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Americas

The Americas
Americas (orthographic projection).svg
Area 42,549,000 km2 (16,428,000 mi2)
Population 1,001,559,000 (2016 estimate)
GDP (nominal) $24.6 trillion (2016 estimate)
Demonym American, New Worlder, and are used (see usage)
Countries 35
Languages Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Quechua, Haitian Creole, Guaraní, Aymara, Nahuatl, Dutch and many others
Time zones UTC-10 to UTC
Largest cities

Largest metropolitan areas
Largest cities


Largest metropolitan areas
Largest cities

The Americas, also collectively called America, encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America. Together they make up most of Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.

Along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earth's total surface area and 28.4% of its land area. The topography is dominated by the American Cordillera, a long chain of mountains that run the length of the west coast. The flatter eastern side of the Americas is dominated by large river basins, such as the Amazon, St. Lawrence River / Great Lakes basin, Mississippi, and La Plata. Since the Americas extend 14,000 km (8,700 mi) from north to south, the climate and ecology vary widely, from the arctic tundra of Northern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska, to the tropical rain forests in Central America and South America.

Humans first settled the Americas from Asia between 42,000 and 17,000 years ago. A second migration of Na-Dene speakers followed later from Asia. The subsequent migration of the Inuit into the neoarctic around 3500 BCE completed what is generally regarded as the settlement by the indigenous peoples of the Americas.


A city proper is the locality with legally fixed boundaries and an administratively recognized urban status that is usually characterized by some form of local government.
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets. Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization and do not include large swaths of rural land, as do metropolitan areas.
Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market.
  • North America: 565 million (includes Central America and the Caribbean)
  • South America: 386 million
  • Christianity (86 percent)
    • Roman Catholicism: Practiced by 69 percent of the Latin American population, 81 percent in Mexico and 61 percent in Brazil whose Roman Catholic population of 123 million is the greatest of any nation's; approximately 24 percent of the United States' population and about 39 percent of Canada's.
    • Protestantism: Practiced mostly in the United States, where half of the population are Protestant, and Canada, with slightly more than a quarter of the population; there is a growing contingent of Evangelical and Pentecostal movements in predominantly Catholic Latin America.
    • Eastern Orthodoxy: Found mostly in the United States (1 percent)and Canada; this Christian group is growing faster than many other Christian groups in Canada and now represents roughly 3 percent of the Canadian population.
    • Non-denominational Christians and other Christians (some 1,000 different Christian denominations and sects practiced in the Americas
  • Irreligion: About 12 Percent, including atheists and agnostics, as well as those who profess some form of spirituality but do not identify themselves as members of any organized religion)
  • Islam: Together, Muslims constitute about 1 percent of the North American population and 0.3 percent of all Latin Americans. It is practiced by 3 percent of Canadians and 0.6 percent of the U.S. population.Argentina has the largest Muslim population in Latin America with up to 600,000 persons, or 1.9 percent of the population.
  • Judaism (practiced by 2 percent of North Americans—approximately 2.5 percent of the U.S. population and 1.2 percent of Canadians—and 0.23 percent of Latin Americans—Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America with 200,000 members)
  • Roman Catholicism: Practiced by 69 percent of the Latin American population, 81 percent in Mexico and 61 percent in Brazil whose Roman Catholic population of 123 million is the greatest of any nation's; approximately 24 percent of the United States' population and about 39 percent of Canada's.
  • Protestantism: Practiced mostly in the United States, where half of the population are Protestant, and Canada, with slightly more than a quarter of the population; there is a growing contingent of Evangelical and Pentecostal movements in predominantly Catholic Latin America.
  • Eastern Orthodoxy: Found mostly in the United States (1 percent)and Canada; this Christian group is growing faster than many other Christian groups in Canada and now represents roughly 3 percent of the Canadian population.
  • Non-denominational Christians and other Christians (some 1,000 different Christian denominations and sects practiced in the Americas
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