United States of America

 

 

Flag of United States

 

Northeast

Midwest

South

West

Alaska and Hawaii

 

The United States of America, abbreviated as the United States, is a state in North America. Area - 9.5 million km² (4th place in the world). Population - just over 333 million people (2021, estimate; 3rd place in the world). The United States has a federal form of structure, administratively divided into 50 states and the Federal District of Columbia; a number of island territories (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and others) are also subordinate to them.

The capital is Washington DC, and the largest in terms of population is New York City. The United States borders Canada in the north, Mexico in the south, and also has a sea border with Russia in the west. They are washed by the Pacific Ocean from the west, the Atlantic Ocean from the east and the Arctic Ocean from the north.

The United States of America was formed in 1776 with the unification of thirteen British colonies that declared their independence. The War of Independence lasted until 1783 and ended with the victory of the colonists. In 1787, the US Constitution was adopted, and in 1791 - the Bill of Rights, which significantly limited the powers of the government over citizens. In 1861, conflicts between the slave-owning southern and industrial northern states led to the outbreak of a four-year Civil War. The consequence of the victory of the northern states was the widespread prohibition of slavery, as well as the restoration of the country after the split that arose when the southern states were united into the Confederation and declared their independence.

Until the First World War, US foreign policy activity was limited to interests in the territories of North, Central and South America - according to the Monroe Doctrine formulated back in 1823. After the First World War, the United States Congress did not give consent to the country's entry into international organizations (for example, the League of Nations and the Chamber of International Justice under it), which limited the role of the United States in world politics. However, the country's participation in the anti-Hitler coalition significantly increased the influence of the United States on the world arena, and from the second half of the 20th century, the country became the core of the so-called. "First World". In 1945, the United States became the first nuclear power and the first and only country to use nuclear weapons in hostilities (the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and since 1946 they were in a state of global confrontation with the USSR, which lasted until the early 1990s, when The Soviet Union ceased to exist.

The United States possesses the armed forces with the most powerful nuclear capabilities on the planet in terms of the total number of deployed warheads, but second after Russia in the total number of nuclear warheads, including the world's largest naval forces; have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council with veto power; are the founding state of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), one of the founders of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States (OAS) and other international organizations.

The United States is a highly developed country, the largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP and second in terms of GDP (PPP). Although the country's population is only 4.3% of the global population, Americans own about 40% of the world's total wealth. The United States leads the world in a number of socio-economic indicators, including average wages, HDI, GDP per capita, and labor productivity. While the US economy is post-industrial, characterized by a predominance of the service sector and the knowledge economy, the country's manufacturing sector remains the second largest in the world.

The country's economy accounts for about a quarter of world GDP and generates a third of global military spending, making the United States the world's main economic and military power. In addition, the United States has the most political and cultural influence in the world, is also a leader in scientific research and technological innovation, and is currently considered the only superpower on the planet.

 

Etymology

In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller published a map of the world, on which the lands of the Western Hemisphere were named America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, this was the first use of the toponym "America".

The first documented use of the name "United States of America" ​​is a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylen, an aide to George Washington. In a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Reed, Moylen expressed his desire to carry "the full and sufficient powers of the United States of America" ​​to Spain to assist in the revolutionary war.

The first known publication of the name "United States of America" ​​was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette, published in Williamsburg, Virginia on April 6, 1776.

The second version of the Articles of Confederation (the first constitutional document of the United States), prepared by John Dickinson and completed no earlier than June 17, 1776, contained the text: "The name of this Confederation shall be the United States of America." The final version of the Articles of Confederation sent to the states for ratification at the end of 1777 contains the sentence "The name of this Confederation is the United States of America." In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in capital letters in the title of his "original draft" of the Declaration of Independence. This draft was not published until June 21, 1776, and it is unclear whether it was written before or after Dickinson used the term "United States of America" ​​in his June 17 draft of the Articles of Confederation.

The short form of the name of the country - "United States" (English United States) - is also standard. Other common forms of country names in English are also "U.S.", the "USA", and "America". The colloquial form is "U.S. of A." and, at the international level, "States" (in Russian, respectively - "States"). The name "Columbia", popular in poems and songs of the late 18th century, comes from the name of the discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus; in the toponymy of the United States, it was fixed in the name "Federal District of Columbia".

Initially, the official name "United States" had only the plural form - "the United States are", for example, in the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1865. The singular form - "the United States is" - became popular only after the end of the American Civil War. The standard form is currently the singular form; the plural form is preserved only in the idiom "these United States" (eng. "these United States"). The difference between singular and plural plays an important role, because it emphasizes that we are talking about a single state.

The demonym for citizens of the United States is "Americans" (eng. Americans). In English, the word "American" rarely refers to topics or subjects not directly related to the United States.

 

Geography

Location
The core US territory (called the continental states) is located on the North American continent and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. The United States borders Mexico to the south and Canada to the north. In addition, the United States includes 2 more states. In the extreme northwest of the American continent is the state of Alaska, which also borders Canada. The border with Russia runs through the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean. The United States also owns a number of islands in the Caribbean (eg Puerto Rico) and in the Pacific (American Samoa, Midway, Guam and others).

Subject territories
Under one or another administration of the United States is (but not included in them) a number of island territories with different statuses. On the territory of the uninhabited atoll of Palmyra, the US Constitution is fully in force. The rest of the territories have their own basic legislation. The largest of these territories is Puerto Rico.

