United States of America
In God We Trust"
 Anthem: "
The Star-Spangled Banner"
38°53′N 77°1′W / 38.883°N 77.017°W Largest city
New York City
40°43′N 74°0′W / 40.717°N 74.000°W Official languages None at the
) de facto
John Roberts Legislature
House of Representatives July 4, 1776 March 1, 1781 September 3, 1783 June 21, 1788 May 5, 1992
• Total area
3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km 2)
• Water (%)
• Land area
3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km 2) (3rd)
• 2022 estimate
• 2020 census
87/sq mi (33.6/km 2) (
PPP) 2023 estimate
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2023 estimate
• Per capita
Gini (2020) 39.4
HDI (2021) 0.921
very high 21st Currency
U.S. dollar ($) (
USD) Time zone
UTC−4 to −12, +10, +11
UTC−4 to −10
[f] Date format mm/dd/yyyy
Driving side right
[h] Calling code
ISO 3166 code
United States of America ( USA), commonly known as the United States ( U.S.) or America, is a country primarily located in
North America. It consists of 50
a federal district, five major
unincorporated territories, and nine
Minor Outlying Islands.
It includes 326
[i] Indian reservations. The U.S. is the world's
third-largest country by land area, and by total area.
It shares land borders
[c] with Canada to its north and
with Mexico to its south and has maritime borders with
With a population of over 333 million, [j]
it is the
[k] most populous country in the
Americas and the
third-most populous in the world. The national capital of the United States is
Washington, D.C., and
its most populous city and principal
financial center is
New York City.
Indigenous peoples have inhabited the Americas for thousands of years. Beginning in 1607,
British colonization led to the establishment of the
Thirteen Colonies in what is now the
Eastern United States. They clashed with the
British Crown over taxation and
political representation, which led to the
American Revolution and the ensuing
Revolutionary War. The United States
declared independence on July 4, 1776, becoming the first
nation-state founded on
Enlightenment principles of
unalienable natural rights,
consent of the governed, and
republicanism. The country began
expanding across North America, spanning the continent by 1848. Sectional division over
slavery led to the secession of the
Confederate States of America, which fought the remaining states of the
Union during the
American Civil War (1861–1865). With the Union's victory and preservation,
slavery was abolished nationally. By 1900, the United States had established itself as a
great power, becoming the world's
largest economy. After
attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S.
entered World War II on the
side of the Allies. The
aftermath of the war left the United States and the
Soviet Union as the world's two
superpowers and led to the
Cold War, during which both countries engaged in a struggle for ideological dominance and international influence, avoided direct military conflict, and competed in the
Space Race, which culminated with the United States
landing the first humans on the Moon in 1969. Following the
Soviet Union's collapse and the
end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, it emerged as the world's sole superpower. The early 2020s saw the United States emerge as the leader of the
AI Spring, which has led to ongoing rapid and unprecedented development in
artificial intelligence, and a return to
space exploration with the
, with plans to establish a
Artemis program permanent base on the Moon to facilitate the feasibility of
human missions to Mars.
United States government is a
liberal democracy with
three separate branches of government:
judicial. It has a
bicameral national legislature composed of the
House of Representatives, a
lower house based on population; and the
upper house based on equal representation for each
state. Many policy issues are
decentralized at a state or local level, with
widely differing laws by jurisdiction. Americans generally value
Culturally, the country is primarily
Anglophonic, with other prominent regional influences.
One of the world's
most developed countries, the United States has the
highest mean income per capita of any non-
microstate and possesses by far the
largest amount of wealth of any country. The
American economy accounts for over a quarter of global
GDP and is
nominally the world's largest. It
ranks among the highest in the world in international measures of
quality of life,
human rights, and
education. The United States is a founding member of the
United Nations, the
World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, the
Organization of American States,
WHO, and is
a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It is a recognized
nuclear-weapon state and wields considerable global influence as the world's foremost
political, cultural, economic,
The first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" dates back to a letter from January 2, 1776, written by
Stephen Moylan, a
Continental Army aide to General
George Washington, to
Joseph Reed, Washington's
aide-de-camp. Moylan expressed his desire to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the
Revolutionary War effort.
The first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in 
The Virginia Gazette Williamsburg, on April 6, 1776.
By June 1776, the name "United States of America" appeared in drafts of the
Articles of Confederation and
Perpetual Union, authored by
John Dickinson, a
Founding Father from the
Province of Pennsylvania, and in the
Declaration of Independence, written primarily by
Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the
Second Continental Congress in
Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776.
Cliff Palace was built by
first inhabitants of North America migrated from
Siberia across the
Bering land bridge at least 12,000 years ago;
 Clovis culture, which appeared around 11,000 BC, is believed to be the first widespread culture in the
Americas. Over time, indigenous North American culutures grew increasingly sophisticated, and some, such as the
Mississippian culture, developed
architecture, and complex societies. Indigenous peoples and cultures such as the
 Ancestral Puebloans, and the
Iroquois developed across the present-day United States.
 Native population estimates of what is now the United States before the arrival of European immigrants range from around 500,000 to nearly 10 million.
British North America in 1775 with the
Christopher Columbus began exploring the
Caribbean in 1492, leading to
Spanish settlements in present-day Puerto Rico,
 France established
their own settlements along the
Mississippi River and
Gulf of Mexico.
 British colonization of the
East Coast began with the
Virginia Colony (1607) and
Plymouth Colony (1620).
 Mayflower Compact and the
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut established precedents for representative
constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.
While European settlers experienced conflicts with Native Americans, they also
engaged in trade, exchanging European tools for food and animal pelts.
 Columbian exchange was catastrophic for native populations. It is estimated
that up to 95 percent of the indigenous populations in the Americas
perished from infectious diseases during the years following European colonization;
remaining populations were often displaced by European expansion. 
Colonial authorities pursued policies to force Native Americans to adopt European lifestyles, 
and European settlers
 trafficked African slaves into the colonial United States through the
Atlantic slave trade.
were administered by
[l] Great Britain,
 local governments with elections open to most white male property owners.
The colonial population grew rapidly, eclipsing Native American populations; 
by the 1770s, the natural increase of the population was such that only a small minority of Americans had been born overseas. 
