Population of Australia 2016

population-of-australia-2014Population of Australia 2016

The estimated population for 2016 of the Australian continent is about 36.25 million people. It is considered to have one of the lowest population densities in the entire world, approximately 2.8 people per square kilometer. The Australian continent is made up of Commonwealth of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Timor, West Papua, and Papua. Though some typically may think so, New Zealand is actually not a part of the continent. The largest portion of the population of the continent comes from the Commonwealth of Australia. Some other names that the continent is known by are Sahul, Australinea, and Meganesia. The five most populous cities of the continent are in the Commonwealth of Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Each of these cities has a population of at least over 1 million inhabitants.

Geography of Australia 2016

Australia is considered to be the smallest continent, occupied by people, in geographic size. The continent is made up of only 3,310,000 square miles. People sometimes refer to it as an island continent, since the majority of its land is made up of the island of the Commonwealth of Australia. In fact, out of the 3.31 million square miles of the whole continent, the Commonwealth of Australia makes up 2.941 million square miles, a large majority of the total land mass. The large size of the island allows for various geographic features. The northeast is characterized by subtropical rainforests. Also, off the northeast coast of the island is the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. In the southeast, southwest, and eastern portions of the island, there are quite a few mountains and mountain ranges. One of these mountains is Mount Kosciuzko, the highest mountain of the Australian mainland, reaching 7,310 feet. This mountain is a part of the Great Dividing Range that runs along the eastern coast of the island. The land is typically dry and is considered to be the flattest continent in the world.

The Commonwealth of Australia is broken up into six states: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Also, there are two larger territories, known as the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Tasmania is the only state without one of the top five most populous cities. The major city of New South Wales is Sydney, of Victoria is Melbourne, of Queensland is Brisbane, of Western Australia is Perth, and of Southern Australia is Adelaide.

Australian Education 2016

Education is a very important part of the human development of every Australian citizen. It is required to attend school or attend home school in all parts of Australia. However, the individual states actually regulate and manages the schools in the states. Even though the overall areas are similar, the states also decide what curriculum to be taught in the schools. Required schooling lasts until an individual is 16 years old. However, when a student reaches 16, they have the option of attending a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program or a Technical and Further Education System (TAFE). VET is intended to help educate people in certain skills and techniques for careers and jobs that do not need a degree. Even though each state regulates and manages these programs, if a student has been VET certified for a certain career in one state, he or she is allowed to use such certification in another state as well. Most of the universities in Australia are government-funded. The oldest university, founded in 1850, is the University of Sydney. Despite the fact that Australia is deemed to be one of the most expensive places to attend a university, it also ranks having one of the highest graduation rates amongst countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall, the country tends to score in the top five of thirty developed countries.

Australian Health Care 2016

Since 1975, Australia has achieved universal health care coverage, which is known as Medicare, which has helped them have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world. Any citizen, permanent resident, visitor, people with temporary visas from countries with arrangements with Australia, and even students studying abroad in the country all receive health care coverage in Australia. Many people that are not eligible for Medicare can still receive some form of assistance and help through non-governmental organizations, like the Australian Red Cross. Also, organizations like the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care exist in order to ensure that health-care standards are high. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the agency that makes the regulations and standards for general practice.

Most of the coverage for health care comes from tax revenue, mainly by a levy tax of about 1.5%. If a person prefers to attend a private practice, he or she may have to pay out of pocket for the difference between the subsidized health care cost (cost at a public health care facility) and what the provider charges. However, both the federal and the state government provide most of the funding for the health care system. About 71% of the funding comes from the governments. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is the agency that takes care of reimbursing pharmacists for the cost of the medications that they prescribed. There is a certain list and type of medications that the PBS will cover. The sponsor of the drug/medication is who sets the price of the specific medication. If a certain drug will cost over $10 million annually, the government must approve of the coverage of the drug.

 population-of-australia-2014-cuisineAustralian Cuisine 2016

Indigenous Australians, the oldest indigenous civilization known to man, has been a large influence on the modern cuisine of Australia. The general term for any sort of food, native to Australia, which was used in culinary dishes or medicines is bush tucker. Bush tucker can be anything from plants to meats. For example, one type of bush tucker is the wattleseed. Wattleseed is an Acacia plant that is typically ground and roasted. Some people report that it has a taste of cocoa, coffee, and hazelnut. Other types of bush tucker are kangaroo and emu. Both meats are served throughout the country and continent. Kangaroo tends to be a much more lean meat than meats like beef and pork, and emu is a protein-packed, low-in-fat, and flavorful meat, eaten fairly often in Australia. The interesting thing is that Australians eat both kangaroo and emu, which are both found on the Coat of Arms of the country. Lastly, another modern dish is the salt and pepper squid. The main difference between this and calamari is that the salt and pepper squid is only lightly floured before frying.

