North America

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North America
Location North America.svg
Area 24,709,000 km2 (9,540,000 sq mi)
Population 528,720,588 (2008, 4th)
Pop. density 22.9/km2 (59.3/sq mi)[1]
Demonym North American, American[2]
Countries 23 (List of countries)
Dependencies see List of North American countries
Languages Spanish, English, French, Dutch and many others
Time Zones UTC-10 to UTC
Largest cities List of cities[3]

North America (Spanish: América del Norte or Norteamérica; French: Amérique du Nord; Dutch: Noord-Amerika; Papiamento: Nort Amerika; Kalaallisut: Amerika Avannarleq) is the northern continent of the Americas,[4] situated in the Earth's northern hemisphere and in the western hemisphere. It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the North Pacific Ocean. South America lies to the southeast of the continent.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 4.8% of the planet's surface or about 16.5% of its land area. As of July 2008, its population was estimated at nearly 529 million people. It is the third-largest continent in area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth in population after Asia, Africa, and Europe.




Map of North America (circa 16th century).

The Americas are usually accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass previously unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil. He explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio,

ab Americo inventore ... quasi Americi terram sive Americam (from Americus the discoverer ... as if it were the land of Americus, thus America).[5]

For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name (Americus Vespucius), but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa" and "Asia".

Later, when other mapmakers added North America, they extended the original name to it as well: in 1538, Gerard Mercator used the name America to all of the Western Hemisphere on his world map.[6]

Some argue that the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries except in the case of royalty and so a derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be problematic.[7] Ricardo Palma (1949) proposed a derivation from the "Amerrique" mountains of Central America—Vespucci was the first to discover South America and the Amerrique mountains of Central America, which connected his discoveries to those of Christopher Columbus.

Alfred E. Hudd proposed a theory in 1908 that the continents are named after a Welsh merchant named Richard Amerike from Bristol, who is believed to have financed John Cabot's voyage of discovery from England to Newfoundland in 1497. A minutely explored belief that has been advanced is that America was named for a Spanish sailor bearing the ancient Visigothic name of 'Amairick'. Another is that the name is rooted in a Native American language.[6]


Geologic history

North America is the source of much of what humanity knows about geologic time periods.[8] The geographic area that would later become the United States has been the source of more varieties of dinosaurs than any other modern country.[8] According to paleontologist Peter Dodson, this is primarily due to stratigraphy, climate and geography, human resources, and history.[8] Much of the Mesozoic Era is represented by exposed outcrops in the many arid regions of the continent.[8] The most significant Late Jurassic dinosaur-bearing fossil deposit in North America is the Morrison Formation of the western United States.[9]


The ruins of Chichén Itzá, Mexico.

Scientists have several theories as to the origins of the early human population of North America. The indigenous peoples of North America themselves have many creation myths, by which they assert that they have been present on the land since its creation.

Before contact with Europeans, the natives of North America were divided into many different polities, from small bands of a few families to large empires. They lived in several "culture areas", which roughly correspond to geographic and biological zones and give a good indication of the main lifeway or occupation of the people who lived there (e.g. the Bison hunters of the Great Plains, or the farmers of Mesoamerica). Native groups can also be classified by their language family (e.g. Athapascan or Uto-Aztecan). It is important to note that peoples with similar languages did not always share the same material culture, nor were they always allies.

Scientists believe that the Inuit people of the high Arctic came to North America much later than other native groups, as evidenced by the disappearance of Dorset culture artifacts from the archaeological record, and their replacement by the Thule people.

During the thousands of years of native inhabitation on the continent, cultures changed and shifted. Archaeologists often name different cultural groups they discover after the site where they were first found. One of the oldest cultures yet found is the Clovis culture of modern New Mexico. A more recent example is the group of related cultures called the Mound builders (e.g. the Fort Walton Culture), found in the Mississippi river valley. They flourished from 300 BC to the 150s AD.

The more southern cultural groups of North America were responsible for the domestication of many common crops now used around the world, such as tomatoes and squash. Perhaps most importantly they domesticated one of the world's major staples, maize (corn).


