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

Population of North America 2016

population-of-north-america-2014Population of North America 2016

Based on population expectancies and the estimated population of 2013, the population of North America is projected to reach an estimate of 533,215,000 in the year 2016. As a result, North America remains as the fourth-most populous continent in the world, behind Asia, Africa, and Europe. North America is made up of twenty-three independent states, nine internationally recognized dependent territories, and fourteen other areas, including Greenland, which is a constituent country of Denmark (European nation). The most populous country in North America is the United States of America, which more than doubles the population of the second-most populous country in North America, Mexico. The least populous country in North America is Montserrat, which is a dependent territory of the United Kingdom. The least populous sovereign state in North America is Saint Kitts and Nevvis, which is also the smallest sovereign state in terms of land area and size. The smallest state, including dependent territories, is Saba, a dependent territory of the Netherlands.

Language in North America 2016

There are three major languages spoken throughout North America: English, Spanish, and French. Canada’s official languages are both French and English, making it bilingual. The various provinces throughout Canada have adopted either language as their official language and sometimes both. While there is no official language of the United States of America, English tends to be the most widely spoken language, especially in the workforce and education sector. However, the state of Louisiana deems French as an official language. But, due to the large number of immigrants throughout the country, various languages, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and many others, are also spoken frequently, depending on the location. Latin America, generally indicating the territory south of the United States, most frequently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. The official language of Mexico is considered to be Spanish. Lastly, Belize is not always considered to be a part of Latin America. In fact, the official language of Belize is English.

Geography of North America

There are four major regions of North America: the Great Plains, the mountainous west, the plateaus of the Canadian Shield in the northeast, and the eastern region, which contains various geographic features. The Great Plains extend from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic. The mountainous west includes the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, California, and Alaska. Lastly, the eastern region includes things such as the Appalachian Mountains, the Florida peninsula, and even the coastal plains along the Atlantic coast. Mexico is considered to be a part of the western region, despite part of its geographic location in the east.
The boundaries of the continent are sometimes debated, especially in regards to the southern boundary. The West Indies is traditionally always considered to be a part of North America. Also, despite the fact that Greenland is a constituent country of Denmark, its geographic location lies within the boundaries of North America, and so it is traditionally considered as part of North America. The only land connection that North American and South American have is the Isthmus of Panama. Many people declare that this is the boundary between the two continents. However, some people say that the boundary is at the Darien watershed on the border between Colombia and Panama, which would make the entire country of Panama in the North American continent, instead of partially in North America and partially in South America. Lastly, some people say that the most southern point of North America is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

On December 17, 1992, Present George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Mexican President Carlos Salinas met in San Antonio, Texas in order to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, the proposed agreement needed to be authorized and approved by each nation’s legislature. Clinton, who won the 1992 Presidential Election, came into office in the midst of the negotiations. But, after adding a couple subsequent agreements, the United States Congress approved the bill. Thus, Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993. The main purpose of this agreement between the North American nations was to eliminate most of the barriers to trade and investment. The bill worked to slowly remove the trade barriers over the course of the next ten years between the United States and Mexico. There have been some restrictions on the trade of agricultural goods between the countries, however. The bill also helped create more jobs in the countries, along with allowing some immigrants a legal way to work in the United States. Lastly, the agreement included the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to help negate the concerns of the negative impact the agreement would have on the environment.

population-of-north-america-2014-highwayTransportation in North America 2016

There currently exists one highway system between the continents: the Pan-American Highway. The Pan-American Highway is made up of 30,000 miles of roads, extending from Alaska down into South America. However, the North American portion of the highway is only 16,000 miles long. Although the roads in Canada are not officially a part of the Pan-American Highway, they still connect and travel throughout the continent. Also, on May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States of America was completed. The final spike was placed at the Promontory Summit, Utah, establishing a transportation system, which helped advance and further the American economy. The economy no longer had to rely on wagon trains for transportation, but could now use the railroad network to travel from the eastern coast of the United States to California.

North American Fox

North American Climate 2016

There are five major climate regions in North America: the Arctic zone, the cool temperate zone, the warm temperate zone, the tropical humid zone, and the dry zone. The Arctic Zone consists of the northern parts of the Canadian Shield and Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and Greenland. The only months that the temperatures may rise above freezing are June to September. Despite only receiving, on average, 2 to 4 inches of precipitation, the Arctic Zone may receive 30 to 60 inches of snow. The cool temperate zone consists of the regions from Newfoundland to Alaska and from the Hudson Bay to the Ohio River. The temperatures in this region range from average lows from -80°F to average highs of more than 50°F. Average precipitation ranges from 15 to 35 inches per year, and the most precipitation occurs during the summer and fall seasons.

The warm temperate zones include the southeast coast of the United States and the American Southwest. The southeast, along with its warm average temperatures, has an average of about 40 to 60 inches of rainfall every year. Hurricanes are a large hazard to these climate regions due to their location near the Gulf of Mexico. The American Southwest experiences averages around 15 to 30 inches of rainfall, but accompanied with high evaporation rates, making it hard to sufficiently grow crops during the summer. The tropical humid climate mainly includes Central America. This climate region experiences average temperatures above 64°F and under 82°F. The average rainfall per year is around 45 to 80 inches. This region also experiences dangerous hurricanes. Lastly, the dry climate region makes up around a third of the continent, including high altitudes in the Arctic regions and certain parts of the American Southwest. This region is plagued by a lack of rainfall, receiving, on average, less than 10 inches per year.