Language in Australia 2016

Although no official language, the closest thing is English. Around 81% of people speak English in the home. Accompanied with English, the language in Australia has a strong Australian dialect and accent that make the language slightly unique to the area. In Papua New Guinea, there are three official languages: English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu. Small portions of the country speak Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, and a few other Asian languages. While English is the language spoken in government and education, Tok Pisin is spoken in the workplace. Hiri Motu is mainly spoken in the southern region, where Tok Pisin is not spoken. Nonetheless, many indigenous and local languages are spoken amongst tribes throughout the respective regions of the continent.

The Australian Contient

Population of Antarctica 2016

population-of-antarctica-2014Population of Antarctica 2016

The continent of Antarctica is the only continent in the world with a permanent residence of zero. However, despite this fact, the continent is inhabited with temporary residents, mainly there to conduct research. On December 1, 1959, twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, an agreement surrounding international relations with Antarctica. Today, fifty countries have signed the treaty, agreeing that Antarctica should be used for research purposes. As a result, around twenty-nine of the countries have National Antarctica Programs that send researchers to research facilities in Antarctica throughout the year to conduct certain research. The total number of researchers present on the continent is estimated to range from about 1,000 to about 4,500 at any given time. The estimated population density of the continent ranges from about 0.00018 people per square mile to about 0.00091 people per square mile.

The nine countries that have the most researchers present on the continent during the most popular time are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. United States has the most researchers present and has about 1,293 researchers. Italy has the least amount of researchers with about 102 researchers. Argentina has 667; Russia has 429; Chile has 359; the United Kingdom has 217; Australia has 200; and, France and Japan each have 125. Despite the treaty and the joint agreement that no one country can really hold claim to the continent, seven countries claim the continent and maintain a base there. The seven countries are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Norway, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Argentine Antarctica

Argentine Antarctica is considered to be the portion of the continent containing the Antarctic Peninsula and a small triangular section that extends towards the South Pole. Despite the overlap with Great Britain and Chile’s sectors of the continent, Argentina has six permanent bases in the sector. The six bases are Belgrano II, Esperanza, Carlini, Marambio Base Station, Orcadas Base, and San Martin Base. Belgrano II was started in 1979 and is in fact the southern most Argentine laboratory. Esperanza consists of the national radio of Argentine Antarctica and also the school Julio A. Roca, which has been around since 1978. Carlini is simply just a laboratory on King George Island. Marambio Base Station, around since 1969, is one of the biggest laboratories in the Argentine sector. Orcadas Base, around since 1903, was the world’s first base in Antarctica. Lastly, San Martin Base dedicates its time to meteorological measurements. The sector also contains seven seasonal bases and four miscellaneous camps.

Australian Antarctica

The largest sector claimed by any country is the Australian sector of Antarctica. It consists of 2,276,651 square miles. The sector is split up into nine districts, the largest of which is Wilkes Land, consisting of about 2.6 million square kilometers. Originally, the United Kingdom had claimed the territory for itself. However, in 1933, the United Kingdom placed the sector under the authority and power of Australia. There are three year-round stations throughout this area: Mawson, Davis, and Casey. Mawson Station became the first Australian station on the continent on February 13, 1954. One of the main concerns with this area is Japan’s controversial whaling in the waters surrounding this territory. Australia claims that the area is an Exclusive Economic Zone and that Japan is violating their sovereignty. However, Japan does not recognize the Australian claim on the territory, which is why they do not abide by their request.

