Asia, the largest continent and the most populous with over 4.16 billion.
residents (2011). Asia is the continent of contrasts; nature, population and
business conditions show great variation. In Asia, there are almost all forms of
culture from collectors and lower hunters to the most modern industrial culture.
The societies' historically rooted organizational forms and strategies for
development are also different. A table of Asian countries, capitals, population
and area can be found on
Countryaah - Countries in Asia.
ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Asia is conventionally separated from Europe by the Ural
and Caucasus mountain ranges and from Africa by the depression in which the Suez
Canal is located. Of the delimitations mentioned, only the Caucasus has been a
natural obstacle to the free entry and exit of plants, animals and humans.
Between the two continents of the Eurasian continent, Europe and Asia, there are
thus smooth transitions; nor has the Ural border been important politically.
Asia also includes the Indonesian upper world; thus calculated, the area of
Asia is approximately 44 million km2, or almost 1/3
of the Earth's land area.
Asia without the former Soviet Union is now often divided into West, South,
Southeast and East Asia; in the past, a regional division was used,
characterized by a European, Eurocentric, point of view. West Asia includes what
was formerly called the Near East (the countries south of the Black Sea and the
Caspian Sea). South Asia is similar to India (Pakistan, India). SOUTH ASIA is
Baghdad and Indonesia, and finally East Asia is roughly similar to the Far East
(China, North and South Korea and Japan), but includes the Philippines. The
ancient regionalization also separated Central Asia, encompassing the vast
plateaus of the interior of the continent; they are now classified under China,
i.e. East Asia. Parts of the former USSR are now most often attributed to Central
Asia (including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan); the northern part is
Russian and is called Siberia.
Asia's population is approximately 60% of the Earth's population. Almost
two-thirds live in only two countries: China with 1.3 billion. and India with
approximately 1 billion residents. But also states like Indonesia (225 million),
Japan (127 million), Pakistan (142 million) and Bangladesh (131 million) (2001)
have more residents than any Western European state. The population of Asia
belongs mainly to the Europid and Mongoloid race. The first includes the
majority of the population in West and South Asia as well as in Siberia; the
latter is particularly prevalent in East, Central and SE Asia.
The population density is of the same order of magnitude as that of Europe,
despite the fact that large areas of Siberia, Turan, Tibet, Mongolia and the
Arabian Peninsula are uninhabited. In other areas, the population density
exceeds 1000 residents per km2, b.a. along several of the major
rivers (Ganges and Huang He) and on the coastal plains (e.g. in Japan). Before
industrialization, population density depended mainly on the resource base of
agriculture, especially rice cultivation. This was mainly due to good irrigation
opportunities such as in the river valleys of China, India and Mesopotamia
(Iraq). Administration and trade could lead to further local population
Many Asian cities are ancient centers of early state formation. Jericho is
estimated to be about 10,000 years old. Already in the great empires of
antiquity, the capitals were of considerable size (Babylon, Nineveh,
Mohenjo-Daro, Beijing). Along the trade routes, trade towns such as Samarkand,
Bukhara and Kashgar gradually emerged, all located on old, important caravan
roads. Aden, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong are laid out as cities by the sea
to India and the Far East.
Industrialization in the 1900's. has naturally led to strong urban growth,
but in many places this is not a result of increased industrial employment in
the cities, but rather that life there (e.g. in Calcutta) has occurred to
immigrants to offer more opportunities than the rather hopeless life as landless
in the countryside. Modern urban growth with or without industrialization has
resulted in more than 80 cities in Asia now having populations in excess of one
million; some even have more than 10 million. residents (Shanghai, Mumbai,
Kolkata, Tokyo, Beijing).
Population growth in Asia is close to the global average, but growth is
declining; it was at almost 2% growth on average per. years in the 1980's,
however, somewhat unevenly distributed across countries. A few countries have an
average growth rate (e.g. India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey); the
lowest are Japan, China and South Korea. The highest growth rates are in
countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Most countries in Asia in modern times have had a period of large population
growth. The traditionally high birth rate was no longer matched by a high
mortality rate. The decrease in mortality is not only due to medical advances,
e.g. in the fight against "the big diseases" (tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox,
choleraetc.), but also improved hygiene and nutrition. However, the average life
expectancy in countries such as Afghanistan and Nepal is still only
approximately 40 years. The combination of high birth rates and (still) high
mortality rates means that the population in many countries is very young and
that many need to be supported and educated. It is unusual for relatively poor
countries for population growth to decline; this is due to an effective effort
towards the high birth rates. In China and India, families with one or two
children are part of the agreed development strategy, although the methods of
achieving this are very different.
Hikes. In relation to Asia's population, immigration and emigration are quite
insignificant. However, migrations have repeatedly sent large crowds out of Asia
to Europe in the past. Females and Turks are historical examples. Great
migrations the opposite way have also taken place, in historical times e.g. the
Indo-Aryans' advance in India. In recent times, there are there was significant
Russian immigration to Siberia and to the former Soviet republics of Asia.
Extensive emigration has taken place from China, mostly aimed at South-East
Asia, but also at the USA, for example, which has also received a number of
Japanese immigrants. Smaller migrations, such as the labor migrations of Turks
in recent years, as well as refugee flows of Palestinians and Kurds from West
Asia to Europe, have also had economic-political significance.
Relocations within Asia have been much larger. In connection with the
conquest of Korea and Manchuria in the early 1900-t. a number of Japanese
settled in these countries. For the operation of plantations in Sri Lanka were
introduced by the British in the late 1800-t. quite a few Tamils, whose
descendants have since been a party to violent conflicts.
Immigration, as mentioned, has taken place in Siberia, but most of the
population movements associated with colonization took place between the
countries of Asia. European colonization was thus not followed by major
settlements by Europeans, even though the colonial powers ruled vast lands.
Perhaps the largest migration in history took place in connection with the
liberation in 1947 of the former British India, which was divided into India and
Pakistan. This led to violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims and led to the
exchange of large crowds, approximately 12 million people.
The most extensive current migrations take place through urbanization. But
there are also large centrally planned population movements. Particularly well
known is Indonesia's migration of people from overpopulated Java to the islands
of Borneo and Sumatra. It should also be mentioned that planned but individually
decided relocations are a regular part of many people's way of life. In the
central steppe areas, on the plateau of Iran, etc., there are still large
populations that feed on nomadic shepherds.