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*ღ*EURO-AMERICA*ღ*

*ღ*EURO-AMERICA*ღ*

  • Lista creada por javke.
  • Publicada el 22.01.2012 a las 22:36h.
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EUROPE

Europe (pronunciation is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas.[2] Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean and other bodies of water to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term "continent" can incorporate cultural and political elements.

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 states, Russia is the largest by both area and population (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia), while the Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 733 million or about 11% of the world's population.[3]

Europe, in particular Ancient Greece, is the birthplace of Western culture.[4] It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia. Both World Wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence.[5] During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east. European integration led to the formation of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Western Europe, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

NORTH - AMERICA

The United States of America (also called the United States, the U.S., the USA, America, and the States) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to its east and Russia to its west, across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Pacific and Caribbean.

At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with over 312 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third largest by both land area and population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries.[6] The U.S. economy is the world's largest national economy, with an estimated 2011 GDP of $15.1 trillion (22% of nominal global GDP and over 19% of global GDP at purchasing-power parity).[3][7]

Indigenous peoples descended from forebears who migrated from Asia have inhabited what is now the mainland United States for many thousands of years. This Native American population was greatly reduced by disease and warfare after European contact. The United States was founded by thirteen British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. On July 4, 1776, they issued the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed their right to self-determination and their establishment of a cooperative union. The rebellious states with major assistance from France and Spain defeated Great Britain in the American Revolution, the first successful colonial war of independence.[8] The current United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787; its ratification the following year made the states part of a single republic with a strong central government. The Bill of Rights, comprising ten constitutional amendments guaranteeing many fundamental civil rights and freedoms, was ratified in 1791.

Through the 19th century, the United States displaced native tribes, acquired the Louisiana territory from France, Florida from Spain, part of the Oregon Country from the United Kingdom, Alta California and New Mexico from Mexico, and Alaska from Russia, and annexed the Republic of Texas and the Republic of Hawaii. Disputes between the agrarian South and industrial North over the expansion of the institution of slavery and states' rights provoked the Civil War of the 1860s. The North's victory prevented a permanent split of the country and led to the end of legal slavery in the United States. By the 1870s, its national economy was the world's largest.[9] The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a military power. It emerged from World War II as the first country with nuclear weapons and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the United States as the sole superpower. The country accounts for 41% of global military spending,[10] and is a leading economic, political, and cultural force in the world.[

HOLA A TODOS, DESPUES DE TANTA INTRODUCTION, YA HE VUELTO DE MI DESCANSO, DE LA GENTE FEA, YA no soy chica disney mas,no me gustan ams esas cosas, y hago esta lista, para mi Europe es como un pais, y cada pais es como un state, y decidi combinarlo con todos los estados de Northamerica y su escudo, y bandera, espero que les guste amigos kss.

ESTADOS UNIDOS Y EUROPE :D

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Italy

1. Italy

Italy Listeni/ˈɪtəli/ (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja]), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana[note 1]), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south it consists of... Ver mas
Italy Listeni/ˈɪtəli/ (Italian: Italia [iˈtaːlja]), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica italiana[note 1]), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia–the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea–and many other smaller islands. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, whilst Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers some 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.6 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous country in Europe, and the 23rd most populous in the world.

Rome, the capital of Italy, was for centuries the political and religious centre of Western civilisation as the capital of the Roman Empire and site of the Holy See. After the decline of the Roman Empire, Italy endured numerous invasions by foreign peoples, from Germanic tribes such as the Lombards and Ostrogoths, to the Byzantines and later, the Normans, among others. Centuries later, Italy became the birthplace of Maritime republics and the Renaissance,[7] an immensely fruitful intellectual movement that would prove to be integral in shaping the subsequent course of European thought.

Through much of its post-Roman history, Italy was fragmented into numerous kingdoms (such as the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Duchy of Milan) and city-states, but was unified in 1861,[8] following a tumultuous period in history known as "Il Risorgimento" ("The Resurgence"). In the late 19th century, through World War I, and to World War II, Italy possessed a colonial empire, which extended its rule to Libya, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Albania, the Dodecanese and a concession in Tianjin, China.[9]

Modern Italy is a democratic republic. It has been ranked as the world's 24th most-developed country[10] and its Quality-of-life index has been ranked in the world's top ten.[11] Italy enjoys a very high standard of living, and has a high nominal GDP per capita.[12][13] It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and part of the Eurozone. Italy is also a member of the G8, G20 and NATO. It has the world's third-largest gold reserves, eighth-largest nominal GDP, tenth highest GDP (PPP)[14] and the sixth highest government budget in the world.[15] It is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, the Western European Union and the United Nations. Italy has the world's ninth-largest defence budget and shares NATO's nuclear weapons.

Italy plays a prominent role in European and global military, cultural and diplomatic affairs. The country's European political, social and economic influence make it a major regional power.[16][17] The country has a high public education level and is a highly globalised nation.[1

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Germany

2. Germany

Germany (Listeni/ˈdʒɜrməni/), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant] ( listen)),[4] is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin... Ver mas
Germany (Listeni/ˈdʒɜrməni/), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant] ( listen)),[4] is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state and the largest economy in the European Union. It is one of the major political powers of the European continent and a technological leader in many fields.

A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. During the Migration Age, the Germanic tribes expanded southward, and established successor kingdoms throughout much of Europe. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire.[5] During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations, with the two factions clashing in the Thirty Years' War, marking the beginning of the Catholic–Protestant divide that has characterized German society ever since.[6] Occupied during the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of Pan-Germanism inside the German Confederation resulted in the unification of most of the German states into the German Empire in 1871 which was Prussian dominated. After the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the subsequent military surrender in World War I, the Empire was replaced by the Weimar Republic in 1918, and partitioned in the Versailles Treaty. Amidst the Great Depression, the Third Reich was proclaimed in 1933. The latter period was marked by Fascism and the Second World War. After 1945, Germany was divided by allied occupation, and evolved into two states, East Germany and West Germany. In 1990 Germany was reunified.

Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and since 1999 a member of the eurozone. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, the OECD and the Council of Europe, and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011–2012 term.

It has the world's fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. It is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security. Germany has been the home of many influential scientists and inventors, and is known for its cultural and political history.

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France

3. France

he French Republic (French: République française [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), commonly known as France (English Listeni/ˈfræns/ franss or /ˈfrɑːns/ frahnss; French: [fʁɑ̃s] ( listen)), is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on... Ver mas
he French Republic (French: République française [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz]), commonly known as France (English Listeni/ˈfræns/ franss or /ˈfrɑːns/ frahnss; French: [fʁɑ̃s] ( listen)), is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans.[15] Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is often referred to as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of its territory. It is the largest western European country and it possesses the second-largest exclusive economic zone in the world, covering 11,035,000 km2 (4,260,000 sq mi), just behind that of the United States (11,351,000 km2 / 4,383,000 sq mi).

Over the past 500 years,[16] France has been a major power with strong cultural, economic, military and political influence in Europe and around the world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonised great parts of North America and Southeast Asia; during the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built the second largest colonial empire of the time, including large portions of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Caribbean and Pacific Islands.

France has its main ideals expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The French Republic is defined as indivisible, secular, democratic and social by its constitution.[17] France is one of the world's most developed countries,[18] it possesses the world's fifth largest economy measured by GDP, the ninth-largest economy measured by purchasing power parity and is Europe's second largest economy by nominal GDP.[19] France is the wealthiest European (and the world's 4th) nation[20] in aggregate household wealth. France enjoys a high standard of living as well as a high public education level, and has also one of the world's highest life expectancies.[21] France has been listed as the world's "best overall health care" provider by the World Health Organization.[22] It is the most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually.[23]

France has the world's third largest nominal military budget,[24] the third largest military in NATO and EU's largest army. France also possesses the third largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world[25] – with around 300 active warheads as of 25 May 2010 – and the world's second largest diplomatic corps (second only to that of the United States).[26]

France is a founding member of the United Nations, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, G20, NATO, OECD, WTO, and the Latin Union. It is also a founding and leading member state of the European Union and the largest one by area.[27] In 2011, France was listed 20th on the Human Development Index and 24th on the Corruption Perceptions Index (2010).

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United Kingdom

4. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 5] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of... Ver mas
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland[note 5] (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. It is a country in its own right[10][11] and consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[12] There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers,[13][14] situated in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh; the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies.[15] The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories.[16] These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories.

The UK is a developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country[17] and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.[18] The UK remains a great power with leading economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence.[19] It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks third or fourth in the world.[20] The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946; it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the G7, the G8, the G20, NATO, the OECD and the World Trade Organization.

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Spain

5. Spain

Spain (Listeni/ˈspeɪn/ spayn; Spanish: España, pronounced: [esˈpaɲa] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España),[note 7][5] is a sovereign state and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to... Ver mas
Spain (Listeni/ˈspeɪn/ spayn; Spanish: España, pronounced: [esˈpaɲa] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España),[note 7][5] is a sovereign state and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.

Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. Furthermore, the town of Llívia is a Spanish exclave situated inside French territory. With an area of 504,030 square kilometres (194,610 sq mi), it is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France, and the fourth largest country in Europe after Russia, Ukraine and France.

Because of its location, the territory of Spain was subject to many external influences since prehistoric times and through to its dawn as a country. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs and the completion of the reconquest, or Reconquista, of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. Conversely, it has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the modern era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, and very high living standards, including the tenth-highest quality of life index rating in the world, as of 2005. It is a member of the United Nations, European Union, NATO, OECD, and WTO.

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Russia

6. Russia

Russia Listeni/ˈrʌʃə/ or /ˈrʊʃə/ (Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya; IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə] ( listen)), officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation[7] (Russian: Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya; IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə] ( listen)), is a country in northern Eurasia... Ver mas
Russia Listeni/ˈrʌʃə/ or /ˈrʊʃə/ (Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya; IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə] ( listen)), officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation[7] (Russian: Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya; IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə] ( listen)), is a country in northern Eurasia.[8] It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by the Bering Strait. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. Russia is also the eighth most populous nation with 143 million people.[3] It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning nine time zones and incorporating a wide range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources[9] and is the number one natural gas producer[10] as well as number one oil producer globally.[11] Russia has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's fresh water.[12]

The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, who emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD.[13] Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire,[14] beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium.[14] Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde.[15] The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland in Europe to Alaska in North America.[16][17]

Following the Russian Revolution, Russia became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower,[18] which played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II.[19][20] The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human spaceflight. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet state.[21]

Russia has the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP or the 6th largest by purchasing power parity, with the 5th largest nominal military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[22] Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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Czech Republic

7. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic (Listeni/ˈtʃɛk/ chek;[7] Czech: Česká republika, pronounced [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka] ( listen), short form Česko Czech pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛskɔ]) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Austria to the south... Ver mas
The Czech Republic (Listeni/ˈtʃɛk/ chek;[7] Czech: Česká republika, pronounced [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka] ( listen), short form Česko Czech pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛskɔ]) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east. Its capital and largest city, at 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague.

It is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.

The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire (which reached its greatest territorial extent during the reign of Svatopluk I from the House of Mojmír). After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Přemyslids. During the rule of Přemyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs, the country reached its greatest territorial extent (13th–14th century). Life in the country was significantly affected by the Hussite wars, during which it faced economic embargo and crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) led to the further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization and Germanization. During radical reforms in the 18th century the Bohemian Crown was even de facto abolished (1749). In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I.

After the Munich Agreement, Polish annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the majority in the 1946 elections. In a 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

The Czech Republic is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country according to the World Bank.[8] In addition, the country has the highest human development in Central and Eastern Europe,[9] ranking as a "Very High Human Development" nation. It is also ranked as the third most peaceful country in Europe[10] and most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region.

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Netherlands

8. Netherlands

The Netherlands Listeni/ˈnɛðərləndz/ (Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdə(r)lɑnt] or [ˈneɪ̯də(r)lɑnt] ( listen); West Frisian: Nederlân; Papiamento: Hulanda) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland... Ver mas
The Netherlands Listeni/ˈnɛðərləndz/ (Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdə(r)lɑnt] or [ˈneɪ̯də(r)lɑnt] ( listen); West Frisian: Nederlân; Papiamento: Hulanda) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders (image) with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is a parliamentary democracy organised as a unitary state. The country capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.[7] The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces (a case of pars pro toto; see terminology of "the Netherlands").

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 25% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level,[8] and 50% of its land lying less than one metre above sea level.[9] This distinct feature contributes to the country's name in many other European languages (e.g. German: Niederlande, French: Les Pays-Bas, Italian: Paesi Bassi and Spanish: Países Bajos, literally mean "(The) Low Countries"). Significant land area has been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast and several low-hill ranges in the central parts.

The Netherlands was one of the first countries to have an elected parliament. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the EU, NATO, OECD and WTO. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital".[10] The Netherlands has a capitalist market-based economy, ranking 13th of 157 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom.[11] In May 2011, the Netherlands was ranked as the "happiest" country according to results published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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Sweden

9. Sweden

Sweden (Listeni/ˈswiːdən/ swee-dən; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: About this sound Konungariket Sverige (help·info)), is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland, and is connected... Ver mas
Sweden (Listeni/ˈswiːdən/ swee-dən; Swedish: Sverige [ˈsværjɛ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: About this sound Konungariket Sverige (help·info)), is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.

At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.4 million.[5] Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54 /sq mi) with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population live in urban areas.[12] Sweden's capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city.

Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire. The empire grew to be one of the great powers of Europe in the 17th and early 18th century. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-day Finland, was lost to Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime.[13]

Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy. In 2010, it ranked fourth in the world in The Economist's Democracy Index and ninth in the United Nations' Human Development Index. In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the second most competitive country in the world, after Switzerland.[14] Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 1995 and is a member of the OECD.

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Poland

10. Poland

Poland Listeni/ˈpoʊlənd/ (Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska; Kashubian: Pòlskô Repùblika; Silesian: Polsko Republika), is a country in Eastern Europe [7] bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine... Ver mas
Poland Listeni/ˈpoʊlənd/ (Polish: Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska; Kashubian: Pòlskô Repùblika; Silesian: Polsko Republika), is a country in Eastern Europe [7] bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 sq mi),[6] making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. Poland has a population of over 38 million people,[6] which makes it the 34th most populous country in the world[8] and the sixth most populous member of the European Union, being its most populous post-communist member. Poland is a unitary state made up of sixteen voivodeships. Poland is a member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European Economic Area, International Energy Agency, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, International Atomic Energy Agency and G6.

