North America


July 6, 2022

North America is a continent located in the northern hemisphere north of South America, between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Its area is approximately 24,480,000 square kilometers and the population is over 530 million. It is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa in terms of surface area and the fourth largest in terms of population after Asia, Africa and Europe. There are a total of 38 countries in North America. There are three major countries on the continent: Canada, Mexico and the United States, which comprise most of North America. In addition to these, Central America and the Caribbean are also generally considered to be part of North America. Also Greenland, which belongs to Denmark, geographically belongs to North America.


The area of ​​North America is about 24,240,000 square kilometers. The dominant mountain range of the continent is the Cordillera, which stretches through the western part of the continent from Alaska to the Central American isthmus. The Cordillera is a young folded mountain range that rose when the American and Pacific plates met. The Rocky Mountains have the highest mountains in North America, which reach a height of more than four kilometers. The Appalachian Mountains on the east coast of the United States is an older mountain range, and it rises to two kilometers at its highest point. The interior of the continent consists of plains and lowlands. The mountains of Central America are often sharp, and there are several active volcanoes, especially south of Mexico City and in the Caribbean. The highest point on the continent is Denali in Alaska (6,194 m) and Matalin Badwater in Death Valley (−86 m). The most important rivers in North America are the Missouri, Mississippi, Rio Grande and Saint Lawrence. The Great Lakes are located on the US-Canada border, the largest of which is Lake Yläjärvi; Canada also has large lakes, such as the Great Bear Lake. In the western parts of the United States, there are deserts, closed basins and salt lakes between mountain ranges. The most famous waterfall on the continent is Niagara on the border between the United States and Canada.

Climate and vegetation

The climate of North America varies by region. Most of the continent is humid, with the exception of the arid zone of the southwestern United States, the basins of the Rocky Mountains, and northeastern Mexico. Tornadoes occur over a wide area in the central United States, and hurricanes often travel from the Caribbean Sea to the southern parts of the continent. Central America is located in the tropics. The climate is hot and humid in low-lying areas, temperate in higher areas. Hardwoods thrive in the temperate eastern parts of the United States, leathery-leaved vegetation grows in California, and tall tree species such as redwood thrive on the Pacific coast. A subboreal forest grows in the subboreal region. The central parts of the continent are covered by prairie. North of the subboreal zone in Canada and Alaska there is tundra vegetation. The forests are home to moose, black and grizzly bears, lynxes and beavers, as well as various deer. The vegetation of Central America varies from forests in humid areas to scrub vegetation in dry areas.

Population and Culture


In 2000, approximately 462 million people lived in North America, which is eight percent of the entire world population. The largest population group are the descendants of European settlers, who are the majority in the United States, Canada and some Central American countries. Descendants of slaves imported from Africa are the most numerous in the United States and relatively the majority in Belize and some Caribbean islands such as Haiti. The native inhabitants of the continent are Indians and Eskimos. Relatively the most Indians live in Mexico and other parts of Central America. The Caribbean Indians have already disappeared. Languages ​​ The most spoken languages ​​in North America are English and Spanish. French and Dutch are also spoken to some extent, as well as various Indian languages ​​of the native population. Eskimo languages ​​are also spoken in the northern parts of the continent.


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