In this article we show you a list of countries in Asia and their capitals. And we explain why there can be 48 or 51 Asian countries. We also show you which are the regions of Asia and a brief summary of each.
What is Asia?
Asia is the largest and most racially, culturally and linguistically diverse continent in the world. It covers an area of 44,614,000 square kilometres, which represents 4/5 of the landmass of Eurasia and is equivalent to 1/3 of the total land area.
It has the highest and deepest points on the Earth’s surface, the longest coastline of any continent and, due to its vastness, has very diverse climatic conditions and a wide biodiversity.
Asia is the only continent that shares borders with two others: Africa and Europe. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean in the north, the Indian Ocean in the south, Africa in the southwest, the Pacific Ocean in the east and Europe in the west. It is separated from North America by the Bering Strait and from Australia by the seas connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The Asia-Europe border is a historical and cultural construct that has been variously defined. Geographers generally adopt as the geographical boundary a line from the Arctic Ocean to the Ural Mountains, continuing southwest along the Emba River to the Caspian Sea coast and the Caucasus mountain range in the south, ending at the Gulf of Aden in the south.
Characteristics of Asia
Asia’s geography has a wide variety of features. It has the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest at 8,850 metres and the world’s deepest waterway, Lake Baikal, which is 1,620 metres deep (the bottom of which is 1,165 metres below sea level).
The mountain systems of Central Asia have not only provided meltwater for the great rivers, but have also facilitated the migration of people from arid areas to India via the mountain passes. More recent migrations have originated from China to all of Southeast Asia and, to a lesser extent, Korean and Japanese peoples.
Asia is the continent with the largest population, constituting 3/5 of the world’s population. The two most populous countries in the world are China (with 1.3 billion inhabitants) and India (with 1.2 billion inhabitants). The United States, which is the third largest country in the world, has 300 million inhabitants.
The distribution of the Asian population is uneven, mainly due to climatic factors. There is a high concentration of people in West Asia, India and East China. In contrast, the regions of Central and Northern Asia, where the climate is not conducive to agricultural production, are sparsely populated.
How many countries in Asia and capitals?
Afghanistan – Kabul
Saudi Arabia – Riyadh
Armenia – Yerevan
Azerbaijan – Baku
Bangladesh – Dhaka
Bahrain – Manama
Burma – Naipyido
Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan
Bhutan – Timbu
Cambodia – Nome Penh
Qatar – Doha
China – Beijing
Cyprus – Nicosia
North Korea – Pionyang
South Korea – Seoul
United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi
Philippines – Manila
Georgia – Tbilisi
India – New Delhi
Indonesia – Jakarta
Iraq – Baghdad
Iran – Tehran
Israel – Jerusalem
Japan – Tokyo
Jordan – Amman
Kazakhstan – Astana
Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek
Kuwait – Kuwait
Laos – Vientiane
Lebanon – Beirut
Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur
Maldives – Malé
Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar
Nepal – Kathmandu
Oman – Muscat
Pakistan – Islamabad
Russia – Moscow *
Singapore – Singapore
Syria – Damascus
Sri Lanka – Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Tajikistan – Dushanbe
Thailand – Bangkok
Timor-Leste – Dili
Turkmenistan – Ashgabat
Turkey – Ankara
Uzbekistan – Tashkent
Vietnam – Hanoi
Yemen – Sana’a
How many countries are there in Asia?
In total there are 48 Asian countries, and depending on the individual, there may be as many as 51 Asian countries (see below).
- Asian countries in italics and with an asterisk at the end are generally Eurasian countries, and do not belong to Asia as a whole.
- Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: The European Union considers them to be European countries. However, geographically they are Eurasian countries, and considered Asian countries by the UN and the RAE.
- Cyprus: belongs to the European Union and politically could be considered a European country. However, due to its geographical location it is an Asian country.
- Kazakhstan: geographically it is considered a Eurasian country (with most of the country in Asia) and politically speaking it is considered an Asian country.
- Russia: the European Union considers it a European country, and the RAE considers it a Eurasian country. 75% of its territory is in Asia, but these are sparsely populated areas.
- Turkey: is a candidate member of the European Union, and politically can be considered a European country. However, the majority of the country, geographically speaking, is in ASIA.
- Palestine (Israel), Taiwan (China) and Hong Kong (China) are not listed. They are not fully independent and recognised countries. We do not take any political position.
Regions of Asia
The Asian continent is divided into six regions: North Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Although the boundaries may vary from time to time, as the division is sometimes interpreted differently, we use the official division established by the United Nations.