The establishment of a Polish state is often identified with the adoption of Christianity by its ruler Mieszko I in 966, over the territory similar to that of present-day Poland. The Kingdom of Poland was formed in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth ceased to exist in 1795 as the Polish lands were partitioned among the Kingdom of Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. Poland regained its independence as the Second Polish Republic in 1918. Two decades later, in September 1939, World War II started with the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invasion of Poland. Over six million Polish citizens died in the war. Poland reemerged several years later within the Soviet sphere of influence as the People's Republic in existence until 1989. During the Revolutions of 1989, 45-year long communist rule was overthrown and the democratic rule was re-established. That gave foundations to modern Poland, constitutionally known as the "Third Polish Republic".

Despite the vast destruction the country experienced in World War II, Poland managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. There are currently 14 heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in Poland.[9]

Since the end of the communist period, Poland has achieved a "very high" ranking in terms of human development[

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Greece

11. Greece

Greece Listeni/ˈɡriːs/ (Greek: Ελλάδα, Ellada, IPA: [eˈlaða] ( listen)), officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Elliniki Dimokratia, IPA: [eliniˈci ðimokraˈtia][9]), and historically Hellas (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς, Hellas, IPA: [hellás]; Greek: Ελλάς, Ellas) or the Republic of... Ver mas
Greece Listeni/ˈɡriːs/ (Greek: Ελλάδα, Ellada, IPA: [eˈlaða] ( listen)), officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Elliniki Dimokratia, IPA: [eliniˈci ðimokraˈtia][9]), and historically Hellas (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς, Hellas, IPA: [hellás]; Greek: Ελλάς, Ellas) or the Republic of Greece in English,[10] is a country in the the southern portion of Europe. It is in the southeastern corner of the European Union, and it is generally included in Western Europe.[11]

Greece has land borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the twelfth longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a vast number of islands (approximately 1,400, of which 227 are inhabited), including Crete, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, and the Ionian Islands among others. Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m (9,570 ft).

Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. As such, it is the birthplace of democracy,[12] Western philosophy,[13] the Olympic Games, Western literature and historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Geography,[14] Biology,[15] university education, coinage, and Western drama,[16] including both tragedy and comedy. This legacy is partly reflected in the seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece, ranking Greece 7th in Europe and 13th in the world. The modern Greek state was established in 1830, following the Greek War of Independence.

A developed country with an advanced,[17][18] high-income economy[19] and very high standards of living,[20][21][22] Greece has been a member of what is now the European Union since 1981 and the eurozone since 2001,[23] NATO since 1952,[24] and the European Space Agency since 2005.[25] It is also a founding member of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,[26] and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Greece is the largest economy of the Balkans.

Athens is the capital and the largest city in the country (its urban area also including Piraeus)

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Portugal

12. Portugal

Portugal Listeni/ˈpɔrtʃʉɡəl/ (Portuguese: Portugal, IPA: [puɾtuˈɣaɫ]), officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa) is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean... Ver mas
Portugal Listeni/ˈpɔrtʃʉɡəl/ (Portuguese: Portugal, IPA: [puɾtuˈɣaɫ]), officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa) is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are part of Portugal. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale.[8]

The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times: occupied by Celts like the Gallaeci and the Lusitanians, integrated into the Roman Republic and later settled by Germanic peoples such as the Suebi, Swabians, Vandals and the Visigoths. In the 8th century most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Moorish invaders professing Islam, which were later expelled by the Knights Templar under the Order of Christ. During the Christian Reconquista, Portugal established itself as an independent kingdom from León in 1139, claiming to be the oldest European nation-state.[9]

In the 15th and 16th centuries, as the result of pioneering the Age of Discovery, Portugal expanded western influence and established a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America, becoming the world's major economic, political and military global power. The Portuguese Empire was the first global empire in history,[10] and also the longest lived of the European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Macau to China in 1999. However, the country's international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the independence of Brazil, its largest colony.

After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established being then superseded by the "Estado Novo" authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974, after which Portugal's last overseas provinces became independent (most prominently Angola and Mozambique); the last overseas territory, Macau, was ceded to China in 1999.

Portugal is a developed country with an advanced and high-income economy, with a very high Human Development Index. It has the world's 19th-highest quality-of-life, one of the top health care systems, and it's also one of the world's most globalized and peaceful nations.[11] A member of the European Union and the United Nations, it is as well a founding member of the Latin Union, the Organization of Ibero-American States, OECD, NATO, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Eurozone and the Schengen Agreement.

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Ukraine

13. Ukraine

Ukraine (Listeni/juːˈkreɪn/ yew-krayn; Ukrainian: Україна, transliterated: Ukrayina, [ukrɑˈjinɑ]; Russian: Украи́на; Crimean Tatar: Ukraina) is a country in Central and Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after... Ver mas
Ukraine (Listeni/juːˈkreɪn/ yew-krayn; Ukrainian: Україна, transliterated: Ukrayina, [ukrɑˈjinɑ]; Russian: Украи́на; Crimean Tatar: Ukraina) is a country in Central and Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia.[8] Ukraine borders the Russian Federation to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively.

Established by the Varangians in the 9th century, the medieval state of Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state, emerged as a powerful nation in the Middle Ages until it disintegrated in the 12th century. By the middle of the 14th century, Ukrainian territories were under the rule of three external powers—the Golden Horde, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and the Kingdom of Poland.[9] After the Great Northern War (1700–1721) Ukraine was divided between a number of regional powers and, by the 19th century, the largest part of Ukraine was integrated into the Russian Empire with the rest under Austro-Hungarian control. A chaotic period of incessant warfare ensued, with several attempts at independence from 1917 to 1921, following World War I and the Russian Civil War. Ukraine emerged from this fighting on December 30, 1922 as one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's territory was enlarged westward shortly before and after World War II, and southwards in 1954 with the Crimea transfer. In 1945, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations.[10]

Ukraine became independent again when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. This dissolution started a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine was stricken with an eight-year recession.[11] Since then, however, the economy experienced a high increase in GDP growth. Ukraine was caught up in the worldwide economic crisis in 2008 and the economy plunged. GDP fell 20% from spring 2008 to spring 2009, then leveled off as analysts compared the magnitude of the downturn to the worst years of economic depression during the early 1990s.[12] However, the country remains a globally-important market and supplier, particularly, the world's third biggest grain exporter (as of 2011)[13].

Ukraine is a unitary state composed of 24 oblasts (provinces), one autonomous republic (Crimea), and two cities with special status: Kiev, its capital and largest city, and Sevastopol, which houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet under a leasing agreement. Ukraine is a republic under a semi-presidential system with separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine continues to maintain the second largest military in Europe, after that of Russia. The country is home to 46 million people, 77.8 percent of whom are ethnic Ukrainians, with sizable minorities of Russians (17%), Belarusians and Romanians. The Ukrainian language is the official language in Ukraine. Russian is also widely spoken. The dominant religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which has heavily influenced Ukrainian architecture, literature and music.

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Serbia

14. Serbia

Serbia Listeni/ˈsɜrbiə/, officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија or Republika Srbija, pronounced [republika sr̩bija]), is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part... Ver mas
Serbia Listeni/ˈsɜrbiə/, officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија or Republika Srbija, pronounced [republika sr̩bija]), is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans. Serbia borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; additionally, it borders Albania through Kosovo, whose status as part of Serbia is disputed. The country has just over 7.1 million inhabitants, with its capital, Belgrade, being among the largest cities in Southeast Europe.

After the arrival of the Serbs in the Balkans in the 7th century,[5] several medieval states were formed, which evolved into the Serbian Empire in the 14th century. By the 16th century, Serbia was conquered and occupied by the Ottoman Empire, at times interrupted by the Habsburgs. In the early 19th century the Serbian revolution re-established the country as the region's first constitutional monarchy, which subsequently expanded its territory and pioneered the abolition of feudalism in the Balkans.[6][7] The former Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina united with Serbia in 1918. Following World War I, Serbia formed Yugoslavia with other South Slavic peoples which existed in several forms up until 2006, when Serbia regained its independence. In February 2008 the parliament of UNMIK-governed Kosovo, Serbia's southern province, declared independence, with mixed responses from international governments.

Serbia is a member of the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE, PfP, BSEC and CEFTA. It is also a EU applicant country, which the European Commission recommended as EU candidate state as of 2011[8][9] and a self-declared neutral country

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Norway

15. Norway

Norway Listeni/ˈnɔrweɪ/ (Norwegian: About this sound Norge (Bokmål) or About this sound Noreg (Nynorsk)), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic... Ver mas
Norway Listeni/ˈnɔrweɪ/ (Norwegian: About this sound Norge (Bokmål) or About this sound Noreg (Nynorsk)), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island.[note 1] Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres (148,747 sq mi) and a population of about 4.99 million.[8] It is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; in its south Norway borders the Skagerrak Strait across from Denmark. The capital city of Norway is Oslo. Norway's extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea, is home to its famous fjords.

Two centuries of Viking raids tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav Tryggvason in 994. A period of civil war ended in the 13th century when Norway expanded its control overseas to parts of the British Isles, Iceland, and Greenland. Norwegian territorial power peaked in 1265, but competition from the Hanseatic League and the spread of the Black Death weakened the country. In 1380, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway remained neutral in World War I, it suffered heavy losses to its shipping. Norway proclaimed its neutrality at the outset of World War II, but was nonetheless occupied for five years by the Third Reich. In 1949, neutrality was abandoned and Norway became a founding member of NATO. Discovery of oil and gas in adjacent waters in the late 1960s boosted Norway's economic fortunes. In referenda held in 1972 and 1994, Norway rejected joining the EU. Key domestic issues include immigration and integration of ethnic minorities, maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness.[2][9]

Norway is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with King Harald V as its head of state and Jens Stoltenberg as its prime minister. It is a unitary state with administrative subdivisions on two levels known as counties (fylke) and municipalities (kommuner). The Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Although having rejected European Union membership in two referenda, Norway maintains close ties with the union and its member countries, as well as with the United States. Norway remains one of the biggest financial contributors to the United Nations,[10] and participates with UN forces in international missions, notably in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan and Libya. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and is also a part of Schengen Area.

Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water, and hydropower. On a per-capita basis, it is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East,[11][12] and the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product.[13] The country maintains a Nordic welfare model with universal health care, subsidized higher education, and a comprehensive social security system. From 2001 to 2006,[14] and then again from 2009 through 2011, Norway has had the highest human development index ranking in the world

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Republic of Ireland

16. Republic of Ireland

Ireland[7] (/ˈaɪərlənd/ or /ˈɑrlənd/; Irish: Éire, pronounced [ˈeːɾʲə] ( listen)), described as the Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann),[8] is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. The population of... Ver mas
Ireland[7] (/ˈaɪərlənd/ or /ˈɑrlənd/; Irish: Éire, pronounced [ˈeːɾʲə] ( listen)), described as the Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann),[8] is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. The population of the state was 4.58 million in 2011. It is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy, with an elected president serving as head of state. It is a member of the European Union. Ireland is a developed country with the seventh highest Human Development Index.[9] The country is highly ranked for press freedom, economic freedom and democracy and political freedom. Ireland is also a member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

The modern Irish state was established in 1922 as the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty which brought an end to the Irish War of Independence. The partition of Ireland had already been provided for in previous British legislation in 1921[10] in response to opposition to Irish Home Rule or independence by Unionists, who formed a majority in the north-eastern part of the country. Six of the nine counties in the northern province of Ulster were established under that legislation as Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, with which the Irish state shares its only land border. The state is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east.

In 1801, the kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain, previously in a personal union, were united to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following a failed uprising in 1916, in 1919 Irish nationalist parliamentarians supporting the establishment of the Irish Republic formed a secessionist parliament and the Irish Republican Army launched a guerrilla war to realise independence. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 concluded that war and established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. Northern Ireland chose to remain as part of the United Kingdom. The independent state increased in sovereignty through the 1931 Statute of Westminster and the abdication crisis of 1936.[11] A new constitution introduced in 1937 declared it a sovereign state named Ireland (Éire).[12][13] The Republic of Ireland Act proclaimed Ireland a republic in 1949 by removing the remaining duties of the monarch. Ireland consequently withdrew from the British Commonwealth.[14]

While it ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world today in terms of GDP,[15] Ireland was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe while it was a part of the United Kingdom and for decades following independence. Economic protectionism was dismantled in the late 1950s and Ireland joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Economic liberalism from the late 1980s onwards resulted in rapid economic expansion, particularly from 1995 to 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. An unprecedented financial crisis beginning in 2008 ended this era of rapid economic growth.[16][17]

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Croatia

17. Croatia

Croatia (Listeni/kroʊˈeɪʃə/ kroh-ay-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska pronounced [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska About this sound listen (help·info)), is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans... Ver mas
Croatia (Listeni/kroʊˈeɪʃə/ kroh-ay-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska pronounced [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska About this sound listen (help·info)), is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and has diverse, mostly continental and Mediterranean climates. Croatia's Adriatic Sea coast is long and traced by more than a thousand islands. The country's population is 4.29 million, most of whom are Croats, and the main religion is Roman Catholicism.

In the early 7th century the Croats arrived in area of present-day Croatia. They organised the state into two dukedoms by the 9th century. Tomislav became the first king by 925 AD, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Peter Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir. Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs that declared independence from Austria–Hungary and co-founded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. A Croatian state briefly existed during World War II as a fascist puppet state. After the war, Croatia became a founding member and a federal constituent of the Second Yugoslavia, a socialist state. In June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came into effect on 8 October of the same year. The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration.

Croatia today has a comparatively very high life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living and income equality, and it ranks high among Central European nations in terms of education, health, quality of life and economic dynamism. The International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high income economy. Croatia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, CEFTA and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Croatia is an acceding state of the European Union, with full membership expected in July 2013. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term.

The service sector dominates Croatia's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia; the rest is imported. Croatia provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and through corporate investments in media and publishing. The nation prides itself in its cultural, artistic and scientific contributions to the world, as well as in its cuisine, wines and sporting achievements.

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Austria

18. Austria

Austria (Listeni/ˈɒstriə/ or /ˈɔːstriə/; German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐˌʁaɪç] ( listen)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich), is a landlocked country of roughly 8.47 million people[3] in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north... Ver mas
Austria (Listeni/ˈɒstriə/ or /ˈɔːstriə/; German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐˌʁaɪç] ( listen)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich), is a landlocked country of roughly 8.47 million people[3] in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,855 square kilometres (32,377 sq mi) and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft).[7] The majority of the population speak local Austro-Bavarian dialects of German as their native language,[8] and German in its standard form is the country's official language.[9] Other local official languages are Burgenland Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene.[7]

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe and, in response to the coronation of Napoleon I as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary.

