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Coordinates : 40°N 100°W / 40°N 100°W / 40; -100

United States
United States
of America

_ Flag Great Seal

MOTTO: " In God We Trust
In God We Trust
" Other traditional mottos _

* " E pluribus unum
E pluribus unum
" ( Latin
Latin
) (de facto) "Out of many, one" * " Annuit cœptis
Annuit cœptis
" ( Latin
Latin
) "He has favored our undertakings" * " Novus ordo seclorum" ( Latin
Latin
) "New order of the ages"

ANTHEM: " The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"

MARCH: " The Stars and Stripes Forever
The Stars and Stripes Forever
"

The contiguous United States
United States
plus Alaska
Alaska
and Hawaii
Hawaii

The United States
United States
including its territories

CAPITAL Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
38°53′N 77°01′W / 38.883°N 77.017°W / 38.883; -77.017

LARGEST CITY New York City
New York City
40°43′N 74°00′W / 40.717°N 74.000°W / 40.717; -74.000

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES None at federal level

NATIONAL LANGUAGE English

ETHNIC GROUPS BY RACE: 77.1% White 13.3% Black 2.6% Other/multiracial 5.6% Asian 1.2% Native 0.2% Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
ETHNICITY: 17.6% Hispanic or Latino 82.4% non-Hispanic or Latino

RELIGION 70.6% Christian 1.9% Jewish
Jewish
0.9% Muslim
Muslim
0.7% Buddhist
Buddhist
0.7% Hindu
Hindu
1.8% Other faiths 22.8% Unaffiliated

DEMONYM American

GOVERNMENT Federal presidential constitutional republic

• PRESIDENT Donald Trump
Donald Trump

• VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence
Mike Pence

• SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

• CHIEF JUSTICE John Roberts
John Roberts

LEGISLATURE Congress

• UPPER HOUSE Senate

• LOWER HOUSE House of Representatives

INDEPENDENCE FROM GREAT BRITAIN

• DECLARATION July 4, 1776

• CONFEDERATION March 1, 1781

• TREATY OF PARIS September 3, 1783

• CONSTITUTION June 21, 1788

• LAST POLITY ADMITTED March 24, 1976

AREA

• TOTAL AREA 3,796,742 sq mi (9,833,520 km2) (3rd/4th )

• WATER (%) 6.97

• TOTAL LAND AREA 3,531,905 sq mi (9,147,590 km2)

POPULATION

• 2017 ESTIMATE 325,145,963 (3rd )

• 2010 CENSUS 309,349,689 (3rd )

• DENSITY 90.6/sq mi (35.0/km2) (180th )

GDP (PPP ) 2016 estimate

• TOTAL $18.558 trillion (2nd )

• PER CAPITA $57,220 (14th )

GDP (NOMINAL) 2016 estimate

• TOTAL $18.558 trillion (1st )

• PER CAPITA $57,220 (6th )

GINI (2013) 40.8 medium

HDI (2015) 0.920 very high · 10th

CURRENCY United States dollar
United States dollar
($) (USD )

TIME ZONE (UTC −4 to −12, +10, +11)

• SUMMER (DST ) (UTC −4 to −10 )

DATE FORMAT mm/dd/yyyy (AD )

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +1

ISO 3166CODE US

INTERNET TLD .us .gov .mil .edu

The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (/əˈmɛrɪkə/ ; USA), commonly known as the UNITED STATES (U.S.) or AMERICA, is a federal republic composed of 50 states , a federal district , five major self-governing territories , and various possessions . Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada
Canada
and Mexico
Mexico
. The state of Alaska
Alaska
is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada
Canada
to the east and across the Bering Straitfrom Russia
Russia
to the west. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid- Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
, stretching across nine time zones . The extremely diverse geography , climate and wildlife of the United States
United States
make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries .

At 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million km2) and with over 324 million people, the United States
United States
is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area , third-largest by land area, and the third-most populous . It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, and is home to the world\'s largest immigrant population . The capital is Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
, and the largest city is New York City
New York City
; nine other major metropolitan areas —each with at least 4.5 million inhabitants—are Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, Chicago
Chicago
, Dallas
Dallas
, Houston
Houston
, Philadelphia
Philadelphia
, Miami
Miami
, Atlanta
Atlanta
, Boston
Boston
, and San Francisco
San Francisco
.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States
United States
emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast . Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the Seven Years\' War led to the American Revolution
American Revolution
, which began in 1775. On July 4, 1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War , the colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence . The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States
United States
by Great Britain , representing the first successful war of independence against a European power . The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation , adopted in 1781, were felt to have provided inadequate federal powers. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights , were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties .

The United States
United States
embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, displacing Native American tribes , acquiring new territories , and gradually admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War
American Civil War
led to the end of legal slavery in the country . By the end of that century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean, and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
, began to soar. The Spanish–American War
Spanish–American War
and World War I
World War I
confirmed the country's status as a global military power. The United States
United States
emerged from World War II as a global superpower , the first country to develop nuclear weapons , the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower . The U.S. is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
, World Bank
World Bank
, International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
, Organization of American States
Organization of American States
(OAS), and other international organizations.

The United States
United States
is a highly developed country , with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP . Though its population is only 4.3% of the world total, Americans
Americans
hold nearly 40% of the total wealth in the world. The United States
United States
ranks among the highest in several measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage , human development , per capita GDP , and productivity per person. While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial , characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy , the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. Accounting for approximately a quarter of global GDP and a third of global military spending , the United States is the world's foremost economic and military power. The United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations .

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Indigenous and European contact * 2.2 Settlements * 2.3 Independence and expansion (1776–1865) * 2.4 Civil War and Reconstruction Era
Reconstruction Era
* 2.5 Industrialization * 2.6 World War I, Great Depression, and World War II
World War II
* 2.7 Cold War
Cold War
and civil rights era * 2.8 Contemporary history

* 3 Geography, climate, and environment

* 3.1 Wildlife

* 4 Demographics

* 4.1 Population * 4.2 Language * 4.3 Religion * 4.4 Family structure

* 5 Government and politics

* 5.1 Political divisions * 5.2 Parties and elections * 5.3 Foreign relations * 5.4 Government finance * 5.5 Military

* 6 Law enforcement and crime

* 7 Economy

* 7.1 Income, poverty and wealth

* 8 Infrastructure

* 8.1 Transportation * 8.2 Energy * 8.3 Water supply and sanitation

* 9 Education

* 10 Culture

* 10.1 Food * 10.2 Literature, philosophy, and the arts * 10.3 Music * 10.4 Cinema * 10.5 Sports * 10.6 Media

* 11 Science and technology * 12 Health * 13 See also * 14 Notes * 15 References

* 16 Bibliography and further reading

* 16.1 Website sources

* 17 External links

ETYMOLOGY

See also: Naming of America, Names for United States citizens, and American (word)
American (word)
_ America_ is named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci
.

In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüllerproduced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere "America" in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci ( Latin
Latin
: _Americus Vespucius_). The first documentary evidence of the phrase " United States
United States
of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq., George Washington 's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army. Addressed to Lt. Col. Joseph Reed , Moylan expressed his wish to carry the "full and ample powers of the United States of America" to Spain to assist in the revolutionary war effort.

The first known publication of the phrase " United States
United States
of America" was in an anonymous essay in _ The Virginia Gazette
The Virginia Gazette
_ newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
, prepared by John Dickinsonand completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the ' United States
United States
of America.'" The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be 'The United States
United States
of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence . This draft of the document did not surface until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation. In the final Fourth of July version of the Declaration, the title was changed to read, "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America". The preamble of the Constitution states "...establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The short form "United States" is also standard. Other common forms are the "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". Colloquial names are the "U.S. of A." and, internationally, the "States". "Columbia ", a name popular in poetry and songs of the late 18th century, derives its origin from Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
; it appears in the name "District of Columbia ". In non-English languages, the name is frequently the translation of either the "United States" or " United States
United States
of America", and colloquially as "America". In addition, an abbreviation (e.g. USA) is sometimes used.

The phrase "United States" was originally plural, a description of a collection of independent states—e.g., "the United States are"—including in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution , ratified in 1865. The singular form—e.g., "the United States is"—became popular after the end of the American Civil War. The singular form is now standard; the plural form is retained in the idiom "these United States". The difference is more significant than usage; it is a difference between a collection of states and a unit.

A citizen of the United States
United States
is an "American ". "United States", "American" and "U.S." refer to the country adjectivally ("American values", "U.S. forces"). In English, the word "American " rarely refers to topics or subjects not connected with the United States.

HISTORY

Main articles: History of the United States
History of the United States
, Timeline of United States history , American business history, Economic history of the United States
United States
, and Labor history of the United States
Labor history of the United States

INDIGENOUS AND EUROPEAN CONTACT

Further information: Pre-Columbian era
Pre-Columbian era
and Colonial history of the United States
United States
Artist's re-creation of the Kincaid Site from the prehistoric Mississippian culture, as it may have looked at its peak (1050–1400)

The first inhabitants of North America
North America
migrated from Siberia
Siberia
by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 15,000 years ago, though increasing evidence suggests an even earlier arrival. Some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture
, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies. The first Europeans to arrive in territory of the modern United States
United States
were Spanish conquistadors such as Juan Ponce de León
Juan Ponce de León
, and made their first contacts in Florida
Florida
in 1513. The native population declined for various reasons, primarily from diseases such as smallpox and measles . Violence was not a significant factor in the overall decline among Native Americans
Americans
, though conflict among themselves and with Europeans affected specific tribes and various colonial settlements. In the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands
, the earliest indigenous inhabitants arrived around 1 AD from Polynesia
Polynesia
. Europeans under the British explorer Captain James Cook
James Cook
arrived in the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands
in 1778.

In the early days of colonization, many European settlers were subject to food shortages, disease, and attacks from Native Americans. Native Americans
Americans
were also often at war with neighboring tribes and allied with Europeans in their colonial wars. At the same time, however, many natives and settlers came to depend on each other. Settlers traded for food and animal pelts, natives for guns, ammunition and other European wares. Natives taught many settlers where, when and how to cultivate corn, beans and squash. European missionaries and others felt it was important to "civilize" the Native Americans
Americans
and urged them to adopt European agricultural techniques and lifestyles.

SETTLEMENTS

Further information: European colonization of the Americas
Americas
and Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
Saint Augustine, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States
United States
(1565) The signing of the Mayflower Compact , 1620

After Spain sent Columbus on his first voyage to the New World
New World
in 1492, other explorers followed. The Spanish set up the first settlements in Florida
Florida
and New Mexico
Mexico
such as Saint Augustine and Santa Fe . The French established their own as well along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
. Successful English settlement on the eastern coast of North America
North America
began with the Virginia
Virginia
Colony
Colony
in 1607 at Jamestown and the Pilgrims\' Plymouth Colony
Colony
in 1620. Many settlers were dissenting Christian groups who came seeking religious freedom . The continent's first elected legislative assembly, Virginia's House of Burgesses created in 1619, the Mayflower Compact
Mayflower Compact
, signed by the Pilgrims before disembarking, and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Connecticut
, established precedents for the pattern of representative self-government and constitutionalism that would develop throughout the American colonies.

Most settlers in every colony were small farmers, but other industries developed within a few decades as varied as the settlements. Cash crops
Cash crops
included tobacco, rice and wheat. Extraction industries grew up in furs, fishing and lumber. Manufacturers produced rum and ships, and by the late colonial period Americans
Americans
were producing one-seventh of the world's iron supply. Cities eventually dotted the coast to support local economies and serve as trade hubs. English colonists were supplemented by waves of Scotch-Irish and other groups. As coastal land grew more expensive freed indentured servants pushed further west.

A large-scale slave trade with English privateers was begun. The life expectancy of slaves was much higher in North America
North America
than further south, because of less disease and better food and treatment, leading to a rapid increase in the numbers of slaves. Colonial society was largely divided over the religious and moral implications of slavery and colonies passed acts for and against the practice. But by the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were replacing indentured servants for cash crop labor, especially in southern regions.

With the British colonization of Georgia in 1732, the 13 colonies that would become the United States
United States
of America were established. All had local governments with elections open to most free men, with a growing devotion to the ancient rights of Englishmen and a sense of self-government stimulating support for republicanism. With extremely high birth rates, low death rates, and steady settlement, the colonial population grew rapidly. Relatively small Native American populations were eclipsed. The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest in both religion and religious liberty.

During the Seven Years\' War (in America, known as the French and Indian War ), British forces seized Canada
Canada
from the French, but the francophone population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans
Americans
, who were being conquered and displaced, the 13 British colonies had a population of over 2.1 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain. Despite continuing new arrivals, the rate of natural increase was such that by the 1770s only a small minority of Americans
Americans
had been born overseas. The colonies' distance from Britain had allowed the development of self-government, but their success motivated monarchs to periodically seek to reassert royal authority.

INDEPENDENCE AND EXPANSION (1776–1865)

Further information: American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
, United States Declaration of Independence , American Revolution
American Revolution
, and Territorial evolution of the United States
United States
_ The Declaration of Independence _: the Committee of Fivepresenting their draft to the Second Continental Congress
Continental Congress
in 1776

The American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
was the first successful colonial war of independence against a European power. Americans
Americans
had developed an ideology of "republicanism " asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their rights as Englishmen and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war.

Following the passage of the Lee Resolution
Lee Resolution
, on July 2, 1776, which was the actual vote for independence, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, which proclaimed, in a long preamble, that humanity is created equal in their unalienable rights and that those rights were not being protected by Great Britain , and declared, in the words of the resolution, that the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
were independent states and had no allegiance to the British crown in the United States. The fourth day of July is celebrated annually as Independence Day . In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a weak government that operated until 1789.

Britain recognized the independence of the United States
United States
following their defeat at Yorktown in 1781. In the peace treaty of 1783 , American sovereignty was recognized from the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi
Mississippi
River. Nationalists led the Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Convention of 1787 in writing the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
, ratified in state conventions in 1788. The federal government was reorganized into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances, in 1789. George Washington, who had led the revolutionary army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights , forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.

Although the federal government criminalized the international slave trade in 1808, after 1820, cultivation of the highly profitable cotton crop exploded in the Deep South, and along with it, the slave population. The Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening
, especially 1800–1840, converted millions to evangelical Protestantism. In the North, it energized multiple social reform movements, including abolitionism ; in the South, Methodists and Baptists proselytized among slave populations.

Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of American Indian Wars
American Indian Wars
. The Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
of French-claimed territory in 1803 almost doubled the nation's area. The War of 1812
War of 1812
, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism. A series of military incursions into Florida
Florida
led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. Expansion was aided by steam power , when steamboats began traveling along America's large water systems, which were connected by new canals , such as the Erie and the I then, even faster railroads began their stretch across the nation's land. U.S. territorial acquisitions –portions of each territory were granted statehood since the 18th century.

