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South America
South America
is a continent located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere. It may also be considered a subcontinent of the Americas,[3][4] which is how it is viewed in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of the Americas. The reference to South America instead of other regions (like Latin America
Latin America
or the Southern Cone) has increased in the last decades due to changing geopolitical dynamics (in particular, the rise of Brazil).[5] It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and on the north and east by the Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean; North America
North America
and the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
lie to the northwest. It includes twelve sovereign states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela), a part of France
France
(French Guiana), and a non-sovereign area (the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory though this is disputed by Argentina). In addition to this, the ABC islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Trinidad
Trinidad
and Tobago, and Panama
Panama
may also be considered part of South America. South America
South America
has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population as of 2016[update] has been estimated at more than 420 million.[1] South America
South America
ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Africa, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America). Brazil
Brazil
is by far the most populous South American country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Peru. In recent decades Brazil
Brazil
has also concentrated half of the region's GDP and has become a first regional power.[5] Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western South America
South America
is dominated by the Andes mountains; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and large lowlands where rivers such as the Amazon, Orinoco, and Paraná flow. Most of the continent lies in the tropics. The continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European conquerors and immigrants and, more locally, with African slaves. Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Portuguese or Spanish, and societies and states reflect Western traditions.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Outlying islands 1.2 Climate

2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Pre-Columbian civilizations 2.3 European colonization 2.4 Slavery
Slavery
in South America 2.5 Independence from Spain
Spain
and Portugal 2.6 Nation-building and fragmentation 2.7 Wars and conflicts 2.8 Rise and fall of military dictatorships

3 Countries and territories 4 Politics 5 Demographics

5.1 Language 5.2 Religion 5.3 Ethnic demographics

5.3.1 Indigenous people

5.4 Populace

6 Economy

6.1 Economically largest cities as of 2014 6.2 Tourism

7 Culture

7.1 Plastic arts 7.2 Sport

8 Infrastructure

8.1 Energy 8.2 Transport

9 See also 10 Notes and references

10.1 Content notes 10.2 References 10.3 Sources

11 External links

Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of South America See also: Category:Environment of South America

A composite relief image of South America

South America
South America
occupies the southern portion of the Americas. The continent is generally delimited on the northwest by the Darién watershed along the Colombia– Panama
Panama
border, although some may consider the border instead to be the Panama
Panama
Canal. Geopolitically and geographically[6] all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama
Panama
Canal in the isthmus – is typically included in North America
North America
alone[7][8][9] and among the countries of Central America.[10][11] Almost all of mainland South America
South America
sits on the South American Plate. South America
South America
is home to the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, Angel Falls
Angel Falls
in Venezuela; the highest single drop waterfall Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes
Andes
(whose highest mountain is Aconcagua at 6,962 m [22,841 ft]); the driest non-polar place on earth, the Atacama Desert;[12][13][14] the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca; and, excluding research stations in Antarctica, the world's southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile. South America's major mineral resources are gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin, and petroleum. These resources found in South America
South America
have brought high income to its countries especially in times of war or of rapid economic growth by industrialized countries elsewhere. However, the concentration in producing one major export commodity often has hindered the development of diversified economies. The fluctuation in the price of commodities in the international markets has led historically to major highs and lows in the economies of South American states, often causing extreme political instability. This is leading to efforts to diversify production to drive away from staying as economies dedicated to one major export. South America
South America
is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. South America is home to many interesting and unique species of animals including the llama, anaconda, piranha, jaguar, vicuña, and tapir. The Amazon rainforests possess high biodiversity, containing a major proportion of the Earth's species. Brazil
Brazil
is the largest country in South America, encompassing around half of the continent's land area and population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among three regions: The Andean States, the Guianas and the Southern Cone. Outlying islands[edit] Traditionally, South America
South America
also includes some of the nearby islands. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Trinidad, Tobago, and the federal dependencies of Venezuela
Venezuela
sit on the northerly South American continental shelf and are often considered part of the continent. Geo-politically, the island states and overseas territories of the Caribbean
Caribbean
are generally grouped as a part or subregion of North America, since they are more distant on the Caribbean
Caribbean
Plate, even though San Andres and Providencia are politically part of Colombia
Colombia
and Aves Island
Aves Island
is controlled by Venezuela.[9][15][16] Other islands that are included with South America
South America
are the Galápagos Islands that belong to Ecuador
Ecuador
and Easter Island
Easter Island
(in Oceania
Oceania
but belonging to Chile), Robinson Crusoe Island, Chiloé (both Chilean) and Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
(split between Chile
Chile
and Argentina). In the Atlantic, Brazil
Brazil
owns Fernando de Noronha, Trindade and Martim Vaz, and the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, while the Falkland Islands are governed by the United Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the islands is disputed by Argentina. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands may be associated with either South America
South America
or Antarctica.[17][citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Map
Map
of South America
South America
according to Köppen climate classification

