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North America

  • Canada: Topic Page
    (kănʹədə), independent nation (2001 pop. 30,007,094), 3,851,787 sq mi (9,976,128 sq km), N North America. Canada occupies all of North America N of the United States (and E of Alaska) except for Greenland and the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. It is bounded on the E by the Atlantic Ocean, on the N by the Arctic Ocean, and on the W by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska. A transcontinental border, formed in part by the Great Lakes, divides Canada from the United States; Nares and Davis straits separate Canada from Greenland. The Arctic Archipelago extends far into the Arctic Ocean.
  • Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and Suburbs
    The term urban brings many images to mind—images of crime, poverty, homelessness, pollution, and overcrowding—and it speaks volumes about the prevalent attitudes Americans have toward cities.
  • Mexico: Topic Page
    The United Mexican States is the world's largest Spanish-speaking country. It is largely mountainous. The Sierra Madre Occidental begins in the NW state of Chihuahua, and runs parallel to Mexico's W coast and the Sierra Madre Oriental. Monterrey lies in the foothills of the latter.
  • North America: Topic Page
    Continent in Western Hemisphere; 3d in size at 9,361,791 sq. mi. (24,247,039 sq. km.); generally considered to include island of Greenland in NE.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: New England
    The study and celebration of regionalism is becoming more and more important to an understanding of American culture, and this is the first definitive reference work on culture in its many regional manifestations within the United States. This title covers New England.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Great Plains Region
    Detailed narrative chapters on thirteen categories, each with illustrations and sidebars, of Great Plains culture provide an unprecedented look at the many ways in which America's Heartland have served as an oft-unheralded cross-section of America's melting pot, and each concludes with recommended further resources on the topic.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Mid-Atlantic Region
    Presents an impressive survey of the many ways in which the Mid-Atlantic has exemplified both mixing pot and salad bowl within the American experience.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Midwest
    This reference provides a textured examination of the many ways in which the Midwest has served as an undeniable cross-section of American culture.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Pacific Region
    Explores the marvelously eclectic cultures that define the Pacific region, including the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawai'i. Provides a detailed and fascinating look at American regionalism along the Pacific Rim.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Rocky Mountain Region
    Presents a thorough and nuanced examination of the many cultural elements throughout the wide reach of the Rocky Mountain region.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The South
    From sartorial fashions to William Faulkner's Sartoris, this splendid volume documents southern culture in its many colors and forms.
  • The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures: The Southwest
    Presents an authoritative reference on the unquestionably diverse and vibrant aspects of regional cultures in the American Southwest.
  • United States of America: Topic Page
    Federal republic, North America; Lower 48 bounded on N by Canada, on E by the Atlantic Ocean, on S by Mexico and Gulf of Mexico, and on W by the Pacific Ocean; 3,620,067 sq. mi. or 9,375,974 sq. km. (excluding Great Lakes); pop. (2000c) 281,421,906; ✽ Washington, D.C.

United States - Individual States and Territories

  • Alabama: Topic Page
    State in southeastern USA, bordered to the east by Georgia, to the north by Tennessee, to the west by Mississippi, and to the south by Florida and the Gulf of Mexico; area 131,426 sq km/50,744 sq mi; population (2006) 4,559,000; capital Montgomery. The state derives its name from a Chocktaw American Indian tribe which lived in the area. The nickname ‘Heart of Dixie’ refers to Alabama's leading role in the Confederacy and ‘Yellowhammer State’ to the colourful uniforms of Confederate soldiers. The yellowhammer, a member of the woodpecker family, is also the state bird. Alabama is two-thirds low-lying coastal plain, with an 85 km-/53 mi-long stretch of coast on the Gulf of Mexico, intersected by Mobile Bay. Service industries form a major part of its economy, but oil, natural gas, marble, wood, iron, steel, aluminium, chemical, paper, and textile manufactures are also important. Livestock, poultry, peanuts, pecans, soft fruit, soybeans, and cotton are produced, and fishing is a ke
  • Alaska: Topic Page
    State of the USA, separated from the lower, continental US states by Canada and bordered to the south by British Columbia, to the east by the Yukon Territory, to the north by the Beaufort Sea on the Arctic Ocean, to the northwest by the Chukchi Sea and Bering Sea, and to the west by the Gulf of Alaska on the North Pacific Ocean; area 1,481,346 sq km/571,951 sq mi; population (2006) 670,100; capital Juneau. Alaska is the largest state in the USA and one of the least populated. Situated on the northwest extremity of North America, it is separated from Russian East Asia by the 80 km-/50 mi-wide Bering Strait. Alaska's Aleutian Island chain extends in a long east–west arc across the North Pacific from the Alaska Peninsula. The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut ‘alaxsxaq’, meaning ‘the mainland’. Historically and commercially the state has been associated with mineral exploitation, and Alaska continues to produce oil, natural gas, coal, copper, iron, gold, and tin. The lumber,
  • American Samoa: Topic Page
    officially Territory of American Samoa, unincorporated territory of the United States (2010 pop. 55,519), comprising the eastern half of the Samoa island chain in the South Pacific. The group (76 sq mi/197 sq km) consists of several major islands: Tutuila, the Manu'a group (Ta'u, Ofu, and Olosega), Rose and Sand Islands, and Swains Island. Pago Pago, the capital, is on Tutuila. Most of the islands are mountainous, heavily wooded, and surrounded by coral reefs.
