|Area||2,728,827 km2 (1,053,606 sq mi)|
|GDP||$1.416 229 trillion|
(PPP, 2005 est.)
|Major languages||Spanish, English, Mayan, French, Haitian Creole, Antillean Creole, and others|
|Time zones||UTC -4:00 (Barbados) to|
UTC -8:00 (Mexico)
|Largest urban agglomerations|
Middle America is a subregion in the middle latitudes of the Americas. It usually includes Mexico, the 7 countries of Central America, and the 13 island countries and 18 territories of the Caribbean. Together with Northern America, they form the continent of North America.
Colombia and Venezuela of South America are sometimes included in this subregion. The Caribbean is occasionally excluded from this subregion while Bermuda and The Guianas are infrequently included.
Physiographically, Middle America marks the territorial transition between Northern America and South America, connecting yet separating the two. On the west, the Middle American mainland comprises the tapering, isthmian tract of the American landmass between the southern Rocky Mountains in the southern United States and the northern tip of the Andes in Colombia, separating the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean (viz. the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea) on the east, while the Greater and Lesser Antilles form an island arc in the east. The region developed subaerially southward from North America as a complex volcanic arc-trench system during the Early Cretaceous period, eventually forming the land bridge during the Pliocene epoch when its southern end (at Panama) collided with South America through tectonic action.
Occasionally, the term Middle America is used synonymously with Central America (compare with Middle Africa and Central Africa). In English, the term is uncommonly used as a synonym of the term Mesoamerica (or Meso-America), which generally refers to an ancient culture region situated in Middle America extending roughly from central Mexico to northern Costa Rica. In addition, some residents of the region (e.g., Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans) may be referred to as Meso-Americans or Central Americans, but not, however, as Middle Americans, which refers to a particular constituency in the United States.
Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies, to which the term is normally applicable, share a general [geographic] focus .... For some ... "Middle America" refers only to Mexico and Central America; others add the West Indies and, infrequently, even Colombia, Venezuela, and The Guianas. Occasionally, the term "Central America" is used synonymously with "Middle America". Also, German geographers often refer to just the isthmian territories from Panama to Guatemala as Mittelamerika.