Asia, the largest continent, stretches from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the western Pacific Ocean. There are more than 40 countries in Asia. Some are among the most-populated countries in the world, including China, India, and Indonesia. Sixty percent of Earth’s population lives in Asia. More than a third of the world’s people live in China and India alone.
The continent of Asia includes many islands, some of them countries. The Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan are major island nations in Asia. Most of Asia’s people live in cities or fertile farming areas near river valleys, plains, and coasts. The plateaus in Central Asia are largely unsuitable for farming and are thinly populated.
Asia accounts for almost a third of the world’s land. The continent has a wide range of climate regions, from polar in the Siberian Arctic to tropical in equatorial Indonesia. Parts of Central Asia, including the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia, are dry year-round. Southeast Asia, on the other hand, depends on the annual monsoons, which bring rain and make agriculture possible.