[Updated] List of Continents in the World and their Countries by Size and Population

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

7 Continents of the World: The Earth’s landmass comprises 7 continents. The seven continents of the world consist of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, North America, South America, and Antarctica. Interestingly, all the continents start and end with the same alphabet. There are a total of 7 continents in the world.

All these 7 continents are formed due to the interaction of the tectonic plates. The continents make up one-third of the Earth’s total surface area while two-third of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.

List 7 Continents Ranked by Size and Population

We have given below the list of all the seven continents according to their size. Asia is the largest continent while Australia is the smallest continent in the world.

S No.




No. of countries












50 sovereign countries


North America




South America











* No one lives in Antarctica, it is uninhabited. People visit there for research purposes only.

Which are the largest continent and the smallest continent of the world?

Out of the total number of continents in the world, Asia is the largest continent while Australia is the smallest continent in the world.

Facts about Asia Continent

  • Asia is the largest continent in the world both in terms of size and population.
  • Asia has two of the world’s most populated countries, India and China.
  • This is the only continent that is home to the highest peaks in the world.
  • Two of the world’s ancient civilizations, the Harappan civilization, and the Chinese civilization began in Asia.

Facts about the Australian Continent

  • Australia is also known as the island continent because it is surrounded by water on all sides. It is the only continent that is surrounded by water on all sides.
  • Australia lies on the south of the equator and so it is called the “down under”.
  • Australia has the maximum number of beaches in the world.
  • The world’s largest coral reef, “The Great Barrier Reef” is in Australia and is a tourist destination for almost everyone who visits the country.
  • Australia’s continent is often called Sahul, Australia, or Meganesia so that it can be differentiated from Australia.

Difference between a Continent and a Country

So, what is the difference between a continent and a country? Well, there is a whole lot of difference between the two of them. A country and a continent are two different concepts. A country is a part of a continent while a continent can never be a part of a country. Here are the major differences between a country and a continent.



  • A continent is derived from the word ‘continent land’ that means connected or continuous land.
  • It is a very large landmass that is separated due to geographical boundaries that limit them.
  • There are a total of 7 continents in the world.
  • A continent does not have any government or constitution to govern itself except for Australia and Antarctica.
  • A continent is the result of the Earth’s tectonic plates that exist independently.
  • The term 'country’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Contra’ which means that lies in the opposite direction.
  • A country is a part of a continent that is defined by geographical territory, culture, ethnicity.
  • There are a total of 197 countries ( 193 UN members + 2 UN observers + Taiwan + Kosovo)  in the world that are located in different regions of the continents.
  • A country has its own law, constitution, government, and other governing institutions.
  • A country is an outcome of historic battles, faiths.


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