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Countries of Asia

Shwedagon Pagoda after sunset, Yangon, Myanmar
The gilded stupas of the Shwedagon Pagoda complex in Yangon after sunset. Shwedagon Zedi Daw is the most sacred Buddhist monument in Myanmar.
Image: kk

Asian Regions

Conventionally there are six main geographical regions or subregions in Asia.

Northern Asia Western Asia Central Asia Eastern Asia Southern Asia Southeast Asia


Some Facts about Asia

Map of Countries in Asia
Map of Countries in Asia

Asia is the largest of the five continents on Planet Earth in area and population. The term Asia refers conventionally to the eastern portion of the Eurasian landmass plus the island country of Japan and the island nations of Maritime Southeast Asia.

The continent is situated almost entirely north of the equator except for some Southeast Asian islands. Asia is connected to Africa by the Isthmus of Suez and borders Europe (part of the same landmass) along the Ural Mountains and across the Caspian Sea.

Asia covers an area of about 49.7 million km² (19,189,277 square miles), which corresponds to about 30 percent of the Earth's total land area.

How many countries are there in Asia?
The area is shared by 50 countries. By far the largest nation by area is Russia, with more than 17 million km², 13 million km² (77%) are in Asia.
The second-largest country is China, with an area of 9.6 million km².
The smallest independent state in Asia is the island nation of Maldives with 298 km².


North Asia

Ice ridges near Olkhon island on Lake Baikal in Siberia
Lake Baikal in winter. Ice ridges near Olkhon island in Pribaikalsky National Park in southeastern Siberia (Russia).
Image: © Sergey Pesterev
North Asia or Northern Asia refers to the vast northern part of Asia east of the Ural Mountains, also known as Siberia. The region is divided into the Russian federal districts of Ural, Siberia, and the Russian Far East. The 13 million km² (5.1 million sq mi) large territory borders the Arctic Ocean in the north, European Russia in the west, and the Bering Sea in the east. Siberia shares international borders with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China in the south.

Approximately 36 million people live in Northern Asia (in 2020).
Russia (Siberia) 36,000 Map of Russia Moscow

Western Asia and Middle East

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Naqsh-e-Jahan Square in Isfahan
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Naqsh-e-Jahan Square in Isfahan in central Iran.
Image: Alimohammadi1988
The term Western Asia refers to the western part of Asia, which includes the Arabian Peninsula and most countries of the Middle East.

There are 19 countries in Western Asia (the United Nations geoscheme lists only eighteen). Except for Armenia, Georgia, Israel, and the Republic of Cyprus, these are all countries with a majority Muslim population.
Approximately 279 million people live in the region (in 2020).

Map of Western Asia
Armenia 2,937 Map of Armenia Yerevan
Azerbaijan 10,015 Map of Azerbaijan Baku
Bahrain 1,638 Map of Bahrain Manama
Cyprus 1,198 Map of Cyprus Nicosia (Lefkosia)
Georgia 3,904 Map of Georgia T'bilisi
Iran 82,821 Map of Iran Tehran
Iraq 40,412 Map of Iraq Baghdad
Israel 8,584 Map of Israel Jerusalem (claimed)
Jordan 10,070 Map of Jordan Amman
Kuwait 4,249 Map of Kuwait Kuwait (City)
Lebanon 6,066 Map of Lebanon Beirut
Oman 5,002 Map of Oman Muscat
Qatar 2,744 Map of Qatar Doha (Al-Dawhah)
Saudi Arabia 34,141 Map of Saudi Arabia Riyadh
State of Palestine 5,187 see: Map of Israel Jerusalem (claimed)
Syria 18,499 Map of Syria Damascus
Turkey 82,962 Map of Turkey Ankara
United Arab Emirates 9,682 United Arab Emirates Map Abu Dhabi
Yemen 29,580 Map of Yemen Sanaa

Central Asia

Tian Shan mountains in south-eastern Kazakhstan
The mountainous region of the Tian Shan in south-eastern Kazakhstan.
Image: lya Rudakov
The term Central Asia refers to a region in Asia between the Caspian Sea and Western China. Central Asia includes Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which are all predominantly Muslim countries and, with the exception of Afghanistan, were all former Soviet republics.
An estimated 74 million people live in Central Asia (in 2020).

Map of Central Asia
Afghanistan 37,209 Map of Afghanistan Kabul
Kazakhstan 18,593 Map of Kazakhstan Nur-Sultan
Kyrgyzstan 6,219 Map of Kyrgyzstan Bishkek
Tajikistan 9,292 Map of Tajikistan Dushanbe
Turkmenistan 5,943 Map of Turkmenistan Ashgabat
Uzbekistan 32,807 Map of Uzbekistan Tashkent

East Asia

Li river south of Guilin, China
The Li River south of the city of Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.
Image: kk
Conventionally East Asia or Eastern Asia refers to the eastern part of the Asian continent plus the island nation of Japan.
The United Nations geoscheme lists five sovereign countries plus the Chinese Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, as well as the Republic of China (Taiwan) with an uncertain political status.