Relief
On the main territory of the country, to the west of the Atlantic Lowland, the Appalachian Mountains stretch, behind which are the Central Plains (200-500 m above sea level), the Great Plains plateau (600-1500 m). Almost the entire west is occupied by the Cordillera mountain system.

Climate
Since the country is located on a large territory, almost all climatic zones are represented in it - from the arctic climate in northern Alaska to the tropical climate in Hawaii and southern Florida.

Nature and natural resources
The bowels are rich in reserves of various natural resources, including hard and brown coal, iron and manganese ore. The Cordilleras, the Colorado Plateau, the Great Plains and the Mexican Lowland have deposits of copper, zinc, lead, silver, chromite, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, titanium, polymetallic, uranium and mercury ores, as well as gold, sulfur, phosphates and other chemical raw materials.

The rivers that have formed deep canyons belong to the basins of water sources flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The Mississippi (with a tributary of the Missouri) - one of the longest river systems on the planet - stretches for 6420 km. On the border with Canada are the Great Lakes - Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario.

Vegetation
The slopes of the Cordilleras are covered with dense coniferous forests, the Appalachians - with broad-leaved forests; there are almost no prairies left. In the north of Alaska, tundra vegetation is common.

The abundance of moisture favors the development of the most diverse vegetation in the Atlantic regions and the Appalachians; and especially forest vegetation. Trees are not found only on bare rocks or in low-lying marshy places; tall reeds and mosses grow in the latter. The Appalachian flora is distinguished by a wide variety of species, including tree species: American species of chestnut and plane tree, hickory, magnolia, and tulip tree are found here.

The forested region of New England is similar in its tree species to the coastal provinces of Canada. In the north, it is surrounded by a region of pines with an important representative of it, the Weymouth pine. The region of deciduous trees extends approximately to the valley of the Allegheny River, which serves as the limit of two vegetative regions, Pennsylvania and pre-Mississippian, but in general the distinction is not sharp, and the same tree species are found here in both the northern and southern Atlantic regions, despite climate difference.

The coastal sandy strips and swampy lowlands of the southern Atlantic states are covered with pine forests. Here, next to the pines, huge cypress trees with straight trunks, thickened at the base like an onion and resting on strong processes of the aerial part of their rhizome, also rise, while its dagger-shaped respiratory appendages stick out from the underground part of the trunk (from which beehives were made). Cypress branches are hung with a gray "Spanish beard". The forests of the eastern part are rich in undergrowth, creepers and other climbing plants; in the forests of South Carolina and Georgia there are patching, orange trees, catalpa, wild rosemary; Florida vegetation is already tropical.

None of the countries of the temperate zone, except for the countries of East Asia, has such a richness and diversity of flora as the United States. In the central basin, from the Appalachian mountains to the prairies of Illinois, formerly endless forests, the area of ​​\u200b\u200bwhich was equal to the space of France, Spain and Italy combined, and now greatly thinned out by man, consist almost exclusively of deciduous species - oak, ash, elm, hickory and others. In the north, they are limited by the belt of white pine, in the southern Appalachian part, by the area of ​​balsam fir, and further south, near the Gulf of Mexico, by the area of ​​pine and marsh cypress.

 

To the west, the forests break off already in such pre-Mississippian states as Illinois (nicknamed the "steppe state"), and boundless expanses of meadow steppes (prairies) begin. The predominance of herbaceous vegetation (with the color of meadows red in spring, blue in summer, and yellow in autumn), according to some, depends on climatic conditions, according to others, on the powdery nature of the soil. However, there are also places where the former prairies are overgrown with forests - for example, in the Kentucky Green River basin and on the Missouri plain near St. Louis. Flora of the prairies (now cut into fields, with driveable roads) - with denser and taller vegetation. To the west of the Mississippi are the territories of the Great Plains with more sparse vegetation (due to dryness) than in the prairies of the pre-Mississippi. Still further, rising to the Rocky Mountains, there are already desert steppes, in which Chernobyl predominates, especially in the salt marshes beyond the Arkansas River. Cactus thickets also begin here, thanks to which the Llano Estacado area resembles the slopes of the Mexican Sierra Madre.

Even further west, but only exclusively in the mountains, forest areas begin again (but these are no longer dense forests of the eastern part): the trees here are not so branched, there is no undergrowth, lianas are rare; and the forests are more like parks than the virgin forests of Kentucky and Virginia. In the Mississippi Valley, due to extreme temperatures and hot summers with heavy summer rains, almost tropical plants breed in places where the average temperature is much lower than in other countries under the same latitudes - for example, sugarcane, cotton, corn, yielding abundant crops. .

The flora of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific slope is very different: from the Upper Missouri to the highlands of Texas and from the lowland plains of Colorado to the Sierra Nevada, cacti and mugwort grow on calcareous and saline areas, reaching great heights on the high uplands. In the southern parts of the same region, thorny bushes reach a considerable height. Rising higher along the Rocky Mountains, there is a belt of juniper, then - pines. On the Pacific slope, due to the influence of moist westerly winds, mighty coniferous vegetation with its giant representatives developed; it covers the high valleys and escarpments of the Sierra Nevada, runs north into British Columbia and Alaska, branching east into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Pseudo-hemflock of Menzies prevails here, reaching up to 80 and even up to 100 m in height. In the Coastal Ranges, a sequoia of even greater height grows: it forms huge forests near the Russian River.

