The 48 contiguous states comprise the “mainland” United States and occupy approximately 7.7 million square kilometres which is almost identical to Australia. Northwest and next to Canada is Alaska, a large state of 1.5 million square kilometres. About 3,400 kilometres west of the mainland is a chain of islands which comprise the state of Hawaii. Outlying US areas include the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and minor Pacific islands.

When considering the US as an export destination you should consider geography, population densities, logistics and economic considerations. The US is made up of a number of regions as follows:

1. New England

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Second highest concentration of people (approximately 45 per square km). Major industries include: tourism, education, manufacturing, medical.

2. Mid-Atlantic

New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the District of Columbia (the nation’s capital, which is not a state). Heavily populated (approximately 50 per square km). Major industries include: financial services, tourism, manufacturing, communications, pharmaceutical.

3. South

Texas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Kentucky. Major industries include: Agriculture, oil & gas, electronics, manufacturing

4. Mid-west

Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Major industries include: manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, heavy industry, clean tech.

5. Mountain

Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, and Idaho. Sparsely populated (approximately 3 per square km). Major industries include: tourism, resources, agriculture.

6. Pacific

California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Major industries include tourism, lumber, agriculture, electronics, high technology, and natural resources. Major industries include: tourism, agriculture, electronics, IT, education.


There are four (4) time zones across the 50 States (Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific). Be sure to take this into account when you are organising conference calls and meetings. We have included a very useful meeting planner in our Online Tools section.