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Table of Contents
North America is the third largest continent in the world. It covers an area of 9,355,000 square miles (24,230,000 square km) with a population of approximately 600 million people.
See the fact file below for more information on North America, or you can download our 26-page North America worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The very large continent of North America covers just over 16% of the Earth’s surface and is the third largest continent in the world, after Asia and Africa.
- North America stretches from the Arctic Circle in the north down to the Tropic of Cancer, has an east-west width of 5,000 mi (8,000 km) and a similar length.
- North America covers an area of 9,355,000 sq mi (24,230,000 sq km).
- To the north of the continent is the Arctic Ocean, on the east side is the North Atlantic Ocean, on the west side is the North Pacific Ocean and to the south is the Caribbean Sea.
- It is separated from Iceland in the north by the Denmark Strait and from South America by the Isthmus of Panama.
- There are 23 countries in North America and some 37,000 mi (60,000 km) of coastline.
Etymology and Background
- The name of this continent was derived from the name of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci and was given by Martin Waldseemuller, a German cartographer, when he put the name “America” on the world map that he produced in 1507.
- English is the most widely used language throughout the continent. Other languages include French and Spanish.
- The first inhabitants of North America arrived about 40,000 years ago in the Period known as the Paleo-Indian Period.
- The continent was known to the colonizers as the “New World,” and colonialism is the main reason English, Spanish, and French are spoken in Northern America.
- Native Americans opposed the invasions and fought for their lands, which resulted in many casualties and led to a drastic decrease in their population.
- Christianity is the most prevalent religion on the continent and makes up the biggest Christian population in the world.
- North America is considered one of the richest continents in the world, with a very low rate of unemployment and a very high GDP per capita.
- The culture of the people in North America is based on their previous colonizers, such as the British, who made a great impact on the culture of the United States and Canada.
- On the other hand, portions of several countries that are close to the border of the United States are influenced by its culture, too, such as Mexico.
- African-Americans, Caucasians, and Mestizos are the three main races found on this continent. Other minorities found in North America include Asians and indigenous American groups.
- In the 1960s, an archaeological excavation, which is said to date back to the end of the 10th century, found that Norse settlements resided in the area, particularly in the Newfoundland area.
- The continent of North America is surrounded by the world’s biggest oceans, namely the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific Ocean.
- Canada has the world’s longest coastline, which measures 125,567 mi (202,080 km).
- This huge continent has verified terrain, from deserts and grasslands to tundra, tropical forests, and taigas (snow forests).
- The driest and lowest point in North America is Death Valley National Park which is located on the border of California and Nevada.
- The third largest lake in the world can be found on the continent of North America. It is Lake Superior and is shared by two countries, namely Canada and the United States.
- Almost half of the global supply of corn is grown on the continent of North America.
North America’s Major Mountains, Rivers, and Lakes
- North America has incredible mountain ranges. The most significant is the Rocky Mountains, usually called the Rockies, which stretch over 3,000 mi (4,800 km) from Canada to New Mexico.
- Mount McKinley, renamed Denali, is in Alaska and rises 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. It is the continent’s highest.
- Mount Logan is the second largest peak at 19,551 ft (5,959 m)
- Pico de Orizaba stands tall at 5,636 m 18,491 ft.
- Mount Saint Elias stands at 5,489 m 18,009 ft
- Missouri River, the longest at 2,341 mi (3,768 km)
- Mississippi River, 2,320 mi (3,734 km)
- Yukon, 1,980 mi (3,185 km)
- St. Lawrence and Rio Grande, both almost 1,900 mi (3,050 km)
- Rio Grande, 1,896 mi (2,830 km)
- Lakes abound in North America; there are 64 of them.
- The five Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world and hold 21% of the world’s surface freshwater.
- They are Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and are situated on or near the Canada–United States border.
North America’s Major Resources and Products
- North America has rich and varied resources, with a high proportion of the world’s iron ore, steel, copper, lead, coal, and oil.
- Hydroelectric power is generated from many waterways, including Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes.
- North American crops are as varied as its terrain. The tropical zones produce bananas, oranges, sugarcane, coffee, and cocoa, while the drier areas produce cotton and hemp.
- Corn and soybeans are among the major export products. The US is the top producer of corn in the world.
- Avocados, blueberries, sunflowers, and tobacco are also abundant crops in North America.
General Knowledge of North America
- The continent of North America is composed of Central America, Northern America, and The Caribbean.
- Several progressive civilizations once inhabited the continent of North America, including the Mayan civilization, which built a lot of ancient infrastructures, including pyramids, temples, and houses.
- There are approximately 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, some of which are still inhabited.
- The second largest country in the world, Canada, is located on the continent of North America.
- North America is home to eight of the top ten metropolitan areas in the world. Included are Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago.
Did You Know?
- North America contains some of the oldest rocks found on planet Earth. These rocks are estimated to be 4.28 billion years old.
- Many of North America’s rivers freeze in winter. The Mackenzie River in Canada is frozen for most of the year.
- The “Pan-American Highway” is a network of roads measuring about 19,000 mi (30,000 km) that links all the different states in North America.
- In 1922 the Wood Buffalo National Park was established in Alberta, Canada. This huge national park is 17,300 sq mi (44,807 sq km) which makes it bigger than Switzerland.
- The biggest city on the continent of North America is Mexico City, which is 573 sq mi (1,485 sq km) and in 2022 had over 132,000,000 inhabitants.
- Lake Superior has beautiful beaches and clear water that is safe for swimming most of the year. However, be warned parts of Lake Superior are infested with man-eating alligators.
North America Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about North America across 26 in-depth pages. These ready-to-use North America worksheets are perfect for teaching students about North America, the third largest continent in the world. It covers an area of 9,355,000 square miles (24,230,000 square km) with a population of approximately 600 million people.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- North America Facts
- Name the States
- Intelligent Civilizations
- All Capital
- City Population
- Religions in North America
- Natural Wonders of North America
- North American Currencies
- Solve the Scrambled Words
- The Agricultural Products
Frequently Asked Questions
How many countries are there in North America?
North America is made up of 23 countries and also more than two dozen non-sovereign territories.
What is the largest city in North America?
The largest city in North America is New Mexico, followed closely by New York City and Los Angeles. New Mexico has an area of 121,590 sq mi (314,900 sq km), and is densely populated, with over 9 million inhabitants.
Are there different time zones in North America?
North America has six time zones. They are the Eastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, and Pacific Time Zone. Then Alaska and Hawaii also have their own time zones. The time difference between North America’s east and west coasts is 3 hours.
What is famous in North America?
North America has hundreds of unique and exciting things to offer tourists. The Statue of Liberty in New York is one of the most famous landmarks in the world; then, there is the delightful Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. There is also the incredible Niagara Falls, with a waterfall of more than 160 ft (50 m), and for something completely different, the magnificent Grand Canyon.
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.