  • Arizona: Topic Page
    State in southwestern USA, bordered to the east by New Mexico, to the south by the Mexican state of Sonora, to the west by the Mexican state of Baja California and the US states of California and Nevada, and to the north by Utah and, at the ‘Four Corners’ to the northeast, Colorado; area 294,313 sq km/113,635 sq mi; population (2006) 6,166,300; capital and largest city Phoenix. A desert state of mountains, plateaux, and dry basins, Arizona is renowned for its natural wonders, such as Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River marks the state's boundary between Nevada and California. Service industries, including tourism, provide the main source of revenue, but copper, silver, and uranium mining, and aeronautics, high technology (computers), and electronics are also important. Cotton is grown under irrigation, and ranching is widespread. Tucson is the second largest city; other major conurbations include Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, and Flagstaff in the north, an
  • Arkansas: Topic Page
    State in southern central USA, bordered to the south by Louisiana, to the southwest by Texas, to the west by Oklahoma, to the north by Missouri, and to the east by Tennessee and Mississippi; area 134,856 sq km/52,068 sq mi; population (2006) 2,810,900; capital and largest city Little Rock. The state's nicknames come from its abundance of natural resources. Arkansas is physically divided into two areas: the Highlands, a mountain region; and the Lowlands, a coastal plain. The Red, St Francis, and Mississippi rivers form part of the state's natural borders. Major cities include Fort Smith on the Oklahoma border, an important manufacturing centre, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, Springdale, Jacksonville, and West Memphis. Arkansas's economy is centred on the service industry, but manufacturing is also important, with products including processed foods, electronics, and paper; it is the leading US producer of broilers (chickens reared for meat) and rice.
  • California; Topic Page
    Western state of the USA, bordered to the south by the Mexican state of Baja California, to the east by Arizona and Nevada, to the north by Oregon, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean; area 403,932 sq km/155,959 sq mi; population (2006 est) 36,457,500; capital Sacramento. Its nicknames refer to the gold that led to the California gold rush of 1849–56, and to the state's sunshine, orange groves, vineyards, and abundant resources. Geographically the state is diverse, with features including the Sierra Nevada mountains, desert areas, and a fertile central plains region. The San Andreas Fault extends from northwest California southward, causing tremors and occasional earthquakes from San Francisco to the southeast part of the state. The state's economy is the largest in the USA, and very significant to the country as whole. California is a leader in both agriculture, producing fruit, vegetables, cotton, beef cattle, and fish; and manufacturing, concentrated on engineering and technology
  • Colorado: Topic Page
    River in Texas, USA, flowing into the Gulf of Mexico; length 1,450 km/900 mi. It rises in Dawson County, in the Llano Estacado, some 100 km/60 mi south of Lubbock, in intermittent streams, and flows generally southeast for its entire journey across central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. In west-central Texas it passes through Colorado City (population (2000) 4,300) and Ballinger; it then cuts through the state's central hills to Austin, at the Balcones Escarpment, from which it drops across the Coastal Plain, past Bay City, to Matagorda Bay, on the Gulf.
  • Connecticut: Topic Page
    State in New England, USA, bordered to the north by Massachusetts, to the east by Rhode Island, to the west and southwest by New York State, and to the south by Long Island Sound on the Atlantic Ocean; area 12,548 sq km/4,845 sq mi; population (2006) 3,504,800; capital Hartford. It was nicknamed the Constitution State after the Fundamental Orders of 1638 under which it was originally governed, regarded as a forerunner of American constitutionalism. Connecticut is the third smallest state in the USA, roughly rectangular in shape, with a narrow strip of land in the southwest projecting westwards to within 19 km/12 mi of New York City; New York's Long and Fishers islands lie opposite Connecticut in Long Island Sound. The Connecticut River crosses the centre of the state, and the Pawcatuck River forms part of the state boundary with Rhode Island. The state is the centre of the US insurance industry, and is also a manufacturer of military technology. Its largest city is Bridgeport; other ma
  • Delaware: Topic Page
    Middle Atlantic state of the U.S.A., bounded on N and NW by Pennsylvania, on E by Delaware River and Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean, and on S and W by Maryland; 49th state in area, 2057 sq. mi. (5328 sq. km.) [land area 1983 sq. mi. or 5136 sq. km.]; 45th state in population, (2000c) 783,600; ✽ Dover...
  • Florida: Topic Page
    Southeasternmost state of the USA, bordered to the north by Georgia and by Alabama; area 139,670 sq km/53,927 sq mi; population (2006) 18,089,900; capital Tallahassee. Florida is a low-lying tropical peninsula, and has large areas of swampland, such as the Everglades, as well as large bays, lagoons, and beaches along the coastline. The Florida Keys island chain extends to the southwest. Florida produces almost 70% of the citrus fruit crop in the USA, and the fishing industry is also important, with about 10% of the total shrimp catch in the USA. Tourism and finance are significant industries, and there is manufacturing based around the NASA space programme at Cape Canaveral. The largest city and urban area is Jacksonville, and other major cities include Miami, Tampa, St Petersburg, Hialeah, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale. Florida was admitted to the Union in 1845 as the 27th US state and is governed under the 1969 state constitution...
  • Georgia: Topic Page
    A state on the SE coast of the USA. It can be divided into two physical regions: the Appalachian Mountains in the N and a rolling coastal plain with forests and swamps in the S. Manufacturing is important although largely rurally orientated. It is the major textile producer in the USA; other industries include motor-vehicle and aircraft assembly, chemicals, and food processing. The state is also a major source of building stone. Agriculture is important; poultry has replaced cotton as the major item and Georgia is a leading producer of peanuts. Other products include tobacco, water melons, and other fruits (especially peaches) with some cattle and pig raising. Forest products are produced throughout the state. Its capital Atlanta is the cultural and economic centre of the SE and the state has a rich traditional folk culture.
  • Guam: Topic Page
    (gwäm), Chamorro Guåhan, officially Territory of Guam, the largest, most populous, and southernmost of the Mariana Islands (see also Northern Mariana Islands), an unincorporated territory of the United States (2010 pop. 159,358), 209 sq mi (541 sq km), W Pacific. The southern part of the island is mountainous, rising on Mt. Lamlam to 1,332 ft (406 m). The capital, Hagåtña (Agaña), on the central W coast, is the seat of government, and Apra Harbor, a large U.S. naval base, is nearby. Dededo, in NW Guam, is the most populous municipality. Andersen Air Force Base is in Yigo, in NE Guam. The interior of the island is dense jungle; most of the villages are on the coast.
