Democratic Senator Barack Obama will take his place in the White House after a long and hard-fought campaign, defeating Republican rival John McCain to become the first black president of the United States.
Leaders from around the globe have been giving their reaction to this historic victory.
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER JOHN McCAIN
"We have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly.
"This campaign was and will remain the great honour of my life. My heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience, and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honour of leading us for the next four years."
US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH
"Mr President-elect, congratulations to you. What an awesome night for you, your family and your supporters.
"I promise to make this a smooth transition. You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself."
UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN
"This is a moment that will live in history as long as history books are written.
"Barack Obama ran an inspirational campaign, energising politics with his progressive values and his vision for the future."
EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHIEF JOSE MANUEL BARROSO
"This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America. We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world.
"I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal - for the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world."
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
"This is, I believe, an historic opportunity.
"I am confident that we can look forward to an era of renewed partnership and a new multilateralism. If ever there were a time for the world to join together, it is now."
KENYAN PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI
"The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success.
"I am confident that your presidency shall herald a new chapter of dialogue between the American people and the world at large."
FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA
"Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.
"We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead."
ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER TZIPI LIVNI
"Israel expects the close strategic co-operation with the new administration, president and Congress will continue along with the continued strengthening of the special and unshakeable special relationship between the two countries."
PALESTINIAN LEADER MAHMOUD ABBAS
"President Abbas congratulates US President-elect Barack Obama in his name and in the name of the Palestinian people, and hopes he will speed up efforts to achieve peace, particularly since a resolution of the Palestinian problem and the Israeli-Arab conflict is key to world peace."
ADVISER TO IRAQI PRIME MINISTER NOURI MALIKI, SADEQ RIQABI
"The American people have presented a tremendous example to the world by ignoring racist attitudes - and this is an unprecedented example of democracy.
"We in Iraq, with our newly-born democracy, look forward to working with the United States."
AIDE TO IRAN'S AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, ALI AGHAMOHAMMADI
"The president-elect has promised changes in policies. There is a capacity for the improvement of ties between America and Iran if Obama pursues his campaign promises, including not confronting other countries as Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also concentrating on America's state matters and removing the American people's concerns."
ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL AMR MUSA
"I stress the importance of the message that Mr Obama has never ceased to send, which is we all need change and that is what we do expect from the new leader of the United States.
"We need an American policy based on honest brokership."
INDIAN PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH
"Your extraordinary journey to the White House will inspire people not only in your country but also around the world."
PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER YOUSUF RAZA GILANI
"Your election marks a new chapter in the remarkable history of the United States. For long, the ideas of democracy, liberty and freedom espoused by the United States has been a source of inspiration. I hope that under your dynamic leadership, the United States will continue to be a source of global peace and new ideas for humanity."
AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI
"I applaud the American people for their great decision and I hope that this new administration in the United States of America, and the fact of the massive show of concern for human beings and lack of interest in race and colour while electing the president, will go a long way in bringing the same values to the rest of world sooner or later.
"I [hope] President Obama's coming into office will bring peace to Afghanistan, life to Afghanistan and prosperity to the Afghan people and to the rest of the world."
POPE BENEDICT'S SPOKESMAN REV FEDERICO LOMBARDI
"Believers are praying that God will enlighten him and help him in his great responsibility, which is enormous because of the global importance of the United States. We hope Obama can fulfil the expectations and hopes that many have in him."
RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER GRIGORY KARASIN
"The news we are receiving on the results of the American presidential election shows that everyone has the right to hope for a freshening of US approaches to all the most complex issues, including foreign policy and therefore relations with the Russian Federation as well."
FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
"I give you my warmest congratulations and, through me, those of all French people. Your brilliant victory rewards a tireless commitment to serve the American people.
"By choosing you, the American people have chosen change, openness and optimism. At a time when all of us must face huge challenges together, your election raises great hope in France, in Europe and elsewhere in the world."
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL
"The world faces significant challenges at the start of your term. I am convinced that Europe and the United States will work closely and in a spirit of mutual trust together to confront new dangers and risks and will seize the opportunities presented by our global world."
DUTCH PRIME MINISTER JAN PETER BALKENENDE
"The necessity for co-operation between Europe and the United States is bigger than ever. Only by close transatlantic co-operation can we face the world's challenges."
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER
"I look forward to meeting with the president-elect so that we can continue to strengthen the special bond that exists between Canada and the United States."
CHINESE PRESIDENT HU JINTAO
"In a new historical era, I look forward to taking our bilateral relationship of constructive co-operation to a new level."
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD
"Forty-five years ago Martin Luther King had a dream of an America where men and women would be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character.
"Today what America has done is turn that dream into a reality."
NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER HELEN CLARK
"Senator Obama will be taking office at a critical juncture. There are many pressing challenges facing the international community, including the global financial crisis and global warming.
"We look forward to working closely with President-elect Obama and his team to address these challenges."
JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER TARO ASO
"As the world faces many difficult issues, I am sure that the United States, under the excellent leadership of President-elect Obama, will move further forward while co-operating with the international community.
"With President-elect Obama, I will strengthen the Japan-US alliance further and work towards resolving global issues such as the world economy, terror and the environment."
INDONESIAN PRESIDENT SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO
"Indonesia especially hopes that the US, under new leadership, will stand in the front and take real action to overcome the global financial crisis, especially since the crisis was triggered by the financial conditions in the US."
PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO
"We welcome his triumph in the same vein that we place the integrity of the US electoral process and the choices made by the American people in high regard. We likewise note the making of history with the election of Senator Obama as the first African-American president of the United States."
SUDANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ALI AL-SADIG
"We don't expect any change through our previous experience with the Democrats. When it comes to foreign policy there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."
SOMALI PRESIDENT ABDULLAHI YUSUF AHMED
"I am hopeful that [Barack Obama] will help end major crises in the world, particularly the endless conflict in my country Somalia.
"This was a historic election in which a proper leader was elected. This is a great moment for America and Africa."
SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT KGALEMA MOTLANTHE
"Africa, which today stands proud of your achievements, can only but look forward to a fruitful working relationship with you both at a bilateral and multilateral levels in our endeavour to create a better world for all who live in it."
AFGHAN TALEBAN SPOKESMAN QARI YOUSUF AHMADI
"There is neither joy, nor sorrow among our ranks by the election of Barack Obama.
"The question is not about a change in the face of the American President, but a change in American policy."
PAKISTAN TALEBAN SPOKESMAN MUSLIM KHAN
"I hope that Barack Obama will respect the mandate given to him, and instead of using the (US) public's taxes to convert the world into a pile of dynamite, spend it on their welfare and well-being."