Population of Vietnam 2014

population-of-vietnam-2014Population of Vietnam 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau, the population of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for July 1, 2014 is estimated at 93,421,835, which makes up about 1.3% of the world’s total population. As of July 1, 2013, the population was estimated at 92,477,857. Thus, since last July, the population will have grown by 943,978 people or by a growth rate of about 1.02%. The last census was conducted in 2009 and it recorded the population at 85,789,573. Thus, since the last census, the population will have grown by 7,632,262 people or by an average annual growth rate of 1.78%. Based on the total land area and the total population of the country, the population density of Vietnam is 301.35 people per square kilometer or 776.34 people per square mile.

Government of Vietnam 2014

Vietnam is one of the four remaining single-party socialist states, emphasizing communism. The central and sole party in Vietnam is the Communist Party of Vietnam as established by the 1992 Constitution of Vietnam. The General Secretary of the Communist Party performs most of the administrative and executive functions of the government, which include establishing state policies, organizing the Communist Party, and making appointments. Ironically, while the country is officially a communist state, the Vietnamese economic policies have increasingly echoed capitalism in recent years. While the General Secretary performs most of the executive functions, the President of Vietnam is, by title, the head of state and the commander-in-chief of the military. He or she also serves as the Chairman of the Council of Supreme Defense and Security. The Prime Minister of Vietnam is then the head of government, serving as the executive over the various deputy prime ministers and heads of the various ministries. There are three deputy prime ministers and 26 ministries in the Vietnamese government.

The legislative body of the government is unicameral, known as the National Assembly of Vietnam. It consists of 500 members, emanating from the different parts of the country. The current Chairman of the National Assembly is Nguyen Sinh Hung, a member of the Communist Party. While the Communist Party is the sole party in the country, there are about 42 independent party members in the National Assembly. The National Assembly is the superior political body over the executive and judicial branches. The National Assembly appoints all ministers and deputies. Lastly, the highest court of appeal is the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam. Justices serve five-year terms in the Supreme People’s Court. The current Chief Justice is Truong Hoa Binh. Lastly, as of February 2014, about 700 prison inmates are on death row.

Water Access in Vietnam 2014

In 2002, an estimated 3 million people living in the Red River Delta were considered poor. Many effects of their poverty included water-related infections and diseases, along with poor personal hygiene. In 2004, 48% of rural households in Vietnam had access to clean water, but 82% of urban households had such access. Also, only about 16% of rural households had access to water that met clean water standards. These households in rural areas were subject to using untreated water from wells and ponds and they used sanitation facilities that were poorly maintained and constructed. Thus, organizations realized that there must be some major water project conducted in order to fix these issues among the poor and rural households. The water improvement project lasted from 2005 to 2013. It gave almost 1.3 million people access to improved water sources and now 100% of poor households have access to a water supply and some form of sanitation facility. Many households also received some form of a low-interest loan in order to help them repair or replace over 48,000 hygienic toilets and sanitation facilities. As a result, instead of 25% of households with such toilets, now 87% of rural and poor households have such toilets. Over 650 public sanitation facilities were constructed for schools and health stations. Lastly, many households began to more frequently hygienically wash their hands, especially before food preparation and over 96% use some sort of soap or detergent for washing hands.

population-of-vietnam-2014-educationEducation in Vietnam 2014

Education in Vietnam is broken up into five levels: preschool, primary, intermediate, secondary (high school), and higher education. Students attend primary school for five years, intermediate school for four years, and secondary school for three years. Primary school typically begins at age six and is compulsory for all ages. While about the net enrollment ratio is 96%, there is a disparity of enrollment among minority ethnicities. There are five standard subjects throughout primary school: Vietnamese language, Mathematics, Morality, Arts, and Physical Education. There are a couple other subjects that the students study, based on the specific age of the student. Intermediate school typically contains some of the same subjects, but takes a deeper study of the physical sciences, such as physics and chemistry. They also study a foreign language, typically English or French, technology, and even have some vocational training courses. After completing the years in high school, the students must pass the High Graduation Examination, which is a requirement for graduation. Overall, the principle goal of education in Vietnam is to improve the general knowledge of its people, to train quality human resources, and to nurture and foster talent.

