Some thing about USA

洛杉矶—Los Angeles


洛杉矶—美国第二大城市,位于加利福尼亚州西南部,太平洋东侧的圣佩德罗湾和圣莫尼卡湾沿岸。市区面积 1204.4 平方公里,人口 348.6 万 (1990),黑人和墨西哥人约占总人口的 17%和 15%,约 1/3 居民讲西班牙语。大市区包括洛杉矶县和奥兰治、文图拉两县的一部分,以及贝弗利希尔斯、帕萨迪纳、长滩等 80 余个大小城镇,总面积 10567 平方公里,人口 1000 万,仅次于纽约大市区。 城市座落在三面环山、一面临海的开阔盆地中,除局部为丘陵外,地面平衍,平均海拔 84 米;东北和东南面是圣加布列尔山和圣安娜山,森林茂密。气候温和宜人,多晴朗天气,年降水量仅 357 毫米,以冬雨为主。 原为印第安人牧区村落。1781 年西班牙殖民者在此建镇。1822 年起由墨西哥管辖。1846 年美、墨战争后归属美国。1850 年设市。城市在美国向西部移民开发过程中逐步发展。19 世纪 70-80 年代,横贯大陆的南太平洋铁路和连接中西部的圣菲铁路先后通达,加以附近地区石油资源的发现和开发,使城市获得较快发展。20 世纪初,通过长距离管道引水,解决了城市的供水问题,城郊农业兴旺;人工港的建成,巴拿马运河的通航和好莱坞电影业的兴起,加速了城市发展。第二次世界大战以来,现代工业倔起,商业、金融业和旅游业繁荣,移民激增,城区不断向四周扩展,成为美国新兴的特大城市。 美国西部最大的工业中心,制造业产值约占加利福尼亚州的 1/2,居全国第三位。重化工业发达。飞机制造业居突出地位,大市区 1.6 万余家工厂企业中,约有 2000 家从事飞机及其零部件制造;美国三大飞机制造公司中的洛克希德公司和道格拉斯公司,分设在市区北面的伯班克和西岸的圣莫尼卡。其次是石油开采、石油加工及电子仪表、钢铁、汽车、造船、化学、橡胶等工业部门。轻工业以服装、食品、印刷等为主,罐头食品、女式服装和运动服生产驰名于世。工业分布比较分散。大型飞机制造厂建在市区西北和南部;圣佩德罗湾沿岸的长滩是以炼油、造船等为主的综合性重化工业区;市区以东为轻纺工业区,南郊为电子仪表工业区;东部为钢铁工业区,并有不少大型发电厂,市区西北的好莱坞集中 600 多家电影和电视制片厂。大市区内有大、小机场 10 个,其中位于城西的洛杉矶国际机场,辟有 57 条航线,为美国最繁忙的机场之一。洛杉矶为一城镇群组合体,大而分散。50 年代以前城市以向平面发展为主,低平的建筑向四周伸延,规定建筑高度不超过 46 米、15 层,以防地震。随着空地减少、地价昂贵和建筑技术改进,1957 年以来禁令取消,高层建筑逐渐兴起。现全市 40 层以上高楼已有 8 幢,第一州际银行大楼高 261.5 米,仍层,为全市最高建筑物。市区由 8 个相对独立的部分松散组成。城中心区位于市区东端,以市政厅及其附近的市、县、州、联邦行政办公大楼为主体,有日本人聚居区“小东京”和华人聚居区“中国城”等;其东北为城市的诞生地,至今还保留着古老的广场、街道、商店,带有浓郁的墨西哥色彩。中心区以西的中区是好莱坞所在地,好莱坞大街和横贯全市的森塞特大街、威尔夏大街穿过本区,高层建筑林立,为全市最繁华的商业街之一。

美国西部的文化教育和旅游中心,有加利福尼亚大学洛杉矶分校、南加利福尼亚大学和加利福尼亚理工学院等著名高等学府。洛杉矶公共图书馆藏书量居全国第三位。洛杉矶县艺术博物馆展出从古埃及时代以来的艺术珍品,还有自然历史博物馆、科学和工业博物馆、美术馆及音乐中心等。还有美国最大的城市公园格里菲斯公园、名闻世界的迪斯尼游乐中心和阳光明媚的海滩等旅游景点。

迪斯尼乐园—

位于洛杉矶和圣地亚哥中间地带,是名副其实的梦幻天堂。凡是想象力所能及的刺激与冒险,这里应有尽有,从“美国大街”开始,主要的主题公园有“探险世界”“未来世界” “幻想世界”““界”“开拓之城” “开拓之城”“ 米老鼠之国”等主题乐园,它们都热情地迎接着来自世界各地的游客。在迪斯尼乐园,每年都会增加一些新的风景,各个季节都会有一些庆祝活动,每到”感恩节”"圣诞节”"复活节”等节假日时,这里会显得更为热闹,营业时间也会延长。

好莱坞星光大道—英文名称(Hollywood Walk of Fame)是条沿着美国好莱坞好莱坞大道与藤街伸展的人行道,上面有 2000 多颗镶有好莱坞商会追敬名人姓名的星形奖章,以纪念他们对娱乐工业的贡献。第一颗星于 1960 年 2 月 9 日颁赠予琼安·伍德(Joanne Woodward)。到了 2008 年 4 月 20 日凡娜·怀特(Vanna White)得到该荣誉时,上面共有 2309 颗星。星光大道沿着好莱坞大道自东边的高尔街(Gower Street)延伸至西边的拉布雷亚大道(La Brea Avenue),然后顺着丝兰街(Yucca Street)与日落大道(Sunset Boulevard)之间的藤街由北向南推进。除非偶尔因附近施工或其他理由而更换位置外,大道上的星形奖章位置是永久不变的。每颗星皆由一颗水磨石制成:将其制成粉色五角星形并镶上青铜然后嵌入深灰色的方块中。粉色星形内是刻在青铜上的授奖者名字,在此下面则为一环状标志,代表受奖人领取星星的领域。