Geology
The subsoil is rich in reserves of various natural resources, in particular, hard and brown coal, iron and manganese ore. The Cordilleras, the Colorado Plateau, the Great Plains and the Mexican Lowland have deposits of copper, zinc, lead, silver, chromite, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, titanium, polymetallic, uranium, mercury ores, gold, sulfur, phosphates and other chemical raw materials.

 

Historical dates
1565 - The Spaniards founded the first European settlement on the territory of the modern United States - the city of St. Augustine.
1585 - Founding of the Roanoke Colony - the first unsuccessful attempt by the British to colonize America.
1607 - The first permanent British colony in North America, Jamestown, Virginia, is founded.
1609 - The Spanish found Santa Fe - the beginning of a major expansion of Spanish colonization in the Southwest of the present-day United States.
1620 - founded the first in New England - the historical center of the United States - a colony, Plymouth.
1623 New Hampshire colony founded.
1626 - The Dutch found New Amsterdam, the capital of the Dutch possessions in North America, which later became New York.
1630 - the foundation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the British Puritans, whose capital - Boston - became the largest city of the British colonies in North America.
1634 - the foundation of the colony of Maryland by English Catholic settlers.
1636 - Baptists, expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, found the colony of Rhode Island.
1638 - The Swedes establish their colony in what is now the state of Delaware. In less than 20 years, the colony comes under the control of the Netherlands.
1638 - Founding of the Connecticut Colony by immigrants from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1670 - the foundation of the British colony of Carolina, which was divided in 1729 into two colonies: South Carolina and North Carolina.
1682 - Declaration of the Mississippi basin as the possession of the French king.
1682 - Quaker William Penn founds the Colony of Pennsylvania, whose first capital, Philadelphia, became the capital of the united colonies during the Revolutionary War and the first capital of the United States.
1701 - the foundation of Fort Detroit - the largest point of French colonial expansion in the Great Lakes region.
1718 - The French found New Orleans, which became the center of the promotion of French colonization in the territory of the modern United States.
1724 - the foundation of the southernmost British colony in North America - Georgia.
1763 - The French found St. Louis - the most important stronghold in the middle reaches of the Mississippi.
1769 - The Spanish found San Diego, this is the beginning of the Spanish colonization of Upper California.
December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party begins the American Revolutionary War.
1774 - First Continental Congress - the beginning of an open confrontation between the North American colonies and the mother country.
1775-1783 Revolutionary War, also known as the American Revolution.
1784 - Foundation of the first Russian settlement in the Bay of Three Saints on Kodiak Island.
1787, September 17 - The Constitutional Convention, convened in Philadelphia, adopted the US Constitution.
1789, September 25 - Adoption of the Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.
1789 - First US presidential election. George Washington becomes the first President of the United States with 100% of the electoral votes.
1799 - The foundation of the Russian-American Company - the beginning of the comprehensive development of Alaska by Russia.
1800 - Transfer of the US capital from Philadelphia to Washington.
1803 - Louisiana Purchase - acquisition of French possessions in North America from Napoleonic France, as a result of which the country's territory doubled.
1804 - Foundation of Novoarkhangelsk - the future capital of Russian America.
1812 - Foundation of Fort Ross - the southernmost point of Russian expansion in America.
1812-1815 - Anglo-American war.
1816-1817 - a Russian fortress was created in the Hawaiian Islands.
1818 - Agreement with Great Britain on the definition of the border between the United States and British possessions in the Mississippi basin, as a result of which the United States withdrew part of the territory of Minnesota and North Dakota.
February 21, 1819 - The Adams-Onis agreement to purchase Florida for US$5 million is ratified.
1820 - Missouri Compromise, which allowed the balance between North and South to be maintained for another three decades.
1823 - The first statement of the Monroe Doctrine as a fundamental concept of US foreign policy.
1828 - Founding of the US Democratic Party.
May 28, 1830 - The United States Congress passes a law deporting the Indians of the East Coast of the United States west to the future Oklahoma.
1841 Sale of Fort Ross to US citizen John Sutter.
December 29, 1845 - Accession of the Republic of Texas to the United States as a state.
1846 - Accession by agreement with Great Britain of the Territory of Oregon - the northwest of the modern United States.
1846-1848 - Mexican-American War.
1846-1848 - Migration of Mormons from Illinois to Utah - one of the most massive and organized immigration movements in the western United States.
1848-1855 - Gold Rush in California, which contributed to the rapid settlement of English-speaking settlers in the American West.
1850 - Act to capture fugitive slaves throughout the United States as a compromise with the South on the issue of admission to the Union of California as a free state.
1853 - The Gadsden Treaty - the acquisition by the United States of part of the territories of the modern states of Arizona and New Mexico. The final establishment of the southwestern state border.
1854 - Founding of the Republican Party of the United States.
1854, May 30 - The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act by the US Congress, which upset the balance between the northern farming and southern slave states.
1854-1856 - The Kansas Civil War, which became a rehearsal for the Civil War.
1857-1858 War between Mormons and federal government in Utah.
1859 - John Brown rebellion in Virginia against slavery.
1860-1861 Secession of slave states from the Union.
1861-1865 - Civil War.
1867 Purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire.
1898 - Spanish-American War, as a result of which the United States received the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and some other territories. Cuba became dependent on the United States until the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
1913, December 23 - the creation of the Federal Reserve System (FRS).
1917
April 6 - As a result of the so-called "Zimmermann Telegram", the United States enters the First World War on the side of the Entente.
The Espionage Act imposed a penalty of up to 20 years in prison for "spreading false information about the U.S. armed forces in order to interfere with their operations, cause a riot, or interfere with military recruitment."
1929 - The beginning of the Great Depression in the United States - one of the most serious shocks in American history, which had a huge impact not only on the economy, but also on the culture of the country.
1940 - passage of the Smith Act.
1941, December 7 - Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States enters World War II, declaring war on Japan on December 8.
1945
August 6 and 9 - atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan). About 250 thousand people die, mostly civilians.
August 10 - Japan expresses readiness to surrender to the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.
August 15 - Emperor Hirohito made a radio announcement of surrender. Victory Day over Japan (V-J Day).
1950-1953 - war in Korea.
1960
August-October - the nationalization of the property of American companies in Cuba.
1961
January 20 - John F. Kennedy takes office as President of the United States.
May 5 - Alan Shepard's suborbital spaceflight on Freedom 7.
1962
February 3 - John F. Kennedy imposes a complete embargo on trade with Cuba.
Caribbean crisis.
1963
May - mass demonstrations of the Negro population of Birmingham (Alabama) against racial discrimination.
November 22 - President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
1964-1973 - Vietnam War.
July 21, 1969 - Astronaut Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon.
1973, March - 1974, August 9 - Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon leaves the White House in disgrace.
1986, January 28 - the death of the Challenger shuttle.
1987
June 12 - Ronald Reagan, who spoke near the Berlin Wall, called on Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy it.
October 19 - "Black Monday" (Dow Jones fell by 22.68%).
1991 - Gulf War, liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.
1992, April 30 - May 2 - African-American riot in Los Angeles.
1992-1994 - peacekeeping operation in Somalia.
1999 - military operation against Yugoslavia.
2001 - September 11 terrorist attack.
2001 - the beginning of the military operation in Afghanistan, which continues to this day.
2003, February 1 - the death of the Columbia shuttle.
2003-2011 - Iraqi war.
2005 September - Hurricane Katrina caused levees to burst, flooding the city of New Orleans, and subsequent riots and looting.
2007 - US mortgage crisis.
2008, September - the beginning of the global financial crisis in the United States.
2011, March - October - military operation against Libya.
2014, September - present - US involvement in the civil war in Syria.
2016, November - December - Protests against Donald Trump.
2019, May - present - conflict in Iran.
2020 January - Present - The spread of COVID-19 in the United States.
2020, May - present - Protests in the USA after the killing of George Floyd.
2021, January 6 - Capitol Capitol.

