sia, the largest continent and the most populous with over 4.16 billion. residents (2011). Asia is the continent of contrasts; nature, population and business conditions show great variation. In Asia, there are almost all forms of culture from collectors and lower hunters to the most modern industrial culture. The societies’ historically rooted organizational forms and strategies for development are also different. A table of Asian countries, capitals, population and area can be found on Countryaah – Countries in Asia.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Asia is conventionally separated from Europe by the Ural and Caucasus mountain ranges and from Africa by the depression in which the Suez Canal is located. Of the delimitations mentioned, only the Caucasus has been a natural obstacle to the free entry and exit of plants, animals and humans. Between the two continents of the Eurasian continent, Europe and Asia, there are thus smooth transitions; nor has the Ural border been important politically. Asia also includes the Indonesian upper world; thus calculated, the area of Asia is approximately 44 million km2, or almost 1/3 of the Earth’s land area.
Asia without the former Soviet Union is now often divided into West, South, Southeast and East Asia; in the past, a regional division was used, characterized by a European, Eurocentric, point of view. West Asia includes what was formerly called the Near East (the countries south of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea). South Asia is similar to India (Pakistan, India). SOUTH ASIA is Baghdad and Indonesia, and finally East Asia is roughly similar to the Far East (China, North and South Korea and Japan), but includes the Philippines. The ancient regionalization also separated Central Asia, encompassing the vast plateaus of the interior of the continent; they are now classified under China, i.e. East Asia. Parts of the former USSR are now most often attributed to Central Asia (including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan); the northern part is Russian and is called Siberia.
Asia’s population is approximately 60% of the Earth’s population. Almost two-thirds live in only two countries: China with 1.3 billion. and India with approximately 1 billion residents. But also states like Indonesia (225 million), Japan (127 million), Pakistan (142 million) and Bangladesh (131 million) (2001) have more residents than any Western European state. The population of Asia belongs mainly to the Europid and Mongoloid race. The first includes the majority of the population in West and South Asia as well as in Siberia; the latter is particularly prevalent in East, Central and SE Asia.
The population density is of the same order of magnitude as that of Europe, despite the fact that large areas of Siberia, Turan, Tibet, Mongolia and the Arabian Peninsula are uninhabited. In other areas, the population density exceeds 1000 residents per km2, b.a. along several of the major rivers (Ganges and Huang He) and on the coastal plains (e.g. in Japan). Before industrialization, population density depended mainly on the resource base of agriculture, especially rice cultivation. This was mainly due to good irrigation opportunities such as in the river valleys of China, India and Mesopotamia (Iraq). Administration and trade could lead to further local population concentrations.
Many Asian cities are ancient centers of early state formation. Jericho is estimated to be about 10,000 years old. Already in the great empires of antiquity, the capitals were of considerable size (Babylon, Nineveh, Mohenjo-Daro, Beijing). Along the trade routes, trade towns such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Kashgar gradually emerged, all located on old, important caravan roads. Aden, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong are laid out as cities by the sea to India and the Far East.
Industrialization in the 1900’s. has naturally led to strong urban growth, but in many places this is not a result of increased industrial employment in the cities, but rather that life there (e.g. in Calcutta) has occurred to immigrants to offer more opportunities than the rather hopeless life as landless in the countryside. Modern urban growth with or without industrialization has resulted in more than 80 cities in Asia now having populations in excess of one million; some even have more than 10 million. residents (Shanghai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Tokyo, Beijing).
Population growth in Asia is close to the global average, but growth is declining; it was at almost 2% growth on average per. years in the 1980’s, however, somewhat unevenly distributed across countries. A few countries have an average growth rate (e.g. India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey); the lowest are Japan, China and South Korea. The highest growth rates are in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Most countries in Asia in modern times have had a period of large population growth. The traditionally high birth rate was no longer matched by a high mortality rate. The decrease in mortality is not only due to medical advances, e.g. in the fight against “the big diseases” (tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, choleraetc.), but also improved hygiene and nutrition. However, the average life expectancy in countries such as Afghanistan and Nepal is still only approximately 40 years. The combination of high birth rates and (still) high mortality rates means that the population in many countries is very young and that many need to be supported and educated. It is unusual for relatively poor countries for population growth to decline; this is due to an effective effort towards the high birth rates. In China and India, families with one or two children are part of the agreed development strategy, although the methods of achieving this are very different.
Hikes. In relation to Asia’s population, immigration and emigration are quite insignificant. However, migrations have repeatedly sent large crowds out of Asia to Europe in the past. Females and Turks are historical examples. Great migrations the opposite way have also taken place, in historical times e.g. the Indo-Aryans’ advance in India. In recent times, there are there was significant Russian immigration to Siberia and to the former Soviet republics of Asia. Extensive emigration has taken place from China, mostly aimed at South-East Asia, but also at the USA, for example, which has also received a number of Japanese immigrants. Smaller migrations, such as the labor migrations of Turks in recent years, as well as refugee flows of Palestinians and Kurds from West Asia to Europe, have also had economic-political significance.
Relocations within Asia have been much larger. In connection with the conquest of Korea and Manchuria in the early 1900-t. a number of Japanese settled in these countries. For the operation of plantations in Sri Lanka were introduced by the British in the late 1800-t. quite a few Tamils, whose descendants have since been a party to violent conflicts.
Immigration, as mentioned, has taken place in Siberia, but most of the population movements associated with colonization took place between the countries of Asia. European colonization was thus not followed by major settlements by Europeans, even though the colonial powers ruled vast lands. Perhaps the largest migration in history took place in connection with the liberation in 1947 of the former British India, which was divided into India and Pakistan. This led to violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims and led to the exchange of large crowds, approximately 12 million people.
The most extensive current migrations take place through urbanization. But there are also large centrally planned population movements. Particularly well known is Indonesia’s migration of people from overpopulated Java to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. It should also be mentioned that planned but individually decided relocations are a regular part of many people’s way of life. In the central steppe areas, on the plateau of Iran, etc., there are still large populations that feed on nomadic shepherds.