环球影城—

环球电影公司成立于 1915 年,被视为美国最大的电影公司总部,当时米高梅 (MGM)、哥伦比亚、派拉蒙、20 世纪福斯和联美等制片厂都还尚未成立。六十年代初期因电视的崛起,电影市场一度萧条,环球电影公司于 1964 年 7 月 4 日开始对外开放,每年吸引上百万的观光客至此观光,并成为片厂最大的一笔收入。环球电影公司座落在美国电影工业重镇好莱坞,占地 525 英亩,占据了整座好莱坞山,而实际投入使用的有 485 英亩。它由 48 个电影制片厂组成,其中有 32 个致力于影片的拍摄。环球电影城是世界上最大的电影和电视剧产地,而好莱坞环球影城主题公园是洛杉矶最为著名的旅游景点。这次旅程将带您游历城里的恐怖片的拍摄场景,如:雪崩断桥、山洪爆发、大白鲨、金刚咆哮等等, 还可以看到电影“回到未来”、“侏罗纪公园”、“异形”的仿真模型场景。栩栩如生的造型让您有一种身临其境的感觉。而在未来水世界和飙风战警里又会有令人畏惧和神经紧张的感受。您也可以感受终结者 2 的 3D,4D 的立体影片。在这里您可以充分的体验场面宏大的表演和动物秀,以及幽默滑稽的儿童节目。

拉斯维加斯—Las Vegas

拉斯维加斯—(英文名称 Las Vegas)是西部旅游城,位于内华达州东南角,西南距洛杉矶 466 公里,市区面积 142 平方公里,人口 25.8 万。大市区面积 712 平方公里,位于大盆地内一宽广谷地中,海拔 670 米,气候干旱,但自流泉周围土肥草盛 1839 年印第安人开始在此聚居。

1855 年,一批来自犹他州的摩门教徒移居到此,20 世纪初随联合太平洋铁路通达而逐渐兴起 1905 年建市 30 年代其东南 47 公里处胡佛水坝筑成,坝后的米德湖为世界最大的人工期之一,充足的水电供应也促进了城市发展 1946 年出现大型赌场 50 年代发展为以赌博为特色的著名游览地,有赌城之称,60 年代开辟了沙漠疗养区城市经济主要依赖旅游业,集中全市就业人口 30 万,每年接待游客约 1000 万,市内多豪华的夜总会旅社餐馆和赌场,有查尔斯顿娱乐区和死谷国家博览馆,城郊是矿区和牧场,有规模颇大的内利斯空军基地美国能源研究和开发局的内华达试验场每年 5 月的赫尔多拉多节,居民穿着古老的西部服装举行竞技表演和游行。提到拉斯维加斯,你想到什么?赌博、霓虹、巨星秀,还是让人逛得眼花缭乱的巨型商场由洛杉矶沿着 15 号州际公路,往北直行,便可抵达这座身处于內华达沙漠中的不夜城。拉斯维加斯是美国最大赌城和娱乐城。位于内华达州南部的一座沙漠城,西南距洛杉矶 466 公里。拉斯维加斯原本只是到加州路上的一个绿洲,周围则是一望无尽的沙漠。自从 1830 年,西班牙的探险队发现此地,并将这地方命名为 “Vegas”(丰美的草场)后,这名字一直沿用至今。20 世纪初,随联合太平洋铁路通达而逐渐兴起,1905 年建市。30 年代,内华达州决定使赌博成为合法的事业,此令一出,几乎在一夜之间,市区的赌场纷纷成立,查尔斯顿娱乐区和死谷国家博览馆就很具代表性。拉斯维加斯的“赌城”之名也就此传开。250 家赌场和 6 万多个“吃角子老虎”,日夜开业,其气派可与欧洲摩纳哥的世界都城蒙特卡罗相比。现在的拉斯维加斯已拥有全世界顶尖的度假酒店,和世界一流的大型表演及高科技的娱乐设施。

当金字塔 (Luxor)、金银岛 (Treasure Island)、米高梅 (MGM Grand) 等斥资数亿美元建设的主题饭店,于 1993 年起陆续在拉斯维加斯开幕以来,每年前往拉斯维加斯的游客顿时骤增不少,另外,内华达州有法律规定,只有年满 21 岁以上的人,才可以喝酒和赌博。除了赌场和娱乐场所,拉斯维加斯城郊则是以矿区和牧场居多,如规模颇大的内利斯空军基地、美国能源研究和开发局的内华达试验场等。此外,在自然景观及巨大工程方面,亦拥有科罗拉多河、大峡谷及胡佛水坝等闻名世界的景观,拉斯维加斯气候干燥炎热,周围都是沙漠。最热月为 6、7、8 月,气温可达 38℃。

米高梅赌场—由亿万富豪冠克科可连恩(Kirt Kerkorian)所拥有的米高梅公司所投资兴建。包括饭店、赌场、室外遊乐场等各项设施在内,总共佔地 114 英亩;饭店楼高 30 层,号称房间数超过 5,000 间。饭店内有美食餐厅、两座表演厅、温泉、游泳池、四个有夜间照明设备的

网球场以及可容纳 1 万 5 千 2 百名观众的大型活动场地,专门供超级巨星演出音乐会或举办世界级的运动竞赛。室外複合遊乐场中,除了季节性开放的美食及饮料贩卖区外,还有大型的电动遊乐设施、主题街道与剧场。目前米高梅正在进一项斥资 7 亿 5 千万美元的扩建及主题转型计划。

贝拉吉奥赌场酒店—位于拉斯维加斯的贝拉吉奥大酒店坐落在拉斯维加斯的赌场区中心,酒店的庭院内有一个人工湖,湖内每天有次数的音乐喷泉表演,配合着音乐与灯光翩翩起舞,以其曼妙舞姿征服观众,人称“贝拉吉奥喷泉”,来拉斯维加斯的人,无论是满载而归、还是运气不佳,但是,必须看的是“贝拉吉奥喷泉”表演。喷泉表演的背后是大量的水下管道和 1000 多个喷嘴,同时配以 4000 多盏灯以及音乐。贝拉吉奥喷泉注定让您产生浪漫情怀,拉斯维加斯水上秀曾荣获美誉,灵动的流水、美妙的音乐和迷离的灯光交相辉映,令众多爱慕者为之着迷。一切都是为了愉悦、最富于激情、舞蹈般花样繁多的喷泉功能实在令人惊叹不已,绝不亚于拉斯维加斯的碧海晴空构成的美丽帷幕。喷泉水幕的每一个动态表演无论在其表现形式还是内涵的诠释,都是独一无二的。

