Continents of the World
A continent is a large land mass with an overall political and cultural identity. There are seven continents on Earth. They are Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica, Australia, and Africa.
Every continent has a unique culture and different aspects of life. That’s what makes them so special and interesting to explore.
How many continents are there?
It is customary in different traditions and other countries’ educational systems to consider a different number of continents. There is no consensus, so numbers can sometimes be confusing. When some sources talk about the mainland, and others about part of the world, then everyone also blames these concepts. For example, sometimes North and South America are considered the single continent of America since they are not separated by water (the artificial Panama Canal does not count). This interpretation is popular in Spanish-speaking countries.
There are also opinions that Europe, Asia, and Africa are one continent – Afro-Eurasia – because they form an undivided landmass. And you have certainly heard that Europe and Asia, which have an extremely implicit distinction, are often called Eurasia.
The versions range anywhere from 4 to 7 continents.
7 Continents with facts
Asia (43,820,000 sq km) includes 50 countries and is the most populated continent, with 60% of the world’s population.
Africa (30,370,000 sq km) includes 54 countries. It is the hottest continent, and the world’s largest desert Sahara, is located here and occupies 25% of the total area of Africa.
North America (24,490,000 sq km) includes 23 countries, of which the US is the largest and has the largest economy.
South America (17,840,000 sq km) includes 12 countries. It is home to the largest forest, the Amazon jungle, which covers 30% of the total area of South America.
Antarctica (13,720,000 sq km) is the coldest continent in the world and is completely covered with ice. There are only a few permanent residents here except scientists, and research stations are also maintained.
Europe (10,180,000 sq km) includes 51 countries. It is the most developed economic continent with the largest European Union and the world’s largest financial and political union.
Australia and Oceania (9,008,500 sq km) include 14 countries. It is the least populated continent after Antarctica; only 0.3% of the Earth’s population lives here.
Continents by Area
|Continent||Area, km 2||% of all land on Earth|
|North America||24.71 million||16.59%|
|South America||17.84 million||11.98%|
|Total: 148.94 million|
Continents by Population
|Continent||Population||% of the total population of the Earth|
|North America||566 million||7.72%|
|South America||418 million||5.71%|
|Total: 7334 million|
The six-continent model divides the world into six distinct regions. There are two variations of the six-continent model:
The first six-continent model groups North America and South America into a single continent called “America” or “Americas” and is used mainly in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Greece, and Latin America.
The second six-continent model combines Europe and Asia into the single continent of Eurasia. They are used primarily in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan.
This model is based on the six-continent models but only looks at Africa, Eurasia, America, Oceania and Antarctica.
There is another alternative model adopted by the Olympic Charter, among others. Antarctica is uninhabited and, therefore, not on the list: Africa, Europe, Asia, America, and Oceania.
On this ideology, We should consider “continents” only what is naturally separated by water, excluding the separations resulting from the artificially made Panama Canal and Suez Canal.
Under this ideology, the four continents of the world are Afro-Eurasia (or Eurafrasia), America, Australia, and Antarctica.
An alternative four-continent model of the 20th century included Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.