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NORTH AMERICA is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere . It can also be considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas
Americas
. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean , to the east by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
, and to the southeast by South America
South America
and the Caribbean Sea .

North America
North America
covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America
North America
is the third largest continent by area, following Asia
Asia
and Africa
Africa
, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe
Europe
. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 565 million people in 23 independent states , or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands (most notably the Caribbean
Caribbean
) are included.

North America
North America
was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period , via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The Classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The Pre-Columbian era ended with the transatlantic migrations and the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period . Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect different kind of interactions between European colonists , indigenous peoples , African slaves and their descendants.

European influences are strongest in the northern parts of the continent while indigenous and African influences are relatively stronger in the south. Because of the history of colonialism, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French and societies and states commonly reflect Western traditions .

CONTENTS

* 1 Name

* 2 Extent

* 2.1 Regions * 2.2 Countries, territories, and dependencies

* 3 History

* 3.1 Geologic history * 3.2 Pre-Columbian * 3.3 Colonial period

* 4 Geography

* 5 Geology

* 5.1 Canadian geology * 5.2 United States
United States
geology * 5.3 Central American geology

* 6 Climate * 7 Ecology

* 8 Demographics

* 8.1 Languages * 8.2 Religions * 8.3 Populace

* 9 Economy

* 9.1 Transport * 9.2 Communications

* 10 Culture

* 10.1 Sports

* 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 External links

NAME

Map of North America, from 1621.

The Americas
Americas
are usually accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann . Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas
Americas
were not the East Indies
East Indies
, but a different landmass previously unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil. He explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:

... ab Americo inventore ... quasi Americi terram sive Americam (from Americus the discoverer ... as if it were the land of Americus, thus America).

For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name (Americus Vespucius), but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa".

Later, other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator
Gerard Mercator
used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere.

Some argue that the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries except in the case of royalty and so a derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be problematic. Ricardo Palma (1949) proposed a derivation from the "Amerrique" mountains of Central America—Vespucci was the first to discover South America
South America
and the Amerrique mountains of Central America
Central America
, which connected his discoveries to those of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
.

Alfred E. Hudd proposed a theory in 1908 that the continents are named after a Welsh merchant named Richard Amerike from Bristol
Bristol
, who is believed to have financed John Cabot 's voyage of discovery from England to Newfoundland
Newfoundland
in 1497. A minutely explored belief that has been advanced is that America was named for a Spanish sailor bearing the ancient Visigothic
Visigothic
name of 'Amairick'. Another is that the name is rooted in a Native American language.

EXTENT

The term North America
North America
maintains various definitions in accordance with location and context. In Canadian English , North America
North America
may be used to refer to the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
together. Alternatively, usage sometimes includes Greenland
Greenland
and Mexico
Mexico
(as in the North American Free Trade Agreement ), as well as offshore islands. The UN geoscheme for "North America" separates Mexico
Mexico
from the United States
United States
and Canada, placing it instead within its designated "Central America" region, while also treating the islands of the Caribbean
Caribbean
separately from the US/ Canada
Canada
definition—the UN's "North America" definition still includes the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Greenland
Greenland
together with the US/ Canada
Canada
continental definition, with both insular entities being tectonically on the North American plate .

In France
France
, Italy
Italy
, Portugal
Portugal
, Spain
Spain
, Romania
Romania
, Greece
Greece
, and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America
North America
usually designate a subcontinent of the Americas
Americas
comprising Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and often Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, and Bermuda.

North America
North America
has been historically referred to by other names. Spanish North America
North America
(New Spain
Spain
) was often referred to as Northern America , and this was the first official name given to Mexico.

REGIONS

See also: List of regions of Canada and List of regions of the United States

Geographically the North American continent has many regions and subregions. These include cultural, economic, and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement. Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Anglo-America and Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America, Belize
Belize
, and Caribbean
Caribbean
islands with English-speaking populations (though sub-national entities, such as Louisiana
Louisiana
and Quebec
Quebec
, are Francophone in composition).

The southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are Central America
Central America
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
. The north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", that which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is also used to refer to Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Greenland.

The term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America, Canada, the United States, Greenland, Bermuda, and St. Pierre and Miquelon. Although rarely used, the term Middle America —not to be confused with the Midwestern United States —groups the regions of Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

The largest countries of the continent, Canada
Canada
and the United States, also contain well-defined and recognized regions. In the case of Canada
Canada
these are the British Columbia Coast
British Columbia Coast
, Canadian Prairies , Central Canada, Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada
, and Northern Canada. These regions also contain many subregions. In the case of the United States
United States
– and in accordance with the US Census Bureau definitions – these regions are: New England
New England
, Mid-Atlantic , East North Central States , West North Central States , South Atlantic States , East South Central States , West South Central States , Mountain States , and Pacific States . Regions shared between both nations included the Great Lakes Region . Megalopolises have also formed between both nations in the case of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
and the Great Lakes Megaregion .

COUNTRIES, TERRITORIES, AND DEPENDENCIES

Main article: List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America
North America

FLAG COUNTRY OR TERRITORY Area (km2) Population (2008 est.) Population density (per km2) CAPITAL

Anguilla
Anguilla
(GBR ) 7001910000000000000♠91 7004150000000000000♠15,000 164.8 The Valley

Antigua and Barbuda 7002442000000000000♠442 7004880000000000000♠88,000 199.1 St. John\'s

Aruba
Aruba
(NLD ) 7002180000000000000♠180 7005107000000000000♠107,000 594.4 Oranjestad

The Bahamas
The Bahamas
7004139430000000000♠13,943 7005342000000000000♠342,000 24.5 Nassau

Barbados
Barbados
7002430000000000000♠430 7005256000000000000♠256,000 595.3 Bridgetown
Bridgetown

Belize
Belize
7004229660000000000♠22,966 7005307000000000000♠307,000 13.4 Belmopan

Bermuda
Bermuda
(GBR ) 7001540000000000000♠54 7004650000000000000♠65,000 1203.7 Hamilton

Bonaire
Bonaire
(NLD ) 7002294000000000000♠294 7004120930000000000♠12,093 41.1 Kralendijk

British Virgin Islands (GBR ) 7002151000000000000♠151 7004230000000000000♠23,000 152.3 Road Town