As a result of the development of agriculture in the south, many important cultural advances were made there. For example, the Maya civilization developed a writing system, built huge pyramids and temples, had a complex calendar, and developed the concept of zero around 400 CE, a few hundred years after the Mesopotamians.[10] The Mayan culture was still present when the Spanish arrived in Central America, but political dominance in the area had shifted to the Aztec Empire further north.

Upon the arrival of the Europeans in the "New World", Native American population declined substantially, primarily due to the introduction of European diseases to which the Native Americans lacked immunity.[11] Native peoples found their culture changed drastically. As such, their affiliation with political and cultural groups changed as well, several linguistic groups went extinct, and others changed quite quickly. The names and cultures that Europeans recorded for the natives were not necessarily the same as the ones they had used a few generations before, or the ones in use today.

Geography and extent

A satellite composite image of North America. Clickable map

North America occupies the northern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphere, the Americas, or simply America (which, less commonly, is considered by some as a single continent[12][13][14] with North America a subcontinent).[15] North America's only land connection to South America is at the Isthmus of Panama. The continent is delimited on the southeast by most geographers at the Darién watershed along the Colombia-Panama border, placing all of Panama within North America.[16][17][18] Alternatively, a less common views would end North America at the man-made Panama Canal and other sources physio-graphically locate its southern limit at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, with Central America tapering and extending southeastward to South America.[citation needed]

Before the Central American isthmus was raised, the region had been underwater. The islands of the West Indies delineate a submerged former land bridge which had connected North America and South America via what are now Florida and Venezuela. The continental coastline is long and irregular. The Gulf of Mexico is the largest body of water indenting the continent, followed by Hudson Bay. Others include the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Gulf of California.

There are numerous islands off the continent’s coasts, principally, the Arctic Archipelago, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the Aleutian Islands (some of which are in the eastern hemisphere proper), the Alexander Archipelago, the many thousand islands of the British Columbia Coast, and Newfoundland. Greenland, a self-governing Danish island, and the world's largest, is on the same tectonic plate (the North American Plate) and is part of North America geographically. In a geologic sense, Bermuda is not part of the Americas, but an oceanic island which was formed on the fissure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge over 100 million years ago. The nearest landmass to it is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. However, Bermuda is often thought of as part of North America, especially given its historical, political and cultural ties to Virginia and other parts of the continent.

Physical geography

Sedimentary, volcanic, plutonic, metamorphic rock types of North America.

The vast majority of North America is on the North American Plate. Parts of California and western Mexico form the partial edge of the Pacific Plate, with the two plates meeting along the San Andreas fault. The southernmost portion of the continent and much of the West Indies lie on the Caribbean Plate, whereas the Juan de Fuca and Cocos plates border the North American Plate on its western frontier.

The continent can be divided into four great regions (each of which contains many subregions): the Great Plains stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic; the geologically young, mountainous west, including the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, California and Alaska; the raised but relatively flat plateau of the Canadian Shield in the northeast; and the varied eastern region, which includes the Appalachian Mountains, the coastal plain along the Atlantic seaboard, and the Florida peninsula. Mexico, with its long plateaus and cordilleras, falls largely in the western region, although the eastern coastal plain does extend south along the Gulf.

The western mountains are split in the middle and into the main range of the Rockies and the coast ranges in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia with the Great Basin—a lower area containing smaller ranges and low-lying deserts—in between. The highest peak is Denali in Alaska.

The United States Geographical Survey states that the geographic center of North America is "6 miles west of Balta, Pierce County, North Dakota" at approximately 48°10′N 100°10′W / 48.167°N 100.167°W / 48.167; -100.167, approximately 15 miles (25 km) from Rugby, North Dakota. The USGS further states that “No marked or monumented point has been established by any government agency as the geographic center of either the 50 States, the conterminous United States, or the North American continent.” Nonetheless, there is a 15-foot (4.5 m) field stone obelisk in Rugby claiming to mark the center.

Human geography

Mexico City is the most populous city in North America.
New York City is the second most populous city in North America.
Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, and the fifth-most in North America.