As of February 2014, the prime minister was named the chair for the national committee for education reforms. The committee looks to study and implement education and training reforms. Some potential reforms could include increasing university and training institution autonomy, investing in teacher training, and increasing partnerships between universities, training institutions, and businesses. Overall, though, the literacy and numeracy rates in the country have been quite high. As of 2012, the adult literacy rate was 93.4% and the youth male literacy rate was 97.5%, while the youth female literacy rate was 96.7%.

Vietnam Growth

Health and Health Statistics in Vietnam 2014

Vietnam has been working on improving its health care system and health insurance for all its citizens. It has implemented social care policies since 1992. But, in 2008, Vietnam passed a health insurance law that expected to grant universal health coverage to all its citizens by 2014. Health care administration is broken up into three levels throughout the country. The Ministry of Health is the main authority in the health sector, implementing policies for the whole nation. Below the Ministry of Health are 63 provincial health bureaus that operate under Provincial People’s Committees as a part of the provincial governments. Then, below the provincial level is the primary level, which consists of health centers and stations, along with the health workers.

As of 2012, the under-five mortality rate is 23 deaths per 1,000 children. The infant mortality rate is 18 deaths per 1,000 infants, while the neonatal mortality rate is 12 deaths per 1,000 babies. About 5.1% of children are born with low birth weight. About 0.4% of the population is estimated to have a positive diagnosis of HIV. Thus, about 373,687 people have been diagnosed with HIV. While there has been progress in fighting the diseases, malaria and tuberculosis are still both prominent and active diseases throughout the country. An increased sense of hygiene and an increase in vaccinations will help reduce these rates. Lastly, the overall life expectancy is 75.8 years. According to the World Health Organization in 2012, women are expected to live around 80 years, while men are only expected to live 71 years.

Population of Spain 2014

population-of-spain-2014Population of Spain 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population as of 2013, the current population of the Kingdom of Spain is estimated to be about 47,171,105. The Spanish population makes up only 0.65% of the total world population and ranks 29th in population rankings, behind the Colombia, but ahead of the Ukraine. It is also considered to be the sixth-most populous country in Europe. At the end of 2013, the population of Spain was estimated to be about 46,926,963. Therefore, since the end of 2013, there has been a population increase of about 244,142 or a population growth rate of about 0.52%. Based on the total land area and the total current population, the population density of Spain is estimated to be about 93.23 people per square kilometer or 241.45 people per square mile.

Geography of Spain 2014

The total land area of Spain is about 505,992 square kilometer or 195,365 square miles, making it the 52nd largest country in the world. Spain is smaller than France, but larger than the state of California. It borders Portugal, Gibraltar, France, and Morocco. The major geographic feature of Spain is mountains. The main mountain ranges are the Pyrenees, Cordillera Cantabrica, and the Sierra Morena. The highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula is on the Mulhacen, which is in the Sistema Penibetico range, reaching 3,478 meters. However, the highest point in Spain is the Teide, which is a volcano in the Canary Islands, reaching 3,718 meters or 12,198 feet. The most populated island is the Tenerife and the least populated island is the Ons. Lastly, the coastal regions are made up of alluvial plains.

Government of Spain 2014

Since the adoption of the new Constitution in 1978, the government of Spain has been a constitutional monarchy. Also, once the Constitution was adopted, the country became very decentralized, establishing seventeen autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. Each community and city has its own government, budget, and administration. Despite these autonomies, the country is a unified nation, specifically through the monarch, King Juan Carlos I. King Juan Carlos I has served as the monarch of the country since November 22, 1975. Other than a national symbol of unity, the king serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and as a moral authority and is considered to be the Head of State. The Head of Government is the Prime Minister, nominated by the King and confirmed by the Council of Ministers. Since November 20, 2011, the Prime Minister has been Mariano Rajoy Brey. The Prime Minister is the person in charge of all domestic and foreign policies. Lastly, the legislative branch is a bicameral legislation. The two houses are the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The Congress of Deputies has 350 members and the Senate has 259 members. Representatives in both houses serve four-year terms. The Spanish government takes pride in the gender equality that exists throughout the government.

