Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 9 371 219 sq km
Population: 331 449 281 inhab. (census 2020)
Density: 35.37 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 49° - 25° N; long. 125° - 67° W
Capital: Washington - DC (capital) 712 816 inhab. (2020); Washington - DC 6 324 629 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: US dollar (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.926 (rank: 17)
President and head of government: Joseph “Joe” Biden (Dem), elected 3 November 2020, in office since 20 January 2021
Vice President: Kamala Harris (Dem), since 20 January 2021
Congress: seats based on the elections of 3 November 2020: House of Representatives: Democrats, 222; Republicans, 213; Senate: Republicans, 50; Democrats, 48; independents, 2
Internet: www.census.gov (U.S. Census Bureau)
Member of ANZUS, APEC, Council of Europe observer, DR-CAFTA, EBRD, NATO, OAS, OECD, OSCE, SPC, UN, USMCA, WTO
International license plate code USA
International dialling code 001
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 120
Driving side rigth
Internet code .us
GMT Washington (District of Columbia) -5; Chicago (Illinois) -6; Denver (Colorado) -7; Phoenix (Arizona) -7; Los Angeles (California) -8; Anchorage (Alaska) -9; Adak (Alaska, Aleutian Islands) -10; Honolulu (Hawaii) -10
DST Washington (District of Columbia) -4; Chicago (Illinois) -5; Denver (Colorado) -6; Phoenix (Arizona) not applied with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation (-6); Los Angeles (California) -7; Anchorage (Alaska) -8; Adak (Alaska, Aleutian Islands) -9; Honolulu (Hawaii) not applied
DST duration (start-end) mid March (Sunday 9)-early November
Annual average temperature (°C) Washington 12.5; Anchorage (Alaska) 2.4; Chicago 9.5; Dallas 19; Honolulu (Hawaii) 24.4; Juneau (Alaska) 5.1; Miami 24.6; New York 12.5; Salt Lake City 12.3; San Francisco 14.3; Seattle 11.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Washington 0/24.5; Anchorage (Alaska) -8.5/15.5; Chicago -5.5/23.5; Dallas 6.5/29.5; Honolulu (Hawaii) 23/26; Juneau (Alaska) -3.5/13.5; Miami 20/28.5; New York 0/24.5; Salt Lake City 0.5/25.5; San Francisco 10/16.5; Seattle 5/18.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Washington 9/4; Anchorage (Alaska) 9/1.5; Chicago 10/4; Dallas 10/5.5; Honolulu (Hawaii) 10/6; Juneau (Alaska) 6.5/1.5; Miami 9/7; New York 10/5; Salt Lake City 12/4; San Francisco 11/6; Seattle 8/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Washington 1010; Anchorage (Alaska) 397; Chicago 890; Dallas 860; Honolulu (Hawaii) 590; Juneau (Alaska) 1435; Miami 1335; New York 1250; Salt Lake City 417; San Francisco 566; Seattle 925
Days of rainfall (annual average) Washington 90; Anchorage (Alaska) 79; Chicago 97; Dallas 66; Honolulu (Hawaii) 56; Juneau (Alaska) 177; Miami 107; New York 93; Salt Lake City 77; San Francisco 49; Seattle 122
Politics and current affairs
The presidential elections on 3 November 2020 were won by Democratic candidate Joe Biden, former vice-president in the Obama administration, with 51.3% of the vote (306 to 232 electoral votes). The Democratic Party gained the majority in the House of Representatives, albeit with fewer seats, and an equal number in the Senate (due to the backing of two independent candidates). The impudent management of the COVID-19 pandemic by outgoing Republican president Donald Trump had an impact on the electoral campaign with a rapid new rise in the infection rate since the previous October. Trump refused to acknowledge defeat, causing a rift in US society. On 6 January 2021, thousands of his supporters stormed the Congress to halt the ratification of the election results. Four of the protesters and a policeman died in the attack. After taking office, Biden set up his presidency quickly in a clear break with his predecessor. He prioritized managing the pandemic, boosting the vaccination campaign that was already underway. After peaking in December, the infection rate has fallen gradually since January. While upholding immigration restrictions, executive orders were issued to overturn some of Trump’s most hotly debated decisions (building a border wall with Mexico, prohibited access on travellers from certain Muslim countries, etc.), paving the way to regularizing some illegal immigrants.
