United States

United States of America
Capital city Washington
Surface 9,826,675 km²
Population 331,894,000
Road network length 11,508,255 km
Length of highway network 107,686 km
First highway 1938
Motorway name freeway, expressway
Traffic drives Right
License plate code USA

The United States.

The United States (English: United States of America) is a large country in North America. The country consists of 50 states, a federal district, and several territories. The most important part of the US are the 48 so-called “contiguous states”, which are all states except Alaska and Hawaii. The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C. The largest city is New York City. The country is bordered by two countries; Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. Russia is not far from Alaska. The United States has 331 million inhabitants (2021) at 9,826.630 km², it is the third largest country in the world after Canada and Russia. The population is ethnically very diverse, because of immigration almost all population groups are represented. The US economy is the largest in the world, with a GDP of 21.7 trillion dollars in 2020. With a population density of 35 inhabitants/km², the country is in 180th place.


agglomeration (MSA) Population (2017)
New York City 20,321,000
Los Angeles 18,789,000
Chicago 9,533,000
Dallas-Fort Worth 7,400,000
San Francisco 7,111,000
Houston 6,892,000
Washington 6,217,000
Miami 6,159,000
Philadelphia 6,096,000
Atlanta 5,885,000
Boston 4,837,000
Phoenix 4,737,000
Detroit 4,313,000

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, the United States occupies much of the North American continent. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. To the south is also the Gulf of Mexico. The country is frequently subdivided into ‘the lower 48’, the 48 contiguous states and Alaska and Hawaii. The ‘lower 48’ measures 4,400 kilometers from west to east and 2,600 kilometers from north to south. Alaskais located northwest of Canada and covers a huge area, not only mainland Alaska, but also the Aleutian Islands, an elongated archipelago. The furthest islands are more than 8,800 kilometers from Florida. The island state of Hawaii is located in the southwest of the United States, 4,000 kilometers from Los Angeles. Hawaii is the southernmost state and is further south than is often thought. Hawaii is on the same latitude as Mexico City.

Geographically, the United States is very diverse. The east coast is dominated by urban agglomerations and densely forested areas, with the Appalachian Mountains further inland. West of it are the Mississippi River and Ohio River valleys. To the south are the dense forests of southern Florida and the peninsular Florida. Louisiana is home to the huge Mississippi River delta. In the central north is the Great Lakes Region, also known as the Upper Midwest, which has some of the world’s largest lakes, Lake Superior being the largest.

The center of the United States is dominated by the Midwest, an agricultural area with vast plains, which turn west into the High Plains, a nearly treeless and very sparsely populated area. To the west are the Rocky Mountains, which run north-south through the United States. Its highest mountain is the 4,401 meter high Mount Elbert in Colorado. West of the Rocky Mountains is the Great Basin, also known as the Intermountain West, with deserts and plains intersected by mountain ridges. To the west are two north-south oriented mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada in California and the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest. This changes into the ‘West Coast’, the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean with its megacities, but also with rugged nature.


The ‘Northeast’ region includes the northeastern United States. Major cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston are located here. It includes the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont according to the US Census Bureau. This area has an urbanized coastal region and a more sparsely populated interior, with some mountain areas, such as the north of the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, the Green Mountains and the White Mountains.

Southern United States

The Delaware Memorial Bridge (I-295) between Delaware and New Jersey.

The south of the United States is actually the southeast. The definition of this differs, often a distinction is also made between the ‘Deep South’ and the ‘Upper South’. It includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is the most populous region of the United States with more than 115 million inhabitants. The capital Washington, DC is located in the region. Other major cities include Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio.

Geographically, the region is very diverse, with the plains and prairies of Oklahoma and Texas, the deserts of West Texas, the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the dense forests of the coastal plains, the Appalachian Mountains with the 2,037-meter-high Mount Mitchell in North Carolina as the highest point. Major rivers include the Mississippi River, Savannah River, Rio Grande, Arkansas River, Ohio River, Tennessee River, and Potomac River.


The Midwest includes the Great Lakes area north of the Ohio River and the agricultural states west of the Mississippi River. According to the Census Bureau, it includes the states of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Great Lakes are surrounded by major cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. Other major cities in the region are Columbus,Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Omaha and St. Louis.

The Midwest is flat, but not uniformly treeless as is often believed. Especially east of the Mississippi River there is a lot of forest. There are no dominant mountain ranges, but there are hill areas such as the Ozarks in Missouri and the Black Hills in South Dakota, with the 2,208 meter high Harney Peak as the highest point. The area gets drier to the west. The Midwest is known as part of ‘Tornado Alley’, where many tornadoes occur each year.

Western United States

The SH 72 / SH 119 in the Netherlands, Colorado.

The western United States is geographically the largest region in the country, occupying nearly half the land area of ​​the United States. According to the Census Bureau, the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming areunder the definition. The area is again divided into the regions of ‘Mountain West’, which includes the west of the High Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin, and the ‘West Coast’, which includes the coastal states. The coastal region is densely populated, the interior is predominantly sparsely populated, although there are many larger cities.

The region’s major cities are Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. The region has relatively few major rivers, the Colorado River flows in the southeast and the Columbia River in the northwest. Large parts of the west are desert-like. The Pacific Northwest has a more temperate climate with more precipitation and lower temperatures.