The colonies' distance from Britain allowed for the development of self-governance, 
 First Great Awakening—a series of Christian revivals—fueled colonial interest in
Revolution and expansion (1776-1861)
, a portrait by
Declaration of Independence John Trumbull depicting the
Committee of Five presenting the draft of the
Declaration to the
Continental Congress on June 28, 1776, in
After winning the
French and Indian War, Britain began to assert greater control over local colonial affairs, creating
colonial political resistance; one of the primary colonial grievances was
that Britain taxed the colonies without giving them representation in government. In 1774, the
First Continental Congress met in
Philadelphia, and passed a
colonial boycott of British goods. The British attempt to disarm the colonists resulted in the 1775
Battles of Lexington and Concord, igniting the
American Revolutionary War. At the
Second Continental Congress, the colonies appointed
George Washington commander-in-chief of the
Continental Army and created
a committee led by
Thomas Jefferson to write the
Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776.
The political values of the American Revolution included
 liberty ,
inalienable individual rights; and the
sovereignty of the people;
 republicanism and rejecting
aristocracy, and hereditary political power; virtue and faithfulness in the performance of civic duties; and vilification of
 Founding Fathers of the United States, which included George Washington,
Thomas Paine, and
John Adams, took inspiration from Ancient
English models and ideas.
After British surrender at the
siege of Yorktown in 1781, Britain signed
a peace treaty. American sovereignty became internationally recognized, and the U.S. gained territory stretching west to the Mississippi River, north to present-day
Canada, and south to
Ratified in 1781, the
 Articles of Confederation established a decentralized government that operated until 1789.
 Northwest Ordinance (1787) established the precedent by which the nation would expand with the
admission of new states, rather than the expansion of existing states.
 U.S. Constitution was drafted at the 1787
Constitutional Convention; it went into effect in 1789, creating a
federation administered by
three branches on the principle of
checks and balances. Washington
was elected the nation's first
president under the Constitution, and the
Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791 to allay concerns by skeptics of the more centralized government;
 his resignations as commander-in-chief and President set a precedent followed by
John Adams, establishing
peaceful transfer of power between rival parties.
A map of the
territorial acquisitions of the United States
In the late 18th century, American settlers began to
expand westward, with a sense of
 Louisiana Purchase (1803) from France nearly doubled the territory of the United States.
 Lingering issues with Britain remained, leading to the
War of 1812, which was fought to a draw.
 Spain ceded Florida and their Gulf Coast territory in 1819.
As Americans expanded further into land inhabited by
 Native Americans, the federal government often applied
Indian removal or
The displacement prompted a long series of
 American Indian Wars west of the
 Republic of Texas was
annexed in 1845,
and the 1846
 Oregon Treaty led to U.S. control of the present-day
Victory in the
 Mexican–American War resulted in the 1848
Mexican Cession of
California and much of the present-day
American Southwest, resulting in the U.S. stretching from the
Atlantic to the
 purchased from
Russia in 1867.
Civil War (1861-1865)
During the colonial period,
slavery was legal in the American colonies, though the practice began to be significantly questioned during the American Revolution. The North enacted
abolition laws, though support for slavery strengthened in
the South, as inventions such as the
cotton gin made the institution increasingly profitable for Southern elites.
 sectional conflict regarding slavery
culminated in the
American Civil War (1861–1865).
Eleven slave states
 seceded and formed the
Confederate States of America, while the remaining states remained in
War broke out in April 1861 after the Confederacy
 bombarded Fort Sumter.
After the January 1863
 Emancipation Proclamation, many freed slaves joined the Union Army.
 began to turn in the Union's favor following the 1863
Siege of Vicksburg and
Battle of Gettysburg, and the Confederacy surrendered in 1865 after the Union's victory in the
Battle of Appomattox Court House.
 Reconstruction era followed the war. After
the assassination of President
Reconstruction Amendments were passed to
protect the rights of African Americans. National infrastructure, including
transcontinental telegraph and
railroads, spurred growth in the
Post-Civil War era (1865-1898)
Edison Studios film showing immigrants arriving at
Ellis Island in
New York Harbor, a major point of entry for European
immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
From 1865 through 1918 an unprecedented stream of immigrants arrived in the United States, including 24.4 million from Europe.
Most came through the
 port of New York City, and
New York and other large cities on the
East Coast became home to large
Italian populations, while many
Central Europeans moved to the
Midwest. At the same time, about one million
French Canadians migrated from
 Great Migration, millions of African Americans
left the rural South for urban areas in the North.
 Compromise of 1877 effectively ended Reconstruction and
white supremacists took local control of Southern politics.
African Americans endured a period of heightened, overt racism following Reconstruction, a time often called the
 nadir of American race relations.
 Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of
many prominent industrialists, largely by their formation of
monopolies to prevent competition.
 Tycoons led the nation's expansion in the
Banking became a major part of the economy, and the United States emerged as a pioneer of the
These changes were accompanied by significant increases in
 economic inequality,
slum conditions, and
This period eventually ended with the advent of the
 Progressive Era, which was characterized by significant reforms.
Rise as a superpower (1898-1945)
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima Joe Rosenthal of the
Associated Press. The World Wars permanently ended the country's policy of
isolationism and left it as a world
The early 20th century was a time of industrial expansion and social change in the United States.
Pro-American elements in Hawaii
 overthrew the
Hawaiian monarchy; the islands were
annexed in 1898.
Guam, and the
Philippines were ceded by Spain following the
 American Samoa was acquired by the United States in 1900 after the
Second Samoan Civil War.
 U.S. Virgin Islands were purchased from
Denmark in 1917.
The United States entered
 World War I alongside the
Allies of World War I, helping to turn the tide against the
 a constitutional amendment granted nationwide
During the 1920s and 1930s,
 radio for
mass communication and the invention of early
television transformed communications nationwide. The
Wall Street Crash of 1929 triggered the
Great Depression, which President
Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to with
New Deal social and economic policies.
 At first neutral during
World War II, the U.S. began
supplying war materiel to the
Allies of World War II in March 1941 and entered the war in December after the
Empire of Japan's attack on
 developed the first nuclear weapons and
used them again the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, ending the war.
The United States was one of the "
 Four Policemen" who met to plan the postwar world, alongside the
Soviet Union, and
China. The U.S. emerged relatively unscathed from the war, with even greater economic and military influence.
Cold War (1945-1991)
After World War II, the United States entered the
Cold War, where geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union led the two countries to dominate world affairs.
