Little-known facts about America (That are kind of obvious)


I think most people know that we are the world’s third-largest and third-most-populous country, that our military spending and incarceration rates are the largest in the world by far, and that we have the second-oldest written constitution still in use.

That said, there are a few facts about the good ol’ U. S. of A. that aren’t as well-known, though they should seem kind of obvious with a little thought. Here are some facts I didn’t know until recently, and most people I’ve told didn’t know, either, but are kind of a “duh” when you think about them.

The United States has examples of nearly every climate and environment on planet Earth

Why it’s kind of obvious: Let’s see… we have arctic tundra and taiga (in Alaska), tropical rain forests (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Florida Keys), subtropical swamps (the Gulf coast) and temperate marshes (parts of Ohio), deserts (the southwest), alpine mountain ranges (the Rockies and Sierras), steppes (the Great Plains), and a variety of temperate deciduous and coniferous forests (the east coast).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even have some unusual and rare climates, like temperate rain forests (the Pacific Northwest)

and Mediterranean (in California, one of only five places on earth that has it).

I guess that’s what happens when you expand across an entire continent, and then some!

The United States has more than 200 languages unique to this country and nowhere else

Why it’s kind of obvious: Before Europeans arrived, the Native Americans living here were a myriad of hundreds of nations, tribes, clans, and other groups, with widely different cultures and, naturally, widely different languages. These languages are so diverse that linguists group them into dozens of language families.

As if those were not enough, we can’t forget the native Hawaiian language, or Chamorro, the language of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, two U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean.

Polynesia, here I come!

And things get even more interesting after European contact. There’s Pennsylvania Dutch, a language unique to the American Midwest that evolved from German and is still widely spoken by the Amish community. Or Louisiana Creole French, which is actually quite distinct from the French language. I could go on. We just don’t think about it, because, well, this is America. And in America, we speak English, of course. Or do we?

The United States has the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking population

Why it’s kind of obvious: There are more than 35 million native Spanish speakers in the United States. That’s equal to the entire population of California, and more than 10% of the total population.

Many of these native speakers are immigrants, of course. Then again, Spanish is the everyday language of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. And New Mexico has a centuries-old community of native Spanish speakers with their own dialect.

To these native speakers, add the millions of Americans who learn Spanish as a second language. Most American schoolchildren (and adults) who learn a second language pick Spanish, and Spanish is chosen by 53% of college and university students seeking to learn a second language. When you add non-native speakers to the equation, you get about 50 million Spanish speakers in the United States. That is higher than the population of Spain. Only Mexico has more Spanish speakers than us, and that is largely because of its population of more than 100 million.

Estados Unidos! Estados Unidos! Woooooooo!

Información recibido por Wikipedia.

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One Response to Little-known facts about America (That are kind of obvious)

  1. IIRC, the US also has the largest Chinese speaking population outside of China.

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