When the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire collapsed in 1918 with the end of World War I, Austria used German Austria („Deutschösterreich”, later „Österreich”) as the state name in an attempt for union with Germany but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint Germain. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany.[10] This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Nazi Germany was occupied by the Allies and Austria's former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.

Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states.[7][11] The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is Vienna.[7][12] Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $48,350 (2011 est.). The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2011 was ranked 19th in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955,[13] joined the European Union in 1995,[7] and is a founder of the OECD.[14] Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995,[15] and adopted the European currency, the Euro, in 1999.

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Turkey

19. Turkey

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye), known officially as the Republic of Turkey (About this sound Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (help·info)), is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia (mostly in the Anatolian peninsula) and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria... Ver mas
Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye), known officially as the Republic of Turkey (About this sound Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (help·info)), is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia (mostly in the Anatolian peninsula) and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea is to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles (which together form the Turkish Straits) demarcate the boundary between East Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia.[12]

Turkey is one of the six independent Turkic states. The vast majority of the population are Muslims.[13] The country's official language is Turkish, whereas Kurdish and Zazaki languages are spoken by Kurds and Zazas, who constitute 18% of the population.[14]

Oghuz Turks began migrating into the area now called Turkey (derived from the Medieval Latin Turchia, i.e. "Land of the Turks") in the 11th century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert.[15] Several small beyliks and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion. Starting from the 13th century, the Ottoman beylik united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. After the Ottoman Empire collapsed following its defeat in World War I, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies. A cadre of young military officers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues, organized a successful resistance to the Allies; in 1923, they would establish the modern Republic of Turkey with Atatürk as its first president.

Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with an ancient cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organisations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the Middle East, the Turkic states of Central Asia and the African countries through membership in organisations such as the Turkic Council, Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organisation.

Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance.[16][17][18] Given its strategic location, large economy and military strength, Turkey is a major regional power

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Malta

20. Malta

Malta Listeni/ˈmɒltə/, officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta), is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of... Ver mas
Malta Listeni/ˈmɒltə/, officially known as the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta' Malta), is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya, with Gibraltar 1,755 km (1,091 mi) to the west and Alexandria 1,508 km (937 mi) to the east.[7]

Malta covers just over 316 km2 (122 sq mi) in land area, making it one of the world's smallest states.[8][9][10] It is also one of the most densely populated countries worldwide. The de facto capital city of Malta is Valletta; the largest town, Birkirkara. The main island comprises many towns, which together form one Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) with a population of 368,250 according to Eurostat.[11] The country has two official languages, Maltese (considered the national language) and English.

Throughout history, Malta's location has given it great strategic importance,[12] and a succession of powers including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of St John, French and the British ruled the islands. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974, whilst retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004. Malta is also party to the Schengen Agreement[13] and in 2008 it became part of the eurozone.

Malta has a long Christian legacy and is an Apostolic See. According to the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible,[14] St. Paul was shipwrecked on "Melite", as the Greeks called the island, and ministered there.[15] Catholicism is the official religion in Malta as declared by the Maltese constitution.[16][17]

Malta is internationally renowned as a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas and historical monuments, including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites,[18] most prominently the Megalithic Temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.

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Slovenia

21. Slovenia

Slovenia (Listeni/sloʊˈviːniə/ sloh-vee-nee-ə), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Republika Slovenija, [reˈpublika sloˈveːnija] ( listen)), is a country in Central Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and... Ver mas
Slovenia (Listeni/sloʊˈviːniə/ sloh-vee-nee-ə), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: Republika Slovenija, [reˈpublika sloˈveːnija] ( listen)), is a country in Central Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of coastline along the Adriatic Sea. It covers an area of 20,273 square kilometres (7,827 sq mi) and has a population of 2.05 million.[5] The capital and largest city is Ljubljana.[12]

Historically, the current territory of Slovenia was part of many different state formations, including the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1918, the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the internationally unrecognized State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs. During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, Hungary and Croatia only to emerge afterwards reunified with its western part as a founding member of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1991, Slovenia declared full sovereignty. Today, Slovenia is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen area, NATO and OECD. Per capita, it is the richest Slavic nation-state, at 85.5% of the EU27 average GDP (PPP) per capita.[13]

Culturally and demographically, Slovenia has been a border area throughout its history. Here, four linguistic and cultural groups of the continent have been meeting: Slavic, Germanic, Romance and Uralic.[14][15][16] The population of Slovenia has become more diverse in regard to its language and ethnic composition through recent decades but is still relatively homogeneous.[17][18][19] Approximately 83% of inhabitants considered themselves Slovenes in the 2002 census.[20][21] Another major group are immigrants from the countries of Former Yugoslavia.[18][22]

Slovenia is a largely secularised country; however, major religions are politically and legally privileged.[23][24] Roman Catholicism is the most prevalent religion.[18] The development of the Slovenian identity was also markedly influenced by Protestantism in the centuries past

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Bulgaria

22. Bulgaria

Bulgaria Listeni/bʌlˈɡɛəriə/ (Bulgarian: България, IPA: [bɤ̞ɫˈɡarijɐ]), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a parliamentary republic in Southeast Europe. It borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east... Ver mas
Bulgaria Listeni/bʌlˈɡɛəriə/ (Bulgarian: България, IPA: [bɤ̞ɫˈɡarijɐ]), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a parliamentary republic in Southeast Europe. It borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria is a very mountainous country due to its location in the Balkan peninsula. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria ranks as the 14th-largest country in Europe.

Prehistoric cultures began developing on Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period. Its ancient history has been marked by the presence of the Thracians, and later by the Greeks and Romans. The emergence of a unified Bulgarian ethnicity and state dates back to the 7th century and the First Bulgarian Empire, which functioned as a cultural hub for Slavic peoples and spread over most of the Balkans during the Middle Ages. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five hundred years. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 resulted in the Third Bulgarian State, recognised in 1908. Shortly afterward, Bulgaria engaged in a series of major conflicts with its neighbours and allied with Germany in both World Wars. In 1946 it became a communist republic and it was a satellite member of the Warsaw Pact until 1989, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections. After 1990 Bulgaria transitioned to democracy and introduced free-market capitalism.

The current political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, a founding state of the OSCE, and has been a member of the UN Security Council three times. It is a unitary state with a high degree of political, administrative and economic centralisation, and it is considered a free country.[5]

The population of 7.36 million people is predominantly urban and mainly concentrated in the administrative centres of its 28 provinces. With 1.3 million people, the capital Sofia is the largest city and concentrates most commercial and cultural activities. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering and agriculture, all relying on local natural resources.

As a historical crossroad for various civilisations, Bulgaria is the home of some of the most ancient cultural artifacts in the world.

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Finland

23. Finland

Finland Listeni/ˈfɪnlənd/ (About this sound Finnish: Suomi; Swedish: Finland (help·info)), officially the Republic of Finland,[5] is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while... Ver mas
Finland Listeni/ˈfɪnlənd/ (About this sound Finnish: Suomi; Swedish: Finland (help·info)), officially the Republic of Finland,[5] is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.

Around 5.4 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern region.[6] It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in Helsinki and local governments in 336 municipalities.[7][8] A total of about one million residents live in the Greater Helsinki area (which includes Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa), and a third of the country's GDP is produced there. Other larger cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.

Finland was historically a part of Sweden from the 12th to 19th century, and from 1809–1917 was an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. The Finnish Declaration of Independence from Russia in 1917 was followed by a civil war in which the leftist side was defeated with German support. Finland fought World War II as essentially three separate conflicts: the Winter War (1939–1940), the Continuation War (1941–1944), and the Lapland War (1944–1945). Finland joined the United Nations in 1955, the OECD in 1969, the European Union in 1995, and the eurozone at its inception in 1999.

Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, economic development was rapid. Finland built an extensive welfare state and balanced between the East and the West in global economics and politics. With the best educational system in Europe,[9][10] Finland has recently ranked as one of the world's most peaceful, competitive and livable countries

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Denmark

24. Denmark

Denmark Listeni/ˈdɛnmɑrk/ (Danish: About this sound Danmark (help·info)) is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark). It is the southernmost of the Nordic... Ver mas
Denmark Listeni/ˈdɛnmɑrk/ (Danish: About this sound Danmark (help·info)) is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark). It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy (commonly considered a part of Jutland), Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea (dominium maris baltici); before the digging of the Kiel Canal, water passage to the Baltic Sea was possible only through the three channels known as the "Danish straits".

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. It has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. A founding member of NATO and the OECD, it is also a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Denmark, with a mixed market economy and a large welfare state,[6] ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality.[7] It has frequently ranked as the happiest[8][9] and least corrupt country in the world.[10] The national language, Danish, is closely related to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties.

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Iceland

25. Iceland

celand[7][8] Listeni/ˈaɪslənd/ (Icelandic: Ísland, IPA: [ˈislant]; see Names for Iceland), described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.[9] Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains... Ver mas
celand[7][8] Listeni/ˈaɪslənd/ (Icelandic: Ísland, IPA: [ˈislant]; see Names for Iceland), described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.[9] Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains about 98.6% of the population and comprises more than 99.9% of the land area. The country has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi).[10] The capital and the largest city is Reykjavík,[11] with the surrounding areas in the southwestern region of the country being home to two-thirds of the country's population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterised by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.

According to Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in AD 874 when the chieftain Ingólfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norse settler on the island.[12] Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter. Over the following centuries, Norsemen settled Iceland, bringing with them slaves of Gaelic origin. From 1262 to 1918 Iceland was part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies. Until the 20th century, the Icelandic population relied largely on fisheries and agriculture. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Aid brought prosperity in the years after World War II. In 1994, Iceland became party to the European Economic Area, which made it possible for the economy to diversify into economic and financial services.

Iceland has a free market economy with relatively low taxes compared to other OECD countries,[13] while maintaining a Nordic welfare system providing universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens.[14] In recent years, Iceland has been one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 2011, it was ranked as the 14th most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index,[3] and the fourth most productive country per capita.[15] In 2008, political unrest occurred as the nation's entire banking system systemically failed.

Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Norse heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse (particularly from Western Norway) and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is closely related to Faroese and some West Norwegian dialects. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, poetry, and the medieval Icelanders' sagas. Currently, Iceland has the smallest population among NATO members and is the only one with no standing army.

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Luxembourg

26. Luxembourg

Luxembourg (Listeni/ˈlʌksəmbɜrɡ/ luks-əm-burg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg, Dutch: Groothertogdom Luxemburg), is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by... Ver mas
Luxembourg (Listeni/ˈlʌksəmbɜrɡ/ luks-əm-burg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French: Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg, Dutch: Groothertogdom Luxemburg), is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south.[4] Luxembourg has a population of over half a million people in an area of approximately 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi).[5] A representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is ruled by a grand duke. It is now the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. The country has a highly developed economy, with the world's highest GDP (nominal) per capita according to the IMF. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress site and Frankish count's castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish Road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries.

Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, NATO, OECD, the United Nations, and Benelux, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg, the largest and capital city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU.

Luxembourg culture is a mix of Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.

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Moldova

27. Moldova

Moldova Listeni/mɒlˈdoʊvə/, officially the Republic of Moldova (Moldovan/Romanian: Republica Moldova pronounced [reˈpublika molˈdova]) is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. It declared itself an independent state... Ver mas
Moldova Listeni/mɒlˈdoʊvə/, officially the Republic of Moldova (Moldovan/Romanian: Republica Moldova pronounced [reˈpublika molˈdova]) is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991 as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A strip of Moldova's internationally recognized territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.

The nation is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Moldova is a member state of the United Nations, Council of Europe, WTO, OSCE, GUAM, CIS, BSEC and other international organizations. Moldova currently aspires to join the European Union,[6] and has implemented the first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

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Belgium

28. Belgium

Belgium (Listeni/ˈbɛldʒəm/ bel-jəm), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.[nb 1] Belgium covers an area of... Ver mas
Belgium (Listeni/ˈbɛldʒəm/ bel-jəm), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.[nb 1] Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi), and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish (about 60%), and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons (about 40%), plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region.[2] A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.[5] Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government.[6][7]

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin because of the Roman province Gallia Belgica which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was a prosperous centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the battleground of Europe,[8] a reputation strengthened by both World Wars.

Upon its independence, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution[9][10] and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.[11] The second half of the 20th century was marked by the rise of non-violent conflicts between the Flemish and the Francophones fuelled by cultural differences on the one hand and an asymmetrical economic evolution of Flanders and Wallonia on the other hand. These ongoing conflicts have caused far-reaching reforms of the formerly unitary Belgian state into a federal state which may lead to a complete partition of the country in the future.

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Vatican City

29. Vatican City

Vatican City Listeni/ˈvætɨkən ˈsɪti/, or Vatican City State,[14] in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano (pronounced [ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta del vatiˈkaːno]),[15] which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory... Ver mas
Vatican City Listeni/ˈvætɨkən ˈsɪti/, or Vatican City State,[14] in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano (pronounced [ˈstaːto della t͡ʃitˈta del vatiˈkaːno]),[15] which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.[6][16] This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.

Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports. In each case very few passports are issued.

The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with Lazio, ten years later, in 1870.

Vatican City is an ecclesiastical[6] or sacerdotal-monarchical[7] state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace.

The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377, but have also at times resided in the Quirinal Palace in Rome and elsewhere. Previously, they resided in the Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill on the far side of Rome from the Vatican. Emperor Constantine gave this site to Pope Miltiades in 313. The signing of the agreements that established the new state took place in the latter building, giving rise to the name of Lateran Pacts, by which they are known.