The U.S. engaged in
 regime change against governments perceived to be aligned with the Soviet Union, and competed in the
Space Race, culminating in the
first crewed Moon landing in 1969.
Domestically, the U.S. experienced
 economic growth,
population growth following World War II. The
civil rights movement emerged, with
Martin Luther King Jr. becoming a prominent leader in the early 1960s.
 counterculture movement in the U.S. brought significant social changes, including the liberalization of attitudes towards
recreational drug use and
sexuality as well as
open defiance of the military draft and
intervention in Vietnam.
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the
 collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, which marked the end of the Cold War and solidified the U.S. as the world's sole superpower.
Twin Towers in
New York City during the
September 11 attacks of 2001
The 1990s saw the
longest recorded expansion in American history, a
dramatic decline in crime, and advances in
technology, with the
World Wide Web, the evolution of the
Pentium microprocessor in accordance with
Moore's Law, rechargeable
lithium-ion batteries, the first
gene therapy trial, and
cloning all emerging and being improved upon throughout the decade. The
Human Genome Project was formally launched in 1990, building of the
Large Hadron Collider commenced in 1998, and
Nasdaq became the first stock market in the United States to trade online.
In 1994, the country expelled an
 Iraqi invasion force from
Kuwait in the
Persian Gulf War.
September 11, 2001 attacks by the
pan-Islamist militant organization
Al-Qaeda led to the
war on terror and subsequent military interventions
in Afghanistan and
 cultural impact of the attacks was profound and long-lasting. Combined with
sexual abuse scandals within churches, large-scale
secularization proceeded, as
many Americans were not able to reconcile the events with
a benevolent higher power.
 U.S. housing bubble in 2006 culminated in the the
Great Recession, the largest economic contraction since the Great Depression.
Starting in the 2010s,
 political polarization increased as sociopolitical debates on cultural issues dominated political discussion.
The early 2020s saw the United States emerge as the leader of the
 AI Spring, which has led to ongoing rapid and unprecedented development in the field of
artificial intelligence, as advances in
transformer machine learning enabled a number of generative AI systems.
The nation returned to
 space exploration with the
; it plans for a
Artemis Program crewed lunar landing and launch of the world's
first planned extraterrestrial space station, both in 2025, and yearly returns to the moon thereafter. Its long-term goal is to establish a
permanent base on the Moon to facilitate the feasibility of
human missions to Mars.
topographic map of the United States
The United States is the world's
third-largest nation by land and total area behind
 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia occupy a combined area of 3,119,885 square miles (8,080,470 km 2).
 coastal plain of the
Atlantic seaboard gives way to inland forests and rolling hills in the
Piedmont plateau region.
Appalachian Mountains and the
Adirondack massif separate the East Coast from the
Great Lakes and the grasslands of the
 Mississippi River System—the world's
fourth longest river system—runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile
prairie of the
Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by
a highland region in the southeast.
Rocky Mountains, west of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, peaking at over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in
Farther west are the rocky
 Great Basin and
 Sierra Nevada and
Cascade mountain ranges run close to the
Pacific coast. The
lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States are in the state of California,
about 84 miles (135 km) apart. 
At an elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190.5 m), Alaska's
 Denali is the highest peak in the country and continent.
 volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's
Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. The
Yellowstone National Park in the
Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature.
Köppen climate types of the United States
With its large size and geographic variety, the United States includes most climate types. East of the
100th meridian, the climate ranges from
humid continental in the north to
humid subtropical in the south.
The western Great Plains are
 semi-arid. Many mountainous areas of the American West have an
alpine climate. The climate is
arid in the Southwest,
coastal California, and
oceanic in coastal
Washington, and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska is
polar. Hawaii and the southern tip of
tropical, as well as its territories in the
Caribbean and the Pacific.
States bordering the
Gulf of Mexico are prone to
hurricanes, and most of the world's
tornadoes occur in the country, mainly in
Overall, the United States receives more high-impact extreme weather incidents than any other country. 
Extreme weather became more frequent in the U.S. in the 21st century, with three times the number of reported
 heat waves as in the 1960s. In the
American Southwest, droughts became more persistent and more severe.
Biodiversity and conservation
bald eagle, the
national bird of the United States since 1782
The U.S. is one of 17
megadiverse countries containing large numbers of
endemic species: about 17,000 species of
vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States and Alaska, and over 1800 species of
flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland.
The United States is home to 428
 mammal species, 784
 insect species.
There are 63
national parks, and
hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and
wilderness areas, managed by the
National Park Service and other agencies.
About 28% of the country's land is publicly owned and federally managed, 
primarily in the
 western states.
Most of this land is
 protected, though some is leased for industrial use, and less than one percent is used for military purposes.
Environmental issues in the United States include debates on
non-renewable resources and
air and water pollution,
biological diversity, logging and
 climate change.
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal agency charged with
addressing most environmental-related issues.
 idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the
 Endangered Species Act of 1973 provides a way to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats. The
United States Fish and Wildlife Service implements and enforces the Act.
As of 2020, the U.S. ranked 24th among 180 nations in the
 Environmental Performance Index.
The country joined the
 Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016 and has many other environmental commitments.
Government and politics
The Capitol and its two legislative chambers, the
Senate (left) and the
House of Representatives (right)
White House, the residence and workplace of the
U.S. President and the offices of the
Supreme Court Building, which houses the
nation's highest court
The United States was founded on the principles of the
American Enlightenment. It is a
federal republic of 50
a federal district,
five territories and several uninhabited
It is the world's oldest surviving
 federation, and, according to the
World Economic Forum, the oldest
democracy as well.
It is a liberal
 representative democracy "in which
majority rule is tempered by
minority rights protected by
The U.S. Constitution serves as the country's supreme legal document, establishing the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. 
The federal government comprises three branches, which are headquartered in Washington, D.C. and regulated by a system of
checks and balances.
U.S. Congress, a
bicameral legislature, made up of the
Senate and the
House of Representatives, makes
declares war, approves treaties, has the
power of the purse,
 the power of impeachment.
The Senate has 100 members (2 from each
 state), elected for a six-year term. The House of Representatives has 435 members from single member
congressional districts allocated to each
state on the basis of population, elected for a two-year term. The
U.S. President is the
commander-in-chief of the military, can veto
legislative bills before they become law (subject to congressional override), and appoints the
members of the Cabinet (subject to Senate approval) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies through their respective
The president and the vice president are elected together in a presidential election. 
