The United States is in many ways a nation like no other. Over the course of its history, the USA has accrued all manner of notable distinctions.
From its status as the world’s military superpower and one of the most affluent nations on the planet to being home to one of the most diverse populations and the No. 1 global exporter of entertainment, there is no shortage of truly remarkable things to be said about the United States.
The United States is the country with the greatest number of extremely wealthy individuals, but overall its residents are not the richest in the world. Here is the city in every state with the most billionaires, and here are the richest countries in the world.
To give a small sample of notable American facts and feats, 24/7 compiled a list of 56 outstanding achievements, unusual facts, and historic accomplishments related to the United States.
1. The US is big
The United States is the third largest country in the world by landmass — nearly as big as the entire continent of Europe.
2. World class athletes
American athletes have won more Olympic medals than athletes from any other country.
3. Climate diversity
The United States is the only country that has all of Earth’s five climate zones: tropical, dry, temperate, continental, and polar.
4. Magnet for international tourism
The United States is the third most visited country by international tourists after Spain and France.
5. Fresh water supply
Lake Superior, on the United States-Canada border, is the largest body of freshwater in the world by surface area. The lake covers 31,700 square miles.
6. Office space
The Pentagon — the headquarters of the Department of Defense — is the world’s largest office building by floor area.
7. Space exploration
The only people to have walked on the moon’s surface were Americans.
8. Immigration destination
The United States is home to nearly 45 million immigrants — more than any other country in the world.
9. Music central
Much of the music the world listens to — jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop, country, folk, R&B, soul, and gospel — comes out of the United States.
10. Hollywood is dominant
The U.S. film industry is the largest, oldest, and most profitable film industry in the world. According to research firm IBISWorld, the American film industry generated about $33 billion in 2019.
11. Slice of heaven
More than nine in every 10 Americans have eaten pizza in the last month. According to some estimates, Americans consume the equivalent of about 100 acres of pizza every day.
12. Government property
Nearly one-third of all land in the United States — or about 650 million acres — is federally owned.
13. Fast food nation
On any given day in the United States, about 84.8 million adults — 37% of the adult population — consume fast food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
14. America does not entirely belong to Americans
According to the USDA, foreign investors own at least 28.3 million acres of U.S. farmland, an area about the size of Ohio.
The United States was the first nation to use the title of “President” for its head of state.
The United States is at the center of global invention. Airplanes, computers, cellphones, potato chips, and the light bulb are just a few examples of American ingenuity.
17. Americans love dogs
There are an estimated 75.8 million dogs in the United States, more than double the number in Brazil, the country with the second most dogs.
18. The US economy is massive
Though the United States is home to less than 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for approximately 25% of global economic output.
19. Oil production
The United States became the world’s largest petroleum producer in the last 10 years. The country produced 18.23 million barrels of oil per day in 2019, well above the daily production of Saudi Arabia, the world’s second-biggest oil producer. Oil includes crude oil, all other petroleum liquids, and biofuels.
20. Oil consumption
The United States is also the world’s largest consumer of oil. Gasoline, distillate fuel oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, and jet fuel consumption combine for a total of 20.48 million barrels of oil consumed daily.
21. US flag
The current iteration of the American flag was designed by a high school student.
22. Second Amendment
There are more guns than people in the United States — about 101 for every 100 people, according to some estimates. The country with the next highest ownership rate is Serbia, where there are 58 guns for every 100 people.
23. German influence
Approximately 43 million Americans identify as ancestrally German, more than any other nationality.
24. Imperial system of measurement
The United States is one of only three countries that have not officially switched to the metric system. Liberia and Burma are the other two.
25. Job tenure
The typical wage or salary worker in the United States has been with his or her current employer for 4.2 years.
26. Green currency
The government chose to color U.S. currency green as an anti-counterfeiting strategy. When the color was adopted in the 19th century, cameras could only take black and white photographs, making imitation bills difficult to produce.
27. Population concentration
Over half of the U.S. population lives in just nine states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina.