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Albania

30. Albania

Albania (Listeni/ælˈbeɪniə/ al-bay-nee-ə, Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria, officially known as the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë pronounced Albanian pronunciation: [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]; Gheg Albanian: Republika e Shqipnísë) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is... Ver mas
Albania (Listeni/ælˈbeɪniə/ al-bay-nee-ə, Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria, officially known as the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë pronounced Albanian pronunciation: [ɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs]; Gheg Albanian: Republika e Shqipnísë) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo[a] to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.[8]

Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to approximately 600,000 of the country's 3,000,000 people.[9] Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure.[10][11][12] Albania was chosen as the No.1 Destination in Lonely Planet's list of ten top countries to visit for 2011.[13]

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Georgia (country)

31. Georgia (country)

Georgia Listeni/ˈdʒɔrdʒə/ (Georgian: საქართველო, sak’art’velo IPA: [sɑkʰɑrtʰvɛlɔ] ( listen)) is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by... Ver mas
Georgia Listeni/ˈdʒɔrdʒə/ (Georgian: საქართველო, sak’art’velo IPA: [sɑkʰɑrtʰvɛlɔ] ( listen)) is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 km² and its population is almost 4.7 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

During the classical era independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. A unified Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 11th–12th centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire.[7] After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, becoming the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic and part of the Soviet Union. After independence in 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil unrest and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. This lasted until the Rose Revolution of 2003, after which the new government introduced democratic and economic reforms.[8]

Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia considers the regions to be part of its sovereign territory under the Russian military occupation.[9]

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Hungary

32. Hungary

Hungary Listeni/ˈhʌŋɡəri/ (Hungarian: Magyarország [ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ] ( listen)) is a landlocked country in Central Europe.[5] It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest... Ver mas
Hungary Listeni/ˈhʌŋɡəri/ (Hungarian: Magyarország [ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ] ( listen)) is a landlocked country in Central Europe.[5] It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and is a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian, also known as Magyar, which is part of the Finno-Ugric group and is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe.[6]

Following a Celtic (after c. 450 BCE) and a Roman (9 CE – c. 430 CE) period, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian ruler Árpád, whose great-grandson Saint Stephen I was crowned with a crown sent by the pope from Rome in 1000 AD. The Kingdom of Hungary lasted for 946 years,[note 1] and at various points was regarded as one of the cultural centres of the Western world. After about 150 years of partial Ottoman occupation (1541–1699), Hungary was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy, and later constituted half of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy (1867–1918).

A great power until the end of World War I, Hungary lost over 70 percent of its territory, along with one third of its ethnic population,[7] and all its sea ports under the Treaty of Trianon,[8] the terms of which have been considered excessively harsh by many in Hungary.[9] The kingdom was succeeded by a Fascist regime, and then a Communist era (1947–1989) during which Hungary gained widespread international attention during the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal opening of its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic, which was established in 1989. Today, Hungary is a high-income economy[10] and a regional leader in some respects.[11][12][13][14]

Hungary is one of the thirty most popular tourist destinations of the world, attracting 8.6 million tourists a year (2007).[15][16] The country is home to the largest thermal water cave system[17] and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy).

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Latvia

33. Latvia

Latvia Listeni/ˈlætviə/ (Latvian: Latvija), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (border length 343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), to the east by the Russian... Ver mas
Latvia Listeni/ˈlætviə/ (Latvian: Latvija), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (border length 343 km), to the south by Lithuania (588 km), to the east by the Russian Federation (276 km), to the southeast by Belarus (141 km),[7] and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden. With 2,208,400 inhabitants[4] and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)[8] it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. The capital of Latvia is Riga. The official language is Latvian and the currency is called Lats (Ls). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.

The Latvians are a Baltic people, culturally related to the Lithuanians. Together with the Finno-Ugric Livs (or Livonians), the Latvians are the indigenous people of Latvia.[8] Latvian is an Indo-European language and along with Lithuanian the only two surviving members of the Baltic branch. Indigneous minority languages are Latgalian and the nearly extinct Finno-Ugric Livonian language. In terms of geography, territory and population Latvia is the middle of three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Latvia and Estonia share a long common history: historical Livonia, times of German, Polish-Lithuanian, Swedish, Russian, Nazi German and Soviet rule, 13th century Christianization and 16th century Protestant Reformation. Both countries are home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.9% in Latvia[2] and 25.5% in Estonia[9]) of whom some are non-citizens. Latvia is historically predominantly Protestant, except for the region of Latgalia in the southeast which is historically predominantly Roman Catholic.

Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is divided into 118 administrative divisions of which 109 municipalities and 9 cities. There are five planning regions: Courland (Kurzeme), Latgalia (Latgale), Riga (Rīga), Vidzeme and Zemgale. The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, 1918. It was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union between 1940–1941 and 1945–1991 and by Nazi Germany between 1941–1945. The peaceful "Singing Revolution" between 1987 and 1991 and "Baltic Chain" demonstration on August 23, 1989 led to the independence of the Baltic states. Latvia declared the restoration of its de facto independence on August 21, 1991.

Latvia is a member of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO, OSCE, IMF and WTO, and is part of the Schengen Area. It was a member of the League of Nations (1921–1946) and the Baltic Free Trade Area (1994–2004). Latvia is also a member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States[10] and Nordic Investment Bank, and is together with Estonia and Lithuania involved in trilateral Baltic States cooperation[11] and Nordic-Baltic cooperation.[12][13]

After economic stagnation in the early 1990s, Latvia posted Europe-leading GDP growth figures during 1998–2006. In the global financial crisis of 2008–2010 Latvia was the hardest hit of the European Union member states, with a GDP decline of 26.54% in that period.[14][15] Commentators noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy by 2010.[16] The United Nations lists Latvia as a country with a Human Development Index (HDI) of "Very High"

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Montenegro

34. Montenegro

Montenegro (Listeni/ˌmɒntɨˈneɪɡroʊ/ or /ˌmɒntɨˈniːɡroʊ/; or /ˌmɒntɨˈnɛɡroʊ/) (Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора [tsr̩̂ːnaː gɔ̝̌ra] ( listen), meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to... Ver mas
Montenegro (Listeni/ˌmɒntɨˈneɪɡroʊ/ or /ˌmɒntɨˈniːɡroʊ/; or /ˌmɒntɨˈnɛɡroʊ/) (Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора [tsr̩̂ːnaː gɔ̝̌ra] ( listen), meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Albania to the southeast, and Kosovo to the East.[4] Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the Prijestonica (Пријестоница), meaning the former Royal Capital City.[5]

In the 10th century, modern Montenegro was divided into three Slavic principalities: Duklja, roughly corresponding to the southern half, Travunia, the west, and Rascia, the north. In 1042, archon Stefan Vojislav led a revolt that resulted in independence of Duklja and the establishment of the House of Vojislavljević. Duklja reached its zenith under Vojislav's son, Mihailo (1046–81), and his son Bodin (1081–1101).[6] By the 13th century, Zeta had replaced Duklja when referring to the realm, which at the time was part of the Serbian Grand Principality of the Nemanjić dynasty. With the fall of the Serbian Empire in the late 14th century, southern Montenegro came under the rule of the Balsic noble family, then the Crnojevic noble family, and by the 15th century, Zeta was more often referred to as Crna Gora (Venetian: monte negro). A sovereign principality[7] since the Late Middle Ages, Montenegro saw its independence from the Ottoman Empire formally recognized in 1878. From 1918, it was a part of Yugoslavia. On the basis of a referendum held on 21 May 2006, Montenegro declared independence on 3 June of that year.

Montenegro is classified by the World Bank as a middle-income country. Montenegro is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the Central European Free Trade Agreement and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Montenegro is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union[8] and official candidate for membership in NATO.[9]

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Texas

35. Texas

Texas (Listeni/ˈtɛksəs/) is the second most populous and the second most extensive of the 50 United States, and the most extensive state of the 48 contiguous United States. The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves... Ver mas
Texas (Listeni/ˈtɛksəs/) is the second most populous and the second most extensive of the 50 United States, and the most extensive state of the 48 contiguous United States. The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas.[9] Located in the South Central United States, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south, and borders the US states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2), and a growing population of 25.7 million residents.[10]

During the Spanish colonial rule, the area was officially known as the Nuevo Reino de Filipinas: La Provincia de Texas.[11] Antonio Margil de Jesús was known to be the first person to use the name in a letter to the Viceroy of Mexico in 20 July 1716. The name was not popularly used in daily speech but often appeared in legal documents until the end of the 1800s.

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and sixth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as an independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[12]

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.[13] Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert.[14] Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term "six flags over Texas" came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state's annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. After the war and its restoration to the Union, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.

One Texas industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle. Due to its long history as a center of the industry, Texas is associated with the image of the cowboy. The state's economic fortunes changed in the early 20th century, when oil discoveries initiated an economic boom in the state. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with California at 57.[15] With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicals, energy, computers and electronics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences. It leads the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product.

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Cyprus

36. Cyprus

Cyprus Listeni/ˈsaɪprəs/ (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros, IPA: [ˈcipɾos]; Turkish: Kıbrıs, IPA: [ˈkɯbɾɯs]), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía, IPA: [cipɾiaˈci ðimokɾaˈtia]; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti, IPA: [ˈkɯbɾɯs dʒumhuɾijeˈti]), is a Eurasian island... Ver mas
Cyprus Listeni/ˈsaɪprəs/ (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros, IPA: [ˈcipɾos]; Turkish: Kıbrıs, IPA: [ˈkɯbɾɯs]), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía, IPA: [cipɾiaˈci ðimokɾaˈtia]; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti, IPA: [ˈkɯbɾɯs dʒumhuɾijeˈti]), is a Eurasian island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea,[5][6] east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon and north of Egypt. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BCE. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, which has been declared a World Heritage Site with an "enhanced protection" status in the event of armed conflict[7] by UNESCO, along with the archaeological sites of Paphos and the Painted Churches of the Troodos Region. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world,[8] and is the site of the earliest known example of feline domestication.[9][10]

At a strategic location in the Middle East,[11][12][13][14] Cyprus has been occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Rashidun and Umayyad Arab caliphates, Lusignans, Venetians, and Ottomans. Settled by Mycenean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BCE, the island also experienced long periods of Greek rule under the Ptolemaic Egyptians and the Byzantines. In 333 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered the island from the Persians. The Ottoman Empire conquered the island in 1571 and it remained under Ottoman control for over three centuries. It was placed under British administration in 1878 until it was granted independence in 1960,[15] becoming a member of the Commonwealth the following year.

In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,[16] an attempted coup d'état by Greek Cypriot nationalists[17][18] and elements of the Greek military junta[19] with the aim of achieving enosis (union of the island with Greece) took place.[19] Turkey used this as a pretext to invade the northern portion of the island. Turkish forces remained after a cease-fire, resulting in the partition of the island; an objective of Turkey since 1955.[19] The intercommunal violence and subsequent Turkish invasion led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus has de jure[20] sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north,[21] calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognised only by Turkey, covering about 36% of the island's area.

Cyprus is the third most populous island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of its most popular tourist destinations.[22] An advanced,[23] high-income economy with a very high Human Development Index,[24][25] the Republic of Cyprus was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.[26][27] On January 1, 2008, Cyprus joined the euro.

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Romania

37. Romania

Romania (Listeni/roʊˈmeɪniə/ roh-may-nee-ə; dated: Roumania;[6] or Rumania;[7][8] Romanian: România [romɨˈni.a] ( listen)) is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea.[9... Ver mas
Romania (Listeni/roʊˈmeɪniə/ roh-may-nee-ə; dated: Roumania;[6] or Rumania;[7][8] Romanian: România [romɨˈni.a] ( listen)) is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea.[9] Romania shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and east, and Bulgaria to the south.

At 238,400 square kilometers (92,000 sq mi), Romania is the ninth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with 21.9 million people.[2] Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the sixth largest city in the EU with about two million people.

The Kingdom of Romania emerged when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were united under Prince Alexander Ioan Cuza in 1859. Independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on May 9, 1877, and was internationally recognized the following year. At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Kingdom of Romania. Greater Romania emerged into an era of progression and prosperity that would continue until World War II. By the end of the War, many north-eastern areas of Romania's territories were occupied by the Soviet Union, and Romania forcibly became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the 1989 Revolution, Romania began its transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy. After a decade of post-revolution economic problems, extensive reforms fostered economic recovery making Romania now an upper middle-income country with high human development.[10]

Romania joined NATO on March 29, 2004, the European Union on January 1, 2007 and is also a member of the Latin Union, of the Francophonie, of the OSCE, of the WTO, of the BSEC and of the United Nations. Today, Romania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, in which the executive branch consists of the President and the Government.[

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Switzerland

38. Switzerland

Switzerland (German: die Schweiz[note 3] [ˈʃvaɪts]; French: Suisse [sɥis(ə)]; Italian: Svizzera [ˈzviːtːsɛra]; Romansh: Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ]), in its full name the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, hence its abbreviation CH), is a federal republic consisting of... Ver mas
Switzerland (German: die Schweiz[note 3] [ˈʃvaɪts]; French: Suisse [sɥis(ə)]; Italian: Svizzera [ˈzviːtːsɛra]; Romansh: Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ]), in its full name the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, hence its abbreviation CH), is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western Europe,[note 4] where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.

Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 7.9 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres of Zurich and Geneva.

The Swiss Confederation has a long history of neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815—and did not join the United Nations until 2002. It pursues, however, an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.[6] Switzerland is also the birthplace of the Red Cross and home to a large number of international organizations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Area – although it is notably not a member of the European Union, nor the European Economic Area.

In nominal terms, Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $75,835.[4] In 2010, Switzerland had the highest wealth per adult of any country in the world (with $372,692 for each person).[7] Switzerland also has one of the world's largest account balances as a percentage of GDP. Zurich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as the cities with the second and third highest quality of life in the world.[8] In 2010 the World Economic Forum ranked Switzerland as the most competitive country in the world,[9] while ranked by the European Union as Europe's most innovative country by far.[10]

Switzerland comprises three main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, and Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking valleys are added. The Swiss, therefore, though predominantly German-speaking, do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic identity. The strong sense of belonging to the country is founded on the common historical background, shared values (federalism, direct democracy, neutrality)[11] and Alpine symbolism.[12] The establishment of the Swiss Confederation is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291; Swiss National Day is celebrated on the anniversary.

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Estonia

39. Estonia

Estonia Listeni/ɨsˈtoʊniə/ (Estonian: Eesti), officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by... Ver mas
Estonia Listeni/ɨsˈtoʊniə/ (Estonian: Eesti), officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation (338.6 km).[8] Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia covers 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. The Estonians are a Finnic people, and the official language Estonian, is closely related to Finnish.

Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic divided into 15 counties. The capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.34 million, it is one of the least-populous members of the European Union, Eurozone and NATO. Estonia has the highest GDP per person among former Soviet republics.[9] Estonia is listed as a "High-Income Economy" by the World Bank, as an "advanced economy" by the International Monetary Fund and the country is an OECD member. The United Nations lists Estonia as a developed country with a Human Development Index of "Very High".[5] The country is also ranked highly for press freedom, economic freedom, democracy and political freedom and education.