Canada
Canada
7006998467000000000♠9,984,670 7007335730000000000♠33,573,000 3.4 Ottawa
Ottawa

Cayman Islands (GBR ) 7002264000000000000♠264 7004560000000000000♠56,000 212.1 George Town

Clipperton Island (FRA ) 7000600000000000000♠6 5000000000000000000♠0 0.0 —

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
7004511000000000000♠51,100 7006457900000000000♠4,579,000 89.6 San José

Cuba
Cuba
7005109886000000000♠109,886 7007112040000000000♠11,204,000 102.0 Havana
Havana

Curaçao (NLD ) 7002444000000000000♠444 7005140794000000000♠140,794 317.1 Willemstad

Dominica
Dominica
7002751000000000000♠751 7004670000000000000♠67,000 89.2 Roseau
Roseau

Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
7004486710000000000♠48,671 7007100900000000000♠10,090,000 207.3 Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo

El Salvador
El Salvador
7004210410000000000♠21,041 7006616300000000000♠6,163,000 293.0 San Salvador

Greenland
Greenland
(DNK ) 7006216608600000000♠2,166,086 7004570000000000000♠57,000 0.026 Nuuk
Nuuk

Grenada 7002344000000000000♠344 7005104000000000000♠104,000 302.3 St. George\'s

Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
(FRA ) 7003162800000000000♠1,628 7005401784000000000♠401,784 246.7 Basse-Terre
Basse-Terre

Guatemala
Guatemala
7005108889000000000♠108,889 7007140270000000000♠14,027,000 128.8 Guatemala
Guatemala
City

Haiti
Haiti
7004277500000000000♠27,750 7007100330000000000♠10,033,000 361.5 Port-au-Prince

Honduras
Honduras
7005112492000000000♠112,492 7006746600000000000♠7,466,000 66.4 Tegucigalpa
Tegucigalpa

Jamaica
Jamaica
7004109910000000000♠10,991 7006271900000000000♠2,719,000 247.4 Kingston

Martinique (FRA ) 7003112800000000000♠1,128 7005397693000000000♠397,693 352.6 Fort-de- France
France

Mexico
Mexico
7006196437500000000♠1,964,375 7008112322757000000♠112,322,757 57.1 Mexico
Mexico
City

Montserrat
Montserrat
(GBR ) 7002102000000000000♠102 7003600000000000000♠6,000 58.8 Plymouth (Brades )

Navassa Island ( United States
United States
) 7000500000000000000♠5 5000000000000000000♠0 0.0

Nicaragua
Nicaragua
7005130373000000000♠130,373 7006574300000000000♠5,743,000 44.1 Managua

Panama
Panama
7004754170000000000♠75,417 7006345400000000000♠3,454,000 45.8 Panama
Panama
City

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
( United States
United States
) 7003887000000000000♠8,870 7006398200000000000♠3,982,000 448.9 San Juan

Saba
Saba
(NLD ) 7001130000000000000♠13 7003153700000000000♠1,537 118.2 The Bottom
The Bottom

Saint Barthélemy (FRA ) 7001210000000000000♠21 7003744800000000000♠7,448 354.7 Gustavia

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
7002261000000000000♠261 7004520000000000000♠52,000 199.2 Basseterre

Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
7002539000000000000♠539 7005172000000000000♠172,000 319.1 Castries

Saint Martin
Saint Martin
(FRA ) 7001540000000000000♠54 7004298200000000000♠29,820 552.2 Marigot

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (FRA ) 7002242000000000000♠242 7003600000000000000♠6,000 24.8 Saint-Pierre

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7002389000000000000♠389 7005109000000000000♠109,000 280.2 Kingstown

Sint Eustatius
Sint Eustatius
(NLD ) 7001210000000000000♠21 7003273900000000000♠2,739 130.4 Oranjestad

Sint Maarten (NLD ) 7001340000000000000♠34 7004400090000000000♠40,009 1176.7 Philipsburg

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
7003513000000000000♠5,130 7006133900000000000♠1,339,000 261.0 Port of Spain
Spain

Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
(GBR ) 7002948000000000000♠948 7004330000000000000♠33,000 34.8 Cockburn Town
Cockburn Town

United States
United States
of America 7006962909100000000♠9,629,091 7008311630000000000♠311,630,000 32.7 Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.

United States
United States
Virgin Islands ( United States
United States
) 7002347000000000000♠347 7005110000000000000♠110,000 317.0 Charlotte Amalie

TOTAL 7007245009950000000♠24,500,995 7008541720440000000♠541,720,440 22.9

HISTORY

Main article: History of North America

GEOLOGIC HISTORY

Principal hydrological divides of Canada, the United States
United States
and Mexico.

Laurentia is an ancient craton which forms the geologic core of North America; it formed between 1.5 and 1.0 billion years ago during the Proterozoic eon. The Canadian Shield is the largest exposure of this craton. From the Late Paleozoic to Early Mesozoic eras, North America was joined with the other modern-day continents as part of the supercontinent Pangaea , with Eurasia
Eurasia
to its east. One of the results of the formation of Pangaea was the Appalachian Mountains , which formed some 480 million years ago, making it among the oldest mountain ranges in the world. When Pangaea began to rift around 200 million years ago, North America
North America
became part of Laurasia
Laurasia
, before it separated from Eurasia
Eurasia
as its own continent during the mid- Cretaceous
Cretaceous
period. The Rockies and other western mountain ranges began forming around this time from a period of mountain building called the Laramide orogeny , between 80 and 55 million years ago. The formation of the Isthmus of Panama
Panama
that connected the continent to South America arguably occurred approximately 12 to 15 million years ago, and the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
(as well as many other northern freshwater lakes and rivers) were carved by receding glaciers about 10,000 years ago.

North America
North America
is the source of much of what humanity knows about geologic time periods. The geographic area that would later become the United States
United States
has been the source of more varieties of dinosaurs than any other modern country. According to paleontologist Peter Dodson, this is primarily due to stratigraphy, climate and geography, human resources, and history. Much of the Mesozoic Era is represented by exposed outcrops in the many arid regions of the continent. The most significant Late Jurassic dinosaur-bearing fossil deposit in North America
North America
is the Morrison Formation of the western United States.