  • Hawaii: Topic Page
    Pacific state of the USA, the only island state, separate from the North American continent and the world's longest island chain, made up of 8 main islands and 124 islets and reefs; area 16,635 sq km/6,423 sq mi; population (2006) 1,285,500; capital Honolulu on Oahu. It was officially nicknamed the Aloha State in 1959, after the Hawaiian greeting. The island group is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the east end is 3,400 km/2,100 mi southwest of California. The Tropic of Cancer passes through the islands. Tourism is the biggest industry in Hawaii; other important industries are manufacturing and agriculture, with sugar the most important export. Major towns and cities include Hilo, Kailua, Kaneohe, and Waipahu. Settled over a thousand years ago by Polynesian immigrants, the islands remained largely unknown until their discovery by English explorer James Cook in 1778. King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian islands into an internationally recognized kingdom in 1793. In the course of th
  • Idaho: Topic Page
    State of northwestern USA, bordered to the east by Montana and Wyoming, to the south by Utah and Nevada, to the west by Oregon and Washington, and to the north by British Columbia, Canada; area 214,314 sq km/82,747 sq mi; population (2006) 1,466,500; capital Boise. It is largely mountainous, and its many ranges include the Rocky Mountains and the Bitterroot Range. The Columbia Plateau in the south has fertile agricultural regions, and crops include wheat and peas. There are large forests, and the state is famous for its waterfalls, such as the 65 m-/212 ft-high Shoshone Falls on the Snake River. The chief industries are tourism, mining, beef, and agriculture: Idaho is the leading producer of potatoes in the USA. Cities include Nampa, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls, Caldwell, and Moscow. In 1951, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (1949) was the first nuclear installation to produce a usable supply of electricity. Idaho was admitted to the Union in 1890 as the 43rd
  • Illinois: Topic Page
    Midwestern state of the USA, bordered to the east by Indiana, to the southeast by Kentucky, with the Ohio River serving as a boundary, to the west by Missouri and Iowa, with the Mississippi River as a boundary, and to the north by Wisconsin; area 143,962 sq km/55,584 sq mi; population (2006) 12,832,000; capital Springfield. The state is made up of three main physical areas: the Central Plains, the Shawnee Hills, and the Gulf Coastal Plain. In the northeast, Illinois has a shore of 101 km/63 mi on Lake Michigan, occupied by Chicago, the largest city in the state, and its northern suburbs. Illinois is a leading manufacturing state, producing machinery and electronic equipment, and is also a very important agricultural state, with major crops including corn, soybeans, and meat and dairy products. It also has an important mining industry. Other towns and cities include Rockford, Aurora, Naperville, Peoria, Joliet, Elgin, and Waukegan. The state is home to Algonquian Illinois, Kickapoo, Pot
  • Indiana: Topic Page:
    Smallest state of Midwestern USA, bordered to the northeast by Michigan, to the east by Ohio, to the south and southeast by Kentucky, and to the west by Illinois; area 92,895 sq km/35,867 sq mi; population (2006) 6,313,500; capital Indianapolis. It is situated in the Central Lowlands of the USA, with lakes and low hills in the north and wide expanses of fertile agricultural land in the centre. In the northwest, Indiana has a 72 km-/45 mi-long shoreline on Lake Michigan, and there are steep hills and limestone caverns in the south. Mining and manufacturing, especially coal and steel production, make significant contributions to the economy of the region, and car manufacture is a particularly important industry. Indiana's agricultural output includes corn (particularly popcorn), soybeans, apples, and hogs. The principal cities are Fort Wayne, Gary, Evansville, and South Bend. Rapid industrial development after the American Civil War led to Indiana becoming one of the leading industrial s
  • Iowa: Topic Page
    State of Midwestern USA, bordered to the south by Missouri, to the west by Nebraska and South Dakota, to the north by Minnesota, and to the east by Wisconsin and Illinois, with the Mississippi River forming the state boundary; area 144,700 sq km/55,869 sq mi; population (2006) 2,982,100; capital Des Moines. It is nicknamed the Corn State owing to its prodigious yields of the crop, and the Hawkeye State probably in honour of Black Hawk, an American Indian chief. Iowa lies in the Central Lowlands and has large, fertile prairies intersected by tributaries of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. There are glaciated plains in the south, and high, rocky lands in the northeast. There are many lakes in the northwest. Iowa is a leading agricultural state in the USA, contributing approximately 7% of the nation's overall food supply. Iowa is a major part of the Corn Belt, and other produce includes soybeans, apples, and livestock, especially hogs. Food processing and service industries, such as f
  • Kansas: Topic Page
    State in central USA, bordered to the south by Oklahoma, to the west by Colorado, to the north by Nebraska, and to the east by Missouri; area 211,900 sq km/81,815 sq mi; population (2006) 2,764,100; capital Topeka. The state's nickname comes from its national flower. Situated in the Great Plains of the US Midwest, it contains the geographic centre of the 48 coterminous US states as well as the magnetic centre of the North American land mass, which serves as the reference point for all land surveys of North America and Mexico. The state also has one of the country's most precious natural resources – native prairie. Around 90% of the land is used for agriculture, and one-third of the population lives in rural areas. Kansas became more industrial from the mid-19th century, however, and manufacturing is now also an important contributor to the economy, as is the service sector. The state has rich mineral resources. Wichita is the state's largest city; other major cities include Kansas Ci
  • Kentucky: Topic Page
