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Asia. The largest and most populated continent on the planet, with nearly 44 million km2 , it accounts for 8.65% of the total land surface and 29.45% of the emerged lands, and with its 4 billion inhabitants, 60% of the human population. It extends over the eastern half of the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. It borders the Ural Mountains in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east. In the conventional division of continents, of European origin, Asia and Europe appear as two different entities for cultural and historical reasons. In geographical terms, they actually form a single continent, called Eurasia. In addition, Africa is linked to Eurasia by the Isthmus of Suez so that the whole joint extension of Europe, Asia and Africa can also be considered as a single supercontinent, occasionally called Eurafrasia, or Afro-eurasia.


While Africa is generally considered to be the birthplace of humanity, Asia, along with Europe, is believed to have been the cradle of civilization, although this was not unique and uniform: the vast expanse of the Asian continent made it almost inevitable that several cultures would emerge independently. The following section tries to show the interactions, collisions and successions of these civilizations from a continental perspective. About the mentioned regions, in the sections of history related to the different Asian countries we find the cultural part of Asia Minor, Assyria, Babylon, the Indus Valley Civilization, the Middle East, Persia, Siberia and Sumer. In addition we can highlight the ancient civilizations that emerged, as in Mesopotamia, Indian civilizations, the origins of Chinese civilization. The most ancient major kingdoms in cultural interaction as the great emperor of Cyrus II the Great, who unified the peoples of Iranian origin in the Kingdom of Persia. Then the creation of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (550-330 B.C. approximately), which extended the Persian culture from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indus River. The Indian expansion, the spread of Chinese civilization, Muslim rule (known as the rise and spread of Islam) and Mongolian, Chinese and Mongolian influence. In addition the first beginnings of the colonial rule of the great European powers, such as the exploration and colonization carried out first by Spain and Portugal, as the arrival of Fernando de Magallanes in 1521 who discovered the eastern part of the Asian continent followed later by Juan Sebastian Elcano, and later colonized by France, Britain, Netherlands and Russia. After the colonized countries achieved independence from their former metropolises by adopting their own response to imperialism in each country, Asia would see the maintenance of that independence, the emergence of conflicts, the intensification of nationalism, ideological confrontation and economic expansion.


With its 44,936,000 km² Asia is the largest continent of all. It covers one third of the earth's surface and is home to more than half of the planet's population. Asia is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the Bering Strait and the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the southwest by the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. To the west the conventional border between Europe and Asia is marked by the Urals and extends southward by the Ural River to the Caspian Sea, and westward by the Caucasus to the Black Sea.


The total population of the continent is almost 4 billion. East Asia has about 1.3 billion people, Southeast Asia about 450 million, South Asia about 1.1 billion, Southwest Asia about 200 million and ex-Soviet Central Asia at least 100 million. Most of Asia's inhabitants are farmers, although the process of urbanization has developed rapidly in recent decades. The Asian population has different characteristics such as whitish yellow skin and slanting eyes, comprising the Far East from Siberia, China, Vietnam, the Korean peninsula, the islands of Taiwan, Japan, the Malaysian and Philippine archipelago. Within this ethnic group stand out the indigenous people like the Malays, with brown or dark skin that are divided into different branches, since from them descend the Tagalogs, Visays, Iloacans, Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, etc. The ethnic groups of white phenotype include the Middle and Near East. Among them are the Arabs, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Hindus, Assyrians, Turks, Russians, etc. There are also some black ethnicities and migrants from different European countries. In most countries of the Asian continent, both in the Far East and the Middle East, men predominate, except in countries like Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Lebanon, Israel, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Sri Lanka, among others, where women predominate. In countries such as Israel and Japan, men under age 65 are in the majority, but in the Philippines, women ages 15 to 64 and 65 and older are in the majority.


Asia has 60% of the world's population and nearly 30% of the world's land area, it is the largest global producer of food, in addition to being the largest consumer, it has the largest reserves of most minerals, it is the continent that concentrates the greatest economic growth and consumes most of the global credit, nearly 80% of the world's economic growth, the greatest growth in investment in science and technology, investment in education and as an economic sector we can imagine. Cooperation between government, industry and the mastery of technology has led Japan to economic success. For its part, since 2004 the European Union is the main trading partner of China, which in turn is the second largest trading partner of the European organization. In 2009, China became the third largest economy in the world after the United States and Japan. According to government data, China's GDP has already reached 3.76 billion dollars, above Germany's 3.32 billion dollars. Many areas of Asia are economically underdeveloped. A high percentage of the continent's population is engaged in agriculture, yet much of the agricultural activity is characterized by relatively low yields and labor productivity. Overall, a minority of Asians are employed in manufacturing activities; in many cases urban centers and industries have not been adequately integrated with the rural sector. The local and international transport systems of Asian countries are still underdeveloped in many areas, but have improved significantly in recent years. There are now a growing number of exceptions. Japan has successfully modernized its economy, as have Israel, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and, to a lesser extent, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the oil states of the Arabian Peninsula. In general, they have achieved economic growth rates that exceed 5% per year, a percentage that is far from their population growth rates. In contrast, although Southwest Asian countries have made progress, income distribution has been more concentrated than in other countries. Spurred by large-scale foreign investment, rapid privatization, and industrialization, the People's Republic of China achieved Asia's fastest growth in the early 1990s. The Chinese economy is estimated to have grown by 12% in 1992, although per capita income levels remained relatively low. Vietnam and Laos, two of Asia's poorest countries, are beginning to achieve significant economic growth and attract significant foreign investment.