PRE-COLUMBIAN

The El Castillo pyramid, at Chichén Itzá , Mexico.

The indigenous peoples of North America
North America
have many creation myths by which they assert that they have been present on the land since its creation. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas
Americas
, including the exact dates and routes traveled, are subject to ongoing research and discussion. The traditional theory has been that these early migrants moved into the Beringia land bridge between eastern Siberia
Siberia
and present-day Alaska
Alaska
around 25,000 to 11,000 years ago. The few agreements achieved to date are the origin from Central Asia
Asia
, with widespread habitation of the Americas
Americas
during the end of the last glacial period , or more specifically what is known as the late glacial maximum , around 13,000 years before present. Some genetic research indicated secondary waves of migration occurred after the initial Paleo-Indian colonization, but prior to modern Inuit
Inuit
, Inupiat and Yupik expansions.

Before contact with Europeans , the natives of North America
North America
were divided into many different polities, from small bands of a few families to large empires. They lived in several "culture areas ", which roughly correspond to geographic and biological zones and give a good indication of the main lifeway or occupation of the people who lived there (e.g., the bison hunters of the Great Plains , or the farmers of Mesoamerica ). Native groups can also be classified by their language family (e.g., Athapascan or Uto-Aztecan ). Peoples with similar languages did not always share the same material culture , nor were they always allies . Anthropologists think that the Inuit
Inuit
people of the high Arctic
Arctic
came to North America
North America
much later than other native groups, as evidenced by the disappearance of Dorset culture artifacts from the archaeological record , and their replacement by the Thule people .

During the thousands of years of native habitation on the continent, cultures changed and shifted. One of the oldest cultures yet found is the Clovis culture of modern New Mexico
Mexico
. Later cultures include the Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
and related Mound building cultures, found in the Mississippi river
Mississippi river
valley and the Pueblo culture of what is now the Four Corners . The more southern cultural groups of North America
North America
were responsible for the domestication of many common crops now used around the world, such as tomatoes and squash . Perhaps most importantly they domesticated one of the world's major staples, maize (corn).

The earliest verifiable instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact by any European culture with the landmasses that geologically constitute the "mainland" of modern North America
North America
has been dated to the end of the 10th century CE - this site, situated at the northernmost extent of the island named Newfoundland
Newfoundland
, is known as L\'Anse aux Meadows , where unmistakable evidence of Norse settlement was uncovered in the early 1960s.

As a result of the development of agriculture in the south, many important cultural advances were made there. For example, the Maya civilization developed a writing system , built huge pyramids and temples , had a complex calendar , and developed the concept of zero around 400 CE, a few hundred years after the Mesopotamians . The Mayan culture was still present in southern Mexico
Mexico
and Guatemala
Guatemala
when the Spanish explorers arrived, but political dominance in the area had shifted to the Aztec Empire
Aztec Empire
whose capital city Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
was located further north in the Valley of Mexico
Mexico
. The Aztecs were conquered in 1521 by Hernán Cortés .

COLONIAL PERIOD

Benjamin West
Benjamin West
's The Death of General Wolfe (1771) depicting the Battle of the Plains of Abraham . Main article: European colonization of the Americas
Americas
Further information: Timeline of the European colonization of North America
North America
, British America , French America , Viceroyalty of New Spain
Spain
, and Russian colonization of the Americas
Americas

During the Age of Discovery , Europeans explored and staked claims to various parts of North America. Upon their arrival in the "New World ", the Native American population declined substantially , because of violent conflicts with the invaders and the introduction of European diseases to which the Native Americans lacked immunity. Native culture changed drastically and their affiliation with political and cultural groups also changed. Several linguistic groups died out , and others changed quite quickly. The names and cultures that Europeans recorded were not necessarily the same as the names they had used a few generations before, or the ones in use today.

Britain, Spain
Spain
, and France
France
took over extensive territories in North America - and fought over them. In the late 18th century and beginning of the 19th, independence movements that sprung up across the continent, led to the creation of the modern countries in the area. The 13 British colonies on the North Atlantic coast declared independence in 1776, becoming the United States
United States
of America . Canada was formed from the unification of northern territories controlled by Britain and France. New Spain, a territory that stretched from modern-day southern US to Central America, declared independence in 1810, becoming the First Mexican Empire . In 1823 the former Captaincy General of Guatemala
Guatemala
, then part of the Mexican Empire, became the first independent state in Central America, officially changing its name to the United Provinces of Central America
Central America
.

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of North America Satellite imagery of North America.

North America
North America
occupies the northern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphere , the Americas
Americas
, or simply America (which, less commonly, is considered by some as a single continent with North America
North America
a subcontinent ). North America's only land connection to South America
South America
is at the Isthmus of Panama. The continent is delimited on the southeast by most geographers at the Darién watershed along the Colombia
Colombia
-Panama border, placing all of Panama
Panama
within North America. Alternatively, some geologists physiographically locate its southern limit at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Isthmus of Tehuantepec
, Mexico, with Central America
Central America
extending southeastward to South America
South America
from this point. The Caribbean islands, or West Indies, are considered part of North America. The continental coastline is long and irregular. The Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
is the largest body of water indenting the continent, followed by Hudson Bay . Others include the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Gulf of California .

Before the Central American isthmus formed, the region had been underwater. The islands of the West Indies
West Indies
delineate a submerged former land bridge , which had connected North and South America
South America
via what are now Florida
Florida
and Venezuela
Venezuela
.

There are numerous islands off the continent's coasts; principally, the Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago, the Bahamas
Bahamas
, Turks "> Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
in Banff National Park
Banff National Park

The vast majority of North America
North America
is on the North American Plate. Parts of western Mexico, including Baja California, and of California , including the cities of San Diego
San Diego
, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, and Santa Cruz , lie on the eastern edge of the Pacific Plate , with the two plates meeting along the San Andreas fault . The southernmost portion of the continent and much of the West Indies
West Indies
lie on the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate , whereas the Juan de Fuca and Cocos plates border the North American Plate on its western frontier.

