Area44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 sq mi) (1st)[1]
Population4,694,576,167 (2021; 1st)[2][3]
Population density100/km2 (260/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)$72.7 trillion (2022 est; 1st)[4]
GDP (nominal)$39 trillion (2022 est; 1st)[5]
GDP per capita$8,890 (2022 est; 4th)[6]
Countries49 UN members
1 UN observer
5 other states
Non-UN states
LanguagesList of languages
Time zonesUTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00
Largest cities
UN M49 code142 – Asia
001 – World
Map of the most populous part of Asia showing physical, political, and population characteristics, as per 2018

Asia (/ˈʒə/ , UK also /ˈʃə/) is the largest continent[a][10][11] in the world by both land area and population.[11] It covers an area of more than 44 million square kilometers,[b] about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8% of Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population,[12] was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people[13] constitute roughly 60% of the world's population, having more people than all other continents combined.[14]

Asia shares the landmass of Eurasia with Europe, and of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. In general terms, it is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black seas, separating it from Europe.[15]

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1,800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east,[16][17][18] and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia,[19] attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen.[20] Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography.[citation needed] Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. It also has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia.

  1. ^ National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society (U.S.). 2006. p. 264.
  2. ^ "World Population Prospects 2022". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  3. ^ "World Population Prospects 2022: Demographic indicators by region, subregion and country, annually for 1950-2100" (XSLX). ("Total Population, as of 1 July (thousands)"). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  4. ^ "GDP PPP, current prices". International Monetary Fund. 2022. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  5. ^ "GDP Nominal, current prices". International Monetary Fund. 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Nominal GDP per capita". International Monetary Fund. 2022. Archived from the original on 11 January 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  7. ^ Johnson, Todd M.; Crossing, Peter F. (14 October 2022). "Religions by Continent". Journal of Religion and Demography. 9 (1–2): 91–110. doi:10.1163/2589742x-bja10013. ISSN 2589-7411.
  8. ^ "Asia noun". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Asia Definition & Meaning". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  10. ^ "Asia: The largest continent on Earth". BBC.
  11. ^ a b "Asia: Physical Geography | National Geographic Society". Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  12. ^ "The World at Six Billion". UN Population Division. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016., "Table 2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Asia Population 2022 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Population of Asia. 2019 demographics: density, ratios, growth rate, clock, rate of men to women". Archived from the original on 14 July 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  15. ^ National Geographic Atlas of the World (7th ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 1999. ISBN 978-0-7922-7528-2. "Europe" (pp. 68–69); "Asia" (pp. 90–91): "A commonly accepted division between Asia and Europe is formed by the Ural Mountains, Ural River, Caspian Sea, Caucasus Mountains, and the Black Sea with its outlets, the Bosporus and Dardanelles."
  16. ^ Nalapat, M. D. "Ensuring China's 'Peaceful Rise'". Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  17. ^ Dahlman, Carl J; Aubert, Jean-Eric. China and the Knowledge Economy: Seizing the 21st Century. WBI Development Studies. World Bank Publications. Accessed January 22, 2016. 2000. ISBN 978-0-8213-5005-8. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2017. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  18. ^ "The Real Great Leap Forward". The Economist. 30 September 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016.
  19. ^ [1] Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Like herrings in a barrel". The Economist. No. Millennium issue: Population. 23 December 1999. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010.

Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

Powered by 654 easy search