Location and Geography
The United States of America (also referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) borders Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the North Pacific Ocean to the west. At roughly 9.8 million square kilometers, the U.S. is the world’s third-largest country in size and population and one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations.
The U.S. consists of 50 states (48 continental plus Alaska and Hawaii), a federal district, Washington D.C., and small territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. The capital city is Washington, D.C.
With its large size and geographic variety, the U.S. includes most climate types from the tropical atmosphere of Hawaii and Florida to the semi-arid Great Plains; from the arid Mojave Desert to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, not to mention the cold Arctic climate of Alaska. Because of the climate, the ecology in the U.S. is extremely diverse, with abundant flora and fauna and amazing natural habitats for nature-inspired visitors to explore.
The U.S. is the largest economy in the world (with China tying it on some measures), and one of the most technologically advanced. The gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015 was roughly $17.9 trillion USD, with per capita GDP at roughly $51,600 USD. American firms are at or near the forefront of technological advances, especially with regard to computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment. The currency is the U.S. Dollar.
Living Conditions and Cost of Living
Living conditions and cost of living in the U.S. vary greatly depending on location and lifestyle, but in an overall sense, they are similar to what they are in other affluent nations. Consumer goods are certainly easy to find, and basic needs such as food and household items are affordable to almost all people who live in the U.S. The average monthly cost of living for an adult living in the US is $2,300 (not including tuition fees). As in most nations, the cost of living is higher in big cities than in smaller towns; accommodation can be expensive in the cities.