Interested in learning some interesting facts about the US?
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting United States facts:
1. The United States is a large country in North America. With Canada to its north and Mexico to its south, the “contiguous United States” (also called the “Lower 48”) make up most of the country, while Hawaii, Alaska, and several other territories and possessions are disconnected from the mainland. Territories include Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and American Samoa in Polynesia.
2. The US is massive, both in size and in population. At 3,796,742 mi2 (9,833,520 km2), it is the 4th largest country in the world by area, coming in after Russia, Canada, and China. And, with around 330 million people (2020 estimate), the United States of America is the 3rd most populous country in the world, behind China and India. This is about 4.3% of the world’s total population, and the US has a net increase of over 4,500 people each day, or about 1 additional person every 19 seconds!
3. The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C. Known as either Washington or DC for short (for District of Columbia), it is not part of any state, but rather a separate capital district situated on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. With over 705,000 people living in the city, it is only the 20th largest city in the United States.
4. New York City is the most populous city in the US. Known as simply New York, NYC, the Big Apple, and other nicknames, New York City is home to around 8.5 million people. It is the most linguistically diverse city in the world, with over 800 languages spoken within, and NYC is also home to more than 3.2 million foreign-born residents, more than any other city. It’s one of the world financial capitals, home to the two largest stock exchanges, more billionaires than any other city, and if it were its own sovereign nation, it would have the 8th largest economy in the world!
5. The longest land border in the world is between the United States and Canada. At 5,526 miles (8,893 km), the border between Canada and the United States runs along the entire northern portion of the country, as well as between Alaska and Canada. For its other border, to the south, the boundary between the US and Mexico is the world’s busiest land border as far as migration.
6. The United States is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. As identified by Conservation International, a megadiverse country is one which holds a majority of the world’s plant and animal species. The US is very biologically diverse, being the home of more than 21,000 native plant and animal species. These numbers include 420+ mammals, 780+ birds, and 310+ reptiles, but they do not include an additional 90,000+ insect species!
7. The Pentagon in Arlington Co., Virginia, is the world’s largest office building. The Pentagon, named so because of it’s 5-sided shape, is the headquarters for the US Department of Defense, located just outside Washington, DC. With 6,500,000 ft2 (600,000 m2) of floor space, it is spread out over only 5 floors above ground and two below ground, giving it one of the largest single-structure footprints on the planet.
8. The United States has 24 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Out of these 24 sites, 11 are cultural, 12 are natural, and 1 is both cultural and natural:
- Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (cultural)
- Chaco Culture (cultural)
- Independence Hall (cultural)
- La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico (cultural)
- Mesa Verde National Park (cultural)
- Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (cultural)
- Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (cultural)
- San Antonio Missions (cultural)
- Statue of Liberty (cultural)
- Taos Pueblo (cultural)
- The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (cultural)
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park (natural)
- Everglades National Park (natural)
- Grand Canyon National Park (natural)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (natural)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (natural)
- Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek (natural)
- Mammoth Cave National Park (natural)
- Olympic National Park (natural)
- Redwood National and State Parks (natural)
- Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (natural)
- Yellowstone National Park (natural)
- Yosemite National Park (natural)
- Papahānaumokuākea (cultural and natural)
9. Most of the popular music genres today were born in the United States. Among those with US origins are rock and roll, country, hip hop, jazz, R&B, house, reggaeton, blues, bluegrass, techno, gospel, soul, and even salsa!
10. For such an advanced nation, the US is often surprisingly behind. The United States is the only advanced economy which does not guarantee paid vacation for workers. The US is the world’s only wealthy nation without universal healthcare coverage, and it is one of just a few countries with no paid parental leave. As far as environmental concerns go, it is the only country in the world which didn’t sign the Paris climate agreement.
Well, that’s all our United States facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about the United States we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!