Asia: The Countries and Regions of the Largest Continent

Asia is an enormous continent that is divided into five regions with multiple countries in each region. Exploring a list of Asia countries and regions will provide you with insights into how massive and diverse this continent really is.

map of asian countries map of asian countries

Creating a List of Asian Countries and Regions

Are you wondering, "How many countries in Asia?" The answer depends on whether you consider Taiwan to be independent or part of China. If you do consider it independent, there are 49 countries that are located entirely in Asia. If not, there are 48. Additionally, there is one country that is partially located in Asia. A portion of Russia is in Asia and a portion is in Europe.

Central Asia

There are five countries in Central Asia, all of which were part of the Soviet Union before it broke up into separate republics. The majority of the population of each country in this region is Muslim.

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

East Asia

There are six countries in East Asia, if you count Taiwan. There is a bit of ambiguity regarding whether Taiwan is a province of China or an independent nation. Additionally, Hong Kong and Macao are located in this region of Asia. They are not officially countries, though. Instead, they are designated as Special Administrative Area (SAR) regions of China.

  • China
  • Japan
  • Mongolia
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

South Asia

South Asia is the portion of the continent located between the Indian Ocean and the Himalayan mountains. It consists of eight countries. This region is home to more than 98 percent of the worldwide Hindu population and over 90 percent of the world's Sikhs.

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is situated to the north of the continent of Australia and to the east of India, which represents the southeasternmost part of Asia. It is made up of 11 countries. This region includes both mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula, and Maritime Southeast Asia, which is a group of island nations.

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • East Timor
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

West Asia

The western portion of Asia is located on the Arabian peninsula. There are 19 countries in this region, most of which are predominantly Muslim. The majority (but not all) of the countries in this region of Asia are considered part of the Middle East.

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Cyprus
  • Georgia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Palestine
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

North Asia

Siberia is the northern part of Asia, which is a mostly uninhabited part of Russia. Interestingly, Russia spans two continents: Asia and Europe. The majority of Russia's land is actually on the continent of Asia, but most of Russia's population resides in the European portion of the country.

Interesting Facts About Asia Countries and Regions

With so many Asia countries and regions, it's not surprising that there are some really interesting facts about some of the countries located there.

  • Asia is the largest continent. It accounts for almost a third of the land on Earth.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the world's population resides in Asia. The continent's total population exceeds 4.67 billion.
  • The top two most populated countries in the world are in Asia. China's population is more than 1.39 billion, while India's population tops 1.33 billion.
  • The Maldives make up the smallest country in Asia in terms of size and population. The island nation is made up of just under 116 square miles of land. Only around 345,000 people live there.
  • Russia is the largest country in the world, in terms of physical size. In total, it is more than 17 kilometers (km), 13 of which are located in Asia.
  • The third-largest country in the world is located in Asia. With more than 9.7 km of total area, China is larger than every other country except Canada and Russia.

Explore Other Continents

Now that you are familiar with the full list of Asian countries, are you ready to learn more about other continents? If so, the various countries in North America. Then, explore the nations of South America. You'll be on your way to building a solid foundation of geography knowledge.