 371 as on February 15, 2015)

The estimated birthrate as on 2014 was 13.42 births per 1,000 and the death rate 8.15 deaths per 1,000 of population. The infant mortality rate was 6.17 deaths per 1,000 births. The sex ratio is estimated to be 0.97 males per female and the growth rate of the population as per 2014 estimates is 0.77%.

The distribution of population is quite uneven. Majority of the population lives in the coastal areas, while the population density is highest along the eastern and south-western seaboard. However, the population density reduces drastically as one travels inland towards the center of the country.

According to the 2014 estimate, 19% of the population consists of children between 0-14 years, 13.7% of the population is in the early working age between 15-24 years, 39.9% of the population is in the prime working age between 25-54 years, 12.6% of the population is in the mature working age between 55-64 years, and 13.9% of the population is in the elderly age of 65 years and over.

As per the data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on December, 2014, 59.2% of the US population comes under the category of working age (16-64 years)

As per the last conducted census, 82.4% of total population in the U.S.A. is classified as urban population while the remaining is classified as rural population.

* For more infomation please see our US Population page.

Social Attributes
Social AttributesThe main religion in the U.S.A. is Christianity comprising Protestants, Catholics, and other Christian sects. However, the country also has Mormons, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.

The languages spoken in the U.S.A. are English, Spanish, other Indo-European and Asian languages and Pacific island languages. The country has no official language, but in 28 of the 50 states, English is the official language. In the state of Hawaii, the official language is Hawaiian.

Ethnic groups living in the U.S.A. include Whites, Blacks, Asians, Amerindians, Alaska natives, Hawaiian, and other Pacific island natives.

Culture
Food
US FoodEach of the 50 states of the U.S.A. has its very own state dish and together these create a unique culinary mosaic of the country. From the savory to the sweet, most American dishes are quite rich and usually come in large helpings.

* For more infomation please see our American food page.

Music
MusicThe diversity in the ethnic composition of population in the U.S.A is amply reflected in the music genres that have developed across the country like Jazz, Country Music, Rhythm and Blues and Rock. And then there is Swing Music, Rock and Roll, Disco, and Hip-Hop (rap music) which are very much a part of the American pop culture.

Art and Painting
Art and PaintingIn the colonial period, the European portrait painting influence could be clearly seen on American art and the two famous portrait painters of the period were John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) and Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). After independence from England, the national pride in the new American nation led artists like John Trumbull (1756-1843) and Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) to paint the important events of the revolutionary war and other historical paintings. As the nation expanded westwards, the painters and their paintings began to depict the wildlife and natives found in the west. Realism strongly influenced American painters Winslow Homer (1836-1910) and Thomas Eakins (1844-1916). In the 20th century, a group of painters known as 'The Eight' gave America its first modern art. The abstract art was made famous by painters like Max Weber (1881-1961), Georgia O'keeffe (1887-1986) and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).

Sculpture
The gigantic sculpture of George Washington by Horatio Greenough (1805-52), which is placed in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C., was influenced by ancient Roman art. Two American sculptors whose works were influenced by the European Renaissance are Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) and Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). The abstract style influenced modern American sculptors such as Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and Richard Hunt (1935 - ).

Design and Architecture
Design and ArchitectureLike other aspects of American culture, architecture was also influenced by local conditions and immigrants. The 19th century U.S.A saw buildings constructed in the Romanesque Revival style, the Greek Revival style characterized by symmetrical pillared forms, as well as the Gothic Revival style with its pointed crocketed and asymmetrical forms. The latter part of the 19th century saw the emergence of the skyscraper - the remarkable American contribution to the world of architecture. Some of the notable American architects of the period were Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Benjamin Latrobe (1764-1820), Louise Sullivan (1856-1924), Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959), and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). Today, the architectural style in U.S.A. combines both the old and new elements and some architects of the modern era are Robert Venturi (1925- ), Richard Meier (1934- ), and Michael Graves (1934- ).

Literature
Reflecting its rich history, the American literature has two distinct segments. One segment deals with the writings of the colonial era and the other represents the post-Revolutionary writings when the evolution of American poetry, fiction, and drama commenced. Nine Americans have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The winners of this prestigious award include Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O'Neill, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Issac Bashevis Singer, and Toni Morrison.

