Template talk:Countries of North America

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WikiProject North America (Rated Template-class)
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Central v. North America[edit]

An effort was made to remove countries in the central american region from the template and instead place them in a Central American Template. I have replaced them on the basis that they are still considered part of the North American Continent despite also being labeled as existing in the central american region. I will also include both templates in the pages of the central american countries since I have seen that on the pages of other countries (middle eastern), efforts are made to include templates of all the geographical regions said countries are considered part of.

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua are part of North America.This is in terms of *geography*. North america is a contininent. Central america is considered a part of that continent. See Continent. If you do not belirve the countries are in North America, make a case that they should be in South America. Ravedave

Wrong. America is the continent, and it is divided in North, Central and South America. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua form Central America. Trust me, I live in Costa Rica. Copperchair 07:04, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From the Spanish Wikipedia article on Central America:

Los geógrafos no consideran América Central un continente; es por lo general considerado geográficamente parte de Norteamérica. Algunos geógrafos consideran a América Central como un istmo grande en el que a veces incluyen la parte de México al este del Istmo de Tehuantepec, a saber, los estados mexicanos del Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán y Quintana Roo.'

I think that in groupping nations your opinion on the matter reflects a more social and cultural point of view than that a regular English reader of Wikipedia would possess. As an example I point to your exclusion of Belize, which is geographically located in the Central American istmus (and would cause a reader to associate it with that region), from the Central American Template. I believe that you have neglected it because culturally and economically speaking it is (by Costa Rican standards) considered a Caribbean nation and more a part of the Caribbean than of central america. The problem is that making that sort of distinction (geographical from cultural/economic/social) is not easy, heck I know of people that consider everything south of the united states Mexico. Furthermore, here in the United Stated (not sure of other places) it is accepted that North and South America are two seperate Continents and that Central America is a region located within North America. I will therefore revert your edit to this template and and replace it in the article of the countries from which you have removed it. I think that have both the Central and North American Templates in the pages serves to make readers understand that as a whole a country like Honduras is located in North America but also more specifically in Central America. --ÅfÇ++ 21:39, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All right. Copperchair 00:57, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Please note that despite pressumably being in agreement User Copperchair once again reverted pages to exclude the template, and the template itself.

North America is everything from Canada southwards up to and including Panama. All these should be on the template. Central America is a subset of North America, consisting of all North American countries south of Mexico. --Carnildo 05:36, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have submitted this page to get voted on at : Wikipedia:Current_surveys Ravedave 18:44, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vote for what templates should be applied to Central American countries. The pages that have been involved in this dispute so far are: Nicaragua Panama Honduras Guatemala El Salvador Costa Rica Belize (not all of which are included on the Central_America template)

  • Apply N American and Cenral American templates to all nations listed - Just as the Middle East is a subunit of Asia and the Pacific is of Austrailia, Central America is on N America Mbisanz 00:28, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

For Both templates[edit]

  • Some people believe that countries are in this area are in North America, other believe they are in Central america. If both templates are on the page shouldn't everyone be happy? Another thing to note is from continent The 7-continent model is usually taught in Western Europe, the United States and Canada, Australia, and much of Asia. The 6-continent combined-America model is taught in Japan, Iran, and Latin America. Ravedave 18:44, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Might as well keep both. It seems kind of like American versus British spelling issues, it doesn't hurt to respect both as encyclopedic since they both are in different areas. Karmafist 18:53, 5 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Technically, they are on the North American continent and culturally and geographically they are located in the Central American region. So why not just destinguish the difference between the continent and the region. Else it should go on both. --Terry 16:39, 8 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • While I support the general notion that Central America is (geographically) part of North America, both templates should be used; can't we all just get along? ;) However, it is important to not include a plethora of templates and keep things succinct: ideally, use templates with nomenclature accepted by respected international organisations, et al. Consideration should be given, too, to integrating the templates somehow. E Pluribus Anthony 07:27, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For Only North America[edit]

For Only Central America[edit]


Wikipedia Policy[edit]

