Asia is the largest continent in the world, both in terms of area and population. Read on to know more about the countries in this gigantic continent.
Asia (highlighted) in the world map
Asia is a land of extremes. Not only is it the largest continent in the world, but it also contains the –
- two most populous countries in the world, China and India.
- most populous democracy in the world, India.
- largest country in the world, Russia.
- the highest point on the surface of the Earth, Mt. Everest, and the deepest, the Mariana Trench.
- 5 most populous megacities in the world: Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Delhi, and Seoul.
- 5 of the ten most densely populated countries in the world, Singapore, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Maldives, Palestine.
Asia contains 49 countries (excluding Taiwan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Northern Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Hong Kong and Macau).
List of countries on the basis of region
Geographically, Asia is divided into 6 regions:
- North Asia
- South Asia
- West Asia
- Central Asia
- East Asia
- Southeast Asia
The gigantic Russia constitutes the entire region of North Asia, and extends across the Urals into Europe. The Soviet Union contained numerous countries in West and Central Asia, which separated during its division.
The Indian subcontinent constitutes the South Asian region. This region has gained notoriety due to the continual struggle between the two regional powers, India and Pakistan, and the tripartite clashes over the volatile region of Kashmir between India, Pakistan and the latter’s ally, PR China; all three being nuclear weapon states.
The region hosts the most populous river system in the world — the Ganga (Ganges) river system across northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and the largest mangrove forest in the world — the Sunderbans.
Capital: New Delhi
Country: Sri Lanka
Capital: Colombo (Commercial Capital),
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (Administrative Capital)
West Asia, also called the Middle East, is famous for being the ‘cradle of mankind’. The first civilizations in human history flourished in these regions. It is famous for the vast stores of oil it holds. The epicenter of the centuries-old struggle between Jews and Arabs is Israel, situated in the Middle East.
Country: Saudi Arabia
Capital: Kuwait City
Country: United Arab Emirates
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Capital: East Jerusalem
1. Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are politically included in Europe, but geographically in Asia.
2. A part of Egypt, the Sinai peninsula, lies on the other side of the Suez canal in Asia. but Egypt is not considered as an Asian country because of it.
This region, previously a part of the Soviet Union, is one of the most inhospitable on earth. Formed by deserts, mountains and steppes, this region houses some of the least densely populated countries in the world.
With much of East Asia blanketed by the Gobi desert, and the rest wracked by earthquakes with a frightening regularity, it may be surprising to know that this seemingly uninhabitable region holds three of the world’s biggest economies — Japan, South Korea and PR China.
Country: PR China
Country: North Korea
Country: South Korea
Lying across the Equator, this hot, humid region is defined by its lush rainforests, beautiful coasts and, rather tragically, the iconic Vietnam War. This region is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, and is a globally popular travel destination.
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Capital: Singapore (City-state)
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Capital: Phnom Penh
Asia, well, is truly a giant, and an enchanting and bewildering land of exhilarating extremes.