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Country vs country: South Africa and United States compared: Geography stats

chris.lockyer781

Author: chris.lockyer781

US and South Africa are located in different hemispheres and continents, yet they are both washed by the same ocean – the Atlantic. South Africa is comparable to the size of two average sized US states. It has an area eight times smaller than US while US is the 4th largest country in the world. Due to the its vast geographical extent, US has almost all kinds of climates, while South Africa is mostly semiarid and subtropical. Both countries score around the same in land use where 90% is classified as non-arable land for US and 83% for South Africa. In water, the scale is also balanced as both countries share similar maritime claims.

Underground, both countries are favoured as they are both rich in natural resources. US is well known for its gold since its gold rush history, while South Africa is famous for its diamond mines.

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Definitions

  • Area > Comparative: The area of various small countries expressed in comparison to various areas within the United States of America.
  • Area > Land: Total land area in square kilometres
  • Area > Land > Per capita: Total land area in square kilometres Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Area > Total: Total area in square kilometers
  • Average precipitation in depth > Mm per year: Average precipitation in depth (mm per year). Average precipitation is the long-term average in depth (over space and time) of annual precipitation in the country. Precipitation is defined as any kind of water that falls from clouds as a liquid or a solid.
  • Average rainfall in depth > Mm per year: Average rainfall is the long-term average in depth (over space and time) of annual precipitation in the country. Precipitation is defined as any kind of water that falls from clouds as a liquid or a solid.
  • Climate: A brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year.
  • Coastline: The total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea.
  • Geographic coordinates: This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the purpose of finding the approximate geographic center of an entity and is based on the Gazetteer of Conventional Names, Third Edition, August 1988, US Board on Geographic Names and on other sources.
  • Land area > Sq. km: Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes."
  • Land area > Square miles: Country land area.
  • Location: The country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.
  • Natural resources: A country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance.
  • Surface area > Sq. km: Surface area is a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways.
  • Terrain: A brief description of the topography
  • Area > Water: Total water area in square kilometers
  • Area > Comparative to US places: This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).
  • Population density > People per sq. km: Population density is midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.
  • Elevation extremes > Highest point: Highest point above sea level
  • Total area > Sq. km: Surface area is a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways."
  • Land use > Arable land: The percentage of used land that is arable. Arable land is land cultivated for crops that are replanted after each harvest like wheat, maize, and rice
  • Land boundaries > Border countries: Length of land boundaries by border country
  • Irrigated land: The number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water.
  • Natural hazards: Potential natural disasters.
  • Rural population density > Rural population per sq. km of arable land: Rural population density is the rural population divided by the arable land area. Rural population is calculated as the difference between the total population and the urban population. Arable land includes land defined by the FAO as land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted once), temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded.
  • Maritime claims > Territorial sea: territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal State extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the LOS Convention (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles. A full and definitive definition can be found in the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention.
  • Area > Land per 1000: Total land area in square kilometres. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Elevation extremes > Lowest point: This entry is derived from Geography > Elevation extremes, which includes both the highest point and the lowest point.
  • Coastline per 1000: The total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Population density: People per square kilometre, in 1999. At this time the world average was 14.42.
  • Maritime claims > Exclusive economic zone: Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the LOS Convention (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal State has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natura
  • Land area > Sq. km > Per capita: Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes." Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Map references: The name of the CIA World Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.
  • Capital city with population: Capital cities including most recent population (estimates included). Populations are figures only within the city limits, unless otherwise specified. All populations are from 2001 t0 2005 unless otherwise specified.
  • Largest city with population: Largest cities including most recent population (estimates included). Populations are figures only within the city limits, unless otherwise specified. All populations are from 2001 t0 2005 unless otherwise specified.
  • Forest area > Sq. km: Forest area is land under natural or planted stands of trees of at least 5 meters in situ, whether productive or not, and excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems (for example, in fruit plantations and agroforestry systems) and trees in urban parks and gardens."
  • Surface area > Sq. km per 1000: Surface area is a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Environment > Current issues: This entry lists the most pressing and important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry:
    Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions (see acid rain).
    Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide; acid rain is damaging and potentially deadly to the earth's fragile ecosystems; acidity is measured using the pH scale where 7 is neutral, values greater than 7 are considered alkaline, and values below 5.6 are considered acid precipitation; note - a pH of 2.4 (the acidity of vinegar) has been measured in rainfall in New England.
    Aerosol - a collection of airborne particles dispersed in a gas, smoke, or fog.
    Afforestation - converting a bare or agricultural space by planting trees and plants; reforestation involves replanting trees on areas that have been cut or destroyed by fire.
    Asbestos - a naturally occurring soft fibrous mineral commonly used in fireproofing materials and considered to be highly carcinogenic in particulate form.
    Biodiversity - also biological diversity; the relative number of species, diverse in form and function, at the genetic, organism, community, and ecosystem level; loss of biodiversity reduces an ecosystem's ability to recover from natural or man-induced disruption.
    Bio-indicators - a plant or animal species whose presence, abundance, and health reveal the general condition of its habitat.
    Biomass - the total weight or volume of living matter in a given area or volume.
    Carbon cycle - the term used to describe the exchange of carbon (in various forms, e.g., as carbon dioxide) between the atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial biosphere, and geological deposits.
    Catchments - assemblages used to capture and retain rainwater and runoff; an important water management technique in areas with limited freshwater resources, such as Gibraltar.
    DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) - a colorless, odorless insecticide that has toxic effects on most animals; the use of DDT was banned in the US in 1972.
    Defoliants - chemicals which cause plants to lose their leaves artificially; often used in agricultural practices for weed control, and may have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health.
    Deforestation - ...
    Full definition













