The United States is not only an economic giant but also has a vast territory.
In terms of area, the United States is the third largest country in the world and the second largest in the Americas. Its territories include the continental United States, Alaska in northwestern North America, and the Hawaiian Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, covering a total area of 9,833,520 million square kilometers (of which the land area is about 9.14 million square kilometers, and the total water area is about 0.68 million square kilometers). The rural area of the United States accounts for 72% of the total area.
Forest land occupies 27% of the total land area. Forest land in the United States is mainly distributed in the eastern and southern regions. It is an important source of freshwater supply. Unfortunately, millions of acres of forests are burnt in America every year due to natural causes and human causes such as unattended campfires, discarded cigarettes, and intentional arson.
Shrubland, next to the forest, takes up 24% of the total land area. It is the dominant biome west of the Rocky Mountains. There are four main types of shrubland in North America, including desert shrub, California shrub, sage savannah and shrub, and salt desert shrub. Diversified and heterogeneous soils and plants are the characteristics of these systems.
Agriculture land makes up 17% of the land area. The highly mechanized agriculture makes America the world’s largest producer and exporter of agricultural products. America’s agriculture can be divided into five regions: livestock and irrigated agriculture area in northeast America; corn belt in the mid-western United States; wheat belt in North American Great Plains; cotton belt in southeastern America; and the comprehensive agriculture area along Pacific Coast.
Next to agricultural land is the grassland and pasture, which take up 17% of the total land area. Wetland, other land, and open space account for 5%, 5%, and 3% respectively.
The urban area takes up only 2% of the total land area, yet the U.S. urban population is nearly five times larger than the rural population, which makes it integral in the country’s continual growth.
In conclusion, with a total area of approximately 9.8 million square kilometers, America’s main land types include forest, shrubland, agriculture, grasslands and pasture, wetlands, open space, urban areas, and others.