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Republic of Macedonia

40. Republic of Macedonia

Macedonia (Listeni/ˌmæsɨˈdoʊniə/ mas-i-doh-nee-ə; Macedonian: Македонија), officially the Republic of Macedonia (Република Македонија, transliterated: Republika Makedonija [rɛˈpublika makɛˈdɔnija] ( listen)), is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of... Ver mas
Macedonia (Listeni/ˌmæsɨˈdoʊniə/ mas-i-doh-nee-ə; Macedonian: Македонија), officially the Republic of Macedonia (Република Македонија, transliterated: Republika Makedonija [rɛˈpublika makɛˈdɔnija] ( listen)), is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993 but, as a result of a dispute with Greece over its name, it was admitted under the provisional reference of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,[8][9] sometimes abbreviated as FYROM.[10]

A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo[a] to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south and Albania to the west.[11] It constitutes approximately the northwestern half of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises parts of Greece and Bulgaria. The country's capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to a 2002 census. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar and Strumica. It has more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Macedonia is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe. Since December 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.

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Armenia

41. Armenia

rmenia Listeni/ɑrˈmiːniə/ (Armenian: Հայաստան Hayastan [hɑjɑsˈtɑn]), officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun, [hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtuˈtʰjun]), is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western... Ver mas
rmenia Listeni/ɑrˈmiːniə/ (Armenian: Հայաստան Hayastan [hɑjɑsˈtɑn]), officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun, [hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtuˈtʰjun]), is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe,[10] it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.

A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion[11] in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301).[12] The modern Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church as the national church of Armenia, although the republic has separation of church and state.[13]

Armenia is a member of more than 40 international organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the World Trade Organization, World Customs Organization, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and La Francophonie. It is a member of the CSTO military alliance, and also participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. In 2004 its forces joined KFOR, a NATO-led international force in Kosovo. It is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community and the Non-Aligned Movement. The country is an emerging democracy, and is currently in a negotiation process with the European Union, of which it may become an Associate Member in the near future.[14][15][16][17] The Government of Armenia holds European integration as a key priority in its foreign policy as it is considered a European country by the European Union.

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Lithuania

42. Lithuania

Lithuania (Listeni/ˌlɪθuːˈeɪniə/ or /ˌlɪθjuːˈeɪniə/; Lithuanian: Lietuva), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Northern Europe, the largest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the... Ver mas
Lithuania (Listeni/ˌlɪθuːˈeɪniə/ or /ˌlɪθjuːˈeɪniə/; Lithuanian: Lietuva), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Northern Europe, the largest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark. It borders Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and a Russian exclave (Kaliningrad Oblast) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 3.2 million as of 2011, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. The Lithuanians are a Baltic people, and the official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages (together with Latvian) in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

For centuries, the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea was inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, who was crowned as King of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the first Lithuanian state, on 6 July 1253.[6] During the 14th century, Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania.

On 11 March 1990, the year before the break-up of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence. Prior to the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania is also a full member of the Schengen Agreement.[7] The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "Very High Human Development" country. In 2011, Lithuania hosted the European men's basketball championship, EuroBasket 2011, and the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting.

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Andorra

43. Andorra

Andorra (Listeni/ænˈdɔrə/; Catalan pronunciation: [ənˈdorə], locally: [anˈdɔra]), officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra,[9] (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a small landlocked country in... Ver mas
Andorra (Listeni/ænˈdɔrə/; Catalan pronunciation: [ənˈdorə], locally: [anˈdɔra]), officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra,[9] (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and an estimated population of 84,082 in 2009. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, being at an elevation of 1023 metres.[10] The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

The Principality was formed in 1278. The role of monarch is exercised jointly by the two co-princes, the Bishop of Urgell and the current President of France.

Andorra is a prosperous country mainly because of its tourism industry, which services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually,[11] and also because of its status as a tax haven. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the de facto currency. The people of Andorra have the 4th highest human life expectancy in the world — 82 years at birth

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Liechtenstein

44. Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein (Listeni/ˈlɪktənstaɪn/ lik-tən-styn; German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein, German pronunciation: [ˈfʏʁstn̩tuːm ˈlɪçtn̩ʃtaɪn][8]) is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe,[9] bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its... Ver mas
The Principality of Liechtenstein (Listeni/ˈlɪktənstaɪn/ lik-tən-styn; German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein, German pronunciation: [ˈfʏʁstn̩tuːm ˈlɪçtn̩ʃtaɪn][8]) is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe,[9] bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan. Liechtenstein has the second highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity,[10] and has the world's lowest external debt. Liechtenstein also has the second lowest unemployment rate in the world at 1.5% (Monaco is first).

Liechtenstein is the smallest yet the richest (by measure of GDP per capita) German-speaking country in the world and the only country to lie entirely within the Alps. It is known as a principality as it is a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince. Liechtenstein is divided into 11 municipalities. Much of its terrain is mountainous, making it a winter sports destination. Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape both in the south (Oberland, upper land) and in the north (Unterland, lower land). The country has a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz, and has been identified as a tax haven. It is a member of the European Free Trade Association and part of the European Economic Area, the Schengen Area but not of the European Union.

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Monaco

45. Monaco

Monaco Listeni/ˈmɒnəkoʊ/, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque: Principatu de Múnegu; Italian: Principato di Monaco; Occitan: Principat de Mónegue), is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France... Ver mas
Monaco Listeni/ˈmɒnəkoʊ/, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque: Principatu de Múnegu; Italian: Principato di Monaco; Occitan: Principat de Mónegue), is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Italy. Its area is 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi) with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the world.[7] Monaco boasts the world's highest GDP nominal per capita at $151,630. Monaco also has the world's highest life expectancy at almost 90 years[8], and the lowest unemployment rate at 0%, with about 40,000 workers who commute from France and Italy each day. After a recent expansion of Port Hercule, Monaco's total area is 2.05 km2 (0.79 sq mi), with new plans to extend the district of Fontvieille, with land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea.

Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297.[9] The state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defence is the responsibility of France.

Citizens of Monaco are called Monacans, while Monegasque is the proper term for describing someone who was born in Monaco.

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San Marino

46. San Marino

San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino[1][6] (Listeni/sæn məˈriːnoʊ/ san-mə-ree-noh; Italian: Repubblica di San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino[6]), is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an... Ver mas
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino[1][6] (Listeni/sæn məˈriːnoʊ/ san-mə-ree-noh; Italian: Repubblica di San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino[6]), is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

San Marino is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Rab. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor, Diocletian, issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.[7]

The constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is the world's oldest constitution still in effect.[8] The country's economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to some of the more developed Italian regions, such as Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus.[

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Belarus

47. Belarus

Belarus (Listeni/bɛləˈruːs/ bel-ə-rooss; Belarusian: Беларусь, [bʲɛlaˈrusʲ] Russian: Беларусь, Белоруссия, [Belarus', Belorussiya]), officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe,[7] bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to... Ver mas
Belarus (Listeni/bɛləˈruːs/ bel-ə-rooss; Belarusian: Беларусь, [bʲɛlaˈrusʲ] Russian: Беларусь, Белоруссия, [Belarus', Belorussiya]), officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe,[7] bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno (Hrodna), Gomel (Homiel), Mogilev (Mahilyow) and Vitebsk (Vitsebsk). Over forty percent of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) is forested,[8] and its strongest economic sectors are agriculture and manufacturing.

Until the 20th century, the lands of modern day Belarus belonged to several countries, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire. As a result of the Russian Revolution, Belarus became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939 when lands that were part of the Second Polish Republic were incorporated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland.[9][10][11][12][13][14] The nation and its territory were devastated in World War II, during which Belarus lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources.[15] The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Belorussian SSR became a founding member of the UN, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR.

The parliament of the republic declared the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has been the country's president since 1994. Under his lead and despite objections from Western governments, Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of the economy have been continued. According to some organizations and countries, elections have been unfair, and political opponents have been violently suppressed.[16][17][18] In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation, with some hints of forming a Union State.

Most of Belarus's population of 9.49 million reside in the urban areas surrounding Minsk and other oblast (regional) capitals.[19] More than 80% of the population are native Belarusians, with sizable minorities of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Belarusian and Russian. The Constitution of Belarus does not declare an official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Russian Orthodox Christianity. The second most popular, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following by comparison, but both Orthodox and Catholic Christmas and Easter are officially celebrated as national holidays. Belarus also has the highest Human Development Index among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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Kazakhstan

48. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan (Listeni/ˌkɑːzəkˈstɑːn/ or /ˌkæzəkˈstæn/) (Kazakh: Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, pronounced [qɑzɑqstɑ́n]; Russian: Казахстан [kəzɐxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia. The ninth largest country in the world by land area, it is also the... Ver mas
Kazakhstan (Listeni/ˌkɑːzəkˈstɑːn/ or /ˌkæzəkˈstæn/) (Kazakh: Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, pronounced [qɑzɑqstɑ́n]; Russian: Казахстан [kəzɐxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia. The ninth largest country in the world by land area, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of 2,727,300 square kilometres (1,053,000 sq mi) is larger than Western Europe.[6][7] It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. Although Kazakhstan does not share a border with Mongolia, its most easterly point is only 38 kilometres (24 mi) from Mongolia's western tip. The terrain of Kazakhstan ranges from flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, and snow-capped mountains to deserts. With 16.6 million people (2011 estimate)[8] Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, though its population density is less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq. mi.). The capital was moved in 1998 from Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, to Astana.

For most of its history, the territory of modern-day Kazakhstan has been inhabited by nomadic tribes. By the 16th century, the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct group, divided into three Jüz. The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganized several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, a part of the USSR.

Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country on December 16, 1991, the last Soviet republic to do so. Its communist-era leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, became the country's first president, a position he retains today. President Nazarbayev maintains strict control over the country's politics. Since independence, Kazakhstan has pursued a balanced foreign policy and worked to develop its economy, especially its hydrocarbon industry.[9] The post-Soviet era has also been characterized by increased involvement with many international organizations, including the United Nations, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Kazakhstan is also one of six post-Soviet states who have implemented an Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO.

Kazakhstan is ethnically and culturally diverse, in part due to mass deportations of many ethnic groups to the country during Stalin's rule. Kazakhstan has a population of 16.6 million, with 131 ethnicities, including Kazakh, Russian, Uyghur, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Tatar, and German. Around 63% percent of the population are Kazakhs.[1] Kazakhstan allows freedom of religion, and many different beliefs are represented in the country. Islam is the religion of more than 70% of the population, with Christianity practiced by most of the remainder. The Kazakh language is the state language, while Russian is also officially used as an equal language to Kazakh in Kazakhstan's public institutions.[10]

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California

49. California

California (pronounced Listeni/kælɨˈfɔrnjə/) Spanish pronunciation: [kaliˈfornja] is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state,[10] and the third most extensive (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second- and sixth-largest... Ver mas
California (pronounced Listeni/kælɨˈfɔrnjə/) Spanish pronunciation: [kaliˈfornja] is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state,[10] and the third most extensive (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second- and sixth-largest census statistical areas (Los Angeles Metropolitan Area and San Francisco Bay Area), and eight of the nation's fifty most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach and Oakland).[11] The capital city is Sacramento.

California's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west, to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east—from the Redwood–Douglas-fir forests of the northwest, to the Mojave Desert areas in the southeast. The center of the state is dominated by Central Valley, a major agricultural area. California contains both the highest and lowest points in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney and Death Valley), and has the third-longest coastline of all states (after Alaska and Florida). Earthquakes are a common occurrence due to the state's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire: about 37,000 are recorded annually.[12]

The name California once referred to a large area of North America claimed by Spain that included much of modern-day Southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula. Beginning in the late 18th century, the area known as Alta California, comprising the California territory north of the Baja Peninsula, was colonized by the Spanish Empire as part of New Spain. In 1821, Alta California became a part of Mexico following its successful war for independence. Shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a group of American settlers in Sonoma declared an independent California Republic in Alta California. Though its existence was short-lived, its flag became the precursor for California's current state flag. American victory in the war led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States. Western areas of Alta California became the state of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

The California Gold Rush beginning in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic change, with large scale immigration from the U.S. and abroad and an accompanying economic boom. Key developments in the early 20th century included the emergence of Los Angeles as the center of the American entertainment industry, and the growth of a large, state-wide tourism sector. The late 20th century saw the development of the technology and information sectors, punctuated by the growth of Silicon Valley. In addition to California's prosperous agricultural industry, other important contributors to its economy include aerospace, education, and manufacturing. If California were a country, it would be the eighth-largest economy in the world[13] and the 35th most populous nation. At least half of the fresh fruit produced in the United States are cultivated in California, and it also leads in the production of vegetables

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Hawaii

50. Hawaii

Hawaii (Listeni/həˈwaɪ.iː/ or /həˈwaɪʔiː/ in English; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi) is the newest of the 50 U.S. states (August 21, 1959), and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean... Ver mas
Hawaii (Listeni/həˈwaɪ.iː/ or /həˈwaɪʔiː/ in English; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi) is the newest of the 50 U.S. states (August 21, 1959), and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches and oceanic surrounding, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The last is by far the largest and is often called "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the state as a whole. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Hawaii is the 8th least extensive, the 11th least populous, but the 13th most densely populated of the 50 United States. Hawaii's coastline is approximately 750 miles (1,210 km) long, which is fourth in the United States after Alaska, Florida, and California.

In standard American English, Hawaii is generally pronounced /həˈwaɪ.iː/. In the Hawaiian language, it is generally pronounced [hɐˈwɐiʔi] or [hɐˈvɐiʔi].[citation needed]

Hawaii is one of two states that do not observe daylight saving time, the other being Arizona.

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South Carolina

51. South Carolina

South Carolina (Listeni/ˌsaʊθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies... Ver mas
South Carolina (Listeni/ˌsaʊθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution. The colony was originally named by King Charles II of England in honor of his father Charles I, as Carolus is Latin for Charles. South Carolina was the first state to vote to secede from the Union and was the founding state of the Confederate States of America. South Carolina is the 40th most extensive and the 24th most populous of the 50 United States. South Carolina comprises 46 counties, and its capital is Columbia.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

52. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (Listeni/ˈbɒzniə ən hɛrtsəɡoʊˈviːnə/; Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian: Bosna i Hercegovina or Босна и Херцеговина), sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Sarajevo... Ver mas
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Listeni/ˈbɒzniə ən hɛrtsəɡoʊˈviːnə/; Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian: Bosna i Hercegovina or Босна и Херцеговина), sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Sarajevo. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the 26 kilometres (16 miles) of coastline on the Adriatic Sea surrounding the town of Neum.[8][9] In the central and southern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, bookended by hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography.

