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United States
Capital:
Washington, DC
Population:
293,027,571 (July 2004 est.)
Flag
Background:
Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
Government type:
Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $10.99 trillion (2003 est.)
Higher Education:
The United States has approximately 4,670 colleges and universities. 17 of the top 20 scientific research universities in the world are in the United States (source: Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities), and 8 out of the top 11 universities in the world are in the United States (source: Times Higher Education Supplement's world university rankings).
Internet users:
159 million (2002)
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