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Introduction United States
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) 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.
People United States
301,139,947 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.2% (male 31,152,050/female 29,777,438)
15-64 years: 67.2% (male 100,995,752/female 101,365,035)
65 years and over: 12.6% (male 15,858,477/female 21,991,195) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 36.6 years
male: 35.3 years
female: 37.9 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.894% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
14.16 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
8.26 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.046 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.996 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.721 male(s)/female
total population: 0.967 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78 years
male: 75.15 years
female: 80.97 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.09 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
950,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
17,011 (2005 est.)
noun: American(s)
adjective: American
Ethnic groups:
white 81.7%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.2% (2003 est.)
note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)
Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)
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
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government United States
Country name:
conventional long form: United States of America
conventional short form: United States
abbreviation: US or USA
Government type:
Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
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 US is divided into six time zones
Administrative divisions:
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
Dependent areas:
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)
4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Legal system:
federal court system based on English common law; each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one (Louisiana's) is based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
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 2 November 2004 (next to be held on 4 November 2008)
election results: George W. BUSH reelected president; percent of popular vote - George W. BUSH 50.9%, John KERRY 48.1%, other 1.0%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, one-third are renewed every two years; 2 members are elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 7 November 2006 (next to be held November 2008); House of Representatives - last held 7 November 2006 (next to be held November 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 49, Republican Party 49, independent 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 233, Republican Party 202
Judicial branch:
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
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party [Howard DEAN]; Green Party; Libertarian Party [William (Bill) Redpath]; Republican Party [Ken MEHLMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
AfDB, ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, 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, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag description:
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
Communications United States
Telephones - main lines in use:
268 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
219.4 million (2005)
Telephone system:
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; 24 ocean cable systems in use; 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4,789, FM 8,961, shortwave 19 (2006)
575 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
2,218 (2006)
219 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
195.139 million (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
7,000 (2002 est.)
Internet users:
205.327 million (2005)
Transportation United States
14,858 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5,119
over 3,047 m: 189
2,438 to 3,047 m: 221
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,426
914 to 1,523 m: 2,337
under 914 m: 946 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 9,739
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 157
914 to 1,523 m: 1,728
under 914 m: 7,847 (2006)
149 (2006)
petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2003)
total: 226,605 km
standard gauge: 226,605 km 1.435-m gauge (2004)
total: 6,430,366 km
paved: 4,165,110 km (includes 75,009 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,265,256 km (2005)
41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce)
note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with Canada (2004)
Merchant marine:
total: 465 ships (1000 GRT or over) 10,590,325 GRT/13,273,133 DWT
by type: barge carrier 7, bulk carrier 67, cargo 91, chemical tanker 20, container 76, passenger 19, passenger/cargo 58, petroleum tanker 76, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 27, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 20
foreign-owned: 51 (Australia 2, Canada 4, Denmark 24, Germany 2, Greece 1, Malaysia 4, Netherlands 4, Norway 2, Singapore 2, Sweden 5, Taiwan 1)
registered in other countries: 700 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Australia 3, Bahamas 121, Belize 5, Bermuda 27, Cambodia 8, Canada 2, Cayman Islands 41, Comoros 2, Cyprus 7, Greece 1, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 21, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 3, Italy 15, North Korea 3, South Korea 7, Liberia 93, Luxembourg 3, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 143, Netherlands 13, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 13, Panama 94, Peru 1, Philippines 8, Portugal 1, Puerto Rico 3, Qatar 1, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 21, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 7, Spain 7, Sweden 1, Trinidad and Tobago 1, UK 6, Vanuatu 1, Wallis and Futuna 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Corpus Christi, Duluth, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Tampa, Texas City
note: 13 ports north of New Orleans (South Louisiana Ports) on the Mississippi River handle 290,000,000 tons of cargo annually
Military United States
Military branches:
Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age; 17 years of age with written parental consent (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 67,742,879
females age 18-49: 67,070,144 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 54,609,050
females age 18-49: 54,696,706 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 2,143,873
females age 18-49: 2,036,201 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$518.1 billion (FY04 est.) (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
4.06% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues United States
Disputes - international:
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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
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)
Illicit drugs:
world's largest consumer of cocaine, shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean; consumer of ecstasy and of Mexican heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


Source: CIA World Factbook

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