The United States, known to its citizens as ‘The land of the free,’ is a federal republic comprised of 50 states. A known global superpower, the US is the third-most populous country in the world and the fourth-largest nation in the planet.
United States Facts
1. The US is the fourth-largest country in the world.
With a total territory of 3.67 million square miles, the United States takes the top 4 spot when it comes to the biggest countries in the world. It trails Russia, its neighbor Canada, and economic rival China by thousands of miles.
2. There are almost 3.3 million Americans.
US citizens make up for 4.24% of the world population. Although this seems like a small number, this makes the United States the third-most populous country in the world. It is a far runner-up from the number 2 seed India, which has almost 1.36 billion inhabitants.
3. The United States has a GDP of $21.4 trillion.
For the longest time, the US was known for having the highest Gross Domestic Product in the entire world, a fun fact about United States. In 2019, it yielded $21.4 trillion, which equated to a growth rate of 2.3%.
America’s top 3 exports include food and beverages at $133 billion, oil and petroleum products at $109 billion and aircraft and its parts at $99 billion.
Despite its high nominal GDP, the US GDP per capita of almost $65,000 is only the 7th highest in the world. The top honor goes to Luxembourg, whose GDP per capita is a whopping $113,196.
4. 29.4% of the world’s wealth can be found in the US.
While the US houses only a little over 4% of the population, it is where almost a third of the world’s wealth can be found, a fun United States fact. About $360 trillion of the world’s money lies within the confines of the United States.
Although the US remains to be the richest country in the world, its share of wealth has decreased dramatically throughout the years. From amassing 36.2% of the world’s riches in 2009, the American wealth percentage has continued to drop. Experts project that it will keep on falling for the years to come.
5. The United States has no official language.
The United States is currently hailed as the largest English-speaking country, the language being a lasting impression from British colonial rule.
Although the majority of Americans speak English, it is not the official language, at least according to the federal level. This is in stark contrast with the 32 states that have declared English as their official language.
Spanish, which is spoken by 12% of the population, is the second most common language in the country.
For some territories, native languages and other dialects have been made official as well. Alaska, for example, recognizes the use of 20 native languages. Hawaii, on the other hand, has Hawaiian and English as its official languages. States such as New Mexico and California, meanwhile, make use of both English and Spanish.
6. The US was named after Amerigo Vespucci.
Though it was Christopher Columbus who ‘discovered’ the New World, he didn’t get the chance to christen the country with his name of choice.
The general term “America” was first used on the map drawn by Martin Waldseemüller in 1507. By 1538, Gerardus Mercator referred to the entire western hemisphere as the Americas.
An interesting fact about United States is that the first documented use of “United States of America” was in January 1776, as written in a letter by Stephen Moylan to Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. A few months later, the term was published in an anonymous essay for the Virginia Gazette.
The name formally came to be in the Declaration of Independence, where Thomas Jefferson wrote the “United States of America” in capital letters.
7. The US was the first colony to win independence from the Europeans.
The American Revolutionary War, which ran from 1775 to 1783, gave the United States its freedom from British rule. It bore from ‘republicanism,’ and the Americans’ desire for ‘no taxation without representation.’
Americans celebrate this event annually every July 4, a festivity known to many as Independence Day. It commemorates that fateful day in 1776 when the Continental Congress declared the 13 colonies free from British colonial rule.
8. Much history and symbolism are ingrained in the US flag.
The Star-Spangled Banner’s symbols represent the rich history of the United States. The thirteen red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies. The 50 stars, on the other hand, represent the 50 states of America.
The red color stands for valor and hardiness, while the color white denotes purity and innocence. The blue shade, on the other hand, depicts justice, perseverance, and vigilance.
The date it was conceptualized remains to be unknown, though historians say that it was designed by Francis Hopkinson and sewn by Betsy Ross, a fun United States fact.
9. The topic of slavery brought about the American Civil War.
The election of slavery abolitionist Abraham Lincoln prodded 13 southern slave states to form the Confederacy. They fought against the Union, who initially just wanted to unite the nation.
The clash between the two parties resulted in the deadliest conflict in American military history. More than 600,000 soldiers and civilians perished due to the American Civil War.
The Union eventually won the war in 1865. This led to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the US once and for all. Despite this ruling, African-Americans, especially from the South, continued to suffer from discrimination and vigilante violence.
10. The United States Military is the most powerful in the world.
Although its uniformed personnel only amount to 2.14 million (compared to Russia’s 3.58 million), the US Military is heralded as the most powerful in the world. It has a power index rating of 0.0615, and thus represents the country’s high potential for military strength.
An interesting fact about United States is that this country has more than 13,000 aircraft – the most number in the world. Its combat tanks are more than 6,000, and its naval assets include 24 aircraft carriers. It has a defense budget of $716 billion, which is the highest military expenditure in the planet.
The United States remains to be the richest, most powerful nation in the world. But even with its high GDP, it continues to have its fair share of problems, such as healthcare, racism, and income inequality.
I hope that this article on United States facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!