The new socio-economic policy mainly consists of an ambitious three-part plan based on massive public investment (Build Back Better). The American Rescue Plan (in force since 11 March) is a response to the pandemic emergency, providing families with support through lump sums for low-income households, extended subsidies and aid for struggling businesses. The American Jobs Plan (proposed on 31 March) calls for major investment in infrastructure with a focus on environmental sustainability and subsequent job creation. The American Families Plan (proposed on 28 April) focuses on support for infancy, education and healthcare. The last two areas would be partly financed by increasing taxation on high-income individuals and businesses and are subject to negotiations with the Republican Party, whose support is required to avoid obstructionism in the Senate.
In terms of foreign policy, Biden used the G7 summit held in the United Kingdom (11-13 June) to repair relations with historic allies, damaged by Trump’s isolationism, involving them in a strategy to restrict China. A meeting with Russian President V. Putin in Geneva (17 June 2021), albeit within the context of irreconcilable differences, nevertheless resulted in reduced tensions.
The USA is bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south; it lies between the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It also comprises the non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska (including the Pribilof Islands, St. Lawrence Island and St. Matthew Island in the Bering Sea).
The Atlantic coast, high and indented down to Cape Hatteras, further south becomes low and fringed with sand dunes. The flat Florida peninsula extends southwards into a string of coral islands (the Florida Keys). The flat and swampy coast of the Gulf of Mexico is interrupted by the wide delta of the Mississippi. Inland, behind the coastal plains, rises the mountain range of the Appalachians (Mt. Mitchell, 2037 m). Between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains extends the vast region of the Great Plains, covered with fertile alluvial soil. To the south, this region unites with the low-lying Gulf Coastal Plain. The Rocky Mountains rise abruptly with a series of ranges, at first unbroken (the Front Range, Sangre de Cristo), then irregular and low in the centre (Mts. Laramie, Absaroka, Big Horn and the Wasatch Range with the uplands of Wyoming), while to the north extend the uplands of Columbia. To the west the mountains form the boundary of the Inland Basins Region, with the Columbia Basin, the Great Basin with the Death Valley depression (86 m below sea level) and the salt lakes (Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake).
The region of the inland basins is bounded on the west by a series of parallel mountain ranges: the Cascades and Sierra Nevada ranges (Mt. Whitney, 4418 m) inland, and the Coast Ranges along the coast. The main hydrographical axis runs through the central section of the country and consists of the Mississippi-Missouri river system, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The Columbia, Sacramento and Colorado Rivers flow down into the Pacific Ocean. The most extensive area of lakes is that of the Great Lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior, situated in the north-east of the country; of these, only Lake Michigan lies entirely within the USA.
The northern part of the Atlantic coast has an oceanic climate, while south of Cape Hatteras the temperature acquires subtropical features and the climate of Florida is tropical.
Violent weather events are becoming ever more frequent along the Atlantic coast. Droughts are also recurrent, devastating the central states. The Appalachian region has a mountain climate, while there is a highland climate in the Rockies.
The inland basins have record levels of dryness and extremely high summer temperatures. The Pacific coast has a mild, rainy climate in the north, and a drier Mediterranean climate in the south. Alaska occupies the north-western peninsula of North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Bering Strait to the west, separating it from Asia; to the east it is bordered by Canada. There are groups of islands dotted along the coasts. The region, drained by the River Yukon and its tributaries, rises in the south in a series of mountain ranges (Denali or Mt. McKinley, 6190 m). The climate is subarctic. Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-north Pacific Ocean extending for over 3000 km on a NW-SE axis. Volcanic and coral in nature, it contains numerous active volcanoes, among them Mauna Kea (4205 m, currently quiescent) and Mauna Loa (4170 m), on the island of Hawaii. There is a mild, healthy climate.
