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), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. 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. Over a span of more than five decades, the economy has achieved steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
Location: North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Area land: 9,161,966 sq km
Area water: 664,709 sq km
Coastline: 19,924 km
Country name conventional long form: United States of America
Country name conventional short form: United States
Country name former: United States of America
Population: 313,232,044 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.1% (male 32,107,900/female 30,781,823); 15-64 years: 66.8% (male 104,411,352/female 104,808,064); 65 years and over: 13.1% (male 17,745,363/female 23,377,542) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.963% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 13.83 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 8.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 4.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.047 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.06 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 6.72 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 5.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.37 years; male: 75.92 years; female: 80.93 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.06 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.6% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.2 million (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 17,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: American(s); adjective: American;
Ethnic groups: white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate);
Religions: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.);
Languages: English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $14.72 trillion (2010 est.); $14.33 trillion (2009 est.); $14.72 trillion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $14.62 trillion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2.7% (2010 est.); -2.6% (2009 est.); 0% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $47,400 (2010 est.); $46,700 (2009 est.); $48,300 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.2%; industry: 22.2%; services: 76.7% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 12% (2004 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%; highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.);
Labor force: 154.9 million;
Labor force - by occupation: farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7%; manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3%; managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3%; sales and office: 24.2%; other services: 17.6%;
Unemployment rate: 9.7% (2010 est.); 9.3% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $2.092 trillion; expenditures: $3.397 trillion (2010 est.);
Industries: highly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second largest industrial output in world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining;
Industrial production growth rate: 3.3% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 4.11 trillion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 3.873 trillion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - exports: 24.08 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 57.02 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
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