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What's the dif­fer­ence be­tween Amer­ica and the United States?

—Mar­tin New­brief, Howard Beach, N.Y.

The term Amer­ica (or the Amer­i­cas) refers to all the lands in the Western Hemi­sphere, com­pris­ing the con­ti­nents of North Amer­ica and South Amer­ica. (Cen­tral Amer­ica is ac­tu­ally part of the North Amer­i­can con­ti­nent.) The United States of Amer­ica, or U.S.A., is a coun­try in North Amer­ica. How­ever, when peo­ple use the sin­gu­lar term Amer­ica (or Amer­i­can) they're al­most al­ways re­fer­ring to the U.S.A. And did you know the United States of Amer­ica is the third largest coun­try in the world by both land area and pop­u­la­tion?

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