 

Administrative division

The United States of America consists of 50 states that are equal subjects of the federation, the capital federal district of Columbia and the incorporated unorganized territory of Palmyra Atoll. Each state has its own constitution, legislature, executive and judiciary. Most of the state names come from the names of Indian tribes and the names of the kings of England and France.

The states are divided into counties (eng. county, parish (Louisiana), borough (Alaska)) - smaller administrative units (smaller than the state, but not smaller than the city), with the exception of five counties (boroughs) as part of the city of New York. In total, according to the US Census Bureau, there are 3,141 districts in the country. Delaware has the fewest counties (3), and Texas has the most counties (254). The powers of the administration of the districts and the relationship with the municipal authorities of the settlements located on their territory vary greatly from state to state. Local life of settlements is managed by municipalities.

 

Population

The first people (Indian tribes that migrated from Siberia to Alaska) settled in the United States about 10 thousand years ago, and their descendants remained the predominant ethnic component until the end of the 17th century. The modern population of the United States, however, reflects the genetic heritage of the indigenous people much less, since for the most part modern residents are descendants of relatively recent (XVII-XX centuries) immigrants from Europe (mainly West) and Africa. Only the children of immigrants born in the United States receive the full right to be called "Americans". The country maintains a clear division into foreigners and natives, between whom there is a significant cultural and linguistic distance. This difference, however, limits the internal division. Americans The United States is a heterogeneous nation with a diverse racial composition. The dominant race in all respects and regions (except for the state of Hawaii) is currently the Caucasoid race - immigrants from the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Ireland and other European countries. Further, the Negroid race, the Mongoloid race, the Americanoid race and others stand out, which account for more than a third of the population. Population dynamics is as follows:

Languages
According to the US Census Bureau, the most widely spoken native language in the United States is English. In 2009, 228.7 million Americans over 5 years of age (80.0%) spoke it as their first language. Spanish is the native language of 35.5 million US residents (12.4%).

The Russian language ranks 9th in terms of the number of speakers in the United States - over 882 thousand people (0.31%). In terms of prevalence, it is inferior to Chinese (2.6 million), Tagalog (1.5 million), French (1.3 million), Vietnamese (1.3 million), German (1.1 million) and Korean (1.0 million). ).