The continent can be divided into four great regions (each of which contains many subregions): the Great Plains stretching from the Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
to the Canadian Arctic
Arctic
; the geologically young, mountainous west, including the Rocky Mountains , the Great Basin , California
California
and Alaska
Alaska
; the raised but relatively flat plateau of the Canadian Shield in the northeast; and the varied eastern region, which includes the Appalachian Mountains, the coastal plain along the Atlantic seaboard, and the Florida
Florida
peninsula. Mexico, with its long plateaus and cordilleras , falls largely in the western region, although the eastern coastal plain does extend south along the Gulf.

The western mountains are split in the middle into the main range of the Rockies and the coast ranges in California, Oregon
Oregon
, Washington , and British Columbia
British Columbia
, with the Great Basin—a lower area containing smaller ranges and low-lying deserts—in between. The highest peak is Denali
Denali
in Alaska.

The United States
United States
Geographical Survey (USGS) states that the geographic center of North America
North America
is "6 miles west of Balta, Pierce County, North Dakota " at about 48°10′N 100°10′W / 48.167°N 100.167°W / 48.167; -100.167 , about 24 kilometres (15 mi) from Rugby, North Dakota . The USGS further states that "No marked or monumented point has been established by any government agency as the geographic center of either the 50 States, the conterminous United States, or the North American continent." Nonetheless, there is a 4.6-metre (15 ft) field stone obelisk in Rugby claiming to mark the center. The North American continental pole of inaccessibility is located 1,650 km (1,030 mi) from the nearest coastline, between Allen and Kyle , South Dakota at 43°22′N 101°58′W / 43.36°N 101.97°W / 43.36; -101.97 (Pole of Inaccessibility North America) .

GEOLOGY

Main article: Geology of North America Geologic Map of North America published by USGS Sedimentary , volcanic , plutonic , metamorphic rock types of North America.

CANADIAN GEOLOGY

Geologically, Canada
Canada
is one of the oldest regions in the world, with more than half of the region consisting of precambrian rocks that have been above sea level since the beginning of the Palaeozoic era. Canada's mineral resources are diverse and extensive. Across the Canadian Shield and in the north there are large iron, nickel, zinc , copper, gold, lead, molybdenum , and uranium reserves. Large diamond concentrations have been recently developed in the Arctic, making Canada
Canada
one of the world's largest producers. Throughout the Shield there are many mining towns extracting these minerals. The largest, and best known, is Sudbury , Ontario. Sudbury is an exception to the normal process of forming minerals in the Shield since there is significant evidence that the Sudbury Basin
Sudbury Basin
is an ancient meteorite impact crater . The nearby, but less known Temagami Magnetic Anomaly has striking similarities to the Sudbury Basin. Its magnetic anomalies are very similar to the Sudbury Basin, and so it could be a second metal-rich impact crater. The Shield is also covered by vast boreal forests that support an important logging industry.

UNITED STATES GEOLOGY

The lower 48 US states can be divided into roughly five physiographic provinces:

* The American cordillera. * The Canadian Shield. Northern portion of the upper midwestern United States. * The stable platform. * The coastal plain. * The Appalachian orogenic belt.

The geology of Alaska
Alaska
is typical of that of the cordillera, while the major islands of Hawaii consist of Neogene volcanics erupted over a hot spot . North America
North America
bedrock and terrain North American cratons and basement rocks

CENTRAL AMERICAN GEOLOGY

Central America
Central America
rests in the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate .

Central America
Central America
is geologically active with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time. In 1976 Guatemala
Guatemala
was hit by a major earthquake , killing 23,000 people; Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, was devastated by earthquakes in 1931 and 1972, the last one killing about 5,000 people; three earthquakes devastated El Salvador, one in 1986 and two in 2001; one earthquake devastated northern and central Costa Rica
Costa Rica
in 2009, killing at least 34 people; in Honduras
Honduras
a powerful earthquake killed seven people in 2009.

Volcanic eruptions are common in the region. In 1968 the Arenal Volcano
Volcano
, in Costa Rica, erupted and killed 87 people. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lavas have made it possible to sustain dense populations in the agriculturally productive highland areas.

Central America
Central America
has many mountain ranges ; the longest are the Sierra Madre de Chiapas , the Cordillera Isabelia , and the Cordillera de Talamanca . Between the mountain ranges lie fertile valleys that are suitable for the people; in fact, most of the population of Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala
Guatemala
live in valleys. Valleys are also suitable for the production of coffee, beans, and other crops.

CLIMATE

North America
North America
map of Köppen climate classification.

North America
North America
is a very large continent which surpasses the Arctic Circle , and the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
. Greenland, along with the Canadian shield , is tundra with average temperatures ranging from between 10 to 20 °C (50 to 68 °F), but central Greenland
Greenland
is composed of a very large ice sheet. This tundra radiates throughout Canada, but its border ends near the Rocky Mountains (but still contains Alaska) and at the end of the Canadian Shield, near the Great Lakes. Climate west of the Cascades is described as being a temperate weather with average precipitation 20 inches (510 mm). Climate in coastal California
California
is described to be Mediterranean, with average temperatures in cities like San Francisco ranging from between 57 to 70 °F (14 to 21 °C) over the course of the year.

Stretching from the East Coast to eastern North Dakota, and stretching down to Kansas, is the continental-humid climate featuring hard seasons, with a large amount of annual precipitation, with places like New York City
New York City
averaging 50 inches (1,300 mm). Starting at the southern border of the continental-humid climate and stretching to the Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
(whilst encompassing the eastern half of Texas) is the subtropical climate. This area has the wettest cities in the contiguous U.S. with annual precipitation reaching 67 inches (1,700 mm) in Mobile, Alabama. Stretching from the borders of the continental humid and subtropical climates, and going west to the Cascades Sierra Nevada, south to the southern tip of durango, north to the border with tundra climate, the steppe/desert climate is the driest climate in the U.S.

ECOLOGY

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (March 2015)

See also: List of endangered plants in North America
List of endangered plants in North America

Notable North American fauna include the bison , black bear , prairie dog , turkey , pronghorn , racoon , coyote and monarch butterfly .

Notable plants that were domesticated in North America
North America
include tobacco , maize , squash , tomato , sunflower , blueberry , avocado , cotton , chile pepper and vanilla .