28. Americans like to travel
The number of passports Americans held leaped to 21.4 million in 2017, the most ever recorded.
29. Belief in the individual
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 57% of Americans believe that individuals control their own success in life, the largest share of any country surveyed.
30. Americans like to move
The United States is one of most mobile nations on Earth. According to a Gallup poll, 24% of U.S. adults reported moving within the country in the past five years.
Three out of every four tornadoes in the world occur in the United States.
32. Nobel Prizes
The United States was awarded more Nobel Prizes than any other country.
The United States ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for the number of mammal, reptile, fish, and vascular plant species.
The United States has over 3.1 million square miles of forest land, the fourth most after Canada, Brazil, and Russia.
35. Americans love football
Super Bowl XLIX in 2015 was the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history, with an estimated 114.4 million viewers. 2019’s Super Bowl LIII averaged 98.3 million viewers, the lowest in over a decade.
36. Minority white
New Census Bureau projections predict the United States will be “minority white” — 49.7% — by 2045.
37. America is connected
An estimated 90% of Americans use the internet, compared with about 54% of the global population.
The United States is one of the most generous nations in the world, trailing only Australia, Indonesia, and New Zealand, according to the 2018 World Giving Index â published annually by international nonprofit organization Charities Aid Foundation.
39. Plenty of coastline
The United States has about 12,380 miles of coastline, more than all but eight other countries worldwide.
40. Home of the world’s largest employer
Founded in Arkansas in 1962, Walmart is the world’s largest private sector employer, employing 2.2 million people.
41. Manhattan’s Chinatown
Manhattan’s Chinatown is home to more Chinese residents than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.
42. Higher education
The United States has the world’s strongest higher education system and draws over a million international students a year, the most of any country.
The United States accounts for 21% of energy consumption globally and has the world’s highest per capita energy consumption. America is second in the world in energy production.
Good news for beer lovers. The number of brewers in the United States climbed to 7,450 in 2018, from just 89 in 1978, fueled by the craft beer surge.
45. American companies dominate
Nine of the 10 largest companies in the world by market cap are based in the United States. Most of the top 100 companies by market cap (54) are American.
46. Service industry is boss
According to the latest BLS report, 108 million people (71% of nonfarm payroll employees) were employed in the service sector.
47. Native American influence
More than half of the states — 26 — have names with native American origins.
The United States, with its extensive coastline, has had more hurricanes (close to 300) since 1851 than any other country, according to data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
49. Americans love hot dogs
Americans bought 871.8 million pounds or about $2.3 billion worth of hot dogs in supermarkets in 2019. Los Angeles is top dog for franks, consuming about 30 million pounds a year.
50. Belief in God
A Pew Research Center study conducted from 2011 to 2013 found that about 54% of Americans said religion was very important in their lives, compared with 24% of people in Canada, 21% in Australia, and 21% in Germany.
While baseball may be America’s national pastime, it borrows heavily from the British game of cricket. Similarly, football is based largely on the British sport of rugby. Invented in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891, basketball is the most popular uniquely American game.
52. Longest border
The United States shares the world’s longest land border with its neighbor to the north, Canada, at over 5,500 miles. The border is split between the northern edge of the lower 48 states, and the eastern border of Alaska.
53. Agricultural powerhouse
The United States produces more corn than any other country in the world, accounting for over 366 million metric tons in the 2018-2019 season. The next closest country, China, trailed U.S. corn production by over 100 million metric tons.
54. Business hub
Of the 2,000 world’s largest companies, 575 are U.S.-based, according to Forbes. China and its special administrative region of Hong Kong are home to 309 of the 2,000 biggest businesses.
55. Golf hotspot
Being such a large country, the United States has plenty of room to build top-of-the-line golf courses. Of Golf Advisor’s top 100 golf courses in the world, 52 are located in the United States.
56. Most billionaires
CNBC reported the United States is home to by far more billionaires than any other country, with 705 — more than the next four countries combined. Seven of the world’s 10 richest people are American.
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