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North America :: United States
page last updated on October 28, 2009
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Introduction ::United States
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Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 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), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. 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.
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Geography ::United States
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North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
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38 00 N, 97 00 W
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total: 9,826,675 sq km
country comparison to the world: 3
land: 9,161,966 sq km
water: 664,709 sq km
note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia
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about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
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total: 12,034 km
border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km
note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28 km
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19,924 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified
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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
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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
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lowest point: Death Valley -86 m
highest point: Mount McKinley 6,198 m
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coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
note: the US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
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arable land: 18.01%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 81.78% (2005)
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223,850 sq km (2003)
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3,069 cu km (1985)
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total: 477 cu km/yr (13%/46%/41%)
per capita: 1,600 cu m/yr (2000)
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tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
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air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
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world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
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People ::United States
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307,212,123 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
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0-14 years: 20.2% (male 31,639,127/female 30,305,704)
15-64 years: 67% (male 102,665,043/female 103,129,321)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 16,901,232/female 22,571,696) (2009 est.)
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total: 36.7 years
male: 35.4 years
female: 38 years (2009 est.)
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0.975% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
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13.82 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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8.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
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4.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
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urban population: 82% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 6.26 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 180
male: 6.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 78.11 years
country comparison to the world: 50
male: 75.65 years
female: 80.69 years (2009 est.)
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2.05 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
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0.6% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
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1.2 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
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22,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
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noun: American(s)
adjective: American
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white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)
note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic
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Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
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English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census)
note: Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
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total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2006)
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5.3% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 57
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Government ::United States
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conventional long form: United States of America
conventional short form: United States
abbreviation: US or USA
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Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
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name: Washington, DC
geographic coordinates: 38 53 N, 77 02 W
time difference: UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
note: the 50 United States cover six time zones
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50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
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American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island
note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; it entered into a political relationship with all four political units: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the US (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986); the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994)
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4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
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Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
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17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
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federal court system based on English common law; each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one (Louisiana, which is still influenced by the Napoleonic Code) is based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held on 6 November 2012)
election results: Barack H. OBAMA elected president; percent of popular vote - Barack H. OBAMA 52.4%, John MCCAIN 46.3%, other 1.3%;
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bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, 2 members are elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third are elected every two years) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held November 2010); House of Representatives - last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 57, Republican Party 41, independent 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 257, Republican Party 178
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Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
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Democratic Party [Timothy KAINE]; Green Party; Libertarian Party [William (Bill) REDPATH]; Republican Party [Michael STEELE]
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environmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PAC; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
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ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SECI (observer), SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
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Economy ::United States
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The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $46,900. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The war in March-April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq, and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, required major shifts in national resources to the military. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, but had a small impact on overall GDP growth for the year. Soaring oil prices between 2005 and the first half of 2008 threatened inflation and unemployment, as higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets. Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of US consumption. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups. The merchandise trade deficit reached a record $819 billion in 2007 and $821 billion in 2008. The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and other industrial corporations. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover.
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$14.26 trillion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
$14.1 trillion (2007 est.)
$13.82 trillion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$14.26 trillion (2008 est.)
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1.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
2% (2007 est.)
2.8% (2006 est.)
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$46,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
$46,800 (2007 est.)
$46,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 1.2%
industry: 19.2%
services: 79.6% (2008 est.)
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154.3 million (includes unemployed) (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
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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)
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7.2% (December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
4.6% (2007 est.)
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12% (2004 est.)
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lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
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45 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 44
40.8 (1997)
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14.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
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revenues: $2.524 trillion
expenditures: $2.978 trillion (2008 est.)
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60.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
65% of GDP (2004 est.)
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3.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
2.9% (2007 est.)
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0.5% (31 March 2009)
country comparison to the world: 110
4.83% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 105
8.05% (31 December 2007)
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$1.624 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 4
$1.395 trillion (31 December 2007)
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$8.171 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 1
$7.466 trillion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 2
$14.21 trillion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 1
$19.95 trillion (31 December 2007)
$19.43 trillion (31 December 2006)
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wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
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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
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-2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
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4.11 trillion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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3.873 trillion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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24.08 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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57.02 billion kWh (2008 est.)