贝拉吉奥赌场的五钻赢家奖比赛所向无敌,该比赛采用风靡世界的拉斯维加斯赌场中最为复杂的赌法。贝拉吉奥赌场提供的游戏种类繁多,例如从老虎机、赌桌游戏、运动比赛到世界扑克巡回大赛,均可下注。这些博采游戏带给我们的切身体验足以让其他所有人备受鼓舞。

好莱坞星球酒店 (Planet Hollywood ) 原为阿拉丁酒店 (Aladdin),2000 年投资 12 亿美元在原址重建而成,投资方将酒店建成阿拉伯风格,取名阿拉丁,原想借此吸引阿拉伯富豪入住,谁想,2001 年投资 12 亿美元在原址重建而成,投资方将酒店建成阿拉伯风格的

由于拉斯维加斯地处沙漠,气候恶劣,夏季气温高达摄氏 40 多度,各大赌场酒店大多设有室内商业名品街,店堂装修奢华,而好莱坞星球酒店内的商场是最豪华的,在酒店有 80 多家著名的国际品牌的商场,当走在商场中间的过道上,头顶是“蓝蓝的天空”,不时还有“暴风骤雨”,其实,这些都是人工设计的,使得购物者如同走在天然的、宽敞的马路上一样,享受着购物的快乐。

 

华盛顿—Washington DC


华盛顿—是一个具有浓厚的政治气息的城市。这里是美国的政治中心,美国的最高立法、行政和司法机关都在这里。从城市的主要景点也可以深深感受到强烈的政治氛围。这里的所有机构,包括白宫、国会大厦都向一般游客开放。华盛顿纪念塔、林肯纪念馆、杰斐逊纪念馆以及肯尼迪艺术中心表达了美国人民对这些在美国历史上做出杰出贡献的总统的深深怀念。此外越战阵亡将士纪念碑、朝鲜战场阵亡将士纪念碑,是美国人民对战争深深反省的象征,至今,来此凭吊的人络绎不绝。

美国首都华盛顿位于马里兰州与弗吉尼亚州之间,四周群山环抱。市区面积 174 平方公里,人口 57.8 万,其中黑人约占 70%。标准都市统计区还包括马里兰的 2 个县、弗吉尼亚的 4 个县及费尔法克斯、福尔斯彻奇、亚历山德里亚 3 个城镇,人口 320 万。市区位于波托马克河和阿纳卡斯蒂亚河汇合处的东北岸,地势平坦,平均海拔约 22 米,仅西北角有和缓的起伏高地。气候冬冷、夏热,全年湿润。年平均气温 12.6℃,7 月 20-31℃,1 月 3-6℃,年平均降水量 1068 毫米,季节分配较均匀。

华盛顿是为纪念美国第一任总统华盛顿而命名的,这里集中了美国国家机关的重要部门,如联邦政府最高国家机关总统府、国会、国务院、国防部等,是美国最高指挥中心和政治、文化活动中心。国会大厦和白宫之间有“联邦三角”建筑群,包括联邦政府各部、机构以及国家美术馆、国家档案馆、泛美联盟、史密森国家博物馆和联邦储备大厦等。国会大厦东邻为最高法院大厦,附近的国会图书馆为仅次于莫斯科列宁图书馆的世界第二大馆,毗邻的莎士比亚图书馆以藏莎翁著作及其研究文献而著称于世。国防部所在的五角大楼座落于波托马克河西南岸。华盛顿市区呈长方形,面积 178 平方公里,以国会大厦为中心,分为东南、东北、西北、西南四个区。南北向街道以阿拉伯数字符名,东西向街道以英文字母命名,13 条斜形大道以美国最早的 13 个州命名,西北区是华盛顿的心脏,有最重要的政府建筑和纪念碑、博物馆,宾夕法尼亚大街以北为主要商业区,马萨诸塞大街向北伸展部分为使馆区。

华盛顿是世界各国少有的仅以政府行政职能为主的现代化大城市,财政收入主要依赖政府公务及各企业的业务活动,其次是旅游业,制造业只占经济结构的一小部分,联邦政府禁止在该市发展工业。华盛顿全城有数百处纪念建筑物、纪念碑、雕像等,大部与历届总统有关。在市区西部、波托马克河东岸的绿化地带,有历史上 3 位总统的纪念地:华盛顿纪念塔面临波托马克河公园,为白大理石的方尖塔,高 169 米,可俯视全市景色。沿河是著名的日本樱花林,纪念塔西面有林肯纪念堂,为古希腊式建筑,堂外有 36 根白大理石圆柱,象征当时组成国家的 36 个州,内有林肯坐像;纪念塔南面有杰斐逊总统纪念堂,堂外有他的骑马雕像,1971 年又建成约翰肯尼迪中心,包括现代化的剧院、音乐厅、歌剧院、交响乐院和芭蕾舞剧院等。

华盛顿纪念碑—是为纪念美国首任总统乔治·华盛顿而建造的,它位于华盛顿市中心,在国会大厦、林肯纪念堂的轴线上,是一座大理石方尖碑,底部面积为 39 平方米,高 169 米,纪念碑内有 50 层铁梯,也有 70 秒到顶端的高速电梯,游人登顶后通过小窗可以眺望华盛顿全城、弗吉尼亚州、马里兰州和波托马克河。纪念碑内墙镶嵌着 188 块由私人、团体及全球各地捐赠的纪念石,其中一块刻有中文的纪念石是清政府赠送的,纪念碑的四周是碧草如茵的大草坪,这里经常会举行集会和游行。无论以任何交通工具,从任何方向来到华盛顿时,首先映入你眼帘的就是这座用来纪念华盛顿伟业的纪念碑。这座华盛顿的标志建筑,整个碑身上没有一个字母,仿佛在告诉人们,华盛顿一生的伟业是难以用文字来表达的。

林肯纪念堂—为纪念美国第十六届总统亚伯拉罕·林肯而建。林肯对黑奴解放作出了伟大的功勋,他在 1865 年 4 月 14 日被刺身亡。纪念堂于 1914 年。它是一座仿古希腊巴特农神庙式的古典建筑,东西长 118 英尺,南北宽 188 英尺,高 80 英尺,36 根古朴的白色大理石圆柱支撑着纪念堂。纪念堂正中是一座高 19 英尺的林肯坐像,塑像的左首墙壁上镌刻着林肯在第二次就任总统时的演说辞,背后的石壁上刻着五行大字:“在这座殿堂内,正如在人民的心中,为了人民,他拯救了联邦。对于亚伯拉罕·林肯的纪念永远长存。