From 1820 to 1850, Jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian democracy
began a set of reforms which included wider white male suffrage; it led to the rise of the Second Party System of Democrats and Whigs as the dominant parties from 1828 to 1854. The Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that resettled Indians into the west on Indian reservations . The U.S. annexed the Republic
Republic
of Texas
Texas
in 1845 during a period of expansionist Manifest destiny. The 1846 Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
with Britain led to U.S. control of the present-day American Northwest . Victory in the Mexican–American War
Mexican–American War
resulted in the 1848 Mexican Cession of California
California
and much of the present-day American Southwest.

The California Gold Rushof 1848–49 spurred western migration and the creation of additional western states. After the American Civil War , new transcontinental railways made relocation easier for settlers, expanded internal trade and increased conflicts with Native Americans. Over a half-century, the loss of the American bison (sometimes called "buffalo") was an existential blow to many Plains Indians cultures. In 1869, a new Peace Policy sought to protect Native- Americans
Americans
from abuses, avoid further war, and secure their eventual U.S. citizenship, although conflicts, including several of the largest Indian Wars, continued throughout the West into the 1900s.

CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION ERA

Further information: American Civil War
American Civil War
and Reconstruction Era
Reconstruction Era
The Battle of Gettysburg
Battle of Gettysburg
, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
during the Civil War by Thure de Thulstrup

Differences of opinion and social order between northern and southern states in early United States
United States
society, particularly regarding Black slavery , ultimately led to the American Civil War. Initially, states entering the Union alternated between slave and free states , keeping a sectional balance in the Senate, while free states outstripped slave states in population and in the House of Representatives. But with additional western territory and more free-soil states, tensions between slave and free states mounted with arguments over federalism and disposition of the territories, whether and how to expand or restrict slavery.

With the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
, the first president from the largely anti-slavery Republican Party , conventions in thirteen slave states ultimately declared secession and formed the Confederate States of America , while the federal government maintained that secession was illegal. The ensuing war was at first for Union, then after 1863 as casualties mounted and Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
, a second war aim became abolition of slavery. The war remains the deadliest military conflict in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 618,000 soldiers as well as many civilians.

Following the Union victory in 1865, three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution: the Thirteenth Amendment prohibited slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment provided citizenship to the nearly four million African Americans
African Americans
who had been slaves, and the Fifteenth Amendment ensured that they had the right to vote. The war and its resolution led to a substantial increase in federal power aimed at reintegrating and rebuilding the Southern states while ensuring the rights of the newly freed slaves.

Southern white conservatives, calling themselves " Redeemers" took control after the end of Reconstruction. By the 1890–1910 period Jim Crow laws disenfranchised most blacks and some poor whites. Blacks faced racial segregation , especially in the South. Racial minorities occasionally experienced vigilante violence .

INDUSTRIALIZATION

Main articles: Economic history of the United Statesand Technological and industrial history of the United States Ellis Island in New York City
New York City
was a major gateway for European immigration .

In the North, urbanization and an unprecedented influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe
Europe
supplied a surplus of labor for the country's industrialization and transformed its culture. National infrastructure including telegraph and transcontinental railroads spurred economic growth and greater settlement and development of the American Old West . The later invention of electric light and the telephone would also affect communication and urban life.

The end of the Indian Wars further expanded acreage under mechanical cultivation, increasing surpluses for international markets. Mainland expansion was completed by the purchase of Alaska
Alaska
from Russia
Russia
in 1867. In 1893, pro-American elements in Hawaii
Hawaii
overthrew the monarchy and formed the Republic
Republic
of Hawaii
Hawaii
, which the U.S. annexed in 1898. Puerto Rico , Guam
Guam
, and the Philippines
Philippines
were ceded by Spain in the same year, following the Spanish–American War
Spanish–American War
.

Rapid economic development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries fostered the rise of many prominent industrialists. Tycoons like Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt
, John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
, and Andrew Carnegie led the nation's progress in railroad , petroleum , and steel industries. Banking became a major part of the economy, with J. P. Morgan playing a notable role. Edison and Tesla undertook the widespread distribution of electricity to industry, homes, and for street lighting. Henry Ford
Henry Ford
revolutionized the automotive industry . The American economy boomed, becoming the world's largest, and the United States
United States
achieved great power status. These dramatic changes were accompanied by social unrest and the rise of populist , socialist , and anarchist movements. This period eventually ended with the advent of the Progressive Era
Progressive Era
, which saw significant reforms in many societal areas, including women\'s suffrage , alcohol prohibition , regulation of consumer goods, greater antitrust measures to ensure competition and attention to worker conditions.

WORLD WAR I, GREAT DEPRESSION, AND WORLD WAR II

Further information: World War I
World War I
, Great Depression
Great Depression
, and World War II U.S. troops approaching Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach
in 1944

The United States
United States
remained neutral from the outbreak of World War I
World War I
, in 1914, until 1917 when it joined the war as an "associated power", alongside the formal Allies of World War I
World War I
, helping to turn the tide against the Central Powers
Central Powers
. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
took a leading diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference and advocated strongly for the U.S. to join the League of Nations
League of Nations
. However, the Senate refused to approve this, and did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles that established the League of Nations.

In 1920, the women's rights movement won passage of a constitutional amendment granting women\'s suffrage . The 1920s and 1930s saw the rise of radio for mass communication and the invention of early television . The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
and the onset of the Great Depression
Great Depression
. After his election as president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with the New Deal
New Deal
, which included the establishment of the Social Security system. The Great Migration of millions of African Americans
Americans
out of the American South began before World War I
World War I
and extended through the 1960s; whereas the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
of the mid-1930s impoverished many farming communities and spurred a new wave of western migration.

At first effectively neutral during World War II
World War II
while Germany conquered much of continental Europe, the United States
United States
began supplying material to the Allies in March 1941 through the Lend-Lease program. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor , prompting the United States
United States
to join the Allies against the Axis powers
Axis powers
. During the war, the United States was referred as one of the " Four Policemen
Four Policemen
" of Allies power who met to plan the postwar world, along with Britain, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and China. Though the nation lost more than 400,000 soldiers, it emerged relatively undamaged from the war with even greater economic and military influence.

The United States
United States
played a leading role in the Bretton Woods and Yalta conferences with the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and other Allies, which signed agreements on new international financial institutions and Europe's postwar reorganization. As an Allied victory was won in Europe
Europe
, a 1945 international conference held in San Francisco produced the United Nations
United Nations
Charter , which became active after the war. The United States
United States
developed the first nuclear weapons and used them on Japan
Japan
in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ; causing the Japanese to surrender on September 2, ending World War II. Parades and celebrations followed in what is known as Victory Day , or V-J Day.

COLD WAR AND CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

Main articles: History of the United States
History of the United States
(1945–64) , History of the United States
United States
(1964–80) , and History of the United States (1980–91) Further information: Cold War
Cold War
, Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement
, War on Poverty
War on Poverty
, Space Race
Space Race
, and Reaganomics U.S. President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
at his " Tear down this wall!
Tear down this wall!
" speech in Berlin
Berlin
, Germany
Germany
on June 12, 1987. The Iron Curtainof Europe
Europe
manifested the division of the world's superpowers during the Cold War
Cold War
.

After World War II
World War II
the United States
United States
and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
jockeyed for power during what became known as the Cold War
Cold War
, driven by an ideological divide between capitalism and communism and, according to the school of geopolitics , a divide between the maritime Atlantic and the continental Eurasian camps. They dominated the military affairs of Europe
Europe
, with the U.S. and its NATO
NATO
allies on one side and the USSR and its Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
allies on the other. The U.S. developed a policy of containment towards the expansion of communist influence. While the U.S. and Soviet Union
Soviet Union
engaged in proxy wars and developed powerful nuclear arsenals, the two countries avoided direct military conflict.

The United States
United States
often opposed Third World
Third World
movements that it viewed as Soviet-sponsored. American troops fought communist Chinese and North Korean forces in the Korean War
Korean War
of 1950–53. The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of the first artificial satellite and its 1961 launch of the first manned spaceflight initiated a " Space Race
Space Race
" in which the United States
United States
became the first nation to land a man on the moon in 1969. A proxy war in Southeast Asia eventually evolved into full American participation, as the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
.

At home, the U.S. experienced sustained economic expansion and a rapid growth of its population and middle class. Construction of an Interstate Highway System
Interstate Highway System
transformed the nation's infrastructure over the following decades. Millions moved from farms and inner cities to large suburban housing developments. In 1959 Hawaii
Hawaii
became the 50th and last U.S. state
U.S. state
added to the country. The growing Civil Rights Movement used nonviolence to confront segregation and discrimination, with Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
becoming a prominent leader and figurehead. A combination of court decisions and legislation, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1968, sought to end racial discrimination. Meanwhile, a counterculture movement grew which was fueled by opposition to the Vietnam war , black nationalism , and the sexual revolution .

The launch of a " War on Poverty
War on Poverty
" expanded entitlements and welfare spending, including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid
Medicaid
, two programs that provide health coverage to the elderly and poor, respectively, and the means-tested Food Stamp Program
Food Stamp Program
and Aid to Families with Dependent Children .

The 1970s and early 1980s saw the onset of stagflation . After his election in 1980, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
responded to economic stagnation with free-market oriented reforms . Following the collapse of détente , he abandoned "containment" and initiated the more aggressive "rollback " strategy towards the USSR. After a surge in female labor participation over the previous decade, by 1985 the majority of women aged 16 and over were employed.

The late 1980s brought a "thaw " in relations with the USSR, and its collapse in 1991 finally ended the Cold War. This brought about unipolarity with the U.S. unchallenged as the world's dominant superpower. The concept of Pax Americana
Pax Americana
, which had appeared in the post- World War II
World War II
period, gained wide popularity as a term for the post- Cold War
Cold War
new world order.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY

Main articles: History of the United States
History of the United States
(1991–2008) and History of the United States
United States
(2008–present) Further information: Gulf War
Gulf War
, September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
, War on Terror
War on Terror
, 2008 financial crisis
2008 financial crisis
, and Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act
The World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during the September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks
in 2001 One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center
, newly-built in its place

After the Cold War, the conflict in the Middle East triggered a crisis in 1990, when Iraq under Sadaam Hussein
Sadaam Hussein
invaded and attempted to annex Kuwait , an ally of the United States. Fearing that the instability would spread to other regions, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Shield , a defensive force buildup in Saudi Arabia, and Operation Desert Storm , in a staging titled the Gulf War; waged by coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States against Iraq ending in the successful expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, restoring the former monarchy.

Originating in U.S. defense networks , the Internet
Internet
spread to international academic networks, and then to the public in the 1990s, greatly affecting the global economy, society, and culture.

Due to the dot-com boom , stable monetary policy under Alan Greenspan , and reduced social welfare spending , the 1990s saw the longest economic expansion in modern U.S. history, ending in 2001. Beginning in 1994, the U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), linking 450 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate trade and investment barriers among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Mexico
by January 1, 2008. Trade among the three partners has soared since NAFTA went into force.

On September 11, 2001 , Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City
New York City
and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., killing nearly 3,000 people. In response, the United States
United States
launched the War on Terror
War on Terror
, which included war in Afghanistan and the 2003–11 Iraq War
Iraq War
. In 2007, the Bush administration ordered a major troop surge in the Iraq War
Iraq War
, which successfully reduced violence and led to greater stability in the region.

Government policy designed to promote affordable housing, widespread failures in corporate and regulatory governance, and historically low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve led to the mid-2000s housing bubble , which culminated with the 2008 financial crisis
2008 financial crisis
, the largest economic contraction in the nation's history since the Great Depression. Barack Obama
Barack Obama
, the first African American
African American
and multiracial president, was elected in 2008 amid the crisis, and subsequently passed stimulus measures and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to mitigate its negative effects. While the stimulus facilitated infrastructure improvements and a relative decline in unemployment, Dodd-Frank has had a negative impact on business investment and small banks.

In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act
Affordable Care Act
, which made the most sweeping reforms to the nation\'s healthcare system in nearly five decades, including mandates , subsidies and insurance exchanges . The law caused a significant reduction in the number and percentage of people without health insurance, with 24 million covered during 2016, but remains controversial due to its impact on healthcare costs, insurance premiums, and economic performance. Although the recession reached its trough in June 2009, voters remained frustrated with the slow pace of the economic recovery. The Republicans, who stood in opposition to Obama's policies, won control of the House of Representatives with a landslide in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014 .

American forces in Iraq were withdrawn in large numbers in 2009 and 2010, and the war in the region was declared formally over in December 2011. The withdrawal caused an escalation of sectarian insurgency , leading to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
, the successor of al-Qaeda in the region. In 2014, Obama announced a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961. The next year, the United States
United States
as a member of the P5+1 countries signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
, an agreement aimed to slow the development of Iran\'s nuclear program .

In 2016, Donald Trump
Donald Trump
won the presidential election narrowly beating Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
. This controversial win sparked political unrest nationally and evoked numerous revolts, protests, and especially riots by groups like antifa , usually on college campuses and in Berkely, California
California
.

GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, AND ENVIRONMENT

Main articles: Geography of the United States
Geography of the United States
, Climate of the United States , and Environment of the United States
Environment of the United States
A composite satellite image of the contiguous United States
United States
and surrounding areas Köppen climate classifications

The land area of the contiguous United States
United States
is 2,959,064 square miles (7,663,940.6 km2). Alaska, separated from the contiguous United States by Canada, is the largest state at 663,268 square miles (1,717,856.2 km2). Hawaii
Hawaii
, occupying an archipelago in the central Pacific , southwest of North America, is 10,931 square miles (28,311 km2) in area. The populated territories of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
, American Samoa , Guam
Guam
, Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
, and U.S. Virgin Islands together cover 9,185 square miles (23,789 km2).

The United States
United States
is the world's third- or fourth-largest nation by total area (land and water), ranking behind Russia
Russia
and Canada
Canada
and just above or below China
China
. The ranking varies depending on how two territories disputed by China
China
and India
India
are counted and how the total size of the United States
United States
is measured: calculations range from 3,676,486 square miles (9,522,055.0 km2) to 3,717,813 square miles (9,629,091.5 km2) to 3,796,742 square miles (9,833,516.6 km2) to 3,805,927 square miles (9,857,306 km2). Measured by only land area, the United States
United States
is third in size behind Russia
Russia
and China, just ahead of Canada.

The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont . The Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest . The Mississippi
Mississippi
Missouri
Missouri
River , 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
Great Plains
stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast.

The Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in Colorado
Colorado
. Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave . The Sierra Nevada
Nevada
and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast , both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 14,000 feet (4,300 m). The lowest and highest points in the contiguous United States
United States
are in the state of California
California
, and only about 84 miles (135 km) apart. At an elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190.5 m), Alaska's Denali
Denali
(Mount McKinley) is the highest peak in the country and North America. Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands , and Hawaii
Hawaii
consists of volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
in the Rockies
Rockies
is the continent's largest volcanic feature.