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8.514 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
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19.5 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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1.433 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
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13.47 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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21.32 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12
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582.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
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657.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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28.49 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 10
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112.7 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
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6.731 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
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$-673.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
$-731.2 billion (2007 est.)
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$1.291 trillion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
$1.148 trillion (2007 est.)
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agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0% (2003)
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Canada 20.1%, Mexico 11.7%, China 5.5%, Japan 5.1%, Germany 4.2%, UK 4.1% (2008)
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$2.112 trillion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$1.968 trillion (2007 est.)
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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) (2003)
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China 16.5%, Canada 15.7%, Mexico 10.1%, Japan 6.6%, Germany 4.6% (2008)
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$77.65 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$70.57 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$13.64 trillion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 1
$13.43 trillion (31 December 2007)
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$2.367 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$2.093 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$3.066 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
$2.791 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
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British pounds per US dollar: 0.5302 (2008), 0.4993 (2007), 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004)
Canadian dollars per US dollar: 1.0364 (2008), 1.0724 (2007), 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005), 1.3010 (2004)
Chinese yuan per US dollar: 6.9385 (2008), 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004)
euros per US dollar: 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)
Japanese yen per US dollar: 103.58 (2008), 117.99 (2007), 116.18 (2006) 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004)
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Communications ::United States
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150 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 2
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270 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 3
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general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system
domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country
international: country code - 1; multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000)
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AM 4,789, FM 8,961, shortwave 19 (2006)
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2,218 (2006)
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.us
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383 million (2009); note - the US Internet total host count includes the following top level domain host addresses: .us, .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, and .org
country comparison to the world: 1
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231 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 2
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Transportation ::United States
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15,095 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 1
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total: 5,174
over 3,047 m: 190
2,438 to 3,047 m: 229
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,477
914 to 1,523 m: 2,309
under 914 m: 969 (2009)
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total: 9,921
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 158
914 to 1,523 m: 1,757
under 914 m: 8,000 (2009)
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126 (2009)
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petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2006)
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total: 226,427 km
country comparison to the world: 1
standard gauge: 226,427 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)
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total: 6,465,799 km
country comparison to the world: 1
paved: 4,209,835 km (includes 75,040 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,255,964 km (2007)
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41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce)
country comparison to the world: 4
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with Canada (2008)
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total: 422
country comparison to the world: 24
by type: barge carrier 6, bulk carrier 61, cargo 69, carrier 2, chemical tanker 22, container 81, passenger 19, passenger/cargo 59, petroleum tanker 53, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 25, vehicle carrier 22
foreign-owned: 74 (Australia 1, Denmark 31, Germany 5, Japan 7, Malaysia 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 9, Singapore 12, Sweden 5, UK 1)
registered in other countries: 732 (Antigua and Barbuda 8, Australia 2, Bahamas 106, Bermuda 23, Cambodia 6, Canada 10, Cayman Islands 42, Comoros 2, Cyprus 5, Ecuador 1, Greece 8, Hong Kong 29, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 4, Italy 17, South Korea 7, Liberia 98, Luxembourg 4, Malta 23, Marshall Islands 123, Netherlands 14, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 8, Panama 126, Portugal 1, Puerto Rico 3, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 22, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Tuvalu 1, UK 12, Vanuatu 1, unknown 2) (2008)
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Corpus Christi, Duluth, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Texas City
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Military ::United States
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United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2009)
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18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines) (2008)
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males age 16-49: 72,715,332
females age 16-49: 71,638,785 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 59,764,677
females age 16-49: 59,437,663 (2009 est.)
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male: 2,196,124
female: 2,085,085 (2009 est.)
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4.06% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
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Transnational Issues ::United States
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the U.S. has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; managed 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 and US 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 US-administered 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 states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
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refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 62,643 refugees during FY04/05 including; 10,586 (Somalia); 8,549 (Laos); 6,666 (Russia); 6,479 (Cuba); 3,100 (Haiti); 2,136 (Iran) (2006)
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world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
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The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.