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Planet Earth

Continents' area and population

SurfaceAreaPer cent of
Earth surface
Ground148.94 mln. km229.2%
Water361.13 mln. km270.8%
Total: 510.07 mln. km2

ContinentAreaPer cent of
all Earth ground
Asia32.07 mln. km221.53%
Africa30.09 mln. km220.20%
Europe23.05 mln. km215.47%
North America22.22 mln. km214.92%
South America17.72 mln. km211.89%
Australia and Oceania8.48 mln. km25.70%
Total: 148.94 mln. km2

ContinentPopulationPer cent of
all Earth population
Asia4291 mln.60.16%
Africa1110 mln.15.57%
Europe717 mln.10.05%
North America568 mln.7.97%
South America408 mln.5.73%
Australia and Oceania37 mln.0.52%
Total: 7134 mln. humans

Earth's continents

Continent is a large area of land (the Earth's crust). Most part of a continent is above the sea level. There are seven continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica) on Earth. However, you can often find other opinions about the number, and this is why.

Number of continents

In different traditions there is considered to be a different number of continents, hence the periodic confusion with numbers. For example, sometimes North and South America are considered as a single continent of America, because they are actually not separated by water (man-made Panama Canal does not count). This interpretation is popular in Spanish-speaking countries. Similarly, there is also an opinion that Europe, Asia and Africa are one continent – Afro-Eurasia - because they form the undivided land mass. And you have certainly heard that Europe and Asia, having a highly inevident distinction, are often called Eurasia. Hence the results of the counting, with the Earth’s number of continents varying from four to seven. Nothing ever disappears, there are just different ways of distinguishing. In other words, the question is not in the way Europe is considered a continent or a part of the continent, but in understanding to which other areas it is being attached (or from which areas detached) and why. All this is pure conventionality, and there are different types of such conventions.

The largest and smallest

The largest continent is Asia. This applies to square (21%) and to population (60%). The smallest from the list is Australia (5.7% and 0.5%, respectively). Antarctica is not presented on the list, because this ice-bound continent is unsuitable for living (comfortable) and is mostly uninhabited.

Origin page: Планета Земля.