Language in Spain 2014

The Constitution of Spain mandates that it is the personal requirement of every Spaniard to know the Spanish language, which is known as Castilian in the Constitution. However, it also states that it respects the different cultures and traditions, including languages, of the citizens. Thus, the country is openly multilingual. Other than Spanish, the country recognizes official languages that are spoken frequently in the various autonomous regions. Some of the regional languages are Basque, spoken in the Basque Country and Navarre, Catalan, spoken in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (Catalan is known as Valencian in this region), and Galician, spoken in Galicia. 2% of the population speaks Basque, 17% speaks Catalan (Valencian), and 7% speaks Galician. Lastly, English and German tend to be spoken in the tourist regions of the country along the Mediterranean coasts and islands.

Immigration in Spain 2014

As of 2011, the immigrant population made up 12.2% of the Spanish population. The total number of immigrants is over 5.5 million people. However, due to the recent economic crisis in the country, many immigrants have left the country in order to find more opportunities. In 2008, the government attempted to incentivize immigrants to return to their home countries in order to free up job opportunities for native Spaniards. The plan was entitled, “Plan of Voluntary Return”, and it allowed the immigrants to continue to receive the unemployment benefits from Spain if they returned to their home country. However, the program failed and only around 1,500 immigrants bought into the idea. The countries with the largest number of immigrants are Romania, Morocco, and the United Kingdom. There are only 850,000 Romanian immigrants and over 750,000 Moroccan immigrants. Lastly, Spain has the second largest number of immigrants in terms of percentage in the European Union, behind Cyprus. However, in terms of numbers, Spain has the highest number of immigrants.

Education in Spain 2014

Based on the Fundamental Law of Education in the Constitution, education is required for all students from ages six to sixteen years, but is also free for those students as well. Around 67% of the schools are state schools, 26% are private schools that receive state funding, and 7% are completely private schools. There are four major levels of education: pre-school, primary school, compulsory secondary education, and post-compulsory schooling. If the parents wish to send their children to pre-school, they are able to do so free of charge. After completing the compulsory secondary education, if students wish to continue to the next level, they must be awarded a Secondary Education Certificate, which shows that the student was successful in his compulsory secondary studies. In the post-compulsory schooling, students can decide whether they want to pursue University studies or Vocational studies. Based on that decision, students obtain a specific curriculum that applies to their desired choice. Then in order to move from post-secondary to the University, students must pass the University Entrance Exam. A typical degree at a University lasts four years. The youth literacy rate among males is 99.5% and the youth literacy rate among females is 99.7%. Also, the net enrollment ratio for primary school is 99.7%. Lastly, the total adult literacy rate is measured to be 97.7% of the population.

Spain’s Population Change

population-of-spain-2014-healthcareHealth Care in Spain 2014

As of recent, the health care industry has taken some major changes, affecting the majority of the population. In 2012, public health care expenditures were cut by 13.7%, and in 2013, the expenditures were cut by 16.2%. The government also decided that any non-registered immigrants living in Spain could not receive care, unless it was for an emergency. However, the definition of the term emergency is left fairly ambiguous. One controversy in regards to this law is the lack of vaccination among children of migrants. The failure to vaccinate these children could mean the spread of a highly contagious disease. Also, due to the new law, patients must pay for parts of their treatments and medications, which is a deterrent for patients to even take their medications because they cannot afford them. As of 2012, the life expectancy in Spain was 82 years. Lastly, the under-five mortality rate is about 5 deaths per 1,000 children and the infant mortality rate is about 4 deaths per 1,000 infants.