美国国会大厦—建在一处海拨为 83 英尺的高地上,故名国会山。1793 年华盛顿亲自为大厦奠基,南北战争爆发后,有人提议停建该大厦,林肯总统却坚持要将高 280 英尺的大圆顶造好。现在,国会大厦的这个圆顶已经成为电视中美国政治新闻报道的最佳背景,圆顶内部是一个可容纳二三千人的金碧辉煌的大厅。大厦的北厢是参议院,南厢是众议院,两院各有小会议厅和许多大小房间。此外还有雕像厅,里面是几十座美国各州历任议员的巨型雕像。白色的国会大厦被草坪和树林环绕,远看犹如被置放在绿绒毯上的象牙雕刻。

美国航空航天博物馆——英文名称:(National Air & Space Museum)

座落在华盛顿市区国家大草坪东部的南侧,馆区从南第四街到第七街,占了 3 个街区,隶属于史密森学会 (Smith sonia)。航天馆于 1972 年由国会批准拨款兴建,1976 年 7 月对公众开放,是世界上航空和航天科学技术方面收藏品最丰富的博物馆,涉及的领域包括航空学,宇宙航行学,地球和行星,以及航空史等。这个馆的突出特点是收集了具有重要历史意义和代表尖端技术的飞机、宇航器、火箭、导弹、各种航空发动机、推进器等。此外,还有大量模型、飞行服、奖品、仪器、飞行设备,以及著名发明家、飞行员、重要航空史实的遗留物。其中绝大多数都是实物,只有少量的是复制品。收藏品中,仅有一部分用于展出,另有相当数量的藏品出借给世界其他博物馆展用。该馆面积之大,即使走马观花也需要好几个小时,如作深入了解,花上一个月时间也探索不尽。是华盛顿地区景点中最引人的博物馆之一,自 1976 年 7 月 1 日开馆以来,每年的参观者超过一千万人次。博物馆的飞行类陈列物品琳琅满目,包罗万象,例如世界第一架超声速飞机、苏联和美国首次发射的人造卫星、美国第一艘载人宇宙飞船、飞近金星的”水手 2 号”、两次世界大战中的军用飞机、军用飞机、舰载飞机、直升飞机、小型私人飞机、气球飞艇等等。除了实物陈列外,博物馆寓教于乐,除有模拟设备供操作外,还有详尽的展览与介绍,涵盖航空娱乐、飞行试验、宇宙知识、火箭和空间技术、人造卫星、月面探索、航空工程等各类主题。博物馆专设有空间环境研究中心,专家可在此研究宇宙空间、地球和月球的物理、化学与地质情况。

航天馆内有一必游之地,那就是该馆特有的巨型高清晰度电影(IMAX),它的银幕宽 23 米,高 17 米,是通常宽银幕的好几倍。该影院轮流放映介绍航空航天知识的电影,每部影片 30 分钟左右,需要购票进入。放映的影片有《飞》(To Fly), 描述从风筝到飞机到太空的人类飞行之旅;《活着的梦》(The Dream is Alive),实况介绍航天飞船上的生活,立体效果,令人如临其境 ; 《蓝色的行星》(Blue Planet),以外层空间的视角看地球 – 人类赖以生存的一个蓝色星球 ; 《活生生的行星》(Living Planet),纪录了地球上的自然风光和人类建筑。

五角大楼—

坐落在美国华盛顿附近波托马克河畔的阿灵顿镇,是美国国防部所在地。从空中俯瞰,这座建筑成正五边形,故名“五角大楼”。五角大楼占地面积 235.9 万平方米,大楼高 22 米,共有 5 层,总建筑面积 60.8 万平方米,使用面积约 34.4 万平方米,当时造价 8700 万美元,于 1943 年 1 月 15 日建成,同年 5 月启用,可供 2.3 万人办公。大楼南北两侧 各有一大型停车场,可同时停放汽车 1 万辆。1947 年 9 月,美国第 33 任总统杜鲁门建立的国防部开始在此办公。从此,五角大楼便成了美国国防部的代称。楼 里除国防部机关外,还包括下属的参谋长联席会议和陆、海、空军三总部。五角大楼一层大厅内有银行、邮局、书店、诊疗所、电报局以及各种商店。有“国防部灵 魂”之称的参谋长联席会议在二楼,这一层办公楼铺有金色地毯,人称“金厅”。国防部长办公室和陆军部在三楼。三楼走廊一角有一“英雄厅”,为纪念独立战争 以来的“最高荣誉勋章”获得者而设。这里挂着 3000 多块铜牌,上面镌刻着他们的姓名、籍贯和简历。还有马歇尔、艾森豪威尔和麦克阿瑟三个五星上将的“纪 念走廊”,陈列着他们各时期的照片、军装、勋章、手枪,以及他们所签署的命令、文物等。三楼以上,为海军部和空军部。2001 年 9 月 11 日,美国航空公司的 77 号航班被恐怖分子劫持,于上午 9:37 分撞入五角大楼,大楼部分建筑被大火焚毁,并造成航班上的 64 人以及大楼内的 125 人共计 189 人遇难。

纽 约—New York

纽约—

世界特大城市之一,美国最大的金融、商业、贸易和文化中心。位于美国东北部哈得孙河注入大西洋的河口处。市区面积 945 平方公里,其中水面 168 平方公里。人口 732 万 (1990)。由曼哈顿、布朗克斯、布鲁克林、昆斯和里士满 5 个区组成。此外,还包括自由岛、埃利斯岛、加弗纳斯岛、罗斯福岛等小岛。大纽约市除上述 5 个区外,还包括纽约州、新泽西州和康涅狄格州的 26 个县,面积 32400 余平方公里,是世界最大的都市区之一;人口 1680 万,是全国人口密度最大的地区。纽约气候温和湿润,全年无霜期 276 天,年平均气温 11℃,年降水量 1091 毫米,雨日 123 天。

