United States of America

Official Language

English

Destination Stats

Population
Surface Area
Temperature
Water
Energy
Air Quality
Flora
Fauna

Welcome to the United States of America… Earth’s most geographically diverse country with lands in both northern and southern hemispheres… from Arctic to tropical climates!
This section provides additional distinctive details about the United States that define its ecological uniqueness! Just choose any tab for the area you would like to explore.

  • Total Population: 337,341,954 (2022) | Projected by 2050 – 398.33 Million
  • World Rank: #3, 4.24% of Earth’s human population.
  • Growth Rate: 0.51% – slower than any time since declaring independence from Great Britain in 1776.  The aging population, combined with declining immigration and near-equal birth and death rates are contributing factors.  Population is expected to begin to decline in 2060 with 404 million people. Other estimates show population decrease will start in 2100 if immigration continues on its current course.
  • Median Age: 38.8 years
  • M/F Ratio: Male – 49.5%; Female – 50.5% (2023)
  • Life Expectancy: Females – 79.9 years; Males – 74.2 years.
  • Birth Rate: 11.0 per 1,000 people (2022)
  • Death Rate: 10.4 per 1,000 people (2022)
  • Migration rate: 2.784 people per 1,000 population (down 1.28% from 2021)
  • Indigenous People: 6.79 million | 2.09% of the US population (claiming full or mixed ancestry).
  • Ethnicities: White (non-Latino) – 57.8% | Latino – 18.7% | Black Americans – 12.4% | Mixed races – 10.2% | Asian Americans – 6.0% | Native American – 1.1% | Pacific Islander Americans – 0.2% | Other – 8.4% .

(Reference: UNDESA-Population Division | United States Census Bureau)

  • 8.22 global hectares (gha) | 20.3 acres per person. 
  • United States ranks #5 worldwide based on the size of its global footprint.
  • United States’ biocapacity is 3.76 gha | 9.73 acres per person.  This is a deficit of 4.46 gha | 11.0 acres of consumption vs. production.  
  • The United States accounts for 15.7% of the world’s total energy consumption and is the world’s second largest importer of goods behind China (machinery/computers, mineral fuels, pharmaceuticals, gems, plastics, and others). Its top exports are petroleum oils, petroleum gases and cars.

Sources: Global Footprint Network | United Nations Environment Programme | International Trade Centre.

  • Agriculture – 44.5%
    • Pastures & Grasslands: 27.4%
    • Permanent Crops: 0.3%
    • Arable Land: 16.8%
  • Forests – 33.3%
    (The Tongass National Forest of Alaska is the largest forest in the United States, covering 6.8 million hectares | 17 million acres of land in Southeast Alaska.)
  • Urban Use: 2%
  • Open Space:  3%
  • Wetlands: 5%
  • Other: 12.2% (Includes desert-10.81%, and artificial developments/unproductive land – 1.39%.
  • 14% of the United States’ total land is protected by the US Federal Government.
  • Top Food Crops: Hay, corn (maize), soybeans, wheat, rice, oranges, sugarcane, sorghum (globally popular for cereal), grapes.  The United States is the world’s largest producer of corn and soybeans.
  • Top Non-crop Food Products: Cow’s milk, poultry, beef, pork, eggs (hen/chicken).
  • Other Top Non-Food Products: Refined and crude petroleum, coal, cotton, computer and electronics, machinery, natural gas, primary and fabricated metal products, medical equipment, electrical equipment, chemicals, transportation equipment.
  • Top Exported Product: Mineral fuels, including oil, is the largest exported product of the US representing 13.7% of all exports. It is the fastest-growing category among the country’s top ten exported goods.

References & Sources: World’s Top Exports | Farming Base | USDA-Economic Research Service | USDA-Economic Research Service | US EPA – Land Use, | US Geological Survey. Figures were tabulated to reflect current data.

