United States

Description of United States

The United States of America, commonly called the U.S., U.S.A., or America, or simply the United States consists of a federal district and 50 states. There are 48 contiguous states of the country along with Washington D.C. which are located in between Mexico and Canada. Alaska is in the northwest part of North America and Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, there are 5 populated as well as 9 unpopulated territories located in the Caribbean and Pacific. The country takes up 3.79 million sq. miles and has a population of about 318 million people. It is about the 3rd or 4th largest country when it comes to total area and has the 3rd largest population.

A  Brief History 

The first settlers in the North American area came over using the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia about 15,000 or so years ago. Some of the settlers developed grand architecture, advanced agriculture, and created state level societies. When European traders and explorers made contact, the native population began to decline due to many reasons including some diseases like measles and small pox, and other issues like violence and intermarriage. 

Columbus is credited with making the 1st voyage to the New World in the year 1492. After his voyage other explorers made it to the area and began settling different areas in what is now the southwestern part of the United States, including the Florida area. The French attempted to settle on the east coast without much success. Many French settlers created more successful settlements around the Mississippi River area. The English successfully settled areas on the east coast, starting with Jamestown, a Virginia Colony. 

By the year 1732 there were 13 colonies that were established and would become the United States of America. Each colony had a local government and offered elections that were open to the majority of free men living in the colonies. 

The American Revolutionary War started against the British to gain independence. This was the first colonial war against one of the big European powers that was successful. On the 4th of July, in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by congress. This is the date that is now celebrated by the country as their Independence Day. 

The independence of the United States was recognized by Britain after they were defeated at Yorktown. The peace treaty of 1783 provided the United States with land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. The Constitution for the United States was written in 1787. There were 3 branches of government created in order to offer a system of checks and balances. George Washington was elected as the first president under the new constitution.

United States Demographics 

The total population of the United States is approximately 318,172,000. This population makes it the 3rd most populated country of the world. The country is fairly urbanized with nearly 82% of the population living in cities and suburbs of the cities as of 2011. In comparison, the urban rate for the world is 52%. The most populated states in the U.S. are California and Texas. The most populated city in the country is New York City.

The top ten most populated cities in the United States are:

  1. New York City: located in the state of New York, the city has an estimated population of 8,405,837.
  2. Los Angeles: located in the state of California, L.A. has an estimated population of 3,884,307.
  3. Chicago: located in the state of Illinois, the city has an estimated population of 2,718,782.
  4. Houston: located in the state of Texas, the estimated population of the city is 2,195,914
  5. Philadelphia: is in the state of Pennsylvania and has a population of roughly 1,553,165.
  6. Phoenix: in the state of Arizona, with an estimated population of 1,513,367.
  7. San Antonio: located in Texas, San Antonio’s estimated population is 1,409,019
  8. San Diego: also in the state of California, the estimated population of the city is 1,355,896.
  9. Dallas: another Texas City, Dallas has an estimated population of 1,257,676.
  10. San Jose: another city in California, San Jose has a population of around 998,537

20 Most Populated States

  1. California: estimated population is 38,332,521
  2. Texas: estimated population of 26,448,193
  3. New York: estimated population of 19,651,127
  4. Florida: estimated population of 19,552, 860
  5. Illinois: estimated population of 12,882,135
  6. Pennsylvania: estimated population of 12,773, 801
  7. Ohio:  estimated population of 11,570,808
  8. Georgia: estimated population of 9,992,167
  9. Michigan: estimated population of 9,895,622
  10. North Carolina: estimated population of 9,848,060
  11. New Jersey: estimated population of 8,899,339
  12. Virginia: estimated population of 8,260,405
  13. Washington: estimated population of 6,971,406
  14. Massachusetts: estimated population of 6,692,824
  15. Arizona: estimated population of 6,626,624
  16. Indiana: estimated population of 6,570,902
  17. Tennessee: estimated population of 6,495,978
  18. Missouri: estimated population of 6,044,171
  19. Maryland: estimated population of 5,928,814
  20. Wisconsin: estimated population of 5,742,713