    State in south-central USA, bounded to the north by the Ohio River, across which are the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; to the east, by the Tug Fork and Big Sandy rivers, which separate it from West Virginia; to the southeast by Virginia, with the Cumberland Gap at the extreme south; from this point along its southern boundary, as far as the Mississippi River, it is bordered by Tennessee; across a small stretch of the Mississippi, on the west, it faces the New Madrid region of Missouri; area 102,895 sq km/39,728 sq mi; population (2006) 4,206,100; capital Frankfort. Kentucky is nicknamed the Bluegrass State after the blue blossoms on the lush grass of the area around Lexington. The state extends over 640 km/400 mi from east to west, and in the east is part of the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains; the Bluegrass Region is in the northeast. Kentucky has massive deposits of bituminous coal and is one of the leading US coal producers. Service industries are the leadin
  • Louisiana: Topic Page
    State in southern USA, bordered to the north by Arkansas, to the west by Texas, with the Sabine River and Toledo Bend Reservoir forming much of the boundary, and to the east by Mississippi, with the Mississippi and Pearl rivers forming much of the boundary; area 112,825 sq km/43,562 sq mi; population (2006) 4,287,800; capital Baton Rouge. The state is named after France's King Louis XIV and its nickname is a tribute to the official state bird, the brown pelican, which is native to Louisiana. To the south, the state extends into the Gulf of Mexico, its area expanding continuously through the growth of the delta of the Mississippi River. The Louisiana coast features bayous and marshes, salt domes, islets and channels, and brackish lakes. The economy is based on petroleum products, agriculture, fishing, minerals, and tourism. The state is associated with the development of jazz and blues; the music industry contributes to the economy and is a major tourist attraction. Major cities include
  • Maine
    A northeast state of U.S.A., bounded on N and E by Canadian province of New Brunswick, on S by Atlantic Ocean, on W by New Hampshire and Canadian province of Quebec; 39th state in area, 33,265 sq. mi. or 86,156 sq. km. (land area 30,933 sq. mi. or 80,116 sq. km.); 40th state in population, (2000c) 1,274,923; ✽ Augusta; 23d state admitted to Union (1820).
  • Maryland: Topic Page
    State of eastern USA bordered to the north by Pennsylvania, along the Mason–Dixon Line, to the east by Delaware, to the south by Virginia, and to the south and west by West Virginia; area 25,315 sq km/9,774 sq mi; population (2006) 5,615,700; capital Annapolis. The Coastal Plain and Chesapeake Bay dominate the eastern half of the state, while plateaux, valleys, and ridges occupy the west, the two regions being divided by the area known as the Fall Line. Maryland shares most of the Delmarva Peninsula with West Virginia, and its southern boundary is mainly defined by the Potomac River. At the point where the Anacostia River joins the Potomac is the District of Columbia (DC), which was carved out of Maryland and Virginia in 1790. Maryland's most populous city is Baltimore, 95 km/60 mi to the northeast of Washington, DC. The Baltimore–Washington Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area contains 90% of Maryland's population, many of whom live in the major cities of Columbia, Silver Sp
  • Massachusetts: Topic Page
    State of northeastern USA, a New England state and the sixth smallest state in the nation; bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and southeast, Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; area 20,306 sq km/7,8407,840 sq mi; population (2006) 6,437,200; capital and largest city Boston. It is nicknamed Bay State because of the early settlement on Cape Cod Bay, and Old Colony State due to its historical significance. The state includes part of the Taconic Mountains, the valley of the Housatonic River, the Berkshire Massif, known as the Berkshires, and the northeasternmost section of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, including the Cape Cod peninsula. The Massachusetts economy is based on the service industry, and high-tech and electrical industries are also significant. Agricultural products include cranberries, apples, and dairy goods. Towns include Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall River,
  • Michigan:Topic Page
    State in north-central USA, situated in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, consisting of two peninsular masses separated by the Straits of Mackinac; the mitten-shaped, north–south-oriented Lower Peninsula is bordered to the south by Ohio and Indiana, by Lake Michigan to the west, and to the north and east by lakes Huron, Erie, and Saint Clair, and the Detroit and St Clair rivers; the east–west-oriented Upper Peninsula is bordered to the south by Wisconsin, by Lake Superior to the north, by Ontario, Canada, to the northeast, across St Mary's River and by Lake Michigan to the south; area 147,122 sq km/56,804 sq mi; population (2006) 10,095,600; capital Lansing. Michigan's nickname, the Wolverine State, is thought to date back to a land border dispute with Ohio, when Ohioans described Michiganians as ‘vicious as wolverines’. It is also called the Great Lakes State, bordering four of the five Great Lakes and home to more than 11,000 inland lakes. During the 20th century Michigan'
  • Minnesota:Topic Page
    State in north-central USA, situated in the Great Lakes region and bordered to the east by Wisconsin and Lake Superior, to the south by Iowa, to the west by North Dakota and South Dakota, and to the north by the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba; area 206,189 sq km/79,610 sq mi; population (2006) 5,167,100; capital St Paul. Its nickname the North Star State derives from the French state motto L'Etoile du Nord (‘star of the north’); the alternative nickname refers to the gophers inhabiting the prairies. Minnesota has more than 15,000 lakes created by receding glaciers following the last ice age. Three major US rivers, the Mississippi, the Red River of the North, and the St Lawrence, have their sources in the state. Minnesota's economy has historically been dominated by its timber, mining, and agricultural resources; farming is the most important economic activity, followed by food processing. Other major industries include health care, technology, and tourism.
