Northern America

Northern America is the northernmost region of North America. The boundaries may be drawn slightly differently. In one definition, it lies directly north of Middle America (Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America).[2] Northern America's land frontier with the rest of North America then coincides with the Mexico–United States border. Geopolitically, according to the United Nations' scheme of geographic regions and subregions, Northern America consists of Bermuda, Canada, Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States of America (excluding Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and other minor US territories).[3][4]

Northern America
Area21,780,142 km2 (8,409,360 sq mi)
Population364,295,996 (2018 est.)
Population density16.5/km2
GDP (nominal)$22.2 trillion
(2018 est.)[1]
LanguagesEnglish, French, Spanish, Danish, Greenlandic, and various recognized regional languages
Time zonesUTC (Danmarkshavn, Greenland) to
UTC -10:00 (west Aleutians)
Largest cities
UN M49 code021 – Northern America
003North America


Maps using the term Northern America date back to 1755, when the region was occupied by France, Great Britain, and Spain.[5] The Solemn Act of the Declaration of Independence of Northern America in 1813 applied to Mexico. Today, Northern America includes the Canada–US dyad, developed countries that exhibit very high Human Development Indexes and intense economic integration while sharing many socioeconomic characteristics.[6]

The World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions has "Northern America" as the seventh of its nine "botanical continents". Its definition differs from the usual political one: Mexico is included, Bermuda is excluded (being placed in the Caribbean region), Hawaii is excluded (being placed in the Pacific botanical continent) and all of the Aleutian Islands, Russian as well as American, are included.[7]

Countries and dependent territories

Country or territory Area
Population density
(per km²)
 Bermuda 53.2 62,756 1,275 Hamilton
 Canada 9,984,670 37,064,562 3.4 Ottawa
 Greenland 2,166,086 56,564 0.026 Nuuk
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 242 5,849 25 Saint-Pierre
 United States[11] 9,826,675 327,096,265 32.7 Washington, D.C.


YearPopulation of
Northern America
Canada population,
% of Northern America
U.S. population,
% of Northern America
1950 171,615,000 13,737,000 8.0% 157,813,000 92.0%
1960 204,167,000 +19.0% 17,909,000 8.8% 186,177,000 91.2%
1970 231,029,000 +13.2% 21,439,000 9.3% 209,486,000 90.7%
1980 254,217,000 +10.0% 24,516,000 9.6% 229,588,000 90.3%
1990 280,633,000 +10.4% 27,662,000 9.9% 252,848,000 90.1%
2000 313,724,000 +11.8% 30,702,000 9.8% 282,896,000 90.2%
2010 344,129,000 +9.7% 34,126,000 9.9% 309,876,000 90.0%
2015 357,838,000 +4.0% 35,940,000 10.0% 321,774,000 89.9%


See also


  1. "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects".
  2. Gonzalez, Joseph. 2004. "Northern America: Land of Opportunity" (ch. 6). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geography. (ISBN 1592571883) New York: Alpha Books; pp. 57-8
  3. Definition of major areas and regions, from World Migrant Stock: The 2005 Revision Population Database, United Nations Population Division. Accessed on line October 3, 2007.
  4. Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, UN Statistics Division. Accessed on line October 3, 2007. (French)
  5. Bellin, Jacques-Nicolas. 1755. Carte de l'Amerique septentrionale (Map of Northern America) Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. Item NMC 21057: Library and Archives Canada.
  6. Torrey, Barbara Boyle & Eberstadt, Nicholas. 2005 (Aug./Sep.). "The Northern America Fertility Divide Archived 2007-11-07 at the Wayback Machine." Hoover Institution Policy Review. No. 132.
  7. Brummitt, R.K. (2001). World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions: Edition 2 (PDF). International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases For Plant Sciences (TDWG). Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-04-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. Unless otherwise noted, land area figures are taken from "Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). United Nations Statistics Division. 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-14. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ""World Population prospects – Population division"". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  10. ""Overall total population" – World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision" (xslx). (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  11. Includes the U.S. state of Hawaii, which is distant from the North American landmass in the Pacific Ocean and therefore more commonly associated with the other territories of Oceania.
  12. "World Population Prospects".
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