It is an
 indirect election, with the winner being determined by votes cast by electors of the
Electoral College. The President and Vice President serve a four-year term and may be elected to the office
no more than twice. The
U.S. federal judiciary, whose judges are all appointed for life by the President with Senate approval, consists primarily of the
U.S. Supreme Court, the
U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the
U.S. District Courts. The U.S. Supreme Court interprets laws and overturn those they find
The Supreme Court is led by the
 chief justice of the United States. It has nine members who serve for life. The members are appointed by the sitting president when a vacancy becomes available.
In the American
federal system, sovereignty is shared between
two levels of government: federal and state. Each of the 50 states has territory where it shares
sovereignty with the federal government. People in the states are also represented by local elected governments, which are administrative divisions of the states. States are subdivided into
counties or county equivalents, and further divided into
municipalities. The District of Columbia is a
federal district that contains the capital of the United States, the
city of Washington.
The territories and the District of Columbia are administrative divisions of the federal government. 
United Nations headquarters has been situated along the
East River in
Midtown Manhattan since 1952; in 1945, the United States was a founding member of the UN.
The United States has an established structure of foreign relations, and it had the world's second-largest diplomatic corps in 2019.
It is a
 permanent member of the
United Nations Security Council,
and home to the
 United Nations headquarters.
The United States is a member of the
 OECD intergovernmental organizations.
Almost all countries have
 embassies and many have
consulates (official representatives) in the country. Likewise, nearly all nations host formal
diplomatic missions with the United States, except
 North Korea,
 Taiwan does not have formal diplomatic relations with the U.S., it maintains close unofficial relations.
The United States regularly supplies Taiwan with
 military equipment to deter potential Chinese aggression.
The United States has a "
with the United Kingdom
and strong ties
 with Canada,
 New Zealand,
 South Korea,
 European Union countries (
The U.S. works closely with its
 NATO allies on military and
national security issues, and with nations in the Americas through the
Organization of American States and the
United States–Mexico–Canada Free Trade Agreement. In
Colombia is traditionally considered to be the closest ally of the United States.
The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for
 Micronesia, the
Marshall Islands, and
Palau through the
Compact of Free Association.
It has increasingly conducted strategic cooperation
 with India,
 ties with China have steadily deteriorated.
Since 2014, the U.S. has become a
 key ally of Ukraine.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the
U.S. Department of Defense
The President is the
commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and appoints its leaders, the
secretary of defense and the
Joint Chiefs of Staff. The
Department of Defense, which is headquartered at
the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., administers five of the six service branches, which are made up of the
Air Force, and
Space Force. The
Coast Guard is administered by the
Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and can be transferred to the
Department of the Navy in wartime.
The United States
spent $877 billion on its military in 2022, which is by far the
largest amount of any country, making up 39% of global military spending and accounting for 3.5% of the country's GDP.
The U.S. has
 more than 40% of the world's nuclear weapons, the second-largest amount after Russia.
The United States has the third-largest combined armed forces in the world, behind the
Chinese People's Liberation Army and
Indian Armed Forces.
The military operates about 800 bases and facilities abroad, 
 deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.
Law enforcement and crime
J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
There are about 18,000 U.S. police agencies from local to federal level in the United States.
Law in the United States is mainly
 enforced by local police departments and
sheriff departments in their municipal or county jurisdictions. The
state police departments
have authority in their respective state, and
federal agencies such as the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
U.S. Marshals Service have national jurisdiction and specialized duties, such as protecting
national security and enforcing
U.S. federal courts' rulings and federal laws.
 State courts conduct most civil and criminal trials,
and federal courts handle designated crimes and
 appeals of state court decisions.
As of January 2023, the United States has the
sixth highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world, at 531 people per 100,000; and the largest
prison and jail population in the world with almost 2 million people incarcerated.
A cross-sectional analysis of the
 World Health Organization Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates "were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher."
U.S. dollar is the currency most used in
international transactions and is the world's foremost
New York Stock Exchange on
Wall Street, the world's
largest stock exchange by market capitalization
Apple Park, in
Cupertino, California, within
Silicon Valley, is the headquarters of
Apple Inc., the world's
biggest company by market capitalization.
The U.S. has been the world's
largest economy since at least 1900.
 gross domestic product (GDP) of $25.5 trillion is the largest of any country in the world, constituting over 25% of the
gross world product at market exchange rates and over 15% of the gross world product at
purchasing power parity (PPP).
From 1983 to 2008, U.S. real compounded annual GDP growth was 3.3%, compared to a 2.3% weighted average for the rest of the
 Group of Seven.
The country ranks first in the world by
 disposable income per capita,
 GDP (PPP),
 nominal GDP per capita,
and eighth by
 GDP (PPP) per capita.
Of the world's
500 largest companies, 136 are headquartered in the U.S.
 U.S. dollar is the currency most used in
international transactions and is the world's foremost
reserve currency, backed by the country's dominant economy,
its military, the
petrodollar system, and its linked
eurodollar and large
U.S. treasuries market.
 use it as their official currency and in others it is the
. de facto currency
 free trade agreements with
several countries, including the
The U.S. ranked second in the
 Global Competitiveness Report in 2019, after
While its economy has reached a
 post-industrial level of development, the United States
remains an industrial power.
As of 2018, the U.S. is the
 second-largest manufacturing nation after China.
New York City is the world's principal financial center, with the
largest economic output, and the epicenter of the principal American metropolitan economy.
 New York Stock Exchange and
Nasdaq, both located in New York City, are the world's two
largest stock exchanges by
market capitalization and
The United States is at or near the forefront of
 technological advancement and
in many economic fields, especially in
 artificial intelligence;
The nation's economy is fueled by abundant
 natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and
It has the second-highest total-estimated value of natural resources after Russia. The
 largest U.S. trading partners are the
South Korea, the
The United States is the world's
 largest importer and the
second-largest exporter after China.
It is by far the world's
 largest exporter of
Americans have the highest average
employee income among
OECD member states,
and the fourth-highest
 median household income,
up from sixth-highest in 2013. 
 Wealth in the United States is
highly concentrated; the richest 10% of the adult population own 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom 50% own just 2%.
