- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Economic Geography of North America

Essay by   •  August 5, 2011  •  Case Study  •  3,454 Words (14 Pages)  •  2,179 Views

Essay Preview: Economic Geography of North America

Report this essay
Page 1 of 14

North America Map


Natural Resources

There are various plant life distributions in North America. Plant life in the Arctic includes grasses, mosses, and Arctic willows. Coniferous trees, including spruces, pines, hemlocks, and firs, are indigenous to the Canadian and Western U.S. mountain ranges as far south as San Francisco. Among these are giant sequoias, redwoods, great firs, and sugar pines. Sugar pines are generally confined to the northwestern area of the United States. The central region of the country has hardwoods. Southern states grow extensive yellow pines. In addition, mahogany, logwood, and lignumvitae - all tropical in nature - are grown. The southwest has desert plants, including yucci and cacti. The cultivated native plants of North America are tobacco, maize, potato, vanilla, melons, cacao, gourds, indigo plant, and bean.

Major habitat types of the United States and Canada Ecoregions map of Canada, United-States and Mexico

Mining and petroleum

The mining and petroleum industries are important in Canada, the United States and Mexico. These natural resources make the region one of the richest on the earth

Rocky Mountains

Picture of Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountain region is known for vast resources and rich mineral deposits including copper, lead, gold, silver, tungsten, uranium, and zinc. Coal, petroleum and natural gas are mineral fuels found.[1][16] Old mine tailings are present in the Rocky Mountain landscape.

Agriculture and forestry

Agriculture and forestry are two major industries. Agriculture includes arid land and irrigated farming and livestock grazing. Livestock are often moved between high-elevation summer pastures and low-elevation and winter pastures.


The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run along the entire Pacific Coast, acting as a barrier to the humid winds that sweep in from the ocean. The rising topography forces this air upwards, causing moisture to condense and fall in the form of rain on the western slopes of the mountains, with some areas receiving more than 70 inches (1.8 m) of rainfall per year. As a result, the air has lost much of its moisture and becomes hot and dry when it reaches the areas east of the coastal mountain ranges.[12] These arid conditions are, in some instances, exacerbated in regions of extremely low altitude (some near or below sea level) by higher air pressure, resulting in drier conditions and adiabatic heating effects. What precipitation does fall generally does not last long, lost primarily to evaporation, as well as rapid runoff and efficient water uptake and storage by native vegetation.


The population within the standard physical geographical boundaries was in 2005 according to the United Nations. In 2010 the population is 455 million, using a definition which includes United States, Mexico, Canada. Population growth is meduim, and median age comparatively high in Canada with 41 years and low in Mexico with 27.1 years

The prevalent languages in North America are English, Spanish, and French.

Demographically, North America is a racially and ethnically diverse continent. Its three main racial groups are Caucasians, Mestizos and Blacks. There is a significant minority of Indigenous Americans and Asians among other less numerous groups.

When measured by population, the U.S. is still the dominant partner, but not to the same degree as for GDP. The U.S. accounts for just over two-thirds of NAFTA area population at 68.6 percent, compared to 23.9 percent for Mexico and 7.5 percent for Canada. Mexico also possesses a much younger and faster growing population than its two northern neighbours creating a unique set of opportunities and challenges for that country within North America.

The most populous country in North America, over doubling the second largest country in population, is the United States with 303,606,020 persons. The second largest country, and only other country to maintain a populace above 100 million persons is Mexico with a population of 112,322,757. Canada is the third largest country with a population of 32,623,490. The majority of Caribbean island-nations have national populations under one million, though Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico - a territory of the United States, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have populations higher than ten million.

The top ten largest North American metropolitan areas by population as of 2010, based on national census numbers from the United States of America, and census estimates from Canada and Mexico.

Metro Area Population Area Country

Mexico City

21,163,226 1 7,346 square kilometres (2,836 sq mi) Mexico

New York

18,897,109 17,405 square kilometres (6,720 sq mi) USA

Los Angeles

12,828,837 12,562 square kilometres (4,850 sq mi) USA


9,461,105 24,814 square kilometres (9,581 sq mi) USA

Dallas-Fort Worth

6,371,773 24,059 square kilometres (9,289 sq mi) USA

Delaware Valley

5,965,343 13,256 square kilometres (5,118 sq mi) USA


5,946,800 26,061 square kilometres (10,062 sq mi) USA


5,593,212 1 7,124 square kilometres (2,751 sq mi) Canada

Washington, D.C.

5,582,170 14,412 square kilometres (5,565 sq mi) USA


5,564,635 15,896 square kilometres (6,137 sq mi) USA



The Pan-American Highway route in North America is the portion of a network of roads nearly 48,000 km in length which travels through the mainland nations of the Americas. No definitive length



Download as:   txt (23.5 Kb)   pdf (274.1 Kb)   docx (23.1 Kb)  
Continue for 13 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 08). Economic Geography of North America. Retrieved 08, 2011, from

"Economic Geography of North America" 08 2011. 2011. 08 2011 <>.

"Economic Geography of North America.", 08 2011. Web. 08 2011. <>.

"Economic Geography of North America." 08, 2011. Accessed 08, 2011.