North Asia – The largest region by area
In terms of area, North Asia is the largest region on the Asian continent. It includes only Russia, which in turn is divided into three federal districts. These include the Asian part of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. The whole territory is about 13 million square kilometres. Despite this size, it is rather sparsely populated, with only 38 million people, largely due to the large steppes, tundras, deserts and mountains. The Far East is the most sparsely populated region with just under 6.5 million people, followed by the Urals with 12 million and Siberia with 19.5 million.
East Asia – China and surrounding countries
With more than 6.5 million square kilometres, East Asia is the second largest region on the Asian continent. The population density is enormous, with more than 1.54 billion people living in East Asia. There are six countries in this region, with China having the largest population.
Also included in East Asia are Mongolia (sometimes counted as part of North Asia), the Republic of China, also called Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea and the island nation of Japan. What is often forgotten about East Asia, but nevertheless belongs to it, are the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao. Two metropolises that include more than 260 islands.
Middle East – Predominantly desert land
Third is the Middle East, also called West Asia or South West Asia, with just over six million square kilometres. This part of Asia includes the 20 countries of Egypt (Sinai Peninsula only), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Yemen (excluding the island of Socotra), Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey (Asian part), United Arab Emirates and Cyprus. The region is predominantly characterised by deserts. However, some 300 million people live here, most of them in Iran (75 million), and the least in Cyprus and Bahrain (1 million).
South Asia – The most populous region
South Asia, also called the Middle East, covers an area of 5.3 million square kilometres. However, this name is now obsolete. The following countries belong to South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The region is one of the most populous in the world, home to one fifth of the world’s population. In numbers, there are 1.6 billion people living here. Savannah, mountains, tundra, grasslands and rainforest are the characteristics of this region in the south of the Asian continent.
Central Asia – mountains, deserts and steppe landscape
Central Asia is also called Central Asia. In the history of this region, the composition of the countries changed again and again. Today, the five states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan belong to Central Asia. Some 68 million people live in an area of about four million square kilometres. Despite this high population (almost twice as high as in North Asia), there are many steppes, deserts and especially mountains. People live mainly in urban centres.
Southeast Asia – the smallest but most popular holiday destination
The region of Southeast Asia covers an area of about four million square kilometres, which puts it last behind Central Asia. What is most striking about this part of the Asian continent are the numerous island states. At present, Southeast Asia includes the countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, East Timor, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Almost 600 million people live in the eleven countries, with Indonesia having the largest population at 240 million and Brunei the smallest at 400,000. Incidentally, Indonesia is also the world’s largest island nation, with more than 17,500 islands.
Cultures and religions of Asia
Asia can be divided into five cultural groups:
- Confucianism. Includes Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese.
- Theravada Buddhism. includes the Thais, Laotians, Khmer, Burmese and Sinhalese.
- Hinduism. Includes the Indian subcontinent.
- Islam. Includes countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh
- The Philippines, where the Catholic faith is more widespread due to its past as a Spanish colony, is considered a separate cultural area.
Asia is home to all the world’s religions: according to the Religious Diversity Index, there is no region on Earth with greater religious diversity than Asia. In the West, in the so-called Middle East, Islam is most strongly represented. Hinduism is mainly practised in India, and Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Most of the Chinese population belongs to the traditional Chinese religion. Christianity is strongly represented in the Philippines. Israel is the centre of Judaism.
Why is Asia famous?
Asia is famous for a number of reasons. Some notable factors include:
- Rich history: Asia is home to ancient civilisations and has a long and diverse history.
- Cultural diversity: Asia has many cultures, traditions, languages and religions.
- Natural wonders: Asia is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, including the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Everest and many more.
- Economic powerhouses: Asia is home to some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, including China, Japan, India, South Korea and several Southeast Asian countries.
- Technological advances: Asia is a centre of innovation and technological development, with countries such as Japan and South Korea.
- Culinary delights: Asian cuisine is known for its diverse flavours and cooking styles, including sushi, curries, stir-fries, dumplings, etc.
FAQs of countries in Asia
What is the astronomical position of Asia?
R. In relation to the equator, the Asian continent is located between 77°40′ north latitude, Cape Cheliuskin and 1°16′ south latitude, Cape Boro Singapore. In relation to the Greenwich Meridian, between: 169°40′ east longitude, Cape Dezhnen and 26°05′ east longitude, Cape Baba (Turkey).
What is the geographical position of the Asian continent?
R. The continent is mostly located in the northern hemisphere, except for the islands of the Indonesian Archipelago, which are in the southern hemisphere. It is also almost entirely in the eastern hemisphere, as the Chukchi Peninsula lies to the west.
Name the boundaries of Asia
R. The boundaries of the Asian continent are:
North: Arctic Ocean
Northeast: Europe, section of the Baltic Shield
South: Indian Ocean
Southeast: Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea
East: Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea
West: Border with the European continent by the Ural Mountains divide and continuation of the Caucasus to the Black Sea.