Population of Japan 2014

population-of-japan-2014Population of Japan 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rates, and the population of 2013, the current population of Japan is estimated to be about 127,052,765. As a result, Japan is the tenth-most populous country in the world, behind Russia, but ahead of Mexico. Japan is one of the few larger countries that is experiencing a population decline instead of a population increase. At the end of 2013, the population was estimated to be about 127,143,577. Therefore, since the end of 2013, there has been a decline of about 91,000 people. The decline in population mainly comes as a result of the age of the population. There is a large portion of the population that is over the age of 65 years. In 2013, around 24% of the population was over the age of 65 years. Based on the population and the land area, the population density of Japan is about 336.17 people per square kilometer or 870.67 people per square mile.

Geography of Japan

Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, which in total are known as the Japanese archipelago and which stretch along the Pacific coast of East Asia. The main islands are the following: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Another large group of Japanese islands is known as the Ryukyu Islands. Honshu is the largest island and is typically known as the mainland of the country. Overall, over 70% of the land is deemed as unsuitable for living due to the high concentrations of forests and mountains. As a result, the remaining areas that are suitable for living are quite dense in terms of population. Because the island has 108 active volcanoes, many earthquakes and tsunamis occur as a result. The most recent earthquake was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which resulted in a tsunami afterwards, on March 11, 2011.

Climate of Japan

The islands of Japan are divided into six climate zones: Hokkaido, Sea of Japan, Central Highland, Seto Inland Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Ryukyu Islands. Hokkaido is the most northern region and is characterized by its humidity. It has long and cold winters, but very warm summers. The region does not receive an abnormal amount of rain, but it does receive a heavy amount of snow in the winter. The Sea of Japan region is along the western coast of Honshu. The region receives heavy snowfall during the winter and mainly cool temperatures in the summer. However, hot temperatures in this region during the summer come as a result of foehn wind. The Central Highland region is characterized by its humidity. There is a large difference between temperatures during the summer and winter, along with differences between day and night. Despite the low levels of precipitation, winters receive much snow.
Due to the mountains in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions, there is mild weather all year in the Seto Inland Sea region. The Pacific Ocean region experiences humid and subtropical climates. The winters are fairly mild, but the summers are hot and humid. The last region, the Ryukyu Islands, experience a subtropical climate. The winters are fairly warm, but their winters are hot. There is a high level of precipitation along with a high level of humidity. This climate is what results in the beautiful blooming of the spring cherry blossoms and the fall colors of leaves, which are typically portrayed in artwork. Overall, the average temperature in Japan is 41.2°F. The average summer temperature, though, is 77.4°F. Lastly, typhoon season is in the end of summer and the beginning of the fall.

Economy of Japan

The Japanese economy is ranked as the third largest in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product, the fourth largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, and is the second largest developed economy. The currency is the Japanese Yen. The agricultural sector of the economy makes up only 1.4% of the total GDP, which may be because only 12% of the land is suitable for farming. The sector is highly regulated by the government, evident through the 777.7% tariff on rice imports. Some major agricultural imports include wheat and soybeans. The service sector in Japan accounts for about 75% of its total economy. As of 2013, it was home to almost 13% of the Forbes Global 2000. In 2012, Japan was the fifth most visited country in Asia and the Pacific. In fact, 2013 blew the number of visitors of 2012 out of the water, totaling 11.25 million visitors. Lastly, as of January 30, 2014, the unemployment rate in Japan is 3.7%, which showed a 0.3% decrease from November 2013.

Health Care in Japan

Japan has a universal health care system through which every citizen can receive care. Having health insurance is mandatory, despite the fact that there is no penalty for not having it. Around 10% of the population does not have health insurance. The government regulates all of the medical fees, preventing the facilities from overcharging or making a profit. All hospitals and health care facilities are run as non-profits. Depending on a person or family’s income, a person/family is either responsible for 10%, 20%, or 30% of the medical costs. The government pays the other portion of the costs. Some health concerns in Japan include the high suicide rates, smoking, and pollution. Suicide is the leading cause of death for those citizens under the age of 30. 65% of the suicides were as a result of job loss. Some other factors include social pressure and depression. Despite these health concerns, Japanese women have the second highest life expectancy of any other country in the world. Lastly, according to the United Nations, Japan has the third lowest infant mortality rates.

