Statistical information United States 1996United%20States

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United States in the World
United States in the World


United States - Introduction 1996
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Background: 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. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment, low inflation, and rapid advances in technology. The biggest cloud over this affluent society is the distribution of gains_since 1975 most of the increase in national income has gone to the 20% of people at the top of the income ladder.

United States - Geography 1996
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Location: North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 9,372,610 km²
Land: 9,166,600 km²
Comparative: about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about one-half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly smaller than China; about two and one-half times the size of Western Europe
Comparative note: Includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia

Land boundaries: Total 12,248 km, Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Cuba 29 km (U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay), Mexico 3,326 km

Coastline: 19,924 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 12 nm
Continental shelf: not specified
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida and arctic in Alaska, semiarid 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

Terrain: 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

Extremes lowest point: Death Valley -86 m
Extremes highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m

Natural resources:
Natural gas

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 26%
Forests and woodland: 29%
Other: 25%

Irrigated land: 181,020 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


United States - People 1996
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263,814,032 (July 1995 est.)
266,476,278 (July 1996 est.)

Growth rate:
1.02% (1995 est.)
0.91% (1996 est.)

Noun: American(s)
Adjective: American

Ethnic groups:
White 83.4%
Black 12.4%
Asian 3.3%
Native American 0.8% (1992)

Languages: English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable (growing) minority)

Protestant 56%
Roman Catholic 28%
Jewish 2%
Other 4%
None 10% (1989)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
22% (male 29,845,630; female 28,391,451) (1995)
22% (male 29,718,390; female 28,335,934) (1996)

15-64 years:
65% (male 85,474,002; female 86,454,415) (1995)
65% (male 86,225,056; female 87,411,573) (1996)

65 years and over:
13% (male 13,698,559; female 19,949,978) (July 1995 est.)
13% (male 13,850,234; female 20,021,655) (July 1996 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.02% (1995 est.)
0.91% (1996 est.)

Birth rate:
15.25 births/1000 population (1995 est.)
14.8 births/1000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate:
8.38 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)
8.8 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)

Net migration rate:
3.34 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)
3.1 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the U.S. and Canada; the U.S. is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; very limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
Current issues Natural hazards: tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic coast; tornadoes in the midwest; mudslides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska is a major impediment to development
International agreements: party to_Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Tropical Timber 94
International agreements note: World's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and China)

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
All ages:
0.96 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:7.88 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)
6.7 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population:
75.99 years (1995)
75.95 years (1996)

72.8 years (1995)
72.65 years (1996)

79.7 years (1995 est.)
79.41 years (1996 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.08 children born/woman (1995 est.)
2.06 children born/woman (1996 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over that has completed five or more years of schooling (1979)
Total population: 97%
Male: 97%
Female: 97%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

United States - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: United States of America
Conventional short form: United States (USA)
Abbreviation: U.S. or USA

Government type: Federal republic; strong democratic tradition

Capital: Washington, DC

Administrative divisions: 50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
From 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the U.S. has administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but recently entered into a new political relationship with all four political units:
the Northern Mariana Islands is a Commonwealth in political union with the U.S. (effective 3 November 1986)
Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective 1 October 1994)
the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective 3 November 1986)
the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective 21 October 1986)

Dependent areas: (14) American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island

Independence: 4 July 1776 (from England)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 July (1776)

Constitution: 17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789

Legal system: Based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government:
President William Jefferson CLINTON (since 20 January 1993, re-elected 5 November 1996); Vice President Albert GORE, Jr. (since 20 January 1993); election last held 5 November 1996 (next to be held November 2000)
Former Presidents include
(1989-1993) George Bush
(1981-1989) Ronald Reagan
(1977-1981) Jimmy Carter

Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president with Senate approval

Legislative branch: Bicameral Congress Senate:Elections last held 5 November 1996 (next to be held November 1998) House of Representatives:Elections last held 5 November 1996 (next to be held November 1998)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, justices are appointed for life by the president with confirmation by the Senate

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AfDB, AG (observer), ANZUS, APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CP, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, FAO, G- 2, G- 5, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCRO, UNCTAD, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIH, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of United%20States: Thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small white five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bo.htm alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colors have been the basis for a number of other flags including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

United States - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The U.S. has the most powerful, diverse, and technologically advanced economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $27,500 (1995), the largest among major industrial nations. The economy is market oriented with most decisions made by private individuals and business firms and with government purchases of goods and services made predominantly in the marketplace. US business firms enjoy considerably greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, lay off surplus workers, and develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to entry in their rivals' home markets than the barriers to entry of foreign firms in US markets. In all economic sectors, US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers, medical equipment, and aerospace, although their advantage has steadily narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. The years 1994-95 witnessed moderate gains in real output, low inflation rates, and a drop in unemployment below 6%. The capture of both houses of Congress by the Republicans in the elections of 8 November 1994 has intensified the debate over how the US should address its major economic problems. These problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical costs of an aging population, sizable budget and trade deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups. The outlook for 1996 is for continued moderate growth, low inflation, and about the same level of unemployment.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
2.1% (1999 est.)
2.7% (1998 est.)
3.8% (1997)
2.8% (1996)
2.4% (1985-1995)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Accounts for 2% of GDP and 2.9% of labor force; favorable climate and soils support a wide variety of crops and livestock production; world's second largest producer and number one exporter of grain; surplus food producer; fish catch of 4.4 million metric tons (1990)

Leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced
Petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 5.4% (1994 est.)