DEMOGRAPHICS

Further information: Demographics of the United States
United States
, Demographics of Canada
Canada
, and Demographics of Mexico
Mexico
Non-native nations' control and claims over North America
North America
c. 1750–2008 Native languages of the US, Canada
Canada
and Greenland
Greenland

Economically, Canada
Canada
and the United States
United States
are the wealthiest and most developed nations in the continent, followed by Mexico, a newly industrialized country . The countries of Central America
Central America
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
are at various levels of economic and human development. For example, small Caribbean
Caribbean
island-nations, such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Antigua and Barbuda, have a higher GDP (PPP) per capita than Mexico
Mexico
due to their smaller populations. Panama
Panama
and Costa Rica have a significantly higher Human Development Index and GDP than the rest of the Central American nations. Additionally, despite Greenland's vast resources in oil and minerals, much of them remain untapped, and the island is economically dependent on fishing, tourism, and subsidies from Denmark. Nevertheless, the island is highly developed.

Demographically, North America
North America
is ethnically diverse. Its three main groups are Caucasians , Mestizos and Blacks . There is a significant minority of Indigenous Americans and Asians among other less numerous groups.

LANGUAGES

Main article: Languages of North America Languages spoken in the Americas
Americas

The dominant languages in North America
North America
are English, Spanish, and French. Danish is prevalent in Greenland
Greenland
alongside Greenlandic , and Dutch is spoken side by side local languages in the Dutch Caribbean
Caribbean
. The term Anglo-America is used to refer to the anglophone countries of the Americas: namely Canada
Canada
(where English and French are co-official) and the United States, but also sometimes Belize
Belize
and parts of the tropics, especially the Commonwealth Caribbean
Caribbean
. Latin America
Latin America
refers to the other areas of the Americas
Americas
(generally south of the United States) where the Romance languages , derived from Latin , of Spanish and Portuguese (but French speaking countries are not usually included) predominate: the other republics of Central America
Central America
(but not always Belize), part of the Caribbean
Caribbean
(not the Dutch-, English-, or French-speaking areas), Mexico, and most of South America
South America
(except Guyana
Guyana
, Suriname
Suriname
, French Guiana
French Guiana
(France), and the Falkland Islands (UK)).

The French language has historically played a significant role in North America
North America
and now retains a distinctive presence in some regions. Canada
Canada
is officially bilingual. French is the official language of the Province of Quebec, where 95% of the people speak it as either their first or second language, and it is co-official with English in the Province of New Brunswick
New Brunswick
. Other French-speaking locales include the Province of Ontario
Ontario
(the official language is English, but there are an estimated 600,000 Franco-Ontarians), the Province of Manitoba (co-official as de jure with English), the French West Indies
West Indies
and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon , as well as the US state of Louisiana, where French is also an official language. Haiti
Haiti
is included with this group based on historical association but Haitians speak both Creole and French. Similarly, French and French Antillean Creole is spoken in Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
and the Commonwealth of Dominica
Dominica
alongside English.

RELIGIONS

Main article: Religion in North America See also: Religions of the world Washington National Cathedral , in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
. The United States
United States
has the largest Christian population in the world.

Christianity
Christianity
is the largest religion in the United States, Canada
Canada
and Mexico
Mexico
according to a 2012 Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
survey, 77.4% of the population considered themselves Christians
Christians
. Christianity
Christianity
also is the predominant religion in the 23 dependent territories in North America . The United States
United States
has the largest Christian population in the world, with nearly 247 million Christians
Christians
(70%), although other countries have higher percentages of Christians
Christians
among their populations. Mexico
Mexico
has the world's second largest number of Catholics, surpassed only by Brazil
Brazil
. A 2015 study estimates about 493,000 Christian believers from a Muslim background in North America, most of them belonging to some form of Protestantism.

According to the same study religiously unaffiliated (include agnostic and atheist ) make up about 17.1% of the population of Canada and the United States. No religion make up about 22.8% of the United States population, and 23.9% of Canada
Canada
total population.

Canada, the United States
United States
and Mexico
Mexico
host communities of both Jews
Jews
(6 million or about 1.8%), Buddhists (3.8 million or 1.1%) and Muslims (3.4 million or 1.0%). The biggest number of Jewish individuals can be found in the United States
United States
(5.4 million), Canada
Canada
(375,000) and Mexico
Mexico
(67,476). The United States
United States
host the largest Muslim population in North America
North America
with 2.7 million or 0.9%, While Canada
Canada
host about one million Muslim or 3.2% of the population. While in Mexico
Mexico
there were 3,700 Muslims
Muslims
in the country. In 2012, U-T San Diego
San Diego
estimated U.S. practitioners of Buddhism at 1.2 million people, of whom 40% are living in Southern California
California
.

The predominant religion in Central America
Central America
is Christianity
Christianity
(95.6%). Beginning with the Spanish colonization of Central America
Central America
in the 16th century, Roman Catholicism became the most popular religion in the region until the first half of the 20th century. Since the 1960s, there has been an increase in other Christian groups, particularly Protestantism
Protestantism
, as well as other religious organizations, and individuals identifying themselves as having no religion. Also Christianity
Christianity
is the predominant religion in the Caribbean
Caribbean
(84.7%). Other religious groups in the region are Hinduism , Islam
Islam
, Rastafari (in Jamaica), and Afro-American religions such as Santería and Vodou .

POPULACE

North American cities Mexico
Mexico
City Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Toronto
Toronto
Chicago
Chicago
New York City
New York City
See also: List of North American countries by population , List of North American cities by population , and List of North American metropolitan areas by population

The most populous country in North America
North America
is the United States
United States
with 318.4 million persons. The second largest country is Mexico
Mexico
with a population of 112,322,757. Canada
Canada
is the third most populous country with 32,623,490. The majority of Caribbean
Caribbean
island-nations have national populations under a million, though Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
(a territory of the United States), Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
each have populations higher than a million. Greenland
Greenland
has a small population of 55,984 for its massive size (2,166,000 km² or 836,300 mi²), and therefore, it has the world's lowest population density at 0.026 pop./km² (0.067 pop./mi²).

