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Purple = Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan); Blue = Central Asia; Yellow = East Asia (China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan); Brown = West Asia/Middle East; Violet = Russia; Green = South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maharashtra, Bhutan); Red = South East Asia (10 ASEAN countries plus East Timor); left: borders of Europe and Africa.

Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. It covers 8.6 % of the Earth's total surface area (or 29.4 % of its land area), the total land area is 31,033,131 Km2 (11,981,954 sq. miles) and, with 4,730,738,617 people (as of Saturday, 8 October 2022), it contains c. 60 % of the world's current human population. 50.9 % of the population is urban (2,361,464,416 people in 2019).


Chiefly in the eastern and northern hemispheres, Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Africa-Eurasia – with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe – lying east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean, to the south by the Indian Ocean, and to the north by the Arctic Ocean.

Given its size and diversity, Asia – a toponym dating back to classical antiquity – is more a cultural concept incorporating a number of regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity. From the standpoint of physical geography, Europe and Asia are considered parts of the single continent or supercontinent of Eurasia.

Asia and race

Main article: Asians

Asia is inhabited by several different Caucasoid and Mongoloid ethnic groups with various degrees of mixing. Given that we can identify at least four different clusters of ethnicities in Asia (West Asian, Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian) - and these can be even more accurately further split into about a dozen anthropologically unnamed subgroups, the term "Asian", which is often used to refer to East Asians specifically, is not particularly useful when talking about race, as it is ambiguous and context-dependent. As an example, in the British context "Asian" often refers to Pakistanis and Indians.

Note that the aforementioned ethnic clusters do not correspond with the geographic regions laid out below, i.e. a "Central Asian" country will not necessarily be populated by a "Central Asian" ethnic group.

Geographic regions

External links