The prevalent languages in North America are English, Spanish, and French. The term Anglo-America is used to refer to the anglophone countries of the Americas: namely Canada (where English and French are co-official) and the United States, but also sometimes Belize and parts of the Caribbean. Latin America refers to the other areas of the Americas (generally south of the United States) where the Romance languages, derived from Latin, of Spanish and Portuguese (but French speaking countries are not usually included) predominate: the other republics of Central America (but not always Belize), part of the Caribbean (not the Dutch, English or French speaking areas), Mexico, and most of South America (except Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana (FR), and The Falkland Islands (UK)).

The French language has historically played a significant role in North America and now retains a distinctive presence in some regions. Canada is officially bilingual. French is the official language of the Province of Quebec, where 95% of the people speak it as either their first or second language, and it is co-official with English in the Province of New Brunswick. Other French-speaking locales include the Province of Ontario (the official language is English, but there is an estimated 600,000 Franco-Ontarians), the Province of Manitoba (co-official as de-jure with English), the French West Indies and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, as well as the U.S. state of Louisiana, where French is also an official language. Haiti is included with this group based on historical association but Haitians speak both Creole and French. Similarly, French and French Antillean Creole is spoken in Saint Lucia and the Commonwealth of Dominica alongside English.

Socially and culturally, North America presents a well-defined entity. Canada and the United States have a similar culture and similar traditions as a result of both countries being former British colonies. A common cultural and economic market has developed between the two nations because of the strong economic and historical ties. Spanish-speaking North America shares a common past as former Spanish colonies. In Mexico and the Central American countries where civilizations like the Maya developed, indigenous people preserve traditions across modern boundaries. Central American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations have historically had more in common due to geographical proximity and the fact that they won independence from Spain.

Northern Mexico, particularly in the cities of Monterrey, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and Mexicali, is strongly influenced by the culture and way of life of the U.S. Immigration to the United States and Canada remains a significant attribute of many nations close to the southern border of the U.S. The Anglophone Caribbean states have witnessed the decline of the British Empire and its influence on the region, and its replacement by the economic influence of northern North America. In the Anglophone Caribbean this influence is partly due to the relatively small populations (less than 200,000) of the majority of English-speaking Caribbean countries, and the fact that many of these countries now have expatriate diasporas living abroad that are larger than those remaining at home.

Economically, Canada and the United States are the wealthiest and most developed nations in the continent, followed by Mexico, a newly industrialized country. The countries of Central America and the Caribbean are at various levels of economic and human development. For example, small Caribbean island-nations such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Antigua and Barbuda have a higher GDP (PPP) per capita than Mexico due to their smaller populations. Panama and Costa Rica have a significantly higher Human Development Index and GDP than the rest of the Central American nations.[19]

Demographically, North America is a racially and ethnically diverse continent. Its three main racial groups are Whites, Mestizos and Blacks. There is a significant minority of Native Americans and Asians among other less numerous groups.


Financially the continent is well defined into 3 areas. Canada, Mexico and the United States have a deep degree of economical integration that was deepened with the signature of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. Trade volume has steadily incrased annually and in 2010, surface trade between the 3 North American countries reached an all-time historical increase of 24.3% or $791 USD billions.[20] The NAFTA trade bloc GDP (PPP) is the world's largest with $17.617 USD trillions.[21] Canada's first and third largest trade partners are the US and Mexico respectively;[22] Mexico's first and second trade partners are the US and Canada;[23] and US first and third largest trade partners are Canada and Mexico.[24]

The Caribbean trade area formally known as the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was signed in 1973 by 15 Caribbean nations. As of 2000, CARICOM trade volume was $96 USD billions.

Central American internal economy is also integrated. The 1961's Central American Common Market (CACM) was the first attempt to engage the nations of this area into deeper financial integration. However, with the signature in 2004 of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the CACM future is unclear.[25]



Many of the nations of North America cooperate together on a shared telephone system known as the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) which is an integrated telephone numbering plan of 24 countries and territories: the United States and its territories, Canada, Bermuda, and 16 Caribbean nations.