The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types. To the east of the 100th meridian , the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. The Great Plains
Great Plains
west of the 100th meridian are semi-arid. Much of the Western mountains have an alpine climate . The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California
California
, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington and southern Alaska. Most of Alaska
Alaska
is subarctic or polar. Hawaii
Hawaii
and the southern tip of Florida
Florida
are tropical, as are the populated territories in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico
Mexico
are prone to hurricanes , and most of the world's tornadoes occur within the country, mainly in Tornado
Tornado
Alley areas in the Midwest and South.

WILDLIFE

Main articles: Fauna of the United States
Fauna of the United States
and Flora of the United States See also: Category:Biota of the United States
United States
The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States
United States
since 1782.

The U.S. ecology is megadiverse : about 17,000 species of vascular plants occur in the contiguous United States
United States
and Alaska, and over 1,800 species of flowering plants are found in Hawaii, few of which occur on the mainland. The United States
United States
is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species. About 91,000 insect species have been described. The bald eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States, and is an enduring symbol of the country itself.

There are 58 national parks and hundreds of other federally managed parks, forests, and wilderness areas. Altogether, the government owns about 28% of the country's land area. Most of this is protected , though some is leased for oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, or cattle ranching; about .86% is used for military purposes.

Environmental issues have been on the national agenda since 1970. Environmental controversies include debates on oil and nuclear energy , dealing with air and water pollution, the economic costs of protecting wildlife, logging and deforestation , and international responses to global warming. Many federal and state agencies are involved. The most prominent is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created by presidential order in 1970. The idea of wilderness has shaped the management of public lands since 1964, with the Wilderness
Wilderness
Act. The Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species Act
of 1973 is intended to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitats, which are monitored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main articles: Demography of the United States, Americans
Americans
, List of U.S. states by population density , and List of United States
United States
cities by population

POPULATION

HISTORICAL POPULATION

CENSUS POP.

1790 3,929,214

1800 5,308,483

35.1%

1810 7,239,881

36.4%

1820 9,638,453

33.1%

1830 12,866,020

33.5%

1840 17,069,453

32.7%

1850 23,191,876

35.9%

1860 31,443,321

35.6%

1870 38,558,371

22.6%

1880 50,189,209

30.2%

1890 62,979,766

25.5%

1900 76,212,168

21.0%

1910 92,228,496

21.0%

1920 106,021,537

15.0%

1930 123,202,624

16.2%

1940 132,164,569

7.3%

1950 151,325,798

14.5%

1960 179,323,175

18.5%

1970 203,211,926

13.3%

1980 226,545,805

11.5%

1990 248,709,873

9.8%

2000 281,421,906

13.2%

2010 308,745,538

9.7%

EST. 2017 324,600,000

5.1%

1610-1780 population data. Note that the census numbers do not include Native Americans
Americans
until 1860.

RACE/ETHNICITY (2015 ACS ESTIMATES)

BY RACE:

White 77.1%

Black 13.3%

Asian 5.6%

American Indian and Alaska
Alaska
Native 1.2%

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
0.2%

Multiracial 2.6%

BY ETHNICITY:

Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 17.6%

Non-Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 82.4%

Largest ancestry groups by county (2000), led by German Americans
Americans

The U.S. Census Bureauestimated the country's population to be 323,425,550 as of April 25, 2016, and to be adding 1 person (net gain) every 13 seconds, or about 6,646 people per day. The U.S. population almost quadrupled during the 20th century, from about 76 million in 1900. The third most populous nation in the world, after China
China
and India
India
, the United States
United States
is the only major industrialized nation in which large population increases are projected. In the 1800s the average woman had 7.04 children, by the 1900s this number had decreased to 3.56. Since the early 1970s the birth rate has been below the replacement rate of 2.1 with 1.86 children per woman in 2014. Foreign born
Foreign born
immigration has caused the US population to continue its rapid increase with the foreign born population doubling from almost 20 million in 1990 to over 40 million in 2010, representing one third of the population increase. The foreign born population reached 45 million in 2015.

The United States
United States
has a birth rate of 13 per 1,000, which is 5 births below the world average. Its population growth rate is positive at 0.7%, higher than that of many developed nations . In fiscal year 2012, over one million immigrants (most of whom entered through family reunification ) were granted legal residence . Mexico
Mexico
has been the leading source of new residents since the 1965 Immigration Act . China, India, and the Philippines
Philippines
have been in the top four sending countries every year since the 1990s. As of 2012 , approximately 11.4 million residents are illegal immigrants . As of 2015, 47% of all immigrants are Hispanic, 26% are Asian, 18% are white and 8% are black. The percentage of immigrants who are Asian is increasing while the percentage who are Hispanic is decreasing.

According to a survey conducted by the Williams Institute, nine million Americans, or roughly 3.4% of the adult population identify themselves as homosexual , bisexual , or transgender . A 2016 Gallup poll also concluded that 4.1% of adult Americans
Americans
identified as LGBT
LGBT
. The highest percentage came from the District of Columbia (10%), while the lowest state was North Dakota
North Dakota
at 1.7%. In a 2013 survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
found that 96.6% of Americans
Americans
identify as straight, while 1.6% identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identify as being bisexual.

In 2010, the U.S. population included an estimated 5.2 million people with some American Indian or Alaska
Alaska
Native ancestry (2.9 million exclusively of such ancestry) and 1.2 million with some native Hawaiian or Pacific island ancestry (0.5 million exclusively). The census counted more than 19 million people of "Some Other Race" who were "unable to identify with any" of its five official race categories in 2010, over 18.5 million (97%) of whom are of Hispanic ethnicity.

The population growth of Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic and Latino Americans
(the terms are officially interchangeable) is a major demographic trend . The 50.5 million Americans
Americans
of Hispanic descent are identified as sharing a distinct "ethnicity " by the Census Bureau; 64% of Hispanic Americans are of Mexican descent . Between 2000 and 2010, the country's Hispanic population increased 43% while the non-Hispanic population rose just 4.9%. Much of this growth is from immigration; in 2007, 12.6% of the U.S. population was foreign-born , with 54% of that figure born in Latin
Latin
America . U.S. population density in 2005

About 82% of Americans
Americans
live in urban areas (including suburbs); about half of those reside in cities with populations over 50,000. The US has numerous clusters of cities known as megaregions, the largest being the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
Megalopolis followed by the Northeast Megalopolis and Southern California
California
. In 2008, 273 incorporated municipalities had populations over 100,000, nine cities had more than one million residents, and four global cities had over two million (New York , Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, Chicago
Chicago
, and Houston
Houston
). There are 52 metropolitan areas with populations greater than one million. Of the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 47 are in the West or South. The metro areas of San Bernardino , Dallas
Dallas
, Houston, Atlanta
Atlanta
, and Phoenix all grew by more than a million people between 2000 and 2008.

LEADING POPULATION CENTERS (SEE COMPLETE LIST )

* view * talk * edit

RANK CORE CITY (CITIES) METRO AREA POPULATION METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA REGION

New York City
New York City

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Chicago
Chicago

Dallas
Dallas

1 NEW YORK 20,182,305 New York–Newark–Jersey City, NY–NJ–PA MSA Northeast

2 LOS ANGELES 13,340,068 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, CA MSA West

3 CHICAGO 9,551,031 Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL–IN–WI MSA Midwest

4 DALLAS–FORT WORTH 7,102,796 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX MSA South

5 HOUSTON 6,656,947 Houston–The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA South

6 WASHINGTON, D.C. 6,097,684 Washington, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA South

7 PHILADELPHIA 6,069,875 Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD MSA Northeast

8 MIAMI 6,012,331 Miami–Fort Lauderdale–West Palm Beach, FL MSA South

9 ATLANTA 5,710,795 Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Roswell, GA MSA South

10 BOSTON 4,774,321 Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA–NH MSA Northeast

11 SAN FRANCISCO 4,656,132 San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA MSA West

12 PHOENIX 4,574,531 Phoenix–Mesa–Chandler, AZ MSA West

13 RIVERSIDE–SAN BERNARDINO 4,489,159 Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA MSA West

14 DETROIT 4,302,043 Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI MSA Midwest

15 SEATTLE 3,733,580 Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue, WA MSA West

16 MINNEAPOLIS–ST. PAUL 3,524,583 Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI MSA Midwest

17 SAN DIEGO 3,299,521 San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA MSA West

18 TAMPA–ST. PETERSBURG 2,975,225 Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL MSA South

19 DENVER 2,814,330 Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO MSA West

20 ST. LOUIS 2,811,588 St. Louis
St. Louis
MO–IL MSA Midwest

Based on 2015 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau

LANGUAGE

Main article: Languages of the United States
Languages of the United States
See also: Language Spoken at Home in the United States
United States
of America , List of endangered languages in the United States
United States
, and Language education in the United States

English ( American English
American English
) is the de facto national language . Although there is no official language at the federal level, some laws—such as U.S. naturalization requirements —standardize English. In 2010, about 230 million, or 80% of the population aged five years and older, spoke only English at home. Spanish , spoken by 12% of the population at home, is the second most common language and the most widely taught second language. Some Americans
Americans
advocate making English the country's official language, as it is in 32 states.

Both Hawaiian and English are official languages in Hawaii
Hawaii
, by state law. Alaska
Alaska
recognizes twenty Native languages as well as English. While neither has an official language, New Mexico
Mexico
has laws providing for the use of both English and Spanish, as Louisiana
Louisiana
does for English and French . Other states, such as California
California
, mandate the publication of Spanish versions of certain government documents including court forms. Many jurisdictions with large numbers of non-English speakers produce government materials, especially voting information, in the most commonly spoken languages in those jurisdictions.

Several insular territories grant official recognition to their native languages, along with English: Samoan and Chamorro are recognized by American Samoa
American Samoa
and Guam
Guam
, respectively; Carolinian and Chamorro are recognized by the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
; Cherokee is officially recognized by the Cherokee Nationwithin the Cherokee tribal jurisdiction area in eastern Oklahoma; Spanish is an official language of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and is more widely spoken than English there.

The most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, in terms of enrollment numbers from kindergarten through university undergraduate studies, are: Spanish (around 7.2 million students), French (1.5 million), and German (500,000). Other commonly taught languages (with 100,000 to 250,000 learners) include Latin
Latin
, Japanese , ASL , Italian , and Chinese . 18% of all Americans
Americans
claim to speak at least one language in addition to English.

Languages spoken at home by more than 1 million persons in the U.S. (2015) LANGUAGE Percent of population Number of speakers Number who speak English very well Number who speak English less than very well

English (only) ~80% 236,908,935 N/A N/A

Spanish (including Spanish Creole but excluding Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
) 12% 40,045,795 23,608,139 16,437,140

Chinese (all varieties) 0.9% 3,333,588 1,476,392 1,857,196

French (including Patois , Cajun and Haitian Creole
Haitian Creole
) 0.6% 2,129,815 1,519,024 610,791

Tagalog (including Filipino ) 0.5% 1,737,186 1,173,917 563,269

Vietnamese 0.4% 1,468,251 602,788 865,463

Hindustani (including Hindi
Hindi
and Urdu
Urdu
) 0.4% 1,294,209 980,600 313,609

Arabic (all varieties) 0.3% 1,156,908 726,768 430,140

Korean 0.3% 1,108,798 518,690 590,108

German (including Yiddish
Yiddish
) 0.3% 1,103,255 903,091 200,164

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in the United States
Religion in the United States
See also: History of religion in the United States
United States
, Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
in the United States , Separation of church and state in the United States, and List of religious movements that began in the United States

Religious affiliation in the U.S. (2014) AFFILIATION % OF U.S. POPULATION

Christian 70.6 70.6

Protestant
Protestant
46.5 46.5

Evangelical Protestant
Protestant
25.4 25.4

Mainline Protestant
Protestant
14.7 14.7

Black church
Black church
6.5 6.5

Catholic
Catholic
20.8 20.8

Mormon
Mormon
1.6 1.6

Jehovah\'s Witnesses 0.8 0.8

Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
0.5 0.5

Other Christian 0.4 0.4

Jewish
Jewish
1.9 1.9

Muslim
Muslim
0.9 0.9

Buddhist
Buddhist
0.7 0.7

Hindu
Hindu
0.7 0.7

Other faiths 1.8 1.8

Irreligious 22.8 22.8

Nothing in particular 15.8 15.8

Agnostic 4.0 4

Atheist 3.1 3.1

Don't know or refused answer 0.6 0.6

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids Congress from passing laws respecting its establishment .

Christianity
Christianity
is by far the most common religion practiced in the U.S., but other religions are followed, too. In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans
Americans
said that religion played a "very important role in their lives", a far higher figure than that of any other wealthy nation. In a 2009 Gallup poll, 42% of Americans
Americans
said that they attended church weekly or almost weekly; the figures ranged from a low of 23% in Vermont
Vermont
to a high of 63% in Mississippi.

As with other Western countries, the U.S. is becoming less religious. Irreligionis growing rapidly among Americans
Americans
under 30. Polls show that overall American confidence in organized religion has been declining since the mid to late 1980s, and that younger Americans
Americans
in particular are becoming increasingly irreligious. According to a 2012 study, Protestant
Protestant
share of U.S. population dropped to 48%, thus ending its status as religious category of the majority for the first time. Americans
Americans
with no religion have 1.7 children compared to 2.2 among Christians. The unaffiliated are less likely to get married with 37% marrying compared to 52% of Christians.

According to a 2014 survey, 70.6% of adults identified themselves as Christian , Protestant
Protestant
denominations accounted for 46.5%, while Roman Catholicism , at 20.8%, was the largest individual denomination. The total reporting non-Christian religions in 2014 was 5.9%. Other religions include Judaism (1.9%), Islam (0.9%), Buddhism (0.7%), Hinduism (0.7%). The survey also reported that 22.8% of Americans described themselves as agnostic , atheist or simply having no religion , up from 8.2% in 1990. There are also Unitarian Universalist , Baha\'i , Sikh
Sikh
, Jain , Shinto
Shinto
, Confucian , Taoist , Druid , Native American , Wiccan , humanist and deist communities.

Protestantism
Protestantism
is the largest Christian religious grouping in the United States. Baptists collectively form the largest branch of Protestantism, and the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
is the largest individual Protestant
Protestant
denomination. About 26% of Americans
Americans
identify as Evangelical Protestants , while 15% are Mainline and 7% belong to a traditionally Black church. Roman Catholicism in the United States
United States
has its origin in the Spanish and French colonization of the Americas, and later grew because of Irish, Italian, Polish, German and Hispanic immigration. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
has the highest percentage of Catholics with 40 percent of the total population. Lutheranism
Lutheranism
in the U.S. has its origin in immigration from Northern Europe
Europe
and Germany
Germany
. North and South Dakota
South Dakota
are the only states in which a plurality of the population is Lutheran. Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
was introduced in North America by Scottish and Ulster Scots immigrants. Although it has spread across the United States, it is heavily concentrated on the East Coast. Dutch Reformedcongregations were founded first in New Amsterdam (New York City) before spreading westward. Utah
Utah
is the only state where Mormonism
Mormonism
is the religion of the majority of the population. The Mormon
Mormon
Corridor also extends to parts of Idaho
Idaho
, Nevada
Nevada
and Wyoming
Wyoming
.