 Income inequality in the U.S. remains at record highs,
with the top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all income 
and giving the U.S. one of the widest income distributions among OECD members. 
The U.S. ranks first in the number of dollar
 billionaires and
millionaires, with 735 billionaires and nearly 22 million millionaires (as of 2023).
There were about 582,500 sheltered and unsheltered
 homeless persons in the U.S. in 2022, with 60% staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
In 2018 six million children experienced food insecurity. 
 Feeding America estimates that around one in seven, or approximately 11 million,
children experience hunger and do not know where they will get their next meal or when.
As of June 2018, 40 million people, roughly 12.7% of the U.S. population, were living
 in poverty, including 13.3 million children.
The United States has a smaller
welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most other
It is the only
 advanced economy that does not
guarantee its workers paid vacation nationally
and is one of a few countries in the world without federal
 paid family leave as a legal right.
The United States has a higher percentage of low-income workers than almost any other developed nation, largely because of a weak
 collective bargaining system and lack of government support for at-risk workers.
Science, technology, and energy
Buzz Aldrin saluting the
flag on the
Moon during the 1969
Apollo 11 mission. The United States is the only country that has sent
crewed missions to the lunar surface.
The United States has been a leader in technological
innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the mid-20th century. Methods for producing
interchangeable parts and the establishment of a
machine tool industry enabled
America's large-scale manufacturing of consumer products in the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, factory
electrification, the introduction of the
assembly line, and other labor-saving techniques created the system of
In 2022, the United States was the country with the
 second-highest number of published scientific papers.
As of 2021, the U.S. ranked second by the number of
 patent applications, and third by trademark and industrial design applications.
In 2023, the United States ranked 3rd in the
 Global Innovation Index.
As of 2022
petroleum (35.8%), followed by
natural gas (33.4%),
renewable sources (13.3%),
coal (9.8%), and
nuclear power (8%).
The United States constitutes less than 5% of the
 world's population, but consumes 17% of the world's energy.
The U.S. ranks as the
 second-highest emitter of greenhouse gases.
, the United States receives approximately 81% of its energy from fossil fuel and the largest source of the country's energy came from
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, serving the
Atlanta metropolitan area, is the world's
busiest airport by passenger traffic with over 93 million passengers annually in 2022.
Personal transportation in the United States is
dominated by automobiles,
which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of public roads, making it the
 longest network in the world.
 Oldsmobile Curved Dash and the
Ford Model T, both American cars, are considered the first mass-produced
and mass-affordable 
cars, respectively. As of 2022, the United States is the
 second-largest manufacturer of motor vehicles
and is home to
 Tesla, the world's most valuable car company.
American automotive company
 General Motors held the title of the world's best-selling automaker from 1931 to 2008.
 American automotive industry is the world's second-largest automobile market by sales,
and the U.S. has the
 highest vehicle ownership per capita in the world,
with 910 vehicles per 1000 people. 
The United States's
 rail transport network, the
longest network in the world,
American civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely
deregulated since 1978, while
most major airports are publicly owned.
The three largest airlines in the world by passengers carried are U.S.-based;
 American Airlines is number one after its 2013 acquisition by
Of the world's
 50 busiest passenger airports, 16 are in the United States, including the top five and the busiest,
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
As of 2020 , there are 19,919 airports in the United States, of which 5,217 are designated as "public use", including for
 general aviation and other activities.
fifty busiest container ports, four are located in the United States, of which the busiest is the
Port of Los Angeles.
 inland waterways are the world's
fifth-longest, and total 41,009 km (25,482 mi).
population density map based on
Census 2010 data
U.S. Census Bureau reported 331,449,281 residents as of April 1, 2020,
making the United States the
 third-most populous nation in the world, after China and India.
According to the Bureau's
 U.S. Population Clock, on January 28, 2021, the U.S. population had a net gain of one person every 100 seconds, or about 864 people per day.
In 2018, 52% of Americans age 15 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 32% had never been married. 
In 2021, the
 total fertility rate for the U.S. stood at 1.7 children per woman,
and it had the world's highest rate of children (23%) living in
 single-parent households in 2019.
The United States has a diverse population; 37
ancestry groups have more than one million members.
 White Americans with ancestry from Europe, the Middle East or North Africa, form the largest
ethnic group at 57.8% of the United States population.
 Hispanic and Latino Americans form the second-largest group and are 18.7% of the United States population.
African Americans constitute the nation's third-largest ancestry group and are 12.1% of the total United States population.
 Asian Americans are the country's fourth-largest group, composing 5.9% of the United States population, while the country's 3.7 million
Native Americans account for about 1%.
In 2020, the
 median age of the United States population was 38.5 years.
Most spoken languages in the USA
While many languages are spoken in the United States, English is overwhelmingly the most commonly spoken in a majority of the country.
Although there is no
 official language at the federal level, some laws—such as
U.S. naturalization requirements—standardize English, and most states have declared English as the official language.
Three states and four U.S. territories have recognized local or indigenous languages in addition to English, including Hawaii (
 twenty Native languages),
South Dakota (
American Samoa (
 Samoan), Puerto Rico (
Spanish), Guam (
Chamorro), and the Northern Mariana Islands (
Carolinian and Chamorro). In Puerto Rico, Spanish is more widely spoken than English.
According to the
American Community Survey, in 2010 some 229 million people (out of the total U.S. population of 308 million) spoke only English at home. More than 37 million spoke
Spanish at home, making it the second most commonly used language. Other languages spoken at home by one million people or more include
Chinese (2.8 million),
Tagalog (1.6 million),
Vietnamese (1.4 million),
French (1.3 million),
Korean (1.1 million), and
German (1 million).
America's immigrant population, numbering more than 50 million, is by far the world's
largest in absolute terms.
In 2022, there were 87.7 million immigrants and
 U.S.-born children of immigrants in the United States, accounting for nearly 27% of the overall U.S. population.
In 2017, out of the U.S. foreign-born population, some 45% (20.7 million) were naturalized citizens, 27% (12.3 million) were lawful permanent residents, 6% (2.2 million) were temporary lawful residents, and 23% (10.5 million) were unauthorized immigrants. 
In 2019, the top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (24% of immigrants), India (6%), China (5%), the Philippines (4.5%), and El Salvador (3%). 
