The American economy

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Martí Micolau

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  • Agriculture
  • Fishing
  • Industry
  • Tertiary
  • International trading

The US economy includes agricultural (corn, wheat, livestock), industrial (including heavy industry, electronics, and software), and services (banking, insurance) sectors. The US economic system is heavily influenced by technology. In fact, the USA can boast various productions, all in large quantities.


The sector most affected by technology is certainly agriculture, where an intensive type of technique is privileged, that is, obtaining the maximum even from small lands or few livestock. The massive use of unnatural agents to increase the product of a soil is not uncommon; livestock breeding conditions are not uncommon either, the animals are kept in huge sheds divided into cages of such measures that they can barely contain the animal, called "feedlots", consequently each shed makes the most of the space it has. layout. In these farms the animals are kept still to fatten and overfed for 3-5 months and then slaughtered.

The USA boasts over 100 million cattle, over 58 million pigs and a very high number of sheep. The farms are distinguished between farms for animals used for milk and animals used for slaughter. Slaughter areas include Texas and the Occidental Mountains where there is a large availability of grassland for grazing; the areas where the breeding has the purpose of milk are the North-East, the Appalachian mountains and the area of ​​the great lakes, this part of the territory is called the “dairy belt”.

The crops are divided into the so-called belts. The "wheat belt", which includes the central part of the USA, a territory characterized by a dry climate, therefore not suitable for other types of crops. Wheat cultivation is also practiced in some northern states such as Minnesota, Dakota and Montana, where wheat is grown in the spring as the winter is too cold. This crop is also widespread in some areas of the South such as Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, where wheat is grown in the fall. The "corn belt", which includes those states that enjoy a mild climate throughout the year, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska, has led, thanks to the very high production, the USA to be the first world producer of Turkish wheat; in addition to this, the production of soy has recently been added, in fact the "corn belt" is also called "corn-soy belt". The "cotton belt", which hardly exists anymore, included the areas of the Deep South, is now limited to Texas, Mississippi, Arizona and California, in the southern areas the cultivation has been replaced by other products more in demand on the market and which they require the same climatic conditions as tobacco, rice, peanuts and sugar canes. Horticulture is also very important and is practiced in the Northeast near the large megacities where there is a great demand for perishable products, that is consumable in a short time, horticulture is also widespread in California and Florida.

The production of timber is also noteworthy, thanks to the over 300 million hectares of forests, which allow a production of 500 million cubic meters of timber per year.


With 5,6 million tons of fish products, the USA is the 5th most fish-rich country in the world after China, Peru, Japan and Chile. Oyster and shellfish farming is thriving in California and the Gulf of Mexico.


Industry is another sector where the US is extremely competitive. The "manufacturing belt" extends throughout the north east, but is also expanding to the south and west. The American industry specializes in the production of high-tech equipment such as TVs, computers and hi-fi. The US is second in the world, behind Japan in the production of automobiles. Also important are the industries of rubber, high fashion (New York, Baltimore and Chicago), chemical and oil (south and especially in Texas), cinema and catering (fast-food and multinationals such as Coca Cola). In America we can find the most advanced electronic industry. American industry is based on three things: capital, cutting-edge technology, and worldwide diffusion.


The tertiary sector is where the United States is most advanced. 72,1% of GDP comes from the tertiary sector and 73,3% of workers are employed in the tertiary sector. Great importance is given to transport with over 300.000 km of railway network, used mostly for freight transport and integrated with an extremely efficient road network; the road and railway network cover the whole territory, favoring the transport of goods and travel. Despite the attacks of September 11, air transport, with its 16.000 airports, is a favorite of Americans, it can be said that in America the plane is used as in Spain the train is used. Ship transport is also extremely developed.

The highly developed transport network has favored the birth of commercial activities related to it such as motels, insurance companies, freight forwarders and service areas. Other very efficient sectors of the tertiary sector are private schools, which offer, in addition to a high level of teaching, safety, in fact they are often shootings in public schools where you have to go under metal detectors placed at the entrances; another sector is that of ancillary services to businesses such as legal assistance, marketing and advertising firms. Without forgetting tourism, the USA welcomes 30 million visitors every year.

International trading

International trade sees the export of high-tech products, tobacco, soy, raw materials and cotton at the top of the list; while the US imports energy, high quality manufactured goods (mostly clothing) and tropical agricultural products. Internal trade is led by large companies owning large shopping centers (department stores) spread throughout the territory. The sector where the US has no competition is that of telecommunications. Everyone has access to satellite and cable TV, as well as high-speed internet connections. The privilege of Americans is to have salaries that allow them a high purchasing power.

Socio-economic data:

  • unemployed: 4,6% (January 2007)
  • Pro capite PIL: $43.500 (2006)
  • Poor: 12,7% of the population
  • GDP: 13.049 billion US dollars (2006)

text taken from wikipedia, freely reproducible

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