The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, a federal district five major territories, and various minor islands. The 48 contiguous . The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five. The United States of America is the world's third largest country in size and nearly the third largest in terms of population. Located in North America, the country.
the States In United
Marshals Service have specialized duties, including protecting civil rights , national security and enforcing U. State courts conduct most criminal trials; federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as certain appeals from the state criminal courts. Plea bargaining is very common; the vast majority of criminal cases in the country are settled by plea bargain rather than jury trial. In , there were 15, murders which was 1, more than in , a In , the US murder rate of 5.
In , there were 17, murders and the murder rate was 5. Of those arrested for serious violent crimes in , Non-gun murders reached a peak in of 8, and declined in most years until the early s with 4, in Capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and also at the state level in 30 states. Supreme Court ruling striking down arbitrary imposition of the death penalty. In , that Court ruled that, under appropriate circumstances, capital punishment may constitutionally be imposed.
Since the decision there have been more than 1, executions, a majority of these taking place in three states: Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma.
In , the country had the fifth-highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran , Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate and largest prison population in the world. About 1 in every 35 adult residents in the United States was under some form of correctional supervision in December , the lowest rate observed since Virgin Islands per , people and the lowest was in Puerto Rico per , people.
The United States has a capitalist mixed economy [ citation needed ] which is fueled by abundant natural resources and high productivity. The nominal GDP of the U. The United States is the largest importer of goods and second-largest exporter , though exports per capita are relatively low. In , the total U.
In , the private sector was estimated to constitute Coca-Cola is the most recognized soft drink company in the world. Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The National Mining Association provides data pertaining to coal and minerals that include beryllium , copper , lead , magnesium , zinc , titanium and others. The country is the primary developer and grower of genetically modified food , representing half of the world's biotech crops.
The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than European nations tend to. The 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 , Suriname and Liberia.
It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands. The — global recession significantly affected the United States, with output still below potential according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The United States has been a leader in technological innovation since the late 19th century and scientific research since the midth century. Methods for producing interchangeable parts were developed by the U. 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.
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 , Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first U. 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.
In the early 20th century, the automobile companies of Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford popularized the assembly line. The Wright brothers , in , made the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight. The invention of the transistor in the s, a key active component in practically all modern electronics , led to many technological developments and a significant expansion of the U. These advancements then lead to greater personalization of technology for individual use.
In the 21st century, approximately two-thirds of research and development funding comes from the private sector. After years of stagnant growth, in , according to the Census, median household income reached a record high after two consecutive years of record growth, although income inequality remains at record highs with top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income. This is largely because at-risk workers get almost no government support and are further set back by a very weak collective bargaining system.
Assets owned by Americans lost about a quarter of their value. There were about , sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the U. In , the region with the lowest poverty rate was New Hampshire 7.
The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated since , while most major airports are publicly owned. The United States energy market is about 29, terawatt hours per year. The remainder was supplied by nuclear power and renewable energy sources. 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 accident.
In , several applications for new nuclear plants were filed. Issues that affect water supply in the 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.
The United States is home to many cultures and a wide variety of ethnic groups, traditions, and values. Core American culture was established by 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 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. According to a British study, Americans gave 1. The American Dream , or the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility , plays a key role in attracting immigrants. Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries.
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 and early European settlers. 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.
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.
Hess stated in The American fast food industry, the world's largest,  pioneered the drive-through format in the s. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American art and literature took most of its cues from Europe. Mark Twain and poet Walt Whitman were major figures in the century's second half; Emily Dickinson , virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as an essential American poet.
William Faulkner , Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often named among the most influential writers of the 20th century. The transcendentalists , led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson , established the first major American philosophical movement. In the 20th century, the work of W. Quine and Richard Rorty , and later Noam Chomsky , brought analytic philosophy to the fore of American philosophical academia.
John Rawls and Robert Nozick led a revival of political philosophy , and Martha Nussbaum is its most important figure today. Cornel West and Judith Butler have led a continental tradition in American philosophical academia.
Chicago school economists like Milton Friedman , James M. Buchanan , and Thomas Sowell have affected various fields in social and political philosophy. In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a midth-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism.
The realist paintings of Thomas Eakins are now widely celebrated. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States.
