USA Facts

Our USA Facts for Kids provide interesting and fun facts about the United States of America, the country and her people, her attractions and geographical superlatives and all important facts about the USA you really should know.

United States Of America Facts for Kids

The USA or the United States of America is the second largest country on the North American continent - after Canada.

The U.S. (United States) are a union of states. Of the 50 states of the USA, 49 are located on the American mainland and one state, Hawaii, is located in the South Pacific Ocean.

The United States of America - 50 states in colour mapThe United States of America - 50 states

Top 20 USA Facts 

1. The USA is country on the North American continent that consists of 50 states, a federal district (District of Columbia) and 14 territories.

Five of the fourteen territories are inhabited: Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Puerto Rico is the biggest and most populous territory. 

The 50 U.S. states and their flags are:

Test your Knowledge - Name That State! Quiz by BLS

USA Facts | National Symbols

2. The national flag of the USA has 13 stripes and 50 white stars on blue background. 

The 13 stripes refer to the 13 British colonies that declared independence from the kingdom of Great Britain in 1776 and the 50 stars refer to the 50 U.S. states.

3. The motto of the USA is ‘In God We Trust’.

4. The anthem of the USA is called 'Star-Spangled banner' and the lyrics are based on a poem by Francis Scott Key in 1814. Find the full lyrics here.

5. Other national symbols of the USA include:

American BisonAmerican Bison
  • National animal: American Bison
  • National tree: Oak Tree
  • National bird: Bald Eagle
  • National Flower: Rose

USA Facts | Geography

6. The capital city of the USA is called Washington D.C. D.C. stands for District of Columbia. Washington D.C. has about 7.5 million inhabitants.

(Beware: Washington is also the name of an U.S. state in northwestern USA. The capital city of Washington State is Olympia.)

Washington DC with the Capitol building, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial

7. The USA shares land borders with Canada and with Mexico. The border shared with Canada is the longest international border in the world. It is 8,891 km/ 5,525 miles long. The other international border of the USA with Mexico is 3,145 km/ 1,954 miles long. The USA borders the Atlantic Ocean along the East Coast and the Pacific Ocean along the West Coast. 

Physical map of USAPhysical map of USA

8. The USA is the third largest country in the world. The USA are smaller than Russia or Canada, but larger than China, if all territories as well as coastal and territorial waters are included.

9. The USA is the third most populous country in the world after China and India. The USA is home to 330 million inhabitants. Almost 40% of all Americans live close in the East Coast states, while about 16% live along the West Coast states. 83% of the population lives in urban areas.

10. Largest city in the USA is New York with almost 8.4 million inhabitants is the USA's biggest city.

Skyline of New York CitySkyline of New York City

Other large cities in the USA include: 

  • Los Angeles: 3.9 million inhabitants
  • Chicago: 2.7 million inhabitants
  • Brooklyn: 2.3 million inhabitants
  • Houston: 2.3 million inhabitants

11. The most populous U.S. state is California with almost 40 million inhabitants. The least populous state is Wyoming with about 580,000 inhabitants.

Golden Gate Bridge in CaliforniaThe Golden Gate Bridge in California

12. The largest U.S. state by land area is Alaska. Alaska is a bit more than twice the size of Texas and four times the size of California. On a global scale, Alaska is roughly the size of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France combined!

Anchorage in AlaskaAnchorage in Alaska

The smallest state is Rhode Island and about 1.5 times the size of Luxembourg.

USA Facts | Geography Superlatives

13. Some fascinating USA Geography Superlatives: 

  • Highest mountain of the USA: Mount Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley, is 6,190 m/ 20,310 ft high and located in Alaska.
Mount Denali is the highest mountain in North AmericaMount Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley
  • Longest river of the USA: Missouri River with 3,767 km/ 2,341 miles. The Missouri River flows through seven states of the USA: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Together with the Mississippi River, it forms one of the largest river systems in the world.
  • Hottest place in the USA: Death Valley. The Death Valley's Badwater Basin is also the lowest point on the North American continent with an elevation of 86 m/ 282 ft.
Death Valley sun over dry sandDeath Valley
  • Largest lake of the USA: Lake Superior, which is shared by Canada (to the north) and the United States (to the east, south and west). Lake Superior is also considered the largest freshwater lake by area in the world.
  • Highest waterfalls in the USA: The Colonial Creek Falls in Washington State with a hight of 783 m/ 2,568 ft. are the highest waterfalls in continental USA. However, the Oloupena Falls in Hawaii are unofficially named North America's highest waterfalls with a drop of 900 m/ 2,952 ft.

14. The national holiday of the United States of America is called Independence Day and is celebrated on 4 July and is commonly referred to as Fourth of July. This holiday commemorates the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and is celebrated as a federal holiday since 1941. Read more here.

Statue of Liberty in New YorkStatue of Liberty

USA Facts | History

15. A little history of the USA: Native American settled on the continent in about 15,000 BC. Leif Eriksson, the Viking explorer reached the North American continent already in around 1000 AD. The European colonialization started in 1492 with the arrival of explorer Christopher Colombus. The first permanent settlement of the British in America, Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia, dates back to 1607. The British Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 and founded Plymouth Colony.