Chilean Antarctica

The main organization that administers the territory is known as Antarctica. It was established on July 11, 1961 and became independent from the Magallanes Province in 1975. This sector overlaps with the Argentinean and British sectors of the continent, but it consists of about 492,628 square miles. There are two districts in this sector: Poloto Pardo and Tierra O’Higgins. The most populated area in this sector is on King George Island. Frei Montalva Station is also in this sector, which is a large research center. However, the main Chilean research facility in Antarctica is the Professor Julio Escudero Base. The sector only has one permanent research facility: O’Higgins Station. Lastly, the oldest Chilean Antarctic station is called the Captain Arturo Prat Base, which was created on February 6, 1947.

French Antarctica

The Adelie Land is the territory in Antarctica claimed by the French government. It makes up about 166,796 square miles and is covered mainly by glaciers. The area was first discovered in 1840 by a French explorer, who named the area after his wife, Adele. The Dumont d’Urville Station is the only permanent French research station in the continent. It has been around since January 12, 1956. The population of the research center hits approximately 80 people during the summer. Also, the movie March of the Penguins was filmed at the research facility. Lastly, the original research center was Port Martin, established on April 9, 1950, and, in fact, burned down on January 22-23, 1952.

Norwegian Antarctica

Despite Germany’s attempts at claiming the territory, Norway annexed Queen Maud Land, the name given to the land by early explorers, on January 14, 1939. The territory is about 1,042,476 square miles. Norway hoped to help the whaling industry and their explorers by annexing the territory. The Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police administers Queen Maud Land. The first summer station established in the territory is known as Troll and was established in 1989. In 2005, Troll was upgraded to a year-round station. The only other Norwegian research facility is Tor, which is a summer facility founded in 1985. Lastly, the three main birds in this area are the Antarctic petrel, the snow petrel, and raptor.

Antarctica New Zealand

The original involvement by New Zealand in Antarctica began in 1923, mainly due to their close relations with the United Kingdom. Then, in 1959, Scott Base became the first permanent base of New Zealand in Antarctica. On July 1, 1996, New Zealand created the New Zealand Antarctic Institute, also known as Antarctica New Zealand, which functions to manage all Antarctica affairs.

British Antarctic Territory

Great Britain officially claimed their territory in Antarctica in 1908, when it extended its influence further into the South Atlantic. During World War II, the British Antarctic Survey was created, but was forced to disband due to the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. There are two permanent research facilities in this territory: Halley and Rothera. Signy was a permanent research facility from 1947 until 1996, but is now solely a summer research facility. The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust runs the base at Port Lockroy. There is a museum that receives around 10,000 visitors every year. Lastly, the southern part of the territory was named Queen Elizabeth Land after Queen Elizabeth II on December 18, 2012, despite the criticism received from Argentina.

Climate of Antarctica

Antarctica is considered to be the coldest continent on the planet. It is the location of the coldest recorded temperature ever on planet earth. On July 21, 1983, the temperature was recorded as -89° C or -129° F at the Russian Vostok Station. The mean temperature throughout the year at the South Pole is -48° C and the mean temperature at the Russian Vostok Station is about -55° C. The relative density of the continent is about 0.03%, which is why it is considered to be a polar desert. In fact, the whole continent averages less than 50 millimeters of rain per year. Antarctica is so much colder than anywhere else due to its high latitude. The sunlight hits the surface of the continent at a lower angle of incidence, resulting in lower energy distributed per unit area. Also, because the snow and ice are highly reflective, there is little radiation that is actually absorbed by the surface. Also, there is a portion of the year where the continent is in complete darkness, resulting in even colder temperatures. The dry air comes as a result of the difficulty of cold air retaining water, especially air as cold as Antarctica’s air. The high-pressure system also is a contributing factor to the dry air.

Animals of Antarctica

There are four major groups of animals on the continent of Antarctica: birds, penguins, seals, and whales. Their larger bodies with a waterproof plumage characterize the Antarctic birds. Overall, there are nineteen species of birds that breed on the continent. The largest species is the Albatross. There are about 750,000 pairs of Albatross. These birds are able to fly 550 miles per day with speeds up to 50 miles per hour. They breed from the months of December to July and give birth from February to October. Another large species is the Antarctic Fulmar. In defense of their nests that they may feel are threatened, they are able to spit an oil with a foul smell up to five feet. They breed from October to December and give birth in January. Lastly, the Sheathbill is also a large species, as there exist around 100,000 pairs of the bird. They are the only bird in Antarctica without webbed feet. They breed from September to November and also give birth in November.