  • Mississippi: Topic Page
    River in the USA, the main arm of the great river system draining the USA between the Appalachian and the Rocky mountain ranges. The length of the Mississippi is 3,778 km/2,348 mi; with its tributary the Missouri it totals 6,020 km/3,740 mi. It has the second largest drainage basin in the world and incorporates all or part of 30 US states and two Canadian provinces. The Mississippi rises in the lake region of northern Minnesota in the basin of Lake Itasca, and drops 20 m/65 ft over the St Anthony Falls at Minneapolis. Below the tributaries of the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Des Moines, and Illinois rivers, the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi occurs at St Louis. Turning at the Ohio junction, it passes Memphis, and takes in the St Francis, Arkansas, Yazoo, and Red tributaries before reaching its delta on the Gulf of Mexico, beyond New Orleans. Altogether the Mississippi has 42 tributary streams and the whole Mississippi river system has a navigable length in excess of 25,900 km/16,1
  • Missouri: Topic Page
    State in the USA, situated in the Midwest, bordered to the south by Arkansas, to the west by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, to the north by Iowa, and to the east by Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee; area 178,414 sq km/68,886 sq mi; population (2006) 5,842,700; capital Jefferson City. Missouri's nickname refers to its inhabitants' character, which is generally thought to be sturdy and sceptical. In the southeast are the scenic highlands of the Ozark Plateau. The state is a commercial and industrial leader in the region, with a high degree of urbanization and industrial output, particularly in the manufacture of transport and aerospace equipment. The agricultural sector is strong, producing soybeans, livestock, and dairy foods, but has been overtaken by tourism and recreation. There are rich mineral resources, notably lead. The two largest cities are St Louis and Kansas City. Other important cities and towns are Springfield, Independence, Columbia, St Joseph, and Lee's Summit. Original

More United States - Individual States and Territories

  • Montana
    Northwestern state of U.S.A., bounded on N by Canadian provs. of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, on E by North Dakota and South Dakota, on S by Wyoming and Idaho, and on W by Idaho; 4th state in area, 147,138 sq. mi. (381,087 sq. km.); 44th state in population, (2000c) 902,195; ✽ Helena; 41st state admitted to Union (1889).
  • Nebraska: Topic Page
    State in central USA, bordered to the west by Wyoming, to the north by South Dakota, to the east by Iowa and Missouri, to the south by Kansas, and to the southwest by Colorado; area 199,098 sq km/76,872 sq mi; population (2006) 1,768,300; capital Lincoln. Part of the Midwest, Nebraska's landscape rises gradually from the east to the High Plains of the west. The state is a leading crop producer, including corn and wheat, and has an important cattle and hog industry. Food processing is also significant economically. Major cities include Omaha, Bellevue, Grand Island, Kearney, Fremont, North Platte, Hastings, Norfolk, and Columbus. Originally home to Plains Indians, including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Omaha, Sioux, Oto, and Pawnee people, Nebraska was acquired by the USA as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Nebraska was organized as a territory in 1854 and was admitted to the Union in 1867 as the 37th US state...
  • Nevada: Topic Page
    State in southwestern USA, one of the Rocky Mountain states, bordered to the east by Utah and Arizona, to the south and west by California, and to the north by Oregon and Idaho; area 284,448 sq km/109,826 sq mi; population (2006) 2,495,500; capital Carson City. Physically stark, mountainous, and arid, its nicknames derive from the abundance of sagebrush shrubs and silver mines. Most of Nevada lies in the Great Basin between the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Sierra Nevada mountains, for which the state is named, to the west. The Mojave Desert lies to the south. Nevada is a famous gambling and entertainment centre, and is also known historically as the state where marriages and divorces can be quickly obtained. The discovery of gold and silver in the 19th century created Nevada's first boom period, and mining and cattle ranching dominated the state's economy until 1931 when gambling was legalized; tourism and related industries now generate more than half of the state's income. O
  • New Hampshire: Topic Page
    State in the USA, one of the New England states, one of the original Thirteen Colonies, and one of the smallest US states; bordered to the north by the Canadian province of Québec, to the east by Maine and the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Massachusetts, and to the west by Vermont; area 23,227 sq km/8,968 sq mi; population (2006) 1,314,900; capital Concord. New Hampshire is known as the Granite State owing to its high concentration of granite deposits. Other nicknames include Mother of Rivers, after the many New England rivers that originate in New Hampshire's mountains; the White Mountain State, after the White Mountain range; and the Switzerland of America, after the state's mountain scenery. The state is named after the county of Hampshire in England. The White Mountains in the north of the state are rugged and heavily forested, with picturesque gorges and ravines. The central rolling uplands are characterized by a large number of lakes and streams, and there is a short, rocky le
  • New Jersey: Topic Page
    State in the Middle Atlantic region of the USA, bordered to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Hudson River forming a natural boundary to the northeast and north, beyond which lies New York State; the Delaware River borders to the south, and Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware lie beyond it; bordered to the west by Pennsylvania; area 19,210 sq km/7,417 sq mi; population (2006) 8,724,600; capital Trenton. It is named after an early landowner's birthplace, the English Channel Island of Jersey. Its nickname derives from its historical role as an important agricultural region serving New York. The fifth smallest US state, New Jersey lies largely in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, a region of rich soil. The Atlantic coastline is sandy and the Jersey shore extends for about 200 km/125 mi. Formerly a manufacturing and agricultural state, the New Jersey economy is dominated by tourism, finance, insurance, and construction. It is the leading US producer of chemicals; other important manufa
  • New Mexico: Topic Page
    State in southwestern USA, bordered in the north by Colorado, to the east by Oklahoma, to the east and south by Texas, to the south by Mexico, and to the west by Arizona; its northwest corner borders Arizona, Utah, and Colorado at the ‘Four Corners’; area 314,311 sq km/121,356 sq mi; population (2006) 1,954,600; capital Santa Fe, the oldest capital city in the USA. New Mexico is known for its rich heritage and stunningly diverse landscapes – all the major biomes of the world, with the exception of the tropical rainforest, are found in the state. The state's most important river is the Rio Grande. The service industry and tourism are important elements in the economy of New Mexico, as are agriculture, mining, and the manufacture of electronic equipment. Major towns and cities include Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and Farmington. The upper region of the Rio Grande was called Nuevo Mexico as early as 1561, becoming New Mexico after it was ceded to the USA following t
  • New York: Topic Page
    or New York City. A middle Atlantic state of U.S.A., bounded on N by Lake Ontario and the Canadian provs. of Ontario and Quebec, on E by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, on S by Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and on W by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie, and the Canadian prov. of Ontario; 30th state in area, 49,576 sq. mi. (128,402 sq. km.), in addition to this area New York has also 4376 sq. mi. (11,334 sq. km.) of water of the Great Lakes; 3d state in population, (2000c) 18,976,457; ✽ Albany; an original state of the Union, the 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution (July 26, 1788).
