Largest Countries in North America
Introduction to the Continent
Covering an area of about 24,790,000 square kilometers, North America is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa on the basis of area. Being home to 565 million people (according to an estimate in 2013), it is the fourth largest continent in terms of population following Asia, Africa and Europe with. North America is blessed with a lot of variety and diversity in terms of landscapes, weather, people, languages and culture. Let’s have a quick look at some important facts about this continent.
- It is surrounded by oceans on three sides, Arctic Ocean in the North, Atlantic Ocean in the East and Pacific Ocean in the West. To Southeast, there is South America and the Caribbean Sea.
- The whole continent is home to 23 independent states/ countries.
- Almost 7.5% of the total world’s population lives in North America.
- In terms of land, it covers 16.5% of the world’s land and 4.8% of the total earth’s surface.
- It has a GDP (nominal) of $ 20.3 trillion and GDP (PPP) of $ 20.9 trillion.
Largest Countries in North America
North America is largely dominated by Canada, United States, Greenland and Mexico. Some of the major countries of this continent are enlisted below.
(The list is in the descending order of total area occupied by each country.)
- United States of America
- Greenland (Denmark)
- Cuba Guatemala
- Costa Rica
The details of the top five largest countries in North America are elaborated below:
The capital of Canada is Ottawa. This country extends all the way through US to the Arctic Circle. The language widely and commonly used is English and the currency is Canadian Dollar.
Canada is the largest country of North America in terms of land surface, with an estimated area of 9,984,670 km2.
Although, region-wise, it is the largest country but in terms of population, it is not as thickly populated as the other countries of the continent. It has almost 35.16 million people as of 2013.
- The largest country by area of North America is also the second largest country in the whole world.
- Almost half the people of Canada have a college degree, making it the most educated country in the world.
- Canada boasts of the most number of lakes in the world. The lakes in Canada are more than the lakes of the remaining parts of the world combined.
- It has the longest coastline in the world.
- Large parts of Canada have less gravity than rest of the Earth. This was discovered in 1960s.
- Blessed with a lot of natural resources, it has the third largest oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
United States of America
The United States is a country which consists of 50 states. The capital of which is Washington D.C. The language commonly used is English and the currency is U.S Dollar.
The total land area of the US is 9,831,510 km2, which makes it the second largest country of this continent.
It is fairly populated with the total population being 318.9 million according to a report issued in 2014.
Some of the interesting facts about USA are:
- Russia and America are just 44 nmi (nautical miles) apart, at their closest point.
- Due to their junk food consumption, every 1 in 3 Americans is obese.
- Out of 9 million people who are in prison all over the world, over a quarter of them are in America alone.
- Alaska was purchased by the US from Russia in just $7.2 million in the year 1867.
- Almost 20 million Americans live in mobile homes.
- The largest religious affiliation in the USA is Christianity, followed by Judaism.
- In Nevada 80% of the land is owned by the government.
- There are more Facebook users from the US than the number of citizens who voted in the last election.
- The U.S has no official language.
- Around half of the world’s credit card frauds happen in the States.
- The longest war in the history of this country is the Afghan War.
- The cost of going to college has gone up 500% since 1985.
Mexico lies between the US and the Central America. The capital of Mexico is Mexico City and the currency used is Mexican Peso. The most widely used languages are Spanish and Nahuati.
Mexico secures third place in being the largest country of North America according to its area which is 1,964,380 km2.
As of the latest estimate in the year 2013, the total population of Mexico is 122.3 million making it the 11th most populous country of the world.
- The official name for Mexico is the United Mexican States.
- It has 68 official languages. However, national language is Spanish.
- Artists in Mexico can pay their taxes in form of artwork.
- Surprisingly the world’s largest pyramid is not in Egypt but in Mexico.
- San Francisco was a part of Mexico before the Mexican-American war in the year 1848.
- Mexico is also known as the world’s fattest country.
- Texas declared its independence from Mexico in the year 1836.
Nuuk is the capital of Greenland. Greenland is a huge island between the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The currency used is the Danish Krone and the language commonly used and understood is Danish or Greenlandic.
Greenland has a total land area of 410,450 km2, making it the fourth largest country of this region.
About 56,483 people live in the Greenland according to a report released in the year 2013.
- About 80% of the land mass is covered with ice caps and glaciers.
- Sealing, whaling, hunting and fishing are the main sources of getting income.
- The largest glacier outside the Antarctica is Ilulissat Ice fjord in Greenland.
- There are quite a few hot springs that attracts visitors. The temperature of these springs is around 98 to 100 Fahrenheit.
- Greenland is geographically a part of North America but politically it is a part of Europe.
- The sun does not set from May 25 to July 25.
- The Vikings discovered the Greenland in the 10th century.
Nicaragua spans between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The capital is Managua while the currency used is the Nicaragua Cordoba. The official language is Spanish.
The total land area of the fifth largest country, Nicaragua is 130,370.
Nicaragua is not as populated as the other large countries of the region. The latest estimate of its population for the year 2013 is 6.08 million.
- It hosts the largest fresh water body in Central America, Lago de Nicaragua.
- It declared its independence from Spain in the year 1821.
- The lowest point for Nicaragua is Pacific Ocean 0m.
- Rio Coco is the longest river in Nicaragua.
Regardless of size, the geographical diversity, history and other features of each North American countries are extremely interesting. Tourists from other parts of the world enjoy visiting the continent owing to its historical landmarks as well as other fascinating features.
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