Fertility Rates 

In the United States, the total fertility rate for the country is estimated to be 1.87 children for each woman. This is now below the 2.1 replacement fertility rate. In comparison to some of the other western countries the United States is lower than France, which is 2.01, Australia, which is 1.94, and the United Kingdom, which is 1.92. However, the population growth in the United States is one of the highest of industrialized countries. The reason for this is because the fertility rate differences are different than the rates of immigration levels, which are more in the United States. The Census Bureau of the United States showed an increase in the population of 0.75% for the 12 months ending in July of 2012.

Sex and Cultural Populations 

In the year 2009, the population of the United States was made up of 158.6 million women and 151.4 million men. There are over twice as many women as men over the age of 85 in the country. Individuals under the age of 20 make up more than a quarter of the population of the United States. About an eighth of the population in the United States is over the age of 65 as of 2009. The median age of the country was 36.8. 

The Census Bureau of the United States defines “white people” as individuals who have the origins of the original people from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. This includes people that report white on their census forms or recorded that they were of Polish, Arab, Near Easterner, Lebanese, Italian, German, and Irish. The majority of the population in the country is considered white. Approximately 72.4% of the population is considered white from the 2010 census. If Hispanics who state they are white are taken out the total percentage drops to 63.7%. 

During the 20th century the population of the country nearly quadrupled. It went from around 76 million in the year 1900 up to 281 million in the year 2000. The projected population for 2050 is 439 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The United Nations projects the population to be around 402 million in 2050.


The national language of the United States is English. However, according to federal law, there is no official language of the country. In the year 2010, about 80% of the population or around 230 million people, who were over the age of 5 only spoke English in their home. About 12% of the population speaks Spanish in their home. Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the country and is the most commonly taught 2nd language. There are many Americans who advocate for making the official language of the country English and at least 28 of the states already list English as the official state language.


The 1st amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees individuals the freedom of religion. Congress may not pass any laws regarding the establishment of religion. The most commonly practiced religion in the United States is Christianity. There are other religions followed in the country as well. 

United States Religious Affiliation by Percentage of Population:

  • Christian: 73%
  • Protestant: 48%
  • Catholic: 22%
  • Mormon: 2%
  • Eastern Orthodox: 1%
  • Other Faith: 6%
  • Unaffiliated: 19.6%
  • Refused to answer/don’t know: 2% 

The survey was conducted in 2012 and 73% of the adults surveyed stated they were Christian. This number is down from the survey taken in 1990 where 86.4% claimed to be Christian. The protestant denominations of Christianity account for almost half, with Catholicism coming in at 22%, making it the largest individual denomination. Some of the other religions in the United States include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Unitarian, Universalism. Almost 20% of U.S. citizens stated that they are either atheist, agnostic, or simply have no religion.

Family Structure

In the year 2007, around 58% of citizens over the age of 18 were married. Approximately 10% were divorced, 6% were widowed, and about 25% had not been married. Most women now work outside of the home and women also receive the most bachelor’s degrees.

The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States is 79.8 for each 1000 women. This is the highest teen pregnancy rate in OECD nations. From 2007 through 2010, the highest teen birth rate was in the state of Mississippi. The lowest number of teen births was in New Hampshire. In 1973, Roe vs. Wade made abortions legal throughout the United States according to federal law. The number of abortions has fallen, but is still higher than in most other western nations with 241 abortions for every 1000 live births and a rate of 15 abortions for each 1000 women who were between the ages of 15 and 44.  The average age of a woman giving birth for the first time is 25.6.  Around 40.7% of births are to unwed women.


The state and local governments operate the education system of the country. They are regulated by the US Dept. of Education by restrictions on certain federal grants. Most states require that children attend school from the age of 6/7 until they are 18. Around 12% of students in the country go to a private or parochial school. About 2% of the population is homeschooled. The United States spends more for education on each student than any of the other countries of the world. In 2010, the government spent over $11,000 per student in elementary grades and over $12,000 for each student in high school. Approximately 80% of college students in the United States go to a public university.