Since the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, the size and extent of the United States of America has changed and grown; the current extent dates from 1959, with the entry of the islands of Hawaii as the 50th state in the union. The government of the country has alternated between the two major parties: Democratic (Dem) and Republican (Rep).
The USA is a federal republic comprising 50 states (each with its own governor and legislature, both directly elected) plus the Federal District of the capital. In accordance with the Constitution, the President is elected (together with the Vice President) on a four-year mandate, by an electoral college, itself elected by the electorate; he or she may be re-elected once only. The President holds executive power with the assistance of a presidential cabinet formed of the heads of department (ministers) appointed by him and reporting directly to him. The President can promote bills and has the right of veto; he also appoints the Supreme Court judges. Legislative power is in the hands of Congress, consisting of two chambers elected by direct suffrage: the House of Representatives, with 435 members elected for 2 years in a number proportional to the population of the single states (each state having at least one representative); and the Senate, with 100 members, 2 for each state, elected for 6 years, a third being renewed every 2 years. The Senate has wide responsibilities in foreign policy and exclusive competence for the ratification of international treaties.
The United States Armed Forces include Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. They are present in every strategic point of the planet and constitute the backbone of NATO forces. The quota of female personnel in active duty is around 15% of the total. The US government does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and has signed bilateral treaties with various countries to prevent USA military personnel from being tried locally for crimes committed overseas.
The United States is a nuclear power and exercises great vigilance over the potential spread of atomic weapons in countries which it does not consider reliable, such as North Korea or Iran. The US Armed Forces have launched campaigns in many countries over the years. Having started in 2001, the mission officially ended in Afghanistan on 11 September 2021. On 26 July 2021, President Biden announced that the Iraq military campaign would finish by the end of the year. Targeted interventions are often conducted, especially with air attacks, in various parts of the Middle East.
The legal system is based on English Common Law. The highest organ is the Supreme Court (9 members appointed for life by the President), which rules on the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress and re-examines cases referred from federal courts. The prison population is the highest in the world (about 1.8 million prisoners in 2020). With a ruling of 1 March 2005, the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for those who were under 18 years of age at the time the crime was committed.
|New York - NY||8 253 213||inhab.||2020|
|Los Angeles - CA||3 970 219||inhab.||2020|
|New York - NY||19 124 359||inhab.||2020|
|Los Angeles - CA||13 109 903||inhab.||2020|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
In 2006 the country population passed the threshold of 300 million. Overall, demographic growth is higher than the European average, though there are significant differences (in fertility, death rate etc.) between various areas and between communities: the rate of natural increase, which among whites is close to zero, is high among blacks, Asians and Latino Americans. There are high numbers of immigrants, about 40% of them coming from Latin America (Mexico in particular).
|Foreigners, total||45 820 000||units||2019|
The easing of the COVID-19 restrictions decided in 2020 and the robust investment plan by the new administration caused the growth rate to bounce back, bringing the country out of recession. The unemployment rate is improving and the lack of workers in certain sectors has resulted in higher salaries.
Despite fears about a possible increase in inflation, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates low in order to avoid damaging the ongoing recovery.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||116.51||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||100.49||index||2019|
|Active population||160 742 300||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||47$||%||2020|
|Unemployment rate, Females||48.7||%||2020|
|Expenses||6 551 872||M LCU||2020|
|Revenues||3 419 955||M LCU||2020|
|Currency in circulation||2 037.973||BN LCU||2020|
|International reserves||628 369.715||M US$||2020|
Farming is highly productive, at the forefront in applying the most up-to-date techniques such as biotechnology. Much of the arable land is cultivated with cereals, the main ones being maize (Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana), also used to produce ethanol for motor fuel, wheat (Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Washington), barley (Idaho, Montana, North Dakota) and sorghum (Kansas, Texas). Other important crops are cotton (Texas), soybean (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota), flax, peanuts (Georgia), rapeseed (North Dakota), sunflower (North and South Dakota), tobacco (North Carolina, Kentucky). For the production of sugar there are plantations of both sugar cane (Florida and Louisiana) and sugar beet (Minnesota, Idaho, North Dakota and Michigan). The cultivation of fruit and citrus fruit is widespread (in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas); as well as that of vegetables (California); the growing of vines for wine production is increasing (California).