While the United States, Canada, and Mexico
Mexico
maintain the largest populations, large city populations are not restricted to those nations. There are also large cities in the Caribbean. The largest cities in North America, by far, are Mexico
Mexico
City and New York. These cities are the only cities on the continent to exceed eight million, and two of three in the Americas. Next in size are Los Angeles, Toronto
Toronto
, Chicago, Havana, Santo Domingo, and Montreal
Montreal
. Cities in the sunbelt regions of the United States, such as those in Southern California
California
and Houston
Houston
, Phoenix , Miami, Atlanta
Atlanta
, and Las Vegas , are experiencing rapid growth. These causes included warm temperatures, retirement of Baby Boomers , large industry, and the influx of immigrants. Cities near the United States
United States
border, particularly in Mexico, are also experiencing large amounts of growth. Most notable is Tijuana
Tijuana
, a city bordering San Diego
San Diego
that receives immigrants from all over Latin America
Latin America
and parts of Europe
Europe
and Asia. Yet as cities grow in these warmer regions of North America, they are increasingly forced to deal with the major issue of water shortages .

Eight of the top ten metropolitan areas are located in the United States . These metropolitan areas all have a population of above 5.5 million and include the New York City
New York City
metropolitan area , Los Angeles metropolitan area , Chicago metropolitan area , and the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex . Whilst the majority of the largest metropolitan areas are within the United States, Mexico
Mexico
is host to the largest metropolitan area by population in North America: Greater Mexico
Mexico
City . Canada
Canada
also breaks into the top ten largest metropolitan areas with the Toronto
Toronto
metropolitan area having six million people. The proximity of cities to each other on the Canada– United States
United States
border and Mexico– United States
United States
border has led to the rise of international metropolitan areas. These urban agglomerations are observed at their largest and most productive in Detroit–Windsor and San Diego– Tijuana
Tijuana
and experience large commercial, economic, and cultural activity. The metropolitan areas are responsible for millions of dollars of trade dependent on international freight. In Detroit-Windsor the Border Transportation Partnership study in 2004 concluded US$13 billion was dependent on the Detroit–Windsor international border crossing while in San Diego- Tijuana
Tijuana
freight at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry was valued at US$20 billion.

North America
North America
has also been witness to the growth of megapolitan areas . In the United States
United States
exists eleven megaregions that transcend international borders and comprise Canadian and Mexican metropolitan regions. These are the Arizona Sun Corridor , Cascadia, Florida, Front Range , Great Lakes
Great Lakes
Megaregion, Gulf Coast Megaregion , Northeast , Northern California
California
, Piedmont Atlantic , Southern California, and the Texas Triangle . Canada
Canada
and Mexico
Mexico
are also the home of megaregions. These include the Quebec
Quebec
City – Windsor Corridor , Golden Horseshoe – both of which are considered part of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
Megaregion – and megalopolis of Central Mexico
Mexico
. Traditionally the largest megaregion has been considered the Boston- Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Corridor, or the Northeast, as the region is one massive contiguous area. Yet megaregion criterion have allowed the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
Megalopolis to maintain status as the most populated region, being home to 53,768,125 people in 2000.

The top ten largest North American metropolitan areas by population as of 2013, based on national census numbers from the United States and census estimates from Canada
Canada
and Mexico.

METRO AREA POPULATION AREA COUNTRY

Mexico
Mexico
City 21,163,226† 7,346 km2 (2,836 sq mi) Mexico
Mexico

New York City
New York City
19,949,502 17,405 km2 (6,720 sq mi) United States
United States

Los Angeles
Los Angeles
13,131,431 12,562 km2 (4,850 sq mi) United States
United States

Chicago
Chicago
9,537,289 24,814 km2 (9,581 sq mi) United States
United States

Dallas–Fort Worth 6,810,913 24,059 km2 (9,289 sq mi) United States
United States

Houston
Houston
6,313,158 26,061 km2 (10,062 sq mi) United States
United States

Toronto
Toronto
6,054,191† 5,906 km2 (2,280 sq mi) Canada
Canada

Philadelphia 6,034,678 13,256 km2 (5,118 sq mi) United States
United States

Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
5,949,859 14,412 km2 (5,565 sq mi) United States
United States

Miami 5,828,191 15,896 km2 (6,137 sq mi) United States
United States

‌†2011 Census figures.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of North America See also: List of North American countries by GDP (nominal) and List of North American countries by GDP (PPP)

RANK COUNTRY GDP (PPP, Peak Year) millions of USD PEAK YEAR

1 United States
United States
19,417,144 2017

2 Mexico
Mexico
2,406,199 2017

3 Canada
Canada
1,752,910 2017

4 Cuba
Cuba
254,865 2015

5 Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
174,180 2017

6 Guatemala
Guatemala
138,987 2017

7 Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
131,640 2015

8 Panama
Panama
100,512 2017

9 Costa Rica
Costa Rica
85,781 2017

10 El Salvador
El Salvador
57,285 2017

RANK COUNTRY GDP (nominal, Peak Year) millions of USD PEAK YEAR

1 United States
United States
19,417,144 2017

2 Canada
Canada
1,842,627 2013

3 Mexico
Mexico
1,298,404 2014

4 Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
103,135 2015

5 Cuba
Cuba
87,133 2015

6 Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
76,850 2017

7 Guatemala
Guatemala
70,943 2017

8 Costa Rica
Costa Rica
59,796 2017

9 Panama
Panama
59,486 2017

10 El Salvador
El Salvador
27,548 2017

Canada, Mexico, and the United States
United States
have significant and multifaceted economic systems. The United States
United States
has the largest economy of all three countries and in the world. In 2014, the US had an estimated per capita gross domestic product (PPP) of $54,980, and is the most technologically developed economy of the three. The United States' services sector comprises 76.7% of the country's GDP (estimated in 2010), industry comprises 22.2% and agriculture comprises 1.2%.

Canada
Canada
shows significant growth in the sectors of services, mining and manufacturing. Canada's per capita GDP (PPP) was estimated at $44,656 and it had the 11th largest GDP (nominal) in 2014. Canada's services sector comprises 78% of the country's GDP (estimated in 2010), industry comprises 20% and agriculture comprises 2%. Mexico has a per capita GDP (PPP) of $16,111 and as of 2014 is the 15th largest GDP (nominal) in the world. Being a newly industrialized country , Mexico
Mexico
maintains both modern and outdated industrial and agricultural facilities and operations. Its main sources of income are oil, industrial exports, manufactured goods, electronics, heavy industry, automobiles, construction, food, banking and financial services.

