USA

United States Of America General Information

USA FLAG

Abbreviation: USA

Population: 316,148,990

One birth every: 8 seconds
One death every: 12 seconds
One international migrant (net) every: 40 seconds
Net gain of one person every: 17 seconds

Land Area: 3,537,379
(sq. mi.)

whitehouse
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic[10][11] consisting of 50 states, 16 Insular areas, and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries.[12] The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

niagara falls usa

Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago,[13] with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire.[14][15] The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.

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Driven by the doctrine of manifest destiny, the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century.[16] This involved displacing native tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states.[16] The American Civil War ended legal slavery in the country.[17] By the end of the 19th century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean,[18] and its economy was the world’s largest.[19] The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power. The United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country with nuclear weapons, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower.

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The United States is a developed country and has the world’s largest national economy, with an estimated GDP in 2013 of $16.7 trillion – 23% of global nominal GDP and 19% at purchasing-power parity.[6][20] The economy is fueled by an abundance of natural resources and the world’s highest worker productivity,[21] with per capita GDP being the world’s sixth-highest in 2010.[6] While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, it continues to be one of the world’s largest manufacturers.[22] The U.S. has the highest mean and second-highest median household income in the OECD as well as the highest average wage,[23][24] though it has the fourth most unequal income distribution among OECD nations[25][26] with roughly 16% of the population living in poverty.[27] The country accounts for 39% of global military spending,[28] being the world’s foremost economic and military power, a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovation.[29][30]The Financial Secrecy Index ranks the United States as the 6th safest tax haven in the world, and is considered by many around the world as the biggest tax haven in the world for non-Americans.[31][32]

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Wyoming General Information

Wyoming

 

Abbreviation: WY

Population: 580,345

Land Area: 97,100
(sq. mi.)

 

Wyoming Listeni/wˈmɪŋ/ is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. Wyoming is the 10th most extensive, but the least populous and the second least densely populated of the 50 United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High Plains. Cheyenne is the capital and the most populous city in Wyoming, with a population of 91,738 in the metropolitan area (as of the 2012 census). Wyoming also is the only state whose boundaries were acquired through four separate purchases: first during the Louisiana Purchase, second from the Annexation of Texas, third from the Oregon Country, and fourth and finally from the Mexican-American War.

Wisconsin General Information

Wisconsin

 

Abbreviation: WI

Population: 5,742,713

Land Area: 54,310
(sq. mi.)

 

Wisconsin Listeni/wɪsˈkɒnsən/ is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state comprises 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s geography is diverse, with the Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupying the western part of the state and lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline.

Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” because it is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers, particularly famous for cheese. Manufacturing and tourism are also major contributors to the state’s economy.

West Virginia General Information

West Virginia

 

Abbreviation: WV

Population: 1,854,304

Land Area: 24,078
(sq. mi.)

 

West Virginia Listeni/ˌwɛst vərˈɪnjə/ is a U.S. state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States.[5][6][7][8] It is bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the north, and Maryland to the northeast. West Virginia is the 41st largest by area and the 38th most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, in which 50 northwestern counties of Virginia whose landowners owned few to no slaves decided to break away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state and was one of two states formed during the American Civil War (the other being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).

The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers[5] classify West Virginia as part of the South. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States. It is the only state that is entirely within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission; the area is commonly defined as “Appalachia“.[9]

The state is noted for its mountains, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. The karst lands contribute to much of the state’s cool trout waters. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and hunting.

Washington General Information

Washington

 

Abbreviation: WA

Population: 6,971,406

Land Area: 66,544
(sq. mi.)

 

Washington Listeni/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/ is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho, and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, the state was carved out of the western part of the Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as a settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.

Washington is the 18th most extensive and the 13th most populous of the 50 United States. Approximately 60 percent of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea, an inlet of the Pacific consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the west, center, northeast and far southeast, and a semi-arid eastern basin given over to intensive agriculture. After California, Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States.

Washington is a leading lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa and white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. The state is the biggest producer of apples, lentils, dry edible peas, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, grapes, peppermint oil, and potatoes. Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue and the commercial fishing catch of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state’s economy.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery. Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Although its official, unambiguous name is “The State of Washington,” the state’s name is often reversed and referred to as “Washington state” to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., also named for George Washington. Another nickname is “the Evergreen State.” Its largest city is Seattle, situated in the west, followed by Spokane, located in the east, and its capital is Olympia.

Virginia General Information

Virginia

 

Abbreviation: VA

Population: 8,260,405

Land Area: 39,594
(sq. mi.)

Virginia (Listeni/vərˈɪnjə/), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state located in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Virginia is nicknamed the “Old Dominion” and the “Mother of Presidents” after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, though Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth’s estimated population is 8,260,405 as of 2013.[2]

The area’s history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony’s early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia’s northwestern counties seceded to form the state of West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under single-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.[5]

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World.[6] The state government has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States.[7] It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia’s economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the site of the region’s main seaport. Virginia’s public schools and many colleges and universities have contributed to growing media and technology sectors. As a result, computer chips have become the state’s leading export.[8]

 

Vermont General Information

Vermont

 

Abbreviation: VT

Population: 626,630

Land Area: 9,250
(sq. mi.)