  • Land use > Other: The percentage share of used land that is not arable or under permanent crops. This includes permanent meadows and pastures, forests and woodlands, built-on areas, roads, barren land, etc.
  • Area > Total per 1000: Total area in square kilometers. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Area > Water per 1000: Total water area in square kilometers. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Land use > Permanent crops: The percentage share of used land on which permanent crops are grown. This is land cultivated for crops that are not replanted after each harvest like citrus, coffee, and rubber. It includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber.
  • Road density > Km of road per 100 sq. km of land area: Road density (km of road per 100 sq. km of land area). Road density is the ratio of the length of the country's total road network to the country's land area. The road network includes all roads in the country: motorways, highways, main or national roads, secondary or regional roads, and other urban and rural roads.
  • Google Street View, year added: Year in which country was first covered by Google Street View.
  • Maritime claims > Contiguous zone: This entry is derived from Geography > Maritime claims, which includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions:
    territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal state; where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither state is entitled to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baseline from which the territorial seas of both states are measured; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic states.
    contiguous zone - according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a zone contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (e.g., the US has claimed a 12-nautical mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-nautical mile territorial sea); where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither state is entitled to extend its contiguous zone beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baseline from which the contiguous zone of both states are measured.
    exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other ...
    Full definition



