Out of the 7 continents of the world, North America is just the third largest; however, it holds a population of more than 500 million people! Out of these, there are 9 million people in Mexico alone, making Mexico City the most populated of cities in North America. Just below North America lies its cousin; South America. Covered on all sides by water bodies, North America rests blissfully, holding in some of the most popular destinations which people simply can’t seem to get enough of! Being the house of Walk Disney, Disneyland, The Grand Canyon and many more, here are some things you need to know about the great continent of North America!
North America Quick Facts
Land Area: 9,540,000 (mi²) / 23,309,892 (km²)
Largest City: Mexico City, Mexico
Number of Countries: 23
Largest country: Canada
Smallest country: St. Kitts and Nevis
Unique Geographical Features:
- Grand Canyon
- Niagara Falls
- Old Faithful
North America has been home to people from all over the world who tried to claim it as their own. The entire journey started off first with the original North Americans, who were actually believed to have descended from North East Asia. Soon after, North America began to be populated by the Europeans, beginning with the Norse, to the English, Spanish and lastly the French. America was named after the Amerigo Vespucci, although, legend says that it was Columbus who discovered the ‘New World’, new research shows us that this is not entirely true.
The continent of North America is mainly divided into 4 main geographic regions; The Great Plains, Canadian Shield, the East and the West.
The Great Plains, as the name suggest, is home to some of the most spectacular views of greenery; grasslands, plains, hills and a scenic beauty to take any travelers breath away. The Great Plains stretch from the west of the Mississippi river right over till the east of the Rocky Mountains, with all things green and beautiful in between.
The Canadian Shield is a large plateau region which is made up of lava or soil covered rocks which are thought to be at least a billion years old. It is also known as the Laurentian Plateau and is centered on the Hudson Bay.
The East is considered to be all the lands which are east of the Appalachian Mountains, and the west is the opposite; all the lands west and beyond of the Rocky Mountains.
Mount McKinley is considered to be the highest point in North America which many adventurous travelers have attempted to trek. The lowest point of North America is known as the Death Valley, although the actual place is nowhere near as morbid as it sounds!
As North America stretches across several climate zones, there is no one particular climate that this continent experiences. Greenland, Alaska and Canada experience very cold climates all year round, being closer to the Arctic. However, the southern part of Canada lies in a temperate zone, thus enjoying short summers and long, grueling winters. The southern part of the United States lies in a sub-tropical zone, whereas the beautiful Caribbean’s, southern Mexico and Central America lie in the tropical zone, enjoying a stunning, warm weather all year round.
The economy of North America comprises 8% of the world population. North America is the most technologically developed economy in the entire world. The sub-continent has reigned as the supreme power in terms of economy in the world for over a century now and is currently an industrial dynamic power. The economy of North America is extremely diverse as The United States and Canada share the reign in giving North America most of its economic power.
North America enjoys an influence from an array of different cultures, thus, the most common languages you will come across in North America are English, French, and Spanish. However, as you head down towards Mexico and the Caribbean, you will come across the Spanish speaking locale. Come over to the region of Greenland, and you will be able to hear the beautiful languages of Greenlandic and Danish being spoken.
Owing to the diversity of cultures and ethnicities in North America, your taste buds will be bombarded by all types of unique cuisines. You can find some of the biggest chefs with five-star restaurants in North America for a typical classy dining experience. However, head over to the street food sections and you will find innumerable food trucks serving all kinds of local, continental and multi-cultural cuisines. From hot dogs to sushi, to good ol’ American burgers and pizza, travelers have a ball of a time discovering new places at every street corner serving all kinds of delicacies.
The Mexican influence is seen to extend heavily over parts of America, as people are seen to enjoy Mexican cuisine with a ravenous appetite! Canadian food is also highly influenced by mixed cultures, mostly stemming from the immigrants.
Along the coastline, one can expect to enjoy all the delicacies of the sea, and as you cave into the central parts of the continent, expect to find meat, potatoes, and almost any other kind of cuisine that you could think of!
One of the great things about the place is that you will find at least one restaurant or food stall open at absolutely any time of the day; be it a local restaurant, a street food side stall or a McDonalds. Midnight munchies are a common thing, and North America surely knows how to cater to their midnight snacking locals and travelers with style!
North America has everything a traveler could wish to explore; from stupendous mountains, you can trek, to panoramic views of valleys, to the hustle and bustle of city life, beautiful, relaxing beaches, and hundreds of iconic places to visit all over the continent.
Some of the places of top interest in North America are:
- Washington DC; The White House
- Niagara Falls; a break taking waterfall you would be naïve to miss out on
- The Grand Canyon; a rocky beauty which defines the culture and history of North America
- Walt Disney World; a place fit for adults and children alike to make all your dreams come true
- New York City; The Big Apple speaks for itself
- America is the third largest continent in the world; just below Asia and Africa
- America got its name from the Italian traveler Amerigo Vespucci
- North America and South America are typically considered as two different continents, having their own unique set of cultures, traditions, demographics, etc.
- North America is home to 24 different countries
- North America is the only continent in the world which is spread over all the different climatic zones, thus experiencing an array of all climates
- English, Spanish and French are spoken throughout the continent, however, USA has no official language of its own!
- The smallest nation in North America is located in the Caribbean
All the information you needed to know about your favorite continent; North America is in this detailed article! The next time you visit North America, you will be sure to know just enough to impress the locals with your interest and knowledge of the continent!