  • Average Annual Surface Temperature: 12.5°C (54.51°F)
    *Average is for the 48 contiguous United States, which includes 344 climate divisions alone.  This is 1.38°C (2.49°F) higher than its 20th century average.  (NOAA-Climate)  The US has extreme climates from Alaska’s northern Arctic climate to the more tropical climates of Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
  • Climate: The climate of the US is primarily identified by the temperate environment of its 48 contiguous states which becomes warmer towards the south and drier further to the west . Taken as a whole, the United States  has extreme climates from Alaska’s northern Arctic climate to the more tropical climates of Puerto Rico and American Samoa.  Its climate is highly variable due to its various land elevations and proximity to both Arctic and tropical regions of Earth.

The United States’ most extreme territory, American Samoa, is its only region located in the southern hemisphere and has a year-round hot, humid and rainy climate. Its surface temperature ranges from its coolest 20 °C | 68 °F to its average high of 31 °C | 88 °F.

  • Seasons: United States’ is largely characterized by its majority temperate climate which becomes warmer from March to September and cooler from October to February. The southern portions of the United States generally become much warmer than its more northern regions and vice versa the further you go in either direction.  

Spring is generally considered the most suitable time of year for those visiting and exploring its culture, natural environment and history. 

  • Spring: March – May. 36 °F – 75 °F | 2 °C – 24°C.
  • Summer: June – August. 64 °F – 88 °F | 18 °C – 31°C.
  • Autumn: September – November. 39 °F – 79 °F | 4 °C – 26°C°F.
  • Winter: December – February. 30 °F – 46 °F | -1°C – +8°C.

These temperatures reflect the median average for the contiguous United States. Temperatures can range much cooler to the northern states and much warmer to the southern states and territories.

Reference: NOAA – National Weather Service |  Seasons of the Year – United States

  • Total Water volume:  746,557.7  km3  | 164.22 quadrillion gallons.
  • Potable Water Supply per Person: 0.22 km3 | 58.12 billion gallons. 
  • Average Precipitation: 769.11 mm | 30.28 inches.
  • People in the US withdraw 322 billion gallons of water a day, including both fresh and salt water. (USGS)
  • Approximately 87% of the U.S. population relies on public water supply with 13% dependent on domestic wells.

(Data tabulated from various sources including: Center for Sustainable Systems – University of Michigan | Water Footprint Calculator – US | USGS – National Water Information System)

  • Total Energy Used: 92.94 quadrillion BTU | 2,343.9 MTOE | 27.2 trillion kWh – kilowatt hours)
  • Global Rank in Energy Consumption: #2
  • Primary fuel sources used:  Fossil Fuels (79%), Renewables – 12%, Nuclear – 9%..  
  • Almost 83% of United States’ electricity needs comes from renewable energy.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: Biomass – 39% (biomass waste, biofuels, wood) | Wind – 26% | Hydropower – 22% | Solar – 11% | Geothermal – 2%.

(Sources: US Energy Information Administration – Energy Facts and EIA – Renewables Explained)

  • About 20% of the United States’ electricity comes from its nuclear reactors; the nation generates more nuclear power than any other country in the world.

The US Energy Information Agency projects renewable sources for electricity production will double by 2050 to 42% of the total supply with wind and solar energy paving the way. Natural gas will take over from coal as the dominant fossil fuel source.

  • Total Estimated Species: Over 366,000 Flora and Fauna (including fungi and lichens).
  • Over 307,192 identified fauna (largely insect which are still being identified and could be as high as 300,000.
  • 19,262 identified flora.
  • Fungi: Over 35,000 species.
  • Lichens: Over 3,600
  • Alaska Flora and Fauna: ~25,400 species.
  • Hawaii Flora & Fauna: 19,688 species.
  • Puerto Rico Flora and Fauna: 14,702 species.
  • Total Identified Threatened Species: 1,841 (Veterans.org | IUCN)
  • 1,106 animals.
  • 660 plants.
  • 75 fungi.
  • Animal species in most critical danger: Florida Panther, Red Wolf, Florida Manatee, California Condor, Black-Footed Ferret, Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, San Joaquin Kit Fox, Franklin’s Bumblebee, Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit, Mississippi Gopher Frog, Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, Bryde’s Whale, Eskimo Curlew (now thought to be extinct), among others.
  • Plant species most endangered: United States: Desert Yellowhead, Virginia Round-Leaf Birch tree, Capa Rose, Franklin Tree, Forest Gardenia, Sulphur Hot Springs Buckwheat, Gentry’s Indigobush, Slender Rushpea, Clay Reed-Mustard, among others.
  • Leading causes of extinctions or threats: Habitat destruction/human development, hunting, climate change (change in natural living conditions), pollution.
    (Reference: US Fish & Wildlife Service)

United States is home to about 13% of the world’s endemic biodiversity.

