Difference Between America and USA

Due to similar words used to describe two different things, America and the United States of America are very confusing to the layman. Often they have also been used interchangeably, but technically both the words have very different meanings and represent two different parts of the world. This article explains their difference.

America vs USA

The main difference between America and the USA is that America refers to a part of the world including many countries together whereas the USA Or the United States of America refers to a federation of only 50 States that have United to form a country with one distinct government and regulation.

America and USA

America, in the simplest of terms, refers to the part of the landmass that consists of North America, Central America, and South America and their adjoining islands. It refers to the land in the Western Hemisphere that is composed of North America, Central America, and South America. Together these landmasses make the America Or Americas.

USA or United States of America is a distinct country in the Western Hemisphere and is also a part of the landmass referred to as the Americas. Often the USA is referred to as America on a vague concept. However, America refers to a larger piece of land, whereas the USA refers to only a part of the American land.

Comparison Table Between America and USA

Parameters of ComparisonAmericaUSA
LocationAmerica is located in the Western Hemisphere.The USA is a part of the North American mainland in the Western Hemisphere.
Discovered ByAmerica was discovered by Christopher Columbus.The USA as a country was first settled by the English.
Also calledAmerica is also called the New World.The USA is also called the US or the United States.
AboutAmerica refers to an amalgamation of many countries.The USA is just one country.
AreaAmerica occupied over 28.4% of the world’s total areaThe USA is the third-largest land area in the world.

What is America?

America is the most general term that refers to the continent of America. The continent of America or the Americas is a large landmass in the Western Hemisphere consisting of South America, North America, and Central America along with its adjoining islands and channels.

South h America consists of twelve countries, North America consists of twenty-three countries, and Central America consists of seven countries. All the divisions have other geographical and political divisions as well. The area of the landmass altogether measures around 24.71 million square kilometres.

America is one of the largest landmasses and has a large population. Europe alone has a population of 9.5% of the total world population, North America has about 7.58% of the total world population, and South America has about 5.5% of the total world population. Altogether they consist of 24% of the world population.

The total area of land spans 14000 kilometres and consists of various geographical regions and political entities. The different countries have different governments, and the New World, when amalgamated together, is referred to as America. It must not be confused with the country of the United States of America, which is a much smaller piece of land.

What is USA?

The USA or US or the United States of America is a part of the American continent and refers to a country in the American mainland situated in the Western Hemisphere between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean in their East and West, respectively. It is a federation of fifty states that make up one country.

The main difference between America and the USA is that they represent two different political divisions. America is a continent, while the USA is a country with its distinct government. The United States of America is a federation of 50 states that have come together to form one country under one presidential government and Constitution.

All United States of America’s residents has two citizenship. Dual citizenship is of the country of the United States as well as the state they belong to. Area wise United States of America has an area of 9.834 million square kilometres and is home to about 4.25% of the world’s total population.

The United States of America is also said to be one of the world’s largest economies and a superpower in comparison to some parts of America that live in poverty and have little political influence over the world. Thus the USA is a part of the New World and is often mistakenly termed as America.

Main Differences Between America and USA

  1. America has a much larger land area than the United States of America or the USA.
  2. America has a much larger population than the United States of America or the USA.
  3. America refers to the whole landmass in the Western Hemisphere, whereas the United States of America or the USA is a part of this New World.
  4. America consists of many countries, while the USA is just one country with 50 States.
  5. America has many governments throughout different regions of the mainland, whereas the United States of America has only one.
  6. America was discovered way before the settlement being established in the USA.


The United States of America is a country in North America. Its major cities include Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta. Its current president is Donald Trump. The country is also referred to as the U.S. and the Americas. Africa and the Middle East make up the other half of the world.

However, there is a technical error in referring to the USA alone as America represents a much larger geographical extent with much varied geographical aspects as well as political aspects like government, power, divisions, etc. and also demographics like population, size, culture and so on.

Proper knowledge is needed to segregate between America and the USA.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KQAUAAAAYAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=america&ots=Hge4DCxfKm&sig=E26m6PEpSSHqXJG4WUWNTIvzl7M
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9783527680795.ch11
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