曼哈顿和布鲁克林区间河面较狭,有著名的桥梁 3 座和地下电车道 5 条。纽约也是全国文化教育和电视、广播中心。拥有 94 所大学和学院,976 所公立学校,914 所私立学校。纽约市立大学规模最大,包括 17 个学院和一个研究生所院,注册学生 17.7 万人。哥伦比亚大学是全市创建最早的高校 (1754 年始建),是最著名的私立大学;其次是纽约大学等。福尔特罕和圣约翰大学是著名天主教会学校。此外还有众多的博物馆、美术馆、图书馆、科研机构、艺术中心等。其中最著名的大都会艺术博物馆是全美洲规模最大的一所。纽约的公园、游乐场、海滩疗养地、剧院、歌剧院、音乐厅、画廊等均占全国首位。仅公园就有 100 余个。耸立在自由岛上的自由女神像被视作纽约市的“陆标”,建成于 1886 年,是法国人民为纪念美国独立战争和两国人民友谊而赠送的礼物。自由女神像连底座约高 100 米,内有螺旋形阶梯和电梯可抵达女神像头部,头部内是一间可容 40 余人的观览厅,可眺望港区全景。在纽约市的各区中,曼哈顿区居最重要地位,向有“纽约市的心脏”之称。它位于同名岛上,面积 80 平方公里,在 5 个区中面积最小。百老汇大街呈东南一西北向斜贯全岛,岛上著名的旅社、餐馆、百货公司、专业商店、影剧院、音乐厅和博物馆大都集中于此。此区中部有洛克菲勒中心,聚集了许多摩天楼群。座落在本区南部第五大道与 34 街口的帝国大厦,完成于 1931 年,楼高 381 米,有 102 层。1973 年又建成“世界贸易中心”大厦,并立两座方柱形建筑,高 419 米,110 层,是目前纽约的最高建筑物。中央区西南是“服装业区”。北邻为商业繁盛的时报广场。中央区西部,伊斯特河畔,是联合国总部所在地,矗立着 39 层的联合国秘书处大楼 (联合国大厦);其北是联合国会议厅,南为藏书数十万册的联合国图书馆。中央区以北是中央公园,公园西面有“林肯中心”,占地约 6 公顷,是美国的艺术和文化中心,世界各国有名的交响乐队、歌剧团和芭蕾舞团常到此演出。曼哈顿岛南端集中了市政厅和联邦、州、市、县许多办公机构。其东南即为华尔街,东西走向,与百老汇大街斜交。曼哈顿岛北端是黑人聚居区哈莱姆区,充塞着破旧的贫民窟。岛南有康尼小岛,两岛间仅隔狭窄水道,是假日游想的地区之一。

自由女神像—

举世闻名的自由女神像,高高地耸立在纽约港口的自由岛上,象征着美国人民争取自由的崇高理想。自由神像重 45 万磅,高 46 米,底座高 45 米,是当时世界上最高的纪念性建筑,其全称为“自由女神铜像国家纪念碑”,正式名称是“照耀世界的自由女神”。 整座铜像以 120 钢铁为骨架,80 铜为外皮,30 万只铆钉装配固定在支架上,总重量达 225。铜像内部的钢铁支架是由建筑师约维雷勃杜克和以建造巴黎艾菲尔铁塔闻名于世的法国工程师艾菲尔设计制作的。女神双唇紧闭,头戴光芒四射的冠冕,身着罗马古代长袍,右手高擎长达 12 米的火炬,左手紧抱一部象征《美国独立宣言》的书板,上面刻着《宣言》发表的日期“1776.7.4”字样。 创作这一艺术杰作的是 19 世纪后期一位才华横溢的雕塑家,他的名字叫弗雷德. 巴托尔迪。1869 年自由神像的草图设计完成,巴托尔迪便开始全心全意地投入雕塑工作。他曾去过美国旅行,争取美国人对塑像计划的支持,但美国人迟迟没有意识到这一礼品的珍贵。直到 1876 年巴托尔迪参加在费城举行的庆祝独立 100 周年博览会时,为了引起公众的注意,便把自由女神执火炬的手在博览会上展出,才引起一场轰动。摆在人们面前的这只手仅食指就长达 2.44 米,直径 1 米多,指甲厚 25 厘米,火炬的边沿上可以站 12 个人。于是这件几天前还鲜为人知的雕塑品顿时身价百倍,成为美国人人渴望欣赏的艺术珍品。不久,美国国会便通过决议,正式批准总统提出接受女神像的请求,同时确定贝德罗岛为建立女神像的地点。

1884 年 7 月 6 日,自由像正式赠送给美国。同年 8 月 5 日,自由神像底座奠基工程动工。1886 年初,75 名工人爬上高高的脚手架,用 30 万只铆钉把自由神像约 100 块零件钉到它的骨架上。10 月中旬,自由神像的建立终于全部完工。10 月 28 日,美国总统亲自参加自由神像揭幕典礼并发表了讲话。无数群众簇拥在神像周围,怀着激动的心情企首仰望着自由女神像第一次露出她庄严的面容。巴托尔迪由于他的卓越功绩而当选为纽约市荣誉市民和法国荣誉勋团指挥级团员。他于 1904 年 10 月 5 日在巴黎逝世,但他所塑造的自由神像永远表达着人民对自由的热爱和向往。

联合国大厦 - 联合国 (United Nations),占地 18 英亩,这块是当时纽约富商洛克斐勒捐出 850 万美金买下的土地,并送给联合国,希望能将联合国总部留在纽约,以巩固纽约的世界地位。联合国建筑群兴建于 1947 至 1953 年间,由美国建筑师 Wallace Harrison 工作小组设计,约可分为几个重要部分,从参观入口进入后,右侧的大楼是联合国大楼,后面那栋方正笔直得像火柴盒的大楼是秘书处大楼,沿着东河滨的一排办公大厅是安全理事会、社会暨经济理事会,东河滨的人行步道很值得观赏,因为旁边有一座美丽的玫瑰园,约有 1,400 株玫瑰,都是会员国赠送的。

在联合国大楼的 1 楼内设有服务台,提供联合国的介绍行程,时间约 45 分钟,有 20 种语言可供选择,要听普通话亦可,这个大厅内设有许多各会员国赠送的艺术品,可以好好地欣赏一番,另外,千万不要错过楼下的礼品部门,里面有世界各国的特色娃娃。提醒你!这里的安全检查颇为严格。