The United States has myriad natural wonders spanning diverse climates from its most southern and eastern regions to its furthest north and western regions.  Below are six of these amazing sites that highlights ecological wonders in diverse US regions:  

  • The Grand Canyon: At 18 miles wide, one mile deep and 278 miles (447 km) long, The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural attractions; it is also listed as one of Earth’s Seven Natural Wonders.  Located primarily in the northwestern part of the state of Arizona and partially flowing over into Utah and Nevada, the Grand Canyon displays over two billion years of Earth’s history through its geologic formations and human artifacts dating back to 12,000 BCE.  Home to over 1,000 animal species and 2,200 plant/fungi/moss/lichen species, much of the canyon today remains on tribal land including the Hualapai, Havasupai, Navajo, Hopi, Paiute and Zuni tribes. The Canyon is protected by the US National Park Service as The Grand Canyon National Park.
    (References: NPS – Grand Canyon National Park | Grand Canyon Guru | Utah.com – Grand Canyon Expeditions)
  • Yellowstone National Park: Home to the ultra-regular Old Faithful geothermal geyser, Yellowstone is located on top of an ancient super volcano covering over 2.2 million acres of scenic lakes, rivers, canyons and mountain ranges all carved by geologic activity. The first national park in the US and generally considered the first national park in the world, Yellowstone was established in 1872 by the US government and has been considered perhaps the country’s most popular attraction ever since.  The park covers an area of 3,468.4 mi2 (8,983 km2), primarily located in the northwestern part of the state of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho.  Native American tribes lived in Yellowstone for 11,000 years prior to outside exploration starting in the 1800s; today 27 Native American tribes are associated with, inhabit and use the rich resources of Yellowstone.  Yellowstone’s landscape is largely carved by volcanoes, earthquakes and glacial activity, and includes fossil forests, eroded basaltic lava flows, volcanic plateaus, and three mountain ranges including a black obsidian (volcanic glass) mountain.  Over 1,350 species of plants and about 394 species of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles live in Yellowstone, including Grizzly and Black Bears, Elk, Bison Moose, Big Horn Sheep, Prairie Rattlesnake, Arctic Grayling, Cutthroat Trout, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Osprey.

(References: National Park Service – Historic Tribes |  NPS – Yellowstone | Yellowstone National Park.com | Yellowstone Wildlife | U.S. Department of the Interior)

  • Kilauea Volcano: Called Pele, the Hawaiian Volcano Goddess, Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes located on the southeastern part of big Island of Hawaii and rising 1,247 meters (4,091 feet) above sea level.  It is the youngest (estimated to be between 100,000 – 300,000 years old) of the five volcanoes that created and compose the entirety of the island; the state of Hawaii and its 135 recognized islands are estimated to have formed some 4.5 million years ago (only seven of the islands are inhabited by humans).  Despite almost continuously erupting since 1983, Kilauea is generally considered safe and offers spectacular views upfront and personal of volcanic activity that pretty much is unobservable as such anywhere else in the world.  It also anchors Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which is home to extraordinary flora and fauna including species that can be found nowhere else on Earth, including one of the largest populations of nesting seabirds.  

