Country Focus Data: United States

by Mindy Dake
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The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C.
Demography: Population nearly 268 million (July 1997 estimate), 0.89% growth rate; English language, with Spanish spoken by sizable minority; Protestant, Roman Catholic primary religions.
Geography: Spans the North American continent from Atlantic to Pacific oceans, bordered by
Canada to the north and Mexico south; mostly temperate climate; vast central plain, mountains and desert in west, hills and low mountains in east.
Government: Federal republic, with strong democratic tradition. Chief of state and head of government is President William Jefferson Clinton.
Official agricultural agencies: Department of Agriculture under Secretary Dan Glickman.
Economy: Market. Agriculture accounts for 2% of gross domestic product, with industry at 25% and services at 73%.
G.D.P. per capita: $28,600, 2.4% growth rate (both 1996 estimates).
Currency: the U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$584 billion (f.o.b., 1995), capital goods, raw materials, agricultural products.
Imports: U.S.$771 billion (c.i.f., 1995), crude oil, automobiles, consumer goods.
Major crops/agricultural products: Grains, oilseeds, livestock.
Wheat: Production in the past five years averaged 64.6 million tonnes in a range of 59.4 million in to 69.6 million. Consumption averaged about 35 million tonnes. The U.S. is among the world's primary exporters, with annual shipments averaging 30.5 million tonnes.
Maize: Five-year production average was 223.5 million tonnes in a range of 256 million to 187 million. The U.S. is the world's largest maize exporter by a large margin, averaging 47.7 million tonnes per year in the past five years.
Soybeans: Five-year production averaged 68.3 million tonnes in a range of 59.2 million to a record 75.2 million this season. As the world's largest exporter, the U.S. shipped an annual average of 23.3 million tonnes in the past five years.
Transportation: Railroads, 240,000 km, all 1.435-m gauge; highways, 6.3 million km, 3.8 million paved; major grain ports are South Louisiana; Portland, Oregon; Houston, Texas; Puget Sound, Washington.