There are only four species of penguins that breed on the continent of Antarctica: Adelie, Emperor, Chinstrap, and Gentoo. The largest species is the Chinstrap, which has around 7 million pairs on the continent. These penguins can only dive up to a maximum of 230 feet and can only stay underneath for about up to a half a minute. They breed from October to November and give birth from January to February. The next largest species is the Adelie, which consists of about 2.5 million pairs of the penguin. During the winter seasons, this penguin will stay out at sea, resting on icebergs and pack ice. Lastly, the only penguin that breeds during the winter months is the Emperor species. There are only about 200,000 pairs of this penguin.

population-of-antarctica-2014-sealsThere are six species of seals on the Antarctic continent: Crabeater, Fur, Leopard, Ross, Southern Elephant, and Weddell. The largest species is the Crabeater, which consists of about 30 million seals on the continent. They are considered to also be the largest consumer of krill, eating around 20 times their body weight every year. They breed during the Austral spring and give birth during the months of December and January. The next largest species is the Fur seal, which consists of about 4 million seals. These seals are the reason that many people began to explore and hunt for seals in the 18th and 19th centuries, due to their valuable fur. The Fur seals breed during the months of November and December and give birth from November to January. Lastly, the next largest species of seals is the Weddell seal, named after the commander of British sealing explorations, Sir James Weddell. There exist about 800,000 seals of this species. They live in the most southern habitation of all the mammals. They live only about 800 miles from the South Pole. These seals breed in December and give birth from September to October.

There are seven species of whales in the waters surrounding the continent. The whales can be grouped into two categories: toothed and baleen. The toothed whales are the Orca and Sperm whales. The baleen whales are the Blue, Fin, Humpback, Minke, and Southern Right. The largest species of whales of the continent is the Sperm whale, consisting of about 750,000 whales. Growing up to 50 feet long, they eat giant squids, fish, octopus, and skate. Diving up to a mile, they are the deepest diving mammals of Antarctica. The next largest species is the Minke whale, which consists of about 500,000 whales. They can grow up to 30 feet long and they eat krill, fish, and squid. This species of whale is the only whale that remains hunted by the Japanese and Norwegians. The next largest species of whales is the Orca whale, which consists of over 100,000 whales. They can grow up to 30 feet long and they need fish, birds, and marine mammals. They are known to hunt in packs and not migrate during the winter. Lastly, the fastest of the baleen whales is the Fin whale. There are about 100,000 Fin whales, which can grow up to about 90 feet long, eating squid, krill, and fish.

Antarctic Treaty

In 1959, thirteen countries drafted the Antarctic Treaty in order to create an international agreement on the purpose and handling of the continent. The treaty consists of fourteen articles, outlining all the provisions and measures in regards to Antarctica. The first provision that they outlined was that any business on the continent must be for peaceful purposes only. All military personnel, equipment, and/or bases are prohibited from the continent. The second article states that all countries have the freedom of scientific investigation on the continent. Along with this, Article III states that all international powers involved in scientific research on the continent must make sure the other countries know of the plans to research, share the results from the research, and share the research personnel between the research stations. Some of the other major provisions include a ban on all nuclear activity and material and to put aside any territorial sovereignty disputes. The treaty took effect on June 23, 1961. Since the original signing of the treaty, the number of parties engaged in the treaty has come to fifty. The most recent addition to the treaty was Pakistan, who joined on March 1, 2012.

Who Owns Antarctica?

5 Things you Didn’t Know About Antarctica

Population of Europe 2016

population-of-europe-2014Population of Europe 2016

Based on the population growth between 2014 and 2015 and the population of Europe in 2015, the population of Europe in 2016 is estimated to be about 741.2 million people, which is the third most populous continent behind Asia and Africa. Overall, there are fifty-six states that are considered to be in the boundaries of the European continent. However, six of these states have limited recognition, but the other fifty states are internationally recognized. Despite sharing territory with Asia, the Russian Federation has the largest population in Europe. The country with the largest population solely in Europe is the Federal Republic of Germany. The country (internationally recognized) with the smallest population in Europe is the Holy See, otherwise known as Vatican City. The Holy See only has around 850 people. It also has the least total area, less than half a mile of square miles. Other than the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan has the most total area of all European nations.