The United States has led the world in
 refugee resettlement for decades, admitting more refugees than the rest of the world combined.
First Amendment guarantees the
free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting
Religious practice is widespread, among
the most diverse in the world,
and profoundly vibrant. 
An overwhelming majority of
 Americans believe in a
higher power or spiritual force, engage in
spiritual practices such as
prayer, and consider themselves
The country has the world's
 largest Christian population.
 majority of the global Jewish population lives in the United States, as measured by the
Law of Return.
Other notable faiths include
New Age movements, and
Native American religions.
Religious practice varies significantly by region. 
In the "
 Bible Belt", located within the
Southern United States,
evangelical Protestantism plays a significant role culturally.
New England and the
Western United States tend
to be less religious,
Restorationist movement started in New York in the 19th century—uniquely being the predominant religious affiliation in the state of Utah.
While there was a
 secularization trend after 2001, most indicators of religious belief and interest have remained stable since the mid-2010s.
Ceremonial deism" is common in American culture.
About 82% of Americans live in
urban areas, including suburbs;
about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000. 
In 2022, 333
 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four cities (
New York City,
Houston) had populations exceeding two million.
Many U.S. metropolitan populations are growing rapidly, particularly in the South and West. 
Largest metropolitan areas in the United States
Texas Medical Center in
Houston is the largest medical complex in the world, employing 106,000 people and treating 10 million patients annually as of 2016.
In a preliminary report, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that U.S.
life expectancy at birth was 76.4 years in 2021 (73.2 years for men and 79.1 years for women), down 0.9 years from 2020. The chief causes listed were the
COVID-19 pandemic, accidents, drug overdoses, heart and liver disease, and suicides.
Life expectancy was highest among Asians and Hispanics and lowest among Black and American Indian–Alaskan Native (
 AIAN) peoples.
Starting in 1998, the life expectancy in the U.S. fell behind that of
 other wealthy industrialized countries, and Americans' "health disadvantage" gap has been increasing ever since.
The U.S. has one of the highest
 suicide rates among
Approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population is obese and another third is overweight. 
The U.S. healthcare system far
 outspends that of any other nation, measured both in per capita spending and as a percentage of GDP, but attains worse healthcare outcomes when compared to peer nations for reasons that are debate.
The United States is the only developed nation
 without a system of universal healthcare, and a
significant proportion of the population that does not carry health insurance.
Government-funded healthcare coverage for the poor (
 Medicaid) and for those age 65 and older (
Medicare) is available to Americans who meet the programs' income or age qualifications. In 2010, former President Obama passed the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
University of Virginia, founded by
Thomas Jefferson in 1819, is one of many public colleges and universities in the United States.
public education is operated by state and local governments and regulated by the
United States Department of Education through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of five or six (beginning with
first grade) until they turn 18 (generally bringing them through
twelfth grade, the end of
high school); some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17.
Of Americans 25 and older, 84.6% graduated from high school, 52.6% attended some college, 27.2% earned a
 bachelor's degree, and 9.6% earned graduate degrees.
 literacy rate is near-universal.
The country has the most
 Nobel Prize winners in history, with 411 (having won 413 awards).
The United States has many private and public
institutions of higher education including many of the world's top universities, as listed by various ranking organizations, are in the United States, including 19 of the top 25.
There are local
 community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition.
The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, 
spending an average of $12,794 per year on public elementary and secondary school students in the 2016–2017 school year. 
public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. spends more per student than the
OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending.
Despite some student
 loan forgiveness programs in place,
 student loan debt has increased by 102% in the last decade,
and exceeded 1.7 trillion dollars as of 2022. 
Culture and society
Statue of Liberty ( Liberty Enlightening the World) on
Liberty Island in
New York Harbor was an 1866 gift from
France that has become an iconic symbol of the
Americans have traditionally
been characterized by a unifying political belief in an "
American creed" emphasizing liberty,
equality under the law, democracy,
property rights, and a preference for
Culturally, the country has been described as having the values of
 individualism and
having a strong
 work ethic,
 altruism towards others.
According to a 2016 study by the
 Charities Aid Foundation, Americans donated 1.44% of total GDP to charity, the
highest rate in the world by a large margin.
Part of both the
 Anglosphere and
Western World, the United States is also home to a
wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values,
and exerts immense cultural influence globally, 
with the phenomenon being termed 
As such, the U.S. is considered a
 cultural superpower.
Nearly all present Americans or their ancestors came from
Old World") within the past five centuries.
 Mainstream American culture is a
Western culture largely derived from the
traditions of European immigrants with influences from many other sources, such as
traditions brought by slaves from Africa.
More recent immigration from
 Asia and especially
Latin America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as a homogenizing
melting pot, and a heterogeneous
salad bowl, with immigrants contributing to, and often
assimilating into, mainstream American culture.
 American Dream, or the perception that Americans enjoy high
social mobility, plays a key role in attracting immigrants.
Whether this perception is accurate has been a topic of debate. 
While mainstream culture holds that the United States is a
 classless society,
scholars identify significant differences between
 the country's social classes, affecting
socialization, language, and values.
Americans tend to greatly value
 socioeconomic achievement, but being
ordinary or average is promoted by some as a noble condition as well.
The United States is considered to have the
strongest protections of free speech of any country under the
 flag desecration,
lese-majesty as forms of protected expression.
 Pew Research Center poll found that Americans were the most supportive of free expression of any polity measured.
They are the "most supportive of
 freedom of the press and the
right to use the Internet without government censorship."
It is a
 socially progressive country
 permissive attitudes surrounding
 LGBT rights in the United States are among the most advanced in the world.
Mark Twain, who
William Faulkner called "the father of
Colonial American authors were influenced by
John Locke and various other Enlightenment philosophers.
Before and shortly after the Revolutionary War, the newspaper rose to prominence, filling a demand for anti-British national literature.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson and
Margaret Fuller in New England,
transcendentalism branched from
Unitarianism as the nation's first major intellectual movement.