  • North Carolina: Topic Page
    State in southeastern USA, bordered to the north by Virginia, to the west and northwest by Tennessee, to the south by Georgia and South Carolina, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean; area 126,161 sq km/48,711 52,650 sq mi; population (2006) 8,856,500; capital Raleigh. Named after Charles I of England, its nickname the Old North State refers to the division of Carolina into north and south in 1712; the Tar Heel State comes from a remark made by troops during the Civil War that tar – one of North Carolina's first products – should be put on the heels of deserters to make them ‘stick better in the next fight’. North Carolina varies from flat-lying coastal plain with marshes, bogs, and barrier islands, to the rugged Great Smoky Mountains in the west, and the state is heavily forested. The natural setting, along with growing technology industries and thriving financial centres such as Charlotte, have made the state one of the USA's most desirable places to live. It also supports a
  • North Dakota: Topic Page
    State in west north-central USA, one of the Great Plains states, bordered to the south by South Dakota, to the west by Montana, to the north by the Canadian states of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and to the east by Minnesota; area 178,647 sq km/68,976 sq mi; population (2006) 635,900; capital Bismarck. Located at the geographical centre of the North American continent, North Dakota is a sparsely populated rural state, characterized by plains and black-soiled prairies. It ranks among the top states in the USA for its number of national wildlife refuges, most of which are managed for waterfowl production. Crops and livestock are the most important industries in the state, as well as energy and tourism. Products include barley, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed. Oil has been important to the economy since it was discovered in the state in the 1950s. The largest city is Fargo and other major towns and cities are Grand Forks and Minot. One of the last US frontier states to be settled, it is known
  • Ohio
    State in E central USA, bounded by Lake Erie in the N; the capital is Columbus. Other cities include Toledo and Cleveland. Britain acquired the land in 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War. It was ceded to the USA after the American Revolution, and in 1787 it became part of the Northwest Territory. Ohio was accepted into the Union in 1803. Mostly low-lying, the state is drained chiefly by the Ohio, Scioto, Miami, and Muskingum rivers. Ohio's large farms produce hay, maize, wheat, soya beans and dairy foods, and cattle and pigs are raised. The state is highly industrialized. Ohio produces sandstone, oil, natural gas, clay, salt, lime and gravel. Its lake ports handle large amounts of iron and copper ore, coal and oil. Industries: vehicle and aircraft manufacture, transport equipment, primary and fabricated metals. Area: 106,764sq km (41,222sq mi). Pop. (2000) 11,353,140.
  • Oklahoma: Topic Page:
    State in southern central USA, bordered to the south by Texas, to the west, at the extreme of the Oklahoma panhandle, by New Mexico, to the north by Colorado and Kansas, and to the east by Missouri and Arkansas; area 177,847 sq km/68,667 sq mi; population (2006) 3,579,200; capital Oklahoma City. It is nicknamed the Sooner State because during the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, when the land was opened up to white settlers, many took land before it was officially allowed. The state has a number of land regions, including the Ozark Plateau, the Prairie Plains, and the Ouachita Mountains. Oklahoma ranks among the leading states in petroleum and natural gas production, and it is the only US state that produces iodine. Beef cattle are the major source of agricultural income and cowhands still ride the range, although ranching has been thoroughly modernized. Other towns and cities are Tulsa, Norman, Lawton, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Midwest City, and Enid. Oklahoma is the US state most associated wi
  • Oregon: Topic Page
    State in northwestern USA, bordered to the east by Idaho, to the north by Washington, to the south by California and Nevada, and to the west by the Pacific Ocean; area 248,631 sq km/95,997 sq mi; population (2006) 3,700,800; capital Salem. Oregon's nickname was coined because of the large beaver population that roamed the region in the early 19th century, when fur traders flocked there to seek their fortunes. The state features mountains, including the Cascade Range, including the state's highest point, Mount Hood, and the Klamath Mountains. More than half of the state is forested. After the fashion for fur faded, Oregon developed a timber industry, which sustained the area's economic growth until the early 1990s. The state's economy was then bolstered by a thriving high-tech industry, particularly in the Willamette Valley, home to Oregon's three largest cities, Portland, Eugene, and Salem. Other major cities include Gresham, Hillsboro, and Beaverton. Originally home to the Chinook and
  • Pennsylvania: Topic Page
    State in northeastern USA bordered to the north by New York, with a coastal strip on Lake Erie, to the west by Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle, to the south, on the Mason–Dixon Line, by West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and to the east by New Jersey, across the Delaware River; area 116,075 sq km/44,817 sq mi; population (2006) 12,440,600; capital Harrisburg. It is nicknamed the Keystone State due to its geographical position between the northeast and south of the USA. The Appalachian Plateau dominates over half of Pennsylvania, defined on its eastern border by the Allegheny Front, a spine of mountains running diagonally southwest–northeast across the centre of the state. The Susquehanna and the Juniata rivers cut east–southeast across the front. One of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is a leader in both agriculture and industry, producing hay, cereals, dairy products, coal, steel, petroleum products, and textiles. Philadelphia is the state's most populous c
  • Puerto Rico: Topic Page
    (pwārʹtō rēʹkō), island (2005 est. pop. 3,917,000), 3,508 sq mi (9,086 sq km), West Indies, c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) SE of Miami, Fla. Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (a self-governing entity in association with the United States), it includes the offshore islands of Mona, Vieques, and Culebra. The capital and largest city is San Juan.