The first Thanksgiving, 1621, Pilgrims and natives gather to share a meal, oil painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris, 1932. - image by Everett Historical/shutterstock.comThe first Thanksgiving in America 1621 - oil painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (1932)

In 1626 New Amsterdam, which today is Manhattan, and other settlements along the Hudson River were established by Dutch settlers in a region they referred to as New Netherland. By the 17th and 18th century, Britain had established thirteen colonies along the East Coast of the continent. 

When was the USA formed? On 4 July 1776, the thirteen British colonies signed the Declaration of Independence from the kingdom of Britain. 

Independence Hall in PhiladelphiaIndependence Hall in Philadelphia

16. The first president of the USA was George Washington. He was elected in 1789. Presidential elections are held every four years since 1792. Currently, Donald John Trump (born 1946) is the 45th president of the USA.

The president resides in the White House building where there are also the offices of the president since 1800.

White House in Washington D.C.White House in Washington D.C.

The next presidential elections in the USA are scheduled for Tuesday, 3 November 2020.

USA Facts | USA People

The USA are home to people of all different ethnic groups, different religions (67% are Christians) and different mother tongues.

Multicultural kidsThe USA is home to people of many different ethnic groups.

17. Languages in the USAEnglish is the most commonly used language of the USA, however, more than 300 languages are spoken in the country. 78% of all American say that they speak only English. About 13% speak mainly Spanish.

There is no official languages in the country, however, English is an official language in all states. 

American English also has some words that differ from the British English:

18. Famous people: Among the American people everybody should have heard of are:

  • George Washington (1732 - 1799): first president of the USA
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865): president during the American Civil War and fighter for the abolishment of slavery
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826): one of the founding fathers of the nation, author of the Declaration of Independence
  • Sequoyah (1767-1843): inventor of the Cherokee alphabet
  • Pocahontas (1595 - 1617): native American who save Jamestown chief and became the wife of British colonist John Rolfe
  • Neil Armstrong (1930 - 2012): astronaut and first man on the Moon
  • Amelia Earhart (1897 - 1937): first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962): first lady and civil rights activist
  • Walt Disney (1901 - 1966): film producer 'Cinderella' and founder of the Disney theme parks
  • Ella Fitzgerald (1918 - 1996): jazz singer and musician
  • Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968): leader of the Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King Mural in Atlanta - image by Forty3Zero/shutterstock.comMartin Luther King Mural in Atlanta
  • Andy Warhol (1928 - 1987): film director and artist, famous for his painting of Campbell Soup Cans 
  • Ellen Ochoa (born 1958): engineer and first female Hispanic astronaut

19. The U.S. economy: The USA has highly diversified industries and the second largest industrial output of the world behind China. Major industries include: petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, chemicals, food production and telecommunications. The main agricultural products are wheat, corn, beef, pork and timber products.

Crop fields in the USACrop fields in the USA

Canada, China, Mexico, Japan and Germany are the biggest trading partners of the USA.

20. The U.S. American money is called the United States Dollar or in short US dollar. The American currency was first introduced in 1792 as the country's standard currency.

The US banknotes available now are in denominations from 1 US$ to 100 US$. 

100 U.S. Dollar banknote with Benjamin Franklin portrait

The American banknotes each show one of the founding fathers of the USA on the front, and a famous landmark on the back side. Did you know that there are still banknotes in circulation with denominations from US$500 up to 10,000 US$ which are still valid and highly sought after collectors' items! 1 US Dollar equals 100 cents.

The Federal Reserve System, which is the American central banking system, was founded in 1912 and is located in Washington D.C.

USA Facts | Unemployment: In May 2020 there are 41 million unemployed people in the USA. The unemployment rates in the USA stands at 14.7%, the figure has risen substantially due to the Covid-19 crisis.

More Facts about the USA

USA Facts | Time Zones: Continental USA spans over five time zones. There are additional time zones for Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the various islands. Daylight savings time ("spring forward, fall back") applies from March to November in Continental USA, except most of Arizona.

Time zones in the USA

USA Facts | NATO: The USA is one of the 12 founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Today the international alliance includes 30 countries from Europe and North America. The NATO was founded in 1949.

USA Facts | Famous Landmarks: Among the most visited tourist sites and landmarks in the USA are:

  • Empire State Building in New York/New York
  • Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
  • Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco/California
  • Mount Rushmore in Keystone/South Dakota
Mount RushmoreMount Rushmore

Read about the world's top landmarks you really should know. Click here.

Popular Pages

Useful Resources for USA Facts:

This page was last updated on 29 May 2020.

  • US Government and Services. "The American Flag." USA.gov Last accessed 28 May 2020 
  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Name That State!" BLS. Last accessed 28 May 2020 
  • State Symbols USA. "National Symbols and Icons." State Symbols USA. Last accessed 28 May 2020. 
  • World Population Review. "Unites States Population 2020." World Population Review. Last accessed 29 May 2020
  • History.com Editors. "History of the Fourth of July." History.com. Last updated 17 April 2020. Last accessed 29 May 2020.
  • Nelson, Ken. "Kids History: Famous Native Americans." Ducksters. Accessed 29 May 2020
  • United States Mint. "U.S. Mint for Kids: Coins." Unites States Mint. Last accessed 29 May 2020.
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "United States." CIA World Fact Book. 27 May 2020. Last accessed 29 May 2020.


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

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