Education in Japan

The literacy rate of Japan is 99%, which came as a result of the essential role that education has played in Japanese society, especially since the end of World War II. Education is required from ages 6 to 15, which include elementary and lower secondary schools. In the junior school (lower secondary), the students study the Japanese language, social studies, mathematics, science, music, fine arts, health, and physical education. They also encourage learning foreign languages, especially English. In 2005, about 94% of junior high school graduates attended high school. There are universities and colleges that students can attend after high school. In fact, as of 2010, over 2.8 million students were attending a college or university. Lastly, as of 2011, 33 of Japan’s universities ranked in the Top 100 Asian Universities.

Japanese Population Risking Extinction

population-of-japan-2014-transportationTransportation in Japan

Japan has approximately 1.2 million kilometers of paved roads. The road network throughout the country is considered to be the main form of transportation. Despite this fact, only about 50% of the distance traveled in Japan is taken by cars or roads. Another large part of Japanese transportation is its railway and train system. Japan has over 250 high-speed trains, which are known for their safety and timeliness. Also, there are 173 airports, one of which, Haneda Airport, is the second busiest airport in all of Asia and the largest airport in Japan. Lastly, Nagoya Port accounts for 10% of Japan’s trade and is the largest and busiest port in the country.

Population of Mexico 2014

population-of-mexico-2014Population of Mexico 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the current population of the United Mexican States is estimated to be about 123,278,559. The Mexican population makes up about 1.71% of the entire world’s population and ranks 11th in population rankings, behind Japan, but ahead of the Philippines. However, because of the rate that Mexico’s population is growing and the rate that Japan is decreasing, it will not be long before Mexico overtakes it in the population rankings. Mexico is the second-most populous country in North America, behind the United States, but ahead of Canada. At the end of 2013, the population was 122,332,399. Therefore, since the start of 2014, there has been an approximate growth of 946,160 people, or a growth rate of about 0.77%. Based on the total population and the total area, the population density of Mexico is estimated to be about 62.5 people per square kilometer or 161.87 people per square mile.

Geography of Mexico

Mexico is made up of thirty-one individual and sovereign states, each of which has its own constitution and government. However, they all fall under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Federal government. Mexico is located in North America to the south of the United States and to the north of Central America. Its total land area, 1,972,550 square kilometers or 761,606 square miles, make it the 14th largest country in terms of land area. The Rio Grande determines the northern border of Mexico with the United States and the borders between Guatemala and Belize determine the southern borders of Mexico. Mexico is made up of two mountain rages: Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental. The Sierra Nevada, which is also known as the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, crosses through the center of the country. Lastly, the highest point in Mexico is the Pico de Orizaba, which reaches 5,700 meters or 18,701 feet.

Mexican Government

Mexico is a federation with a representative, democratic, and republican government. The Mexican Constitution was ratified in 1917 and established the three levels of government: the Federal Union, state governments, and municipal governments. The Federal Union is broken up into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The President of the United Mexican States, currently Enrique Pena Nieto, who has veto power over laws passed by the legislative branch and is the commander-in-chief of the Mexican military, heads the Executive Branch. The Legislative Branch is a bicameral Congress, composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Congress makes laws, declares war, establishes taxes and the budget, and approves any diplomatic appointment. The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 300 deputies, while the Senate is made up of 128 Senators. The Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court of Justice, which has eleven judges that the President appoints. Lastly, the three major political parties in Mexico are the National Action Party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and the Party of the Democratic Revolution. The current President is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Mexican Economy

Mexico is considered to have the 14th largest nominal Gross Domestic Product and the 10th largest Gross Domestic Product by Purchasing Power Parity. As a result, it is considered to be an upper middle-income economy and country. However, despite this economic status, the number of people living in poverty has increased. From 2006 to 2010, the number of people that were considered to be in moderate or extreme poverty increased from 35% to 46% of the population. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Mexico second in the economic disparity between the rich and the poor. Mexico has the second largest electronics industry in the world and it also produces more automobiles than any other North American nation.