The distribution of the average temperatures in the region presents a constant regularity from the 30° of latitude south, when the isotherms tend, more and more, to be confused with the degrees of latitude.[18] In temperate latitudes, winters are milder and summers warmer than in North America. Because its most extensive part of the continent is located in the equatorial zone, the region has more areas of equatorial plains than any other region.[18] The average annual temperatures in the Amazon basin
Amazon basin
oscillate around 27 °C, with low thermal amplitudes and high rainfall indices. Between the Maracaibo Lake
Maracaibo Lake
and the mouth of the Orinoco, predominates an equatorial climate of the type Congolese, that also includes parts of the Brazilian territory.[18] The east-central Brazilian plateau has a humid and warm tropical climate. The northern and eastern parts of the Argentine pampas have a humid subtropical climate with dry winters and humid summers of the Chinese type, while the western and eastern ranges have a subtropical climate of the dinaric type. At the highest points of the Andean region, climates are colder than the ones occurring at the highest point of the Norwegian fjords. In the Andean plateaus, the warm climate prevails, although it is tempered by the altitude, while in the coastal strip, there is an equatorial climate of the Guinean type. From this point until the north of the Chilean coast appear, successively, Mediterranean oceanic climate, temperate of the Breton type and, already in Tierra del Fuego, cold climate of the Siberian type.[18] The distribution of rainfall is related to the regime of winds and air masses. In most of the tropical region east of the Andes, winds blowing from the northeast, east and southeast carry moisture from the Atlantic, causing abundant rainfall. In the Orinoco
Orinoco
lhanos and in the Guianas plateau, the precipitations go from moderate to high. The Pacific coast of Colombia
Colombia
and northern Ecuador
Ecuador
are rainy regions. The Atacama Desert, along this stretch of coast, is one of the driest regions in the world. The central and southern parts of Chile
Chile
are subject to cyclones, and most of the Argentine Patagonia
Patagonia
is desert. In the pampas of Argentina, Uruguay
Uruguay
and South of Brazil
Brazil
the rainfall is moderate, with rains well distributed during the year. The moderately dry conditions of the Chaco oppose the intense rainfall of the eastern region of Paraguay. In the semiarid coast of the Brazilian Northeast the rains are linked to a monsoon regime.[18] Important factors in the determination of climates are sea currents, such as the current Humboldt and Falklands. The equatorial current of the South Atlantic
Atlantic
strikes the coast of the Northeast and there is divided into two others: the current of Brazil
Brazil
and a coastal current that flows to the northwest towards the Antilles, where there it moves towards northeast course thus forming the most Important and famous ocean current in the world, the Gulf Stream.[18][19] History[edit] Main article: History of South America Prehistory[edit] Further information: History of South America
History of South America
§ Pre-Columbian era

