What are the Different Continents

By Mary Smith. Updated: April 5, 2017
What are the Different Continents

Continents are large extensions of land separated by oceans and made up of different countries, which are often viewed in terms of geography, ethnicity and culture as an entire block. Knowing what continents are is an important part of general knowledge and helps you understand a little how our planet is geographically divided. Are you unsure what continents are? At OneHowto, we will explain.

How many continents are there?

Before explaining what continents are it is good to know that the number of continents varies according to a number of different models that exist nowadays. Although geographers and specialists don't all agree, there are two major models that are widely recognized:

  • There's 5 continents according to the model used by the UN that only takes into account the continents that are inhabited by mankind.
  • There's 6 continents according to the model that takes into account the 5 continents recognised by the UN and also a sixth one that is virtually uninhabited.

At OneHowto we explain what are continents using the 6 continent model.

The Americas

America has more than 1200 million inhabitants. It is the world's second largest continent and is divided into three sub-continents.

  • North America is made up of Canada, the United States and Mexico, along with the dependencies of Bermuda, Clipperton, Greenland and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
  • Central Amercia is made up of the countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
  • South America is made up of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Note that in China and some English speaking countries, this continent is separated into two: North and South America. Central American countries are included in the list of North American countries.

What are the Different Continents - The Americas


Popularly known as 'the old continent', Europe is divided into Northern, Southern or the Mediterranean, Eastern, Western and Central Europe. It has an estimated population of 739 million people, and this is where the European Union operates.

Here is the list of European countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Vatican City.

Note that only a part of Turkey is considered within Europe, most of it is considered to be in the Asian continent.

What are the Different Continents - Europe


The third largest continent in the world is Africa, with 1,000 million inhabitants. It is divided into Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and Central Africa.

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

What are the Different Continents - Africa


Asia is the world's largest continent with an area of 44.5 million square metres, and it is also the most populous with over 4,000 million inhabitants, which works out as 92 inhabitants per square kilometre, a very substantial figure.

These are the countries in Asia: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.

What are the Different Continents - Asia


Oceania is the last of the 5 continents according to UN's model, with just over 34 million inhabitants. It consists of Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Recently, New Zealand has been named the only country in a new 7th continent: Zealandia, which is mainly below water. However, prior to this discovery, it was recognized as a part of Oceania.

What are the Different Continents - Oceania


The other popular model includes a sixth continent, Antarctica. Although geographically it is considered a continent, many do not take it into account because it only has between 1,000 - 4,000 inhabitants, i.e. 0.1 inhabitants per square kilometre.

What are the Different Continents - Antarctica

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