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United States (2004)

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 United States
Administrative divisions 50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Age structure 0-14 years: 20.8% (male 31,122,974; female 29,713,748)

15-64 years: 66.9% (male 97,756,380; female 98,183,309)

65 years and over: 12.4% (male 15,078,204; female 21,172,956) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish
Airports 14,807 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 5,128

over 3,047 m: 188

2,438 to 3,047 m: 221

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,375

914 to 1,523 m: 2,383

under 914 m: 961 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 9,729

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 160

914 to 1,523 m: 1,718

under 914 m: 7,843 (2004 est.)
Area total: 9,631,418 sq km

land: 9,161,923 sq km

water: 469,495 sq km

note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia
Area - comparative about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; about two and a half times the size of Western Europe
Background Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
Birth rate 14.13 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.782 trillion

expenditures: $2.156 trillion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Capital Washington, DC
Climate 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
Coastline 19,924 km
Constitution 17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Country name conventional long form: United States of America

conventional short form: United States

abbreviation: US or USA
Currency US dollar (USD)
Death rate 8.34 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $1.4 trillion (2001 est.)
Dependent areas American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island

note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. It entered into a political relationship with all four political units: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the US (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994); the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986)
Disputes - international Prolonged drought, population growth, and outmoded practices and infrastructure in the border region has strained water-sharing arrangements with Mexico; undocumented nationals from Mexico and Central America continue to enter the United States illegally; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; managed maritime boundary disputes with Canada at Dixon Entrance, Beaufort Sea, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and around the disputed Machias Seal Island and North Rock; The Bahamas have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other state; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island
Economic aid - donor ODA, $6.9 billion (1997)
Economy - overview The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $37,800. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy considerably greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to entry in their rivals' home markets than the barriers to entry of foreign firms in US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The years 1994-2000 witnessed solid increases in real output, low inflation rates, and a drop in unemployment to below 5%. The year 2001 saw the end of boom psychology and performance, with output increasing only 0.3% and unemployment and business failures rising substantially. The response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 showed the remarkable resilience of the economy. Moderate recovery took place in 2002 with the GDP growth rate rising to 2.4%. A major short-term problem in first half 2002 was a sharp decline in the stock market, fueled in part by the exposure of dubious accounting practices in some major corporations. The war in March/April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq shifted resources to the military. In 2003, growth in output and productivity and the recovery of the stock market to above 10,000 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were promising signs. Unemployment stayed at the 6% level, however, and began to decline only at the end of the year. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups.
Electricity - consumption 3.602 trillion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 18.17 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 38.48 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 3.719 trillion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Death Valley -86 m

highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m
Environment - current issues air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
Environment - international agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
Ethnic groups white 77.1%, black 12.9%, Asian 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native 1.5%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.3%, other 4% (2000)

note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)
Exchange rates British pounds per US dollar - 0.6139 (2003), 0.6661 (2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), Canadian dollars per US dollar - 1.4045 (2003), 1.5693 (2002), 1.5488 (2001), 1.4851 (2000), 1.4857 (1999), Japanese yen per US dollar - 116.08 (2003), 125.39 (2002), 121.53 (2001), 107.77 (2000), 113.91 (1999), euros per US dollar - 0.8866 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.08540 (2000), 0.93863 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President George W. BUSH (since 20 January 2001) ; note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms; election last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2008)

election results: George W. BUSH reelected president; percent of popular vote - George W. BUSH (Republican Party) 50.9%, John KERRY (Democratic Party) 48.1%, other 1.0%
Exports 18.17 billion kWh (2001)
Exports $714.5 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports 11.16 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities capital goods, automobiles, industrial supplies and raw materials, consumer goods, agricultural products
Exports - partners Canada 23.4%, Mexico 13.5%, Japan 7.2%, UK 4.7%, Germany 4% (2003)
Fiscal year 1 October - 30 September
Flag description 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags, including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico
GDP purchasing power parity - $10.99 trillion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 1.4%

industry: 26.2%

services: 72.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $37,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.1% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 38 00 N, 97 00 W
Geography - note world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
Heliports 155 (2003 est.)
Highways total: 6,406,296 km

paved: 4,148,395 km (including 74,898 km of expressways)

unpaved: 2,257,902 km (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 30.5% (1997)
Illicit drugs consumer of cocaine shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean; consumer of heroin, marijuana, and increasingly methamphetamine from Mexico; consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
Imports 38.48 billion kWh (2001)
Imports $1.26 trillion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 114.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities crude oil and refined petroleum products, machinery, automobiles, consumer goods, industrial raw materials, food and beverages
Imports - partners Canada 17.4%, China 12.5%, Mexico 10.7%, Japan 9.3%, Germany 5.3% (2003)
Independence 4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
Industrial production growth rate 0.3% (2003 est.)
Industries 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
Infant mortality rate total: 6.63 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.31 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.3% (2003)
International organization participation AfDB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-5, G-7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Irrigated land 214,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for life on condition of good behavior by the president with confirmation by the Senate); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
Labor force 147.4 million (includes unemployed) (2003)
Labor force - by occupation managerial, professional, and technical 34.9%, sales and office 25.5%, manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.7%, other services 16.3%, farming, forestry, and fishing 0.7%

note: figures exclude the unemployed (2004)
Land boundaries total: 12,034 km

border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km

note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 29 km
Land use arable land: 19.13%

permanent crops: 0.22%

other: 80.65% (2001)
Languages English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable minority)
Legal system federal court system based on English common law; each state has its own unique legal system, of which all but one (Louisiana's) is based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Legislative branch bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, one-third are renewed every two years; two members are elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2006); House of Representatives - last held 2 November 2004 (next to be held November 2006)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 55, Democratic Party 44, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Republican Party 231, Democratic Party 200, undecided 4
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.43 years

male: 74.63 years

female: 80.36 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97%

male: 97%

female: 97% (1999 est.)
Location North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Map references North America
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: not specified
Merchant marine total: 466 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 12,436,658 GRT/14,630,116 DWT

by type: barge carrier 8, bulk 69, cargo 75, chemical tanker 12, combination bulk 2, combination ore/oil 1, container 100, multi-functional large load carrier 3, passenger 12, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 81, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 83, short-sea/passenger 3, vehicle carrier 12

foreign-owned: Australia 2, Canada 7, Denmark 17, Malaysia 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 6, Singapore 3, United Kingdom 5

registered in other countries: 670 (2004 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard (Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $370.7 billion (FY04 est.) (March 2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.3% (FY03 est.) (February 2004)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 73,597,731 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service NA (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 2,124,164 (2004 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Nationality noun: American(s)

adjective: American
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
Natural resources coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
Net migration rate 3.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Party [Terence McAULIFFE]; Green Party [leader NA]; Libertarian Party [Steve DASBACH]; Republican Party [Edward GILLESPIE]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 293,027,571 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 12% (2003 est.)
Population growth rate 0.92% (2004 est.)
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
Radio broadcast stations AM 4,762, FM 5,542, shortwave 18 (1998)
Railways total: 228,464 km

standard gauge: 228,464 km 1.435-m gauge (2003)
Religions Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system

domestic: 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

international: country code - 1; 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)
Telephones - main lines in use 181,599,900 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 158.722 million (2003)
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)
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
Total fertility rate 2.07 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 6% (2003)
Waterways 41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce)

note: Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with Canada (2004)
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