During the nineteenth-century
 American Renaissance, writers like
Walt Whitman and
Harriet Beecher Stowe established a distinctive American literary tradition. As literacy rates rose, periodicals published more stories centered around industrial workers, women, and the rural poor.
realism—the latter associated with
Mark Twain—were the major literary movements of the period. While
modernism generally took on an international character, modernist authors working within the United States more often rooted their work in specific regions, peoples, and cultures. Following the Great Migration to northern cities, African-American and black
West Indian authors of the
Harlem Renaissance developed an independent tradition of literature that rebuked a history of inequality and celebrated black culture. An important cultural export during the
Jazz Age, these writings were a key influence on the
In the 1950s, an ideal of homogeneity led many authors to attempt to write the
 Great American Novel, while the
Beat Generation rejected this conformity, using styles that elevated the impact of the
spoken word over mechanics to describe drug use, sexuality, and the failings of society.
Contemporary literature is more pluralistic than in previous eras, with the closest thing to a unifying feature being a trend toward self-conscious
experiments with language.
Comcast Center in
Philadelphia, headquarters of
Comcast, the world's largest telecommunications and media conglomerate
broadly uncensored, with the
First Amendment providing significant protections, as reiterated in
. New York Times Co. v. United States
The four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the
 National Broadcasting Company (NBC),
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS),
American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX). The four major broadcast
television networks are all commercial entities.
Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches.
As of 2021 , about 83% of Americans over age 12 listen to
 broadcast radio, while about 41% listen to
As of September 30, 2014 , there are 15,433 licensed full-power radio stations in the U.S. according to the U.S.
 Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Much of the public radio broadcasting is supplied by
 NPR, incorporated in February 1970 under the
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
Globally-recognized newspapers in the United States include
, The Wall Street Journal
, The New York Times
, and The Washington Post
. USA Today
More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English. 
With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U.S. are privately owned, either by large chains such as
 Gannett or
McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers; by small chains that own a handful of papers; or, in a situation that is increasingly rare, by individuals or families. Major cities often have
alternative newspapers to complement the mainstream daily papers, such as
in New York City and The Village Voice
LA Weekly Los Angeles. The five most popular websites used in the U.S. are
Facebook, with all of them being American companies.
As of 2022
largest by revenue.
Major video game publishers and developers headquartered in the United States are
 Sony Interactive Entertainment,
Xbox Game Studios,
Riot Games, and others.
There are 444 publishers, developers, and hardware companies in
 California alone.
, the video game market of the United States is the world's
Broadway theatres in
Theater District, Manhattan,
New York City
The United States is well known for its cinema and theater. Mainstream theater in the United States derives from the old European theatrical tradition and has been heavily influenced by the
 hub of the American theater scene is Manhattan, with its divisions of
Many movie and television
 stars have gotten their big break working in New York productions. Outside New York City, many cities have professional
regional or resident theater companies that produce their own seasons. The biggest-budget theatrical productions are
musicals. U.S. theater has an active
community theater culture.
Tony Awards recognizes excellence in live
Broadway theatre and are presented at an annual ceremony in
Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances. One is also given for
regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are given as well, including a
Special Tony Award, the
Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the
Isabelle Stevenson Award.
fashion models walk the
New York Fashion Week.
The United States and China collectively account for the majority of global
Apart from professional
 business attire, American fashion is eclectic and predominantly informal. While Americans' diverse cultural roots are reflected in their clothing, particularly those of recent immigrants,
baseball caps are emblematic of American styles.
New York City is considered to be one of the "big four" global
 fashion capitals, along with
London. A study demonstrated that general proximity to
Manhattan's Garment District has been synonymous with American fashion since it's inception in the early 20th century.
The headquarters of many leading
designer labels such as
Ralph Lauren Corporation,
Oscar de la Renta,
Diane von Furstenberg,
Donna Karan, and
Victoria's Secret reside in
Manhattan. Labels such as
Abercrombie & Fitch and
Eckō Unltd. cater to various
niche markets, such as pre teens. There has been a trend in the United States fashion towards
 New York Fashion Week is one of the most influential fashion weeks in the world, and occurs twice a year.
The United States has the world's
largest music market with a total retail value of $15.9 billion in 2022.
Most of the world's
 major record companies are based in the U.S.; they are represented by the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in
American folk music encompasses numerous music genres, variously known as traditional music, traditional
folk music, contemporary folk music, or roots music. Many traditional songs have been sung within the same family or folk group for generations, and sometimes trace back to such origins as the
Mainland Europe, or
Elements from folk idioms such as the
 blues and what is known as
old-time music were adopted and transformed into
popular genres with global audiences.
Jazz grew from blues and
ragtime in the early 20th century, developing from the innovations and recordings of composers such as
W.C. Handy and
Jelly Roll Morton.
Louis Armstrong and
Duke Ellington increased its popularity early in the 20th century.
The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have also influenced American music at large. 
Banjos were brought to America through the slave trade.
 Minstrel shows incorporating the instrument into their acts led to its increased popularity and widespread production.
 Country music developed in the 1920s,
 rhythm and blues in the 1940s.
First invented in the 1930s, and mass-produced by the 1940s, the
electric guitar had an enormous influence on popular music, in particular due to the development of
rock and roll,
 Elvis Presley and
Chuck Berry, among others, in the mid-1950s. Rock bands such as
Aerosmith are among the
highest grossing musical acts in worldwide sales.
In the 1960s,
 Bob Dylan emerged from the
folk revival to become one of the country's most celebrated songwriters.
 pop stars such as
and Elvis Presley became global celebrities, 
as have artists of the late 20th century, such as
 Michael Jackson,
 Mariah Carey, and of the early 21st century, such as
Justin Timberlake, and
Bruno Mars. The musical forms of
hip hop both originated in the United States.
American professional opera singers have reached the highest level of success in that form, including
 Renée Fleming,
Nelson Eddy, and many others.
Metropolitan Museum of Art in
Manhattan is the largest American
In the visual arts, the
Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European
naturalism. The 1913
Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European
modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene.
 Georgia O'Keeffe,
Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles, which would become known as
American modernism. Major artistic movements such as the
abstract expressionism of
Jackson Pollock and
Willem de Kooning and the
pop art of
Andy Warhol and
Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States. Major photographers include
James Van Der Zee,
Ansel Adams, and
 Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest
art museum in the United States.
The tide of
 modernism and then
postmodernism has brought global fame to American architects, including
Frank Lloyd Wright,
Philip Johnson, and
Hollywood Sign, in the
Hollywood Hills, often regarded as the symbol of the
American film industry
The U.S. film industry has a worldwide influence and following.