The prehistoric Cueva de las Manos, or Cave of the Hands, in Argentina

South America
South America
is believed to have been joined with Africa
Africa
from the late Paleozoic Era
Paleozoic Era
to the early Mesozoic Era, until the supercontinent Pangaea
Pangaea
began to rift and break apart about 225 million years ago. Therefore, South America
South America
and Africa
Africa
share similar fossils and rock layers. South America
South America
is thought to have been first inhabited by humans when people were crossing the Bering Land Bridge (now the Bering Strait) at least 15,000 years ago from the territory that is present-day Russia. They migrated south through North America, and eventually reached South America
South America
through the Isthmus of Panama. The first evidence for the existence of the human race in South America dates back to about 9000 BC, when squashes, chili peppers and beans began to be cultivated for food in the highlands of the Amazon Basin. Pottery evidence further suggests that manioc, which remains a staple food today, was being cultivated as early as 2000 BC.[20] By 2000 BC, many agrarian communities had been settled throughout the Andes
Andes
and the surrounding regions. Fishing became a widespread practice along the coast, helping establish fish as a primary source of food. Irrigation
Irrigation
systems were also developed at this time, which aided in the rise of an agrarian society.[20] South American cultures began domesticating llamas, vicuñas, guanacos, and alpacas in the highlands of the Andes
Andes
circa 3500 BC. Besides their use as sources of meat and wool, these animals were used for transportation of goods.[20] Pre-Columbian civilizations[edit] Main article: Pre-Columbian era § South America

The Inca estate of Machu Picchu, Peru
Peru
is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The rise of plant growing and the subsequent appearance of permanent human settlements allowed for the multiple and overlapping beginnings of civilizations in South America. One of the earliest known South American civilizations was at Norte Chico, on the central Peruvian
Peruvian
coast. Though a pre-ceramic culture, the monumental architecture of Norte Chico is contemporaneous with the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. Norte Chico governing class established a trade network and developed agriculture then followed by Chavín by 900 BC, according to some estimates and archaeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called Chavín de Huantar
Chavín de Huantar
in modern Peru
Peru
at an elevation of 3,177 meters. Chavín civilization spanned 900 BC to 300 BC. In the central coast of Peru, around the beginning of the 1st millennium AD, Moche (100 BC – 700 AD, at the northern coast of Peru), Paracas and Nazca (400 BC – 800 AD, Peru) cultures flourished with centralized states with permanent militia improving agriculture through irrigation and new styles of ceramic art. At the Altiplano, Tiahuanaco or Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku
(100 BC – 1200 AD, Bolivia) managed a large commercial network based on religion. Around the 7th century, both Tiahuanaco and Wari or Huari Empire (600–1200, Central and northern Peru) expanded its influence to all the Andean region, imposing the Huari urbanism and Tiahuanaco religious iconography. The Muisca were the main indigenous civilization in what is now Colombia. They established the Muisca Confederation
Muisca Confederation
of many clans, or cacicazgos, that had a free trade network among themselves. They were goldsmiths and farmers. Other important Pre-Columbian cultures include: the Cañaris (in south central Ecuador), Chimú
Chimú
Empire (1300–1470, Peruvian
Peruvian
northern coast), Chachapoyas, and the Aymaran kingdoms (1000–1450, Western Bolivia
Bolivia
and southern Peru). Holding their capital at the great city of Cusco, the Inca civilization dominated the Andes
Andes
region from 1438 to 1533. Known as Tawantin suyu, and "the land of the four regions," in Quechua, the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
was highly distinct and developed. Inca rule extended to nearly a hundred linguistic or ethnic communities, some 9 to 14 million people connected by a 25,000 kilometer road system. Cities were built with precise, unmatched stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. Terrace farming
Terrace farming
was a useful form of agriculture. The Mapuche
Mapuche
in Central and Southern Chile
Chile
resisted the European and Chilean settlers, waging the Arauco War
Arauco War
for more than 300 years. European colonization[edit] Main articles: Spanish colonization of the Americas
Americas
and Portuguese colonization of the Americas

The Portuguese arrival in Brazil
Brazil
on 22 April 1500 was led by Pedro Álvares Cabral.