(References: World Atlas – How the Hawaiian Islands Were Formed | USGS – Kilauea | USFWS – Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge)

  • Niagara Falls: Formed by glacial activity about 10,000 years ago, Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls – American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls – which make up the border between New York state and Ontario, Canada. Horseshoe Falls straddles the border between the two countries while American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are located in New York.   The combination of its height and sheer volume of water flowing over the crestline of the falls each second (up to 100,000 cubic feet per second or 2,832 cubic meters) make it stunningly impressive and one of the United States’ greatest natural wonders.  Aside from providing amazing scenery and serving as a major source of hydroelectric power, Niagara Falls anchors the Niagara Falls State Park of New York which is the oldest state park in the country.  It is known for its wide diversity of birdlife including over 300 bird species (including 19 species of gulls) along with 50 mammal species (such as Red Foxes, Fox Squirrels, raccoons, muskrats, skunks, White-tailed Deer) and one of the regions’ largest and most varied populations of amphibians and reptiles.  Niagara Falls offers a personal exploration and hiking mecca on its 400-plus acres via its numerous trails, pedestrian bridges, walking paths, boat ride and observation tower.  

(References: Niagara Parks – Behind the Falls | New York State – Niagara Falls State Park | Wikipedia – Niagara Falls | Niagara Falls USA)

  • The Everglades: Covering approximately two million acres of subtropical wetlands in central and southern Florida, The Everglades ecosystem is considered one of the country’s most complex and fragile bionetworks. Countless types and species of trees and other plants and foliage exist in a delicate balance alongside hundreds of animal species – including the critically endangered Florida Panther and Florida Manatee – along a diverse landscape from dry tree islands, pineland and mangroves to marshes, swamps and flooded prairie.  While the southern-most 20 percent of The Everglades is protected by The Everglades National Park, the majority of the Everglades is under threat by human development, water alteration/pollution, introduction of non-native species; yet, efforts such as the US Federal Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan are steadfastly working to restore, preserve, and protect the Everglades biosystem, its spectacular natural resources, flora and fauna.  The largest wilderness in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, the Everglades is distinguished as a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and Wetland of International Importance.  Uniquely, it is a rare place where both the American Alligator and American Crocodile cohabitate amid the country’s impressive and delicate environments.

(References: National Wildlife Federation – The Everglades | The Florida Guidebook – Everglades | Visit Florida – Everglades | Conservation of the Everglades |USGS – Ecology of the Everglades)

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve: Located in southeast Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park is a 3.3 million-acre (1,335,462 hectare) UNESCO World Heritage Site dominated by 1,045 identified glaciers amongst a backdrop of booming mountains, robust coastlines, glaciated valleys and tundra.  One of the world’s largest international protected areas, it is home to  over 40 different mammal species – including Humpback Whales, Orcas, Sea Lions, Black Bears Moose and Wolves, alongside over 300 species of plants that include robust old-growth forests of Spruce and Hemlock, grasses, meadows, sedges, shrubs and wildflowers.  Its elevation ranges from sea level on the Pacific Ocean to 15,266 feet (4,653.1 meters) above sea level at the peak of Mount Fairweather, one of the tallest mountains in the United States. The area is primarily accessible by ships (no disembarkation), and private access is available through the town of Gustavus, Alaska, via air and passenger ferry.  Popular controlled activities that allow appreciation of this relatively pristine ecosystem includes boat tours, kayaking, river rafting, fishing, glacier viewing and whale watching.

(References: National Park Service – Glacier Bay | Travel Alaska – Glacier Bay | RVShare – Glacier Bay National Park | National Park Foundation – Glacier Bay

This is just the beginning of the United States natural experience!  From the far reaches of the Arctic to the tropical climes of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific realm, the United States holds perhaps the most climatically diverse natural wonders on Earth that also include The Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite National Park, Crater Lake in Oregon, Black Hills in South Dakota, Death Valley in California, The Rocky Mountains, the rich ecosystems of Puerto Rico and American Samoa, and much, much more!

Welcome from the United States of America!

The United States of America is one of the most collective ethnically, geographically and climatically diverse nations in the world, where human populations occupy 50 states and five territories on two different continents surrounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the Arctic Ocean. In addition to its five inhabited territories, the country also holds nine unpopulated islands in the Caribbean and Pacific.  Its climate spans from the tropical regions of Puerto Rico to the south and Hawaii to the Pacific West, to the temperate region of the contiguous 48 states in North America and the Arctic climes of Alaska.