The Bible Belt
Bible Belt
is an informal term for a region in the Southern United States
United States
in which socially conservative Evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average. By contrast, religion plays the least important role in New England and in the Western United States
Western United States
.

FAMILY STRUCTURE

Main article: Family structure in the United States
Family structure in the United States

As of 2007 , 58% of Americans
Americans
age 18 and over were married, 6% were widowed, 10% were divorced, and 25% had never been married. Women now work mostly outside the home and receive a majority of bachelor\'s degrees .

The U.S. teenage pregnancy rate is 26.5 per 1,000 women. The rate has declined by 57% since 1991. In 2013, the highest teenage birth rate was in Alabama
Alabama
, and the lowest in Wyoming
Wyoming
. Abortion is legal throughout the U.S., owing to _ Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade
_, a 1973 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
. While the abortion rate is falling, the abortion ratio of 241 per 1,000 live births and abortion rate of 15 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 remain higher than those of most Western nations. In 2013, the average age at first birth was 26 and 40.6% of births were to unmarried women.

The total fertility rate (TFR) was estimated for 2013 at 1.86 births per woman. Adoption in the United States
Adoption in the United States
is common and relatively easy from a legal point of view (compared to other Western countries). In 2001, with over 127,000 adoptions, the U.S. accounted for nearly half of the total number of adoptions worldwide. Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide and it is legal for same-sex couples to adopt. Polygamy
Polygamy
is illegal throughout the U.S.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Main articles: Federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
, State governments of the United States
United States
, Local government in the United States , and Elections in the United States The United States Capitol , where Congress meets: the Senate , left; the House , right The White House
White House
, home and workplace of the U.S. President Supreme Court Building , where the nation\'s highest court sits Donald Trump
Donald Trump
, the President of the United States
President of the United States
since January 20, 2017

The United States
United States
is the world's oldest surviving federation . It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy , "in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law ". The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the U.S. Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. For 2016, the U.S. ranked 21st on the Democracy Index
Democracy Index
(tied with Italy
Italy
) and 18th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

In the American federalist system , citizens are usually subject to three levels of government : federal, state, and local. The local government 's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments . In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, and it is rare at lower levels.

The federal government is composed of three branches:

* Legislative : The bicameral Congress , made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives , makes federal law , declares war , approves treaties, has the power of the purse , and has the power of impeachment , by which it can remove sitting members of the government. * Executive : The 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. * Judicial : The Supreme Court and lower federal courts , whose judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional .

The Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
in New York City
New York City
is a symbol of both the U.S. and the ideals of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.

The House of Representatives has 435 voting members, each representing a congressional district for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population every tenth year. At the 2010 census , seven states had the minimum of one representative, while California, the most populous state, had 53.

The Senate has 100 members with each state having two senators, elected at-large to six-year terms; one third of Senate seats are up for election every other year. The President serves a four-year term and may be elected to the office no more than twice . The President is not elected by direct vote , but by an indirect electoral college system in which the determining votes are apportioned to the states and the District of Columbia . The Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of the United States
United States
, has nine members, who serve for life.

The state governments are structured in roughly similar fashion; Nebraska
Nebraska
uniquely has a unicameral legislature. The governor (chief executive) of each state is directly elected. Some state judges and cabinet officers are appointed by the governors of the respective states, while others are elected by popular vote.

The original text of the Constitution establishes the structure and responsibilities of the federal government and its relationship with the individual states. Article One protects the right to the "great writ" of habeas corpus . The Constitution has been amended 27 times; the first ten amendments, which make up the Bill of Rights , and the Fourteenth Amendment form the central basis of Americans' individual rights. All laws and governmental procedures are subject to judicial review and any law ruled by the courts to be in violation of the Constitution is voided. The principle of judicial review, not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, was established by the Supreme Court in _ Marbury v. Madison_ (1803) in a decision handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall
John Marshall
.

POLITICAL DIVISIONS

Main articles: Political divisions of the United States
Political divisions of the United States
, U.S. state , Territories of the United States
Territories of the United States
, List of states and territories of the United States
United States
, and Indian reservation
Indian reservation
Further information: Territorial evolution of the United States
Territorial evolution of the United States
and United States territorial acquisitions Map of U.S. Economic Exclusion Zone
Economic Exclusion Zone
, highlighting states, territories and possessions

The United States
United States
is a federal republic of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and eleven uninhabited island possessions. The states and territories are the principal administrative districts in the country. These are divided into subdivisions of counties and independent cities. The District of Columbia is a federal district that contains the capital of the United States, Washington DC. The states and the District of Columbia choose the President of the United States. Each state has presidential electors equal to the number of their Representatives and Senators in Congress; the District of Columbia has three.

Congressional Districts are reapportioned among the states following each decennial Census of Population. Each state then draws single member districts to conform with the census apportionment. The total number of Representatives is 435, and delegate Members of Congress represent the District of Columbia and the five major U.S. territories.

The United States
United States
also observes tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations to a limited degree, as it does with the states' sovereignty. American Indians are U.S. citizens and tribal lands are subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress and the federal courts. Like the states they have a great deal of autonomy, but also like the states tribes are not allowed to make war, engage in their own foreign relations, or print and issue currency.

STATE FLAGS AND STATEHOOD DATES

(LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

* Alabama
Alabama
: Dec. 14, 1819 * Alaska
Alaska
: Jan. 3, 1959 * Arizona
Arizona
: Feb. 14, 1912 * Arkansas
Arkansas
: Jun. 15, 1836 * California
California
: Sep. 9, 1850 * Colorado
Colorado
: Aug. 1, 1876 * Connecticut
Connecticut
: Jan. 9, 1788 * Delaware
Delaware
: Dec. 7, 1787 * Florida
Florida
: Mar. 3, 1845 * Georgia : Jan. 2, 1788 * Hawaii
Hawaii
: Aug. 21, 1959 * Idaho
Idaho
: Jul. 3, 1890 * Illinois
Illinois
: Dec. 3, 1818 * Indiana
Indiana
: Dec. 11, 1816 * Iowa
Iowa
: Dec. 28, 1846 * Kansas
Kansas
: Jan. 29, 1861 * Kentucky
Kentucky
: Jun. 1, 1792 * Louisiana
Louisiana
: Apr. 30, 1812 * Maine
Maine
: Mar. 15, 1820 * Maryland
Maryland
: Apr. 28, 1788 * Massachusetts
Massachusetts
: Feb. 6, 1788 * Michigan
Michigan
: Jan. 26, 1837 * Minnesota
Minnesota
: May 11, 1858 * Mississippi
Mississippi
: Dec. 10, 1817 * Missouri
Missouri
: Aug. 10, 1821 * Montana
Montana
: Nov. 8, 1889 * Nebraska
Nebraska
: Mar. 1, 1867 * Nevada
Nevada
: Oct. 31, 1864 * New Hampshire
New Hampshire
: Jun. 21, 1788 * New Jersey
New Jersey
: Dec. 18, 1787 * New Mexico
Mexico
: Jan. 6, 1912 * New York : Jul. 26, 1788 * North Carolina
North Carolina
: Nov. 21, 1789 * North Dakota
North Dakota
: Nov. 2, 1889 * Ohio
Ohio
: Mar. 1, 1803 * Oklahoma
Oklahoma
: Nov. 16, 1907 * Oregon
Oregon
: Feb. 14, 1859 * Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
: Dec. 12, 1787 * Rhode Island
Rhode Island
: May 29, 1790 * South Carolina
South Carolina
: May 23, 1788 * South Dakota
South Dakota
: Nov. 2, 1889 * Tennessee
Tennessee
: Jun. 1, 1796 * Texas
Texas
: Dec. 29, 1845 * Utah
Utah
: Jan. 4, 1896 * Vermont
Vermont
: Mar. 4, 1791 * Virginia
Virginia
: Jun. 25, 1788 * Washington : Nov. 11, 1889 * West Virginia
Virginia
: Jun. 20, 1863 * Wisconsin
Wisconsin
: May 29, 1848 * Wyoming
Wyoming
: Jul. 10, 1890

(LISTED CHRONOLOGICALLY)

* Dec. 7, 1787: Delaware
Delaware
* Dec. 12, 1787: Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
* Dec. 18, 1787: New Jersey
New Jersey
* Jan. 2, 1788: Georgia * Jan. 9, 1788: Connecticut
Connecticut
* Feb. 6, 1788: Massachusetts
Massachusetts
* Apr. 28, 1788: Maryland
Maryland
* May 23, 1788: South Carolina
South Carolina
* Jun. 21, 1788: New Hampshire
New Hampshire
* Jun. 25, 1788: Virginia
Virginia
* Jul. 26, 1788: New York * Nov. 21, 1789: North Carolina
North Carolina
* May 29, 1790: Rhode Island
Rhode Island
* Mar. 4, 1791: Vermont
Vermont
* Jun. 1, 1792: Kentucky
Kentucky
* Jun. 1, 1796: Tennessee
Tennessee
* Mar. 1, 1803: Ohio
Ohio
* Apr. 30, 1812: Louisiana
Louisiana
* Dec. 11, 1816: Indiana
Indiana
* Dec. 10, 1817: Mississippi
Mississippi
* Dec. 3, 1818: Illinois
Illinois
* Dec. 14, 1819: Alabama
Alabama
* Mar. 15, 1820: Maine
Maine
* Aug. 10, 1821: Missouri
Missouri
* Jun. 15, 1836: Arkansas
Arkansas
* Jan. 26, 1837: Michigan
Michigan
* Mar. 3, 1845: Florida
Florida
* Dec. 29, 1845: Texas
Texas
* Dec. 28, 1846: Iowa
Iowa
* May 29, 1848: Wisconsin
Wisconsin
* Sep. 9, 1850: California
California
* May 11, 1858: Minnesota
Minnesota
* Feb. 14, 1859: Oregon
Oregon
* Jan. 29, 1861: Kansas
Kansas
* Jun. 20, 1863: West Virginia
Virginia
* Oct. 31, 1864: Nevada
Nevada
* Mar. 1, 1867: Nebraska
Nebraska
* Aug. 1, 1876: Colorado
Colorado
* Nov. 2, 1889: North Dakota
North Dakota
* Nov. 2, 1889: South Dakota
South Dakota
* Nov. 8, 1889: Montana
Montana
* Nov. 11, 1889: Washington * Jul. 3, 1890: Idaho
Idaho
* Jul. 10, 1890: Wyoming
Wyoming
* Jan. 4, 1896: Utah
Utah
* Nov. 16, 1907: Oklahoma
Oklahoma
* Jan. 6, 1912 : New Mexico
Mexico
* Feb. 14, 1912 : Arizona
Arizona
* Jan. 3, 1959: Alaska
Alaska
* Aug. 21, 1959: Hawaii
Hawaii

Statehood date is the date of ratifying the Constitution (for the first 13) or being admitted to the Union (for subsequent states)

PARTIES AND ELECTIONS

Main articles: Politics of the United States
Politics of the United States
and Political ideologies in the United States
United States
Congressional leadership meeting with then-President Obama in 2011.

The United States
United States
has operated under a two-party system for most of its history. For elective offices at most levels, state-administered primary elections choose the major party nominees for subsequent general elections . Since the general election of 1856 , the major parties have been the Democratic Party , founded in 1824 , and the Republican Party , founded in 1854 . Since the Civil War, only one third-party presidential candidate—former president Theodore Roosevelt , running as a Progressive in 1912 —has won as much as 20% of the popular vote. The President and Vice-president are elected through the Electoral College system.

Within American political culture , the center-right Republican Party is considered "conservative " and the center-left Democratic Party is considered "liberal ". The states of the Northeast and West Coast and some of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
states, known as "blue states ", are relatively liberal. The "red states " of the South and parts of the Great Plains
Great Plains
and Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
are relatively conservative.

Republican Donald Trump
Donald Trump
, the winner of the 2016 presidential election , is currently serving as the 45th President of the United States . Current leadership in the Senate includes Republican Vice President Mike Pence
Mike Pence
, Republican President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
Orrin Hatch
, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell
, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Chuck Schumer
. Leadership in the House includes Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan
, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy , and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
.

In the 115th United States Congress
United States Congress
, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are controlled by the Republican Party. The Senate currently consists of 52 Republicans, and 46 Democrats with 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats; the House consists of 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. In state governorships, there are 33 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and 1 Independent. Among the DC mayor and the 5 territorial governors, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat, 1 New Progressive , and 2 Independents.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main articles: Foreign relations of the United Statesand Foreign policy of the United States
United States
The United Nations
United Nations
Headquarters was built in Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan
in 1952.

The United States
United States
has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
, and New York City
New York City
is home to the United Nations
United Nations
Headquarters . It is a member of the G7 , G20 , and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development . Almost all countries have embassies in Washington, D.C., and many have consulates around the country. Likewise, nearly all nations host American diplomatic missions . However, Iran
Iran
, North Korea , Bhutan , and the Republic
Republic
of China
China
(Taiwan) do not have formal diplomatic relations with the United States
United States
(although the U.S. still maintains relations with Taiwan and supplies it with military equipment ).

The United States
United States
has a " Special Relationship" with the United Kingdom and strong ties with Canada
Canada
, Australia , New Zealand , the Philippines
Philippines
, Japan
Japan
, South Korea , Israel , and several European Union
European Union
countries, including France , Italy
Italy
, Germany
Germany
, and Spain . It works closely with fellow NATO
NATO
members on military and security issues and with its neighbors through the Organization of American States and free trade agreements such as the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada
Canada
and Mexico
Mexico
. In 2008, the United States
United States
spent a net $25.4 billion on official development assistance , the most in the world. As a share of America's large gross national income (GNI), however, the U.S. contribution of 0.18% ranked last among 22 donor states. By contrast, private overseas giving by Americans
Americans
is relatively generous.

The U.S. exercises full international defense authority and responsibility for three sovereign nations through Compact of Free Association with Micronesia , the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
and Palau
Palau
. These are Pacific island nations, once part of the U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands after World War II, which gained independence in subsequent years.

GOVERNMENT FINANCE

See also: Taxation in the United Statesand United States
United States
federal budget US federal debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP, from 1790 to 2013.

Taxes in the United States
United States
are levied at the federal, state and local government level. These include taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP . During FY2012, the federal government collected approximately $2.45 trillion in tax revenue, up $147 billion or 6% versus FY2011 revenues of $2.30 trillion. Primary receipt categories included individual income taxes ($1,132B or 47%), Social Security/Social Insurance taxes ($845B or 35%), and corporate taxes ($242B or 10%). Based on CBO estimates, under 2013 tax law the top 1% will be paying the highest average tax rates since 1979, while other income groups will remain at historic lows.

U.S. taxation is generally progressive , especially the federal income taxes, and is among the most progressive in the developed world. The highest 10% of income earners pay a majority of federal taxes, and about half of all taxes. Payroll taxes for Social Security are a flat regressive tax , with no tax charged on income above $118,500 (for 2015 and 2016) and no tax at all paid on unearned income from things such as stocks and capital gains. The historic reasoning for the regressive nature of the payroll tax is that entitlement programs have not been viewed as welfare transfers. However, according to the Congressional Budget Officethe net effect of Social Security is that the benefit to tax ratio ranges from roughly 70% for the top earnings quintile to about 170% for the lowest earning quintile, making the system progressive.