Fashion
The American fashion industry has made an impressive impact worldwide. Today, some of the illustrious brands from America have established a strong reputation in the global fashion market.

The top names in American fashion are Adrienne Vittadini, Anna Sui, Anne Klein, BCBG Maxazria, Bill Blass, Billy Reid, Calvin Klein, Carole Hochman, Carolina Herrera, Claire McCardell, David Yurman, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karen, Elie Tahari, Geoffrey Beene, Giorgio di Sant' Angelo, Halston, J. Crew, J. Mendel, John Varvator, Judith Leiber, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Kay Unger, Kenneth Cole, Lincs, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Mimi So, Mollie Parnis, Nanette LePore, Natori, Nicole Miller, Oscar de la Renta, Pamella Roland, Phillip Lim, Rag and Bone, Ralph Lauren, Reed Krakoff, Stan Herman, Stuart Weitzman, Theory, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Tracy Reese, Trina Turk, and Vera Wang.

Some indigenous brands of the U.S.A. are Hickey Freeman - whose specialty is men's tailored suits; New Balance - known for its collection of athletic footwear; Nanette Lepore - a famous brand in women's apparel; True Religion - much acclaimed manufacturer of designer jeans; Alden Shoe Company - deals in men's dress shoes; Pendleton - famous manufacturer of wool blankets, shirts and other apparel, and All American Clothing Co., whose specialty is jeans.

Cinema
CinemaCinema from American cinema has captured the imagination of the world. American movies can be broadly classified into romantic, comedy, and action films. The studios of Hollywood are well-known for their movies and the stars they have created.
Sports
SportsSports are an integral part of the American society. The typical American sports are baseball, soccer and basketball, but other sports like motor sports, shooting, running, boxing, horse racing, golf, tennis and extreme sports like sail boarding, mountain biking and sport climbing are also popular in the country.
Famous Americans
Amongst some of the luminaries who impacted American life and society in a big way, mention may be made of Abraham Lincoln - the sixteenth American President; Andrew Carnegie - a financier and philanthropist; Beach Boys - a musical group; Benjamin Franklin - a diplomat, inventor and scientist; Bill Gates - founder of Microsoft Corporation and a philanthropist; Bob Dylan - a singer and songwriter; golfer Bobby Jones; Clara Barton - founder of American Red Cross; Douglas MacArthur - an army general and statesman; author and poet Edgar Allen Poe; Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady and humanitarian; Ernest Hemingway - an author; George Washington - a General and the first American President; Henry Ford - an industrialist and philanthropist; baseball player Jackie Robinson; boxer Joe Louis; John Adams - the second American President; actor John Wayne; musician Louis Armstrong; actress and comedian Lucille Ball; civil rights leader Martin Luther King; tennis player Pete Sampras; poet Robert Frost; civil rights leader Rosa Parks; author Stephen King; Susan B. Anthony - an activist and woman suffrage alliance; Theodore Roosevelt - the 26th American President, Thomas Edison - an inventor extraordinaire and Warren Buffet - a business magnate, investor and philanthropist.
Economy
US EconomyThe fiscal year in U.S.A. runs from October 1 to September 30.

As per the 2013 estimate, agriculture contributed 1.1%, industry contributed 19.5%, and the services sector contributed 79.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.5% of the labor force in U.S.A. is engaged in farming, forestry and fishing; 12.7% in mining, construction and manufacturing; 79.7% in managerial, professional, and technical activities; with the rest being self-employed.

Agricultural products of the country include wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and dairy products, fish and forest products and cotton.

Industries in U.S.A. are highly diversified and include petroleum, steel, automobiles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumbering and mining.

Resources
As of January 1, 2014, the demonstrated reserve base (DRB) of coal was estimated as 480 billion short tons. Other natural resources found in the country include copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, and timber.

International Trade
Total exports for the U.S.A as on November 2014 aggregated to USD 196.4 billion. The country mostly exports agricultural products like soybeans, fruit and corn; industrial supplies like organic chemicals; capital goods like transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers and telecommunications equipment; and consumer goods like automobiles and medicines. Its main export partners are Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and UK.

Total imports into the U.S.A as on November 2014 aggregated to USD 235.4 billion. The country mostly imports agricultural products; industrial supplies like crude oil; capital goods like computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines and electric power machinery; and consumer goods like automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture and toys. Its main import partners are China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.

