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7 continents of the world
The 7 continents are listed by size below, from biggest to smallest and include 195 countries.
There are 196 countries in the world today. Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one.
Asia (43,820,000 sq km) includes 50 countries, and it is the most populated continent, the 60% of the total population of the Earth live here.
Africa (30,370,000 sq km) comprises 54 countries. It is the hottest continent and home of the world's largest desert, the Sahara, occupying the 25% of the total area of Africa.
North America (24,490,000 sq km) includes 23 countries led by the USA as the largest economy in the world.
South America (17,840,000 sq km) comprises 12 countries. Here is located the largest forest, the Amazon rainforest, which covers 30% of the South America total area.
Antarctica (13,720,000 sq km) is the coldest continent in the world, completely covered with ice. There are no permanent inhabitants, except of scientists maintaining research stations in Antarctica.
Europe (10,180,000 sq km) comprises 51 countries. It is the most developed economically continent with the European Union as the biggest economic and political union in the world.
Australia (9,008,500 sq km) includes 14 countries. It is the least populated continent after Antarctica, only 0.3% of the total Earth population live here.
Taiwan is not considered an official country by many, which would bring the count down to 195 countries. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one. Because the People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a breakaway province of China, countries who wish to maintain diplomatic relations with China have had to sever their formal relations with Taiwan (more than 100 countries, however, have unofficial relations with Taiwan).
The world's newest country is South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011. Before that, the newest country was Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. Montenegro became a country in June 2006, after splitting off from Serbia. Since 1990, 29 new nations have come into being. Many of these emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union (14 countries) and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia (7 countries). See our Guide to New Nations.
Are there still any countries that have colonies?
There are 61 colonies or territories in the world. Eight countries maintain them: Australia (6), Denmark (2), Netherlands (2), France (16), New Zealand (3), Norway (3), the United Kingdom (15), and the United States (14). SeeTerritories, Colonies, and Dependencies for a list of the world's colonies and what countries administrate them, p. 663.
Are there still territories in the world that are claimed by more than one country?