The United States has the third largest land mass of any nation in the world. The U.S. population is also the third largest in the world. The U.S. economy is the largest in the world. These are a few random facts about the United States in the early years of the 21st century. They form a sketch of what the country has become 500 years after the first Europeans came to the New World and the dream of a new kind of nation was born.