Travel and Tourism
Travel and TourismU.S.A. is a vast country and there is much for a tourist to visit and experience. As of October 2014, around 6.3 million international visitors traveled to the United States. The most visited cities in the U.S.A. were New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, D.C.; Oahu/Honolulu, Hawaii; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; San Diego, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Flagstaff, Arizona; Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas; Anaheim-Santa Ana, California; Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas.

While some of the favorite destinations for domestic American tourists were the U.S. Virgin Islands; Hudson River Valley, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Four Corners Region, Southwest U.S.A.; Culebra, Puerto Rico; California Gold Country; Boulder, Colorado; Hawaii and Yellowstone National Park.

The most visited tourist spots in U.S.A. are the Times Square, New York City; the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada; National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.; Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston; Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Disneyland Park, California; Fisherman's Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco; Niagara Falls, New York; Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina and Navy Pier, Chicago.

Transport and Communication
Roadways
RoadwaysWith about According to the CIA Factbook, the U.S.A has about 6,586,610 km (as of 2012) of roads, being the largest road network in the world. The country has a National Highway System (NHS), which consists of roadways that are important for the economy, defense and mobility of the nation. The Eisenhower Interstate System, the Strategic Highway Network, the major Strategic Highway Network Connectors, and the Intermodal Connectors are the main types of highways that together form the NHS.

* For more see our USA roadways map.

Railroads
RailroadsAs of 2012, the U.S.A has the largest railway network in the world with 228,218 km of railway tracks. Some of the busiest passenger railway stations in the country are Penn Station, New York City; Union Station, Washington; 30th Street Station, Philadelphia; Union Station, Chicago; Union Station, Los Angeles; South Station, Boston; Sacramento Valley Station, Sacramento; Penn Station, Baltimore; Albany-Rensselaer Station, Rensselaer and Union Station, New Haven.

* For more see our USA railways map.

Airways
AirwaysWith a total of 19,453 airports (2013 estimate), the U.S.A. has the maximum number of airports in the world. Some of the major US airports based on the volume of passengers are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta; Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago; Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas; Denver International Airport, Denver; John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York; George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston; McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas; San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco and Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix.

Waterways
With a vast coastline touching two major oceans, the U.S.A. has several passenger and cargo ports. Important ports of the country are Miami Port, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral in Florida; Seattle Port in Washington; Port of Long Beach in California; Port of Baton Rouge in Louisiana; Port of Corpus Christi in Texas; Port of Hampton Roads in Virginia and North Carolina; Port of Houston in Texas; Port of Los Angeles in California and also the Port of New York and New Jersey.

U.S.A. has two major oil terminals - Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana and Haymark terminal also in Louisiana.

Satellites
As of July 2014, the U.S.A. has a total of 512 operating satellites. Of these, 18 are civil satellites, 214 are commercial satellites, 121 are government satellites, and 159 are military satellites.

Telephone/ Mobile network
Telephone/ Mobile networkThe international country code for U.S.A. is 1. As of 2013, there were 305,742,000 mobile cellular connections and 135,127,000 fixed-telephone connections in the country.

Internet
The internet country code for U.S.A. is '.us' and as per the 2013 data there were 91,342,000 fixed broadband connections in the country.

Settlements
As per the latest census, the 10 most populated cities of the U.S.A. are New York, New York State; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; Dallas, Texas and San Jose, California.

Environmental Geography
Biodiversity
In the U.S.A., more than 200,000 species of life forms are known to have been formally studied and named. However, it is believed that this number may not even be half of the total plants, animals and microbes found in the country. U.S.A. is considered to have more diverse ecosystems than any other nation in the world and is particularly rich in aquatic life.

Iconic flora of the U.S.A. includes the Prairie grass of the Prairies, the Giant Redwood of California and the Giant Saguaro cacti found in the US deserts. The fauna would include the Grizzly bear, bison, wolf, Prairie dog, rattle snake and alligator.

National Parks
National ParksU.S.A. has 59 National Parks spread over the 50 states. Some of the most visited national parks in the country are the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee; the Grand Canyon in Arizona; Yosemite in California; Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming; Olympic in Washington; Rocky Mountain in Colorado; Grand Teton in Wyoming; Zion in Utah; Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio, and Glacier in Montana.

