Facts & Statistics


Area (50 states and District of Columbia only):

Total: 9,629,091 sq km
Land: 9,158,960 sq km
Water: 470,131 sq km

Comparative Size:

World’s third-largest country (after Russia and Canada).

About one-half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about one-half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; about two and one-half times the size of Western Europe.

Land boundaries:

Total: 12,248 km
Border Countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Cuba 29 km (US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay), Mexico 3,326 km

Note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and thus remains part of Cuba


19,924 km


Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains

Terrain: Vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Death Valley -86 m
Highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194m

Natural resources:
Coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber

Land use:
Arable land: 19%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 25%
Forests and woodland: 30%
Other: 26% (1993 est.)

Natural hazards:
Tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development.


291,077,473 (May 2003)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.12% (male 30,034,674; female 28,681,253)
15-64 years: 66.27% (male 91,371,753; female 92,907,199)
65 years and over: 12.61% (male 14,608,948; female 20,455,054) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.9% (2001 est.)

Birth rate:
14.2 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate:
8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate:
3.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
6.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 77.26 years

74.37 years

80.05 years (2001 est.)

Ethnic groups:
White 83.5%, black 12.4%, Asian 3.3%, Amerindian 0.8% (1992)

Note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (especially of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)

Protestant 56%, Roman Catholic 28%, Jewish 2%, other 4%, none 10% (1989)

English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable minority)


Purchasing power parity – $9.963 trillion (2000 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
5% (2000 est.)

GDP – per capita:
purchasing power parity – $36,200 (2000 est.)

GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 2% industry: 18% services: 80% (1999)

Population below poverty line:
12.7% (1999 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.4% (2000)

Labor force:
140.9 million (includes unemployed) (2000)

Labor force – by occupation:
managerial and professional 30.2%, technical, sales and administrative support 29.2%, services 13.5%, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and crafts 24.6%, farming, forestry, and fishing 2.5% (2000)

Note: figures exclude the unemployed

Unemployment rate:
4% (2000)

Revenues: $1.828 trillion

$1.703 trillion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)

leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining

Industrial production growth rate:
5.6% (2000 est.)

Agriculture – products:
wheat, other grains, corn, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish

$776 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports – commodities:
capital goods, automobiles, industrial supplies and raw materials, consumer goods, agricultural products

Exports – partners:
Canada 23%, Mexico 14%, Japan 8%, UK 5%, Germany 4%, France, Netherlands (2000)

$1.223 trillion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports – commodities:
crude oil and refined petroleum products, machinery, automobiles, consumer goods, industrial raw materials, food and beverages

Imports – partners:
Canada 19%, Japan 11%, Mexico 11%, China 8%, Germany 5%, UK, Taiwan (2000)


Telephones – main lines in use:
194 million (1997)

Telephones – mobile cellular:
69.209 million (1998)

Telephone system:
General assessment: a very large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system

a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country

24 ocean cable systems in use; satellite earth stations – 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4,762, FM 5,542, shortwave 18 (1998)

575 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:
more than 1,500 (including nearly 1,000 stations affiliated with the five major networks – NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and PBS; in addition, there are about 9,000 cable TV systems) (1997)

219 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
7,800 (2000 est.)

Internet users:
148 million (2000)


225,750 km mainline routes

Total: 6,370,031 km
Paved: 5,733,028 km (including 74,091 km of highways)
Unpaved: 637,003 km (1997)

41,009 km

Note: navigable inland channels, exclusive of the Great Lakes

petroleum products 276,000 km; natural gas 331,000 km (1991)

Ports and harbors:
Anchorage, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Duluth, Hampton Roads, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Port Canaveral, Portland (Oregon), Prudhoe Bay, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle, Tampa, Toledo

14,720 (2000 est.)

131 (2000 est.)