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How Many Continents Are There

There are 7 continents on the planet of World.

The Definition of a Continent
A continent is a large body of land, above water, that has a natural geological border.

How Many Continents Are There?
Depending on how you count them, there are anywhere from 4 to 7 continents. The difference of opinion arises because some people consider Europe and Asia to be one continent, some people consider North and South America to be one continent, and a few people even consider Europe, Asia, and Africa to be one huge continent called Eurafrasia.

What are the Names of the Continents?
As mentioned above, not everyone agrees on exactly how the world is divided into continents, but these are the entities you will sometimes see referred to as continents:

1. North America
2. South America
3. Europe
4. Asia
5. Africa
6. Antarctica
7. Australia (Oceania)

The total land area of all continents is 148,647,000 square kilometres (57,393,000 sq mi), or 29.1% of earth’s surface (510,065,600 square kilometres / 196,937,400 square miles).

A rough estimate of the total population of all the continents is 7,000,000,000.

Continents Ranked by Size

Rank Continent Square
1 Asia 44,391,162 17,139,445
2 Africa 30,244,049 11,677,239
3 North America 24,247,039 9,361,791
4 South America 17,821,029 6,880,706
5 Antarctica 14,245,000 5,500,000
6 Europe 10,354,636 3,997,929
7 Australia 7,686,850 2,967,124

Conventionally, “continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water.” Many of the seven most commonly recognized continents identified by convention are not discrete landmasses separated by water. The criterion “large” leads to arbitrary classification: Greenland, with a surface area of 2,166,086 square kilometres (836,330 sq mi) is considered the world’s largest island, while Australia, at 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi) is deemed to be a continent. Likewise, the ideal criterion that each be a continuous landmass is often disregarded by the inclusion of the continental shelf and oceanic islands, and contradicted by classifying North and South America as two continents; and/or Eurasia and Africa as two continents, with no natural separation by water. This anomaly reaches its extreme if the continuous land mass of Europe and Asia is considered to constitute two continents. The Earth’s major landmasses are washed upon by a single, continuous world ocean, which is divided into a number of principal oceanic components by the continents and various geographic criteria.

Area and population

Continent Area (km²) Area (mi²) Percent of
total landmass
Total population Percent of
total population
People per
People per
Most populous
city (proper)
Asia 43,820,000 16,920,000 29.5% 4,164,252,000 60% 95.0 246 Shanghai, China
Africa 30,370,000 11,730,000 20.4% 1,022,234,000 15% 33.7 87 Lagos, Nigeria
North America 24,490,000 9,460,000 16.5% 542,056,000 8% 22.1 57 Mexico City, Mexico
South America 17,840,000 6,890,000 12.0% 392,555,000 6% 22.0 57 São Paulo, Brazil
Antarctica 13,720,000 5,300,000 9.2% 0 0% 0 0 Villa Las Estrellas, Chilean
Europe 10,180,000 3,930,000 6.8% 738,199,000 11% 72.5 188 Moscow, Russia
Australia 9,008,500 3,478,200 5.9% 29,127,000 0.4% 3.2 8.3 Sydney, Australia

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