* For more see our USA national parks map.

History
It is believed that the North American Indian cultures flourished in the U.S.A. as early as 12,000 BC.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus reached the Bahamas. In the 1500s the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed on the coast of Florida and subsequently, Spain established the first permanent European colony in North America at Saint Augustine in Florida.

In the 1600s, a small pox epidemic devastated the Native American population and the first slaves were brought from Africa to Jamestown.

In 1700s, Britain gained control of the territories on the east of the Mississippi River; the American Revolution began; the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress; American Independence was acknowledged by Great Britain with the signing of the Treaty of Paris; The Constitution of the United States was ratified; George Washington was elected the first President of the United States and the US Army was established.

In the 1800s, Washington D.C. became the official capital of U.S.A.; Abraham Lincoln was elected President; the pro-slavery 11 southern states seceded from the Union; the Civil War began; the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves, was issued; the Civil War ended; the American Constitution was amended to prohibit slavery and the Statue of Liberty was dedicated to the nation.

In the 1900s, the Wright Brothers made their first flight; U.S.A. acquired the Panama Canal Zone and the Panama Canal opened; the World War I began, U.S.A. declared war on Germany and joined the war; the US Constitution was amended to give voting rights to women; the stock market crash led to the Great Depression; the Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as the national anthem; World War II began; U.S.A. dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan; World War II ended and the United Nations was established; the Cold War between America and Soviet Union began and ended; Lt. Col. John Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the earth; President John. F. Kenny was assassinated; the Civil Rights Act became a law; the Vietnam War started and ended; Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr. became the first people to walk on the moon; Operation Desert Storm began to drive out the Iraqis from Kuwait.

On September 1, 2001, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were hit by hijacked aircraft prompting U.S.A. to launch operations in Afghanistan to find Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda, and defeat the Taliban.

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the President of U.S.A.

In 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement drew the attention of the world on the American financial crises. Nine years after invading Iraq, the US military forces withdrew from the country. In the same year, the US forces finally found and killed Osama bin Laden.

In 2012, Barack Obama was re-elected as the President of U.S.A.

In September 2014, the US launched air strikes on ISIS strongholds. In October 2014, the US Midterm elections were held.

State and Polity
The country is divided into 50 states and one district. Besides the 50 states, U.S.A. has 14 dependent areas. Of these, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, and Wake Island are unincorporated territories of U.S.A.; American Samoa (AS) is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of U.S.A.; Northern Mariana Islands (MP) are a Commonwealth in political union with U.S.A.; Puerto Rico (PR) is a Commonwealth associated with U.S.A.; Guam (GU) and Virgin Islands (VI) U.S. are organized, unincorporated territories of U.S.A.; and the Palmyra Atoll is a privately owned incorporated territory of the U.S.A.

U.S.A. is a constitution-based federal republic with a strong democratic tradition. The Constitution was adopted on 17 September, 1787 and came into effect on 4 March, 1789. It has been amended several times since then.

Everyone over 18 years of age is eligible to vote. A college of representatives who are elected directly from each state elect a President and Vice President for a term of four years. The last election was held on 6 November, 2012 and the next one is to be held on 8 November, 2016. The chief of state as well as head of government since 20 January 2009 is President Barack H. Obama, while the Vice President is Joseph R. Biden.

Defense
DefenseThe main branches of the US military are the US Army, the US Navy, including the Marine Corps, the US Air Force, and the US Coast Guard. Expenditure on defense for the year 2015 is likely to be around USD 0.8 trillion, as per the estimates.

Human Development Index (HDI)
As per the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the U.S.A was ranked fifth in the world with an HDI of 0.914 in 2013.

Health
The life expectancy at birth in U.S.A. is 78.7 years. According to official estimates, the federal government will spend USD1 .4 trillion on health care for the year 2015.

Education
Any person above the age of 15 who can read and write is considered literate. The basic literacy rate in U.S.A. is 99%. According to official estimates, the federal government will spend USD1 trillion on health care for the year 2015.

Per Capita National Income
As of 2014, the per capita income of the residents of the United States was USD 54, 678.

Last Updated On : February 19, 2015

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