The United States of America

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The United States of America is in North America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and lies between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska to the west of Canada and Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean became States in 1959.

The United States is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and China.

It consists of 50 states connected to each other geographically, located in the middle section of North America. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, Washington DC (District of Columbia) is the capital and New York is the USA’s largest city.

Area: 9628382 square kilometers.

The terrain of the US includes mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts, lakes, rivers and coastline. The Grand Canyon, a gorge, created by the Colorado River, is one of the most spectacular sights in the US.

Currency

U.S. Dollars (USD) $

Coins (cents): 1c, 5c, 10c, 20 c, 25c

Paper (dollars): $1, $5, $10, $20 $100

Time Zones

TimeZones

Population

The population of the USA was estimated at 313,112,947 in 2012.

Languages

English is the official language. Spanish is spoken by over ten percent the population. Hawaiian is an official language in Hawaii.

Religion

Over 73 percent of the people are of Christian faith. The United States has produced a number of evangelists such as Billy Graham, and popular religious magnates such as Carl Sagan and Martin Luther King.  The United States claims to have been the first nation to have no official state-endorsed religion, allowing for minorities to have representation.  

Food

Native American food includes various breads, soups and wild green salads. Colonists brought their own culinary traditions.

Through it’s birth America became a melting pot for people from all over the world. Today, food in the USA reflects this cultural diversity. The Spanish influence is particularly evident in parts of the country colonized by Spain.

The American food industry is internationally known for fast-food chains such as McDonald’s. American-style cookies, muffins and bagels have also made an impact in the international snack food market. It also boasts strong values rich in colorful homegrown products to flavors unique to each wonderful city.

Sport

Athletics are important in the US and and celebrated through one’s youth and college life. Team sports include Baseball, Basketball, American Football, Hockey and Skateboarding.

American sportsmen and sportswomen take part in international events in tennis, golf and boxing and are consistently successful in the Olympic Games. There are opportunities for swimming, ice-skating and skiing.

Holidays

Thanksgiving every last Thursday in November. Independence Day (4th July) is an internationally known American holiday.

Weather and Climate

Due to the immense size and spread of topology in the US the climate is incredibly varied. If there is a “general” climate then it is temperate, but it is also tropical in Florida and Hawaii, arctic in Alaska, arid in the Great Basin of the southwest and semi-arid in the Great Plains to the west of the Mississippi River.

The temperature range runs between the extremes of 57 degrees during the summer months in California’s Death Valley to -62 degrees in Alaska, with every other shade in between.

The northern states are the coldest, with bitter, freezing winters – especially in the plains, Midwest and Northeast.  Low temperatures in January and February in the Northwest are occasionally tempered by warm Chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

In contrast, the southern states are known as the Sunbelt, where it rarely drops below freezing.

Hot summers are the norm throughout the US, except in New England, Oregon and Washington state, all of which are rainier and less predictable than the rest of the country.

Temperate states are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, while humidity is characteristic of the south, east coast and Midwest (smog levels rise accordingly and can make visiting some cities uncomfortable for those with respiratory problems), and heat waves common in the Southwest.

Spring and autumn (fall) conditions are generally mild, warm and sunny – but also wet in some areas, particularly the Pacific Northwest.

Tornado season arrives in the Midwest between April and June, and hurricanes are common in early summer along the southern East Coast and Gulf of Mexico coast – TV and radio will broadcast warnings for both, but the chances of encountering one on a short visit are remote.

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