The North American continent lies in the Northern as well as Western Hemisphere. If we consider America as a single continent, North America is the subcontinent of it. This continent is so large that it stretches from the Arctic Circle to the Tropic of Cancer. It is the third-largest continent and is placed interestingly on the world map. Towards the north, it has the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, South America and the Caribbean Sea on the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. Greenland also comes under North American geography since it lies on the North American Tectonic Plate.
Similarly, we have curated some interesting facts about North America that will amaze you and your kids. So, let’s know about North America a little better!
North American Population
More than half a billion people reside in North America. It is the fourth largest continent in terms of population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. Mexico City contributes the maximum population to the continent. In terms of country, USA contributes maximum population.
Important Geographical Facts About North America
The United States, Mexico, and Canada are the three primary countries on the continent. Let us now read about some more fascinating facts about North America and how these three countries form North America as a whole:
- There are five chief regions in North America based on its geography. These are Canadian Shield, Great Plains, Eastern region, the Caribbean, and Mountainous west. Since the continent is vast, the climate in these five regions differs immensely. It ranges from tropical to icy.
- The largest North American city is Mexico City. Most people think it to be New York, but Mexico makes it to the top.
- The largest country in North America is Canada, the second-largest nation in the world after Russia. The USA comes third in the list.
- Another stunning fact about North America is that none of its countries are landlocked. It means all the North American countries touch an ocean.
- Greenland is the world’s largest island. It is an autonomous territory but lies on the North American tectonic plate. Despite Greenland’s name, the island isn’t green; it is covered with ice.
- North America connects to South America by land only through the Isthmus of Panama or the Isthmus of Darian.
- The North American coastline is irregular and long.
- Alaska’s Denali is the highest peak of North America, while Death Valley in California lies lowest.
Cultural Facts About North America
Due to European colonization in the past, the North American culture usually reflects Western traditions. But major parts of the United States, Central America, Mexico, and Canada has an indigenous population that continues to follow their own cultures and traditions. You will find some more astonishing facts about North American culture below:
- North America has a diverse culture. The culture in US and English-Canada is the same, while French Canada has Anglophonic Culture protected by the law.
- The USA was formed out of the portions under Spanish Empire and then independent Mexico. Due to this, the USA witnesses continuous immigration of Spanish speakers from the south of the Mexico-US border.
- In the southwest of the US, you will find Latino and Hispanic culture majorly.
- Central America and Mexico belong to Latin America and follow different cultures from francophone and anglophone North America.
- The US culture and lifestyle mostly influence Northern Mexico.
- Alberta, the US, Canada, and Northern Mexico have a cowboy culture.
- Greenland had much immigration from Northern Canada in the past. And hence, it shares a cultural bond with the local people of Canada. It also has strong Danish ties due to colonization by Denmark for centuries.
North American Animals and Wildlife
North America is huge, and hence there is a diverse spread of animal species here. Let’s discuss the wildlife and bring out some cool facts about North America:
- Large water bodies surround North America; hence, the marine diversity is broad too. You will find massive humpback whales in the North Atlantic waters and dolphins and manatees in the Belize Barrier Reef.
- Since North America is a continent, there is no specific national animal. But the major countries do have a national animal that explains the biodiversity of the continent.
- The National Animal of the US is American Bison, representing the forward path that leads to healing from destruction in the past.
- The official symbol of Canada is Beaver. Its pelts drove the Canadian economy once.
- Eagle stands as the national symbol of Mexico.
- Southeast US has mountains, swamps, and plains, and hence you will find everything from pumas to crocodiles here. The deserts in the southwest have wildlife like mammals and rattlesnakes. The largest number of national parks lie on the southwest and west coast of the US, like Glacier, Yosemite, and Zion national parks.
- Canada experiences a cold climate. You will find most regions frozen here with mammals like polar bears and moose. Also, grasslands and temperate forests are found.
- Mexico has a hotter climate due to its proximity to the equator. So, here you will find animals like armadillos, anteaters, and unique tamandua. Some famous reserves include Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserves.
Important Places in North America
North America comprises 23 states and 9 territories. Out of such a vast continent, some major cities, rivers, and lakes of North America are:
- US, Canada, and Mexico are the three most dominant countries in North America.
- The US is the largest economy not only on the continent but in the world. It is the most technologically advanced and fastest-growing economy in complete America.
- Canada contributes to the mining, services, and manufacturing sector, while Mexico has both outdated and modern agricultural and industrial facilities available.
- The US is home to 8 out of the 10 metropolitan regions globally, including New York and Chicago.
- The famous natural landmarks include Niagara Falls, Redwood National Park, Grand Canyon, Mauna Kea, Pitons, and Pico de Orizaba. Some man-made landmarks are the Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Chichen Itza, Empire State Building, Capitol Building, and the Mall.
- Some major cities of this continent are Mexico City, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Houston, Ecatepec de Morelos, Montreal, Philadelphia, and Guadalajara.
- The longest river of North America is the Missouri River.
- The Largest Lake on the continent is Lake Superior, while Lake Huron is the second largest.
- The best city to live within North America is Vancouver, Canada. It is because the city has a top-rated medical facility, rich cultural diversity, and 200 parks.
North American Language, Religion, and Food
With such huge demography, different kinds of people, their cultures, it is natural that the continent houses a multitude of languages, religions, and food. Here’s some insight to the same:
- The most widely spoken language in the continent is English.
- Spanish and French serve as second languages.
- There are around 150 indigenous languages that are still widely spoken in North America.
- 75% of North Americans follow Christianity. Other predominant communities include Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and some local people who have indigenous beliefs.
- In North America, you will find delectable dishes native to or popular in North American countries. Here you will find American, Caribbean, Canadian, African, Mexican, African American, and Central American cuisines. These cuisines are influenced by Jewish, African, Native American, European, and Asian cuisines.
Other Fun Facts and Information About North America for Children
Some more astonishing facts about North America are:
- North American athletes have won maximum Olympic medals.
- It is the largest wheat exporter in the world.
- Cuba (a country in North America) is the largest sugar exporter and is called the world’s sugar bowl.
- The lowest point in the continent is Death Valley, California. It is also the hottest and driest region on Earth.
- The first skyscrapers were built in Chicago in 1880.
- Mauna Kea, which lies in Hawaii, is the second-highest mountain island in the world.
With these North American continent facts, you now know how much there is to experience in the continent. It has a diverse culture, wildlife, various delectable cuisines, and breathtaking places to see. You won’t believe it is the only continent that witnesses every kind of climate. So that was North America for you, and hopefully, you had fun reading these interesting facts about North America.