Comprising 12 Countries, South America is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, the 4th largest continent in the world by area and the fifth-most populous. South America is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, with North America and the Caribbean Sea situated to the northwest.
Map of South American Countries
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About South America
Situated in the Western Hemisphere, being mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, and with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere, South America is the fourth-largest continent.
It is made up of twelve independent countries and three major territories: the Falkland Islands, Galapagos Islands and French Guiana. The continent covers an area of 6,890,000 square miles. The estimated population is more than 432,105,011 as of 2020. The per capita nominal GDP of South America was $8,560 as of 2019. Christianity is the most widely practiced religion. People also follow other religions and faiths such as Islam, Judaism, Bahai, and Buddhism. The main languages spoken in the continent are Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, and French. Italian, German, Hindi and Arabic are also spoken.
South America is thought to have been first inhabited by at least 15,000 years ago. The people were moving south through North America, and eventually reached South America through the Isthmus of Panama. The natural resources of the region were constantly exploited by the European conquests (Portugal and Spain) during the 1530s.
Tourism is an important industry enhancing the GDP of the continent. Historical places, architectural and natural wonders and beautiful landscapes attract millions of tourists every year from all across the globe to the continent. Machu Picchu, the Amazon Rainforest, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza, Maceio, Bogota, Florianopolis, Isla Margarita, Natal, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Angel Falls, Cuzco, Lake Titicaca, Patagonia, Cartagena and the Galapagos islands are the most visited places.
These nations then claimed the land and resources as their own and divided it into colonies. After a series of battles fought, South American countries finally won their independence at the end of 1823 from the Spanish Crown in the Spanish American wars of independence. The important leaders during the independence struggles were Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose de San Martin of Argentina.
Country and dependency in South America
|#||Country (or dependency)||Population 2023||Density (P/Km²)||Land Area (Km²)|
Largest Cities in South America
|4||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||6,476,631||17||Curitiba||Brazil||1,879,355|
|7||Buenos Aires||Argentina||3,054,267||20||Santa Cruz de la Sierra||Bolivia||1,614,224|
South America Facts
|Area||17,840,000 km2 (6,890,000 sq mi) (4th)|
|Literacy Rate||93.9 percent|
|Highest Peak||Aconcagua (more than 6,706 meters (22,000 feet) high)|
|Lowest Point||Valdés Peninsula (131 feet (40 metres) below sea level)|
|Longest River||Amazon River|
|Principal Religions||Christianity is the main religion.|
|Major Languages||Spanish, Portuguese, Guaraní, English, French, Dutch, Quechua, Aymara, Chinese, other languages|
|Time zones||UTC-2 to UTC-5|