Continents in the World and Their Countries
The European continent is often called “the old world”. Here our culture developed with roots in ancient Greece and Rome. Europe was also a hotbed for the industrial revolution and the democratic systems. Today, Europe is a pattern of 46 states, more than half of which are members of the EU.
North America includes three very large states: Canada, the United States and the world’s largest island: Greenland. There are major differences in climate, landscape and population density. The climate varies from polar climate in Greenland and northern Canada to tropical in southern Florida.
The landscape is characterized by the Rocky Mountains mountain range, which extends from north to south throughout the continent. Greenland has a partnership with Denmark. The United States is the dominant state in the continent.
Central America consists of Mexico and the countries further south to and including Panama. The island states of the Caribbean and the Caribbean are also considered Central America.
The main language is Spanish, but in the islands many different languages are spoken, reflecting colonial times and slavery.
South America’s landscape is dominated by the Andes along the entire west coast and the Amazon lowlands. The east coast and the Brazilian uplands are most densely populated, and here are the largest cities. The Catholic Church and the language reflect the colonial era.
In most countries, Spanish is spoken, but in Brazil the main language is Portuguese. However, the native languages and cultures are still clear and important in all countries. Brazil is the most economically important country in the world.
Until the mid-1900s, most African countries were European colonies. The boundaries went across language, religion and tribal areas. Many borders are now the cause of conflicts and wars.
Countries are characterized by high population growth, poverty and unemployment. Africa has great riches of oil and minerals. They are mostly exploited by Western and Chinese companies.
Asia is the largest part of the world, and over half of the Earth’s population lives here. The part of Russia that lies west of the Ural mountain range is considered Europe. Natural conditions, culture, language, politics, and occupations vary significantly from the Middle East to Indonesia and from Siberia to Sri Lanka. China is the world’s most populous country and today is an important economic superpower.
This continent is dominated by the continent of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. The other 12 small island states are scattered across the Pacific. They are now threatened by the rise in sea level. The contrasts are great in Australia: the narrow densely populated and lush belt to the east compared to the rest of the continent, which is dry and virtually uninhabited. New Zealand is in many ways similar to Northern Europe.