Labor force:
131.056 million (includes unemployed) (1994)
132.304 million (includes unemployed) (1995)

By occupation managerial and professional: 27.5% (1995)
By occupation technical: 28.3% (1996)
By occupation sales and administrative support: 30.3% (1995)
By occupation services: 13.7% (1995)
By occupation manufacturing: 13.5% (1996)
By occupation transportation and crafts: 25.5% (1995)
By occupation farming forestry and fishing:
2.9% (1995)
2.8% (1996)

Labor force

Unemployment rate:
4.9% (1997)
5.4% (1996)
5.6% (1995)
6.1% (1994)
6.9% (1993)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1.258 trillion
Expenditures: $1.461 trillion, including capital expenditures of NA (1994)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 October-30 September

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

total value. $513 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
$578 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)

Capital goods
Industrial supplies and raw materials
Consumer goods
Agricultural products

Western Europe 24.3%
Canada 22.1%
Japan 10.5% (1993)

Total value:
$664 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
$751 billion (c.i.f., 1995 est.)

Crude oil and refined petroleum products
Consumer goods
Industrial raw materials
Food and beverages

Canada 19.3%
Western Europe 18.1%
Japan 18.1% (1993)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
British pounds (£) per US$ 0.6535 (January 1996), 0.6335 (1995), 0.6529 (1994), 0.6658 (1993), 0.5664 (1992), 0.5652 (1991)
Canadian dollars (Can$) per US$ 1.3666 (January 1996), 1.3724 (1995), 1.3656 (1994), 1.2901 (1993), 1.2087 (1992), 1.1457 (1991)
French francs (F) per US$ 5.0056 (January 1996), 4.9915 (1995), 5.5520 (1994), 5.6632 (1993), 5.2938 (1992), 5.6421 (1991)
Italian lire (Lit) per US$ 1,583.8 (January 1996), 1,629.6 (1995), 1,612.4 (1994), 1,573.7 (1993), 1,232.4 (1992), 1,240.6 (1991)
Japanese yen (¥) per US$ 105.84 (January 1996), 94.06 (1995), 102.21 (1994), 111.20 (1993), 126.65 (1992), 134.71 (1991)
German Deutsche Marks (DM) per US$ 1.4617 (January 1996), 1.4331 (1995), 1.6228 (1994), 1.6533 (1993), 1.5617 (1992), 1.6595 (1991)

United States - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3.1 trillion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 11,236 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

United States - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 126,000,000 telephones; 7,557,000 cellular telephones
Local: NA
Intercity: large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites
International: 16 satellites and 24 ocean cable systems in use; 61 INTELSAT (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean) earth stations (1990), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

United States - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

United States - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 13,387
With paved runways over 3 047 m: 179
With paved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 201
With paved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 1,204
With paved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 2,361
With paved runways under 914 m: 7,720
With unpaved runways over 3 047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 2 438 to 3 047 m: 7
With unpaved runways 1 524 to 2 437 m: 151
With unpaved runways 914 to 1 523 m: 1,563 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3 047 m: 179
2 438 to 3 047 m: 201
1 524 to 2 437 m: 1,204
914 to 1 523 m: 2,361
Under 914 m: 7,720

Airports with unpaved runways
Over 3 047 m: 1
2 438 to 3 047 m: 7
1 524 to 2 437 m: 151
914 to 1 523 m: 1,563 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 63 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Petroleum 276,000 km; natural gas 331,000 km (1991)



Waterways: 41,009 km of navigable inland channels, exclusive of the Great Lakes (est.)

Merchant marine
354 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 11,462,000 GRT/16,477,000 DWT (1995) 322 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 10,716,000 GRT/15,259,000 DWT (1996)
bulk 21, cargo 20, chemical tanker 17, intermodal 125, liquefied gas tanker 14, passenger-cargo 2, tanker 110, tanker tug-barge 13

Note: In addition, there are 190 government-owned vessels (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

United States - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: Illicit producer of cannabis for domestic consumption with 1987 production estimated at 3,500 metric tons or about 25% of the available marijuana; ongoing eradication program aimed at small plots and greenhouses has not reduced production


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