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The United States of America ('USA,' 'US,' 'United States,' or simply 'the States') is a large country in central and north-western North America. The U.S. also includes several Pacific islands (primarily represented by the state of Hawaii) and an unincorporated Caribbean territory (the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). One of the largest and richest countries in the world, it has a mixture of densely-populated urban areas with wide areas of low population and incredible natural beauty. With a history of immigration dating to the 17th century, the U.S. prides itself on its 'melting pot' of different cultures from around the globe. Even the briefest visit to the United States is a study in contrasts.