Vermont (Listeni/vɜrˈmɒnt/,[5] [vɚːˈmɑːn(ʔ)] or [vɚˈmɑ̃(ʔ)][6]) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Vermont is the 6th least extensive and the 2nd least populous of the 50 United States. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermont’s western border, which it shares with the state of New York. The Green Mountains are within the state. Vermont is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the province of Quebec to the north.

Originally inhabited by two major Native American tribes (the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and the Iroquois), much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France during its early colonial period. France ceded the territory to the Kingdom of Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years’ War (in the United States locally referred to as the French and Indian War). For many years, the nearby colonies, especially New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants).

Settlers who held land titles granted by these colonies were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which eventually prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic. Founded in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the republic lasted for fourteen years. Aside from the Thirteen Colonies, Vermont is one of only four U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, and California) to have been a sovereign state in its past. In 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the 14th state, the first in addition to the original 13 Colonies. It abolished slavery while still independent, and upon joining the Union became the first state to have done so.

Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States.[7] The state capital is Montpelier, which has a population of 7,855 and is the least populous state capital in the country.[8] Vermont’s most populous city is Burlington, with a 2010 population of 42,417,[9] which makes it the least populous city in the United States to be the largest city within a state. Burlington’s metropolitan area has a population of 211,261.[10]

 

Texas General Information

Texas

 

Abbreviation: TX

Population: 26,448,193

Land Area: 261,797
(sq. mi.)

 

Texas is the second most populous (after California) and the second-largest of the 50 states (after Alaska) in the United States of America, and the largest state in the 48 contiguous United States. Geographically located in the South Central part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a growing population of over 26.4 million residents (July 2013) [8]

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico. The “Lone Star” can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[9] The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, “Tejas”, which means ‘friends’ in the Caddo language.[10]

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.[11] Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10 percent of the land area is desert.[12] Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term “six flags over Texas“, as can be seen in the Grand Prairie-based large national and international amusement park operator Six Flags, came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state’s annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. After the war and its restoration to the Union, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.

One Texas industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle. Due to its long history as a center of the industry, Texas is associated with the image of the cowboy. The state’s economic fortunes changed in the early 20th century, when oil discoveries initiated an economic boom in the state. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with California at 57.[13] With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. Texas has led the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product.

Tennessee General Information

Tennessee

 

Abbreviation: TN

Population: 6,495,978

Land Area: 41,217
(sq. mi.)

Tennessee (Listeni/tɛnɨˈs/) (Cherokee: ᏔᎾᏏ) is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th most extensive and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, and Arkansas and Missouri to the west. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state’s western border. Tennessee’s capital and second largest city is Nashville, which has a population of 624,496. Memphis is the state’s largest city, with a population of 655,155.[4]

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians.[5] What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861 and the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.[6]

Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state, and more soldiers for the Union Army than any other Southern state.[6] In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided at times by federal entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. In the early 1940s, the city of Oak Ridge was established to house the Manhattan Project‘s uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world’s first atomic bomb.

Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of many forms of American popular music, including rock and roll, blues, country, and rockabilly. Beale Street in Memphis is considered by many to be the birthplace of the blues, with musicians such as W.C. Handy performing in its clubs as early as 1909.[7] Memphis was also home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s.[8] The 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol generally mark the beginning of the country music genre and the rise of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s helped make Nashville the center of the country music recording industry.[9][10] Three brick-and-mortar museums recognize Tennessee’s role in nurturing various forms of popular music: the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and the International Rock-A-Billy Museum in Jackson. In addition, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, an online site recognizing the development of rockabilly in which Tennessee played a crucial role, is based in Nashville.

Tennessee’s major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Poultry, soybeans, and cattle are the state’s primary agricultural products,[11] and major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment.[12] The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited national park, is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, and a section of the Appalachian Trail roughly follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border.[13] Other major tourist attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, the Sunsphere in Knoxville, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and Elvis Presley’s Graceland residence and tomb in Memphis.

 

South Dakota General Information

South Dakota

 

Abbreviation: SD

Population: 844,877

Land Area: 75,885
(sq. mi.)

South Dakota Listeni/ˌsθ dəˈktə/ is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes. South Dakota is the 17th most extensive, but the 5th least populous and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Once the southern portion of the Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 159,000, is South Dakota’s largest city.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halfs, known to residents as “East River” and “West River“.[7] Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state’s population, and fertile soil in this area is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains, are located in the southwest part of the state. The Black Hills are sacred to the Sioux. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is located there. Other attractions in the southwest include Badlands and Wind Cave national parks, Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and historic Deadwood. South Dakota experiences a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The ecology of the state features species typical of a North American grassland biome.

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers caused conflict that triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 50s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture which has much reduced family farming.

While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely dominated by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the most recent 12 presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas, including biomedical research and alternative energy fuels, to attract and retain residents. South Dakota’s history and rural character still strongly influence the culture of the state.