The top 10% paid 51.8% of total federal taxes in 2009, and the top 1%, with 13.4% of pre-tax national income, paid 22.3% of federal taxes. In 2013 the Tax Policy Center projected total federal effective tax rates of 35.5% for the top 1%, 27.2% for the top quintile, 13.8% for the middle quintile, and −2.7% for the bottom quintile. The incidence of corporate income tax has been a matter of considerable ongoing controversy for decades. State and local taxes vary widely, but are generally less progressive than federal taxes as they rely heavily on broadly borne regressive sales and property taxes that yield less volatile revenue streams, though their consideration does not eliminate the progressive nature of overall taxation.

During FY 2012, the federal government spent $3.54 trillion on a budget or cash basis, down $60 billion or 1.7% vs. FY 2011 spending of $3.60 trillion. Major categories of FY 2012 spending included: Medicare ">_ The carrier strike groups of the Kitty Hawk _, _Ronald Reagan _, and _ Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
_ with aircraft from the Marine Corps , Navy , and Air Force .

The President holds the title of commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces and appoints its leaders, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
. The United States
United States
Department of Defense administers the armed forces, including the Army , Marine Corps , Navy , and Air Force . The Coast Guard is run by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and by the Department of the Navy during times of war. In 2008, the armed forces had 1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors.

Military service is voluntary, though conscription may occur in wartime through the Selective Service System. American forces can be rapidly deployed by the Air Force's large fleet of transport aircraft, the Navy's 10 active aircraft carriers , and Marine expeditionary units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific fleets . The military operates 865 bases and facilities abroad, and maintains deployments greater than 100 active duty personnel in 25 foreign countries.

The military budget of the United States
United States
in 2011 was more than $700 billion, 41% of global military spending and equal to the next 14 largest national military expenditures combined. At 4.7% of GDP, the rate was the second-highest among the top 15 military spenders, after Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
. U.S. defense spending as a percentage of GDP ranked 23rd globally in 2012 according to the CIA. Defense's share of U.S. spending has generally declined in recent decades, from Cold War
Cold War
peaks of 14.2% of GDP in 1953 and 69.5% of federal outlays in 1954 to 4.7% of GDP and 18.8% of federal outlays in 2011. US global military presence.

The proposed base Department of Defense budget for 2012, $553 billion, was a 4.2% increase over 2011; an additional $118 billion was proposed for the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last American troops serving in Iraq departed in December 2011; 4,484 service members were killed during the Iraq War
Iraq War
. Approximately 90,000 U.S. troops were serving in Afghanistan in April 2012; by November 8, 2013 2,285 had been killed during the War in Afghanistan .

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIME

Main articles: Law enforcement in the United Statesand Crime in the United States
United States
See also: Law of the United States
Law of the United States
, Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
, Human rights in the United States § Justice system , Incarceration in the United States, and Capital punishment in the United States
United States
Law enforcement in the U.S. is maintained primarily by local police departments.

Law enforcement in the United Statesis primarily the responsibility of local police and sheriff 's departments, with state police providing broader services. The New York City
New York City
Police Department (NYPD) is the largest in the country. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights , national security and enforcing U.S. federal courts
U.S. federal courts
' rulings and federal laws. At the federal level and in almost every state, a legal system operates on a common law . State courts conduct most criminal trials; federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts. Plea bargaining in the United States is very common; the vast majority of criminal cases in the country are settled by plea bargain rather than jury trial .

In 2015, there were 15,696 murders which was 1,532 more than in 2014, a 10.8 per cent increase, the largest since 1971. The murder rate in 2015 was 4.9 per 100,000 people. The national clearance rate for homicides in 2015 was 64.1%, compared to 90% in 1965. In 2012 there were 4.7 murders per 100,000 persons in the United States, a 54% decline from the modern peak of 10.2 in 1980. In 2001–2, the United States had above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence compared to other developed nations. A cross-sectional analysis of the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States
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." Gun ownership rights continue to be the subject of contentious political debate .

From 1980 through 2008 males represented 77% of homicide victims and 90% of offenders. Blacks committed 52.5% of all homicides during that span, at a rate almost eight times that of whites ("whites" includes most Hispanics), and were victimized at a rate six times that of whites. Most homicides were intraracial, with 93% of black victims killed by blacks and 84% of white victims killed by whites. In 2012, Louisiana
Louisiana
had the highest rate of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in the U.S., and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
the lowest. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports
Uniform Crime Reports
estimates that there were 3,246 violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents in 2012, for a total of over 9 million total crimes.

Capital punishment
Capital punishment
is sanctioned in the United States
United States
for certain federal and military crimes, and used in 31 states. No executions took place from 1967 to 1977, owing in part to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down arbitrary imposition of the death penalty. In 1976, that Court ruled that, under appropriate circumstances, capital punishment may constitutionally be imposed. Since the decision there have been more than 1,300 executions, a majority of these taking place in three states: Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma
Oklahoma
. Meanwhile, several states have either abolished or struck down death penalty laws. In 2015, the country had the fifth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran
Iran
, Pakistan
Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
.

The United States
United States
has the highest documented incarceration rate and total prison population in the world. At the start of 2008, more than 2.3 million people were incarcerated, more than one in every 100 adults. In December 2012, the combined U.S. adult correctional systems supervised about 6,937,600 offenders. About 1 in every 35 adult residents in the United States
United States
was under some form of correctional supervision in December 2012, the lowest rate observed since 1997. The prison population has quadrupled since 1980, and state and local spending on prisons and jails has grown three times as much as that spent on public education during the same period. However, the imprisonment rate for all prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal facilities is 478 per 100,000 in 2013 and the rate for pre-trial/remand prisoners is 153 per 100,000 residents in 2012. The country's high rate of incarceration is largely due to changes in sentencing guidelines and drug policies . According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
, the majority of inmates held in federal prisons are convicted of drug offenses. The privatization of prisons and prison services which began in the 1980s has been a subject of debate. In 2008, Louisiana
Louisiana
had the highest incarceration rate , and Maine
Maine
the lowest.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of the United States
Economy of the United States
See also: Economic history of the United States
United States

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Nominal GDP $18.45 trillion (Q2 2016)

Real GDP growth 1.4% (Q2 2016)

2.6% (2015)

CPI inflation 1.1% (August 2016)

Employment-to-population ratio
Employment-to-population ratio
59.7% (August 2016)

Unemployment
Unemployment
4.9% (August 2016)

Labor force participation rate 62.8% (August 2016)

Total public debt $19.808 trillion (October 25, 2016)

Household net worth $89.063 trillion (Q2 2016)

United States
United States
export treemap (2011): The U.S. is the world's second-largest exporter.

The United States
United States
has a capitalist mixed economy which is fueled by abundant natural resources and high productivity. According to the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
, the U.S. GDP of $16.8 trillion constitutes 24% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity (PPP).

The US's nominal GDP is estimated to be $17.528 trillion as of 2014 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 G7 . The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP . The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency .

The United States
United States
is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter , though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was $635 billion. Canada
Canada
, China
China
, Mexico
Mexico
, Japan
Japan
, and Germany
Germany
are its top trading partners. In 2010, oil was the largest import commodity, while transportation equipment was the country's largest export. Japan
Japan
is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt. The largest holder of the U.S. debt are American entities, including federal government accounts and the Federal Reserve , who hold the majority of the debt.

In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 4.3% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 9.3%. The number of employees at all levels of government outnumber those in manufacturing by 1.7 to 1. While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States
United States
remains an industrial power. The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing. In the franchising business model, McDonald\'s and Subway are the two most recognized brands in the world. Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
is the most recognized soft drink company in the world.

Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The United States is the largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its second-largest importer. It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas , sulfur , phosphates, and salt . The National Mining Associationprovides data pertaining to coal and minerals that include beryllium , copper , lead , magnesium , zinc , titanium and others.

Agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, yet the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. The National Agricultural Statistics Service maintains agricultural statistics for products that include peanuts , oats , rye , wheat , rice , cotton , corn , barley , hay , sunflowers , and oilseeds . In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) provides livestock statistics regarding beef , poultry , pork , and dairy products . The country is the primary developer and grower of genetically modified food , representing half of the world's biotech crops.

Consumer spendingcomprises 68% of the U.S. economy in 2015. In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized , compared to 30% in Western Europe
Europe
. The World Bank
World Bank
ranks the United States
United States
first in the ease of hiring and firing workers. The United States
United States
is ranked among the top three in the Global Competitiveness Report as well. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than European nations tend to.

The United States
United States
is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation and is one of just a few countries in the world without paid family leave as a legal right, with the others being Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
, Suriname
Suriname
and Liberia
Liberia
. While federal law currently does not require sick leave, it is a common benefit for government workers and full-time employees at corporations. 74% of full-time American workers get paid sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although only 24% of part-time workers get the same benefits. In 2009, the United States had the third-highest workforce productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Norway
Norway
. It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands
Netherlands
.

The 2008–2012 global recession significantly affected the United States, with output still below potential according to the Congressional Budget Office. It brought high unemployment (which has been decreasing but remains above pre-recession levels), along with low consumer confidence , the continuing decline in home values and increase in foreclosures and personal bankruptcies , an escalating federal debt crisis, inflation , and rising petroleum and food prices . There remains a record proportion of long-term unemployed , continued decreasing household income , and tax and federal budget increases .

INCOME, POVERTY AND WEALTH

A tract housing development in San Jose, California
California
. Further information: Income in the United States, Poverty in the United States , Affluence in the United States, United States
United States
counties by per capita income , and Income inequality in the United States
Income inequality in the United States

Americans
Americans
have the highest average household and employee income among OECD nations, and in 2007 had the second-highest median household income . According to the Census Bureau, median household income was $53,657 in 2014. Despite accounting for only 4.4% of the global population, Americans
Americans
collectively possess 41.6% of the world's total wealth, and Americans
Americans
make up roughly half of the world's population of millionaires. The Global Food Security Indexranked the U.S. number one for food affordability and overall food security in March 2013. Americans
Americans
on average have over twice as much living space per dwelling and per person as European Union
European Union
residents, and more than every EU nation. For 2013 the United Nations
United Nations
Development Programme ranked the United States
United States
5th among 187 countries in its Human Development Index and 28th in its inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI).

There has been a widening gap between productivity and median incomes since the 1970s. However, the gap between total compensation and productivity is not as wide because of increased employee benefits such as health insurance. While inflation -adjusted ("real") household income had been increasing almost every year from 1947 to 1999, it has since been flat on balance and has even decreased recently. According to Congressional Research Service
Congressional Research Service
, during this same period, immigration to the United States
United States
increased, while the lower 90% of tax filers incomes became stagnant, and eventually decreasing since 2000. The rise in the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent, which has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011, has significantly affected income inequality , leaving the United States
United States
with one of the widest income distributions among OECD nations. The post-recession income gains have been very uneven, with the top 1 percent capturing 95 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012. The extent and relevance of income inequality is a matter of debate.

UNITED STATES\' FAMILIES MEDIAN NET WORTH source: Fed Survey of Consumer Finances IN 2013 DOLLARS 1998 2013 CHANGE

All families $102,500 $81,200 -20.8%

Bottom 20% of incomes $8,300 $6,100 -26.5%

2nd lowest 20% of incomes $47,400 $22,400 -52.7%

Middle 20% of incomes $76,300 $61,700 -19.1%

Top 10% $646,600 $1,130,700 +74.9%

Wealth , like income and taxes, is highly concentrated ; the richest 10% of the adult population possess 72% of the country's household wealth, while the bottom half claim only 2%. Between June 2007 and November 2008 the global recession led to falling asset prices around the world. Assets owned by Americans
Americans
lost about a quarter of their value. Since peaking in the second quarter of 2007, household wealth was down $14 trillion, but has since increased $14 trillion over 2006 levels. At the end of 2014, household debt amounted to $11.8 trillion, down from $13.8 trillion at the end of 2008.

There were about 578,424 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U.S. in January 2014, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. In 2011 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households , about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic. According to a 2014 report by the Census Bureau, one in five young adults lives in poverty today, up from one in seven in 1980.

INFRASTRUCTURE

TRANSPORTATION

Main article: Transportation in the United States The Interstate Highway System
Interstate Highway System
, which extends 46,876 miles (75,440 km).

Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of 4 million miles (6.4 million km) of public roads, including one of the world's longest highway systems at 57,000 miles (91700 km). The world's second-largest automobile market, the United States has the highest rate of per-capita vehicle ownership in the world, with 765 vehicles per 1,000 Americans. About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs , or light trucks. The average American adult (accounting for all drivers and non-drivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling 29 miles (47 km). Map showing current rail speeds in the United States.

Mass transit accounts for 9% of total U.S. work trips . Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 31 million annually) use intercity rail to travel, partly because of the low population density throughout much of the U.S. interior. However, ridership on Amtrak
Amtrak
, the national intercity passenger rail system , grew by almost 37% between 2000 and 2010. Also, light rail development has increased in recent years. Bicycle usage for work commutes is minimal.

The 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
American Airlines
is number one after its 2013 acquisition by US Airways
US Airways
. Of the world\'s 50 busiest passenger airports , 16 are in the United States, including the busiest, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta
Atlanta
International Airport , and the fourth-busiest, O\'Hare International Airport in Chicago
Chicago
. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacksof 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was created to police airports and commercial airliners.

ENERGY

Further information: Energy policy of the United States
Energy policy of the United States
The U.S. power transmission grid consists of about 300,000 km (190,000 mi) of lines operated by approximately 500 companies. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) oversees all of them.

The United States
United States
energy market is about 29,000 terawatt hours per year. Energy consumption per capita is 7.8 tons (7076 kg) of oil equivalent per year, the 10th-highest rate in the world. In 2005, 40% of this energy came from petroleum, 23% from coal, and 22% from natural gas. The remainder was supplied by nuclear power and renewable energy sources. The United States
United States
is the world's largest consumer of petroleum.

For decades, nuclear power has played a limited role relative to many other developed countries, in part because of public perception in the wake of a 1979 accident . In 2007, several applications for new nuclear plants were filed. The United States
United States
has 27% of global coal reserves. It is the world's largest producer of natural gas and crude oil.

WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION

Main article: Drinking water supply and sanitation in the United States

Issues that affect water supply in the United States
United States
include droughts in the West, water scarcity , pollution , a backlog of investment, concerns about the affordability of water for the poorest, and a rapidly retiring workforce. Increased variability and intensity of rainfall as a result of climate change is expected to produce both more severe droughts and flooding, with potentially serious consequences for water supply and for pollution from combined sewer overflows .

EDUCATION

Main article: Education in the United States
Education in the United States
The University of Virginia
Virginia
, founded by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
in 1819, is one of the many public universities in the United States. Universal government-funded education exists in the United States, while there are also many privately-funded institutions.