时代广场—

1883 年大都会歌剧院迁移至百老汇与 40 街口,带动了剧院与餐厅的蓬勃发展,1920 年电影艺术的崛起更为此地画上一片彩虹荣景,然而于 1929 年证券市场崩溃后跌入低迷的深渊,直至 80 年代,百老汇的风华才逐渐恢复,现在,这块三角地区已再度成为纽约娱乐事业的聚光焦点。时代广场是由百老汇街与第七大道切割出来的三角形畸零地,这是纽约剧院最密集的区域, 1920 年开始时代广场五光十色的年代,现在从 44 街至 51 街约有 30 间主要的剧院,时代广场的名称是因为美国举足轻重的纽约时报 (New York Times) 而命名,之前,这里称为长亩广 (Longacre Square) ,是马商、铁匠、马厩的集散地,当然不乏鸡鸣狗盗之辈横行, 20 世纪初,在歌舞剧盛行的带动下,百老汇一时冠盖云集。

让时代广场国际出名的理由是除夕夜的新年倒数,这是源自于 1904 年,纽约时报选在除夕当天迁入该广场的新大楼,并在午夜施放烟火庆祝,从此变成了除夕夜的传统活动,往后便年年如此,每年的 12 月 31 日,在 One Times Square Plaza 的顶楼都会悬挂一颗 200 磅的彩球,新年来临的那一剎那,彩球打开并飘散出无数的彩带庆贺。为了将千禧年的新年倒数活动推到最高潮,去年时代广场周遭的商店早已大兴土木,希望在那一夜艳冠群伦,为了怕千禧年前夕的狂热导致场面失控,政府还特别要求广场旁的剧院于该夜不得营业,以避免增加更多的人潮。广场的北边是杜菲广场 (Duffy Square) ,站在广场中央向南眺望,可以欣赏到时代广场独特的招牌奇观。

纽约帝国大厦—始建于 1930 年 3 月,是当时使用材料最轻的建筑,建成于西方经济危机时期,成为美国经济复苏的象征,如今仍然和自由女神一起成为纽约永远的标志。曾为世界第一高大楼和纽约市的标志性建筑。帝国大厦是一栋超高层的现代化办公大楼,它和自由女神像一起被称为纽约的标志。地上建筑有 381 米高的帝国大厦,自 1931 年以来,雄踞世界最高建筑的宝座达 40 年之久。此大厦在美国经济最萧条,最不景气的时候,以仅仅不到 2 年的时间建成。 在 86 楼及 102 楼有瞭望台,由于是露天的望台,台上的风力相当大,晴天的时候可远望至 100 公里远的地方。

帝国大厦是全世界第九高的大楼,参观过帝国大厦的著名人士包括英国前首相丘吉尔、英国伊莉莎白二世女王、古巴总统卡斯特罗、苏联已故总理赫鲁晓夫。帝国大厦拥有许多世界之最:在建筑史上创每周修建 4 层半楼的纪录;每天参加施工的人员高达 4000 人,全部工作量超过 700 万工时;共使用 6 万吨钢、1000 万块砖、80 万公里长的电缆与电线、192 公里长的管道;1600 公里长的电话电缆;6500 扇窗户,18600 台阶。

华尔街—

“美国有一个古老而充满敌意的笑话说:华尔街是这样一条街,它的一端是一条河,另一端是一座坟墓。地理上的华尔街的确是一条长不过 500 米的小街,它的最东边是纽约的东河,最西边是华尔街的三一教堂和一片墓地,美国第一任财政部长汉密尔顿就埋葬于此。华尔街的名字 Wall Street,来源于早年定居纽约的荷兰裔移民为抗击英国人入侵而修建的一道木栅栏墙。这个笑话一方面说明富可敌国的华尔街在地理上不过是一条区区小街而已;另一方面,它也折射出美国社会中一直存在的一种对华尔街厌恶和嘲讽的心理,在很多人的心目中,华尔街是一个自私、贪婪和充满罪恶的地方。

第五大道—第五大道把曼哈顿分为东西两半,这一带是全球知名的高级商店集中地区和商业贸易中心。起自华盛顿广场的北边,呈一直线至哈林区。而以高级商店街及商业区闻名的则集中于第 42 街至第 59 街之间,全长不足 1.5 公里的街道上集中了洛克菲勒大厦,哥特教堂建筑,蒂法那、加尔蒂等欧洲或美国的名牌专卖店,这里是名副其实的购物者天堂。1883 年,美国铁路大王范德比尔德在纽约第五大道与 51 大街之间大兴士木,盖起了一栋极尽奢华之能事的私宅,这一事件被后人认为是第五大道急剧走向繁华的开端,榜样的力量是无穷的,在纽约第五大道上拥有一栋私宠很快就成为美国富有阶层身份的象征,所以,第五大道也因此成为美国人心目中的神圣之地。

纽约的第五大道上不断有豪华气派的名牌商店开张,而第五大道也就成了高档商店的代名词。从蒂芬尼珠宝首饰店到萨克斯第五大道百货店,第五大道上的商店里所陈列的无一不是驰名全国的高档商品。所有的这些商店,装璜都极为考究,服务也远非一般商店可比,完全是世界富人们的购物天堂。

伍德伯里 -

(Woodbury Common Factory Outlet)是纽约或者说美国最大的名牌产品直销商店,Outlet 在汉语的意思是“清理库存、廉价销售”的意思。伍德伯里名牌产品直销商店收集了世界上 221 家名牌产品,商店位于纽约北部大约 1.5 小时路程。这些商店销售各类男女服装、各类箱包、珠宝首饰、厨房用具、鞋帽等等,主要的世界品牌包括:阿迪达斯(Adidas)、阿玛尼 (A/X Amani)、卡文克莱 (Calvin)、寇驰 (Coach)、杜嘉班纳 (Dolce)、芬迪 (Fendi)、耐克(Nike)、波罗(Polo)、古驰(Gucci)还有儿童喜欢的迪斯尼(Disney)等等,几乎世界上所有的知名品牌在这里都可找到,而且价格仅是城市里大商场的一半或更低,某些特殊的商品折扣在 25%–65% 左右。同时,在这里购物不用担心是冒牌货,在美国是很难找到那种东西的,如果想逛遍所有商场大约需要 5 个小时以上。

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Background


Britain's American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.


Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military


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Geography
World's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
Location:  North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Geographic coordinates:  38 00 N, 97 00 W
Area:  total: 9,826,675 sq km land: 9,161,966 sq km water: 664,709 sq km note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia

Size comparison: about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
Land Boundaries:  total: 12,034 km border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and is part of Cuba; the base boundary is 28 km
Coastline:  19,924 km
Maritime claims:  territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: not specified
Climate:  mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Terrain:  vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Death Valley -86 m highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m note: the peak of Mauna Kea (4,207 m above sea level) on the island of Hawaii rises about 10,200 m above the Pacific Ocean floor; by this measurement, it is the world's tallest mountain - higher than Mount Everest, which is recognized as the tallest mountain above sea level
Natural resources:  coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber note: the US has the world's largest coal reserves with 491 billion short tons accounting for 27% of the world's total
Land use:  arable land: 18.01% permanent crops: 0.21% other: 81.78% (2005)
Irrigated land:  230,000 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:  tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elev. 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elev. 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed "Decade Volcanoes" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elev. 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (elev. 2,549 m, famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
Current Environment Issues:  air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
International Environment Agreements:  party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
People
Population:  313,847,465 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure:  0-14 years: 20.1% (male 32,107,900/female 30,781,823) 15-64 years: 66.8% (male 104,411,352/female 104,808,064) 65 years and over: 13.1% (male 17,745,363/female 23,377,542) (2011 est.)
Median age:  total: 37.1 years male: 35.8 years female: 38.5 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate:  0.899% (2012 est.)
Birth rate:  13.68 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate:  8.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate:  3.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:  total: 5.98 deaths/1,000 live births male: 6.64 deaths/1,000 live births female: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:  total population: 78.49 years male: 76.05 years female: 81.05 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate:  2.06 children born/woman (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.6% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  1.2 million (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:  17,000 (2009 est.)
Nationality:  noun: American(s) adjective: American
Ethnic groups:  white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate) note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic
Religions:  Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
Languages:  English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census) note: Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii
Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99% male: 99% female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government
Country name:  conventional long form: United States of America conventional short form: United States abbreviation: US or USA
Government type:  Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
Capital:  name: Washington, DC geographic coordinates: 38 53 N, 77 02 W time difference: UTC-5 (during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November note: the 50 United States cover six time zones
Administrative divisions:  50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Dependent areas:  American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Wake Island note: from 18 July 1947 until 1 October 1994, the US administered the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; it entered into a political relationship with all four political entities: the Northern Mariana Islands is a commonwealth in political union with the US (effective 3 November 1986); the Republic of the Marshall Islands signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 21 October 1986); the Federated States of Micronesia signed a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 3 November 1986); Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association with the US (effective 1 October 1994)
Independence:  4 July 1776 (declared); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
National holiday:
Constitution:  17 September 1787, effective 4 March 1789
Legal system:  common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:  chief of state: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 November 2008 (next to be held on 6 November 2012) election results: Barack H. OBAMA elected president; percent of popular vote - Barack H. OBAMA 52.4%, John MCCAIN 46.3%, other 1.3%;
Legislative branch:  bicameral Congress consists of the Senate (100 seats, 2 members elected from each state by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the House of Representatives (435 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve two-year terms) elections: Senate - last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012); House of Representatives - last held on 2 November 2010 (next to be held in November 2012) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 51, Republican Party 47, independent 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 192, Republican Party 243
Judicial branch:  Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
Political parties and leaders:  Democratic Party [Debbie Wasserman SCHULTZ]; Green Party; Libertarian Party [Mark HINKLE]; Republican Party [Reince PRIEBUS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:  environmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PAC; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
International organization participation:  ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Economy
The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,100. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income. Imported oil accounts for nearly 55% of US consumption. Oil prices doubled between 2001 and 2006, the year home prices peaked; higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets and many individuals fell behind in their mortgage payments. Oil prices increased another 50% between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, soaring oil prices threatened inflation and caused a deterioration in the US merchandise trade deficit, which peaked at $840 billion. In 2009, with the global recession deepening, oil prices dropped 40% and the US trade deficit shrank, as US domestic demand declined, but in 2011 the trade deficit ramped back up to $803 billion, as oil prices climbed once more. The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. GDP contracted until the third quarter of 2009, making this the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. To help stabilize financial markets, in October 2008 the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and industrial corporations, much of which had been returned to the government by early 2011. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus to be used over 10 years - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover. In 2010 and 2011, the federal budget deficit reached nearly 9% of GDP; total government revenues from taxes and other sources are lower, as a percentage of GDP, than that of most other developed countries. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the US budget deficit and public debt - through 2011, the direct costs of the wars totaled nearly $900 billion, according to US government figures. In March 2010, President OBAMA signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health insurance reform bill that will extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished. Total spending on health care - public plus private - rose from 9.0% of GDP in 1980 to 17.9% in 2010. In July 2010, the president signed the DODD-FRANK Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a bill designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable current account and budget deficits - including significant budget shortages for state governments - energy shortages, and stagnation of wages for lower-income families.
GDP (purchasing power parity):  GDP (purchasing power parity): $15.29 trillion (2011 est.) $15.03 trillion (2010 est.) $14.58 trillion (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):  GDP (official exchange rate): $15.09 trillion (2011 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:  1.7% (2011 est.) 3% (2010 est.) -3.5% (2009 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):  GDP - per capita (PPP): $49,000 (2011 est.) $48,500 (2010 est.) $47,400 (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 1.2% industry: 19.2% services: 79.6% (2011 est.)
Labor force:  153.6 million note: includes unemployed (2011 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:  farming, forestry, and fishing: 0.7% manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts: 20.3% managerial, professional, and technical: 37.3% sales and office: 24.2% other services: 17.6% note: figures exclude the unemployed (2009)
Unemployment rate:  9% (2011 est.) 9.6% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line:  15.1% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2% highest 10%: 30% (2007 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:  45 (2007) 40.8 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):  Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.1% (2011 est.) 1.6% (2010 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):  Investment (gross fixed): 12.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
Budget:  revenues: $2.303 trillion expenditures: $3.599 trillion note: for the US, revenues exclude social contributions of approximately $1.0 trillion; expenditures exclude social benefits of approximately $2.3 trillion (2011 est.)
Public debt:  67.7% of GDP (2011 est.) 62.8% of GDP (2010 est.) note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as "Debt Held by the Public," which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital Insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intra-government debt were added, "Gross Debt" would increase by about one-third of GDP
Agriculture - products:  wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; fish; forest products
Industries:  highly diversified, world leading, high-technology innovator, second largest industrial output in world; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining
Industrial production growth rate:  4.1% (2011 est.)
Electricity - production:  3.953 trillion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - consumption:  3.741 trillion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports:  18.11 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports:  34.32 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Oil - production:  9.688 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - consumption:  19.15 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil - exports:  1.92 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - imports:  10.27 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:  20.68 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas - production:  611 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:  683.3 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports:  32.2 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports:  105.8 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:  7.716 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
Current account balance:  -$473.4 billion (2011 est.) -$470.9 billion (2010 est.)
Exports:  $1.497 trillion (2011 est.) $1.289 trillion (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities:  agricultural products (soybeans, fruit, corn) 9.2%, industrial supplies (organic chemicals) 26.8%, capital goods (transistors, aircraft, motor vehicle parts, computers, telecommunications equipment) 49.0%, consumer goods (automobiles, medicines) 15.0%
Exports - partners:  Canada 19%, Mexico 13.3%, China 7%, Japan 4.5% (2011)
Imports:  $2.236 trillion (2011 est.) $1.935 trillion (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities:  agricultural products 4.9%, industrial supplies 32.9% (crude oil 8.2%), capital goods 30.4% (computers, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery), consumer goods 31.8% (automobiles, clothing, medicines, furniture, toys)
Imports - partners:  China 18.4%, Canada 14.2%, Mexico 11.7%, Japan 5.8%, Germany 4.4% (2011)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:  $148 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $132.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt - external:  $14.71 trillion (30 June 2011) $13.98 trillion (30 June 2010) note: approximately 4/5ths of US external debt is denominated in US dollars; foreign lenders have been willing to hold US dollar denominated debt instruments because they view the dollar as the world's reserve currency
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:  $2.571 trillion (31 December 2011 est.) $2.343 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:  $4.314 trillion (31 December 2011 est.) $3.908 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:  $15.64 trillion (31 December 2011) $17.14 trillion (31 December 2010) $15.08 trillion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates:  British pounds per US dollar: 0.6176 (2011 est.), 0.6468 (2010 est.), 0.6494 (2009), 0.5302 (2008), 0.4993 (2007) Canadian dollars per US dollar: 0.9801 (2011 est.), 1.0302 (2010 est.), 1.1431 (2009), 1.0364 (2008), 1.0724 (2007) Chinese yuan per US dollar: 6.455 (2011 est.), 6.7703 (2010 est.), 6.8314 (2009), 6.9385 (2008), 7.61 (2007) euros per US dollar: 0.7107 (2011 est.), 0.755 (2010 est.), 0.7198 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007) Japanese yen per US dollar: 79.67 (2011 est.), 87.78 (2010), 93.57 (2009), 103.58 (2008), 117.99 (2007)
Fiscal year:  1 October - 30 September

