Known as the largest and most populous continent on Earth is the continent of Asia. Located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, it is bordered by Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arctic Ocean. Asia covers Earth’s total surface area by 71.n square miles and has the largest coastline at 39,022 miles as well. This is home to 4.5 billion people from about 50 countries.
There is no clear geographical separation between Europe and Asia therefore they are commonly called Eurasia. Only a historical and cultural construct stands as the border between the two. Given the land size, and the huge amount of people, diversity varies across regions with regard to ethic groups, culture, economics and government systems.
Greek civilization had “Asia” an original concept for English name. It was originally just a name for the east bank of Aegean Sea, an region recognized to the Hittites as Assuwa. The Greeks used the term “Asia” to refer to the territory known today as Anatolia. Although a number of theories have been published regarding the etymology of Asia, it still remains uncertain and can only be guessed. It could have been from the Aegean root “Asis” which means muddy and silty or Semitic root “Asu” meaning rising.
Asia’s history are collectively distinct from the different regions such as East Asia, South Asia and Middle East linked by the interior mass of Eurasian steppe. The world’s earliest civilization was at the coastal periphery with each of the three regions around fertile river valleys. Mounted nomads had also long inhabited the steppe region. The northern part of Asia, Siberia however was inaccessible to nomads due to dense forests. The Caucasus, Himalaya, Karakum Desert and Gobi Desert took advantage of mountains and deserts to make the Centre and periphery hardly accessible to steppe horsemen.
Prehistoric cultures recorded two ages that had major impact on the history of Asia. Bronze Age which was validated by bronze artifacts dating back to 2100 BCE in Ban Chiang, Thailand and Burma Bronze tools in Nyaunggan, Burma in 3500 – 500 BCE. Iron age saw the wide use of iron for tools, weaponry and armor.
Asia is the largest continent on Earth covering 9% of its surface. The 62,800 kilometer coastline is the largest. Asia has 48 countries. 3 of which are Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey that have parts of their land in Europe. There are deserts, tropical rainforests and elevated mountains in this continent thus having a diverse geographic and climate.
This continent is so huge, it has subcontinents. It has the Himalayas which are the highest mountains in the world.
Different climates are experienced all throughout Asia. There is Aden, Yemen which is the driest place on Earth and Mawsynram, India as the wettest. Monsoons also frequent this region and the most active place for tropical cyclone lies by the Philippines and south of Japan.
In terms of continental economy, Asia has the largest by both GDP Nominal and PPP in the world. It has the fastest growing economic region. The prime from this region are China, Japan, India, South Korea and Indonesia. Asia also holds domination in Global Office Locations with 68% of international firms have offices in Hong Kong.
According to Angus Maddison’s The World Economy; A Millenial Perspective, world’s largest economy during 0 BCE and 1000 BCE was in India. China also has, for much of the recorded history, the largest and most cutting edge economy until Bristish empire took over in the mid 19th century, In the late 20th century, Japan took lead for several decades being the largest economy in Asia. In 2010, China took over Japan and became world’s second largest economy.
Forecasts have been made regarding economic standings of Japan, India and China. By 2020, it is assumed that India will overtake Japan in nominal GDP. Goldman Sachs also predicts that by 2027, China will stand as the leading economy in the world.
The fact that Asia is the largest continent of the world, it is abundant in natural resources – Fisheries, forestry, marine and minerals. With the huge number of population in Asia, there is no doubt they are traditionally the strongest in terms of manufacturing. International companies have taken advantage of the cheap labour thus settled operations in most parts of Asia where high skilled manufacturers and fluent English speakers are. Off shore customer services or call centers of international firms are mainly found in India and the Philippines.
One third of the world’s land area is Asia and is home to about three fifths of its population. This continent includes two of the most populous countries, China and India. China is also the second highest achiever in the world based on HDI Improvement. The 10 most successful countries in furthering the human development of their people come from different regions and the list includes several Countries in East and South Asia and the Arab States. However, not all the countries on the list are not typically described as success stories. Only because their high achievements in health and education, and in some cases even their unexceptional growth performance made them included. China for example enters solely through its growth performance.
Being home to more than 40 countries, it wouldn’t be surprising to have more than one language . Although most can speak English, no Asian country has just but one language. Philippines for example, has more than 100 spoken languages, Indonesia with about 600 and so on.
The largest and the most populous continent has a wide variety of religions. Asia was the birth place of several religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism. Most of these traditional religions are still being practiced although new forms are persistently emerging.