  • Environment > International agreements > Party to: This entry is derived from Geography > Environment > International agreements, which separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.
  • Surface area > Sq. km > Per capita: Surface area is a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Land boundaries > Total: The total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries
  • Precipitation: Average Annual Precipitation in Largest City (mm, 1931-1960)
  • Highest point: Name of country’s highest point.
  • Irrigated land > Per capita: The number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Note: This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere.
  • Irrigated land per million: The number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Capital: Country capital.
  • Marine Coastline: Length of each country's coastline in kilometers.
  • Border to area ratio: The ratio of a country's land border to its surface area.
  • Highest point elevation: Name of country’s highest point.
  • Environment > International agreements > Signed, but not ratified: This entry is derived from Geography > Environment > International agreements, which separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.
  • Largest city: Country largest city.
  • Highest town: Name of country’s highest permanent settlement, which is occupied year-round.
  • Forested Land: Forested land as a proportion of total land area, estimate by FAO
  • Maritime claims > Contiguous zone per million people: This entry is derived from Geography > Maritime claims, which includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions:
    territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying seabed and subsoil; every state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles; the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the mean low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal state; where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither state is entitled to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baseline from which the territorial seas of both states are measured; the UNCLOS describes specific rules for archipelagic states.
    contiguous zone - according to the UNCLOS (Article 33), this is a zone contiguous to a coastal state's territorial sea, over which it may exercise the control necessary to: prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration, or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea; the contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured (e.g., the US has claimed a 12-nautical mile contiguous zone in addition to its 12-nautical mile territorial sea); where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither state is entitled to extend its contiguous zone beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baseline from which the contiguous zone of both states are measured.
    exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - the UNCLOS (Part V) defines the EEZ as a zone beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which a coastal state has: sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other ...
    Full definition. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.



  • Area > Water > Per capita: Total water area in square kilometers Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Area > Note: This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines.
  • Area > Total > Per capita: Total area in square kilometers Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Land boundaries > Total per million: The total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita: This entry is derived from Geography > Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural , which provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total: This entry is derived from Geography > Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural , which provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita: This entry provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal.
  • Continent or sub continent: Within Continent / Subcontinent.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Arable land > % of land area: Arable land (% of land area). Arable land includes land defined by the FAO as land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted once), temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded.
  • Land boundaries > Total > Per capita: The total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Terrestrial and marine protected areas > % of total territorial area: Terrestrial and marine protected areas (% of total territorial area). Terrestrial protected areas are totally or partially protected areas of at least 1,000 hectares that are designated by national authorities as scientific reserves with limited public access, national parks, natural monuments, nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes, and areas managed mainly for sustainable use. Marine protected areas are areas of intertidal or subtidal terrain--and overlying water and associated flora and fauna and historical and cultural features--that have been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment. Sites protected under local or provincial law are excluded.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total per million people: This entry provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters > % of total population: Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total population). Population below 5m is the percentage of the total population living in areas where the elevation is 5 meters or less.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total per million people: This entry is derived from Geography > Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural , which provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita per million people: This entry is derived from Geography > Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural , which provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Forest area > % of land area: Forest area is land under natural or planted stands of trees of at least 5 meters in situ, whether productive or not, and excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems (for example, in fruit plantations and agroforestry systems) and trees in urban parks and gardens."
  • Terrestrial protected areas > % of total land area: Terrestrial protected areas (% of total land area). Terrestrial protected areas are totally or partially protected areas of at least 1,000 hectares that are designated by national authorities as scientific reserves with limited public access, national parks, natural monuments, nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes, and areas managed mainly for sustainable use. Marine areas, unclassified areas, littoral (intertidal) areas, and sites protected under local or provincial law are excluded.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita per million people: This entry provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total: This entry provides the annual quantity of water in cubic kilometers removed from available sources for use in any purpose. Water drawn-off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream. Domestic sector use refers to water supplied by public distribution systems. Note that some of this total may be used for small industrial and/or limited agricultural purposes. Industrial sector use is the quantity of water used by self-supplied industries not connected to a public distribution system. Agricultural sector use includes water used for irrigation and livestock watering, and does not account for agriculture directly dependent on rainfall. Included are figures for total annual water withdrawal and per capita water withdrawal.
  • Low-lying areas > Elevation under 5 metres > % of land area: Land area where elevation is below 5 meters (% of total land area). Land area below 5m is the percentage of total land where the elevation is 5 meters or less.
  • Agricultural land > % of land area: Agricultural land refers to the share of land area that is arable, under permanent crops, and under permanent pastures. Arable land includes land defined by the FAO as land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted once), temporary meadows for mowing or for pasture, land under market or kitchen gardens, and land temporarily fallow. Land abandoned as a result of shifting cultivation is excluded. Land under permanent crops is land cultivated with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted after each harvest, such as cocoa, coffee, and rubber. This category includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber. Permanent pasture is land used for five or more years for forage, including natural and cultivated crops.
STAT South Africa United States HISTORY
Area > Comparative slightly less than twice the size of Texas about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
Area > Land 1.22 million sq km
Ranked 25th.
9.16 million sq km
Ranked 4th. 8 times more than South Africa

