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About the Continent
The Americas, or America, are lands in the Western Hemisphere also known as the New World.
In the English language, the Americas refers to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, whereas America refers almost exclusively to the United States of America.
As a landmass colonized and settled by Europeans, the Americas share many common cultural traits, most notably the adherence to Christianity and speaking Indo-European languages (aside from the indigenous languages of the Americas).
The Americas cover 8.3% of the Earth's total surface area (28% of its land area) and contain about 13.5% of the human population (about 900 million people).
Various languages are spoken in the Americas. Some are of European origin, others are spoken by indigenous peoples or are the mixture of various idioms like the different creoles.
The dominant language of Latin America is Spanish, though the largest nation in Latin America, Brazil, speaks Portuguese. Small enclaves of French-, Dutch- and English-speaking regions also exist in Latin America, notably in French Guiana, Suriname, and Belize and Guyana respectively, and Haitian Creole, of French origin, is dominant in the nation of Haiti. Native languages are more prominent in Latin America than in Anglo-America, with Nahuatl, Quechua, Aymara and Guaraní as the most common. Various other native languages are spoken with less frequency across both Anglo-America and Latin America. Creole languages other than Haitian Creole are also spoken in parts of Latin America.
The dominant language of Anglo-America is English. French is also official in Canada, where it is the predominant language in Québec and an official language in New Brunswick along with English. It is also an important language in the US state of Louisiana, and in parts of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. Spanish has kept an ongoing presence in the Southwestern United States, which formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, especially in California and New Mexico, where a distinct variety of Spanish spoken since the 17th century has survived.
High levels of immigration in general have brought great linguistic diversity to Anglo-America, with over 300 languages known to be spoken in the United States alone, but most languages are spoken only in small enclaves and by relatively small immigrant groups.