Countries and territories

Non-Native American control
over North America,

Geographically, the North American continent is usually sub-divided into the two well defined groups of Central America[26] and the Caribbean[27]. Canada, Mexico and the United States are grouped in a region also sometimes referred to as North America, not to be confused with the continent as a whole. [28][29]

The term Northern America is sometimes used to refer to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: Canada, the United States, Greenland, Bermuda, and St. Pierre and Miquelon. Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Anglo America and Latin America. The term Middle America, although rarely used[citation needed], en-globes Mexico and the regions of Central America and the Caribbean.

Country or territory↓ Area
(2008 est.)[31]↓
Population density
(per km²)↓
North America[note 1]
 Bermuda (UK) &000000000000005400000054 &000000000006500000000065,000 1203.7 Hamilton
 Canada &00000000099846700000009,984,670 &000000003357300000000033,573,000 3.4 Ottawa
 Greenland (Den.) &00000000021660860000002,166,086 &000000000005700000000057,000 0.026 Nuuk
 Mexico &00000000019643750000001,964,375 &0000000112322757000000112,322,757 57.1 Mexico City
Flag of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.svg Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Fr.) &0000000000000242000000242 &00000000000060000000006,000 24.8 Saint-Pierre
 United States[35] &00000000096290910000009,629,091 &0000000314659000000000314,659,000 32.7 Washington, D.C.
 Anguilla (UK) &000000000000009100000091 &000000000001500000000015,000 164.8 The Valley
 Antigua and Barbuda &0000000000000442000000442 &000000000008800000000088,000 199.1 St. John's
 Aruba (Neth.) &0000000000000180000000180 &0000000000107000000000107,000 594.4 Oranjestad
 Bahamas, The &000000000001394300000013,943 &0000000000342000000000342,000 24.5 Nassau
 Barbados &0000000000000430000000430 &0000000000256000000000256,000 595.3 Bridgetown
 Bonaire (Neth.) &0000000000000294000000294 &000000000001209300000012,093[36] 41.1 Kralendijk
 British Virgin Islands (UK) &0000000000000151000000151 &000000000002300000000023,000 152.3 Road Town
 Cayman Islands (UK) &0000000000000264000000264 &000000000005600000000056,000 212.1 George Town
 Cuba &0000000000109886000000109,886 &000000001120400000000011,204,000 102.0 Havana
 Curaçao (Neth.) &0000000000000444000000444 &0000000000140794000000140,794[36] 317.1 Willemstad
 Dominica &0000000000000751000000751 &000000000006700000000067,000 89.2 Roseau
 Dominican Republic &000000000004867100000048,671 &000000001009000000000010,090,000 207.3 Santo Domingo
 Grenada &0000000000000344000000344 &0000000000104000000000104,000 302.3 St. George's
 Guadeloupe (Fr.) &00000000000016280000001,628 &0000000000401784000000401,784[37] 246.7 Basse-Terre
 Haiti &000000000002775000000027,750 &000000001003300000000010,033,000 361.5 Port-au-Prince
 Jamaica &000000000001099100000010,991 &00000000027190000000002,719,000 247.4 Kingston
 Martinique (Fr.) &00000000000011280000001,128 &0000000000397693000000397,693[38] 352.6 Fort-de-France
 Montserrat (UK) &0000000000000102000000102 &00000000000060000000006,000 58.8 Plymouth; Brades[39]
 Puerto Rico (USA) &00000000000088700000008,870 &00000000039820000000003,982,000 448.9 San Juan
 Saba (Neth.) &000000000000001300000013 &00000000000015370000001,537[36] 118.2 The Bottom
 Saint Barthélemy (Fr.) &000000000000002100000021[40] &00000000000074480000007,448[41] 354.7 Gustavia
 Saint Kitts and Nevis &0000000000000261000000261 &000000000005200000000052,000 199.2 Basseterre
 Saint Lucia &0000000000000539000000539 &0000000000172000000000172,000 319.1 Castries
 Saint Martin (Fr.) &000000000000005400000054[40] &000000000002982000000029,820[41] 552.2 Marigot
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines &0000000000000389000000389 &0000000000109000000000109,000 280.2 Kingstown
 Sint Eustatius (Neth.) &000000000000002100000021 &00000000000027390000002,739[36] 130.4 Oranjestad
 Sint Maarten (Neth.) &000000000000003400000034 &000000000004000900000040,009[36] 1176.7 Philipsburg
 Trinidad and Tobago[42] &00000000000051300000005,130 &00000000013390000000001,339,000 261.0 Port of Spain
 Turks and Caicos Islands (UK) &0000000000000948000000948 &000000000003300000000033,000 34.8 Cockburn Town
 United States Virgin Islands (USA) &0000000000000347000000347 &0000000000110000000000110,000 317.0 Charlotte Amalie
Central America
 Belize &000000000002296600000022,966 &0000000000307000000000307,000 13.4 Belmopan
 Costa Rica &000000000005110000000051,100 &00000000045790000000004,579,000 89.6 San José
 El Salvador &000000000002104100000021,041 &00000000061630000000006,163,000 293.0 San Salvador
 Guatemala &0000000000108889000000108,889 &000000001402700000000014,027,000 128.8 Guatemala City
 Honduras &0000000000112492000000112,492 &00000000074660000000007,466,000 66.4 Tegucigalpa
 Nicaragua &0000000000130373000000130,373 &00000000057430000000005,743,000 44.1 Managua
 Panama[42][43] &000000000007541700000075,417 &00000000034540000000003,454,000 45.8 Panama City
Total &000000002450099500000024,500,995 &0000000541720440000000541,720,440 22.9

