Explanation of “America” vs “United States of America”

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Many people use the terms “America” and “United States” interchangeably, even though they have different meanings. Read on to learn more.

What “America” means:

“America” refers to all land in the Western hemisphere. This includes North and South America. Central America is considered a part of North America.

What “United States” means:

The United States (of America) is a country inside “America.” However, the term “America” is used almost exclusively to refer to the United States.

Why shouldn’t they be used interchangeably?

While it is a common practice to exchange or abbreviate “America” for “United States of America,” it can be confusing in certain scenarios. For example, when referring to statistics of something such as biodiversity, saying “America” when referring to the country may be taken to mean the region of the Western Hemisphere as opposed to the country.


Anthony Rebello

By Anthony Rebello

Anthony Rebello is 16 years old and a rising junior at a number of online high schools. He lives in North Carolina and enjoys climbing in his free time. Anthony is passionate about helping those less fortunate than himself and started W.A.A. as a way to raise awareness for communities and people around the world. He wants to go to medical school and work as an Emergency Physician overseas in impoverished communities.

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