The largest number of Russian-speaking Americans lives in the state of New York (218,765 people, or 30.98% of all native speakers of the Russian language), the smallest - in the state of Wyoming (170 people, or 0.02%). The top ten states where Russian is spoken also include California, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, Maryland and Oregon. A fairly large number of immigrants from Siberia and the Far East live in Northern California.

The highest proportion of Russian-speaking residents is in Alaska: about 3% understand Russian to some extent, and about 8.5% profess Orthodoxy. This is a consequence of the former belonging of the territory of the state of Russia.

In the state of Hawaii, English and Hawaiian are official languages. New Mexico has a law that ensures the use of English and Spanish, in Louisiana - English and French (while none of the languages ​​​​is named official).

Insular unincorporated territories with associated status (actually, US overseas possessions) along with English provide official recognition to the languages ​​​​of the indigenous people: Samoan and Chamorro are recognized, respectively, in American Samoa and Guam; Caroline and Chamorro are recognized in the Northern Mariana Islands; Spanish is the official language of Puerto Rico.

US names in major languages:
English: United States of America
Spanish: Estados Unidos de América
French: États-Unis d'Amérique
Hawaiian: ‘Amelika Hui Pū ‘ia

Cities
According to the US Census Bureau, about 82% of Americans live in cities or suburbs (urban agglomerations), half of them live in cities with a population of over fifty thousand people.

There are 314 cities in the USA with a population of more than 100,000 people, 10 cities with a population of more than a million inhabitants, and 4 cities with a population of more than two million people (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston).
1 New York New York 8,336,817
2 Los Angeles California 3,979,576
3 Chicago Illinois 2,693,976
4 Houston Texas 2,320,268
5 Phoenix Arizona 1,680,992
6 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,584,064
7 San Antonio Texas 1,547,253
8 San Diego California 1,423,851
9 Dallas Texas 1,343,573
10 San Jose California 1,021,795
11 Austin Texas 978,908
12 Jacksonville Florida 911,507
13 Fort Worth Texas 909,585
14 Columbus Ohio 898,553
15 Charlotte North Carolina 885,708
16 San Francisco California 881,549
17 Indianapolis Indiana 876,384
18 Seattle Washington 753,675
19 Denver Colorado 727,211
20 Washington DC 705,749

 

Religion
The First Amendment to the US Constitution[33], adopted on December 15, 1791, proclaims the separation of church and state, which the "Founding Fathers" understood as a ban on the establishment of a state religion - similar to what happened in Great Britain. According to a 2002 study by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, the United States is the only developed country where a majority of the population said religion plays a "very important role" in their lives.

The American government does not keep official statistics on religion. According to the 2018 CIA World Fact Book, the religious composition of the United States is as follows:
Protestants - 46.5% of the population
Catholics - 20.8% (predominant in the southwestern and northeastern states);
Mormons - 1.6% (predominant in Utah);
members of other Christian denominations - 0.9%;
Jews - 1.9%;
Muslims - 0.9%;
Jehovists - 0.8%,
Buddhists - 0.7%;
Hindus - 0.7%,
1.8% - others;
not belonging to any religious group - 22.8%

According to the Pew Research Center, Protestants in the United States are divided into religious groups as follows:
Baptists - 15.4% of the population (49.1 million). Belong to the largest religious organizations Southern Baptist Convention (Southern Baptist Convention; 16.4 million people), Independent Baptists in the Evangelical Tradition (8 million people), American Baptist Churches USA (American Baptist Churches USA; 4.8 million people);
Methodists - 4.6% (14.7 million);
Pentecostals - 4.6% (14.7 million);
Lutherans - 3.5% (predominant in North and South Dakota, 11.2 million);
Presbyterians, 2.2% (7 million);
restorationists - 1.9% (6 million);
Anglicans - 1.3% (4.1 million);
holiness movement - 0.8% (2.5 million);
Congregationalists - 0.6% (1.9 million);
Adventists - 0.6% (1.9 million).

The number of Orthodox in the United States is about 0.55% of the population. In the United States, there is an autocephalous local Orthodox Church - the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), which received autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970. According to the OCA and the World Council of Churches, its membership is 1 million people. Independent researchers estimate between 85,000 and 115,000 OCA believers in the United States. Also in the US there are a number of Orthodox church structures of other jurisdictions; the largest of them:

American Archdiocese;
Orthodox Church of Constantinople;
Patriarchal parishes;
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

 

Political system

Under the US constitution, adopted in 1787, certain powers for the exercise of state power are transferred to the US federal government. State powers not designated for transfer to the federal government by the constitution are exercised by the states of the United States.

The United States Constitution establishes the principle of separation of powers, according to which the federal government consists of legislative, executive and judicial bodies that act independently of each other.

The highest legislative body is the bicameral US Congress:
the lower house is the House of Representatives;
the upper house is the Senate.
The highest executive authority is the President of the United States. The president is the head of state, commander in chief of the armed forces (see List of US Presidents). There is also the post of Vice President.
The highest judicial body is the US Supreme Court.
The main political parties are Republican and Democratic. There are also many other, smaller parties.

Foreign policy
US foreign policy is aimed at achieving two main goals - to ensure the security of the state and its citizens and to ensure the welfare of the country's citizens.

 

Economy

The US economy is the largest economy in the world in nominal terms, accounting for at least a quarter of global GDP over the past 50 years.