Approximately 1.68 billion people live in Eastern Asia (in 2020).
China 1,400,000 Map of China Beijing
China, Hong Kong SAR 7,491   Hong Kong
China, Macao SAR 642   Macao City
Japan 126,855 Map of Japan Tokyo
Korea (North) 25,727 Map of North Korea Pyongyang
Korea (South) 51,339 Map of South Korea Seoul
Mongolia 3,166 Map of Mongolia Ulaanbaatar
Taiwan 23,758 Taiwan Map Taipei

South Asia

Dashawamedha Ghat at the  Ganges river in Varanasi
Dashawamedha Ghat at the Ganges river in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Image: Santosh Kumar Velamala

South Asia or Southern Asia refers to the southern part of central Asia. The region is bounded by the Indian Ocean in the south and includes the Himalaya in the north. There are eight sovereign countries in Southern Asia. The geoscheme of the United Nations includes Afghanistan in Southern Asia.

An estimated 1.94 billion people live in South Asia (in 2020).
Bangladesh 168,066 Map of Bangladesh Dhaka
Bhutan 826 Map of Bhutan Thimphu
India 1,368,738 Map of India New Delhi
Maldives 452 Map of the Maldives Male
Nepal 29,942 Map of Nepal Kathmandu
Pakistan 204,596 Map of Pakistan Islamabad
Sri Lanka 21,019 Map of Sri Lanka Colombo

Southeast Asia

Bangkok at Chao Phraya River
The Central Business District at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailands capital.
Image: kk

Southeast Asia refers to the part of Asia that includes the Indochinese Peninsula and the nations of Maritime Southeast Asia. The region is situated in the southeastern part of the continent, south of China, east of India, and to the north of Australia.

According to the United Nations Population Division, approximately 668 million people live in Southeast Asia (in 2020).

Map of Southeast Asia

Brunei Darussalam * 439   Bandar Seri Begawan
Cambodia * 16,483 Map of Cambodia Phnom Penh
Indonesia * 269,536 Map of Indonesia Jakarta
Lao PDR * 7,064 Map of Laos Vientiane
Malaysia * 32,454 Map of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Myanmar (Burma) * 54,336 Map of Myanmar Naypyidaw, Yangon
Philippines * 108,106 Map of Philippines Manila
Singapore * 5,868 Map of Singapore Singapore
Thailand * 66,409 Map of Thailand Bangkok
Timor-Leste (East Timor) 1,352   Dili
Vietnam * 97,429 Map of Vietnam Hanoi

Population source:

More about Asia

Temple at Dragon Gate (Longmen) near Kunming, China
A temple at Dragon Gate (Longmen) near the city of Kunming, China.
Image: kk
An estimated 4.6 billion people live in Asia, which is about 60 percent of the world's population. 1.42 billion of those people live in China (in 2020).
Seven out of ten of the most populated countries are in Asia.
(Source: UN World Population Prospects 2019)

Highest Point: Sagarmatha (Chomolungma; known as Mount Everest) 8,848m (29,028 ft) Nepal.

Largest Lake: Caspian Sea (salt lake) 371,000 km² (143,250 sq mi),
Ozero Baykal or Lake Baikal 31,500 km² in Siberia is the world's largest freshwater lake by volume.

Longest River: Yangtze (or Chang Jiang 长江) in China is with 6,380 km (3,964 mi) the longest river in Asia. The second-longest river is the Yellow River (黄河 Huáng Hé) in Eastern China with a length of 5,464 km (3,395 mi).

Major Geographical Regions of Asia
Major geographical regions in Asia

Major Subregions
Arabian Peninsula, Indian subcontinent, Indochinese Peninsula, Maritime Southeast Asia, the Japanese archipelago.

The Himalayas with the Karakoram range, the Pamir Mountains, the Kunlun Mountains, the Tien Shan mountain system, the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan, and the Ural Mountains in Russia which form the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia.

The Central Siberian Plateau, the Iranian Plateau, the Deccan Plateau, and the Tibetan Plateau.

The West Siberian Plain, the Turan Lowland, the rift basin of the North China Plain, and the Indo-Gangetic Alluvial Plain in India and the eastern parts of Pakistan.

Largest deserts in Asia are the Arabian Desert with Rub' al-Khali at its center, the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia, the Syrian Desert (Badia) in Western Asia, the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, the Kyzylkum Desert in Central Asia, and the Thar Desert in India and Pakistan.

Largest islands in Asia are New Guinea (partly in Oceania), Borneo, Sumatra, Honshu, Sulawesi, Java, and Luzon.

 Languages of Asia:
There are more than 2,000 living languages throughout Asia. Major languages are Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Russian, Thai, Turkic, Urdu, Vietnamese and other.

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