American public education is operated by state and local governments, regulated by the United States Department of Education
United States Department of Education
through restrictions on federal grants. In most states, children are required to attend school from the age of six or seven (generally, kindergarten or 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.

About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or nonsectarian private schools . Just over 2% of children are homeschooled . The U.S. spends more on education per student than any nation in the world, spending more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. Some 80% of U.S. college students attend public universities .

The United States
United States
has many competitive private and public institutions of higher education . The majority of the world's top universities listed by different ranking organizations are in the U.S. There are also local community colleges with generally more open admission policies, shorter academic programs, and lower tuition. Of Americans
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. The basic literacy rate is approximately 99%. The United Nations
United Nations
assigns the United States
United States
an Education Index of 0.97, tying it for 12th in the world.

As for public expenditures on higher education, the U.S. trails some other OECD nations but spends more per student than the OECD average, and more than all nations in combined public and private spending. As of 2012 , student loan debt exceeded one trillion dollars, more than Americans
Americans
owe on credit cards.

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of the United States
Culture of the United States
See also: Alaska
Alaska
Natives § Cultures , Native American cultures in the United States, Culture of the Native Hawaiians
Native Hawaiians
, Social class in the United States
Social class in the United States
, Public holidays in the United States
United States
, and Tourism in the United States
Tourism in the United States

The United States
United States
is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. Aside from the Native American , Native Hawaiian , and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans
Americans
or their ancestors settled or immigrated 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
Latin
America has added to a cultural mix that has been described as both a homogenizing melting pot , and a heterogeneous salad bowl in which immigrants and their descendants retain distinctive cultural characteristics.

Core American culture was established by Protestant
Protestant
British colonists and shaped by the frontier settlement process, with the traits derived passed down to descendants and transmitted to immigrants through assimilation. Americans
Americans
have traditionally been characterized by a strong work ethic , competitiveness, and individualism, as well as a unifying belief in an "American creed " emphasizing liberty, equality, private property, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for limited government. Americans
Americans
are extremely charitable by global standards. According to a 2006 British study, Americans
Americans
gave 1.67% of GDP to charity, more than any other nation studied, more than twice the second place British figure of 0.73%, and around twelve times the French figure of 0.14%.

The American Dream
American Dream
, or the perception that Americans
Americans
enjoy high social mobility , plays a key role in attracting immigrants. Whether this perception is realistic has been a topic of debate. While mainstream culture holds that the United States
United States
is a classless society , scholars identify significant differences between the country's social classes, affecting socialization , language, and values. Americans' self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with their occupations to an unusually close degree. While Americans
Americans
tend greatly to value socioeconomic achievement, being ordinary or average is generally seen as a positive attribute.

FOOD

Main article: Cuisine of the United States
Cuisine of the United States
Apple pie
Apple pie
is a food commonly associated with American cuisine.

Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat
Wheat
is the primary cereal grain with about three-quarters of grain products made of wheat flour and many dishes use indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup which were consumed by Native Americans
Americans
and early European settlers. These home grown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays; Thanksgiving , when some Americans
Americans
make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion. Roasted turkey is a traditional menu item of an American Thanksgiving dinner.

Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans
Americans
drink three times as much coffee as tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.

American eating habits owe a great deal to that of their British culinary roots with some variations. Although American lands could grow newer vegetables that Britain could not, most colonists would not eat these new foods until accepted by Europeans. Over time American foods changed to a point that food critic, John L. Hessstated in 1972: _"Our founding fathers were as far superior to our present political leaders in the quality of their food as they were in the quality of their prose and intelligence"_.

The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1940s. Fast food
Fast food
consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic ". Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.

LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY, AND THE ARTS

Main articles: American literature
American literature
, American philosophy, Architecture of the United States
Architecture of the United States
, Visual art of the United States
Visual art of the United States
, and American classical music Mark Twain
Mark Twain
, American author and humorist .

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne , Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
established a distinctive American literary voice by the middle of the 19th century. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet. A work seen as capturing fundamental aspects of the national experience and character—such as Herman Melville
Herman Melville
's _ Moby-Dick
Moby-Dick
_ (1851), Twain's _The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn _ (1885), F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
's _ The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
_ (1925) and Harper Lee's _ To Kill a Mockingbird_ (1960)—may be dubbed the " Great American Novel
Great American Novel
".

Twelve U.S. citizens have won the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
, most recently Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
in 2016. William Faulkner
William Faulkner
, Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
and John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Popular literary genres such as the Western and hardboiled crime fiction developed in the United States. The Beat Generation writers opened up new literary approaches, as have postmodernist authors such as John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, and Don DeLillo .

The transcendentalists , led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
, established the first major American philosophical movement . After the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce
and then William James
William James
and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism . In the 20th century, the work of W. V. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky , brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia. John Rawlsand Robert Nozick
Robert Nozick
led a revival of political philosophy . Cornel Westand Judith Butlerhave led a continental tradition in American philosophical academia. Chicago school economists like Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
, James M. Buchanan, and Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell
have affected various fields in social and political philosophy.

In the visual arts, the Hudson River Schoolwas a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism . The realist paintings of Thomas Eakins
Thomas Eakins
are now widely celebrated. 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
Marsden Hartley
, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock
and Willem de Kooningand the pop art of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
and Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein
developed largely in the United States. The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
, Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson
, and Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
. Americans
Americans
have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography , with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz
, Edward Steichen
Edward Steichen
, and Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams
. Times Square in New York City
New York City
, the hub of the Broadway theater district

One of the first major promoters of American theater was impresario P. T. Barnum
P. T. Barnum
, who began operating a lower Manhattan
Manhattan
entertainment complex in 1841. The team of Harrigan and Hart produced a series of popular musical comedies in New York starting in the late 1870s. In the 20th century, the modern musical form emerged on Broadway ; the songs of musical theater composers such as Irving Berlin
Berlin
, Cole Porter , and Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
have become pop standards . Playwright Eugene O\'Neill won the Nobel literature prize in 1936; other acclaimed U.S. dramatists include multiple Pulitzer Prize winners Tennessee
Tennessee
Williams , Edward Albee
Edward Albee
, and August Wilson.

Though little known at the time, Charles Ives
Charles Ives
's work of the 1910s established him as the first major U.S. composer in the classical tradition, while experimentalists such as Henry Cowell
Henry Cowell
and John Cage created a distinctive American approach to classical composition. Aaron Coplandand George Gershwin
George Gershwin
developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music.

Choreographers Isadora Duncan
Isadora Duncan
and Martha Graham
Martha Graham
helped create modern dance , while George Balanchine
George Balanchine
and Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
were leaders in 20th-century ballet.

MUSIC

Main article: Music of the United States
Music of the United States
The Grammy Award
Grammy Award
is awarded to leading music artists.

The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music
African-American music
have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European traditions. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as old-time music were adopted and transformed into popular genres with global audiences. Jazz
Jazz
was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
and Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
early in the 20th century. Country music developed in the 1920s, and rhythm and blues in the 1940s.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
and Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
were among the mid-1950s pioneers of rock and roll . In the 1960s, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
emerged from the folk revival to become one of America's most celebrated songwriters and James Brown led the development of funk . More recent American creations include hip hop and house music . American pop stars such as Presley, Michael Jackson , and Madonna have become global celebrities, as have contemporary musical artists such as Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
, Britney Spears
Britney Spears
, Katy Perry
Katy Perry
, and Beyoncé
Beyoncé
as well as hip hop artists Jay-Z
Jay-Z
, Eminem and Kanye West
Kanye West
. Rock bands such as Metallica
Metallica
, the Eagles , and Aerosmith
Aerosmith
are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales.

CINEMA

Main article: Cinema of the United States
Cinema of the United States
The Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign
in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, California
California

Hollywood
Hollywood
, a northern district of Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production. The world's first commercial motion picture exhibition was given in New York City
New York City
in 1894, using Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
's Kinetoscope. The next year saw the first commercial screening of a projected film, also in New York, and the United States
United States
was in the forefront of sound film 's development in the following decades. 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.

Director D. W. Griffith, American's top filmmaker during the silent film period, was central to the development of film grammar , and producer/entrepreneur Walt Disney
Walt Disney
was a leader in both animated film and movie merchandising . Directors such as John Ford
John Ford
redefined the image of the American Old West and history, and, like others such as John Huston
John Huston
, broadened the possibilities of cinema with location shooting, with great influence on subsequent directors. The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Hollywood
Hollywood
", from the early sound period until the early 1960s, with screen actors such as John Wayne
John Wayne
and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures. In the 1970s, film directors such as Martin Scorsese , Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Robert Altmanwere a vital component in what became known as "New Hollywood
Hollywood
" or the "Hollywood Renaissance", grittier films influenced by French and Italian realist pictures of the post-war period . Since, directors such as Steven Spielberg , George Lucas
George Lucas
and James Cameron
James Cameron
have gained renown for their blockbuster films, often characterized by high production costs, and in return, high earnings at the box office, with Cameron's _Avatar _ (2009) earning more than $2 billion.

Notable films topping the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
's AFI 100list include Orson Welles
Orson Welles
's _ Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
_ (1941), which is frequently cited as the greatest film of all time, _Casablanca _ (1942), _The Godfather _ (1972), _Gone with the Wind _ (1939), _Lawrence of Arabia _ (1962), _The Wizard of Oz _ (1939), _ The Graduate_ (1967), _On the Waterfront _ (1954), _Schindler\'s List _ (1993), _Singin\' in the Rain _ (1952), _It\'s a Wonderful Life _ (1946) and _Sunset Boulevard _ (1950). The Academy Awards
Academy Awards
, popularly known as the Oscars, have been held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929, and the Golden Globe Awards
Golden Globe Awards
have been held annually since January 1944.

SPORTS

Main article: Sports in the United States
Sports in the United States
Most popular American sports are American Football
American Football
, Baseball
Baseball
, Basketball and Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey

American football
American football
is by several measures the most popular spectator sport; the National Football League
National Football League
(NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl
Super Bowl
is watched by millions globally. Baseball
Baseball
has been regarded as the U.S. national sport since the late 19th century, with Major League Baseball (MLB) being the top league. Basketball
Basketball
and ice hockey are the country's next two leading professional team sports , with the top leagues being the National Basketball
Basketball
Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
(NHL). These four major sports, when played professionally, each occupy a season at different, but overlapping, times of the year. College football
College football
and basketball attract large audiences. In soccer , the country hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup
1994 FIFA World Cup
, the men\'s national soccer team qualified for ten World Cups and the women\'s team has won the FIFA Women\'s World Cup three times; Major League Soccer is the sport's highest league in the United States (featuring 19 American and 3 Canadian teams). The market for professional sports in the United States
United States
is roughly $69 billion, roughly 50% larger than that of all of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined.

Eight Olympic Games
Olympic Games
have taken place in the United States. As of 2014, the United States
United States
has won 2,400 medals at the Summer Olympic Games , more than any other country, and 281 in the Winter Olympic Games , the second most behind Norway. While most major U.S. sports have evolved out of European practices, basketball , volleyball , skateboarding , and snowboarding are American inventions, some of which have become popular in other countries. Lacrosse
Lacrosse
and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact. The most watched individual sports are golf and auto racing , particularly NASCAR
NASCAR
. Rugby union
Rugby union
is considered the fastest growing sport in the U.S., with registered players numbered at 115,000+ and a further 1.2 million participants.

MEDIA

Main article: Media of the United States
Media of the United States
The corporate headquarters of the American Broadcasting Company
American Broadcasting Company
in New York City
New York City

The four major broadcasters in the U.S. are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), and Fox . The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches. Americans
Americans
listen to radio programming, also largely commercial, on average just over two-and-a-half hours a day.

In 1998, the number of U.S. commercial radio stations had grown to 4,793 AM stations and 5,662 FM stations. In addition, there are 1,460 public radio stations. Most of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds, subscriptions and corporate underwriting. Much public-radio broadcasting is supplied by NPR
NPR
(formerly National Public Radio). NPR
NPR
was incorporated in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967; its television counterpart, PBS
PBS
, was also created by the same legislation. ( NPR
NPR
and PBS
PBS
are operated separately from each other.) 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).

Well-known newspapers are _ The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
_, _The New York Times _ and _ USA Today
USA Today
_. Although the cost of publishing has increased over the years, the price of newspapers has generally remained low, forcing newspapers to rely more on advertising revenue and on articles provided by a major wire service, such as the Associated Press or Reuters, for their national and world coverage. 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 weeklies" to complement the mainstream daily papers, for example, New York City's _ The Village Voice
The Village Voice
_ or Los Angeles' _ LA Weekly
LA Weekly
_, to name two of the best-known. Major cities may also support a local business journal, trade papers relating to local industries, and papers for local ethnic and social groups. Early versions of the American newspaper comic strip and the American comic book
American comic book
began appearing in the 19th century. In 1938, Superman
Superman
, the comic book superhero of DC Comics , developed into an American icon. Aside from web portals and search engines , the most popular websites are Facebook
Facebook
, YouTube
YouTube
, Wikipedia
Wikipedia
, Yahoo.com, eBay , Amazon , and Twitter
Twitter
.

More than 800 publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States
United States
behind English.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Main articles: Science and technology in the United States
Science and technology in the United States
and Science policy of the United States
Science policy of the United States
Astronaut James Irwin walking on the Moon
Moon
next to Apollo 15
Apollo 15
's landing module and lunar rover in 1971. The effort to reach the Moon
Moon
was triggered by the Space Race .

The United States
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 were developed by the U.S. War Department by the Federal Armories during the first half of the 19th century. This technology, along with the establishment of a machine tool industry, enabled the U.S. to have large scale manufacturing of sewing machines, bicycles and other items in the late 19th century and became known as the American system of manufacturing . Factory electrification in the early 20th century and introduction of the assembly line and other labor saving techniques created the system called mass production .

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
was awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone . Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
's research laboratory , one of the first of its kind, developed the phonograph , the first long-lasting light bulb , and the first viable movie camera . The latter lead to emergence of the worldwide entertainment industry . In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds
Ransom E. Olds
and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line . The Wright brothers
Wright brothers
, in 1903, made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight .

The rise of Fascism
Fascism
and Nazism
Nazism
in the 1920s and 1930s led many European scientists, including Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
, Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi
, and John von Neumann
John von Neumann
, to immigrate to the United States. During World War II, the Manhattan Project
Manhattan Project
developed nuclear weapons, ushering in the Atomic Age
Atomic Age
, while the Space Race
Space Race
produced rapid advances in rocketry, materials science , and aeronautics .

The invention of the transistor in the 1950s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics , led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U.S. technology industry. This in turn led to the establishment of many new technology companies and regions around the country such as in Silicon Valley in California. Advancements by American microprocessor companies such as Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices
(AMD), and Intel
Intel
along with both computer software and hardware companies that include Adobe Systems , Apple Inc.
Apple Inc.
, IBM
IBM
, Microsoft
Microsoft
, and Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems
created and popularized the personal computer . The ARPANET
ARPANET
was developed in the 1960s to meet Defense Department requirements, and became the first of a series of networks which evolved into the Internet
Internet
.

