C H A P T E R
E ver wonder what it would be like to live on Earth’s biggest and most populated continent? This is Asia, the world’s largest and most diverse continent. Asia is vast, accounting for 30 percent of the earth’s entire land area. Asia is so large that it has both the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean as boundaries. Asia also has the longest coastline and encompasses thirty countries, including China and India. Asia has the most plant and animal species on Earth, too, and much of the continent is blessed with precious natural resources like copper, silver, forests, and oil. Asia’s farmland is fertile and its waters are filled with fish. As of June 2019, Asia accounted for 60 percent of the world’s population. Some regions of Asia are extremely overpopulated, while other areas remain barely populated. Shanghai, in China, is the most populated Asian city, with 80 + million people living there, while the Maldives has less than 400,000 residents total on its twenty-six island atolls . The people of Asia are extremely diverse in languages, religion, and living conditions, and archaeologists have learned that the most human adaptation occurred in Asia.
Asia is generally divided into four parts: • East Asia encompasses China, Japan, and Korea • South Asia includes India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
• Southeast Asia covers the areas of Myanmar, the Philippines, and Malaysia • The Middle East is also in Asia, and comprises Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, and other Arab countries
ASIA TODAY 9
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