The American economy has a very high level of transparency. Dozens of different statistical reports and economic indicators are published by US government agencies with a frequency of once every week, two, month, quarter and year. According to the law, some of them are subject to revision in subsequent periods, depending on the receipt of new data.

Reports subject to revision include, for example, the monthly reports on GDP and personal income and expenditure published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Revision of indicators upwards or downwards is not uncommon.

In addition to dozens of public ones, dozens of indicators of private (commercial and public) organizations are published in the United States. For example, over a long period of its existence, such indicators as the ADP Unemployment Report, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Schiller Index, etc. have earned trust.

The country's economy is one of the most diversified national economies in the world and has been leading the world economy for the past 100 years. However, since the early 2000s, due to accelerated globalization and the growth of the economies of developing countries, its influence in the global economy has slightly decreased.

In 2019, consumer spending accounted for 68% of the US economy. As of August 2010, the US workforce includes more than 154 million people. The government is the country's largest employer, with more than 21 million people employed by state-owned companies and structures. The largest sector of employment among private companies is health and social care (16.4 million people). About 12% of workers are in trade unions (in Western Europe - 30%). Manufacturing jobs have fallen by 5 million since 2000.

The US economy was strengthened by the creation of a free trade area with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA) in 1994-2008. The volume of US merchandise exports to NAFTA countries in 1993-2013 increased by more than 5 times: from $141.8 billion to $529.0 billion. The value of US merchandise imports from NAFTA countries over the same period more than quadrupled: from $150.8 billion to $625.0 billion.

The US government debt is over $21 trillion. Since 2012, the US public debt has exceeded the annual US GDP.

The global economic crisis of 2008 significantly affected the United States. The number of products produced is still below potential. The crisis provoked an increase in unemployment (which is now declining, but is still above the pre-crisis level), a drop in consumer confidence, an increase in the number of bankruptcies, an aggravation of the tax crisis, an increase in inflation, and an increase in fuel and food prices.

Industry
The US industry is distinguished by a high level of industrial and territorial concentration. It represents all existing industries focused on the production of both mass and limited products.

Industry provides (2004) less than 20% of the country's GDP (service sector - 79.4%; agriculture - about 0.9% of GDP). According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2012 the share of industrial production and services in the US GDP was 22.1% ($3.23 trillion) and 76.8% ($11.2 trillion), respectively.

Agriculture
Agriculture accounts for less than 1% of GDP, but the United States is the world's largest producer of corn and soybeans. The United States is the main developer and producer of genetically modified food; more than half of the world's volume of genetically modified cereals is created here. In the 48 states, 35% of the territory is used for pasture, 28% is covered with forest and 21% of the territory is used for agricultural purposes.

According to the World Bank, in 2012 the US was by far the world's top wheat exporter (32.8 million tons worth $11.1 billion).

International trade
According to data for 2014, US exports amount to 1.45 trillion US dollars (2nd place after China), and imports of 2.19 trillion US dollars (1st place in the world).

Export (1.45 trillion): oil products, cars, aircraft, helicopters, spare parts for cars, medicines.

Major buyers: Canada (17%), Mexico (13%), China (9.2%), Japan (4.6%), Germany (4.2%)

Imports (2.19 trillion): crude oil, computers, automobiles, petroleum products, machine parts, mobile phones, broadcast equipment.

Main suppliers: China (20%), Canada (15%), Mexico (13%), Japan (5.9%), Germany (5.5%), South Korea (3.2%).

 

Transport

The United States has a very developed transport, engineering and other infrastructure, which in 2011 spent 2.4% of the country's GDP, which amounted to approximately $362 billion.

Despite an increase in spending in absolute terms over the past 10 years, the country's share of spending on infrastructure remains below the peak of 3.1% of GDP reached in the 1960s.

Car roads
The US highway network is the longest road network in the world. Its total length is 6,506,204 km.
It includes both federal roads (the Interstate Highway System) and state and local roads.

Railways
Despite nearly halving railroads since the 1920s, the US still has the longest railroad network in the world, at 226,427 km.

Air transport
The United States has the largest number of airports and airfields with hard runways (runways) in the world. The total number of such air hubs is 5194.
The country is also the leader in the number of airfields with unpaved runways. There are 9885 such objects.
The airspace over the United States is one of the busiest on the planet. So, according to The Guardian, in 2012, 4 of the 10 busiest airports in the world were American.
According to a study by Hofstra University, the US accounts for up to 70% of the world's domestic air travel.

 

Energy

In 2013, the United States generated 4,058 billion kWh of electricity. According to 2012 data, the country produces 18.8% of the global electricity production and ranks second in the world in this indicator, second only to China.

In 2013, 67% of electricity was generated by thermal power plants running on fossil fuels: 39% from coal, 27% from natural gas, 1% from oil. 19% of electricity was produced by nuclear power plants, 7% by hydroelectric power plants. 6% of electricity generation is based on renewable energy: 1.5% - biofuel power plants, 0.4% - geothermal energy, 0.2% - solar energy, 4.1% - wind energy. Imports of electricity in the United States in 2012 amounted to 47 billion kWh.

The United States imports a significant part of energy resources, but in connection with the "shale revolution" there is a gradual reduction in the volume of purchased oil. If in 2005 the US imported 10.1 million barrels per day, then in 2014 it was only 7.4 million barrels. At the same time, in 2010-2013, US oil purchases were reduced in Venezuela by 33.5%, in Nigeria by 76.4%, and in Mexico by 26.1%. During this period, oil purchases were increased in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Since 2015, US gas companies have begun exporting liquefied natural gas, and in December of the same year, the legal ban on oil exports was lifted.