Religion in Europe 2016

The main religion throughout Europe is considered to be Christianity. However, Christianity is made up of various sects, but the three major sects are Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy. Roman Catholicism is much more prominent and widely practiced in Western and Southern Europe. The Holy See, the home of the Roman Catholic Pope, is located in Rome, Italy, which is a part of Southern Europe. Spain and Portugal are also known to be very Catholic countries as well. Northern Europe more frequently practices Protestantism and Eastern Europe more so practices Orthodoxy. Russian and Greek Orthodox are two of the most largely practiced Orthodox religions. A survey taken in 2012 indicated that 72% of the European Union reports that Christianity is the largest religion in their respective nation. However, because Turkey is a part of Europe and over 98% of Turks practice Islam, Islam has a presence in Europe as well. Lastly, Judaism only has a small population, and France has the largest Jewish community, despite their reputation for being fairly irreligious.

Geography of Europe 2016

Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas on the south. Europe consists of two countries that share its land with another continent: Russia and Turkey. The European portion of Russia is all of the land to the west of the Ural Mountains. The European portion of Turkey consists of the land to the west of the Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles, and the Bosphorus. Also, Europe does not include the majority of Anatolia.

The longest river in all of Europe is the Volga River, which is about 2,290 miles long. The shortest river in Europe is the Morava River, which is about 219 miles long. The largest landscape feature of Europe is considered to be the East European Plain. It is the largest non-mountainous part of the continent and is made up of river basins throughout Eastern Europe. Another large geographical feature of Europe is the Messeta Central, which is a plateau region that makes up about 40% of Spain. Some of the major mountain ranges are the Ural Mountains, which separate Europe and Asia, the Caucasus Mountains, which also separate Europe and Asia, the Pyrenees, which separates France and Spain, and the Alps, which run across Central Western Europe. There are only seventeen nations in the continent that are landlocked. The other countries touch at least one body of water.

European Wildlife 2016

One of the main animals that existed in Europe, but is now extinct, is the wooly mammoth, which became extinct before the Neolithic period. Some other extinct animals include the dwarf hippopotamus and the dwarf elephants. Early human settlement in the region caused the extinction of these animals. Presently, though endangered, bears and wolves are found throughout Europe. The Brown Bear, the largest predator in Europe, is mainly found in the Balkan Peninsula, Russia, and Scandinavia. The second largest predator in Europe is the wolf, which mainly live in the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Europe. Some other animals found throughout Europe are wild cats, foxes, jackals, vipers, grass snakes, and martens. Lastly, some important sea animals in Europe are the zooplankton, echinoderms, squids, octopuses, and dolphins.

population-of-europe-2014-euEuropean Union 2016

The European Union is an organization of twenty-eight sovereign states within the European continent. The following countries are members of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The membership spans over 1,707,787 square miles of land across the continent. The Union makes up over 500 million people, which accounts for over 7% of the world’s population. It was established in order to help economic and social development, protect the freedoms and rights of all of its members, and to help promote European identity on an international level. In an attempt to further promote these objectives, the European Union has established a single currency, known as the euro.

The area of the continent that uses the euro is known as the eurozone, which consists of eighteen countries. Latvia was the most recent country to join the eurozone on January 1, 2016. The only European Union members that are not legally obligated to join the eurozone are Denmark and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the creation of the eurozone was to lessen the number of problems with exchange rates, interest rates, price stability, and to help make it easier for traveling citizens. All of the banks and financial institutions in the eurozone are under the direction and control of the European Central Bank, the main bank of the eurozone.

The European Union does not have too much control over education and science. However, the Erasmus Programme, established in 1987, is a program designed to allow international exchange for college students to be an easy process. There are international programs for teachers and those in vocational education training courses in order to help better educate the population.

