About North America
The US and beyond

Think of North America and images of the US will probably spring to mind. The US does indeed account for a large proportion of the continent, but with Mexico below and Canada above, by no means does it account for all of it. At 24.7 million square kilometres in area, North America is the third-largest continent on Earth and home 565 million people, over seven percent of the world’s population.

A trip through North America could begin at its most westerly point, on a narrow Alaskan peninsula a stone’s throw from Russia. Follow the Pan American Highway south and you’ll reach the Darien Gap, the wild frontier between Columbia and the Isthmus of Panama. They may be very different destinations, but the whole continent is located in the Northern Hemisphere.

Compare the bright lights of New York City to the raucous Latino metropolis that is Mexico City and you couldn’t find more of a stark contrast, but the fact remains, both cities, and the people who live in them, are North Americans.


America is named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci who arrived on the continent between 1497 and 1502.