 

Culture

Cuisine
Starting with the traditions of English cuisine of the 17th and 18th centuries, mixed with some of the culinary traditions of the American Indians, American cuisine has changed significantly over the past three centuries, becoming a synthesis of culinary traditions from around the world, combining the cuisines of various immigrant cultures:

in the Northeast, British cuisine and cuisines of other European countries are popular;
in the South - African and Mediterranean cuisines (chicken, schnitzels, seafood dishes);
in the Southwest - Mexican cuisine (fajita, tacos, burritos);
in the Midwest, Italian cuisine.

The traditional and most recognizable American breakfast is bacon and eggs, pancakes (pancakes) with maple syrup, and bread toast or sandwiches (for example, with peanut butter and jam). The US is the home of corn flakes, which are usually consumed with milk. Drinks include coffee and orange juice.

Lunch is usually very light and consists of salads, pasta with tomato sauce, fast food and various sandwiches.

Dinner is quite dense and varied. The first is usually served with soups or broths. The second is meat and poultry dishes, sausages or seafood. All kinds of vegetables are used for garnish (corn, asparagus, cauliflower, potatoes, etc.).

Americans consume very little bread and other flour products. Desserts are in great demand (fruits with whipped cream, cakes, muffins, cookies).

Among the drinks, various fruit juices, sodas are popular, as well as coffee (often with a huge amount of cream, milk and sugar) and iced tea, which is usually served without sugar, but with lemon. Half of the country's population drinks at least one cup of coffee a day.

For alcoholic beverages, Americans prefer California wines, bourbon, rum, or local beers (such as root beer).

 

Literature, philosophy

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, American literature was shaped by the influence of English and European literature. Writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and the poet Walt Whitman were the most significant men of letters of the mid and second half of the 19th century. Emily Dickinson, virtually unknown during her lifetime, is now recognized as America's most important poet.

Novels that reflect fundamental aspects of national experience and character, such as Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851), Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Francis Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) - can rightly be referred to as the "great American novel".

11 US citizens have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, including Toni Morrison in 1993. William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck are often cited as some of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

The Transcendentalists, led by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, created the first major American philosophical movement. After the end of the Civil War, Charles Sanders Peirce and later William James and John Dewey were leaders in the development of pragmatism.

In the 20th century, the work of W. W. O. Quine and Richard Rorty, and later Noam Chomsky, brought analytic philosophy to the forefront of the American philosophical scientific community. The work of John Rawls and Robert Nozick led to a revival of political philosophy.

 

Music

The rhythmic and lyrical directions of African-American music, heavily influenced by American music in general, differ from European traditions. Elements from folk idioms such as the blues and what is now known as early music were borrowed and developed into popular genres with a worldwide audience. Jazz was developed by musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington in the early 20th century. Country music appeared in the 1920s and rhythm and blues in the 1940s.

Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were among the "pioneers" of rock and roll in the mid-1950s. In the 1960s, out-of-the-folk Bob Dylan became one of America's most famous songwriters, and James Brown led the development of "funk". Other American music in recent times includes such musical genres as "hip-hop" and house music.

American pop stars such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Madonna have become world famous; as well as contemporary artists such as Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Beyoncé; as well as hip-hop artists Jay-Z, Eminem. Rock bands such as Metallica, Eagles and Aerosmith are among the best-selling songs in the world.

Art
A special contribution to the visual arts in the United States was made by:
photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Cindy Sherman;
artists Gilbert Stuart, John James Audubon, Thomas Garth Benton, Albert Bierstadt, Mary Cassatt, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Edward S. Curtis, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Al Hirschfeld, Hans Hofmann , Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keefe, Lee Krasner, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Maurice Louis, John Marin, Agnes Martin, Jackson Pollock, Man Ray Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Andy Warhol, Wyeth ;
sculptors Alexander Calder, David Smith, Frank Stella;
illustrators Frederic Remington, Norman Rockwell, Newell Converse Wyeth;
designers Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright

The United States has extremely rich collections of American art in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York (this museum has branches in Las Vegas, Venice, Berlin, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Lithuania), the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, the Museum of Contemporary art in San Francisco. The richest collections of samples of foreign art are presented in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; as well as in the museums of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston.

 

Movie

Hollywood is the most important symbol of American cinema. The world's first motion picture was shown in New York in 1894 using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope. In 1895, a second film was shown, also in New York. The United States was the country where sound films developed best in the following decades. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the US film industry has been "based" in Hollywood, where most of the films were produced. But already in the 21st century, the number of films not made there has increased.

Currently, there are numerous film studios. The most famous among them:
20th Century Studios,
Columbia Pictures,
dreamworks Pictures,
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer,
Miramax Films,
New Line Cinema,
paramount Pictures,
Sony Pictures Entertainment,
universal studios,
Warner Brothers.

The most famous US cartoon studios are Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar and DreamWorks Animation.

Some of the most famous directors in the history of American cinema are John Ford and John Huston.

