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  Rambler's Top100

United States of America, popularly referred to as the United States or as America, a federal republic on the continent of North America, consisting of 48 contiguous states and the noncontiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii. Outlying areas include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The conterminous 48 states are bounded on the north by Canada, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The northern boundary is partly formed by the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River; the southern boundary is partly formed by the Rio Grande. New York City is the largest city in the United States. Washington, D.C., is the capital.

The total area of the United States (including the District of Columbia) is 9,666,861 sq km (3,732,396 sq mi), of which 1,593,438 sq km (615,230 sq mi) are in Alaska and 16,729 sq km (6459 sq mi) are in Hawaii. Inland, coastal, and Great Lakes bodies of water occupy 507,788 sq km (196,058 sq mi) of the total area. Measured along the parallel of latitude that passes through West Quoddy Head, Maine, the easternmost point in the United States, the maximum width of the conterminous 48 states is approximately 4517 km (about 2807 mi). The maximum length measured from the vicinity of Brownsville, Texas, due north to the Canadian frontier is about 2572 km (about 1598 mi). The boundaries of the United States extend along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, along the Gulf of Mexico, and along land areas. The northern boundary is some 6420 km (some 3990 mi) long; the southern boundary, some 3115 km (some 1935 mi); and the boundary between Alaska and Canada, some 2480 km (some 1540 mi). For the United States, the Atlantic coastline is 3330 km (2069 mi) long; the Pacific coastline, excluding Hawaii, 12,268 km (7623 mi); the Gulf of Mexico coastline, 2625 km (1631 mi); and the Arctic coastline of Alaska, 1706 km (1060 mi). Mount McKinley, or Denali (6194 m/20,320 ft), in Alaska, is the highest point in North America; Death Valley, a depression 86 m (282 ft) below sea level, in California, is the lowest point. The mean elevation of the United States is about 760 m (about 2500 ft) above sea level.