A satellite composite image of Asia
The continent of Asia is defined by subtracting Europe and Africa from the great land mass of Africa-Eurasia. The boundaries are vague, especially between Asia and Europe: Asia and Africa meet somewhere near the Suez Canal. The boundary between Asia and Europe runs via the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, the Black Sea, the ridges of the Caucasus (according to others, through the Kuma-Manych Depression), the Caspian Sea, the Ural River (according to others, the Emba River) and the Ural Mountains to Novaya Zemlya. About 60% of the world's population live in Asia. See also Eurasia.
The region of Asia is the continent of Asia plus nearby islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Map of Asia
As already mentioned Asia can be considered itself a subregion of the greater Eurasian continent. For further subdivisions based on that term, see North Eurasia and Central Eurasia.
Asia itself is often divided in the following subregions:
This term is rarely used by geographers, but usually it refers to the Asian part of Russia, also known as Siberia. Sometimes the northern parts of other Asian nations like Kazakhstan are also included in Northern Asia.
There is no absolute consensus in the usage of this term. Usually, Central Asia includes:
This term includes:
Sometimes the nation of Mongolia is also included with East Asia.
This region contains the Malay Peninsula, Indochina and islands in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The countries it contains are:
The country of Malaysia is divided in two by the South China Sea, and thus has both a mainland and island part.
South Asia is also referred to as the Indian Subcontinent. It includes:
It can also be called the Middle East, although that term is occasionally used to also refer to countries in North Africa. Southwest Asia can be further divided into:
- Anatolia, which comprises part of the nation of Turkey
- The island nation of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The Levant or Near East, which includes Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
- The Arabian peninsula, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Yemen and occasionally Kuwait.
- The Caucasus region, including the nations of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
- The Iranian Plateau, containing Iran and parts of other nations.
Also see Gulf States, for a different grouping involving several of the above countries.
This is a list of countries/dependencies by population density in inhabitants/km2.
Unlike the figures in the country articles, the figures in this table are based on areas including inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers) and may therefore be lower here.
The whole of Russia, Egypt, and Turkey are referred to in the table, although they are only partly in Asia. Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been included, although they can also be considered part of Europe.
West Bank and Gaza Strip are not listed separately, but combined as Palestinian territories.
Main article: Economy of Asia
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