Communications
Telephones in use:  151 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 2
Cellular Phones in use:  279 million (2009)
Telephone system:  general assessment: a large, technologically advanced, multipurpose communications system domestic: a large system of fiber-optic cable, microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and domestic satellites carries every form of telephone traffic; a rapidly growing cellular system carries mobile telephone traffic throughout the country international: country code - 1; multiple ocean cable systems provide international connectivity; satellite earth stations - 61 Intelsat (45 Atlantic Ocean and 16 Pacific Ocean), 5 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region), and 4 Inmarsat (Pacific and Atlantic Ocean regions) (2000)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code:  .us
Internet hosts:  498 million (2011); note - the US Internet total host count includes the following top level domain host addresses: .us, .com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, and .org
Internet users:  245 million (2009)

Transportation
Airports:  15,079 (2010) country comparison to the world: 1
Airports (paved runways):  total: 5,194 over 3,047 m: 189 2,438 to 3,047 m: 235 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1,479 914 to 1,523 m: 2,316 under 914 m: 975 (2010)
Airports (unpaved runways):  total: 9,885 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 1,524 to 2,437 m: 155 914 to 1,523 m: 1,752 under 914 m: 7,971 (2010)
Heliports:  126 (2012)
Pipelines:  petroleum products 244,620 km; natural gas 548,665 km (2010)
Railways:  total: 224,792 km standard gauge: 224,792 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)
Roadways:  total: 6,506,204 km paved: 4,374,784 km (includes 75,238 km of expressways) unpaved: 2,131,420 km (2008)
Waterways:  41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012)
Merchant marine:  total: 393 by type: barge carrier 6, bulk carrier 55, cargo 51, carrier 2, chemical tanker 30, container 84, passenger 18, passenger/cargo 56, petroleum tanker 35, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 27, vehicle carrier 26 foreign-owned: 85 (Australia 1, Bermuda 5, Denmark 31, France 4, Germany 5, Malaysia 2, Norway 17, Singapore 16, UK 4) registered in other countries: 794 (Antigua and Barbuda 7, Australia 2, Bahamas 109, Belgium 1, Bermuda 26, Canada 10, Cayman Islands 57, Comoros 2, Cyprus 5, Georgia 1, Greece 8, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 44, Indonesia 2, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 1, Italy 23, Liberia 53, Malta 34, Marshall Islands 200, Netherlands 16, Norway 10, Panama 90, Portugal 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18, Singapore 36, South Korea 8, Togo 1, UK 14, Vanuatu 2, unknown 6) (2010)
Ports and terminals:  cargo ports (tonnage): Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Plaquemines, Tampa, Texas City container ports (TEUs): Los Angeles (7,849,985), Long Beach (6,350,125), New York/New Jersey (5,265,058), Savannah (2,616,126), Oakland (2,236,244), Hampton Roads (2,083,278) (2008) cruise departure ports (passengers): Miami (2,032,000), Port Everglades (1,277,000), Port Canaveral (1,189,000), Seattle (430,000), Long Beach (415,000) (2009) oil terminals: LOOP terminal, Haymark terminal

Military
Military branches:  United States Armed Forces: US Army, US Navy (includes Marine Corps), US Air Force, US Coast Guard; note - Coast Guard administered in peacetime by the Department of Homeland Security, but in wartime reports to the Department of the Navy (2009)
Military service age and obligation:  18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines) (2010)
Manpower available for military service:  males age 16-49: 73,270,043 females age 16-49: 71,941,969 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:  males age 16-49: 60,620,143 females age 16-49: 59,401,941 (2010 est.)

 

Source: CIA - The World Factbook

 

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