According to Official Wikipedia Policy, quote: Articles in Wikipedia should refer to facts, assertions, theories, ideas, claims, opinions, and arguments that have been published by a reputable or credible publisher. The threshold for inclusion is verifiability, not truth. With this in mind, and given that Encarta says that quote: North America, third largest of the seven continents, including Canada (the 2nd largest country in area in the world), the United States (3rd largest), and Mexico (14th largest). The continent also includes Greenland, the largest island, as well as the small French overseas department of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and the British dependency of Bermuda (both made up of small islands in the Atlantic Ocean); we can assume that North America consists of the USA, Canada and Mexico as countries and Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and Bermuda as foreign (European) dependencies. GrandfatherJoe (talk • contribs) 15:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi thanks for your summary. As the article North America describes, the term varies depending on the context and various verifiable sources, not just one. From a purely geographical context, for instance, North America includes all territories generally 'west' and 'north' of the Panama Canal (in Central America); from a geopolitical context, this includes all of Panama, and (sometimes) all islands in the Caribbean Sea. Then there are ecogeographic and landform definitions (et al.) of what comprise North America. Thoughts? Thanks again! E Pluribus Anthony 16:03, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

representative maps[edit]

North America is comprised of two nations -- the United States and Canada. Most public school history textbooks provide maps which are confusing and which claim that the Canadian province of Alaska and the Polynesian state of Hawaii are two of 50 of the United States of America.

However often representatives from Alaska and Hawaii have sat with the United States Congress during scheduled sessions, and although they may be perpetually permitted to do so, both territories in reality share status with the United States within the multi-national Congress of Industrial Organizations (C. I. O. ) -- one as a distinct mid-Pacific Oceanic territory, and the other as a province of Canada. Beadtot 10/18/2005 03:35, 19 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Politically, Alaska and Hawaii are two US states; case closed.
Moreover, your status is uncertain but you are apparently on some sort of narcotic. E Pluribus Anthony 06:03, 19 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Related discussion[edit]

Cf here for a discussion pertaining to this template. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 12:05, 26 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing to Countries-of-North-America and removing dependencies[edit]

See Template talk:Countries of Europe#Outside review and above conversation and discuss about making content boxes more uniform. THIS IS A CROSS-POST -- REPLY ON THAT PAGE ONLY.this is messedrocker (talk) 11:36, 3 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Standardization suggestion - please contribute![edit]

A suggestion for a standard approach to the naming, titling and sections of this and similar templates has been made here – please visit and share your thoughts!  Thanks, David Kernow (talk) 03:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking of standardization[edit]

Rewrote to use navbox generic and to have a more general note at the header. That last point might warrant some thought. Is it better worded now, or should we drop the text back in that refers to italics, and re-italicize those nations? MrZaiustalk 13:31, 13 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

north amercia[edit]

its weird —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

north america[edit]

im trying to find central america but my mom says its rong —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 9 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla[edit]

Bajo Nuevo Bank and Serranilla Bank were previously listed as being grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Whatever U.S. government sources lists them as so (according to the USMOI article, there's only one--and the link is broken), is irrelevant until you can establish that the U.S. actually has these banks under their control. The Colombian government lists them as being part of San Andres Department, so there's your equivelant.

Unless an editor can find confirmation from a reliable source, de facto jurisdiction over these banks will remain unconfirmed, and this page should reflect that. Rennell435 (talk) 04:05, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]