The northern slopes of the Pacific are thickly wooded (Tacoma is the timber capital); Florida and the neighbouring parts of the Gulf of Mexico are renowned for pitch pine (Pinus rigida), exported from Pensacola.
Timber, 55% of it from conifers, supplies a flourishing furniture industry, principally located along the Atlantic seaboard, with its main centres in New York, Grand Rapids (MI), Evansville (IN), Chicago and Rockford (IL); the wood pulp and paper industries are also significant.
Cattle, pigs and poultry are all important, farmed both industrially and extensively on the vast prairies of the Midwest and in the region of the Rocky Mountains. The dairy industry is mainly concentrated in the north-eastern states (the Dairy Belt).
The USA is among the world’s greatest producers of fish in terms of catch (especially Pollachius virens, salmon, cod, shellfish). In Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and in San Francisco Bay there are shellfish farms (crustaceans and molluscs). The main fishing ports are Dutch Harbor-Unalaska (AK), Empire-Venice (LA), Reedville (VA), Intracoastal City (LA), Kodiak (AK), Cameron (LA), Pascagoula-Moss Point (MS).
|barley||3 691.86||1000 t||2019|
|cereals, total||421 549.385||1000 t||2019|
|potatoes||19 181.97||1000 t||2019|
|roots and tubers, total||20 633.503||1000 t||2019|
|beans, dry||932.22||1000 t||2019|
|beans, green||31.672||1000 t||2019|
|grapes||6 233.27||1000 t||2019|
|groundnuts||2 492.98||1000 t||2019|
|rapeseed||1 553.31||1000 t||2019|
|sugar beet||25 945.48||1000 t||2019|
|seed cotton||12 955.868||1000 t||2019|
|apples||4 997.68||1000 t||2019|
|almonds||1 936.84||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits||7 230.854||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits, nes||24.184||1000 t||2019|
|maize||32 950.67||1000 ha||2019|
|sweet potatoes||59.37||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, dry||470.89||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, green||9.723||1000 ha||2019|
|sugar beet||396.31||1000 ha||2019|
|seed cotton||4 777.16||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits||278.802||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits, nes||1.112||1000 ha||2019|
|timber||459 128 879||m³||2019|
|cattle||94 804.7||1000 heads||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||94 804.7||1000 heads||2019|
|pigs||78 657.6||1000 heads||2019|
|sheep||5 230||1000 heads||2019|
|goats||2 622||1000 heads||2019|
|asses and mules||51.971||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||2 208 621||1000 heads||2019|
|cheese||6 315.293||1000 t||2018|
|crustaceans and molluscs||957 173.8||t||2019|
Mineral resources are vast and diversified. The most important of the coalfields extends along the internal slopes of the Appalachian Mountains, from Pennsylvania to Alabama; other important deposits are in the central coalfield, between mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio, and west of the Mississippi, from Texas to Iowa (which produce bituminous coal), as well as those in the Rocky Mountains (lignite). Even more important than coal is oil, the best deposits being found in Texas, Gulf of Mexico, North Dakota, California, Alaska and Oklahoma.
An extensive network of oil pipelines carries the crude oil to refineries. The oilfields are also rich sources of natural gas; the largest deposits are found in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Louisiana. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, shale gas reserves have continued to grow in importance, constituting almost one-third of national production; the main reserves are in Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. Fracking has been badly affected by the fall in price of hydrocarbons, which has diminished the competitiveness of extraction methods, such as hydraulic fracking.
The biggest iron ore deposits are to be found close to Lake Superior, in the eastern states, in Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada. The most important copper deposits are in Arizona, Utah, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada. Lead mainly comes from Missouri, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Zinc is chiefly mined in Tennessee, Idaho and Colorado. In Arkansas (Bauxite), Georgia (Adairsville) and Alabama (Eufaula) bauxite is mined. Mercury comes from mines in California, Nevada and Idaho.