Area > Land > Per capita 25.01 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 67th.
30.16 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 60th. 21% more than South Africa

Area > Total 1.22 million sq km
Ranked 26th.
9.83 million sq km
Ranked 4th. 8 times more than South Africa

Average precipitation in depth > Mm per year 495
Ranked 141st.
715
Ranked 110th. 44% more than South Africa

Average rainfall in depth > Mm per year 495
Ranked 134th.
715
Ranked 105th. 44% more than South Africa
Climate mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains
Coastline 2,798 km
Ranked 43th.
19,924 km
Ranked 9th. 7 times more than South Africa

Geographic coordinates 29 00 S, 24 00 E 38 00 N, 97 00 W
Land area > Sq. km 1.21 million sq km
Ranked 24th.
9.16 million sq km
Ranked 3rd. 8 times more than South Africa

Land area > Square miles 470,693 square miles
Ranked 15th.
3.8 million square miles
Ranked 2nd. 8 times more than South Africa
Location Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico
Natural resources gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, rare earth elements, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber
Surface area > Sq. km 1.22 million km²
Ranked 24th.
9.63 million km²
Ranked 3rd. 8 times more than South Africa

Terrain vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii
Area > Water 4,620 sq km
Ranked 69th.
664,709 sq km
Ranked 3rd. 144 times more than South Africa

Area > Comparative to US places slightly less than twice the size of Texas about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; more than twice the size of the European Union
Population density > People per sq. km 38.61 people/m²
Ranked 141st. 19% more than United States
32.35 people/m²
Ranked 149th.

Elevation extremes > Highest point Njesuthi 3,408 m Mount McKinley (Denali) 6,194 m (highest point in North America)
Total area > Sq. km 1.22 million
Ranked 24th.
9.63 million
Ranked 3rd. 8 times more than South Africa

Land use > Arable land 9.87%
Ranked 107th.
16.29%
Ranked 65th. 65% more than South Africa

Land boundaries > Border countries Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km
Irrigated land 16,700 sq km
Ranked 2nd.
230,000 sq km
Ranked 3rd. 14 times more than South Africa

Natural hazards prolonged droughts tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
Rural population density > Rural population per sq. km of arable land 129.44 people/km² of arable lan
Ranked 137th. 4 times more than United States
32.62 people/km² of arable lan
Ranked 70th.

Maritime claims > Territorial sea 12 nautical mile
Ranked 54th. The same as United States
12 nautical mile
Ranked 61st.

Area > Land per 1000 25 sq km
Ranked 57th.
30.13 sq km
Ranked 51st. 21% more than South Africa

Elevation extremes > Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m Death Valley -86 m
Coastline per 1000 0.0553 km
Ranked 117th.
0.0639 km
Ranked 114th. 16% more than South Africa

Population density 35.6 people per sqkm
Ranked 159th. 20% more than United States
29.77 people per sqkm
Ranked 167th.
Maritime claims > Exclusive economic zone 200 nautical mile
Ranked 35th. The same as United States
200 nautical mile
Ranked 41st.

Land area > Sq. km > Per capita 24.89 per 1,000 people
Ranked 63th.
30.16 per 1,000 people
Ranked 56th. 21% more than South Africa

Map references Africa North America
Capital city with population Pretoria (official) - est. 1,000,000; Cape Town (legislative) - 2,893,251; Bloemfontein (judicial) - 369,568 Washington, D.C. - 606,900
Largest city with population Johannesburg - 3,225,812 New York City - 8,168,338
Total renewable water resources None None
Forest area > Sq. km 92,030
Ranked 58th.
3.03 million
Ranked 4th. 33 times more than South Africa

Surface area > Sq. km per 1000 25.83 km²
Ranked 62nd.
32.59 km²
Ranked 53th. 26% more than South Africa

Environment > Current issues lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; large emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; limited natural freshwater resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification
Land use > Other 89.79%
Ranked 109th. 8% more than United States
83.44%
Ranked 150th.

