North America Facts

Our North America Facts for Kids bring you lots of interesting and fun facts on the South American continent.

North America is the third largest continent in size and the fourth largest when we consider population. The North American continent houses 23 countries. The continent is located in the western hemisphere and in the northern hemisphere.

Top 20 North America Facts 

1. There are 23 countries in North America (see list of the ten biggest countries on the right) and 9 dependencies with a total of more than 550 million people living on the continent.

Vancouver skyline in CanadaVancouver in Canada

2. Largest Country: Canada. The country is covering more than half the continent's landmass. Did you know that Canada is only slightly bigger than the USA?

3. Largest City: Mexico City, which is the capital city of Mexico with a population of about 9 million. With more than 20 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, this is one of the largest cities in the world. 

4. Smallest Country: Grenada with only about 10,000 inhabitants. This island country is located in the Caribbean Sea and is known for its nutmeg spice. The smallest dependency is Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, with less than 6,000 inhabitants.

5. Biggest Island: Greenland, which is also the largest island in the world, is located in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

6. Longest River of North America: Missouri River/USA (3,767 metres/2,341 miles). The Missouri River flows through seven states of the USA: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

St Louis on Missouri River in twilight - image ShutterstockSt Louis on the Missouri River

7. North America Facts: Highest Mountain: Denali in Alasaka/USA. The mountain (6,190 metres/20,310 ft) is located in the Alaska mountain range. Until 2015, this mountain was referred to as Mount McKinley.

Denali is considered the third most isolated mountain peak in the world after Mount Everest (in Asia) and Aconcagua (in South America) of the world's Seven Summits.

Mount Denali in Alaska - image shutterstockMount Denali in Alaska

8. Biggest Lake: Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes in the USA. The lake is shared by Canada (to the north) and the United States (to the east, south and west). Lake Superior is also the third largest lake in the world.

Thunder Bay/Lake Superior - image by lastdjedal/shutterstockLake Superior's Thunder Bay as seen from the Sleeping Giant

9. Lowest Point: Death Valley. The Death Valley National Park is not only the lowest, but also the driest national park in the USA. Here are also some of the hottest places in the world. 

Death Valley in California

10. North America Facts: There is no landlocked country in North America.

More North America Facts

11. History: North America was first populated about 90 000 years ago when people moved across the Bering Sea between Siberia and Alaska. First records are found on the island of Greenland from about 980.

Indigenous people lived in various clusters from small family groups to large empires across the whole continent. 

women in panama - image by anton ivanov/shutterstock.comWomen in Panama - image by Anton Ivanov

The European explorers arrived in larger numbers only after Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. There were power struggles between the colonisers from England, France and Spain as well as revolutions of the local indigenous people which later led to the creation of the different independent states.

12. People of North America: Before the Europeans arrived in North America, the indigenous and native Americans were the people who lived on the continent. Today, the biggest groups of native Americans are the Cherokee, Navajo and Iroquois people. Only 2% of all US Americans consider themselves as Native Americans. 

intertribal dancing_image by Avi Drori/shutterstock.comNative Americans dancing - image by Avi Drori

In Mexico, the largest indigenous minority groups are Mayan. Mayan people are the largest ethnic group and many live also in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.

Mayan Women weaving_ image by Lena Wurm/shutterstock.comMayan women weaving - image by Lena Wurm

13. Languages in North America: English is most widely spoken in North America. Spanish and French are spoken by many as second language in the USA, while Spanish is the most common first language in Central America and French is spoken also as first language in Canada.

14. North America Facts: Religion: Most of the North American people are Christians (75%), others are Muslims, Jews and some indigenous people have their indigenous beliefs.

15. Tourist attractions in North America: The most popular attractions are:

  • New York City which is also called the 'Big Apple'/USA for museums and shopping
  • California/USA: amazing beaches for surfing
  • Las Vegas/USA, the casino paradise with lots of popular shows and entertainment options for the whole family
  • World Disney World in Florida/USA
  • Yucatan/Mexico for Mayan ruins and awesome beaches
  • Hawaii/USA: volcanic islands and paradise beaches
  • Rocky Mountains in the USA and Canada for skiing and wintersports
  • Grand Canyon/USA for hiking and nature experiences
  • Kennedy Space Centre/USA for learning all about space travel and the planets
Kennedy Space Centre by Michael GordonKennedy Space Centre

16. Biggest Cities: The most populous city in North America is Mexico City.

Mexico City

However, more than half of the population of the North American continent lives in the USA - 322 million people live in the USA

The biggest cities in North America are:

  • Mexico City (Mexico): 21.3 million inhabitants
  • New York (USA): 20.2 million inhabitants
  • Los Angeles (USA): 13.3 million inhabitants
  • Chicago (USA): 9.5 million inhabitants
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (USA): 7.1 million inhabitants
  • Houston (USA): 6.6 million inhabitants
  • Toronto (Canada): 6.1 million inhabitants

17. Animals: In North America there are brown bears, coyotes, racoons, moose, jaguars and many other animals. 

American bison

North America is also home to many endangered animals such as the American bison, the banana bat or the cougar. Cougars are also called pumas or mountain lions.

Baby cougar

18. Main natural resources in North America are minerals such as coal, copper, zinc, iron ore and nickel (used to make steel) and precious metals such as gold and silver. The USA is the world's third biggest oil producer (after Russia and Saudi Arabia) and third biggest coal producer (after China and India). Agricultural produce such as grains (barley, wheat, sorghum) and vegetables such as corn, soybean as well as sugar beet, peanuts and tobacco. 

19. North America superlatives

  • Canada has the longest The first skyscrapers were built in Chicago/USA as early as during the 1880s.
  • New York/USA has still the second most skyscrapers in the world - after Hong Kong/China
  • The Niagara Falls are the world's highest waterfalls 
  • Mauna Kea (Hawaii) is the second highest mountain island in the world
  • The Rockies are the third longest mountain range in the world

20. Most famous landmarks in North America:

natural:

  • Grand Canyon, USA
  • Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
  • Redwood National Park, USA
  • Mauna Kea, Hawaii/USA

man-made:

  • Statue of Liberty, USA
  • Golden Gate Bridge, USA
  • Chichen Itza, Mexico
  • Capitol Building and The Mall, USA

Useful Resources for North America Facts:

CIA World Fact Book: Last accessed 17.05.2018

National Geographic Education. North America. Last accessed: 17.05.2018

North America: Animals by WorldAtlas, last accessed: 17.05.2018

Diercke World Atlas: Agriculture in North America

National Geographic: World Atlas for Young Explorers. Washington: 2010. pages 86-92

Earth Condensed. The World Atlas by Millennium House. 2009

Death Valley National Park. Last accessed: 17.05.2018


Image Credits on South America Facts page: Shutterstock.com and wikipedia commons

Return from South America Facts to Kids-World-Travel-Guide Homepage

'North America is the 3th largest continent in size  and the 4th largest continent in population.'

Click on the map image and zoom in the pdf to see the cities, rivers and places.

The Countries in North America 

  1. Canada
  2. USA
  3. Mexico
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Honduras
  6. Cuba
  7. Guatemala
  8. Panama
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Dominican Republic

Biggest Territories and Dependencies in North America

  1. Puerto Rico (USA)
  2. US Virgin Islands (USA)
  3. Bermuda (UK)
  4. Greenland (Denmark)
  5. Cayman Islands (UK)


More about Countries in North America

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