  • Rhode Island: Topic Page
    Smallest state of the USA, located in New England, bordered to the north and east by Massachusetts, to the west by Connecticut, and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean; area 2,707 sq km/1,045 sq mi; population (2006) 1,067,600; capital Providence. Eastern Rhode Island lies on Narragansett Bay, a sound in the Atlantic, and consists of coastal lowlands, estuaries, and islands. The state has 640 km/400 mi of coastline. The northwestern portion of the state, behind the coast, is part of the Eastern New England Upland. The state economy is reliant on the service sector, and tourism is significant. The most important industry is the manufacture of jewellery and silverware; other products include textiles, metals, greenhouse plants, shrubs, and potatoes. Rhode Island Red hens were first bred here in the 19th century. Other major towns and cities in Rhode Island include Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, Newport, and Woonsocket. Rhode Island was originally home to the Narragansett, Niantic, Nipmuck,
  • South Carolina: Topic Page

    State in eastern USA, bordered to the north and northeast by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia, and to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean; area 77,982 sq km/30,109 sq mi; population (2006) 4,321,200; capital and largest city Columbia. South Carolina is the smallest state of the Deep South region, and is roughly triangular in shape, with the Savannah River forming much of the state boundary with Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountains rise in the northwest, and there are numerous sea islands along the subtropical coastline. Service industries, particularly tourism, form the basis of South Carolina's economy, but farming, fishing, wood processing, and the manufacture of chemicals and textiles are also important. The state is a leading producer of tobacco in the USA. Columbia is situated in the central industrial heartland. Other major cities include the seaport of Charleston, and the former textile centres of Greenville and Spartanburg in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Set
  • South Dakota: Topic Page
    State in north-central USA, a Great Plains state, bordered to the north by North Dakota, to the west by Montana and Wyoming, to the south by Nebraska, and to the east by Minnesota and Iowa; area 196,541 sq km/75,885 sq mi; population (2006) 781,900; capital Pierre. South Dakota was formerly known as the Coyote State due to the abundance of coyotes that roam the prairies, but its official nickname is now the Mount Rushmore State because of the famous mountain sculpture, Mount Rushmore, which is the state's biggest tourist attraction. South Dakota is primarily a rural state, bisected by the Missouri River, with rolling hills and flat plains to the east and rocky uplifts to the west. Thousands of buffalo once roamed the prairies and grassland of the state. Tourism is key to the state economy, second only to livestock and grain production in terms of economic importance. Other cities include Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen. The influence of the Sioux tribe, both historically and cult
  • Tennessee: Topic Page

    State in east-central USA, bordered to the east by North Carolina, to the south by Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, to the west by Arkansas and Missouri, across the Mississippi River, and to the north by Kentucky and Virginia; area 106,752 sq km/41,217 sq mi; population (2006) 6,038,800; capital Nashville. The Tennessee River flows through the state twice, giving rise to its nickname the Big Bend State; its more common nickname, the Volunteer State, refers to Tennessee's military traditions. The terrain drops from east to west, with wooded mountains, including part of the Great Smoky Mountains, giving way to a central area of hills, and then plains and swamps. Tennessee is one of the states that link the North and South of the USA; the lifestyle of west and central Tennessee resembles that of the Deep South, while eastern Tennessee is closer to the North. Service industries and manufacturing make the greatest contribution to the state economy; products include chemicals, pr
  • Texas: Topic Page

    (tĕkʹsəs), largest state in the coterminous United States. It is located in the S Central part of the country and is bounded by Oklahoma, across the Red R. except in the Texas panhandle (N); Arkansas (NE); Louisiana, across the Sabine R. (E); the Gulf of Mexico (SE); Mexico, across the Rio Grande R. (SW); and New Mexico (W).
  • Utah: Topic Page
    State in western USA, one of the Mountain States, bordered to the east by Colorado, to the south by Arizona, to the west by Nevada, and to the north by Wyoming; at the Four Corners in the southeast, it also touches New Mexico; area 212,752 sq km/82,144 sq mi; population (2006) 2,550,100; capital and largest city Salt Lake City. The name Utah derives from the American Indian Ute, meaning ‘high land’; its nickname symbolizes thrift and industry. Utah has a spectacular landscape of canyons, Rocky Mountain peaks, and vast deserts. It is an important transport hub for the western USA, and service industries and tourism are the state's largest employers. Products include transport equipment, processed foods, and scientific materials. Beef, milk, and hay are the main agricultural products. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons; 60% of Utah's population is Mormon (2006). Other important towns and cities include West Valley Cit
  • Vermont: Topic Page
    State in northeastern USA, one of the New England states, bordered to the north by Québec, Canada, to the east by New Hampshire along the Connecticut River, to the south by Massachusetts, and to the west by New York, two-thirds of this border running down the centre of Lake Champlain; area 23,957 sq km/9,250 sq mi; population (2006) 623,900; capital Montpelier. Physically, the state varies between mountainous, in particular the Green Mountains running north–south through the centre of the state, and fertile lowland river valleys, such as the Champlain Valley in the northwest and the Connecticut Valley in the east. The Green Mountain National Forest, with its brilliant autumn foliage, is one of many attractions for Vermont's tourist industry, along with skiing and hiking. The river valleys support a thriving dairy industry. Other agricultural products include apples and maple syrup. Mining of granite, marble, slate, and talc has been economically important throughout the state's hist
  • Virgin Islands: Topic Page