The North American economy is well defined and structured in three main economic areas. These areas are the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Caribbean
Caribbean
Community and Common Market (CARICOM), and the Central American Common Market (CACM). Of these trade blocs, the United States
United States
takes part in two. In addition to the larger trade blocs there is the Canada- Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Free Trade Agreement among numerous other free trade relations, often between the larger, more developed countries and Central American and Caribbean
Caribbean
countries.

The North America
North America
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) forms one of the four largest trade blocs in the world. Its implementation in 1994 was designed for economic homogenization with hopes of eliminating barriers of trade and foreign investment between Canada, the United States and Mexico. While Canada
Canada
and the United States
United States
already conducted the largest bilateral trade relationship – and to present day still do – in the world and Canada
Canada
- United States
United States
trade relations already allowed trade without national taxes and tariffs, NAFTA allowed Mexico
Mexico
to experience a similar duty-free trade. The free trade agreement allowed for the elimination of tariffs that had previously been in place on United States- Mexico
Mexico
trade. Trade volume has steadily increased annually and in 2010, surface trade between the three NAFTA nations reached an all-time historical increase of 24.3% or US$791 billion. The NAFTA trade bloc GDP (PPP) is the world's largest with US$17.617 trillion. This is in part attributed to the fact that the economy of the United States
United States
is the world's largest national economy; the country had a nominal GDP of approximately $14.7 trillion in 2010. The countries of NAFTA are also some of each other's largest trade partners. The United States
United States
is the largest trade partner of Canada
Canada
and Mexico; while Canada
Canada
and Mexico
Mexico
are each other's third largest trade partners.

The Caribbean
Caribbean
trade bloc – CARICOM – came into agreement in 1973 when it was signed by 15 Caribbean
Caribbean
nations. As of 2000, CARICOM trade volume was US$96 billion. CARICOM also allowed for the creation of a common passport for associated nations. In the past decade the trade bloc focused largely on Free Trade Agreements and under the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) free trade agreements have been signed into effect.

Integration of Central American economies occurred under the signing of the Central American Common Market agreement in 1961; this was the first attempt to engage the nations of this area into stronger financial cooperation. Recent implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has left the future of the CACM unclear. The Central American Free Trade Agreement was signed by five Central American countries, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. The focal point of CAFTA is to create a free trade area similar to that of NAFTA. In addition to the United States, Canada
Canada
also has relations in Central American trade blocs. Currently under proposal, the Canada
Canada
– Central American Free Trade Agreement (CA4) would operate much the same as CAFTA with the United States
United States
does.

These nations also take part in inter-continental trade blocs. Mexico takes a part in the G3 Free Trade Agreement with Colombia
Colombia
and Venezuela
Venezuela
and has a trade agreement with the EU. The United States
United States
has proposed and maintained trade agreements under the Transatlantic Free Trade Area between itself and the European Union
European Union
; the US-Middle East Free Trade Area between numerous Middle Eastern nations and itself; and the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership between Southeast Asian nations, Australia, and New Zealand.

TRANSPORT

Main article: Transportation in North America The full Pan American Highway (including South America), from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia
Ushuaia
, Argentina.

The Pan-American Highway route in the Americas
Americas
is the portion of a network of roads nearly 48,000 km (30,000 mi) in length which travels through the mainland nations. No definitive length of the Pan-American Highway exists because the US and Canadian governments have never officially defined any specific routes as being part of the Pan-American Highway, and Mexico
Mexico
officially has many branches connecting to the US border. However, the total length of the portion from Mexico
Mexico
to the northern extremity of the highway is roughly 26,000 km (16,000 mi). 2006 map of the North American Class I railroad network

The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States
United States
was built in the 1860s, linking the railroad network of the eastern US with California
California
on the Pacific coast. Finished on 10 May 1869 at the famous Golden spike
Golden spike
event at Promontory Summit, Utah , it created a nationwide mechanized transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West , catalyzing the transition from the wagon trains of previous decades to a modern transportation system. Although an accomplishment, it achieved the status of first transcontinental railroad by connecting myriad eastern US railroads to the Pacific and was not the largest single railroad system in the world. The Canadian Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) had, by 1867, already accumulated more than 2,055 km (1,277 mi) of track by connecting Ontario
Ontario
with the Canadian Atlantic provinces west as far as Port Huron, Michigan , through Sarnia, Ontario
Ontario
.

COMMUNICATIONS

A shared telephone system known as the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) which is an integrated telephone numbering plan of 24 countries and territories: the United States
United States
and its territories , Canada, Bermuda, and 17 Caribbean
Caribbean
nations.

CULTURE

Canada
Canada
and the United States
United States
were both former British colonies . There is frequent cultural interplay between the United States
United States
and English-speaking Canada. Greenland
Greenland
shares some cultural ties with the indigenous people of Canada
Canada
but is considered Nordic and has strong Danish ties due to centuries of colonization by Denmark
Denmark
. Spanish-speaking North America
North America
shares a common past as former Spanish colonies . In Mexico
Mexico
and the Central American countries where civilizations like the Maya developed, indigenous people preserve traditions across modern boundaries. Central American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean
Caribbean
nations have historically had more in common due to geographical proximity.

Northern Mexico, particularly in the cities of Monterrey
Monterrey
, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez , and Mexicali , is strongly influenced by the culture and way of life of the United States
United States
. Of the aforementioned cities, Monterrey
Monterrey
has been regarded as the most Americanized city in Mexico. Immigration to the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
remains a significant attribute of many nations close to the southern border of the US. The Anglophone Caribbean
Caribbean
states have witnessed the decline of the British Empire and its influence on the region, and its replacement by the economic influence of Northern America. In the Anglophone Caribbean. This is partly due to the relatively small populations of the English-speaking Caribbean
Caribbean
countries, and also because many of them now have more people living abroad than those remaining at home. Northern Mexico, the Western United States
United States
and Alberta
Alberta
, Canada
Canada
share a cowboy culture.

SPORTS

Canada, Mexico
Mexico
and the US submitted a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup . The following table shows the most prominent sports leagues in North America, in order of average revenue.