There are twenty-four official and working languages among the European Union: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish. The most widely spoken languages in the European Union are English (51%), German (27%), French (24%), Italian (16%), and Spanish, (15%). In fact, about 56% of the population can engage in conversation in a language other than their native language. Also, the European Union has no specific religious affiliation and is considered to be a secular organization. However, among those in the European Union, Roman Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion; about 48% of the population practices it. The next largest religious affiliation is atheism and agnosticism, which is about 23% of the population. Only 2% of the population practices Islam.

European Population Decline

Population of South America 2016

population-of-south-america-2014Population of South America 2016

Based on the approximate average annual population growth of 1% and the previous population, the population of South America in 2016 should reach about 389,860,000 people. As a result, South America remains the fifth most populous continent in the world, in front of Australia and Antarctica. In total, there are thirteen sovereign states, four partially sovereign states, and two dependencies in South America. The country with the largest population in South America is Brazil, reaching over 195 million people in 2013. Brazil is also the largest country in terms of area, making up 3,287,612 square miles of land. The least populated country is South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom dependency), made up of 20 people. It is also the smallest country in terms of land area, only made up of 1,194 square miles. Lastly, the majority of the population lives on the western and eastern coasts compared to the southern coast and the interior of the country.

Languages of South America 2016

The most widely spoken languages throughout the continent of South America are Portuguese and Spanish. Over 50% of the population speaks Portuguese, but the number of Spanish speakers is close behind the number of Portuguese speakers. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, while Spanish is the official language of most countries. However, Dutch is the official language of Suriname and English is the official language of Guyana. Despite these major languages, there are still many prominent indigenous languages spoken throughout South America. Some of these languages include Quechua, Wayuunaiki, Guarani, Aymara, and Mapudungun. Quechua, Guarani, and Aymara are recognized as national languages in at least one of the countries.

South American Geography

South America, almost primarily in the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Western Hemisphere, makes up the southern part of the American landmass. The northern border of South America is traditionally determined by the Colombia-Panama border along with the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Due to the shape of the continent, it has the least amount of coastline of any continent in the world. South America is characterized geographically by some of the most extreme geographic features in the world. The highest waterfall in the entire world is found in Venezuela, South America, known as Angel Falls. It also has the highest single drop waterfall in Guyana, known as Kaieteur Falls. The Amazon River is the longest river in the world and the Andes Mountains are the longest mountain range in the world. The driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert, and in contrast, the largest rainforest is the Amazon Rainforest. Lastly, some of the most important minerals and resources in South America are gold, copper, tin, petroleum, silver, and iron ore.

Economy of South America 2016

Unlike most continents in the world, South American does not heavily rely on exports for their economy. In fact, compared to the average of 25% of GDP being exports, only 16% of South America’s GDP comes from exports. But, Brazil is the country in South America that has the largest amount of exports in the continent. As of 2011, their total sum of merchandise exports was about $251 billion. The largest nominal GDP throughout South America is also Brazil, totaling $2,492,908 in 2011. However, Brazil’s economy was the only economy such that the Purchasing Power Parity GDP was less than the nominal GDP in 2011. The PPP GDP was $2,294,243, compared to $2,492,908. Uruguay had the least percentage of people living on less than $2 per day, totaling only 2.2% of their population. As of 2010, the city with the largest GDP per capita of $46,571 is Brasilia, Brazil. Lastly, tourism has increasingly become a significant part of the economy for many countries, as people from all over come to study the different cultures, spectacles, and histories throughout the continent.

Climate of South America 2016

There are four major climate regions throughout the continent of South America: tropical, temperate, arid, and cold. There are two types of tropical weather: tropical rainy and tropical wet-dry. The tropical rainy climate occurs along the Pacific coast of Colombia, the coast of the Guyanas, partially on the coast of Brazil, and in the Amazon Basin. This region includes some of the wettest parts of the world and it always has high humidity. The tropical wet-dry climate occurs on the edge of the tropical-rainy belt, the Orinoco basin, on the Brazilian Highlands, and partially in Western Ecuador. This region may have more extreme temperatures than the tropical rainy region, but it also does not have anywhere near the amount of precipitation. The temperate climate occurs south of the Tropic of Capricorn and in the middle elevations in the Andes Mountains. This region has varying temperatures, which depend on the time of the year and the seasons. Some regions even experience heavy rainfall throughout the year.