Population of Asia 2016

population-of-asia-2014Asian Population 2016

Based on the most recent population growth trends, the population of Asia is estimated to be 4,426,683,000 compared to 4,299,000,000 in 2013. Asia consists of 49 countries, 6 countries that are either partially recognized or unrecognized, and 6 countries that are dependent on other countries. In fact, it is the largest continent of Earth, covering about 8.8% of the total surface area. It covers 44,579,000 square kilometers, which is about 30% of the Earth’s land area. The most populated country in Asia is the People’s Republic of China with an estimated population 1.35 billion people. The least populated country is the Republic of Maldives with an estimated population of about 330,000 in 2012. The largest country in terms of area is the Russian Federation with about 17.1 million square kilometers. The smallest country in terms of area is also the Republic of Maldives with a bout 298 square kilometers.

Asian Geography 2016

Throughout the course of history, the boundaries of Asia have been disputed, especially due to the enlargement of the Russian Federation throughout history. However, the current boundaries are as follows: east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, west of the Pacific Ocean, north of the Indian Ocean, and south of the Arctic Ocean. There are two countries that are partly in Europe as well: Russia and Turkey. The Asian portion of Russia is all of the land to the east of the Ural Mountains. The Asian portion of Turkey consists of mainly Anatolia, separated by the Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles, and the Bosphorus.
Asia is traditionally split up into six regions: Central Asia, Western Asia, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, and Southeastern Asia. Central Asia is made up of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. Western Asia (otherwise known as the Middle East) is made up of Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Southern Asia is made up of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhustan, Bangladesh, and Iraq. Eastern Asia is made up of China, Hong Kong, Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Southeastern Asia is made up of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste.

Central Asia 2016

Central Asia extends from the Caspian Sea to China (west to east) and from Afghanistan to Russia (south to north). This region is made up of a diverse selection of geographical features. One in particular is that it contains desert regions, including the Gobi desert. In fact, it contains the world’s northernmost desert, which is located in Mongolia. It also contains a few mountain ranges, including the Great Khinghan and Tian Shan Mountains. Part of Central Asia is made up of grassy steppes, which extend into Europe, and are a part of the Eurasian Steppe. However, overall, most of the region is dry and rugged. Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Central Asia. Also, the major language spoken in these Central Asian countries is Russian. However, there are many local languages spoken in each country. For example, Turkmen, a language derived from Turkish, is spoken in Turkmenistan, and Kazakh is spoken in Kazakhstan.

Western Asia 2016

Western Asia is not only hope to many prolific cultures today, but it is also considered to be the home of the world’s earliest civilizations. It is bordered on the north with Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Mountains and is surrounded by seven seas: the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Overall, the area tends to be arid and frequently experiences droughts. However, its land is made up of forests, fertile valleys, grasslands, deserts, and mountains. The land’s most important source of irrigation is the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The largest economy in this region is Turkey, and the largest industry in this region is petroleum.

Southern Asia 2016

Southern Asia is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the South and the other regions of Asia on all other sides. The main part of the region is made up of the peninsula India. However, its geographical features include rainforests, deserts, glaciers, and grasslands as well. Other than the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea also border this region. The Himalaya Mountain Range run along the northern border of the region. Because of the location of the mountains, the temperatures stay fairly moderate throughout the year. The two major languages spoken in this region are Hindi and Bengali. Lastly, the three major religions in this region are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

Eastern Asia 2016

Eastern Asia makes up about 28% of the geographical size and 38% of the population of the entire continent. In fact, this region is also geographically larger than Europe. The largest city in the world, Tokyo, Japan, is located in this region of the continent. The largest cultural influence for this region is said to be Northern China, bringing Confucian philosophy and political and other religious philosophies as well.

population-of-asia-2014-southeastSoutheastern Asia 2016

Southeastern Asia is the region of the continent south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea, and north of Australia. The Malay Archipelago, located in the Philippines, is considered to be one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Many large mountains, including Hkakabo Razi and Mount Kinabalu, also characterize the region. For the most part, the region tends to be tropical and humid throughout the year. Due to the tropical climate, there are wet and dry seasons, which are made worse due to monsoons. The region contains three endangered species of tigers: the Sumatran Tiger, the Malayan Tiger, and the Indochinese Tiger. Lastly, the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, occupies Indonesian islands in this region.

Asian Climate 2016

Since Asia is the largest continent on Earth, it makes sense that it also has the widest variety of climate. Siberia, in the northern part of Asia, has some of the coldest temperatures in all of the Northern Hemisphere. In contrast, though, the southeastern portion of the country experiences tropical weather and temperatures. Many of the drastic climate changes are due to the large bodies of water surrounding the continent. Monsoons surround the continent, causing severe winds across the countries. During the winter, these monsoon winds blow from the North into East Asia, which is the cause of the bitterly cold and dry weather in the winters. However, the winds change direction in the summer and affect the countries in the south and southeastern portion of the continent. These winds cause the hot and humid weather due to the monsoon winds from the seas below the continent.

Religion in Asia 2016

Asia is the home and birthplace of most of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many others. Judaism originated in West Asia and is still primarily practiced there, specifically Israel. Christianity is the main religion practiced in places like the Philippines and East Timor due to the influence of Spain and Portugal. Also, Eastern Orthodoxy is practiced in Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Russia. Islam, originating in Saudi Arabia, is now the largest and most widespread religion in all of Asia. Asia contains 12.7% of the world’s Muslim population. Hinduism is largely practiced in Southeast Asia, specifically India and Nepal. In fact, over 80% of those countries’ populations practice Hinduism. Lastly, Buddhism is highly practiced in Southeast and East Asia, specifically Cambodia and Thailand, where over 95% of their populations practice Buddhism.

Asia’s Growing Population