Name the extreme points of the Asian Continent.
R. This continent has the following extreme points:
North: Cape Cheliuskin (Russia), 77°40′ north latitude on the Taimir Peninsula.
South: Roti Island south of Timor (Indonesia), 10°30′ latitude south
East: Cape Dezhnev (Russia), Siberia, 169°30′ west longitude on Chukotshi Peninsula
West: Cape Baba (Turkey), 26°05′ east longitude.
How many areas does the relief of Asia correspond to?
R. The Asian relief corresponds to 4 zones:
The Northern: Siberian region stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Bering Sea.
The Central: made up of mountain ranges (Himalayas – Karakorum – Hindukush) and the highest volcano on the Kamchatka peninsula, Klyyucheuskaya (4,750 m).
The South: made up of plateau regions and depressions.
The Insular: formed by the archipelagos of the Philippines and Indonesia, bordering Oceania.
Describe the hydrography of Asia
R. The real hydrographic heartlands of Asia are: Pamir Knot and the Himalayan Range. The rivers of Asia are considered to be the longest and largest in the world.
The rivers of the Siberian region remain frozen for a large part of the year.
How many climatic regions does Asia have?
R. There are 7 climatic regions in Asia distributed throughout the continent and according to their geographical contrasts these are: Mediterranean, Continental, Tropical, Monsoon, Desert, Subpolar and Temperate.
Where is North Asia located?
R. This region is Siberian Russia, located in part of Asia, from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean. To the west it forms the world’s longest natural border, the Ural Mountains.
It is located:
To the North: Cape Cheleuskin (77° north latitude).
To the South: Kasakhstan-China-Mongolian border (41° north latitude)
To the East: Cape Dezhnev (169° West longitude)
West: Gulf of Finland (25° East longitude)
Mention 5 classifications of North Asia.
R. This region has a very diverse relief, classified as follows:
- Eastern or Eastern Plain: in this there are plains that exceed 300 m in height, extensive valleys and poorly drained basins. The Central Siberian Plateau, the Kolima Mountains and the Cherski Mountains stand out.
- Ural Mountains: a 2,500 m high mountain system.
- The West Siberian plain is a lowland area; its altitudes do not exceed 180m. Here we find the Turgai plains.
- The East Siberian Plateau: is characterised by a succession of platforms worn by erosion. Within this area are the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Munku Sardyk and Tannuola Mountains.
- The Southeast Mountains are a group of mountains bordering southern and eastern Siberia. Some of them are Yablonovi Mountains, Stanovoi, Stanovoi Plateau, Sayan Mountains.
Where is Central Asia located?
R. Central Asia is located in the inhospitable mountains and plateaus of Central Asia, which lie southwest of the Caucasus and west of the Caspian Sea.
What coastal features make up the relief of Central Asia?
R. The relief of the countries bordering the Caspian Sea is made up of the following coastal features:
Tien Shan Mountains
Pamir Mountain Range
What are the coastal features of Central Asia?
R. This central region has no extensions of coastal features. It is bordered by the Black Sea and the Caucasus region. Eastern Caspian Sea countries have no peninsulas, capes, islands, straits; only a gulf of Kara-Bogaz in Turkmenistan.
How many peninsulas does South Asia consist of and which countries make it up?
This Asian region is made up of three peninsulas: Anatolia, Arabian and Hindustan and some countries such as Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
What are the most important rivers and lakes in the South Asian region?
R. The most important rivers in this region are:
- Tigris and Euphrates meet at the Chatt-el-Arab.
- Jordan river
- Ganges, Indus, Brhamaputra originate in Tibet and form with the Ganges the largest delta in the world.
- The most outstanding lakes of this region are: Lake Van, Lake Asad, Dead Sea and Tiberias, Hanmar, Namak, Urmia, Bakhtegan.
Name the countries of Northeast and Southeast East Asia.
The northeast countries are: Mongolia, North Korea, China, South Korea.
Southeast countries are: Bhutan, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Singapore, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.
How is the relief of the northeastern and southeastern countries of the East Asian region formed?
R. In the northeastern region the highest mountain ranges are advancing, their geological formations date back to the Palaeozoic and Secondary eras. Its formations are flat, with plains of soils useful for cultivation.
To the southeast, its relief is made up of plateaus. Flat and mountainous depressions.
What are the most important rivers in this region?
R. The largest and most abundant rivers of the continent are found in this region. Some of them originate in the interior of the mountains. The most important are:
Yantsé Kiang River or Blue River
Huang Ho River or Yellow River