The United States of America is a federation of fifty States: forty-eight continental states, plus Alaska (west of Canada) and Hawaii (an island in the Pacific Ocean). The largest continental State is Texas, while the largest overall State is Alaska. The smallest State is Rhode Island, which isn't an island, but is a part of the region called New England. New England is in the northeast of USA and it’s made up of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The USA is so big that every State has different laws and traditions. The East Coast is on the Atlantic Ocean and the West Coast is on the Pacific Ocean. In the East, which has cold, snowy winters and hot summers, there is more industry and big business. There you can find the famous cities of New York, Chicago and the capital of USA, Washington DC (District of Columbia). In the West there is more agriculture and the pace of life is often slower. The states of Oregon and California are famous for their vineyards, the warm summers and mild winters. Between the East and the West Coast there is the Midwest. It’s home of Great Plains, also know as the “Breadbasket of United States” for the enormous quantities of grain grown there. Dividing the East Coast from the Midwest is the Mississippi River, which is the longest river in the USA. Going west across the flat lands of the Plains, there are the Rocky Mountains.
The population of the United States is the result of a massive immigration process, the grandest of human history, which occurred in a matter of a couple of centuries. The first immigrants in the 13 colonies came from the United Kingdom but later it was very strong immigration from Germany where the number of inhabitants was almost equal to that of British immigrants, while in the area of the state of New York were immigrants from countries Netherlands. Immigration from France was frequent after the sale of Louisiana to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte. In the nineteenth century was enormous immigration from Ireland, Italy and the equally strong, especially at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The immigration continued in the twentieth century with the arrival of immigrants from the Scandinavian countries, and during the Second World War, Jews (about 6 million), especially from Russia, Poland and Hungary.
Today the population, ethnically composed as in no other country in the world, is more than 314 million inhabitants: the majority of Americans, about 80%, is a descendant of European immigrants, another 13% is represented by African Americans and only 1,5% is made up by the natives.