The country is home to three ethnic groups, or so-called constituent peoples, a term unique for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a regional rather than ethnic distinction, and Herzegovina has no precisely defined borders of its own. Moreover, the country was simply called "Bosnia" (without Herzegovina) until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the nineteenth century.[10]

Formerly one of the six federal units constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a parliamentary republic, which has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is highly limited, as the country is largely decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third region, the Brčko District, governed under local government. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan at the summit in Tallinn. Additionally, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since 24 April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment on 13 July 2008. On 1 January 2010, the country started a 2-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

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Florida

53. Florida

Florida (Listeni/ˈflɒrɪdə/) is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, the 4th... Ver mas
Florida (Listeni/ˈflɒrɪdə/) is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, the 4th most populous, and the 8th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state capital is Tallahassee, its largest city is Jacksonville, and the South Florida metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the southeastern U.S.

Much of Florida is situated on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. Its geography is marked by a coastline, by the omnipresence of water and the threat of hurricanes. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, encompassing approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), and is the only state to border both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and its terrain is characterized by sedimentary soils. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.[7] Its symbolic animals like the American alligator, Florida panther and the manatee, can be found in the Everglades, one of the most famous national parks in the world.

Since the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León – who named it La Florida ("Flowery Land") upon landing there during the Easter season, Pascua Florida[8] – Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Indians, and racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, it is distinguished by its large Hispanic community, and high population growth, as well as its rising environmental concerns. Its economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also known for its amusement parks, the production of oranges and the Kennedy Space Center.

Florida culture is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; Native American, European American, African American and Hispanic heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes. It is internationally known for tennis, golf, auto racing and water sports.

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Nevada

54. Nevada

Nevada (Listeni/nəˈvædə/) is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 35th most populous, and the 9th least densely populated of the 50 United States. It is the most extensive U.S. state that does not border... Ver mas
Nevada (Listeni/nəˈvædə/) is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. Nevada is the 7th most extensive, the 35th most populous, and the 9th least densely populated of the 50 United States. It is the most extensive U.S. state that does not border Canada, Mexico, or an ocean. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area,[6] which contains its three largest incorporated cities.[7] Nevada's capital is Carson City.

Nevada is largely desert and semiarid, with much of it located within the Great Basin. Areas south of the Great Basin are located within the Mojave Desert, while Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains lie on the western edge. Approximately 86% of the state's land is owned by the US government under various jurisdictions, both civilian and military.[8]

The name Nevada is derived from the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, which means "snow-capped mountain range" in Spanish. The land comprising the modern state was inhabited by Native Americans of the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes prior to European contact.[9] It was subsequently claimed by Spain as a part of Alta California until the Mexican War of Independence brought it under Mexican control. The United States gained the territory in 1848 following its victory in the Mexican-American War and the area was eventually incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that was an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory out of western Utah Territory in 1861. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864.[10]

The establishment of legalized gambling and lenient marriage and divorce proceedings in the 20th century transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination.[11][12] The tourism industry remains Nevada's largest employer,[13] with mining continuing to be a substantial sector of the economy as Nevada is the fourth largest producer of gold in the world.[14]

Nevada is officially known as the "Silver State" due to the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known as the "Battle Born State" because it achieved statehood during the Civil War and the "Sagebrush State" for the native eponymous plant.

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Alaska

55. Alaska

Alaska (Listeni/əˈlæskə/) is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering... Ver mas
Alaska (Listeni/əˈlæskə/) is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait. Alaska is the 4th least populous and the least densely populated of the 50 United States. Approximately half of Alaska's 722,718[3] residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area.

Alaska was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million ($113 million in today's dollars) at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized (or incorporated) territory on May 11, 1912, and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.

The name "Alaska" (Аляска) was already introduced in the Russian colonial period, when it was used only for the peninsula and is derived from the Aleut alaxsxaq, meaning "the mainland" or, more literally, "the object towards which the action of the sea is directed".[5] It is also known as Alyeska, the "great land", an Aleut word derived from the same root.

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Minnesota

56. Minnesota

Minnesota (Listeni/mɪnɨˈsoʊtə/)[4] is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state on May 11, 1858. Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the state's name comes... Ver mas
Minnesota (Listeni/mɪnɨˈsoʊtə/)[4] is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state on May 11, 1858. Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the state's name comes from a Dakota word for "sky-tinted water". Those waters, together with forests, parks, and wilderness areas, offer residents and tourists a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Minnesota is the 12th most extensive and the 21st most populous of the 50 United States. Nearly 60% of Minnesota's residents live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area known as the "Twin Cities", the center of transportation, business, industry and education, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota is known for its relatively mixed social and political orientations, and has a high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. Minnesota ranks among the healthiest states, and has a highly literate population. The large majority of residents are of Scandinavian and German descent. The state is known as a center of Scandinavian American culture. Ethnic diversity has increased in recent decades. Substantial influxes of African, Asian, and Latin American immigrants have joined the descendants of European immigrants and the original Native American inhabitants.

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Michigan

57. Michigan

Michigan (Listeni/ˈmɪʃɨɡən/) is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".[1][5] Michigan is the 11th most extensive and the 8th most populous of the 50... Ver mas
Michigan (Listeni/ˈmɪʃɨɡən/) is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".[1][5] Michigan is the 11th most extensive and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States.

Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair.[6] Michigan is one of the leading U.S. states for recreational boating.[7] The state has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds.[8] A person in the state is never more than six miles (10 km) from a natural water source or more than 85 miles (137 km) from a Great Lakes shoreline.[9] It is the largest state by total area[10] east of the Mississippi River.

Michigan is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is often noted to be shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as "The U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km)-wide channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The two peninsulas are connected by the Mackinac Bridge. The Upper Peninsula is economically important due to its status as a tourist destination. There are also a variety of natural resources to be found there, including a sizable amount of iron ore.

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Mississippi

58. Mississippi

Mississippi (Listeni/ˌmɪsɨˈsɪpi/) is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River... Ver mas
Mississippi (Listeni/ˌmɪsɨˈsɪpi/) is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River"). Mississippi is the 32nd most extensive and the 31st most populous of the 50 United States. The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area, which had been cleared for cotton cultivation in the 19th century. Today its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States.[6] The state symbol is the magnolia grandiflora tree.

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Alabama

59. Alabama

Alabama (Listeni/ˌæləˈbæmə/) is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th most extensive and the 23rd most populous... Ver mas
Alabama (Listeni/ˌæləˈbæmə/) is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th most extensive and the 23rd most populous of the 50 United States. Alabama ranks second in the area of its inland waterways.

From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship, in part because of continued dependence on agriculture. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature until the 1960s, while urban interests and African Americans were under-represented.[5] Following World War II, Alabama experienced growth as the economy of the state transitioned from agriculture to diversified interests in heavy manufacturing, mineral extraction, education, and technology. In addition, the establishment or expansion of multiple military installations, primarily those of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, added to state jobs.

Alabama is unofficially nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie." The state tree is the Longleaf Pine, the state flower is the Camellia. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery. The largest city by population is Birmingham. The largest city by total land area is Huntsville. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists.

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Georgia (U.S. state)

60. Georgia (U.S. state)

Georgia (Listeni/ˈdʒɔrdʒⁱə/) is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2... Ver mas
Georgia (Listeni/ˈdʒɔrdʒⁱə/) is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 21, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870.

Georgia is the 24th most extensive and the 9th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas.[4] Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the state's capital and its most populous city.

Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the vast Appalachian Mountains system. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean.

Georgia is the most extensive state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth most extensive (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, a term which includes expanses of water which are part of state territory.

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New York

61. New York

New York (/njuː ˈjɔrk/; locally IPA: [nɪu ˈjɔək] or [nuː ˈjɔrk] ( listen)) is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th most extensive, the 3rd most populous, and the 7th most densely populated of the 50 United States. New York is bordered by New Jersey and... Ver mas
New York (/njuː ˈjɔrk/; locally IPA: [nɪu ˈjɔək] or [nuː ˈjɔrk] ( listen)) is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th most extensive, the 3rd most populous, and the 7th most densely populated of the 50 United States. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west and north, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from the city of New York.

New York City, with a population of over 8.1 million, is the most populous city in the United States. It is known for its status as a financial and cultural center, and for its history as a gateway for immigration to the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is also a destination of choice for many foreign visitors. Both the state and city were named for the 17th century Duke of York, James Stuart, future James II and VII of England and Scotland.

New York was inhabited by various tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian speaking Native American tribes at the time Dutch settlers moved into the region in the early 17th century. In 1609, the region was first claimed by Henry Hudson for the Dutch. Fort Nassau was built near the site of the present-day capital of Albany in 1614. The Dutch soon also settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson River Valley, establishing the colony of New Netherland. The British took over the colony by annexation in 1664.

The borders of the British colony, the Province of New York, were roughly similar to those of the present-day state. About one third of all the battles of the Revolutionary War took place in New York. The state constitution was enacted in 1777. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.

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Rhode Island

62. Rhode Island

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,[6] more commonly referred to as Rhode Island (/ˌroʊd ˈaɪlɨnd/ ( listen) or English pronunciation: /rɵˈdaɪlɨnd/), is a state in the New England region of the United States. Rhode Island is the least extensive, the 8th least populous, but the... Ver mas
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,[6] more commonly referred to as Rhode Island (/ˌroʊd ˈaɪlɨnd/ ( listen) or English pronunciation: /rɵˈdaɪlɨnd/), is a state in the New England region of the United States. Rhode Island is the least extensive, the 8th least populous, but the 2nd most densely populated of the 50 United States. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east, and it shares a water boundary with New York's Long Island to the southwest.

Rhode Island was the first of the 13 original colonies to declare independence from British rule, declaring itself independent on May 4, 1776, two months before any other state and the convention. The state was also the last to ratify the United States Constitution.[7][8]

Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the state's geography, since Rhode Island has several large bays and inlets that amount to about 14% of its total area. Its land area is 1,045 square miles (2706 km2), but its total area is significantly larger.

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Vermont

63. Vermont

Vermont Listeni/vɜrˈmɒnt/[5] is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Vermont is the 6th least extensive and the 2nd least populous of the 50 United States. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of... Ver mas
Vermont Listeni/vɜrˈmɒnt/[5] is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Vermont is the 6th least extensive and the 2nd least populous of the 50 United States. It is the only New England state not bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermont's western border, which it shares with the state of New York. The Green Mountains are within the state. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.

Originally inhabited by two major Native American tribes (the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and the Iroquois), much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France in the early colonial period. France ceded the territory to the Kingdom of Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years' War (also called the French and Indian War). For many years, the nearby colonies, especially New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants). Settlers who held land titles granted by these colonies were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which eventually prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic. Founded in 1777, during the Revolutionary War, it lasted for fourteen years. Vermont is one of 17 U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, the brief California Republic, and each of the original 13 Colonies) that each once had a sovereign government. In 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the 14th state, the first outside the original 13 Colonies. It abolished slavery while independent and upon joining the Union became the first state to have done so.

Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States.[6] The state capital is Montpelier has a population of 7,855 people and is the least-populated state capital in the country.[7] Its most populous city is Burlington, which as of 2010 had a population of 42,417.[8] The greater Burlington metropolitan area had a population of 211,261.

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Azerbaijan

64. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan (Listeni/ˌæzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ az-ər-by-jahn; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası) is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe,[5] it is bounded by... Ver mas
Azerbaijan (Listeni/ˌæzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ az-ər-by-jahn; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Respublikası) is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe,[5] it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline with Turkey to the northwest.

Azerbaijan has an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The country was among the birthplaces of mankind and is located at the heart of ancient civilizations.[6] Furthermore the country is known to be among the most progressive and secular Islamic societies. Aside from having been the first Muslim country to have operas, theater plays, and a democratic republic, Azerbaijan today is among the Muslim countries where support for secularism and tolerance is the highest.[7] The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world,[8][9][10] was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920.[11][12] Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, neighboring Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, its surrounding territories and the enclaves of Karki, Yukhary Askipara, Barkhudarly and Sofulu. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which emerged in Nagorno-Karabakh, continues to be not diplomatically recognized by any nation and the region is still considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, despite being de facto independent since the end of the war.[13][14][15][16]

Azerbaijan is a secular and a unitary republic. It is one of the six independent Turkic states as well as an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.[17] It is one of the founding members of GUAM and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).[18] On May 9, 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly (the term of office began on June 19, 2006).[19] A Special Envoy of the European Commission is present in the country, which is also a member of the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Azerbaijan is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union and member of the Non-Aligned Movement and holds observer status in World Trade Organization.[17][20]

The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion but the majority of people adhere to the Shia branch of Islam, although Muslim identity tends to be based more on culture and ethnicity rather than religion and Azerbaijan remains as one of the most liberal majority-Muslim nations.[21][22] After gaining its independence, Azerbaijan has reached a high level of human development, economic development, standard of living, and literacy as well as a low rate of unemployment and intentional homicide compared to other Eastern European and CIS countries.[23][24][25][26][27][28] On 1 January 2012, the country started a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.[29]

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Massachusetts

65. Massachusetts

Massachusetts (Listeni/ˌmæsəˈtʃuːsɨts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a U.S. state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the... Ver mas
Massachusetts (Listeni/ˌmæsəˈtʃuːsɨts/), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a U.S. state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. Massachusetts is the 7th least extensive, but the 14th most populous and the 3rd most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state features two separate metropolitan areas – the eastern Boston metropolitan area and the western Springfield metropolitan area. Approximately two thirds of the state's population lives in Greater Boston, most of which is either urban or suburban. Western Massachusetts features one urban area – the Knowledge Corridor along the Connecticut River – and a mix of college towns and rural areas. Massachusetts is the most populous of the six New England states and has the US's sixth highest GDP per capita.

Massachusetts has played a significant historical, cultural, and commercial role in American history. Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. Harvard University, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. In 1692, the towns surrounding Salem experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem Witch Trials. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic world, originated from the pulpit of Northampton, Massachusetts preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt by Western Massachusetts farmers, led directly to the United States Constitutional Convention. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the temperance, transcendentalist, and abolitionist movements. In 1837, Mount Holyoke College, the United States' first college for women, was opened in the Connecticut River Valley town of South Hadley. In the late 19th century, the (now) Olympic sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the Western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision of the state's Supreme Judicial Court. The state has contributed many prominent politicians to national service, including members of the Adams family and of the Kennedy family.