There are many competitive private and public institutions for higher education in the U.S. There are about 13 to 15 universities and colleges in the country that are in the top 20 of the world. Some of the top universities in the country include:

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. University of Chicago
  8. Duke University
  9. University of California in Berkeley
  10. Columbia University
  11. Cornell University
  12. Dartmouth College

United States Geography

The country shares land borders with Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. It has a territorial water border with Russia in the North West. There are 2 territorial water borders of the United States in the south east between the state of Florida and Cuba and with Florida and the Bahamas.

The eastern part of the United States consists of a flat coastal plan. Further inland, the land features temperate forests and rolling hills. The Appalachian Mountains separate the eastern area of the country from the Great Lakes area and the Mississippi Basin area. There are 5 great lakes located in the north/central area of the country. Four of the lakes form part of the Canadian border.

In the southeast part of the country, there are subtropical forests near the gulf. The Midwest area consists of mainly productive farmland and rolling hills. The Great Plains area is noted for the extensive grasslands.

Overall, the United States offers a diverse landscape that is currently filled with a fairly diverse population.

Some facts about United States

Population of country 310,232,863 people
Area of United States 9,629,091 sq. kilometers
Located on the continent North America (NA)
Capital of United States Washington
Currency at United States Dollar (USD)
Domain Zone .us
Phone country code 1
FIPS code of United States US

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More information about United States

Climate of United States:
  • mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest
  • low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrain of United States:
  • 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
United States also has such useful resources as: coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber.

Top cities of United States

City Name Population State Coordinates
1 New York 8,175,133 people New York 40.71427 x -74.00597
2 Los Angeles 3,792,621 people California 34.05223 x -118.24368
3 Chicago 2,695,598 people Illinois 41.85003 x -87.65005
4 Brooklyn 2,300,664 people New York 40.6501 x -73.94958
5 Houston 2,099,451 people Texas 29.76328 x -95.36327
6 Philadelphia 1,526,006 people Pennsylvania 39.95234 x -75.16379
7 Manhattan 1,487,536 people New York 40.78343 x -73.96625
8 Phoenix 1,445,632 people Arizona 33.44838 x -112.07404
9 San Antonio 1,327,407 people Texas 29.42412 x -98.49363
10 San Diego 1,307,402 people California 32.71533 x -117.15726
11 Dallas 1,197,816 people Texas 32.78306 x -96.80667
12 San Jose 945,942 people California 37.33939 x -121.89496
13 Indianapolis 829,718 people Indiana 39.76838 x -86.15804
14 Jacksonville 821,784 people Florida 30.33218 x -81.65565
15 San Francisco 805,235 people California 37.77493 x -122.41942
16 Austin 790,390 people Texas 30.26715 x -97.74306
17 Columbus 787,033 people Ohio 39.96118 x -82.99879
18 Fort Worth 741,206 people Texas 32.72541 x -97.32085
19 Charlotte 731,424 people North Carolina 35.22709 x -80.84313
20 Detroit 713,777 people Michigan 42.33143 x -83.04575
21 El Paso 649,121 people Texas 31.75872 x -106.48693
22 Memphis 646,889 people Tennessee 35.14953 x -90.04898
23 New South Memphis 641,608 people Tennessee 35.08676 x -90.05676
24 Baltimore 620,961 people Maryland 39.29038 x -76.61219
25 Boston 617,594 people Massachusetts 42.35843 x -71.05977
26 Seattle 608,660 people Washington 47.60621 x -122.33207
27 Washington D. C. 601,723 people Washington, D.C. 38.89511 x -77.03637
28 Denver 600,158 people Colorado 39.73915 x -104.9847
29 Milwaukee 594,833 people Wisconsin 43.0389 x -87.90647
30 Portland 583,776 people Oregon 45.52345 x -122.67621

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