The United States, otherwise known as United States of America, is a constitutional federal republic (a federation) comprising fifty federal states and a federal district.
The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the federal capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.
The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to its east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait, and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The United States also possesses several territories, or insular areas, scattered around the Caribbean and Pacific.
At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km²) and with more than 300 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and third largest by land area and by population.
The U.S. economy is the largest national economy in the world, with a nominal 2006 gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$13 trillion (over 19% of the world total based on purchasing power parity).
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