Originally dependent on fishing, agriculture, and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, the state's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. In the 21st century, Massachusetts is a leader in higher education, health care technology, high technology, financial services, cannabis law reform, LGBT rights, and universal healthcare.

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Oregon

66. Oregon

Oregon (Listeni/ˈɒrɨɡən/ orr-ə-gən)[7] is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon... Ver mas
Oregon (Listeni/ˈɒrɨɡən/ orr-ə-gən)[7] is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers, and settlers who formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country in 1843. The Oregon Territory was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.

Oregon is the 9th most extensive and the 27th most populous of the 50 United States. Salem is the state's capital and third-most-populous city; Portland is the most populous. Portland is the 29th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 583,776 (2010 US Census) and a metro population of 2,241,841 (2009 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area. The valley of the Willamette River in western Oregon is the state's most densely populated area and is home to eight of the ten most populous cities.

Oregon contains a diverse landscape including the windswept Pacific coastline, the volcanoes of the rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range, many waterfalls (including Multnomah Falls), dense evergreen forests, mixed forests and deciduous forests at lower elevations, and high desert across much of the eastern portion of the state, extending into the Great Basin. The tall Douglas firs and redwoods along the rainy Western Oregon coast contrast with the lower density and fire prone pine tree and juniper forests covering portions of the eastern half of the state. Alder trees are common in the west and fix nitrogen for the conifers and aspen groves are common in eastern Oregon. Stretching east from Central Oregon, the state also includes semi-arid shrublands, prairies, deserts, steppes, and meadows. Mount Hood is the highest point in the state at 11,249 feet (3,429 m). Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon.

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Arizona

67. Arizona

Arizona (Listeni/ærɪˈzoʊnə/) (Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Alĭ ṣonak) is a state of the United States, located in the southwestern region of the country. Arizona is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. Arizona is the sixth most extensive and the 16th most... Ver mas
Arizona (Listeni/ærɪˈzoʊnə/) (Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Alĭ ṣonak) is a state of the United States, located in the southwestern region of the country. Arizona is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. Arizona is the sixth most extensive and the 16th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. The second largest city is Tucson, followed in population by eight cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area: Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, and Surprise. These are followed next by Yuma in Yuma County.

Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, and it achieved statehood on February 14, 1912. Arizona is noted for its desert climate in its southern half, where there are very hot summers and quite mild winters. The northern half of Arizona also features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees, a very large, high plateau (the Colorado Plateau) and some mountain ranges—such as the San Francisco Mountains—as well as large, deep canyons, where there is much more moderate weather for three seasons of the year, plus significant snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Alpine.

Arizona is one of the Four Corners states. Arizona has borders with New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and it has one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona has a 389-mile (626 km)-long international border with the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.

Arizona is one of the most populous landlocked states of the United States. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, several national forests, national parks, and national monuments are located in Arizona. About one-quarter of Arizona[7] is federal land that serves as the home of the Navajo Nation; the Hopi tribe; the Tohono O'odham; the Apache tribe; the Yaqui peoples; and various Yuman tribes, such as the Yavapai people, the Quechan people, and the Hualapai people.

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Utah

68. Utah

Utah (/ˈjuːtɔː/ or Listeni/ˈjuːtɑː/) is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th most extensive, the 34th most populous, and the 10th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,817,222... Ver mas
Utah (/ˈjuːtɔː/ or Listeni/ˈjuːtɑː/) is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th most extensive, the 34th most populous, and the 10th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,817,222[2] people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the sixth most urbanized in the U.S.[7] The name "Utah" is derived from the name of the Ute tribe and means "people of the mountains" in the Ute language.[8] Utah is bordered by Arizona on the south, Colorado on the east, Wyoming on the northeast, Idaho on the north and Nevada on the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico.

Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the Union. Approximately 60% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which greatly influences Utah culture and daily life.[9][10]

The state is a center of transportation, information technology and research, government services, mining, and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's population estimates, Utah was the fastest–growing state in the United States as of 2008.[11] St. George, Utah, was the fastest–growing metropolitan area in the United States from 2000 to 2005.

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Colorado

69. Colorado

Colorado (pronounced Listeni/kɒləˈrædoʊ/)[6] is a U.S. state that encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States and the Mountain States. Colorado... Ver mas
Colorado (pronounced Listeni/kɒləˈrædoʊ/)[6] is a U.S. state that encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. Colorado is part of the Western United States and the Mountain States. Colorado is the 8th most extensive and the 22nd most populous of the 50 United States.

The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the red colored (Spanish: colorado) silt the river carried from the mountains. On August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it was admitted to the Union in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Colorado is bordered by the northwest state of Wyoming to the north, the midwest states of Nebraska and Kansas to the northeast and east, on the south by New Mexico and a small portion of the southern state of Oklahoma, and on the west by Utah. The four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at one common point known as the Four Corners, which is known as the heart of the American Southwest. Colorado is one of only three U.S. states with no natural borders, the others being neighboring Wyoming and Utah. Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers, and desert lands.

Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are properly known as "Coloradans", although the archaic term "Coloradoan" is still used.

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New Mexico

70. New Mexico

New Mexico (Listeni/nuː ˈmɛksɨkoʊ/) is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. New Mexico is the 5th most extensive, the 36th most populous, and the 6th least densely populated of the 50 United... Ver mas
New Mexico (Listeni/nuː ˈmɛksɨkoʊ/) is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. New Mexico is the 5th most extensive, the 36th most populous, and the 6th least densely populated of the 50 United States.

Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of Spanish colonists and recent immigrants from Latin America. It also has the second-highest percentage of Native Americans, after Alaska, and the fifth-highest total number of Native Americans after California, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas.[7] The tribes in the state consist of mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Hispanic and Native American influences. The flag of New Mexico is represented by the red and gold colors, which represent Spain, as well as the Zia symbol, an ancient Native American symbol for the sun

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South Dakota

71. South Dakota

South Dakota (Listeni/ˌsaʊθ dəˈkoʊtə/) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. South Dakota is the 17th most extensive, but the 5th least populous and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United... Ver mas
South Dakota (Listeni/ˌsaʊθ dəˈkoʊtə/) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. South Dakota is the 17th most extensive, but the 5th least populous and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Once the southern portion of the Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of nearly 160,000, is South Dakota's largest city.

South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River".[7] Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and fertile soil in this area is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains, is located in the southwest part of the state. The Black Hills are sacred to the Sioux. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is located there. Other attractions in the southwest include Badlands and Wind Cave national parks, Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and historic Deadwood. South Dakota experiences a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The ecology of the state features species typical of a North American grassland biome.

Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers caused conflict that triggered a number of Indian Wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 50s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture which has much reduced family farming. While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is largely dominated by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the most recent eleven presidential elections. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still strongly influence the culture of the state.

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Missouri

72. Missouri

Missouri (Listeni/mɨˈzʊəri/)[6] is a US state located in the Midwestern United States,[7] bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Missouri is the 21st most extensive and the 18th most populous of the 50 United States. Missouri comprises 114... Ver mas
Missouri (Listeni/mɨˈzʊəri/)[6] is a US state located in the Midwestern United States,[7] bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Missouri is the 21st most extensive and the 18th most populous of the 50 United States. Missouri comprises 114 counties and the independent city of St. Louis. The four largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia.[8] Missouri's capital is Jefferson City. The land that is now Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became known as the Missouri Territory. Part of the Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.

Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation (in general) with a mix of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state.[9] With the exceptions of 1956 and 2008, Missouri's results in U.S. presidential elections have accurately predicted the next President of the United States in every election since 1904. It has both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state. It is also a transition between the Eastern and Western United States, as St. Louis is often called the "western-most Eastern city" and Kansas City the "eastern-most Western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains (a dissected plateau), with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers is located near St. Louis.[10] The starting points of the Pony Express Trail and Oregon Trail were both in Missouri.[11] The mean center of United States population as of the 2010 Census is at the town of Plato in Texas County, Missouri.

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Iowa

73. Iowa

Iowa (Listeni/ˈaɪ.əwə/) is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration.[5] Iowa was a part of... Ver mas
Iowa (Listeni/ˈaɪ.əwə/) is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration.[5] Iowa was a part of the French colony of New France. After the Louisiana Purchase, settlers laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt.[6] Iowa is often known as the "Food Capital of the World".[7] However, Iowa's economy, culture, and landscape are diverse.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Iowa's agricultural economy transitioned to a diversified economy of advanced manufacturing, processing, financial services, biotechnology, and green energy production.[7][8] Iowa is the 26th most extensive and the 30th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital and largest city is Des Moines. Iowa has been listed as one of the safest states to live in.

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Wisconsin

74. Wisconsin

Wisconsin (Listeni/wɨsˈkɒnsɨn/) is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake... Ver mas
Wisconsin (Listeni/wɨsˈkɒnsɨn/) is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd most extensive and the 20th most populous of the 50 United States. Wisconsin's capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee. The state comprises 72 counties

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Indiana

75. Indiana

Indiana (Listeni/ɪndiˈænə/) is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th most extensive and the 15th most populous of the 50 United States. Indiana is the least... Ver mas
Indiana (Listeni/ɪndiˈænə/) is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 38th most extensive and the 15th most populous of the 50 United States. Indiana is the least extensive state in the continental US west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its capital and largest city is Indianapolis, the second largest of any state capital and largest state capital east of the Mississippi River.

Before it became a territory, varying cultures of indigenous peoples and historic Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Angel Mounds State Historic Site, one of the best preserved ancient earthwork mound sites in the United States, can be found in Southwestern Indiana near Evansville.[5]

Residents of Indiana are known as Hoosiers. The derivation of the term is disputed, but one hypothesis has "Hoosier" originating from a frontier greeting, a corruption of "Who's here?" The state's name means "Land of the Indians," or simply "Indian Land." This name dates back to at least the 1760s but was first applied to the region by the United States Congress when the Indiana Territory was incorporated in 1800, separating it from the Northwest Territory.[6][7] Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States; the state's northernmost tier was settled primarily by people from New England and New York, Central Indiana by migrants from the Mid-Atlantic states and from adjacent Ohio, and Southern Indiana by settlers from the Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.[8]

Today, Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $214 billion in 2005.[9] Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to several major sports teams and athletic events including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the NBA's Indiana Pacers, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, and the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races. The state also has several NCAA Division I athletic programs, notably the Purdue Boilermakers, Indiana Hoosiers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Butler Bulldogs.

Furthermore, the state has several universities ranked among the best in U.S. News & World Report's 2011 rankings. Purdue University, Indiana University, and the University of Notre Dame are ranked among the top 50 in the National Universities Rankings, while Butler University, Valparaiso University and the University of Evansville are ranked among the top 10 in the Regional University Midwest Rankings.[10][11] Taylor University has been ranked first in the guide's America’s Best Colleges among 109 Midwest Regional Colleges for five years in a row.[12] Additionally, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been rated the best undergraduate engineering program by the magazine since the year 2000

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Pennsylvania

76. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania (Listeni/ˌpɛnsɨlˈveɪnjə/), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, and the Great Lakes Region. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest... Ver mas
Pennsylvania (Listeni/ˌpɛnsɨlˈveɪnjə/), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, and the Great Lakes Region. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd most extensive, the 6th most populous, and the 9th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's four most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Erie. The state capital is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 51 miles (82 km)[5] of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles (92 km)[6] of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary.

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New Jersey

77. New Jersey

New Jersey (Listeni/njuː ˈdʒɜrzi/) is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware. New... Ver mas
New Jersey (Listeni/njuː ˈdʒɜrzi/) is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware. New Jersey is the 4th least extensive, but the 11th most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 United States. New Jersey lies mostly within the sprawling metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia. It is also the third wealthiest by 2009-2010 median household income.[7]

The area was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements.[8] The British later seized control of the region,[9] naming it the Province of New Jersey. It was granted as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. At this time, it was named after the largest of the British Channel Islands, Jersey, where Carteret had been born.[10] New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War.

In the 19th century, factories in cities such as Elizabeth, Paterson, and Trenton helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's position at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the north, and Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to the south, fueled its rapid growth through the suburban boom of the 1950s and beyond.

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Washington (state)

78. Washington (state)

Washington (Listeni/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory... Ver mas
Washington (Listeni/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.

Washington is the 18th most extensive and the 13th most populous of the 50 United States. Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea, an inlet of the Pacific consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the west, center, northeast and far southeast, and a semi-arid eastern basin given over to intensive agriculture. Washington is the second most populous state on the west coast and in the western United States after California.

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Idaho

79. Idaho

Idaho (Listeni/ˈaɪdəhoʊ/) is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. Idaho is the 14th most extensive, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was... Ver mas
Idaho (Listeni/ˈaɪdəhoʊ/) is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. Idaho is the 14th most extensive, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state.

Idaho is a mountainous state with an area larger than that of all of New England. It is landlocked, surrounded by the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and the Canadian province of British Columbia. However, the network of dams and locks on the Columbia River and Snake River make the city of Lewiston the farthest inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the contiguous United States.

Idaho's nickname is the Gem State, because nearly every known gemstone has been found there.[5] In addition, Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets can be found (the other is the Himalaya Mountains, in Pakistan and India), and is the only place six-pointed star garnets have been found. Additionally Idaho is sometimes called the Potato State owing to its popular crop. The state motto is Esto Perpetua (Latin for "Let it be forever")

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Illinois

80. Illinois

Illinois (Listeni/ˌɪlɨˈnɔɪ/ il-i-noy) is the 25th most extensive and the 5th most populous of the 50 United States, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country.[8] With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern... Ver mas
Illinois (Listeni/ˌɪlɨˈnɔɪ/ il-i-noy) is the 25th most extensive and the 5th most populous of the 50 United States, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country.[8] With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a broad economic base. Illinois is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean; as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River. For decades, O'Hare International Airport has ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. As the "most average state",[8] Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms[8] and politics.

In the 1810s, settlers began arriving from Kentucky. In 1818 Illinois achieved statehood. The state's population originally grew from south to north. Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River, one of the few natural harbors on southern Lake Michigan.[9] Railroads and John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois' rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmlands, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars. The Great Migration established a large community of African Americans in Chicago that created the city's famous jazz and blues cultures.[10][11]

Three U.S. Presidents have been elected while living in Illinois—Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama. Additionally, President Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was the only US President actually born and raised in Illinois. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan, Land of Lincoln, which has been displayed on its license plates since 1954.