The term North America may mean different things to different people in the world according to the context. Usage other than that of the entire continent includes:

Historical toponymy

North America, in whole or in part, has been historically referred to by other names:

See also

Organizations and agreements:


  1. ^ This definition of North America includes only the four northernmost territorial entities of Canada, the United States, Greenland, Mexico, and the nearby islands of Bermuda - off the coast and east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina - and Saint Pierre and Miquelon - off the coast and south of Newfoundland and Labrador. References include [32][33][34]


  1. ^ This North American density figure is based on a total land area of 23,090,542 km2 only, considerably less than the total combined land and water area of 24,709,000 km².
  2. ^ American, Merriam-Webster OnLine.
  3. ^ List based on 2005 figures in Table A.12, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, United Nations. Accessed on line January 1, 2008.
  4. ^ "North America". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 
  5. ^ p. 9, The Cosmographiæ Introductio of Martin Waldseemüller in Facsimile, translated by Edward Burke and Mario E. Cosenza, introduction by Joseph Fischer and Franz von Wieser, edited by Charles George Herbermann, New York: The United States Catholic Historical Society, 1907.
  6. ^ a b The Naming of America: Fragments We've Shored Against Ourselves. By Jonathan Cohen
  7. ^ Lloyd, John; John Mitchinson (2006). The Book of General Ignorance. Harmony Books. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-307-39491-0. "New countries or continents were never named after a person’s first name, but always after the second..." 
  8. ^ a b c d Dodson, Peter (1997). "American Dinosaurs." Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Edited by Phillip J. Currie and Kevin Padian. Academic Press. p. 10-13.
  9. ^ Weishampel, David B; et al (2004). "Dinosaur distribution (Late Jurassic, North America)." In: Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 543–545. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  10. ^ Robert Kaplan (January 16, 2007). "What is the origin of zero? How did we indicate nothingness before zero?". Scientific American. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  11. ^ pp. 42–46, A Concise History of World Population: An Introduction to Population Processes, Massimo Livi Bacci, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, 2001, 3rd ed., ISBN 0-631-22335-5.
  12. ^ "The Olympic symbols". Lausanne: Olympic Museum and Studies Centre: International Olympic Committee. 2002. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008.  The five rings of the Olympic flag represent the five inhabited, participating continents (Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania).
  13. ^ Océano Uno, Diccionario Enciclopédico y Atlas Mundial, "Continente", page 392, 1730. ISBN 84-494-0188-7
  14. ^ Los Cinco Continentes (The Five Continents), Planeta-De Agostini Editions, 1997. ISBN 84-395-6054-0
  15. ^ "Encarta, "Norteamérica".". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Americas" Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49), United Nations Statistics Division
  17. ^ "North America" Atlas of Canada
  18. ^ North America Atlas National Geographic
  19. ^ "2010 Human development Report". United Nations Development Programme. pp. 148–151. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  20. ^ NAFTA Trade Volume Increases
  21. ^ IMF - 2010 Report Countries by GDP (PPP)
  22. ^ Canadian Manufacturing Association
  23. ^ Mexico's FTA Agreements
  24. ^ US Census Bureau
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ "Central America". Encarta Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  27. ^ "Caribbean". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "North American Region". The Trilateral Comission. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  29. ^ Parsons, Alan; Jonathan Schaffer (May 2004). Geopolitics of oil and natural gas. Economic Perspectives. U.S. Department of State. 