Gold is widespread in South Dakota, Utah, Nevada and Arizona; silver is mainly found in Idaho, Arizona (in association with gold deposits), Montana and Utah.
The USA is among the largest producers of molybdenum (Colorado and New Mexico). Uranium is mined in particular in Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Texas; caesium in Maine; thorium in New Hampshire, Idaho and Montana. Sulfur comes from Texas, Louisiana, California and Nevada. The production of phosphate rock is also important (in Florida, Idaho, Tennessee, Montana and Wyoming); potash comes principally from New Mexico, California, Utah and Michigan. In 2018, the Mountain Pass mine, in southeastern California, was reopened for the extraction of rare earths.
Most of the electricity produced is derived from fossil fuels.
The amount of hydro-electric power generated, although limited in percentage terms, is one of the largest in the world in absolute terms; the principal hydro-electric plants are in Bath County, Chief Joseph (Virginia), Castaic (California), Grand Coulee (Washington), Hoover (Arizona/Nevada), John Day (Oregon/Washington), Robert Moses-Niagara (New York) and The Dalles (Oregon).
There are 93 nuclear reactors in operation (with 2 more under construction), providing around 20% of the electricity output in the country; the principal nuclear power stations are: Palo Verde, South Texas, Grand Gulf, Susquehanna, Nine Mile Point, Perry, Seabrook, Mola, Wolf Creek, Callaway, Comanche Peak, Salem, Waterford, Braidwood, Byron, Hope Creek, Vogtle, Sequoyah, Watts Bar, LaSalle County.
In the iron and steel industry, the blast furnaces are almost all situated in the eastern part of the country (Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan).
Important products of the metallurgical industry are aluminium, copper, lead, tin, zinc and magnesium. Major oil refineries are found in practically all the states. Cement is mainly produced in California, Texas and Florida.
The principal centres for mechanical industry are Philadelphia, Worcester, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Hartford, Dayton, Schenectady and Syracuse. The main centre of the motor industry is Detroit, where Ford, Chrysler (part of the Stellantis Group) and General Motors are headquartered. The country is home to a number of factories of various European and Japanese motor companies, especially in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas. The aeronautical industry is highly developed, concentrated along the Pacific seaboard (Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Jose and San Diego). The shipbuilding industry operates large shipyards along the coastlines and on the Great Lakes.
Among the textile industries, cotton predominates, with centres from Alabama to Maine. Artificial textile fibres are produced in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; the USA is also among the world’s largest producer of synthetic fibres. New York, Troy, Baltimore and Chicago are the principal centres of the clothing industry. Hollywood is the most important centre of the film industry. A decisive role is played by the sectors with a high technological content, such as aerospace, electronics, IT, telecommunications, fine chemicals and biotechnology. Production centres have close ties with universities and research institutes: the most important are the Silicon Valley (near San Francisco), the technology centres of the east coast, from Boston to Raleigh, and those of the Sun Belt, from Texas to Arizona and New Mexico.
