The map gives an overview of the economic importance of agriculture, mining and industry in the U.S., Canada and northern part of Mexico. Although these sectors still characterise the landscape, their overall importance should not be over estimated. The United States and Canada have long been known as post-industrial societies with Mexico also contributing to nearly 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of the tertiary sector.
The industrial regions in the north The spatial distribution of industrial sites can be divided into several large centres, which overlap in areas from the U.S. to Canada. The ever important industrial region of North America is the "manufacturing belt", which stretches from Quebec in Canada to northern Mississippi and the St. Louis areas. Several factors were crucial for its favourable advancement. Firstly, the industry evolved in the eastern part of the New England states, with the location of the main shipping route to Europe and the area being the main gateway for immigrants, all playing a major role. It also benefited from the abundance of wood and availability of hydropower. Later, the industrial area expanded to the west. The agricultural products from the Midwest formed the basis for the strongly represented food and beverage industry there today. Heavy industry was based on the coal reserves in the Appalachians and the ores in the upper Ohio Valley. Having exhausted all the ore deposits, a replacement was created through the extraction of ore in the Mesabi Range of Lake Superior.