The United States has the largest economy in the world. The country has large reserves of natural resources, such as oil, gas and coal. Oil and gas is extracted in Texas, Oklahoma, the Dakotas and Alaska. A lot of oil is also extracted in the Gulf of Mexico. Using the fracking method, the United States has quickly become one of the largest oil producers in the world and is increasingly able to meet its own energy needs. Coal is primarily mined in the middle Appalachian Mountains and Wyoming.

The country has a developed industrial sector, especially high tech, defense and information technology. The United States dominates in software with several tech giants. Manufacturing has been decimated since the 1960s, especially heavy industry, which has created the Rust Belt in the Northeast and the Great Lakes, major cities with drastically declining populations, where the economy was previously heavily based on steel and metal. The United States is one of the world’s largest car manufacturers. Production is primarily located in states such as Alabama, Kentucky, and Michigan.

The US dollar ($) is the world’s most important currency. As an exporting country, the United States is relatively small in relation to its population. The export is mainly based on high tech, energy and chemicals. The country has a low tax level and low energy prices compared to Europe. However, income disparities are relatively large, especially in large cities and the western coastal states. The poorest areas are the state of MississippiThe Coalfields region of eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia is a backward and physically isolated area. The cost of living varies widely by region and is particularly high in California and the Northeast, but low in the Midwestern and Southern United States. In California, in terms of cost of living, poverty is particularly high, comprising just over 10 percent of the population, but over 30 percent of all welfare benefits, benefits and support to provide a living. In addition, income inequality is particularly high in New York City, if the city were a country it would be the 15th most unequal country in the world.


Census Population
1900 76,212,000
1910 92,228,000
1920 106,022,000
1930 123,203,000
1940 132,165,000
1950 151,326,000
1960 179,323,000
1970 203,211,000
1980 226.546.000
1990 248,710,000
2000 281.422.000
2010 308,746,000
2020 329,484,000

SH 141 through the Unaweep Canyon in Colorado.

The United States is an ethnically diverse country, the result of centuries of immigration. Recent immigration is mainly from Latin America and parts of South and East Asia. The country has 322 million inhabitants, in 1900 the country still had 76 million inhabitants. See United States population density. The United States is the only western country with a significant population growth. Nearly 78% of the residents are white, of which 62% have no Hispanic background. 13% are African Americans, mostly descendants from the days of slavery. More than 5% is Asian and more than 1% Native American. Hispanic/Latino comprise approximately 18% of all residents and are considered both white and black races. Nearly 13% of Americans were born abroad, more than half of them in Mexico.

About 82% of Americans live in urban areas. In 2021 there were 328 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, 122 cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants, 37 cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants and 9 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants. Statistically, metropolitan agglomerations are defined as a ‘metropolitan statistical area’ (MSA). There are 384 of these, 56 of which have more than 1 million inhabitants. The 5 largest metropolitan areas are New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston. The fastest population growth is in the southern and western United States. Particularly urban areas such as Dallas, Houston, Las Vegasand Phoenix have grown very rapidly since the 1950s.


U.S. 163 in Utah in Monument Valley.

Columbus was the first European to discover North America in 1492. From the early 17th century, the eastern United States was slowly colonized by Europeans. In 1770, the ’13 Colonies’ on the east coast had a population of 2.1 million. Between 1775 and 1783, the American Revolutionary War was fought between the 13 colonies and Great Britain, which led to the declaration of independence on July 4, 1776. In 1789, the United States Constitution came into effect and George Washington was the first American president.

In 1803 the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ followed, in which a large part of the center of the continent was bought from France. This encompassed much more than just Louisiana, extending to the border with Canada and into the Rocky Mountains. Texas was annexed in 1845, the Oregon Territory to the northwest followed in 1846, and Mexico ceded the southwestern United States in 1848. This gave the United States largely its current shape as far as the ‘lower 48’ is concerned. In 1853, the Gadsden Purchase of Mexico followed and included southern Arizona. In 1867 Alaska was bought from Russia and in 1898Hawaii annexed. These territories eventually formed into several states, most recently Hawaii in 1959.

In 1848-1849 there was the gold rush in California that caused a great migration westward. The ‘American West’ still has a mythical status in the country. In the eastern United States, there was disagreement between the north and south over slavery. In 1860, Republican Lincoln became president. He was anti-slavery, which caused 13 states to secede from the United States and form the ‘Confederate States’. This was followed by the American Civil War until 1865, which was won by the North (the ‘Union’), which led to the abolition of slavery.

In the late 1800s, the United States industrialized at a rapid pace and became the largest economy in the world. National infrastructure such as the telegraph and transcontinental railroads were built, and factories opened in the northeast and around the Great Lakes. The United States initially remained neutral during World War I and did not fight until 1917. The US economy grew very rapidly in the 1920s, followed by a deep recession in the 1930s. On top of that came the ‘Dust Bowl’, which left much farmland in the Midwest unusable. This caused massive migration to the western United States, especially California. At the same time, many African Americans migrated from the south to the industrial areas of the northern United States.

The United States tried to remain neutral during World War II, but was attacked by Japan in 1941, after which the United States fought on the Allied side in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific. The war ended after the United States bombed the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima with atomic bombs in 1945. The United States economy suffered little damage from the war and the country subsequently became a world power. From the 1950s to the late 1980s, the Cold War with the Soviet Union followed, with numerous proxy conflicts such as in Korea and Vietnam. American cities grew very quickly and from 1956 the Interstate Highway program was set up to provide all cities with freewayswhich was the largest highway network in the world until 2012.

United States Location Map