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North America

Encarta Encyclopedia, largest country, West Indies, largest island, Atlantic Ocean

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North America, third largest of the seven continents, including Canada (the 2nd largest country in area in the world), the United States (3rd largest), and Mexico (14th largest). The continent also includes Greenland, the largest island, as well as the small French overseas department of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and the British dependency of Bermuda (both made up of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean). With 528 million inhabitants (2008 estimate), North America is the 4th most populous continent; the United States ranks 3rd and Mexico 11th in population among the world's countries. Canada and the United States have technologically developed early modern economies, and Mexico, although less technologically developed than its neighbors, contains some of the world's greatest deposits of petroleum and natural gas.

Together with Central America, the West Indies, and South America, North America makes up the Western Hemisphere of Earth. North America is sometimes defined to include Central America and the West Indies, which are treated separately in Encarta Encyclopedia. The name America is derived from that of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, who may have visited the mainland of North America in 1497 and 1498.


Sammis, Fran. North America. Marshall Cavendish, 1998. For readers in grades 4 to 7.

Sayre, April Pulley. North America. Twenty-First Century, 1998. An overview of the continent; for readers in grades 5 to 8.

Stefoff, Rebecca. Exploring the New World. Marshall Cavendish, 2000. For readers in grades 4 to 6. North America

Davis, Philip. The History Atlas of North America. Macmillan, 1998. A history of the continent, from the earliest migrations to recent immigration.

Dunn, Jon. Field Guide to the Birds of North America. 3rd ed. National Geographic Society, 1999. Standard field reference for birders.

Homberger, Eric. The Penguin Historical Atlas of North America. Penguin, 1995. From colonial status to NAFTA.

Hoxie, Frederick E., ed. Encyclopedia of North American Indians. Houghton, 1996. Clearly written reference guide to Native American life, history, and culture.

Little, Elbert Luther. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. Knopf, 1980. Standard, fully illustrated identification guide.

McKnight, Tom L. Regional Geography of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, 1997. Text book introduction to the features of the continent.

National Geographic Society, 1999. Maps as well as descriptions of scenic routes and points of interest.

Noble, Allen George. To Build in a New Land: Ethnic Landscapes in North America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. The architecture and other cultural aspects of different groups of immigrants to North America.

Paterson, John H. North America: A Geography of the United States and Canada. 9th ed. Oxford University Press, 1994. Standard geography text.

Whitaker, John O. National Audubon Field Guide to the Mammals of North America. Rev.ed.. Knopf, 1996. Standard, fully illustrated field guide.


Microsoft Encarta 2009. 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Encarta Encyclopedia, largest country, West Indies, largest island, Atlantic Ocean, small islands, Greenland, continents, natural gas, inhabitants, Miquelon, Central America, neighbors, Mexico, South America, North America, population, estimate, United States, area, countries, world

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