The Bigger Picture: Comparing Africa and Asia’s Sizes

9 mins read
The Bigger Picture: Comparing Africa and Asia’s Sizes

As the world’s two most populous continents, Africa and Asia have a great deal in common. However, when it comes to size, they differ significantly from one another. This article examines both their relative areas as well as how these sizes shape the day-to-day lives of people living within each continent. By comparing and contrasting Africa and Asia through quantitative analysis of land area distribution along with qualitative exploration of population density implications for development potentials, we can gain insight into understanding our global community more holistically.

I. Introduction to Africa and Asia’s Sizes

Africa and Asia are two of the largest continents in the world, with combined land mass accounting for around three-quarters of all global land area. It is thus important to explore their comparative size to gain a better understanding of their relative locations on our planet.

Comparative Size: Africa covers 11,730,000 square miles while Asia covers 17,212,000 square miles. Thus Asian countries account for almost double that covered by African countries when it comes to total area. However this does not mean that the individual states within each continent will follow these proportions. For instance China is much larger than many other nations in both Africa and Asia – with its 3,705,407 sq miles occupying over 20% of Asia’s entire space!

Unique Features: While exploring africa vs asia size one must consider what sets them apart from one another beyond pure geography alone; For example Africa has an abundance natural resources like diamonds found throughout Botswana and Namibia which don’t exist in such concentrations elsewhere or so easily extractable because they were created under certain geological conditions unique to those parts only.

  • Asia boasts some incredibly large mountain ranges like Himalayas (1 million sq km) & Pamirs (300 thousand sq km)

, due largely due tectonic plate collision near India millions years ago which formed distinctive topographical features.


II. Physical Dimensions of Africa and Asia Compared


The climates of Africa and Asia differ greatly in both temperature and precipitation, as Africa is mostly located within the tropics while Asia spans more temperate latitudes. Average temperatures for the two regions vary from 13°C to 24°C across much of Asia compared to 16-28 °C for most of Africa. Precipitation varies drastically between the two areas as well; with annual rainfall ranging from 750 mm – 2200 mm throughout much of tropical African and up to 7000mm on parts India’s southwest coast compared to a range of 200 – 600mm throughout many arid Asian landscapes such as Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. The variation in climate has an impact on population distributions, food security, water availability, vegetation types, infectious diseases rate etc., further highlighting differences between these two vast landmasses.


When looking at geography alone there are several distinct similarities and differences between the physical dimensions if we compare Africa vs. Asia size specifically. In terms when talking about area covered each continent actually has a similar size despite common perceptions; with 11 million square miles being allocated for mainland Europe/Asia whilst 12 million square miles exists in mainland central & southern African respectively.[1]. Additionally they are also similarly divided by large bodies or water including The Mediterranean Sea which separates Europe from North African nations whereas South East Asian countries such as Malaysia lie eastwards off Indian Ocean islands like Indonesia & Papua New Guinea . It is clear that geographic divisions play major roles defining regional identities here even though different climatic factors may equally have significant impacts upon how humans interact with their environments over time .

Economic Output

Both continents possess huge economic potential due its combined population (4 billion people) which makes it one quarter world total.[2], however this output currently differs significantly depending upon who you consider ; since ,for example GDP per capita stands $6000 annually whilst Europe generates nearly three times higher than West Sub-Saharan Africa at$17000 USD showing vast discrepancies along socio-economic linesAfrica vs Asia size notwithstanding . Whilst growth predictions suggest that average wages will increase 4 fold by 2060 according Southeast United Nations [3]. This still leaves populations lagging behind developed countries suggesting underlying issues related lack investment inequality human capital development need addressing before significant progress can be made equalizing income disparities situated around world thus making comparison quite complex undertaking without taking into consideration ‘whole picture’.

III. Regional Variations in Size of African Countries

The size of African countries can vary widely, with the smallest being Gambia at 4,007 square miles and the largest being Algeria at 919,595.1 square miles. In contrast to Africa’s smaller sizes are several large Asian countries such as China (3.7 million sq mi) and India (1.2 million sq mi). This shows a stark difference in landmass between continents when comparing Africa vs Asia size.

Africa is divided into five regions: Northern Africa; Western Africa; Eastern Africa; Central Africa; Southern African Development Community—SADC region or Southern region for short . Each has its own varying levels of population density which helps determine its political landscape and economic opportunity for citizens living within those areas.

  • Northern Region: Morocco boasts an area of 172,413 sq km while Tunisia covers 163,610sq km making them two larger nations compared to their neighbors


  • Western Region: Nigeria is one of the most populous countries on the continent with an area totaling 356,669 sq km followed by Ghana covering 238 537sq km


  • Eastern Region: Ethiopia’s total territory comes out to 1 113 045sqkm making it much bigger than Kenya who is just 580 367sqkm wide


In comparison to other parts of world where average country sizes can range from tiny states like Monaco measuring 0.78square mile up till Russia’s 6 425 110square mile , there is still a great disparity seen when we compare africa vs asia size particularly in terms North-South geography differences across both continents . Despite this however various researchers have noted that urbanization plays less role in determining regional variance within African borders unlike other developed nations due largely disparate economic and social disparities between geographical locations throughout both rural villages coastal cities alike thus resulting greater discrepancies amongst national boundaries today than ever before .

IV. Regional Variations in Size of Asian Countries

Physical Variations in Size

  • Asia is the largest continent on Earth, covering around 17.2 million square miles.
  • The physical size of countries within Asia varies drastically, ranging from small island nations to vast continental empires.
  • This variance can be attributed to a combination of topographical features and historical processes such as colonization and war.

