The original words are:

  1. the birth rate of France
  2. the birth rate of the USA
  3. the birth rate of the UK

I want to rewrite these words into simpler formats, but I'm quite confused:

  1. French birth rate or France's birth rate? (I'm not sure which one is correct)
  2. the US birth rate, the USA birth rate, the US's birth rate, or the USA's birth rate (I'm quite confused about "US" and "USA", and does there exist some 'adj.' words for USA that are similar to 'French'?)
  3. The UK birth rate or the UK's birth rate ?

1 Answer 1


Even though these actually aren't consistent in form, this is what I personally would use:

  1. France's birth rate
  2. the US birth rate
  3. the UK birth rate

For any country that isn't an acronym, I would use the possessive (e.g. Greece's, Russia's). For the US and UK, it feels more awkward to use the possessive to me. But if consistency is important, "the US' birth rate" is equally acceptable (remember the "apostrophe after S" rule).

There isn't any real difference between US and USA - it's just the difference between saying "the United States of America" and simply "the United States". Either is fine, but a Google Ngram search shows that US is much more widely used.

As for other words to stand in for the USA, the only common one that comes to mind would be "America"; even though that's not really the proper name for the country, I don't think there would be any doubt as to which country you were referring to.

  • Note that "US" is Chicago style. If you prefer AP style (which is more conservative, is less innovative, and is used in newspapers), write "U.S."
    – thb
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 0:15
  • Personally, I would rather see the source of the statistic identified up front. "The CDC's NCHS year 2000 birthrate among Americans" or "the CIA's 2016 World Factbook birthrate for Haiti". It's a statistic, and it's worthless without a source.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 4:26
  • It seems to be that "USA" is used as a noun and "US" is used as an adjective. Eg "Citizen of the USA" vs "US Citizen" Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 7:38

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