Grand Canyon, Arizona – United States of America (Pexels photo by Robert Anthony Carbone)

Today’s United States mainland was originally inhabited by the Paleo-Indians thousands of years before the first Europeans began to arrive in the 15th century when the country was first put on the global map.  In just over 500 years since then, cultural interests from all over the world merged together to build a working nation, supported by its vast resources and rich, diverse geography and climates to create the country it is today.

The essence of the United States stems from the heart of this immigration melting pot and the cultural heart and heritage of its indigenous people, combining different wisdoms, technologies, ingenuities, and the desire to create new and better lives for everyone.  

With over 4% of the global population inhabiting the world’s third largest country by surface, the United States ranks only #185 in terms of its average population density of about 88 people per square mile.  This is due to its vast open spaces and relatively low population growth.  Yet, with all its vast resources, diffuse environments, technological and production capabilities, and diversified global cultures, the United States has had to overcome myriad ecological challenges as well as face new ones. Just as this country was built by a remarkable blend of the world’s copious, differentiated cultures, its future will be navigated by an even more diverse population.

This platform brings you into the richness and ecological essence of the true United States of America, the collaborative heartbeat of a diversified world culture seeking an efficient path toward sustainable living and a more unified planet. This is the beginning of the United States cultural hub on Ecology Prime™.  This is The United States of America….

The United States is Comprised of:
Primary Language: English

The United States does not have a declared national language, but English is the de facto official language. 

  • 78% of the US population speaks English (75% speak only English in the home).
  • Spanish is the second most common language spoken.
  • 21% of the US population speaks a language other than English as their primary language.
  • Over 380 languages are estimated to be spoken by the US populace.
  • Puerto Rico’s native and primary language is Spanish, although English is widely spoken.  English is considered a second primary language.
San Diego California Skyline (Pexels photo by Zaw Win Htun)
Unique United States Facts: Did You Know…?
  • Hawaii is the only US state that is not located in North America.  It is part of the geographic region of Oceania which also includes Australia and Polynesia and separates the Eastern and Western hemispheres.  
  • The U.S. has launched an effort to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030. Today, approximately 12% of the United States’ public lands are permanently protected through its national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and Tribal and state lands. Less than 8 percent of Puerto Rico’s land area is protected. (The Wilderness Society)
  • The American Bison was declared the national mammal of the United States on May 9, 2016, joining the Bald Eagle as one of the only two national animals of the United States.
  • The United States (9,833,517 km2 or 3,800,257 mi2) is more than twice the size of the European Union (4,475,757 km2 or 1,728,100 mi2).
  • 44.36 % of the United States’ land is agricultural. (The World Bank).
  • With 4.24% of the world’s total human population, the United States consumes roughly 25% of the world’s resources; yet, it produces 3.01% more primary energy than it consumes, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
  • Every state and territory, including Alaska and Hawaii, have recorded a high temperature of at least 100°F (37.8°C), according to NOAA, with many states well above 115°F (46.1°C) degrees. 
  • The United States has the largest reserves of coal in the world; China, however, is the largest user and producer of coal.
  • More than 30% of the world’s nuclear energy is produced by the United States, the most of all countries, followed by China and France. The US exports 12.8% of the nuclear energy it generates to other countries.
  • The Everglades National Park in the state of Florida is the only ecosystem in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist side by side.
  • The US has the highest number of tornadoes than any other country (over 1,000 per year).
  • The United States loses about two million acres of forest, farm, and open space each year due primarily to human development activities and construction. (US Forest Service)
  • In the United States, 64% of lakes, 44% of streams, and 30% of the bays and estuaries are not clean enough for fishing or swimming due to industrial pollution and transportation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Between 1980 and 2020, motor vehicle travel in the U.S. increased 85% (in miles travelled), energy consumption increased 19 percent, and U.S. population grew by 46 percent; however, total emissions of its principal air pollutants dropped by 73 percent, primarily due to mandates for higher fuel efficiency and cleaner fuels. (EPA – US AQ Summary)
  • The Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States, is actually not bald.  It gets its name from an older meaning of the word bald, which is “white headed.” 
  • On the verge of extinction in the 1970s, the Bald Eagle was saved by efforts supported by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and today has been upgraded to “threatened.”  At present, there are more than 9,800 nesting pairs (male-female) in the US across all 50 states.
  • By 2043, the United States will no longer have a majority white ethnic population, and by 2060 the number of multiracial people will triple, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