The arid climate occurs in the South American deserts, Patagonia, northwestern Argentina, and the belt between the Parnaiba and Sao Francisco rivers. Low levels of rainfall during the year characterize this region, along with varying temperatures based on location. Lastly, the cold climate occurs in the southern parts of Argentina and Chile, along with the parts of the Andes Mountains that exceed 11,500 feet. Temperatures tend to be relatively low in this region with mean temperatures of less than 50°F. Also, despite the couple months during the summer of rainfall, this region tends to be fairly dry. Lastly, in regards to climate, there tend to be three major causes for the climate in South America: high-pressure air masses over the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, presence of cold ocean currents along the western portion of the continent, and the orographic barrier of the Andes Mountains.

South American Cultural Demographics

South America is made up of four different cultural groups: American Indians, Iberians, Africans, and European immigrants. The Iberians were the first people to reach the continent and start interactions with the American Indians. The two cultures began to mix and evolve. The marriage between Indians and Iberians was tolerated and sometimes even encouraged. However, most times, mestizo (European and Indian) children were considered to be illegitimate children. Now, there are many different mixed races based on the different cultures and peoples in the continent. As stated before, mestizo describes the mixture of European and Indian. Mulatto describes the mixture of European and African ancestry. Zambo describes the mixture of African and Indian ancestry. Lastly, cholo describes mestizo and Indian ancestry. South America is known to be racially and demographically diverse with a strong indigenous population that still works to preserve their cultures and traditions, despite the influences of many other cultures.

Tapir Population in South America

population-of-south-america-2014-shamanReligion in South America 2016

The indigenous and Indian populations of South America have traditionally practiced shamanism. Shamanism is a belief system that involves a strong devotion to nature, sacrifices, and ceremonies. Ancient Incas built temples in honor of their gods as a part of this belief system. However, as the Iberians brought their culture and traditions, they began to convert many of the Indians to Roman Catholicism. In fact, around 85% of the continent practices Catholicism. But, many communities combine the elements of their indigenous traditions and practices with the elements of Catholicism, making their specific practice unique. Protestantism is the next prominent faith throughout the continent, and it gained much more popularity throughout the 20th century. Lastly, there exist some Jewish communities, especially in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro.

Population of Africa 2016

population-of-africa-2014Population of Africa 2016

Based on the projected population by the year 2050 and the previous population, the population of Africa is estimated to reach 1.069 billion people in the year 2016. As a result, it still remains the second most populous continent in the world, but it makes up around 15% of the entire world. There are sixty-two nations and territories in the geographical region of Africa. Some of these countries are under the jurisdiction of European nations, but they are in the region of Africa. The country with the largest population in Africa is Nigeria, which was estimated to be just over 170 million in 2012. The country with the smallest population in Africa is Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, which is a territory under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. As of 2012, this territory had just over 7,700 people. The territory is also the smallest in land area, totaling 420 square kilometers. Lastly, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest total land area of African countries, totaling around 2,345,410 square kilometers.

Religion in Africa 2016

Throughout the continent of Africa, many villages and communities practice their own indigenous religious and traditions that have been around for centuries. However, the two major religions throughout the area are Christianity and Islam. Christianity happens to be the largest religion in Sub-Saharan African. The oldest Christian denominations in the continent are the Coptic Church in Egypt, the Ethiopian Orthodox , and the Eritrean Orthodox Church. Many early Christian leaders and figures originated in Africa and evangelized throughout the continent. The most Christian country is Cape Verde, where 99% of the population is Christian. Islam happens to be the largest religion in Northern Africa and the Horn of Africa. The most recent estimate is that 47% of the continent practices Islam and that approximately 25% of the world’s Muslims live in Africa. Islam was spread throughout Northern Africa through Islamic troops and Egyptian leaders. The majority of the Muslims in Africa are considered Sunni Muslims. There are three countries in the continent where all 100% of the population is Muslim: Mauritania, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and Somalia. Some minor religious communities in Africa include Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and many others. Lastly, there is also a decently sized irreligious, agnostic, or atheistic population in Africa.