Transportation in Mexico

Mexico contains 366,095 kilometers or 227,481 miles of roads, but only 116,802 kilometers or 72,577 miles are paved. However, despite the large difference in unpaved and paved roads, Mexico has the largest paved-road network in Latin America. The Secretary of Communications and Transport had proposed and started a high-speed train project, which was projected to cost about $25 billion. The train is supposed to connect Mexico City to Guadalajara. Lastly, Mexico has 233 airports, but 35 have about 97% of the total passenger traffic. Mexico City International Airport is the largest Latin American airport and the 44th largest airport in the world.

Mexican Cuisine

Due to the various early setters in the region, current Mexican cuisine has received influences from many different cultures, especially Columbia and Spain. In general, Mexican food tends to include rice, beef, maize, avocado, chili pepper, beans, and many other ingredients. However, due to geographical and climate differences, each region has its own specialty. Northern Mexico is known for beef, goat, and ostrich dishes. Central Mexico is known for carnitas and tamales. Southeastern Mexico typically makes spicy vegetable and chicken dishes. Lastly, in the regions near the Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, seafood dishes tend to be very popular.

Demographic Challenge in Mexico

Health Care in Mexico

Since the start of the 21st century, Mexico has taken many steps in improving its health care system. In December of 2006, the government established Health Insurance for a New Generation, which essentially granted insurance to babies. In May of 2009, the government established Universal Health Care for Pregnant Women. Then, in 2012, the entire United Mexican States established a universal healthcare system. Because of the universal healthcare system, health care is either completely free or subsidized for all citizens, if they choose to use the public health system. Typically, a visit to the doctor’s office will cost $25 and a night’s stay in a hospital will cost $30. Private hospitals and private insurance policies still exist and can be used if a person is willing to pay for it. In fact, private facilities account for 13% of the country’s total facilities. Lastly, 97% of the population has access to potable water and 90% of the country has access to sanitized water.

population-of-mexico-2014-education

Education in Mexico

Education in Mexico has three main stages, two of which are considered compulsory: primary, junior high school, and high school. Primary school is made up of grades one through six. Some primary schools are bilingual, helping the students master another prominent language. The Spanish word for “school”, escuela, describes primary school. Junior high school is grades seven through nine. During this portion of schooling, students are introduced to specific topics such as Chemistry or World History. High school, which is not mandatory for students, is grades ten through twelve. During the first few semesters, the students take a common curriculum. However, near the end of the program, students can take specialized electives, such as philosophy or economics. Students can also enter into a vocational training program to train them for skilled labor jobs in the market. Lastly, only about 23% of Mexican youth (ages 23-35 years) have an undergraduate degree from a college or university.

Population of North America 2014

population-of-north-america-2014Population of North America 2014

Based on population expectancies and the estimated population of 2013, the population of North America is projected to reach an estimate of 533,215,000 in the year 2014. As a result, North America remains as the fourth-most populous continent in the world, behind Asia, Africa, and Europe. North America is made up of twenty-three independent states, nine internationally recognized dependent territories, and fourteen other areas, including Greenland, which is a constituent country of Denmark (European nation). The most populous country in North America is the United States of America, which more than doubles the population of the second-most populous country in North America, Mexico. The least populous country in North America is Montserrat, which is a dependent territory of the United Kingdom. The least populous sovereign state in North America is Saint Kitts and Nevvis, which is also the smallest sovereign state in terms of land area and size. The smallest state, including dependent territories, is Saba, a dependent territory of the Netherlands.

Language in North America 2014

There are three major languages spoken throughout North America: English, Spanish, and French. Canada’s official languages are both French and English, making it bilingual. The various provinces throughout Canada have adopted either language as their official language and sometimes both. While there is no official language of the United States of America, English tends to be the most widely spoken language, especially in the workforce and education sector. However, the state of Louisiana deems French as an official language. But, due to the large number of immigrants throughout the country, various languages, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and many others, are also spoken frequently, depending on the location. Latin America, generally indicating the territory south of the United States, most frequently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. The official language of Mexico is considered to be Spanish. Lastly, Belize is not always considered to be a part of Latin America. In fact, the official language of Belize is English.

