Asia is Earth’s largest and most populous continent. Located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe. As well as, the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. It covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi). About 30% of Earth’s total land area and 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area.
The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. It is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements. As well as, vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people (as of June 2019) constitute roughly 60% of the world’s population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean. On the south by the Indian Ocean. On the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct. Thus, there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. However, the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India.
Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century. However, overall population growth has since fallen. It was the birthplace of most of the world’s mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. It also has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East.
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