One of the first major promoters of American theater was impresario P. Barnum , who began operating a lower Manhattan entertainment complex in The team of Harrigan and Hart produced a series of popular musical comedies in New York starting in the late s. In the 20th century, the modern musical form emerged on Broadway ; the songs of musical theater composers such as Irving Berlin , Cole Porter , and Stephen Sondheim have become pop standards.
Choreographers Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham helped create modern dance , while George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins were leaders in 20th-century ballet. Although little known at the time, Charles Ives 's work of the s established him as the first major U.
Aaron Copland and George Gershwin developed a new synthesis of popular and classical music. The rhythmic and lyrical styles of African-American music have deeply influenced American music at large, distinguishing it from European and African 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 was developed by innovators such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington early in the 20th century. Country music developed in the s, and rhythm and blues in the s. Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the mids pioneers of rock and roll. Rock bands such as Metallica , the Eagles , and Aerosmith are among the highest grossing in worldwide sales. More recent American creations include hip hop and house music. Hollywood , a northern district of Los Angeles , California, is one of the leaders in motion picture production.
Since the early 20th century, the U. The industry enjoyed its golden years, in what is commonly referred to as the " Golden Age of Hollywood ", from the early sound period until the early s,  with screen actors such as John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe becoming iconic figures. American football is by several measures the most popular spectator sport;  the National Football League NFL has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world, and the Super Bowl is watched by millions globally.
Baseball has been regarded as the U. These four major sports, when played professionally, each occupy a season at different but overlapping, times of the year. College football and basketball attract large audiences. As of [update] , the United States has won 2, medals at the Summer Olympic Games , more than any other country, and in the Winter Olympic Games , the second most behind Norway. Lacrosse and surfing arose from Native American and Native Hawaiian activities that predate Western contact.
The four major broadcasters in the U. The four major broadcast television networks are all commercial entities. Cable television offers hundreds of channels catering to a variety of niches. In , the number of U. In addition, there are 1, 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.
With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U. 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 began appearing in the 19th century. More than publications are produced in Spanish, the second most commonly used language in the United States behind English.
The CIA World Factbook lists the United States as the third-largest country after Russia and Canada with total area of 9,, sq km,  and China as fourth-largest at 9,, sq km. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Projection of North America with the United States in green. The United States, including its territories. Native Americans in the United States. The Cliff Palace , built by the Ancestral Puebloans. American Civil War and Reconstruction era.
One World Trade Center , newly built in its place. Biota of the United States. Leading population centers see complete list view talk edit. Languages of the United States. Religion in the United States. Family structure in the United States. Education in the United States. The United States Capitol , where Congress meets: The White House , home and workplace of the U. Supreme Court Building , where the nation's highest court sits. Political divisions of the United States , U.
Territorial evolution of the United States and United States territorial acquisitions. State flags and statehood dates. Maryland May 23, North Carolina May 29, Iowa May 29, California May 11, Statehood date is the date of ratifying the Constitution for the first 13 or being admitted to the Union for subsequent states.
Territory and district flags and dates. District of Columbia Apr. US Virgin Islands Nov. Territory date is the date the territory was acquired by the United States, except for the District of Columbia, which was founded separately. Donald Trump 45th President since January 20, Mike Pence 48th Vice President since January 20, This is a list of selected cities, towns, and other populated places in the United States , ordered alphabetically by state. See also city and urban planning.
We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.
Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. List of cities and towns in the United States Written By: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
You can learn more about this topic in the related articles below. But they can't say when it will happen.
Tech Innovate Gadget Mission: Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. You won't be hearing this iconic jingle anymore. You can thank this man for expensive yoga pants. This company is reinventing shaving for people of color. Costco is succeeding despite retail woes. Retailers in the age of Amazon: Lowe's is closing 47 stores. Believe it or not, Sears once revolutionized retail. Sears closed its last Chicago store.
United States Map and Satellite Image
This is a list of selected cities, towns, and other populated places in the United States, ordered alphabetically by state. (See also city and urban planning.). A political map of United States and a satellite image from Landsat. Connoisseurs of '60s psychedelia have long prized the United States of America's debut album; Dorothy Moskowitz's icy vocals were the perfect foil for Joseph.