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Population

Total Population: 337,341,954 (2022 est. – United States Census Bureau – Population)

Least Populous City: Akhiok City, Alaska | 69 (US Census Bureau – Alaska)

Surface Area

Total Surface Area*: 9,842,621 km2 / 3,800,257 mi2 (World Factbook – Countries)

*Includes the 48 contiguous United States, District of Columbia, the island state of Hawaii, the detached state of Alaska, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (also the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico).

  • World Rank: #3, 1.93% of Earth’s total surface area.
  • 93% is Land Surface Area:  9,156,552 km2 (3,535,365 mi2) – 6.15% of the world’s total land surface.
  • 7% is Water Surface Area: 686,069 km2 (264,892.7 mi2) – 0.19% of the world’s water surface.
  • ~640 million acres of US land (2.59 million km2 / 1.0 million mi2), 28.28% of the United States’ land area, is held in trust by the Federal government through national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other Federal property.  This does not include separate state and local lands. 

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Temperature

Average Annual Temperature (2012-2021): 25.86°C (78.55°F)

*Average is for the 48 contiguous United States, which includes 344 climate divisions alone.  This is 1.38°C (2.49°F) higher than the 20th century average.  (NOAA-Climate)

Hottest temperature on record (All US states and territories): 56.67°C (134°F) in Death Valley, California, on July 10, 1913. This is North America’s hottest temperature on record and the second hottest temperature recorded worldwide. (NOAA – National Centers for Environmental Information)

Water

Total Rechargeable Water Volume*:  22.7 trillion cubic meters – or about 6 quadrillion gallons.

*Surface water and groundwater supplies. (Water Footprint Calculator – US)

  • The US contains 7% of the world’s fresh (potable) water resources.
  • Total water volume includes surface water (16.8 trillion cubic meters or 4.44 quadrillion gallons) and ground water (5.9 trillion cubic meters or 1.56 quadrillion gallons). (USGS
  • Annual Precipitation (contiguous US): 769.11 mm (30.28 inches).  (NOAA – Climate Report 2020)
  • Annual Precipitation (Hawaii): 1,618 mm (63.7 inches).  (NOAA National Climatic Data Center)
  • Annual Precipitation (Puerto Rico): 2,054 mm (80.9 inches).  (Mecometer-Puerto Rico Precipitation)
  • Annual Precipitation (Alaska)*: 576.58 mm (22.70 inches).  (National Climatic Data Center)
  • *Liquid water equivalent. 
  • People in the US withdraw 322 billion gallons of water a day, including both fresh and salt water. (USGS)

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Energy

Annual Total Energy Usage (current data): 92.94 quadrillion BTU (2,343.9 MTOE – megatonnes of oil equivalent or 27.2 trillion kWh – kilowatt hours) 

  • Global ranking in energy consumption (current): #2. China is #1.
  • Percentage of total global energy consumption: ~17% .
  • Energy Sources (% of total):  Fossil Fuels (79%), Renewables – 12%, Nuclear – 9%.
  • Primary Renewable Energy Sources (% of renewables): Biomass – 39% (biomass waste, biofuels, wood), Wind – 26%, Hydropower – 22%, Solar – 11%, Geothermal – 2%
  • Annual per capita energy consumption: 282 million BTU per person (82,646 kWh)
  • (Source: US Energy Information Administration – Energy Facts and EIA – Renewables Explained)

Air Quality

Air Quality Index – AQI (Average for 2021): 43 – Good (IQ Air – USA)