  30. ^ Unless otherwise noted, land area figures are taken from (PDF) Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density. United Nations Statistics Division. 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  31. ^ Unless otherwise noted, population estimates are taken from Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2009) (PDF). World Population Prospects, Table A.1. 2008 revision. United Nations. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  32. ^ "Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America". Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  33. ^ "Ecoregions of North America". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  34. ^ What's the difference between North, Latin, Central, Middle, South, Spanish and Anglo America?,
  35. ^ Includes the U.S. state of Hawaii, which is distant from the North American landmass in the Pacific Ocean and therefore more commonly associated with the other territories of Oceania.
  36. ^ a b c d e Population estimates are taken from the Central Bureau of Statistics Netherlands Antilles. "Statistical information: Population". Government of the Netherlands Antilles. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  37. ^ Insee - Populations légales 2008 - 971-Guadeloupe
  38. ^ Insee - Populations légales 2008 - 972-Martinique
  39. ^ Due to ongoing activity of the Soufriere Hills volcano beginning in July 1995, much of Plymouth was destroyed and government offices were relocated to Brades. Plymouth remains the de jure capital.
  40. ^ a b Land area figures taken from "The World Factbook: 2010 edition". Government of the United States, Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  41. ^ a b These population estimates are for 2010, and are taken from "The World Factbook: 2010 edition". Government of the United States, Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  42. ^ a b Depending on definitions, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago have territory in either or both of North and South America.
  43. ^ Panama is generally considered a North American country, though some authorities divide it at the Panama Canal. Figures listed here are for the entire country.
  44. ^ Burchfield, R. W., ed. 2004. "America." Fowler's Modern English Usage (ISBN 0-19-861021-1) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 48 – quotation reads: "the term 'North America' is mostly used to mean the United States and Canada together. Countries to the south of the United States are described as being in Central America (Mexico, Nicaragua, etc.) or South America (Brazil, Argentina, etc.)"; see also: McArthur, Tom. 1992. "North American." The Oxford Companion to the English Language (ISBN 0-19-214183-X) New York: Oxford University Press, p. 707.
  45. ^ Countries of North America: includes Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States
  46. ^ What's the difference between North, Latin, Central, Middle, South, Spanish and Anglo America?,
  47. ^ "Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America". Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  48. ^ "Ecoregions of North America". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  49. ^ In Ibero-America, North America is considered a subcontinent containing Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Bermuda and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon."Norteamérica (Mexican version)[dead link]"/(Spaniard version)[dead link]. Encarta Online Encyclopedia.. Archived 2009-10-31.
  50. ^ Clayton, Lawrence (1993). The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando De Soto to North America in 1539–1543. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. 
  51. ^ In 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh sent Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to lead an exploration of what is now the North Carolina coast, and they returned with word of a regional "king" named "Wingina." This was modified later that year by Raleigh and the Queen to "Virginia", perhaps in part noting her status as the "Virgin Queen;" Stewart, George (1945). Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States. New York: Random House. p. 22. 
  52. ^ Lewis, Martin W.; Wigen, Kären (1997). The myth of continents: a critique of metageography. University of California Press. p. 31. ISBN 9780520207431. 

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