The Asia Portal
The Asia Portal
Main   Geography   Projects

Asia (/ˈʒə/ AY-zhə, UK also /ˈʃə/ AY-shə) is the largest continent in the world by both land area and population. It covers an area of more than 44 million square kilometers, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8% of Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Its 4.7 billion people constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

Asia shares the landmass of Eurasia with Europe, and of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. In general terms, it is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black seas, separating it from Europe.

China and India traded places as the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power for much of recorded history, with the highest GDP per capita until 1500. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

Featured article

The 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake (also known as the 2002 Avaj earthquake or the 2002 Changureh earthquake) occurred on 22 June 2002. The epicenter was near the city of Bou'in-Zahra in Qazvin Province, a region of northwestern Iran which is crossed by several major faults that is known for destructive earthquakes. The shock measured 6.5 on the Mwc scale, had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe), and was followed by more than 20 aftershocks. At least 230 people were killed and 1,500 more were injured.

According to the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), the earthquake was felt as far away as the capital city of Tehran, approximately 290 kilometres (180 mi) east of the epicenter, although no damage was reported there. Most houses in the region were single-story masonry buildings, and virtually all of these collapsed. The public became angry due to the slow official response to victims who needed supplies. Residents of the town of Avaj resorted to throwing stones at the car of a government minister. (Full article...)
List of Featured articles

Selected Country

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It is located at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands with a combined area of 36,193 square kilometres (13,974 square miles). The main island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa, has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 square miles), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanized population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area. With around 23.9 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries.

Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years. Ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, large-scale Han Chinese immigration began under a Dutch colony and continued under the Kingdom of Tungning, the first predominantly Han Chinese state in Taiwanese history. The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1912, took control following the surrender of Japan in 1945. Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan in 1952. The immediate resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the loss of the Chinese mainland to Communist forces, who established the People's Republic of China, and the flight of the ROC central government to Taiwan in 1949. The effective jurisdiction of the ROC has since been limited to Taiwan, Penghu, and smaller islands. (Full article...)

Featured biography

Pinto in 2014

Freida Selena Pinto (born 18 October 1984) is an Indian actress who has appeared mainly in American and British films. Born and raised in Mumbai, Maharashtra, she resolved at a young age to become an actress. As a student at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai she took part in amateur plays. After graduation, she briefly worked as a model and then as a television presenter.

Pinto rose to prominence with her film debut in the drama Slumdog Millionaire (2008), winning a SAG Award and earning a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She earned critical acclaim for her roles in Miral (2010), Trishna (2011), and Desert Dancer (2014). She also saw commercial success with the science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), and the epic fantasy action film Immortals (2011). Pinto's other notable roles include You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), Love Sonia (2018), Hillbilly Elegy (2020), and Mr. Malcolm's List (2022). She also starred in the Showtime miniseries Guerrilla (2017), and had a recurring role in the Hulu series The Path (2018). (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured picture

File:Burj Khalifa.jpg
File:Burj Khalifa.jpg
The Burj Khalifa (known as the Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration) is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the world's tallest structure. With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft, or just over half a mile) and a roof height (excluding antenna, but including a 242.6 m spire) of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009, surpassing Taipei 101, the previous holder of that status. (Full article...)

Did you know...

Updated: 6:33, 14 February 2024

In the news

19 April 2024 – 2024 Iran–Israel conflict
2024 Israeli strikes on Iran
Missiles are launched by the Israel Defense Forces toward the city of Isfahan, Iran. Locations in Iraq and radar sites in Syria are also attacked by Israel. (Al Jazeera) (Times of Israel) (The Washington Post)
They later hit a base of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces. (Reuters)
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade tells its citizens to leave Israel, citing a high threat of military reprisals and terrorist attacks. (Times of Israel)
19 April 2024 – 2024 Indian general election
Indians begin voting to elect members to the 18th Lok Sabha. With 968 million people eligible to vote, this election is expected to be the world's largest election. Voting will continue until June in a total of seven phases. (AP)
18 April 2024 – Palestine and the United Nations, Enlargement of the United Nations
The United States vetoes a UN Security Council resolution supporting the State of Palestine joining the United Nations. The vote was 12 in favor, the United States opposed and two abstentions, from the United Kingdom and Switzerland. France, Japan, Ecuador and South Korea supported the resolution. (AP)

More current events...

Related portals

Major Religions in Asia

Middle East

Central Asia and Surroundings

Indian Subcontinent

Southeast Asia

East Asia

Selected panorama

150pxA panoramic view of Bangalore from Corporation Circle
150pxA panoramic view of Bangalore from Corporation Circle
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Bangalore, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million, making it a megacity and the third-most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration in India.



Category puzzle
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

More portals