  • Global ranking (Average Pollution 2021): #29 least polluted nation, out of 118 monitored. (IQ Air – USA)
  • Most polluted city (2021 average): Weaverville, CA | AQI = 98 – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (IQ Air – USA).
  • Least polluted city (2021 average): Neah Bay, WA | AQI = 13 – Very Good (IQ Air – USA).
  • The Los Angeles area and region have the most consistent highest level of air pollution in the US, followed by San Francisco area, Houston, TX, and Phoenix, AZ.  (American Lung Association)
  • Cheyenne, WY, and Wilmington, NC, have the consistent lowest level of air pollution of cities in the US. (American Lung Association)
  • About 24 million Americans (7.1% of residents) live in areas with unhealthy air pollution. (American Lung Association)
  • Fossil fuel combustion, primarily from transportation, industrial activities, and power production, is the leading cause of US air pollution.  It accounts for one-third of all pollution in the US.  (EPA)
  • Since the US passed The Clean Air Act in 1990, air quality has dramatically improved with the EPA estimating over 230,000 deaths due to air pollution were prevented by 2020.
  • US National Park Service and US Forest Service scientists use lichens as a biomonitor to assess air quality across the country.

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Flora

19,262 identified species – about 5.1% of the worlds nearly 400,000 plant species

  • Includes 16,499 flowering plants.
    • Includes 641 tree species (including 130 that are threatened)
    • Includes 658 fern species.
    • 660 plants are classified as threatened or endangered.
  • There are over 35,000 species of fungi and over 3,600 species of lichens. 75 species of fungi are threatened or endangered.
  • Flora of Alaska: ~1,700
  • Alaska has 129 million acres of forested land across the state.
  • Flora of Hawaii 3,139 species.
  • About 25% of Hawaii’s total plant species – 90% of its 109 tree species – are endemic, they exist nowhere else.
  • Alaska fungi and lichens total 2,088 species.
  • Flora of Puerto Rico: ~3,700 species.
  • More than 700 species of trees take root in Puerto Rico, the most populous of which is the palm of which there are many varieties.

Fauna

Exceeds 307,192 species – about 35% of the world’s 8.7 million estimated animal species

  • 164,000 insect species identified (could be as high as 300,000, still being identified)
    • Over 140,000 invertebrate species. (Scientists expect this may be as high as 200,000.)
    • 1,154 fish species (does not include US maritime waters).
    • Over 1,000 bird species (including migratory birds)
    • 311 reptile species
    • 432 mammal species
    • 295 amphibian species
    • 1,106 animal species are classified as threatened or endangered. (IUCN)
    • Fauna of Alaska: Over 23,700 species. 95% of Alaska’s animal species are invertebrates.  
  • Fauna of Hawaii: 16,549 species
  • About 47% of Hawaii’s animal species are endemic, they exist nowhere else.
  • Fauna of Puerto Rico:
  • The insect population of Puerto Rico has been drastically reduced since the 1970s, including 98% of the ground level population and 80% of the canopy population.

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United States: Flora

(Numbers are approximate due to various reporting methods by varied qualified organizations.) Flora and Fauna Data Sources: US Fish & Wildlife Service | University of Utah-Department of Biology | National Wildlife Federation | Current Results – Weather & Science Facts | US National Park Service | US Forest Service | Wageningen University & Research |…
Read More United States: Flora

United States: Environmental Organizations

Notable Environmental Organizations in the United States.

There are nearly 15,000 recorded nonprofit organizations in the U.S. that focus on animal welfare and environmental matters. Most are relatively small and serve specific regions or locales. Following are some of the notable environmental organizations serving broad-based regions.

United States: Universities & Colleges for Environmental Studies

Notable United States Colleges & Universities for Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies has become a vital area of study for post-secondary education in the United States, with most of the nearly 5,000 community colleges, four-year colleges, universities and special emphasis schools offering some level of training and degrees in environmental studies.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are currently 3,982 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the U.S.  Thirty-eight of American universities are among the world’s top 150.  

Below is a list of colleges and universities with notable environmental studies programs representative of the geographic regions of the United States.