Hollywood, a district in northern
Los Angeles, the nation's second-most populous city, is the leader in motion picture production and the most recognizable movie industry in the world.
 major film studios of the United States are the primary source of the
most commercially successful and most ticket-selling movies in the world.
Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, although in the 21st century an increasing number of films are not made there, and film companies have been subject to the forces of globalization. 
 Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929,
 Golden Globe Awards have been held annually since January 1944.
The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the "
Golden Age of Hollywood", from the early sound period until the early 1960s,
with screen actors such as
 John Wayne and
Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures.
In the 1970s, "
 New Hollywood" or the "Hollywood Renaissance"
was defined by grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the
 post-war period.
The 21st century was marked by the rise of American streaming platforms, which came to rival traditional cinema. 
bacon cheeseburger served with
fried onions, and
Early settlers were introduced by Native Americans to such indigenous, non-European foods as
maple syrup. Of the most enduring and pervasive examples are variations of the native dish called
succotash. Early settlers and later immigrants combined these with foods they had known, such as
beef, and milk to create a distinctive American cuisine. 
New World crops, especially corn, potatoes, and the main course turkey, are part of a shared national menu on Thanksgiving: when many Americans make or purchase traditional dishes to celebrate the occasion. 
Characteristic American dishes such as
macaroni and cheese,
hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrant groups.
 Mexican dishes such as
tacos preexisted the United States in areas later annexed from Mexico, and
pasta dishes freely adapted from
Italian sources are all widely consumed.
fast food industry, the world's first and largest, pioneered the
drive-through format in the 1940s
and is often viewed as being a symbol of U.S. marketing dominance. American companies such as
 Burger King,
Kentucky Fried Chicken, and
Domino's Pizza, among many others, have numerous outlets around the world.
American football is the most popular sport in the United States; in this September 2022
National Football League game, the
Jacksonville Jaguars play the
Washington Commanders at
The most popular spectator sports in the U.S. are
While most major U.S. sports such as baseball and American football have evolved out of European practices, basketball,
snowboarding are American inventions, many of which have become popular worldwide.
 Lacrosse and
surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate European contact.
The market for
 professional sports in the United States was approximately $69 billion in July 2013, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.
American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport in the United States;
 National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the
Super Bowl is watched by tens of millions globally.
Baseball has been regarded as the U.S.
 national sport since the late 19th century, with
Major League Baseball being the top league. Basketball, soccer and
ice hockey are the country's next three most popular professional team sports, with the top leagues being the
National Basketball Association and the
National Hockey League, which are the premier leagues worldwide for these sports. The most-watched
individual sports in the U.S. are
auto racing, particularly
collegiate level, earnings for the member institutions exceed $1 billion annually,
 college football and
basketball attract large audiences, as the
NCAA Final Four is one of the most watched national sporting events.
In many respects, the intercollegiate sports level serves as a feeder system to the professional level, as the elite college athletes are chosen to compete at the next level. This system differs greatly from nearly all other countries in the world, which generally have government-funded sports organizations that serve as a feeder system for professional competition. 
Olympic Games have taken place in the United States. The
1904 Summer Olympics in
Missouri, were the first-ever Olympic Games held outside of Europe.
The Olympic Games will be held in the U.S. for a ninth time when
 Los Angeles hosts the
2028 Summer Olympics.
U.S. athletes have won a total of 2,959 medals (1,173 gold) at the Olympic Games, by far the most of any country.
men's national soccer team qualified for
eleven World Cups, and the
women's national team has
FIFA Women's World Cup and
Olympic soccer tournament four times each.
The United States hosted the
 1994 FIFA World Cup and will co-host, along with
2026 FIFA World Cup.
^ 30 of 50 states recognize only English as an official language. The state of
Hawaii recognizes both
Hawaiian and English as official languages, the state of
Alaska officially recognizes 20
Alaska Native languages alongside English, and the state of
South Dakota recognizes
O'ceti Sakowin as an official language.
^ The historical and informal demonym
Yankee has been applied to Americans, New Englanders, or northeasterners since the 18th century.
b c At 3,531,900 sq mi (9,147,590 km
2), the United States is the third-largest country in the world by land area, behind
China. By total area (land and water), it is the third-largest, behind Russia and
Canada, if its coastal and territorial water areas are included. However, if only its internal waters are included (bays, sounds, rivers, lakes, and the
Great Lakes), the U.S. is the fourth-largest, after Russia, Canada, and China.
Coastal/territorial waters included: 3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,517 km 2)
Only internal waters included: 3,696,100 sq mi (9,572,900 km 2)
Puerto Rico and the other
unincorporated islands because they are counted separately in
U.S. census statistics.
^ After adjustment for taxes and transfers
Time in the United States for details about laws governing time zones in the United States.
Date and time notation in the United States.
^ A single jurisdiction, the
U.S. Virgin Islands, uses left-hand traffic.
^ The five major territories are
Northern Mariana Islands,
Puerto Rico, and the
United States Virgin Islands. There are eleven smaller island areas without permanent populations:
Midway Atoll, and
Palmyra Atoll. U.S. sovereignty over
Bajo Nuevo Bank,
Serranilla Bank, and
Wake Island is disputed.
^ The United States has a maritime border with the
British Virgin Islands, a British territory, since the BVI borders the
U.S. Virgin Islands.
BVI is a
 British Overseas Territory but itself is not a part of the United Kingdom.
 Puerto Rico has a maritime border with the
 American Samoa has a maritime border with the
Cook Islands, maintained under the
Cook Islands–United States Maritime Boundary Treaty.
American Samoa has maritime borders with
 independent Samoa and
U.S. Census Bureau provides a continuously updated but unofficial population clock in addition to
its decennial census and
annual population estimates:
South Carolina, and
^ This figure, like most official data for the United States as a whole, excludes the five unincorporated territories (
U.S. Virgin Islands,
American Samoa, and the
Northern Mariana Islands) and minor island possessions.
Central Alaskan Yup'ik,
^ Also known less formally as Obamacare
"The Great Seal of the United States" (PDF).
U.S. Department of State,
Bureau of Public Affairs. 2003 . Retrieved . February 12, 2020
"An Act To make The Star-Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States of America".
H.R. 14, Act of March 3, 1931 71st United States Congress.
"2020 Census Illuminates Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Country".
United States Census . Retrieved . August 13, 2021
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