Guadeloupe and Martinique are not dependencies of France, they are part of France, thus making France a country in North America. How best to resolve this? --Golbez (talk) 04:55, 13 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One suggestion would be to include France in the top list, followed by (Guadeloupe, Martinique) like how they have over on the African version. Rennell435 (talk) 09:34, 13 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, I was part of why they did that there, I figured I go tackle all of the other multicontinental countries. =p --Golbez (talk) 22:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I added France to the list of countries, but it reminded me of another issue: Colombia has some islands off the coast of Nicaragua. That plants it as a Caribbean (and therefore, in the definition of this template, North American) nation. We aren't just talking nearby associated islands like Venezuela has, these are way up the middle of Central America. (Although, some of Venezuela's islands are further north than Aruba and Trinidad...) Any thoughts? --Golbez (talk) 20:45, 15 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well Columbia's San Andreas Department is entirely in North America so if we are going to include france i suppose we should include them to. Venezuala's Aves Island is also part of North America, so i suppose they could be included as well. I dont think there are any other countries that could be included. The only other polities that are missing are Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo bank, the only other territories of a similar status in existance would be the various Antarctic Territories. Since there is no Countries of Antarctica page i would not know how to tackle the issue, though i think they should be included on the paeg in some form or another.XavierGreen (talk) 17:39, 16 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think we should include Iceland since it straddles the continental divide --- similar to how Kazakhstan is included on the Europe template and Egypt on the Asia template. sephia karta | dimmi 12:01, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We include islands of European and Asian countries that are geologically African in the Africa template; it possibly makes sense to do the same with Iceland. --Golbez (talk) 14:05, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Iceland in Africa? (JK) Actually, 99% of sources (maybe 100...I haven't seen one doing otherwise) list Iceland in Europe if grouped with a continent.....not in N. America. Yes, makes sense "geologically"...you perhaps should start (it may exist?) a countries by geological groupings. Or by continental plates. But this is continents, not geology, not plates.DLinth (talk) 17:49, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have never seen any other source, of any kind, group Iceland as a North American territory. Frankly, I think including Iceland in this template contributes to the notion held by some that Wikipedia is not a reliable source.--MorrisIV (talk) 01:19, 30 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The definition of where an island belongs, is based on distance from the mainland, as written in Boundaries between continents. The distance from Labrador to Iceland is 1370 miles, while from Norway to Iceland it is 610 miles.--BIL (talk) 22:13, 10 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not seeing any statement to that effect in that article... and by that logic, Trinidad and Tobago and much of the West Indies are South American, and Bali and Sulawesi are closer to Australia than to mainland Asia yet, unlike Timor and New Guinea, are considered pretty universally Asian. --Golbez (talk) 22:25, 10 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Trinidad, Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao[edit]