Geography of North America

There are four major regions of North America: the Great Plains, the mountainous west, the plateaus of the Canadian Shield in the northeast, and the eastern region, which contains various geographic features. The Great Plains extend from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic. The mountainous west includes the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, California, and Alaska. Lastly, the eastern region includes things such as the Appalachian Mountains, the Florida peninsula, and even the coastal plains along the Atlantic coast. Mexico is considered to be a part of the western region, despite part of its geographic location in the east.
The boundaries of the continent are sometimes debated, especially in regards to the southern boundary. The West Indies is traditionally always considered to be a part of North America. Also, despite the fact that Greenland is a constituent country of Denmark, its geographic location lies within the boundaries of North America, and so it is traditionally considered as part of North America. The only land connection that North American and South American have is the Isthmus of Panama. Many people declare that this is the boundary between the two continents. However, some people say that the boundary is at the Darien watershed on the border between Colombia and Panama, which would make the entire country of Panama in the North American continent, instead of partially in North America and partially in South America. Lastly, some people say that the most southern point of North America is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

On December 17, 1992, Present George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Mexican President Carlos Salinas met in San Antonio, Texas in order to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, the proposed agreement needed to be authorized and approved by each nation’s legislature. Clinton, who won the 1992 Presidential Election, came into office in the midst of the negotiations. But, after adding a couple subsequent agreements, the United States Congress approved the bill. Thus, Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993. The main purpose of this agreement between the North American nations was to eliminate most of the barriers to trade and investment. The bill worked to slowly remove the trade barriers over the course of the next ten years between the United States and Mexico. There have been some restrictions on the trade of agricultural goods between the countries, however. The bill also helped create more jobs in the countries, along with allowing some immigrants a legal way to work in the United States. Lastly, the agreement included the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to help negate the concerns of the negative impact the agreement would have on the environment.

population-of-north-america-2014-highwayTransportation in North America 2014

There currently exists one highway system between the continents: the Pan-American Highway. The Pan-American Highway is made up of 30,000 miles of roads, extending from Alaska down into South America. However, the North American portion of the highway is only 16,000 miles long. Although the roads in Canada are not officially a part of the Pan-American Highway, they still connect and travel throughout the continent. Also, on May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States of America was completed. The final spike was placed at the Promontory Summit, Utah, establishing a transportation system, which helped advance and further the American economy. The economy no longer had to rely on wagon trains for transportation, but could now use the railroad network to travel from the eastern coast of the United States to California.

North American Fox

North American Climate 2014

There are five major climate regions in North America: the Arctic zone, the cool temperate zone, the warm temperate zone, the tropical humid zone, and the dry zone. The Arctic Zone consists of the northern parts of the Canadian Shield and Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and Greenland. The only months that the temperatures may rise above freezing are June to September. Despite only receiving, on average, 2 to 4 inches of precipitation, the Arctic Zone may receive 30 to 60 inches of snow. The cool temperate zone consists of the regions from Newfoundland to Alaska and from the Hudson Bay to the Ohio River. The temperatures in this region range from average lows from -80°F to average highs of more than 50°F. Average precipitation ranges from 15 to 35 inches per year, and the most precipitation occurs during the summer and fall seasons.

The warm temperate zones include the southeast coast of the United States and the American Southwest. The southeast, along with its warm average temperatures, has an average of about 40 to 60 inches of rainfall every year. Hurricanes are a large hazard to these climate regions due to their location near the Gulf of Mexico. The American Southwest experiences averages around 15 to 30 inches of rainfall, but accompanied with high evaporation rates, making it hard to sufficiently grow crops during the summer. The tropical humid climate mainly includes Central America. This climate region experiences average temperatures above 64°F and under 82°F. The average rainfall per year is around 45 to 80 inches. This region also experiences dangerous hurricanes. Lastly, the dry climate region makes up around a third of the continent, including high altitudes in the Arctic regions and certain parts of the American Southwest. This region is plagued by a lack of rainfall, receiving, on average, less than 10 inches per year.