The American state of California (especially the Hollywood region) is home to a thriving motion picture industry, with prominent film studios such as Warner Brothers, Paramount, and MGM creating dozens of multi-million dollar films every year that are enjoyed around the world. American actors are often among the world's most popular and easily identified celebrities. It's worth noting that Hollywood also tends to attract many immigrant actors and directors from around the world, many of whom, such as actor Russell Crowe or director Ang Lee become just as famous and successful as American-born stars.
The United States was a leading pioneer of T.V. as an entertainment medium, and the tradition remains strong to this day. Many American television sitcoms dramas game shows and reality shows remain very popular both in the US and abroad. Animation is a popular US entertainment medium as well, both on the large and small screen. The characters created by Walt Disney and Warner Brothers animation studios remain very popular. In music, the United States has pioneered many distinct genres, such as country and western, jazz, rock music, hip hop and gospel. African-American cultural influences play a particularly prominent role in many of these traditions.
1.2. Urban life of Americans.
Urban life. Urban areas, which range from giant cities surrounded by suburbs to small towns, dot the U.S. landscape. Although the urban areas cover about 2 ? percent of the land, they are the home of about three-fourths of the people. New York City, with about 7 million people, is the largest U.S. city by far. Los Angeles has about 3 million people. Chicago has a population of about 2 ? million. Five other U.S. cities-Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Detroit, and Dallas-each have more than 1 million people.
Networks of suburbs surround many U.S. cities. The central cities and their suburbs form units called metropolitan areas. There are about 268 metropolitan areas in the United States. The three largest are, in order of size, the New York-Newark, Los Angeles-Long Beach, and Chicago areas. The New York-Newark metropolitan area has about 17 million people, the Los Angeles-Long Beach area has more than 8? million people, and the Chicago area has about 7? million people.
For many years, the vast majority of the country's urban population lived in the central cities. But during the mid-1900s, suburban population soared throughout the United States, while central city growth slowed down or decreased. In 1970, for the first time, more Americans lived in suburbs than in central cities.
The Northeast and Midwest have long had most of the nation's largest urban areas. But during the 1900's, other parts of the country have experienced dramatic urban growth. Since the early 1900's, many California urban communities-especially Los Angeles-have grown tremendously. Since the mid-1900's, the populations of many more urban areas in the West, and in the South and Southwest, have soared. Such metropolitan areas as Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Phoenix grew rapidly. Large numbers of people were attracted to the West, South, and Southwest by jobs created by new industries. Also, many of the fastest-growing communities have warm, sunny climates, which helped attract many of the newcomers. Parts of the South, Southwest, and West are sometimes called the Sun Belt because they have such climates.
Urban economies provide jobs for a great variety of workers, including office and factory workers, bankers, doctors, fire fighters, medical personnel, police officers, teachers, trash collectors, and construction and transportation workers. Urban life also has many other positive features. Because of their large populations, urban areas generally offer a wide variety of specialized services and shops. Urban dwellers can take advantage of an assortment of restaurants, recreation facilities, and places of entertainment. Because of such facilities as art galleries, museums, libraries, theaters, and concert halls, many cities are important cultural centers. These and other features make urban areas exciting and interesting places to live for many people.
The people of most U.S. urban areas represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Most cities include neighborhoods in which almost all the people belong to the same ethnic or nationality group. The people of large urban areas are also divided economically. Urban society includes extremely wealthy and extremely poor people, and a huge middle class. The wealthy live in luxurious apartments or condominiums, or in large, comfortable single-family houses. Middle-class housing also includes apartments, condominiums, and single-family houses. In general, the housing of the middle class is comfortable, though not as luxurious as that of the wealthy. In contrast, large numbers of urban poor people live in substandard housing. They rent crowded, small apartments or run-down single-family houses.'
In addition to substandard housing, urban areas have a number of other negative features. Such features include high crime rates, racial and ethnic friction, noisy surroundings, pollution, and traffic jams. See City (City problems).
1.3. Rural life of Americans and their character
Rural life. More than 97 percent of all the land of the United States is classified as rural. But much of the rural land is uninhabited or only lightly inhabited. About a fourth of all Americans live in rural areas.
Farms provide the economic basis of the nation's rural areas. But only about 9 percent of the country's rural people work on farms. Many other rural people own or work in businesses related to agriculture, such as grain and feed stores and warehouses. Mining and related activities and light industries also employ many rural people. Still other rural Americans work as teachers, police officers, salesclerks, or in