Area > Total per 1000 25 sq km
Ranked 58th.
32.31 sq km
Ranked 51st. 29% more than South Africa

Area > Water per 1000 0.0979 sq km
Ranked 108th.
2.19 sq km
Ranked 19th. 22 times more than South Africa

Natural hazards > Volcanism the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elev. 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elev. 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed "Decade Volcanoes" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elev. 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (elev. 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
Land use > Permanent crops 0.34%
Ranked 156th. 31% more than United States
0.26%
Ranked 164th.

Road density > Km of road per 100 sq. km of land area 30 sq. km
Ranked 14th.
66.57 sq. km
Ranked 36th. 2 times more than South Africa

Google Street View, year added 2,010
Ranked 52nd. About the same as United States
2,007
Ranked 73th.
Maritime claims > Contiguous zone 24
Ranked 40th. The same as United States
24
Ranked 59th.

Environment > International agreements > Party to Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Surface area > Sq. km > Per capita 26 km² per 1,000 people
Ranked 63th.
32.5 km² per 1,000 people
Ranked 54th. 25% more than South Africa

Land boundaries > Total 4,862 km
Ranked 35th.
12,034 km
Ranked 6th. 2 times more than South Africa

Precipitation 520 mm
Ranked 70th.
1,201 mm
Ranked 25th. 2 times more than South Africa
Highest point Mafadi Mount McKinley
Irrigated land > Per capita 0.327 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 63th.
0.77 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 26th. 2 times more than South Africa

Note South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent
Irrigated land per million 324.83 sq km
Ranked 63th.
771.61 sq km
Ranked 28th. 2 times more than South Africa

Capital Pretoria (executive capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital) Washington DC
Marine Coastline 2,798 km
Ranked 43th.
19,924 km
Ranked 9th. 7 times more than South Africa
Border to area ratio 0.00398 km/km²
Ranked 134th. 3 times more than United States
0.00126 km/km²
Ranked 155th.
Freshwater > Withdrawal > Per capita 264 1600
Freshwater > Withdrawal > Total 12.5 477
Highest point elevation None
None
Environment > International agreements > Signed, but not ratified none of the selected agreements Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
Largest city Johannesburg New York City
Highest town Belfast Alma
Forested Land 7.3%
Ranked 154th.
24.7%
Ranked 108th. 3 times more than South Africa
Maritime claims > Contiguous zone per million people 0.494
Ranked 66th. 7 times more than United States
0.0758
Ranked 79th.

Area > Water > Per capita 98.53 sq km per 1 million peo
Ranked 110th.
2,187.8 sq km per 1 million peo
Ranked 20th. 22 times more than South Africa

Area > Note includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island) includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia
Area > Total > Per capita 25.01 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 70th.
32.34 sq km per 1,000 people
Ranked 62nd. 29% more than South Africa

Area > A note includes <a href=/encyclopedia/Prince-Rogers-Nelson><a href=/encyclopedia/Prince-Rogers-Nelson>Prince</a></a> Edward Islands (Marion Island and <a href=/encyclopedia/Coat-of-Arms-of-Prince-Edward-Island><a href=/encyclopedia/Prince-Rogers-Nelson>Prince</a> Edward Island</a>) includes only the 50 states and <a href=/encyclopedia/Washington,-DC><a href=/encyclopedia/Washington,-DC>District of Columbia</a></a>
Land boundaries > Total per million 99.65 km
Ranked 111th. 3 times more than United States
39.57 km
Ranked 135th.

