The United States of America, usually just called the United States and referred to by the initials U.S. or U.S.A., is a federal republic on Earth, established in July 1776 out of a group of former British possessions on the East Coast of North America, before expanding south and west across the North American continent throughout the 19th century.
Subdivisions of the United States
Since 1959, the United States has been composed of 50 subdivisional states. 48 of these are located in the Contiguous United States, a large swath of the North American continent that borders Canada and the Great Lakes to the north, Mexico to the south-southwest, the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south-southeast.
- Alaska — Not part of the Contiguous U.S. It occupies a large peninsula in northwesternmost North America, bordering Canada to the east, Russia across the Bering Sea to the west, the North Pacific Ocean to the south, and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
- Hawaiʻi — Not part of the Contiguous U.S. It occupies a tropical island archipelago in the North Pacific Ocean. It is part of Polynesia, a wider multinational region in the Pacific.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- The District of Columbia — It is coterminous with the nation's capital city, Washington, D.C. It is located on a strip of land between the states of Maryland and Virginia. It is not counted as a state.
Populated territories administered by the United States. These areas do not have statehood, but their citizens as U.S. nationals.
- American Samoa — An island archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean. It is part of Polynesia.
- Guam — An island in the North Pacific Ocean. It is part of Micronesia, a wider multinational region in the Pacific.
- Northern Mariana Islands — An island archipelago in the North Pacific Ocean, directly north of Guam. It is part of Micronesia.
- Puerto Rico — A major populated island in the Caribbean region. It is one of the Greater Antilles islands. Puerto Rico is by far the most populous U.S. non-state territory, with a population larger than many U.S. states.
- The United States Virgin Islands — An island archipelago in the Caribbean region, directly east of Puerto Rico. It is part of the Lesser Antilles region, a wider multinational region within the Caribbean.
The United States possesses several outlying islands in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, some populated and some uninhabited.