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Ohio

81. Ohio

Ohio (Listeni/oʊˈhaɪ.oʊ/) is a Midwestern state in the United States. Ohio is the 34th most extensive, the 7th most populous, and the 10th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's capital is Columbus. The Anglicized name "Ohio" comes from the Iroquois word ohi-yo’, meaning... Ver mas
Ohio (Listeni/oʊˈhaɪ.oʊ/) is a Midwestern state in the United States. Ohio is the 34th most extensive, the 7th most populous, and the 10th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's capital is Columbus.

The Anglicized name "Ohio" comes from the Iroquois word ohi-yo’, meaning "great river".[16][17][18][19][20] The state, originally partitioned from the Northwest Territory, was admitted to the Union as the 17th state (and the first under the Northwest Ordinance) on March 1, 1803.[8][21] Although there are conflicting narratives regarding the origin of the nickname, Ohio is historically known as the "Buckeye State" (relating to the Ohio buckeye tree) and Ohioans are also known as "Buckeyes".[1]

The government of Ohio is composed of the executive branch, led by the Governor; the legislative branch, which comprises the Ohio General Assembly; and the judicial branch, which is led by the Supreme Court. Currently, Ohio occupies 18 seats in the United States House of Representatives.[22] Ohio is known for its status as both a swing state[23] and a bellwether[23] in national elections.

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Maryland

82. Maryland

Maryland (Listeni/ˈmɛrɨlənd/)[7] is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the... Ver mas
Maryland (Listeni/ˈmɛrɨlənd/)[7] is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and three nicknames for it (the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State) are occasionally used. Maryland is the 9th least extensive, but the 19th most populous and the 5th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's most populated city is Baltimore. Its capital is Annapolis. It was named after Queen Henrietta Maria.

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Oklahoma

83. Oklahoma

Oklahoma (Listeni/ˌoʊkləˈhoʊmə/)[4] is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Oklahoma is the 20th most extensive and the 28th most populous of the 50 United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people",[5... Ver mas
Oklahoma (Listeni/ˌoʊkləˈhoʊmə/)[4] is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Oklahoma is the 20th most extensive and the 28th most populous of the 50 United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people",[5] and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State. Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans or, informally "Okies", and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agriculture, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology.[6] It has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, ranking among the top states in per capita income growth and gross domestic product growth.[7][8] Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly 60 percent of Oklahomans living in their metropolitan statistical areas.[9]

With small mountain ranges, prairie, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains and the U.S. Interior Highlands—a region especially prone to severe weather.[10] In addition to having a prevalence of German, Irish, English, Scottish, and Native American ancestry, more than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, the most of any state.[11] It is located on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Part of the Bible Belt, widespread belief in evangelical Christianity makes it one of the most politically conservative states, though Oklahoma has more voters registered with the Democratic Party than with any other party.

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North Carolina

84. North Carolina

North Carolina (Listeni/ˌnɔrθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive and the 10th most populous of the 50 United... Ver mas
North Carolina (Listeni/ˌnɔrθ kærəˈlaɪnə/) is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina is the 28th most extensive and the 10th most populous of the 50 United States.

North Carolina comprises 100 counties.[6] Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte. In the past five decades, North Carolina's economy has undergone a transition from heavy reliance upon tobacco and furniture making to a more diversified economy with engineering, biotechnology, and finance sectors.[7][8]

North Carolina has a wide range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet (2,037 m) at Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern US.[9] The climate of the coastal plains is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the state falls in the humid subtropical climate zone. More than 300 miles (500 km) from the coast, the western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate.

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Delaware

85. Delaware

Delaware (Listeni/ˈdɛləwɛər/ del-ə-wair)[5] is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the east by New Jersey, and to the north by Pennsylvania.[6] The state takes its name from Thomas West... Ver mas
Delaware (Listeni/ˈdɛləwɛər/ del-ə-wair)[5] is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the east by New Jersey, and to the north by Pennsylvania.[6] The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor, after whom what is now called Cape Henlopen was originally named.[7]

Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is the 2nd least extensive, the 6th least populous, but the 6th most densely populated of the 50 United States. Delaware is divided into three counties. From north to south, these three counties are New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County has been more industrialized.

The state ranks second in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce and number of patents issued to companies or individuals per 1,000 workers.[8] The history of the state's economic and industrial development is closely tied to the impact of the Du Pont family, founders and scions of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.[9]

Before its coastline was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, located near the present town of Lewes, in 1631.[10] Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution and on December 7, 1787, became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.

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Connecticut

86. Connecticut

Connecticut (Listeni/kəˈnɛtɨkət/)[10] is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south (with which it shares a water boundary in Long Island Sound... Ver mas
Connecticut (Listeni/kəˈnɛtɨkət/)[10] is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south (with which it shares a water boundary in Long Island Sound).

Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately bisects the state. Its capital city is Hartford. Much of southern and western Connecticut (along with the majority of the state's population) is part of the New York metropolitan area; three of Connecticut's eight counties are statistically included in the New York City combined statistical area, the same area is widely referred to as the Tri-State area. Connecticut's center of population is in Cheshire, New Haven County,[11] which is also located within the Tri-State area.

Connecticut is the 3rd least extensive, the 29th most populous, and 4th most densely populated of the 50 United States. Called the Constitution State, Nutmeg State, and "The Land of Steady Habits",[1] Connecticut was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch and established a small, short-lived settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut rivers, called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, half of Connecticut was a part of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers.

The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become the Connecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. Both the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the three colonies were merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

The Connecticut River, Thames River, and ports along the Long Island Sound have given the state a strong maritime tradition, which continues today. Connecticut's other traditional industry is financial services; for example, insurance companies in Hartford and hedge funds in Fairfield county. As of the 2010 Census, Connecticut features the highest per capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States.[12][13][14] Although Connecticut is a wealthy state by most measures, the income gap between its urban and suburban areas is striking, with several of Connecticut's cities ranking among the nation's poorest and most dangerous.[

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Tennessee

87. Tennessee

Tennessee (Listeni/tɛnɨˈsiː/) (Cherokee: ᏔᎾᏏ) is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th most extensive and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Georgia... Ver mas
Tennessee (Listeni/tɛnɨˈsiː/) (Cherokee: ᏔᎾᏏ) is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th most extensive and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, and Arkansas and Missouri to the west. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Tennessee's capital and second largest city is Nashville, which has a population of 626,144.[4] Memphis is the state's largest city, with a population of 670,902.[5]

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians.[6] What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861, and the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.[7]

Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state, and more soldiers for the Union Army than any other Southern state.[7] Tennessee has seen some of the nation's worst racial strife, from the formation of the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski in 1866 to the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis in 1968. In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided at times by federal entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. In the early 1940s, Oak Ridge, Tennessee was established to house the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world's first atomic bomb.

Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of rock and roll and early blues music. Beale Street in Memphis is considered by many to be the birthplace of the blues, with musicians such as W.C. Handy performing in its clubs as early as 1909.[8] Memphis was also home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s.[9] The 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol generally mark the beginning of the country music genre,[10] and the rise of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s helped make Nashville the center of the country music recording industry.[11]

Tennessee's major industries include agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Poultry, soybeans, and cattle are the state's primary agricultural products,[12] and major manufacturing exports include chemicals, transportation equipment, and electrical equipment.[13] The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation's most visited national park,[14] is headquartered in the eastern part of the state, and a section of the Appalachian Trail roughly follows the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Other major tourist attractions include Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

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Virginia

88. Virginia

Virginia (Listeni/vərˈdʒɪnjə/), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The geography and climate of... Ver mas
Virginia (Listeni/vərˈdʒɪnjə/), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city and Fairfax County the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's population is over eight million.[2]

The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia's northwestern counties separated to form the state of West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under conservative single party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.[6]

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere. The state government has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States.[7] It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the site of the region's main seaport. Virginia's public schools and many colleges and universities have contributed to growing media and technology sectors. As a result, computer chips have become the state's leading export.[

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North Dakota

89. North Dakota

North Dakota (Listeni/ˌnɔrθ dəˈkoʊtə/) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west.[5] North Dakota is the 19th most extensive... Ver mas
North Dakota (Listeni/ˌnɔrθ dəˈkoʊtə/) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west.[5] North Dakota is the 19th most extensive, but the 3rd least populous and the 4th least densely populated of the 50 United States. North Dakota was created from the northern portion of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with South Dakota.

The state capital is Bismarck and the largest city is Fargo. The primary public universities are located in Grand Forks and Fargo. The U.S. Air Force operates air bases at Minot AFB and Grand Forks AFB.

For more than a decade, the state has had a strong economy, with unemployment lower than the national average, job and population growth, and low housing vacancies. Much of the growth has been based on development of the Bakken oil shale fields in the western part of the state, but it has also had growth in the technology and service sectors. Flooding in June 2011 has caused extensive damage to Minot and threatened Bismarck, the capital city.

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Louisiana

90. Louisiana

Louisiana (Listeni/luːˌiːziˈænə/ or Listeni/ˌluːziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, [lwizjan] ( listen); Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50... Ver mas
Louisiana (Listeni/luːˌiːziˈænə/ or Listeni/ˌluːziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, [lwizjan] ( listen); Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish, Native American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the American influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture.

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Arkansas

91. Arkansas

Arkansas (Listeni/ˈɑrkənsɔː/ ar-kən-saw)[6] is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states (N: Missouri; E: Tennessee, Mississippi; S: Louisiana; SW: Texas; W: Oklahoma), and its... Ver mas
Arkansas (Listeni/ˈɑrkənsɔː/ ar-kən-saw)[6] is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states (N: Missouri; E: Tennessee, Mississippi; S: Louisiana; SW: Texas; W: Oklahoma), and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Its diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River. Arkansas is the 29th most extensive and the 32nd most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and most populous city is Little Rock, located in the central portion of the state

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West Virginia

92. West Virginia

West Virginia (Listeni/ˌwɛst vərˈdʒɪnjə/) is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern[5] regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east. West Virginia is the 41st... Ver mas
West Virginia (Listeni/ˌwɛst vərˈdʒɪnjə/) is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern[5] regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east. West Virginia is the 41st most extensive and the 37th most populous of the 50 United States. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).

The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers[6] consider West Virginia part of the South. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton being just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered to be a part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States. Notably, it is the only state which entirely lies within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is a common definition of "Appalachia".[7]

The state is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. The karst lands contribute to much of the state's cool trout waters. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting.

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New Hampshire

93. New Hampshire

New Hampshire (Listeni/njuːˈhæmpʃər/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east... Ver mas
New Hampshire (Listeni/njuːˈhæmpʃər/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th least extensive and the 9th least populous of the 50 United States.

It became the first post-colonial sovereign nation in the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in January 1776, and six months later was one of the original thirteen states that founded the United States of America. In June 1788, it became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect. New Hampshire was the first U.S. state to have its own state constitution.

It is known internationally for the New Hampshire primary, the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city in the state. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income (other than interest and dividends) taxed at either the state or local level.[7]

Its license plates carry the state motto: "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.[8]

Among prominent individuals from New Hampshire are founding father Nicholas Gilman, Senator Daniel Webster, Revolutionary War hero John Stark, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science religion Mary Baker Eddy, poet Robert Frost, astronaut Alan Shepard, and author Dan Brown. New Hampshire has produced one president: Franklin Pierce.

With some of the largest ski mountains on the East Coast, New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering, observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast, motor sports at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Motorcycle Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach near Laconia in June. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail, and boasts the Mount Washington Auto Road, where visitors may drive to the top of 6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.

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Wyoming

94. Wyoming

Wyoming (Listeni/waɪˈoʊmɪŋ/) is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. Wyoming is the 10th most extensive, but the least populous and the 2nd least densely populated of the 50 United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and... Ver mas
Wyoming (Listeni/waɪˈoʊmɪŋ/) is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. Wyoming is the 10th most extensive, but the least populous and the 2nd least densely populated of the 50 United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High Plains. Cheyenne is the capital and the most populous city of Wyoming with a population of nearly 60,000 people within its city proper.

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Montana

95. Montana

Montana (Listeni/mɒnˈtænə/) is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in... Ver mas
Montana (Listeni/mɒnˈtænə/) is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name, derived from the Spanish word montaña (mountain). Montana has several nicknames, none official,[4] including: "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently, "The Last Best Place".[5][6] Montana is the 4th most extensive, but the 7th least populous and the 3rd least densely populated of the 50 United States. The economy is primarily based on services, with ranching, wheat farming, oil and coal mining in the east, and lumber, tourism, and hard rock mining in the west.[7] Millions of tourists annually visit Glacier National Park, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

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Kansas

96. Kansas

Kansas (Listeni/ˈkænzəs/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States.[5] It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area.[6] The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean... Ver mas
Kansas (Listeni/ˈkænzəs/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States.[5] It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area.[6] The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind," although this was probably not the term's original meaning.[7][8] Residents of Kansas are called "Kansans."

For thousands of years what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the Eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the Western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison. Kansas was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861,[9][10] Kansas entered the Union as a free state. After the Civil War, the population of Kansas grew rapidly, when waves of immigrants turned the prairie into farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, sorghum and sunflowers.[11] Kansas is the 15th most extensive and the 33rd most populous of the 50 United States.

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Nebraska

97. Nebraska

Nebraska (Listeni/nəˈbræskə/) is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Nebraska is the 16th most extensive, the 38th most populous, and the 8th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri... Ver mas
Nebraska (Listeni/nəˈbræskə/) is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. Nebraska is the 16th most extensive, the 38th most populous, and the 8th least densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River. Once considered part of the Great American Desert, Nebraska is now a leading farming and ranching state.

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Kentucky

98. Kentucky

Kentucky (Listeni/kɨnˈtʌki/), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S... Ver mas
Kentucky (Listeni/kɨnˈtʌki/), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the pastures throughout the state, because of the fertile soil. It made possible the breeding of high-quality livestock, especially thoroughbred racing horses. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park; the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States; and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of Montana, and the nation's most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, automobile manufacturing, tobacco and college basketball.

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Maine

99. Maine

Maine (Listeni/ˈmeɪn/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost... Ver mas
Maine (Listeni/ˈmeɪn/) is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost portion of New England. It is known for its scenery—its jagged, mostly rocky coastline, its low, rolling mountains, its heavily forested interior and picturesque waterways—as well as for its seafood cuisine, especially lobsters and clams.

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory that is now Maine. At the time of European encounter, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area. The first European settlement in Maine was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons. The first English settlement in Maine, the short-lived Popham Colony, was established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate, deprivations, and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail over the years. As Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements survived. Patriot and British forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820, when it became the 23rd state on March 15 under the Missouri Compromise. Maine is the 39th most extensive and the 41st most populous of the 50 United States.

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