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita 271.7 cu m/yr
Ranked 32nd.
1,583 cu m/yr
Ranked 2nd. 6 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total 12.5 cu km/yr
Ranked 43th.
478.4 cu km/yr
Ranked 3rd. 38 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita 271.7 cu m/yr
Ranked 32nd.
1,583 cu m/yr
Ranked 2nd. 6 times more than South Africa

Continent or sub continent Africa North America
Arable land > % of land area 9.92%
Ranked 110th.
17.51%
Ranked 63th. 77% more than South Africa

Land boundaries > Total > Per capita 0.1 km per 1,000 people
Ranked 117th. 3 times more than United States
0.04 km per 1,000 people
Ranked 144th.

Terrestrial and marine protected areas > % of total territorial area 6.56%
Ranked 128th.
15.14%
Ranked 80th. 2 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total per million people 0.257 cu km/yr
Ranked 98th.
1.51 cu km/yr
Ranked 6th. 6 times more than South Africa

Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters > % of total population 0.496%
Ranked 162nd.
4.1%
Ranked 115th. 8 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total per million people 0.257 cu km/yr
Ranked 98th.
1.51 cu km/yr
Ranked 6th. 6 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita per million people 5.76 cu m/yr
Ranked 48th. 7% more than United States
5.36 cu m/yr
Ranked 51st.

Forest area > % of land area 7.58%
Ranked 156th.
33.12%
Ranked 81st. 4 times more than South Africa

Terrestrial protected areas > % of total land area 6.2%
Ranked 146th.
13.82%
Ranked 104th. 2 times more than South Africa

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Per capita per million people 5.76 cu m/yr
Ranked 48th. 7% more than United States
5.36 cu m/yr
Ranked 51st.

Freshwater withdrawal > Domestic/industrial/agricultural > Total 12.5 cu km/yr
Ranked 43th.
478.4 cu km/yr
Ranked 3rd. 38 times more than South Africa

Low-lying areas > Elevation under 5 metres > % of land area 0.134%
Ranked 164th.
1.72%
Ranked 119th. 13 times more than South Africa

Agricultural land > % of land area 81.83%
Ranked 5th. 82% more than United States
44.88%
Ranked 81st.

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; Food and Agriculture Organization; Food and Agriculture Organisation, electronic files and web site.; All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; British Broadcasting Corporation 2014; World Development Indicators database; CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; Heal The World Foundation.; United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook and Statistical Yearbook, City Population, CIA World Factbook, World Gazetteer, Official government websites.; World Development Indicators database. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; International Road Federation, World Road Statistics and electronic files, except where noted.; Wikipedia: Google Street View (Coverage); United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook and Statistical Yearbook; Wikipedia: List of countries by highest point (Sovereign, fully recognized countries); CIA Factbook: List of countries by coastline size; Wikipedia: List of countries and territories by border/area ratio (Border/area ratio); Wikipedia: List of highest towns by country (Sovereign, fully recognized countries); FAO; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; CIA World Factbook, December 2003; CIA World Factbook 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; Wikipedia: List of political and geographic borders (Countries); United Nations Environmental Program and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre; CIA World Factbook 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Center for International Earth Science Information Network; Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site.

Citation

"Geography: South Africa and United States compared", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/South-Africa/United-States/Geography

6

US and South Africa are located in different hemispheres and continents, yet they are both washed by the same ocean – the Atlantic. South Africa is comparable to the size of two average sized US states. It has an area eight times smaller than US while US is the 4th largest country in the world. Due to the its vast geographical extent, US has almost all kinds of climates, while South Africa is mostly semiarid and subtropical. Both countries score around the same in land use where 90% is classified as non-arable land for US and 83% for South Africa. In water, the scale is also balanced as both countries share similar maritime claims.

Underground, both countries are favoured as they are both rich in natural resources. US is well known for its gold since its gold rush history, while South Africa is famous for its diamond mines.

Posted on 24 Mar 2014

chris.lockyer781

chris.lockyer781

396 Stat enthusiast