    group of about 100 small islands, West Indies, E of Puerto Rico. The islands are divided politically between the United States and Great Britain. Although constituting the westernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands form a geological unit with Puerto Rico and the Greater Antilles; they are of volcanic origin overlaid with limestone. The islands are subject to sometimes severe hurricanes between August and October and suffer from light earthquakes. The water supply is almost completely dependent on rainfall and is preserved in cisterns; some water also comes from desalinization plants. The tropical climate, with its cooling northeast trade winds, and the picturesque quality of the islands, enhanced by their Old World architecture, have encouraged a large tourist trade. The population is predominantly of African descent and the main religion is Protestantism. English and some Spanish and Creole are spoken. The islands were first visited by Europeans when Columbus landed o
  • Virginia: Topic Page
    State in eastern USA, bordered to the north by Maryland and the District of Columbia, to the west by Kentucky and West Virginia, to the south by North Carolina and Tennessee; area 102,548 sq km/39,594 sq mi; population (2006) 7,642,900; capital Richmond. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, the virgin queen. In the east it occupies the southern tip of the Delamarva Peninsula and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The state includes Chesapeake Bay and the Shenandoah Valley. The most important industries are the service and tourist industries. Virginia's industrial output includes textiles, chemicals, cars, and electrical equipment; agricultural products include tobacco, soybeans, peanuts, and apples. Coal is the most important mineral. Major towns and cities include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Arlington, Hampton, Alexandria, Portsmouth, and Roanoke. One of the Thirteen Colonies, the first permanent English settlement was made at Jamestown in 1607, and
  • Washington (D.C.): Topic Page
    Capital of the USA, on the Potomac River; the world's first planned national capital. It was named Washington, DC, to distinguish it from Washington state, and because it is coextensive with the District of Columbia, hence DC; population (2000 est) 572,100; metropolitan area extending outside the District of Columbia (2000 est) 7,608,100. The District of Columbia, the federal district of the USA, is an area of 158 sq km/61 sq mi. Its site was chosen by President George Washington, and the first structures date from 1793. It became the seat of government in 1800, taking over from Philadelphia, and houses the national executive, legislative, and judicial government of the USA; it is also a centre for international diplomacy and finance. Federal and district government are key employers. Public, trade, business, and social organizations maintain a presence, as well as law and other service agencies. Tourism is a major industry...
  • Washington (State): Topic Page
    pop (2000e) 5 894 100; area 176 473 km²/68 139 sq mi. State in NW USA, divided into 39 counties; the ‘Evergreen State’; first settled in the late 18th Century , part of Oregon Territory, a prosperous fur-trading area; Britain and the USA quarrelled over the region until the international boundary was fixed by treaty to lie along the 49th parallel, 1846; became a territory, 1853; joined the Union as the 42nd state, 1889; after arrival of the railway (1887), developed through lumbering and fishing; Seattle an important outfitting point during the Alaskan gold rush, 1897–9; capital, Olympia; other chief cities, Seattle, Tacoma, Edmonds, Bellingham; bounded N by Canada (British Columbia), NW by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, W by the Pacific Ocean; rivers include the Columbia, Snake, Okanogan, Sanpoil, Yakima; Olympic Peninsula with the Olympic Mts in the NW (Mt Olympus 2428 m/7966 ft); Puget Sound to the E, extending c.160 km/100 mi inland, with numerous bays and islands; Cascade Rang
  • West Virginia: Topic Page
    State in eastern central USA, bordered to the south and east by Virginia, to the north by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and to the west by Ohio and Kentucky; area 62,359 sq km/24,078 sq mi; population (2006) 1,818,500; capital Charleston. West Virginia is hilly and rugged, hence its nickname, and has a mean altitude of 460 m/1,500 ft, the highest average altitude east of the Mississippi River. The service industry is the most significant contributor to the economy, and the state's industrial base is mining. Industrial products include coal, chemicals, and glass. Agricultural output includes dairy and meat products. Other major towns and cities include Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Weirton, Fairmont, Beckley, Clarksburg, and Martinsburg. West Virginia was composed from those Virginia counties that, unsympathetic to the plantation South, refused to join Virginia in its 1861 secession from the Union at the start of the American Civil War. West Virginia was admitted to
  • Wisconsin: Topic Page
    State in north-central USA, one of the Great Lakes states, bordered to the south by Illinois, to the west by Iowa and Minnesota, to the north by Lake Superior and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and to the east by Lake Michigan; area 140,662 sq km/54,310 sq mi; population (2006) 5,556,500; capital Madison. Wisconsin's nickname is derived from the underground living habits of early miners, who dug their homes out of hillsides or lived inside the mines. The state contains many lakes. Features include the Apostle Islands, Door Peninsula, and the Wisconsin Dells, a scenic gorge. Wisconsin's most important industries are manufacturing and food processing, and the state is the nation's leader in the production of paper and dairy products. The brewing of beer is one of the state's oldest industries. Other cities include Milwaukee, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine. The earliest inhabitants of Wisconsin were the Sioux and Chippewa American Indians. Prior to the influx of pioneers, the Chippewa h
  • Wyoming: Topic Page
    State in western USA, one of the Mountain States, bordered to the east by Nebraska and South Dakota, to the north by Montana, to the west by Montana, Idaho, and Utah, and to the south by Utah and Colorado; area 251,488 sq km/97,100 sq mi; population (2006) 515,000; capital Cheyenne. Wyoming's nickname stems from its reputation for firsts in granting rights to women, including voting, jury service, and the holding of public office. The state is famous for the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains which dominate the landscape and are the setting of Yellowstone National Park. It is the most sparsely populated state in the USA. The state's most important products are petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Cattle ranching is the most significant agricultural activity, and products include wool, sugar beet, and dairy produce. Other major cities are Casper, Laramie, Rock Springs, Gillette, and Sheridan. Wyoming was home to indigenous people, including the Crow, Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, and Shosho
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