These advancements then lead to greater personalization of technology for individual use. As of 2013 , 83.8% of American households owned at least one computer , and 73.3% had high-speed Internet
Internet
service. 91% of Americans
Americans
also own a mobile phone as of May 2013 . The United States ranks highly with regard to freedom of use of the internet.

In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. The United States leads the world in scientific research papers and impact factor .

HEALTH

See also: Health care in the United States
Health care in the United States
, Health care reform in the United States
United States
, and Health insurance in the United States
Health insurance in the United States
The Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
is one of the best hospitals in the United States
United States

The United States
United States
has a life expectancy of 79.8 years at birth, up from 75.2 years in 1990. The infant mortality rate of 6.17 per thousand places the United States
United States
56th-lowest out of 224 countries.

Increasing obesity in the United States
United States
and health improvements elsewhere contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987, to 42nd in 2007. Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years, are the highest in the industrialized world, and are among the highest anywhere. Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight. Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals.

In 2010, coronary artery disease , lung cancer , stroke , chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases , and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U.S. Low back pain, depression , musculoskeletal disorders , neck pain, and anxiety caused the most years lost to disability. The most deleterious risk factors were poor diet, tobacco smoking, obesity, high blood pressure , high blood sugar , physical inactivity , and alcohol use. Alzheimer\'s disease , drug abuse, kidney disease and cancer, and falls caused the most additional years of life lost over their age-adjusted 1990 per-capita rates. U.S. teenage pregnancy and abortion rates are substantially higher than in other Western nations, especially among blacks and Hispanics.

The U.S. is a global leader in medical innovation. America solely developed or contributed significantly to 9 of the top 10 most important medical innovations since 1975 as ranked by a 2001 poll of physicians, while the European Union
European Union
and Switzerland together contributed to five. Since 1966, more Americans
Americans
have received the Nobel Prize in Medicine than the rest of the world combined. From 1989 to 2002, four times more money was invested in private biotechnology companies in America than in Europe. The U.S. health-care system far outspends any other nation, measured in both per capita spending and percentage of GDP.

Health-care coverage in the United States
United States
is a combination of public and private efforts and is not universal . In 2014, 13.4% of the population did not carry health insurance . The subject of uninsured and underinsured Americans
Americans
is a major political issue. In 2006, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
became the first state to mandate universal health insurance. Federal legislation passed in early 2010 would ostensibly create a near-universal health insurance system around the country by 2014, though the bill and its ultimate effect are issues of controversy.

SEE ALSO

* United States
United States
portal

* Book: United States
United States

* Index of United States-related articles
Index of United States-related articles
* Lists of U.S. state
U.S. state
topics * Outline of the United States
Outline of the United States

NOTES

* ^ English is the official language of 32 states; English and Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii
Hawaii
, and English and 20 Indigenous languages are official in Alaska
Alaska
. Algonquian , Cherokee , and Sioux are among many other official languages in Native-controlled lands throughout the country. French is a _de facto_, but unofficial, language in Maine
Maine
and Louisiana
Louisiana
, while New Mexico
Mexico
law grants Spanish a special status. * ^ In five territories, English as well as one or more indigenous languages are official: Spanish in Puerto Rico, Samoan in American Samoa, Chamorro in both Guam
Guam
and the Northern Mariana Islands. Carolinian is also an official language in the Northern Mariana Islands. * ^ Whether the United States
United States
or China
China
is larger has been disputed . The figure given is from the U.S. Census and United Nations. * ^ See Time in the United Statesfor details about laws governing time zones in the United States. * ^ Except American Samoa
American Samoa
and the Virgin Islands . * ^ The five major territories are American Samoa
American Samoa
, Guam
Guam
, the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
, and the United States
United States
Virgin Islands . There are eleven smaller island areas without permanent populations: Baker Island
Baker Island
, Howland Island
Howland Island
, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll , Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll
, and Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll
. U.S. sovereignty over Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island
Navassa Island
, Serranilla Bank
Serranilla Bank
, and Wake Island
Wake Island
is disputed.

* ^ The following two primary sources (non-mirrored) represent the range (min./max.) of total area for China
China
and the United States. Both sources _exclude_ Taiwan from the area of China.

* The _Encyclopædia Britannica_ lists China
China
as world's third-largest country (after Russia
Russia
and Canada) with a total area of 9,572,900 sq km, and the United States
United States
as fourth-largest at 9,526,468 sq km. The figure for the United States
United States
is less than in the _CIA World Factbook_ because it _excludes_ coastal and territorial waters. * The _CIA World Factbook_ lists the United States
United States
as the third-largest country (after Russia
Russia
and Canada) with total area of 9,833,517 sq km, and China
China
as fourth-largest at 9,596,960 sq km. This figure for the United States
United States
is greater than in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ because it _includes_ coastal and territorial waters.

* ^ The United States
United States
has a very diverse population; 37 ancestry groups have more than one million members. German Americans
Americans
are the largest ethnic group (more than 50 million) – followed by Irish Americans
Americans
(circa 37 million), Mexican Americans
Americans
(circa 31 million) and English Americans
Americans
(circa 28 million). White Americans
White Americans
are the largest racial group ; black Americans
Americans
are the nation's largest racial minority (note that in the U.S. Census, Hispanic and Latino Americans are counted as an _ethnic_ group, not a "racial" group), and third-largest ancestry group. Asian Americans
Asian Americans
are the country's second-largest racial minority; the three largest Asian American ethnic groups are Chinese Americans
Americans
, Filipino Americans
Americans
, and Indian Americans
Americans
. * ^ Fertility
Fertility
is also a factor; in 2010 the average Hispanic woman gave birth to 2.35 children in her lifetime, compared to 1.97 for non-Hispanic black women and 1.79 for non-Hispanic white women (both below the replacement rate of 2.1). Minorities (as defined by the Census Bureau
Census Bureau
as all those beside non-Hispanic, non-multiracial whites) constituted 36.3% of the population in 2010 (this is nearly 40% in 2015), and over 50% of children under age one, and are projected to constitute the majority by 2042. This contradicts the report by the National Vital Statistics Reports, based on the U.S. census data, which concludes that 54% (2,162,406 out of 3,999,386 in 2010) of births were non-Hispanic white. The Hispanic birth rate plummeted 25% between 2006 and 2013 while the rate for non-Hispanics decreased just 5%. * ^ Source: 2015 American Community Survey
American Community Survey
, U.S. Census Bureau. Most respondents who speak a language other than English at home also report speaking English "well" or "very well" For the language groups listed above, the strongest English-language proficiency is among speakers of German (96% report that they speak English "well" or "very well"), followed by speakers of French (93.5%), Tagalog (92.8%), Spanish (74.1%), Korean (71.5%), Chinese (70.4%), and Vietnamese (66.9%). * ^ In January 2015, U.S. federal government debt held by the public was approximately $13 trillion, or about 72% of U.S. GDP. Intra-governmental holdings stood at $5 trillion, giving a combined total debt of $18.080 trillion. By 2012, total federal debt had surpassed 100% of U.S. GDP. The U.S. has a credit rating of AA+ from Standard -webkit-column-width: 20em; column-width: 20em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ 36 U.S.C. § 302 _National motto_ * ^ Dept. of Treasury, 2011 * ^ "U.S. Code: Title 36, 304". _ Cornell Law School
Cornell Law School
_. August 12, 1998. Retrieved February 9, 2017. The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' is the national march. * ^ New Mexico
Mexico
Code 1–16–7 (1981). * ^ New Mexico
Mexico
Code 14–11–13 (2011). * ^ Cobarrubias, Juan; Fishman, Joshua A. (1983). _Progress in Language Planning: International Perspectives_. Walter de Gruyter. p. 195. ISBN 90-279-3358-8 . Retrieved December 27, 2011. * ^ García, Ofelia (2011). _Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective_. John Wiley & Sons. p. 167. ISBN 1-4443-5978-9 . Retrieved December 27, 2011. * ^ "UNITED STATES". US Census Bureau. 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2017. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "America\'s Changing Religious Landscape". Pew Research Center : Religion & Public Life. May 12, 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "United States". _The World Factbook_. Central Intelligence Agency. May 23, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016. (area given in square kilometers) * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "State and other areas", U.S. Census Bureau, MAF/TIGER database as of August 2010, excluding the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. viewed October 22, 2014. * ^ "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States
United States
Census Bureau . Retrieved June 1, 2017. * ^ "U.S. census department data" (pdf). United States
United States
Census Bureau . Retrieved January 24, 2010. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". IMF. Retrieved June 19, 2016. * ^ "OECD Income Distribution Database: Gini, poverty, income, Methods and Concepts". _Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development_. * ^ "Global inequality: How the U.S. compares". _Pew Research_. * ^ "Income Distribution and Poverty : by country – INEQUALITY". _OECD_. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. * ^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017. * ^ _ The New York Times
The New York Times
Guide to Essential Knowledge, Second Edition: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind_. St. Martin's Press. 2007. p. 670. ISBN 978-0-312-37659-8 . * ^ Onuf, Peter S. (1983). _The Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775–1787_. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Press. p. xvii. ISBN 978-0-8122-1167-2 . * ^ U.S. State Department, Common Core Document to U.N. Committee on Human Rights, December 30, 2011, Item 22, 27, 80.— and U.S. General Accounting Office Report, U.S. Insular Areas: application of the U.S. Constitution, November 1997, p. 1, 6, 39n. Both viewed April 6, 2016. * ^ "Wildlife Library". National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved December 23, 2014. * ^ "Megadiverse Countries definition Biodiversity A-Z". _www.biodiversitya-z.org_. Retrieved 2017-06-22. * ^ "China". _Encyclopædia Britannica_. Retrieved January 31, 2010. * ^ "United States". _Encyclopædia Britannica_. Retrieved January 31, 2010. * ^ "United States". _CIA World Factbook_. CIA. Retrieved June 10, 2016. * ^ "China". _CIA World Factbook_. CIA. Retrieved June 10, 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Adams, J.Q.; Strother-Adams, Pearlie (2001). _Dealing with Diversity_. Chicago: Kendall/Hunt. ISBN 0-7872-8145-X .

* ^ _A_ _B_ Maugh II, Thomas H. (July 12, 2012). "Who was first? New info on North America\'s earliest residents". _ Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times_. Los Angeles County, California: Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved February 25, 2015. "What is the earliest evidence of the peopling of North and South America?". Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. June 2004. Archived from the original on November 28, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007. Kudeba, Nicolas (February 28, 2014). "Chapter 1 – The First Big Steppe – Aboriginal Canadian History". _The History of Canada Podcast_. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Guy Gugliotta (February 2013). "When Did Humans Come to the Americas?". _Smithsonian Magazine_. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved June 25, 2015. * ^ Greene, Jack P.; Pole, J.R., eds. (2008). _A Companion to the American Revolution_. pp. 352–361. Bender, Thomas (2006). _A Nation Among Nations: America\'s Place in World History_. New York: Hill & Wang. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-8090-7235-4 .

"Overview of the Early National Period". _Digital History_. University of Houston. 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ Carlisle, Rodney P.; Golson, J. Geoffrey (2007). _Manifest Destiny and the Expansion of America_. Turning Points in History Series. ABC-CLIO. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-85109-833-0 . * ^ "The Civil War and emancipation 1861–1865". _Africans in America_. Boston, Massachusetts: WGBH Educational Foundation. 1999. Archived from the original on October 12, 1999. * ^ Britannica Educational Publishing (2009). Wallenfeldt, Jeffrey H., ed. _The American Civil War
American Civil War
and Reconstruction: People, Politics, and Power_. America at War. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-61530-045-7 . * ^ White, Donald W. (1996). "1: The Frontiers". _The American Century_. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05721-0 . Retrieved March 26, 2013. * ^ "Work in the Late 19th Century". _Library of Congress_. Retrieved January 16, 2015.

* ^ Tony Judt; Denis Lacorne (June 4, 2005). _With Us Or Against Us: Studies in Global Anti-Americanism_. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-4039-8085-4 . Richard J. Samuels (December 21, 2005). _Encyclopedia of United States National Security_. SAGE Publications. p. 666. ISBN 978-1-4522-6535-3 . Paul R. Pillar (January 1, 2001). _Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy_. Brookings Institution Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-8157-0004-0 . Gabe T. Wang (January 1, 2006). _ China
China
and the Taiwan Issue: Impending War at Taiwan Strait_. University Press of America. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-7618-3434-2 . _Understanding the "Victory Disease," From the Little Bighorn to Mogadishu and Beyond_. DIANE Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4289-1052-2 . Akis Kalaitzidis; Gregory W. Streich (2011). _U.S. Foreign Policy: A Documentary and Reference Guide_. ABC-CLIO. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-313-38375-5 . * ^ "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 11, 2016. * ^ "Global Wealth Databook 2016". _Credit Suisse Research Institute_. Retrieved 29 May 2017. * ^ "Average annual wages, 2013 USD PPPs and 2013 constant prices". _OECD_. Retrieved April 30, 2016. * ^ "U.S. Workers World\'s Most Productive". CBS
CBS
News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2013. * ^ "Manufacturing, value added (current US$)". _ World Bank
World Bank
Open Data_. World Bank. Retrieved February 11, 2017. * ^ "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2015". * ^ "Trends in world military expenditure, 2013". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. April 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2014.