LEAGUE SPORT Primary country FOUNDED TEAMS Revenue US$ (bn) Average Attendance

National Football League
National Football League
American football
American football
United States 1920 32 $9.0 7004676040000000000♠67,604

Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Baseball
Baseball
United States Canada
Canada
1869 30 $8.0 7004304580000000000♠30,458

National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
Basketball
Basketball
United States Canada
Canada
1946 30 $5.0 7004173470000000000♠17,347

National Hockey League Ice hockey
Ice hockey
United States Canada
Canada
1917 30 $3.3 7004177200000000000♠17,720

Liga MX Football (soccer) Mexico 1943 18 $0.6 7004255570000000000♠25,557

Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Football (soccer) United States Canada
Canada
1994 20 $0.5 7004215740000000000♠21,574

* ^ MLS plans to expand to 21 teams in 2017, and to 24 teams by 2020.

SEE ALSO

* North America
North America
portal * Caribbean
Caribbean
portal * Central America
Central America
portal * Latin America
Latin America
portal * Aruba
Aruba
portal * Bahamas
Bahamas
portal * Barbados
Barbados
portal * Belize
Belize
portal * British Virgin Islands portal * Canada
Canada
portal * Costa Rica
Costa Rica
portal * Cuba
Cuba
portal * Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
portal * El Salvador
El Salvador
portal * Greenland
Greenland
portal * Grenada portal * Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
portal * Guatemala
Guatemala
portal * Haiti
Haiti
portal * Jamaica
Jamaica
portal * Mexico
Mexico
portal * Nicaragua
Nicaragua
portal * Panama
Panama
portal * Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
portal * Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
portal * United States
United States
portal

* Americas
Americas
(terminology)

* Geography of North America

* List of mountain peaks of North America * List of mountain ranges of North America

* Geology of North America

* History of North America

* European colonization of the Americas
Americas
* Fortress North America * Turtle Island (North America) * Voyages of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
* Making North America
North America
(2015 PBS film)

* Nearctic ecozone * Transportation in North America

ORGANIZATIONS AND AGREEMENTS:

* Caribbean
Caribbean
Community * Commission for Environmental Cooperation
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
* North American Aerospace Defense Command * North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation * North American Free Trade Agreement * North Atlantic Treaty Organization * Organization of American States * Trans-Pacific Partnership

NOTES

* ^ This North American density figure is based on a total land area of 23,090,542 km2 only, considerably less than the total combined land and water area of 24,709,000 km2. * ^ A B C D E Depending on definitions, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
have territory in either or both of North and South America. * ^ Since the Lucayan Archipelago
Lucayan Archipelago
is located in the Atlantic Ocean rather than Caribbean Sea , the Bahamas
Bahamas
are part of the West Indies but are not technically part of the Caribbean
Caribbean
, although the United Nations groups them with the Caribbean. * ^ Because of ongoing activity of the Soufriere Hills volcano beginning in July 1995, much of Plymouth was destroyed and government offices were relocated to Brades. Plymouth remains the de jure capital. * ^ Panama
Panama
is generally considered a North American country, though some authorities divide it at the Panama
Panama
Canal . Figures listed here are for the entire country. * ^ Since the Lucayan Archipelago
Lucayan Archipelago
is located in the Atlantic Ocean rather than Caribbean Sea , the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
are part of the West Indies
West Indies
but are not technically part of the Caribbean
Caribbean
, although the United Nations groups them with the Caribbean. * ^ Includes the US state of Hawaii, which is distant from the North American landmass in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and therefore more commonly associated with the other territories of Oceania.

REFERENCES

* ^ Demographia.com * ^ A B "North America". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved 3 February 2014. * ^ "Map And Details Of All 7 Continents". worldatlas.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016. In some parts of the world students are taught that there are only six continents, as they combine North America and South America
South America
into one continent called the Americas. * ^ " North America
North America
Land Forms and Statistics". World Atlas.com. Retrieved 16 June 2013. * ^ " North America
North America
Fast Facts". World Atlas.com. Retrieved 16 June 2013. * ^ "Amerigo Vespucci". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 7 July 2011. * ^ Herbermann, Charles George, ed. (1907). The Cosmographiæ Introductio of Martin Waldseemüller in Facsimile. Translated by Edward Burke and Mario E. Cosenza, introduction by Joseph Fischer and Franz von Wieser. New York: The United States
United States
Catholic Historical Society. p. 9. Latin : "Quarta pars per Americum Vesputium (ut in sequentibus audietur) inventa est, quam non video, cur quis jure vetet, ab Americo inventore sagacis ingenii viro Amerigen quasi Americi terram sive Americam dicendam, cum et Europa et Asia
Asia
a mulieribus sua sortita sint nomina." * ^ A B Jonathan Cohen. "The Naming of America: Fragments We\'ve Shored Against Ourselves". Retrieved 3 February 2014. * ^ Lloyd, John ; Mitchinson, John (2006). The Book
Book
of General Ignorance. Harmony Books. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-307-39491-0 . New countries or continents were never named after a person's first name, but always after the second ... * ^ Burchfield, R. W., ed. (2004). ""America"". Fowler\'s Modern English Usage . New York: Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-19-861021-1 . the term 'North America' is mostly used to mean the United States
United States
and Canada
Canada
together. Countries to the south of the United States
United States
are described as being in Central America
Central America
(Mexico, Nicaragua, etc.) or South America
South America
(Brazil, Argentina, etc.). See also: McArthur, Tom (1992). "North American". The Oxford Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 707. ISBN 0-19-214183-X . * ^ A B "CIA – The World Factbook – North America". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 20 June 2011. * ^ A B C "Countries in North America
North America
– Country Reports". Country Reports. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. * ^ A B "North America: World of Earth
Earth
Science". eNotes Inc. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2011. * ^ A B "North American Region". The Trilateral Commission. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2011. * ^ A B "SPP Background". CommerceConnect.gov. Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2010. * ^ A B "Ecoregions of North America". United States
United States
Environmental Protection Agency . Retrieved 30 May 2011. * ^ A B "What\'s the difference between North, Latin, Central, Middle, South, Spanish and Anglo America?". About.com. * ^ "Norteamérica" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. In Ibero-America, North America
North America
is considered a subcontinent containing Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Bermuda
Bermuda
and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. * ^ "Six or Seven Continents on Earth". Retrieved 18 December 2016. "In Europe
Europe
and other parts of the world, many students are taught of six continents, where North and South America
South America
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South America
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