These are geographically entirely in South America, so I propose we remove them from this template (especially since we have {{Caribbean topic}} and {{Countries and territories of the Caribbean}}) sephia karta | dimmi 19:23, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, they are, but geography always takes second place to politics, and continents are the creations of a mixture of both. CMD (talk) 22:30, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether we let ourselves be guided by considerations of politics or geography is entirely our decision. Geography allows for a mostly clear delineation of the continents whereas the question whether any one country is politically part of a continent is a cesspit we should not want to enter.sephia karta | dimmi 23:23, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Politically, Belize is Caribbean, so ... --Golbez (talk) 05:06, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Geography does not allow for a clear delineation of continents. Continents are what we call continents, nothing more. There isn't any sort of consistent definition. CMD (talk) 13:12, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We can arrive at a clear delineation, for example by chosing plate tectonics to be indicative of the location of a continental divide. I'm not saying that continents do not have cultural and political meanings, merely that these are vague at best and politically charged at worst. That said, I'll bite: in what sense do Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire 'politically' belong to North America in a way that Suriname and Guyana do not? sephia karta | dimmi 15:51, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure where the notion that 'politics trumps geography' came from, anyway. We mention Spain as an African country, Chile as an Oceanian country, and France as being all over the damn place. So, CMD, can you justify this assertion please? As for the geography, the Caribbean seems to always be included in a greater definition of North America, rather than South America. However, it does seem odd to say that Venezuela, for example, is in North America just because it has islands in the Caribbean, as opposed to Colombia, which is definitely in North America due to its islands off the coast of Central America. --Golbez (talk) 15:56, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your last point (Colombia) was fixed in an April edit...so now consistent....every Caribbean feature is now included.DLinth (talk) 17:06, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The very creation of continents was political. It was how the Greeks in the Aegean peninsula separated themselves from those in Anatolia. It was propagated by Europeans who arbitrarily split themselves from Asia, even as it became obvious the Aegean and Black Seas were not a good divide. Although there is a generally accepted idea of seven continents in most English countries, the borders are fuzzy. I have no idea why Trinidad and Tobago etc. are politically not in South America. The point is, they often are. eg. [1] [2]
There have been edit wars over these continental inclusions/exclusions. Without really good sourcing noting that the islands are in South America, and are not in North America, I don't think removal is viable. CMD (talk) 16:20, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The creation was political, yes, but modern western scholarship has very defined boundaries, some of them manmade. The Darien Gap, the Suez Canal, the African plate, the Urals, the Caucasus, and, er, 'everything east of Indonesia' seem to be the primary delimiters. There are some who question these, but they are a minority. --Golbez (talk) 16:40, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with CMD....Removal is not sensible & would contradict most WP articles & authoritative sources that lump even these islands near the S. Amer. coast with N. Amer.
Third word at top of this whole section is wrong: only geologically (plate tectonics) are they "in S. Amer. entirely." That would be fine, but the continents have been fairly well established in most authoritative sources that reveal less "fuzziness" than some believe. Fuzzier than continental plates, sure. But continental plates does not equal 'continents'.
Continents are primarily a construct of geography and of politics (don't misquote CMD...above, he said both, not just politics) going back millennia, with the geological definition you claim going back just decades (acceptance of plate tectonics). It's not 100% political (Israel, Bermuda in Europe?) but that's certainly part of it along with Physical geography.DLinth (talk) 16:46, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably not prudent to remove an item in the middle of discussion DLinth.
As for western scholarship, yes, there are some very clearly defined boundaries (although I wouldn't immediately include the Darien Gap among those, in my experience a significant minority use the Panama Canal), however, many are not to clearly defined. This is one of those situations. Despite it being quite blatantly obvious on a map that the ABC islands are in the same chain as the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela, and that T&T is even closer to the mainland than those, most sources treat them as part of North America, despite the fact I've never seen the Federal Dependencies even mentioned with relation to North America. I'd actually like to see a selection of sources treating the ABC islands as South American. CMD (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I retract what I said before, because it appears Trinidad in fact straddles the tectonic divide, and Tobago and the ABC islands are on the Caribbean plate (as is part of mainland Venezuela, see [3]). (Btw, your sources only include these islands in the Caribbean, not North America.) sephia karta | dimmi 01:05, 22 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I said the sources showed the islands were "politically not in South America", which includes the Caribbean. At any rate, the UN sources does place them in North America, see note b/ "The continent of North America (003) comprises Northern America (021), Caribbean (029), and Central America (013)." CMD (talk) 11:12, 22 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Status of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, Greenland[edit]

Shouldn't it technically be Netherlands? I mean the Constituent countries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are not considered dependencies, and in the Europe template, they are not considered dependencies to the United Kingdom, while although the Netherlands shares the same name as the full Kingdom, Netherlands proper would have to be considered a dependency, same situation with Greenland and Denmark. —SPESH531Other 22:50, 22 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The term "constituent countries" is meaningless, as the status of the various constituent countries are different in different overall countries, and different even within countries. The situation in the Netherlands is different to that of Denmark, the Netherlands units form equal parts of a union, whereas Greenland forms a minor region of the Greater Danish state (2/179 seats in Parliament). Greenland is similar to the French collectivities. You're probably right that Greenland and the Dutch territories should move up, but if they do so should the French territories. CMD (talk) 23:21, 22 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since it has different meanings, Denmark, and especially France are different, but the UK is the same, as four different "units", if you will, have equal levels of power within each corresponding government.—SPESH531Other 00:42, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Each of the four UK units have widely varying levels of power. England, for example, has none. CMD (talk) 00:49, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How does power work in the Netherlands? I may have been wrong.—SPESH531Other 20:53, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Dutch countries are legally equal under the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (old version here). They have wide autonomy, with only a few powers, such as foreign affairs, maintained at the Kingdom level. CMD (talk) 22:13, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]