Languages in Africa 2014

Africa is the most multilingual continent in the entire world. It is estimated that around 2,000 languages are spoken throughout the many countries. However, there are four major linguistic families that exist in Africa: Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and Khosian. The Afro-Asiatic family consists of about 240 languages spoken by around 285 million people, mainly in Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Southwestern Africa. The Nilo-Saharan family consists of over a hundred languages spoken by over 30 million people, mainly in countries like Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. The Niger-Congo family is the largest linguistic family in the entire world, stretching over the majority of Sub-Saharan Africa. Lastly, the Khosian family consists of over fifty languages, mainly spoken in Southern Africa. Most Khosian languages are considered endangered. The origin of the term “Khosian” stems from the original inhabitants of this region of the continent, the Khoi and the San people. Some countries have adopted official languages that do not originate in the continent, such as Arabic and Spanish. Lastly, despite these major linguistic families in Africa, common languages like English and French are often used as official languages in the public sphere.

Geography of Africa 2014

The sixty-two nations and territories make up 11,725,385 square miles, which makes up the entire continent of Africa. Africa is mainly separated from the other continents due to bodies of water. The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe from Africa and the Red Sea separates a good portion of Asia from Africa. However, Africa is also separated from Asia by the Isthmus of Suez. The most northern point of the continent is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia; the most southern point of Africa is Cape Agulhas in South Africa; the most eastern point is Ras Hafun in Somalia; and the most western point is Cape Verde. The distance from the most northern point to the most southern point is about 5,000 miles. The distance from the most eastern point to the most western point is about 4,600 miles. Africa is made up of approximately 16,000 miles of coastline.
There are two major geographic zones in Africa: the Atlas Range, the Coastal Plains, and the Plateau Region. The Atlas Range is located in the northwestern portion of the continent, running through Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The highest point of this region is Toubkal in Morocco, reaching 13,665 feet. These mountains serve as a divider of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert. The Sahara Desert, ranging from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, is a part of the Coastal Plains. The Plains are also made up of various lakes, rivers, and basins throughout the continent. Lastly, the Plateau Region is made up of the South African Plateau, the East African Plateau, and the Ethiopian Highlands. The highest point in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, is found in the Plateau Region reaching 19,321 feet.

population-of-africa-2014-unionAfrican Union 2014

The African Union is an organization of fifty-four African nations, united together in order to ensure the betterment and prosperity of all the African nations. The only (completely) African nation that is not a part of the African Union is Morocco, which left the Organization of African Unity (the organization prior to the AU) in 1984 due to the support given to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. There are currently three nations that are suspended members of the Union: Guinea-Bissau, Egypt, and the Central African Republic. All of these countries were suspended due to internal conflicts. The African Union officially launched on July 9, 2002 in South Africa after it was established on May 26, 2001 in Addis Ababa. The legislative power in the AU is called the Pan-African Parliament. It consists of 265 elected representatives from the members of the AU in order to help govern the nations democratically. Other than the Pan-African Parliament, the AU consists of a number of smaller bodies that help run the Union, including the Peace and Security Council and the African Central Bank, which is located in Abuja, Nigeria. Lastly, the African Union has been playing a major role in fighting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Africa.

Africa Poised for Population Boom

HIV/AIDS in Africa 2014

By the early 1960s, it was estimated that around 2,000 Africans were infected with HIV or AIDS. As of 2011, approximately 23.5 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have been infected with HIV or AIDS. This means that 69% of all those living with HIV or AIDS lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, 70% of those that died from AIDS in 2011 lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, in recent years, there have been major campaigns and efforts in order to figure out cures, preventions, and medications for those infected with HIV or AIDS. While the number of infected people may seem high, the number of people that died from AIDS in 2011 was 33% less than the number that died from AIDS in 2005. Also, the number of new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa was 25% lower in 2011 than in 2001. There was an 805% increase in the number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment in 2012 compared to 2005 from 1 million people to 7.1 million people. Some of the causes of the contraction and spread of the infection include unsafe sexual practices, drastic poverty, suspicion of Western medical practices, and expensive pharmaceuticals. Despite the large numbers of infected and dead as a result of HIV and AIDS, the world effort to combat this epidemic has made progress and will continue to make progress through the course of the next couple of decades.

Other Resources

Check out Africa Population 2013