* ^ Cohen, 2004: History and the Hyperpower BBC, April 2008: Country Profile: United States
United States
of America "Geographical trends of research output". Research Trends. Retrieved March 16, 2014. "The top 20 countries for scientific output". Open Access Week. Retrieved March 16, 2014. "Granted patents". European Patent Office. Retrieved March 16, 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Cartographer Put \'America\' on the Map 500 years Ago". _USA Today_. Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Associated Press. April 24, 2007. Retrieved November 30, 2008. * ^ See e.g. Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
Online, _Amerigo Vespucci_; and Room, Adrian. 2004. Placenames of the world: origins and meanings of the names for over 5000 natural features, countries, capitals, territories, cities, and historic sites: the name _America_ is believed to derive from the feminine form of the explorer's first name in Latin. * ^ DeLear, Byron (July 4, 2013) Who coined \' United States
United States
of America\'? Mystery might have intriguing answer. "Historians have long tried to pinpoint exactly when the name ' United States
United States
of America' was first used and by whom... ...This latest find comes in a letter that Stephen Moylan, Esq., wrote to Col. Joseph Reed from the Continental Army Headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., during the Siege of Boston. The two men lived with Washington in Cambridge, with Reed serving as Washington's favorite military secretary and Moylan fulfilling the role during Reed's absence." _Christian Science Monitor_ (Boston, MA). * ^ Touba, Mariam (November 5, 2014) Who Coined the Phrase \'United States of America\'? You May Never Guess "Here, on January 2, 1776, seven months before the Declaration of Independence and a week before the publication of Paine's _Common Sense_, Stephen Moylan, an acting secretary to General George Washington, spells it out, 'I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States
United States
of America to Spain' to seek foreign assistance for the cause." _New-York Historical Society Museum ">"To the inhabitants of Virginia," by A PLANTER. _Dixon and Hunter\'s. April 6, 1776, Williamsburg, Virginia. Letter is also included in Peter Force\'s_ American Archives_"_. 5 (1287). Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. * ^ Carter, Rusty (August 18, 2012). "You read it here first". _The Virginia
Virginia
Gazette_. Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. He did a search of the archives and found the letter on the front page of the April 6, 1776, edition, published by Hunter & Dixon. * ^ _A_ _B_ Safire, William (July 5, 1998). "On Language; Name That Nation". _ The New York Times
The New York Times
Magazine _. New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2016. * ^ Mary Mostert (2005). _The Threat of Anarchy Leads to the Constitution of the United States_. CTR Publishing, Inc. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-9753851-4-2 . * ^ DeLear, Byron (August 16, 2012). "Who coined the name \'United States of America\'? Mystery gets new twist." _Christian Science Monitor_ (Boston, MA). * ^ "Jefferson\'s "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence". Princeton University. 2004. Archived from the original on August 5, 2004. * ^ "The Charters of Freedom". National Archives. Retrieved June 20, 2007. * ^ Doug Brokenshire (Stanford University) (1996). _Washington State Place Names_. Caxton Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-87004-562-2 . * ^ For example, the U.S. embassy in Spain calls itself the embassy of the "Estados Unidos", literally the words "states" and "united", and also uses the initials "EE.UU.", the doubled letters implying plural use in Spanish Elsewhere on the site "Estados Unidos de América" is used * ^ Zimmer, Benjamin (November 24, 2005). "Life in These, Uh, This United States". University of Pennsylvania—Language Log. Retrieved January 5, 2013. * ^ G. H. Emerson, _The Universalist Quarterly and General Review_, Vol. 28 (Jan. 1891), p. 49, quoted in Zimmer paper above. * ^ Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). _The Columbia Guide to Standard American English_. New York: Columbia University
Columbia University
Press, pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-231-06989-8 . * ^ Craig Lockard (2010). _Societies, Networks, and Transitions, Volume B: From 600 to 1750_. University of Wisconsin. p. 315. ISBN 978-1-111-79083-7 . * ^ "_The Cambridge encyclopedia of human paleopathology_". Arthur C. Aufderheide, Conrado Rodríguez-Martín, Odin Langsjoen (1998). Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 0-521-55203-6 * ^ Bianchine, Russo, 1992 pp. 225–232 * ^ Thornton 1987 , p. 47 * ^ Kessel, 2005 pp. 142–143 * ^ Mercer Country Historical Society, 2005 * ^ Stannard, 1993 * ^ Ripper, 2008 p. 6 * ^ Ripper, 2008 p. 5 * ^ Calloway, 1998 , p. 55 * ^ "St. Augustine Florida, The Nation\'s Oldest City". _staugustine.com_. * ^ Remini 2007 , pp. 2–3 * ^ Johnson 1997 , pp. 26–30 * ^ Walton, 2009 , chapter 3 * ^ Lemon, 1987 * ^ Jackson, L. P. (1924). _Elizabethan Seamen and the African Slave Trade_. pp. 1–17. * ^ Tadman, 2000 , p. 1534 * ^ Schneider, 2007 , p. 484 * ^ Lien, 1913 , p. 522 * ^ Davis, 1996 , p. 7 * ^ Quirk, 2011 , p. 195 * ^ Bilhartz, Terry D.; Elliott, Alan C. (2007). _Currents in American History: A Brief History of the United States_. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-1817-7 . * ^ Wood, Gordon S. (1998). _The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787_. UNC Press Books. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-8078-4723-7 . * ^ Walton, 2009 , pp. 38–39 * ^ Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom, 1998 ISBN 0-393-04665-6 p.4-5. * ^ Walton, 2009 , p. 35 * ^ Otis, James (1763). "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved". Online Library of Liberty. Retrieved January 10, 2015. * ^ Humphrey, Carol Sue (2003). _The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 To 1800_. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-313-32083-5 . * ^ Fabian Young, Alfred; Nash, Gary B.; Raphael, Ray (2011). _Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation_. Random House Digital. pp. 4–7. ISBN 978-0-307-27110-5 . * ^ Greene and Pole, _A Companion to the American Revolution_ p 357. Jonathan R. Dull, _A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution_ (1987) p. 161. Lawrence S. Kaplan, "The Treaty of Paris, 1783: A Historiographical Challenge", _International History Review_, Sept 1983, Vol. 5 Issue 3, pp 431–442 * ^ Boyer, 2007 , pp. 192–193 * ^ Cogliano, Francis D. (2008). _Thomas Jefferson: Reputation and Legacy_. University of Virginia
Virginia
Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8139-2733-6 . * ^ Walton, 2009 , p. 43 * ^ Gordon, 2004 , pp. 27,29 * ^ Clark, Mary Ann (May 2012). _Then We\'ll Sing a New Song: African Influences on America\'s Religious Landscape_. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4422-0881-0 . * ^ Heinemann, Ronald L., et al., Old Dominion, New Commonwealth: a history of Virginia
Virginia
1607–2007, 2007 ISBN 978-0-8139-2609-4 , p.197 * ^ Billington, Ray Allen; Ridge, Martin (2001). _Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier_. UNM Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8263-1981-4 . * ^ " Louisiana
Louisiana
Purchase" (PDF). National Park Services. Retrieved March 1, 2011. * ^ Wait, Eugene M. (1999). _America and the War of 1812_. Nova Publishers. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-56072-644-9 . * ^ Klose, Nelson; Jones, Robert F. (1994). _ United States
United States
History to 1877_. Barron's Educational Series. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-8120-1834-9 . * ^ Winchester, pp. 198, 216, 251, 253 * ^ Morrison, Michael A. (1999). _Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War_. University of North Carolina
North Carolina
Press . pp. 13–21. ISBN 978-0-8078-4796-1 . * ^ Kemp, Roger L. (2010). _Documents of American Democracy: A Collection of Essential Works_. McFarland . p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7864-4210-2 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. * ^ McIlwraith, Thomas F.; Muller, Edward K. (2001). _North America: The Historical Geography of a Changing Continent_. Rowman & Littlefield . p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7425-0019-8 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. * ^ Rawls, James J. (1999). _A Golden State: Mining and Economic Development in Gold Rush California_. University of California
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Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-520-21771-3 . * ^ Black, Jeremy (2011). _Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519–1871_. Indiana
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University Press . p. 275. ISBN 978-0-253-35660-4 . * ^ Wishart, David J. (2004). _Encyclopedia of the Great Plains_. University of Nebraska
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Press . p. 37. ISBN 978-0-8032-4787-1 . * ^ Smith (2001), _Grant_, pp. 523–526

* ^ Stuart Murray (2004). _Atlas of American Military History_. Infobase Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-4381-3025-5 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. Harold T. Lewis (January 1, 2001). _Christian Social Witness_. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-56101-188-9 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Patrick Karl O'Brien (2002). _Atlas of World History_. Oxford University Press. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-19-521921-0 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. * ^ Vinovskis, Maris (1990). _Toward A Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays_. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-521-39559-3 . * ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 10, 2007. Page 7 lists a total slave population of 3,953,760. * ^ De Rosa, Marshall L. (1997). _The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for a National Identity and the American Civil War_. Edison, NJ: Transaction. p. 266. ISBN 1-56000-349-9 . * ^ Shearer Davis Bowman (1993). _Masters and Lords: Mid-19th-Century U.S. Planters and Prussian Junkers_. Oxford UP. p. 221. * ^ Jason E. Pierce (2016). _Making the White Man\'s West: Whiteness and the Creation of the American West_. University Press of Colorado. p. 256. * ^ John Powell (2009). _Encyclopedia of North American Immigration_. Infobase Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4381-1012-7 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. * ^ Winchester, pp. 351, 385 * ^ "Toward a Market Economy". _ CliffsNotes_. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved December 23, 2014. * ^ "Purchase of Alaska, 1867". _Office of the Historian_. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 23, 2014. * ^ "The Spanish-American War, 1898". _Office of the Historian_. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 24, 2014. * ^ Kirkland, Edward. _Industry Comes of Age: Business, Labor, and Public Policy_ (1961 ed.). pp. 400–405. * ^ Zinn, 2005 * ^ Paige Meltzer, "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation
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and Women's Citizenship, 1945–1960," _Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies_ (2009), Vol. 30 Issue 3, pp. 52–76. * ^ James Timberlake, _Prohibition and the Progressive Movement, 1900–1920_ (Harvard UP, 1963) * ^ George B. Tindall, "Business Progressivism: Southern Politics in the Twenties," _South Atlantic Quarterly_ 62 (Winter 1963): 92–106. * ^ "U.S. Department of Labor -- History -- 6. Progressive Ideas". _www.dol.gov_. Retrieved 2017-05-08. * ^ McDuffie, Jerome; Piggrem, Gary Wayne; Woodworth, Steven E. (2005). _U.S. History Super Review_. Piscataway, NJ: Research & Education Association. p. 418. ISBN 0-7386-0070-9 . * ^ Voris, Jacqueline Van (1996). _Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life_. Women and Peace Series. New York City: Feminist Press at CUNY. p. vii. ISBN 1-55861-139-8 . Carrie Chapmann Catt led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920. ... Catt was one of the best-known women in the United States
United States
in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women. * ^ Winchester pp. 410–411 * ^ Axinn, June; Stern, Mark J. (2007). _Social Welfare: A History of the American Response to Need_ (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0-205-52215-6 . * ^ Lemann, Nicholas (1991). _The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America_. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
Alfred A. Knopf
. p. 6. ISBN 0-394-56004-3 .

* ^ James Noble Gregory (1991). _American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California_. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507136-8 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. "Mass Exodus From the Plains". _American Experience_. WGBH Educational Foundation. 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2014. Fanslow, Robin A. (April 6, 1998). "The Migrant Experience". _American Folklore Center_. Library of Congress. Retrieved October 5, 2014. Walter J. Stein (1973). _ California
California
and the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
Migration_. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-8371-6267-6 . Retrieved October 25, 2015. * ^ Yamasaki, Mitch. "Pearl Harbor and America\'s Entry into World War II: A Documentary History" (PDF). World War II
World War II
Internment in Hawaii. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 13, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2015. * ^ Kelly, Brian. "The Four Policemen
Four Policemen
and. Postwar Planning, 1943–1945: The Collision of Realist and. Idealist Perspectives.". Retrieved June 21, 2014. * ^ Hoopes Oboroceanu, Mari–Jana (February 26, 2010). "American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved February 18, 2011. p. 2. * ^ Kennedy, Paul (1989). _The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers_. New York: Vintage. p. 358. ISBN 0-679-72019-7 . Indeed, World War II ushered in the zenith of U.S. power in what came to be called the American Century, as Leffler 2010 , p. 67, indicates: "Truman presided over the greatest military and economic power the world had ever known. War production had lifted the United States
United States
out of the Great Depression
Great Depression
and had inaugurated an era of unimagined prosperity. Gross national product increased by 60 percent during the war, total earnings by 50 percent. Despite social unrest, labor agitation, racial conflict, and teenage vandalism, Americans
Americans
had more discretionary income than ever before. Simultaneously, the U.S. government had built up the greatest war machine in human history. By the end of 1942, the United States
United States
was producing more arms than all the Axis states combined, and, in 1943, it made almost three times more armaments than did the Soviet Union. In 1945, the United States
United States
had two-thirds of the world's gold reserves, three-fourths of its invested capital, half of its shipping vessels, and half of its manufacturing capacity. Its GNP was three times that of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and more than five times that of Britain. It was also nearing completion of the atomic bomb, a technological and production feat of huge costs and proportions." * ^ "The United States
United States
and the Founding of the United Nations, August 1941 – October 1945". U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian. October 2005. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2007. * ^ "Why did Japan
Japan
surrender in World War II? The Japan
Japan
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BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING

* Acharya, Viral V.; Cooley, Thomas F.; Richardson, Matthew P.; Walter, Ingo (2010). _Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance_. Wiley. p. 592. ISBN 978-0-470-76877-8 . * Baptist, Edward E. (2014). _The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism_. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00296-X . * Barth, James; Jahera, John (2010). "US Enacts Sweeping Financial Reform Legislation". _Journal of Financial Economic Policy_. 2 (3): 192–195. doi :10.1108/17576381011085412 . * Berkin, Carol; Miller, Christopher L.; Cherny, Robert W.; Gormly, James L. (2007). _Making America: A History of the United States, Volume I: To 1877_. Cengage Learning. p. 75. * Bianchine, Peter J.; Russo, Thomas A. (1992). "The Role of Epidemic Infectious Diseases in the Discovery of America". _Allergy and Asthma Proceedings_. OceanSide Publications, Inc. 13 (5): 225–232. PMID 1483570 . doi :10.2500/108854192778817040 . Retrieved September 9, 2012. * Boyer, Paul S.; Clark, Clifford E. Jr.; Kett, Joseph F.; Salisbury, Neal; Sitkoff, Harvard; Woloch, Nancy (2007). _The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People_. Cengage Learning. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-618-80161-9 . , Book * Calloway, Colin G. _New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America_. JHU Press . p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8018-5959-5 . * Davis, Kenneth C. (1996). _Don't know much about the Civil War_. New York: William Marrow and Co. p. 518. ISBN 0-688-11814-3 . , Book * Daynes, Byron W.; Sussman, Glen (eds.) (2010). _White House Politics and the Environment: Franklin D. Rooseveltto George W. Bush_. Texas
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version * Kurian, George T. ed. _Encyclopedia of American Studies_ (4 Vol. Groiler: 2001) * Kessel, William B.; Wooster, Robert (2005). _Encyclopedia of Native American Wars and Warfare_. Facts on File
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* Leckie, Robert (1990). _None died in vain: The Saga of the American Civil War_. New York: Harper-Collins. p. 682. ISBN 0-06-016280-5 . , Book * Leffler, Melvyn P. (2010). "The emergence of an American grand strategy, 1945–1952". In Melvyn P. Lefflerand Odd Arne Westad
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, eds.,_The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume 1: Origins_ (pp. 67–89). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-83719-4 . * Lemon, James T. (1987). "Colonial America in the 18th Century". In Robert D. Mitchell; Paul A. Groves. _North America: the historical geography of a changing continent_. Rowman & Littlefield. , PDF * Lien, PhD, Arnold Johnson (1913). _Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, Volume 54_. Longmans, Green Columbia University
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Press . p. 214. ISBN 978-1-55849-483-1 . , Book * Levenstein, Harvey (2003). _Revolution at the Table: The Transformation of the American Diet_. University of California
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(Fall). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 15, 2013. * Price, David A. (2003). _Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation_. Random House. eBook version * Quirk, Joel (2011). _The Anti-Slavery Project: From the Slave Trade to Human Trafficking_. University of Pennsylvania
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* "_Country Profile: United States
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