 

Sport

American football is the most popular sport in the USA. It is led by the National Football League (NFL). It has the highest average attendance of any other sport. Millions of people around the world watch American football. Baseball has been proclaimed the national sport of the United States since the late 19th century. Basketball, football and ice hockey are the leading professional team sports in the country. Football and basketball are trying to attract a large audience. In 1994, the country hosted the World Cup, the men's football team qualified up to 1/8 of the World Cup. The women's team has won the Women's World Cup three times. The market for professional sports in the United States is approximately $69 billion, about twice that of all countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined.

The United States has hosted 8 Olympic Games. The country has won 2,400 medals at the Summer Olympics, more than any other; and 281 - in winter (second place after Norway). The most popular individual sports are golf and auto racing, especially NASCAR.

 

Mass media

Television and radio broadcasting
The four main broadcasters in the US are:

National Broadcasting Company (NBC),
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
American Broadcasting Company (ABC),
Fox.
Cable TV offers hundreds of channels targeted at different social groups. Americans listen to radio programs, on average, two and a half hours a day. In 1998, the number of US radio stations grew to 4,793; and the number of FM stations is up to 5,662. In addition, there are 1,460 US Public Radio stations.
Most of these stations are owned by university and government authorities and funded by public or private funds. National Public Radio was registered in February 1970 under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. There is its television counterpart, PBS. NPR and PBS operate independently of each other.

Press
Well-known national newspapers are The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Newspapers rely primarily on advertising and subscription revenue. With very few exceptions, newspapers in the US are privately owned or owned by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers. Large cities often have "alternative weeklies" in addition to daily newspapers (for example, in New York it is The Village Voice, and in Los Angeles it is LA Weekly).

 

Education

Education in the United States is largely public, controlled and funded at three levels: federal, state, and local governments. There is a public school system. Higher education institutions - mostly private - attract undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world.

The US literacy rate is 97%, but according to the 2003 census, only 84.6% of people 25 and older had a high school education; 52.5% have higher education, and 27.3% have a bachelor's degree.

As of 2012, almost 12 million students studied in the country, of which approximately 740 thousand are foreigners. The main language of education is English, except in Puerto Rico, where the official language is Spanish.

The science
The United States is the absolute leader in the number of Nobel laureates. As of 2012, 331 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to US citizens.

The United States also consistently holds the lead in investment in R&D: in 2011, the country accounted for 34% of global spending in this area. The public and private sectors spent $405.3 billion, which amounted to 2.7% of the country's GDP.

 

Healthcare

Life expectancy in the United States has increased from 75.2 in 1990 to 79.8 years. The growing problem of obesity in the United States and improving public health in other countries have contributed to the country's decline in life expectancy since 1987, when it ranked 11th in the world. Obesity rates in the United States are among the highest among other countries.

About a third of the US adult population is obese, and another third is overweight. The incidence of obesity is the highest among industrialized countries and has more than doubled in the last 25 years. Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is recognized by medical professionals as an epidemic. The US infant mortality rate is 5.8 per thousand and ranks 56th from the bottom out of 225 countries.

In 2010, coronary heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and car accidents accounted for the most years of life lost in the United States. Low back pain, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain and anxiety accounted for the largest number of years lost due to health problems. The most harmful risk factors were poor diet, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, reduced physical activity, and alcohol use. Alzheimer's disease, drug abuse, kidney disease, cancer, and falls account for the most extra years of life lost over and above the per capita death rate obtained in 1990. Teenage pregnancy and abortion rates in the US are significantly higher than in other Western countries, especially among blacks and Hispanics.

The US is the world leader in medical innovation. According to a 2001 survey of physicians, the United States has made or significantly contributed to 9 of the 10 most important medical innovations since 1975, while the European Union and Switzerland together have contributed to five of them. Since 1966, Americans have received more Nobel Prizes in medicine than scientists from all other countries combined. Between 1989 and 2002, the amount of money invested in private biotechnology companies in the US was four times that of Europe. The US healthcare system spends far more than any other nation, both on a per capita basis and as a percentage of GDP.

Health insurance in the United States is provided by the public and private sectors and is not universal. In 2014, 13.4% of the country's population did not have health insurance. The topic of uninsured and underinsured citizens is one of the country's most important political issues. In 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to introduce universal health insurance. A federal law passed in early 2010 could have created near-universal health insurance nationwide by 2014, but the bill and its ultimate impact remain a matter of controversy.

 

Armed forces

For 2020, the US Armed Forces are the most combat-ready in the world, ranking first in the ranking of the strongest armies in the world, the US military budget for 2020 amounted to 684.6 billion dollars. The armed forces include:

Ground troops
Air Force
Naval Forces
Space forces
Coast security
As of April 2007, 1,426,700 people served in the regular units of the armed forces, and 1,458,500 people in reserve formations.

 

Crime

Crime in the United States has been declining every year since 1991, when almost 15 million crimes were committed, including 24,700 murders (9.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants). In 2014, the number of crimes dropped to 9 million, of which 14,249 were murders (4.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants).

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2009, the number of prisoners per capita in the United States was 502 per 100,000 inhabitants. The total number of prisoners in 2009 was 1.6 million.

By 2012, the number of prisoners had grown to 2.2 million people, which is a world record (for every 100,000 US citizens, there are 730 prisoners).

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, as of March 2020, there are almost 2.3 million people in prisons, which is approximately 0.7% of the US population.