|coal||592 496.2||1000 t||2019|
|coal, total||484 710.9||1000 t||2020|
|barite||1 300||1000 t||2020|
|bentonite||4 300||1000 t||2020|
|kaolin||4 600||1000 t||2020|
|diamonds, industrial - ct||145 000||1000 ct||2020|
|garnets, industrial||110||1000 t||2020|
|- thermal||2 581 702.82||M kWh||2019|
|- nuclear||809 409.26||M kWh||2019|
|- thermal||739 124.3||1000 kW||2019|
|- other renew.||182 528.2||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||4 162 812.66||M kWh||2019|
|total installed capacity||1 122 322.9||1000 kW||2019|
|alumina||1 300||1000 t||2020|
|aluminium||4 200||1000 t||2020|
|cars||1 926 795||no.||2020|
|commercial vehicles||6 895 604||no.||2020|
|computers||27 337 400||no.||2009|
|fridges||10 375 000||no.||2010|
|bitumen||19 466||1000 t||2018|
|petrol||581 745.6||1000 t||2017|
|ammonia||14 000||1000 t||2020|
|artificial tow||63.1||1000 t||2001|
|carpets||898 000||1000 m²||2010|
|cotton fabrics||2 329.7||M m²||2006|
|footwear||31 900 000||pairs||2007|
|beer of barley||21 448.7||1000 t||2018|
|cottonseed oil||225||1000 t||2018|
|cigarettes||484 000||M units||2006|
|cigars||4 100||M units||2006|
|chemical pulp||45 263.244||1000 t||2019|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||50 809.984||1000 t||2019|
|cement||89 000||1000 t||2020|
|chemicals production||379 411.998||M US$||2018|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||366 843.076||M US$||2018|
The trade balance has been at a significant deficit for decades.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) machinery 171 199, aircraft & spacecraft and parts thereof 131 169, electrical and electronic equipment 102 115, technical and electro-medical appliances 83 555, petroleum products 82 227, vehicles and parts thereof 76 516, chemicals 76 265, plastics 61 503, cars 53 581, pharmaceuticals 45 053, electronic integrated circuits 38 125, iron and steel 34 477, telecommunications equipment 34 006, computers and accessories 30 455, natural gas 22 266, crude oil 21 825, soya beans 21 658, jewels and precious stones 21 590, gold 19 824, fruit and vegetables 19 655, diamonds 18 995, wheat and other cereals 18 688, meat 16 398, paper and paperboard 15 763
Central bank functions are carried out by the Federal Reserve System, set up in 1913.
New York is home to the world’s leading commercial banks, the Wall Street stock market (NYSE), the largest in the world, and NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations), the market for technology stocks. Chicago hosts the biggest commodities market in the world.
|manufactures||59.114||% of goods exports||2019|
|fuels||14.199||% of goods exports||2019|
|Canada||255 021||M US$||2020|
|Mexico||212 671||M US$||2020|
|China||457 164||M US$||2020|
|Mexico||328 861||M US$||2020|
Tourism. The USA is one of the most important world’s tourist destinations. Popular places are New York, the national parks, the beaches (Florida and California).
|Expenditures||182 366||M US$||2019|
|Number of arrivals||79 256 000||units||2019|
The network of highways and motorways is among the most extensive in the world.
The railways are completely private and do not offer an effective passenger service, other than for commuters living around major conurbations. The first section of the high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles is under construction. The internal waterways consist of two major interconnected systems: the Great Lakes and the Mississippi waterways.
Media and telecommunication.
There are two public radio and television broadcasters (NPR and PBS), in addition to a number of private commercial networks, among them ABC (American Broadcasting Co.), NBC (National Broadcasting Co.), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System), CNN (Cable News Network) and Fox (Fox Broadcasting Co.).
|Civil aviation, km flown||11 634 300 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||926 737||1000 units||2019|
|Broadband subscribers||347.223||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|Computers||806.1||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education and research.
Compulsory education lasts 9 years and is divided into two phases: elementary (6 years) and secondary; secondary education includes two levels: Junior High School (3 years), which completes compulsory education, and Senior High School (3 years), in which students can choose between three courses of study (academic, vocational and general). There is a choice between free public schools and fee-charging private schools. Higher education is provided in colleges, with four-year courses leading to a diploma (in science or humanities), and universities, which envisage undergraduate college, post-graduate specialization schools and schools of higher professional training.
Social assistance is provided through various federally-funded programs, in addition to others within the individual states. Specific social security programs are handled by different bodies, in particular by the Social Security Administration (pensions, disability benefit etc.).
Over 67% of the workforce depend on health maintenance organizations, the intermediaries that control private health; 17% of the population are insured by Medicare (the national programme for the elderly); 19% by Medicaid (the programme for those on low incomes); 9% have no health cover.
|Expected years of schooling||16.283||years||2018|
|Students, primary level||24 957 955.894||units||2018|
|Students, secondary level||24 871 356.565||units||2018|
|Social protection spending||19.934||% of total expenses||2018|
|Social protection spending||18.71||% of GDP||2019|
|Hospital beds||2.87||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||2.61||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|HIV||0.7||% of adults||2011|
|Research and development spending||2.82||% of GDP||2018|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2019|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2019|