North America countries
North America consists of only three states: Canada , the United States and Mexico . Canada is the largest country by area with 9,970,610 square kilometers – only Russia is larger worldwide. However, the United States is the most populous country on the continent – in global comparison, the 296.5 million inhabitants are in third place.
|United States of America||9,772,614||296,500,000||Washington DC|
North America, the third largest of the continents; 24 million km2, 520 mln. in. (2006). The continent includes the mainland and the islands from the Bering Strait in the west to the Strait of Denmark in the east, including Central America to the Panama Canal, most of the islands in the Caribbean and a few in the Atlantic. In some places, the term North America is used synonymously with the predominantly English-speaking Anglo – America (USA and Canada), while Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean are grouped with South America in predominantly Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America.
Greenland is thus a geographically part of North America, but otherwise closely linked to Europe.
North America is sparsely populated; the majority of Greenland and Canada are uninhabited, and even in the United States, which accounts for more than half of the continent’s population, extensive wildernesses are found in Alaska and the western mountain areas. In Canada, the United States and Mexico, 75% of residents live in cities; In Central America and the Caribbean, the degree of urbanization is lower and the population density is higher, especially in Puerto Rico and other island states.
Population growth has been very high due to immigration, previously also imports of slaves. The combined effect of massive immigration, especially to the United States, and the decimation of the indigenous population are evident in the ethnic composition of the population. Where Indians, but also Inuit and Aleutian people in most of the continent, occupied most of the continent, these now constitute only a minority in a population predominantly of European and lesser Asian and African descent. The largest Native American species are found in Central America. The descendants of African slaves dominate several Caribbean islands, but most African Americans are found in the United States, where the 33 million blacks constitute a significant minority of 12%.
Countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and several Central Americans belong to the group of poor countries. Thus, North America holds both some of the world’s richest societies and some of the poorest, and even in the high-income countries of the United States and Canada, there is a poor minority of 10-15%. Compared to the US and Canada, the rest of the countries now have significantly higher population growth. Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, there has been a major emigration to US metropolitan areas since the 1950s.
Agriculture is in most places the largest occupation in terms of acreage, but is otherwise run very differently on the basis of both economic and natural conditions. Central America and the Caribbean are characterized by self-sufficient small farms in addition to export-oriented plantations. Opposite to this is the United States mechanized large-scale agriculture, which is one of the world’s largest suppliers of soy, wheat, maize and beef. Other market-oriented and capital-intensive farms are found in Canada (especially wheat) and Mexico (beef cattle).
Forests cover a third of North America, and forestry is of great importance in the northern coniferous forest region and on several coastal plains, while fishing is an important industry in Greenland, Alaska, British Columbia and the Canadian Atlantic provinces.
North America as a whole is well supplied with metals, hydropower, coal, oil and natural gas. The largest producers are the United States, Canada and Mexico. At the same time, however, the United States must supplement overseas imports with supplies from Canada (iron, oil, natural gas, electricity), Mexico (oil), Trinidad and Tobago (oil) and Jamaica (aluminum).
As the world’s leading industrial nation, the United States is a leader in almost every industry. Through investment and ownership, US companies also dominate production and trade throughout the continent; after 1959, however, not in Cuba. Thus, since the 1960s, much of the wage-heavy production has been relocated to free zones, offering favorable conditions for investors and increasingly affecting the industries of Central America, the Caribbean and northern Mexico. Many of the smaller states are also trying to attract capital through a targeted investment in tourism and off shore banking in varying degrees of solvency (Cayman Islands, Bahamas, etc.).
However, most of the capital movements and trade in North America take place between the United States, Canada and Mexico, which in 1993 expanded cooperation with the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA.