- Trump urges the country to "come together," pledges to be president for "all Americans"
- Clinton concedes election, congratulates Trump
- Republicans retain control of House of Representatives and Senate
WASHINGTON -- Billionaire Republican nominee Donald Trump has urged Americans to "come together as one united people" after winning a historic election over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to become the president-elect of the United States.
Trump said in his victory speech to supporters at his headquarters in a Manhattan hotel ballroom that he would be president "for all Americans" and that he would "not let you down."
Trump said he had spoken by phone to Clinton, who had conceded. Clinton has not publicly conceded the election.
Trump praised his rival, a former secretary of state and U.S. senator who was locked in a bitterly fought campaign with the New York-native Trump, for her many years of service to her country.
Trump officially won the election after being declared the winner in Wisconsin, giving him 276 electoral votes, taking him over the 270 needed to win the election.
The Republican nominee's official "victory party" in New York grew euphoric as supporters donned "Make America Great Again" hats, shouted "U.S.A.!" and were partying late into the night in anticipation of victory.
VIDEO PROFILE: Donald Trump, America's Next President
Vice President-elect Mike Pence spoke first to the cheering crowd and introduced Trump.
At Clinton campaign headquarters 2 kilometers away, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta told thousands of Clinton supporters that the Democratic candidate wouldn't be speaking.
Clinton had wins in big states like California, New York, Illinois, and much of the northeast, along with Virginia, the home state of her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.
She has won a total of 19 states and Washington, D.C., while Trump has taken 26 states thus far.
Counting still continues in the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Michigan, the northeastern state of New Hampshire, and the western states of Arizona and Alaska.
Clinton -- whom most polls suggested was the front-runner entering election day -- could not overcome surprise defeats in the "Rust Belt" states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio, which often go to the Democratic candidate in presidential elections.
Trump also led in the popular vote, with 47.7 percent to Clinton's 47.5 percent. He had a relatively slim margin of around 200,000 votes in the election.
Reports of a surge in early voting, including among Hispanic voters, led many experts to project an advantage for Clinton, who was favored in all polls to win the election.
PHOTO GALLERY: Trump: A Life In Business And On TV (click to enlarge)
In Congress, Republicans retained control of the 435-member House of Representatives and the Senate, the upper house, where 34 of 100 seats were being contested.
The rancorous campaign between the two candidates has exposed deep fault lines in the U.S. political landscape.
Clinton, 69, and Trump, 70, had savaged one another throughout the campaign, which some historians say have featured a level of mudslinging and overheated rhetoric unprecedented in modern U.S. history.
Exit surveys conducted around the country on Election Day by the AP and the main U.S. TV networks showed more than half of voters cast their ballots with reservations about their candidate or because they disliked the others running.
The exit surveys also showed about four out of 10 voters believed trade among nations creates jobs, while another four out of 10 say it takes jobs from Americans.
Trump has railed against decades of U.S. trade policy and has energized working-class voters, while Clinton has historically supported U.S. trade deals, including as secretary of state. She did, however, back off her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations.
Trump, a wealthy New York businessman and former reality TV star who has never held elective office, had said Clinton would be jailed under his presidency over her controversial handling of e-mails during her tenure as secretary of state.
He captured the Republican nomination with controversial proposals like "extreme vetting" of Muslims who want to enter the country and building a wall on the southern border to keep out immigrants from Central America.
He had also vowed to upend politics-as-usual in Washington if he is elected.
Clinton is a former U.S. senator, secretary of state, and first lady who has vowed to build on the legacy of outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama and touted her decades of public service as qualifying her to lead the nation.
She was seeking to become the first female U.S. president and headed into Election Day with most opinion polls favoring her to beat Trump.
A record number of Americans -- roughly 46 million -- voted early by mail or at polling stations.
Each candidate had to win a majority of the 538 electors under the country's Electoral College system order to succeed Obama, the country’s 44th president and the first African-American to hold that post.
Prior to Election Day, there were concerns about potential difficulties voters might face in casting their ballots. But while voters and civil rights groups reported long lines, isolated cases of malfunctioning equipment and some harassment at polling places, fears of widespread violence and problems did not materialize.
With reporting by AP, NBC, The New York Times, AFP, Reuters