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Largest Continent - The World's Largest Continent

Continents Ranked by Area and Population

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Great Wall of China Picture

Asia is the world's most populous continent.

Matt Rosenberg

The seven continents can be ranked in order of both size or area as well as population. The seven continents include Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

 

Largest Continents in Area

1. Asia - 17,139,445 square miles (44,391,162 square km)
2. Africa - 11,677,239 square miles (30,244,049 square km)
3. North America - 9,361,791 square miles (24,247,039 square km)
4. South America - 6,880,706 square miles (17,821,029 square km)
5. Antarctica - About 5,500,000 square miles (14,245,000 square km)
6. Europe - 3,997,929 square miles (10,354,636 square km)
7. Australia - 2,967,909 square miles (7,686,884 square km)

 

Largest Continents in Population

1. Asia - 4,055,000,000 (Over 4 billion)
2. Africa - 1,108,500,000 (Over 1 billion)
3. Europe - 729,871,042 (including all of Russia)
4. North America - 522,807,432
5. South America - 379,919,602
6. Australia - 20,434,176
7. Antarctica - No permanent residents but up to 4000 researchers and personnel in the summer and 1000 in the winter.

Plus, there are more than 15 million people who don't live on a continent. Almost all of these people live in the island countries of Oceania, a world region but not a continent. If you count six continents, with Eurasia as a single continent then it remains number one in area and number one in population.

Sources: Area data from the Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary and population data from the U.S. Census Bureau's International Data Base (estimates from mid-year 2010).

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