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North America FAST FACTS

Population:481,212,000 (4)
Area: 9,362,000 Sq. miles (3)

North America NATIONS


Canada is the world's second largest nation. It is divided into 14 provinces, which are similar to states. Although much of the nation speaks English, the official language of the province of Quebec is French. Canada is world famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and excellent skiing. Its large, cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are also popular tourist attractions.

Population: 34,162,000 (36)
Area: 3,854,000 sq. miles (2)
Language(s): English, French
Capital: Ottawa
Largest City: Toronto
Currency: Dollar


Mexico was conquered by Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes in 1521. Mexico City, the nation's capital, was built on the ruins of the beautiful Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Today, Mexico City is the world's second largest city. Mexico remains the largest Spanish speaking nation in the world by population.

Population: 111,212,000 (11)
Area: 761,606 sq. miles (15)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Mexico City
Largest City: Mexico City
Currency: Peso

United States of America

The United States of America gained its independence from Great Britain in 1783. Today, it is one of the largest and most powerful nations in the world. It is divided into 50 states. Alaska is the largest and Rhode Island is the smallest. The United States is also home to some of the world's most famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

Population: 309,700,000 (3)
Area: 3,794,000 sq. miles (3)
Language(s): English
Capital: Washington D.C.
Largest City: New York
Currency: Dollar


Guatemala gained its independence from Spain in 1821. At the time, the area was referred to as the Captaincy-general of Guatemala and included modern-day Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras. This area became part of the Mexican Empire for two years following independence from Spain.

Today, Guatemala remains one of the poorest nations in Latin America.

Population: 13,277,000 (68)
Area: 42,042 sq. miles (106)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Guatemala City
Largest City: Guatemala City
Currency: Quetzal


Belize, a popular tourist destination for American and British travelers, was Great Britain's last colony on the North America mainland. It was called British Honduras. Today, it is the only country in Central America with English as its official language. In addtion it has the highest population growth of any Central American nation.

Population: 308,000 (177)
Area: 8,867 sq. miles (150)
Language(s): English
Capital: Belmopan
Largest City: Belize City
Currency: Belize Dollar

El Salvador

El Salvador won its indepedence from Spain in 1812. Because of recent economic problems, El Salvador has adopted the U.S. dollar as its national currency.

The northern part of El Salvador is dotted with volcanoes.

Population: 6,134,000 (99)
Area: 8,124 sq. miles (157)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: San Salvador
Largest City: San Salvador
Currency: U.S. Dollar


Honduras was originally inhabited by the Mayan Indians. Christopher Columbus arrived in 1502 and claimed the land for Spain. Honduras won its freedom in 1821.

Population: 7,810,000 (93)
Area: 43,278 sq. miles (102)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Tegucigalpa
Largest City: Tegucigalpa
Currency: Lempira


Spain conquered Nicaragua in 1554 and ruled it until 1821. It was united with Mexico for a short time before becoming an independent nation in 1838.

Today, Nicaragua is the largest nation in Central America in terms of area. Nicaragua's Bosawas Biosphere Reserve protects 1.8 million acres of forest - almost seven percent of the country's area - making it the largest rainforest north of the Amazon.

Population: 5,891,199 (110)
Area: 50,193 sq. miles (97)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Managua
Largest City: Managua
Currency: Cordoba

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination for its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, active volcanoes, and forested mountains. Recently, Costa Rica has become a haven for off-shore, internet gambling sites.
Spanish is the official language of all central American nations, including Costa Rica.

Population: 4,253,897 (123)
Area:19,653 sq. miles (128)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: San Jose
Largest City: San Jose
Currency: Costa Rica Colon


The Pacific Ocean was discovered off the coast of Panama in 1513 by Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa. Following his discovery, he claimed the entire ocean for Spain. In 1914, engineers and workers completed the Panama Canal, which provided a shortcut for ships from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans. It is considered one of the world's great engineering feats.

Population: 3,323,000 (156)
Area: 29,157 sq. miles (117)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Panama City
Largest City: Panama City
Currency: U.S. Dollar, Balboa


The communist nation of Cuba has long had a turbulent relationship with the United States. In 1962, missiles positioned in Cuba and pointed toward the United States by Russia nearly caused a major war in what came to known as "The Cuban Missile Crisis".

Population: 11,236,000 (75)
Area: 42,427 sq. miles (105)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Havana
Largest City: Havana
Currency: Cuban Peso


The Jamaican cities of Kingston and Ocho Rios are popular tourist destinations for their beautiful beaches and duty-free shopping.
Jamaica was ruled by Great Britain for 307 years until it gained its independence in 1962.

Population: 2,825,928 (133)
Area: 4,444 sq. miles (166)
Language(s): English
Capital: Kingston
Largest City: Kingston
Currency: Jamaican Dollar


Haiti was a French colony for over 100 years until a former slave named Toussaint L' Overture led a rebellion that won Haiti its independence in 1804. Today, Haiti suffers from severe poverty and political strife. Its official language is French.

Population: 9,036,000 (82)
Area: 10,714 sq. miles (140)
Language(s): Haitian Creole, French
Capital: Port au Prince
Largest City: Port au Prince
Currency: Gourde

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic stands as the oldest European settlement in the western hemisphere. An ancient cathedral in Santo Domingo is said to hold the ashes of Christopher Columbus - who first stepped foot on the island in 1492.

Population: 10,090,000 (80)
Area: 18,704 sq. miles (130)
Language(s): Spanish
Capital: Santo Domingo
Largest City: Santo Domingo
Currency: Peso


The Bahamas, in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, is world-famous for its beautiful beaches and temperate climate. The Bahamas is an archipelago (a group of many islands) that consists of over 700 individual islands. Christopher Columbus first made landfall in the western hemisphere at San Salvador, in the southern Bahamas.

Population: 330,000 (177)
Area: 5,358 sq. miles (160)
Language(s): English
Capital: Nassau
Largest City: Nassau
Currency: Dollar


Bermuda is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a popular travel and cruise destination for people in North America in Europe.

Population: 68,000 (198)
Area: 20.6 sq. miles (224)
Language(s): English
Capital: Hamilton
Largest City: Hamilton
Currency: Bermudian Dollar