Within Asia, there are two particularly stark contrasts in size between countries – East-Southeast Asia compared with South Central Asia. Generally speaking, East-Southeast Asian countries tend to have much smaller land areas than those located further west across the continent. For instance, Singapore has a total area of just 719 sq km (277 sq mi) while Afghanistan is 647,500 sq km (250,001 sq mi). This discrepancy highlights one main point – that Africa versus Asia’s sizes vary significantly depending on where you look.

The differences become even more apparent when looking at various regions separately. For example Southern China covers an area almost ten times larger than North Korea – making it one of the biggest discrepancies not only between different states but also regions within a single state itself! Additionally Middle Eastern Arab nations are generally quite large compared with their Southeast counterparts like Thailand or Cambodia whose average territories fall below 500k square kilometers each.

All this brings us back to our original question: why do we see so much variation in African vs Asian country sizes? It turns out that geographic location plays a huge role here; many African nations lie along major rivers which have historically been sites for population growth and development whereas most Asian countries sit away from any significant water sources thus limiting their potential expansion over time. Furthermore due to its long history with foreign powers like Britain France Spain etc., Africa has had greater opportunities for colonialism exploitation leading up some disproportionately large nation-states today – something which cannot be said about much smaller sized Asian locales overall

V. Exploring the Socioeconomic Implications of Different Geographic Scales

The geographic scale of any analysis is critically important when looking at socioeconomic implications. On a global level, many factors may look uniform or similar; however, on the regional and local scales significant variations become evident. In order to understand the differences between continents, for example Africa vs Asia size – it is necessary to analyze this from multiple angles.

Global Scale
At a global scale poverty can be measured based on income inequality across populations in different countries as well as relative economic wealth worldwide. The Human Development Index (HDI) provides one metric by which comparisons can be made among nations using indicators such as life expectancy and GDP per capita to make determinations about country-level performance. Overall HDI scores indicate that certain parts of the world are better off than others – with some regions showing great disparities even within neighboring areas.

Regional & Local Scales
When exploring Africa vs Asia size in more detail it becomes clear that while there may be similarities at an overall macro level these differences manifest themselves much differently depending on what region or location you’re looking at specifically. It’s often useful to consider not just population size but also density; political divisions; access/availability of basic services including healthcare and education; infrastructure development levels and industrialization patterns among other metrics.

  • For instance, African cities tend have higher average incomes due to large urban centers whereas rural communities usually experience far lower living standards due primarily lack of opportunity for employment generation activities which has been linked directly with poverty rates particularly in smaller towns.
  • In contrast when examining Asia vs Africa size we see similar issues but manifested differently due mainly greater economic diversity–such nations like Japan being amongst most wealthy whilst those Bangladesh struggling economically yet simultaneously experiencing rapid population growth making issue increasingly complex further down line if policies aren’t adjusted accordingly soon enough
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    VI. How Isolation Has Influenced Developmental Outcomes for African and Asian Nations

    Isolation has had a drastic impact on the development of African and Asian nations. These two continents differ in size, with Asia containing more than double the landmass of Africa. Despite this africa vs asia size disparity, their respective historical contexts have largely determined how they have reacted to being isolated from other parts of the world.

    Africa: Isolated African countries were generally unable to take advantage of international trade routes or benefit from foreign investment opportunities due to numerous political roadblocks and colonial oppression that existed during much of its history. This limited economic opportunity further hindered progress in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, education systems, etc., leading many countries into poverty and lack adequate access resources needed for growth.

    Furthermore, while increased international involvement over recent decades has improved standards for some African states – especially those reliant on natural resources like oil – it often carries consequences like environmental degradation which can be difficult to counteract without significant outside aid. Thus many nations remain locked in an underdeveloped state despite some attempts at modernisation.

    Asia: By contrast we see a slightly different story unfold within Asia; albeit one still plagued by similar issues including large scale poverty and inequality between regions. One example is India: even though it was colonised for centuries prior isolation policies enacted post-independence significantly slowed down industrialisation efforts until liberalisation measures began taking place around 1991.

    • Since then India’s economy has flourished becoming one sixth largest worldwide – although this does come hand in hand with serious concerns about air pollution along with regional disparities caused by urban focus investments providing inadequate support for rural populations.


    • By comparison China experienced accelerated growth after introducing market reforms since 1978 allowing them greater access to technology whilst managing rapid population expansion through initiatives such as “one child policy” (which is now relaxed).


    The overall impact upon both continents illustrates how isolation brought about huge challenges yet also sparked moments of creativity when faced with adversity such as inventing new methods cope or develop alternative solutions . No matter what form these solutions took however they all came up against limitations posed by africa vs asia size disparate environments , lack capital/investment combined socio-political context each region faces going forward will influence ongoing developmental outcomes greatly

    VII. Conclusions on the Significance of Comparing the Sizes Of Africa and Asia

    In conclusion, the comparison of the size of Africa and Asia is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a better understanding of their respective roles in global geopolitics; secondly, it serves as an effective tool to educate people about world geography; thirdly, it helps us appreciate how large each continent really is.

    • Geopolitical Significance: By comparing Africa vs Asia size, we can gain insight into the geopolitical realities that shape our world today. For example, by looking at population figures alone – which are larger in Asia than in Africa – we can observe different levels of development between continents and determine where resources should be allocated accordingly.
    • Educational Tool: The comparison also serves an educational purpose due to its simple yet informative nature. Learning about world geography can often be difficult without visual aids or maps; using this method allows learners to comprehend basic geographic concepts such as area size more effectively than memorizing numbers or names on paper.
    • Appreciation Of Size: Comparing Africa vs Asia size not only facilitates learning but also encourages appreciation for just how big these two land masses actually are. The sheer scale involved highlights both continents’ diversity and cultural richness across diverse climates and ecosystems; allowing us to further understand why they remain some of the most important regions on Earth.

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