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Country in Focus

United States

United States

  • Capital:Washington D.C.
  • Population:313.9 million (WB,2012)
  • Languages:English, Spanish,
  • Head of State:President Donald Trump

United States of America

American colonies of Britain declared independence in 1776. Britain recognised Unites States of America as a new nation in 1783 following the signing of Treaty of Paris. New states were added to the original 13 during the 19th and 20th centuries as the nation expanded across the North American continent. The country experienced civil war from 1861-65 and economic downturn and the Great Depression in 1930s. The nation participated in World Wars I and II and was engaged in the Cold War with the erstwhile Soviet Block, led by the USSR, till 1991. Throughout the years, the US has maintained its status as the world’s most powerful nation....


North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North
Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico

38 00 N, 97 00 W

9,826,675 sq km

Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska,
semi-arid 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

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


313.9 million (WB,2012)

Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition


GDP (current US$)
$16.24 trillion 2012

GDP growth (annual %)
2.8% (WB, 2012)

GNI per capita (current US$)
$52,340 (WB, 2012)


Crude oil
Production: 11.11 million bbl/day (2012 est.)
Exports: 41,640 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Imports: 9.213 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Proved reserves:  20.68 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products
Production: 18.45 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Consumption: 18.84 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
Exports:  2.311 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Imports:  2.58 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 681.4 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Consumption: 689.9 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Exports: 45.84 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Imports: 88.77 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Proved reserves: 9.459 trillion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)


Main lines in use: 139 million (2012)
Mobile cellular: 310 million (2012)


With paved runways: 5,054
With unpaved runways: 8,459
Total: 13,513 (2013)

Total: 6,586,610 km

Ports and terminals
Cargo ports (tonnage):
Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Hampton Roads, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines, Tampa, Texas City

Container port(s) (TEUs): Hampton Roads (1,918,029), Houston (1,866,450), Long Beach (6,061,091), Los Angeles (7,940,511), New York/New Jersey (5,503,485), Oakland (2,342,504), Savannah (2,944,678), Seattle (2,033,535)(2011)

Cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009)

Oil terminals: LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal


Military branches
United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2013)
Military service age and obligation   
18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); DoD is eliminating prohibitions restricting women from assignments in units smaller than brigades or near combat units (2013)
Manpower available for military service   
Males age 16-49: 73,270,043
Females age 16-49: 71,941,969 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service   
Males age 16-49: 60,620,143
Females age 16-49: 59,401,941 (2010 est.)


International Disputes    
The US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbours, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US 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 states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
Refugees and internally displaced persons   
Refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 58,238 refugees during FY2012 including 15,070 (Bhutan); 14,160 (Burma); 12,163 (Iraq); 4,911 (Somalia); 1,948 (Cuba); 1,758 (Iran); 1,346 (Eritrea)
Illicit drugs   
World's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center

Complied by Gulf News Archives
Sources: The World Fact Book, World Bank