North America is vast in area, rich in natural resources, and diverse in culture. It is divided into three of the world's largest countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. All former European colonies, today the three countries have democratic governments and enjoy many personal freedoms and constitutional rights. Economically interdependent, they form a major trading bloc where each relies on imports and exports from the other two.
Canada ranked an impressive sixth in the world in the Social Progress Index. At 16th, the United States ranked lower than expected for a high-income country. With an economy only one-third the size of that of the United States, Mexico still ranked in the world's top 50 percent in social progress.
Challenges ahead include addressing the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, improving access to basic services in rural areas, and achieving ecosystem sustainability in the face of population growth and climate change. Each title in this series contains a forward from the Executive Director of the Social Progress Imperative, color photos throughout, maps, charts, and back matter including: a special "Countries at a Glance" statistical section, an index, and further reading lists for books and internet resources. Key Icons appear throughout the books in this series in an effort to encourage library readers to build knowledge, gain awareness, explore possibilities and expand their viewpoints through our content rich non-fiction books. Key Icons in this series are as follows: Words to Understand are shown at the front of each chapter with definitions. These words are set in boldfaced type in that chapter, so that readers are able to reference back to the definitions--building their vocabulary and enhancing their reading comprehension. Sidebars are highlighted graphics with content rich material within that allows readers to build knowledge and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Text-Dependent Questions are placed at the end of each chapter. They challenge the reader's comprehension of the chapter they have just read, while sending the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects are provided at the end of each chapter as well and provide readers with suggestions for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. And a Series Glossary of Key Terms is included in the back matter containing terminology used throughout the series. Words found here broaden the reader's knowledge and understanding of terms used in this field."
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