Asia: The Countries and Regions of the Largest Continent

Asia is an enormous continent that can be divided into six regions. It's the largest continent in the world by area and population, and it includes two of the three largest countries in the world. Explore a list of Asian countries and regions to gain insights into how massive and diverse the continent really is.

map of asian countries map of asian countries
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How Many Countries Are in Asia?

At 44,579,000 square kilometers, Asia covers 30% of the Earth's total land area, making it the largest continent. It's home to over 4.5 billion people, which makes up 60% of the world's population. But how many countries are located within the continent itself?

Depending on who is creating the list, the number of countries in Asia ranges from 48-53, with 48 being the standard. Some lists consider Taiwan, Macao and Hong Kong to be dependent territories, while other lists include these territories as Asian countries. On the United Nations list of nation-states, Asian countries are listed alongside Pacific States such as Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

Central Asia

Central Asia Map

There are five countries in Central Asia, a large region located between the Caspian Sea and the western border of China. The largest country in Central Asia is Kazakhstan, which is the ninth largest country in the world by area. These countries were part of the Soviet Union before it broke up into separate republics.

CountryArea (km2)Population (2020)
Kazakhstan2,724,90018,776,707
Kyrgyzstan199,9506,524,195
Tajikistan141,3809,537,645
Turkmenistan488,1006,031,200
Uzbekistan447,40033,469,203

East Asia

East Asia Map

Most of East Asia consists of China, the most populous country in the world and the third-largest country by area. The region also includes all Asian countries on the eastern coast of the Asian continent and Japan, which is just off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. Hong Kong and Macao, which are designated as Special Administrative Area (SAR) regions of China, are a part of East Asia, as well as Taiwan.

CountryArea (km2)Population (2020)
China9,706,9611,439,323,776
Japan377,930126,476,461
Mongolia
1,564,110
3,278,290
North Korea
120,538
25,778,816
South Korea
100,210
51,269,185
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South Asia

South Asia Map

South Asia is the portion of the continent located between the Indian Ocean and the Himalayan mountains. It consists of eight countries, including the second-most populous country in the world (India) and one of the smallest countries in the world (Maldives). South Asia is sometimes referred to as the Indian Subcontinent.

CountryArea (km2)Population (2020)
Afghanistan
652,23038,928,346
Bangladesh147,570164,689,383
Bhutan
38,394771,608
India
3,287,5901,380,004,385
Maldives
300540,544
Nepal147,18129,136,808
Pakistan881,912220,892,340
Sri Lanka65,61021,413,249
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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Map

Southeast Asia is situated to the north of Australia and to the east of India. The region is made up of 11 countries, including Singapore, which is one of the only countries in the world that is a city, a nation and a state. The rest of the countries in Southeast Asia are located on the Indochinese Peninsula and Maritime Southeast Asia.

CountryArea (km2)Population (2020)
Brunei
5,765437,479
Cambodia181,03516,718,965
Indonesia
1,904,569273,523,615
Laos
236,8007,275,560
Malaysia
330,803
32,365,999
Myanmar
676,578
54,409,800
Philippines
342,353
109,581,078
Singapore7105,850,342
Thailand513,12069,799,978
Timor-Leste14,8741,318,445
Vietnam331,21297,338,579
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West Asia

West Asia Map

The western portion of Asia is located on the Arabian Peninsula. There are 19 countries in this region, most of which are considered part of the Middle East. The Arabian Desert covers 2,300,000 square kilometers of West Asia and crosses nine countries on the Arabian Peninsula.

CountryArea (km2)Population (2020)
Armenia29,7432,963,243
Azerbaijan86,60010,139,177
Bahrain
7651,701,575
Cyprus
9,2511,207,359
Georgia
69,700
3,989,167
Iran
1,648,195
83,992,949
Iraq
438,317
40,222,493
Israel
20,770
8,655,535
Jordan
89,342
10,203,134
Kuwait
17,818
4,270,571
Lebanon
10,452
6,825,445
Oman309,5005,106,626
Qatar11,5862,881,053
Saudi Arabia2,149,69034,813,871
State of Palestine6,2205,101,414
Syria185,18017,500,658
Turkey783,56284,339,067
United Arab Emirates83,6009,890,402
Yemen527,96829,825,964
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North Asia

Siberia is the northern part of Asia, which is a mostly uninhabited part of Russia, the largest country in the world by area. In fact, Russia is so big that it 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.

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, take a look at the various countries in North America before exploring the nations of South America. You'll be on your way to building a solid foundation of geography knowledge.