The Inca–Spanish confrontation in the Battle of Cajamarca
Battle of Cajamarca
left thousands of natives dead.

The Dutch colonial houses located in the historic center of Paramaribo, Suriname.

Illustration of the Demerara rebellion in British Guiana
British Guiana
in 1823.

In 1494, Portugal
Portugal
and Spain, the two great maritime European powers of that time, on the expectation of new lands being discovered in the west, signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which they agreed, with the support of the Pope, that all the land outside Europe
Europe
should be an exclusive duopoly between the two countries. The treaty established an imaginary line along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, roughly 46° 37' W. In terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line (known to comprise most of the South American soil) would belong to Spain, and all land to the east, to Portugal. As accurate measurements of longitude were impossible at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, resulting in a Portuguese expansion of Brazil
Brazil
across the meridian. Beginning in the 1530s, the people and natural resources of South America were repeatedly exploited by foreign conquistadors, first from Spain
Spain
and later from Portugal. These competing colonial nations claimed the land and resources as their own and divided it in colonies. European infectious diseases (smallpox, influenza, measles, and typhus) – to which the native populations had no immune resistance – caused large-scale depopulation of the native population under Spanish control. Systems of forced labor, such as the haciendas and mining industry's mit'a also contributed to the depopulation. After this, African slaves, who had developed immunities to these diseases, were quickly brought in to replace them. The Spaniards
Spaniards
were committed to convert their native subjects to Christianity
Christianity
and were quick to purge any native cultural practices that hindered this end; however, many initial attempts at this were only partially successful, as native groups simply blended Catholicism with their established beliefs and practices. Furthermore, the Spaniards
Spaniards
brought their language to the degree they did with their religion, although the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church's evangelization in Quechua, Aymara, and Guaraní actually contributed to the continuous use of these native languages albeit only in the oral form. Eventually, the natives and the Spaniards
Spaniards
interbred, forming a mestizo class. At the beginning, many mestizos of the Andean region were offspring of Amerindian
Amerindian
mothers and Spanish fathers. After independence, most mestizos had native fathers and European or mestizo mothers. Many native artworks were considered pagan idols and destroyed by Spanish explorers; this included many gold and silver sculptures and other artifacts found in South America, which were melted down before their transport to Spain
Spain
or Portugal. Spaniards
Spaniards
and Portuguese brought the western European architectural style to the continent, and helped to improve infrastructures like bridges, roads, and the sewer system of the cities they discovered or conquered. They also significantly increased economic and trade relations, not just between the old and new world but between the different South American regions and peoples. Finally, with the expansion of the Portuguese and Spanish languages, many cultures that were previously separated became united through that of Latin American. Guyana
Guyana
was first a Dutch, and then a British colony, though there was a brief period during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
when it was colonized by the French. The country was once partitioned into three parts, each being controlled by one of the colonial powers until the country was finally taken over fully by the British. Slavery
Slavery
in South America[edit]

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See also: Slavery
Slavery
among the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Americas
and Atlantic
Atlantic
slave trade

Public flogging of a slave in 19th-century Brazil.

Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
of the Americas
Americas
in various European colonies were forced to work in European plantations and mines; along with African slaves who were also introduced in the proceeding centuries. The colonists were heavily dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of European settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, and natives were often captured by expeditions. The importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries. The Atlantic
Atlantic
slave trade brought African slaves primarily to South American colonies, beginning with the Portuguese since 1502.[21] The main destinations of this phase were the Caribbean colonies and Brazil, as European nations built up economically slave-dependent colonies in the New World. Nearly 40% of all African slaves trafficked to the Americas
Americas
went to Brazil. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa
Africa
came to Brazil
Brazil
during the period from 1501 to 1866.[22][23] While the Portuguese, English and French settlers enslaved mainly African blacks, the Spaniards
Spaniards
became very disposed of the natives. In 1750 Portugal
Portugal
abolished native slavery in the colonies because they considered them unfit for labour and began to import even more African slaves. Slaves were brought to the mainland on so-called slave ships, under inhuman conditions and ill-treatment, and those who survived were sold into the slave markets. After independence, all South American countries maintained slavery for some time. The first South American country to abolish slavery was Chile
Chile
in 1823, Uruguay
Uruguay
in 1830, Bolivia
Bolivia
in 1831, Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador in 1851, Argentina
Argentina
in 1853, Peru
Peru
and Venezuela
Venezuela
in 1854, Paraguay
Paraguay
in 1869, and in 1888 Brazil
Brazil
was the last South American nation and the last country in western world to abolish slavery. Independence from Spain
Spain
and Portugal[edit] Main articles: Spanish American wars of independence
Spanish American wars of independence
and Independence of Brazil

The Guayaquil conference
Guayaquil conference
between José de San Martín
José de San Martín
and Simón Bolívar

The proclamation of the Independence of Brazil
Brazil
by Prince Pedro on 7 September 1822.

Coronation of Pedro I as 1st Emperor of Brazil.

Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins
swears officially the independence of Chile.

The European Peninsular War
Peninsular War
(1807–1814), a theater of the Napoleonic Wars, changed the political situation of both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. First, Napoleon invaded Portugal, but the House of Braganza avoided capture by escaping to Brazil. Napoleon also captured King Ferdinand VII of Spain, and appointed his own brother instead. This appointment provoked severe popular resistance, which created Juntas to rule in the name of the captured king. Many cities in the Spanish colonies, however, considered themselves equally authorized to appoint local Juntas like those of Spain. This began the Spanish American wars of independence
Spanish American wars of independence
between the patriots, who promoted such autonomy, and the royalists, who supported Spanish authority over the Americas. The Juntas, in both Spain
Spain
and the Americas, promoted the ideas of the Enlightenment. Five years after the beginning of the war, Ferdinand VII returned to the throne and began the Absolutist Restoration
Absolutist Restoration
as the royalists got the upper hand in the conflict. The independence of South America
South America
was secured by Simón Bolívar (Venezuela) and José de San Martín
José de San Martín
(Argentina), the two most important Libertadores. Bolívar led a great uprising in the north, then led his army southward towards Lima, the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Meanwhile, San Martín led an army across the Andes
Andes
Mountains, along with Chilean expatriates, and liberated Chile. He organized a fleet to reach Peru
Peru
by sea, and sought the military support of various rebels from the Viceroyalty of Peru. The two armies finally met in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where they cornered the Royal Army of the Spanish Crown and forced its surrender. In the Portuguese Kingdom of Brazil, Dom Pedro I
Dom Pedro I
(also Pedro IV of Portugal), son of the Portuguese King Dom João VI, proclaimed the independent Kingdom of Brazil
Brazil
in 1822, which later became the Empire of Brazil. Despite the Portuguese loyalties of garrisons in Bahia, Cisplatina and Pará, independence was diplomatically accepted by the crown in Portugal
Portugal
in 1825, on condition of a high compensation paid by Brazil
Brazil
mediatized by the United Kingdom. Nation-building and fragmentation[edit]

The Thirty-Three Orientals
Thirty-Three Orientals
proclaimed the independence of Cisplatine Province.

Battle of Fanfa, battle scene in Southern Brazil
Brazil
during the Ragamuffin War

The newly independent nations began a process of fragmentation, with several civil and international wars. However, it was not as strong as in Central America. Some countries created from provinces of larger countries stayed as such up to modern day (such as Paraguay
Paraguay
or Uruguay), while others were reconquered and reincorporated into their former countries (such as the Republic of Entre Ríos
Republic of Entre Ríos
and the Riograndense Republic). The first separatist attempt was in 1820 by the Argentine province of Entre Ríos by a caudillo.[24] In spite of the "Republic" in its title, General Ramírez, its caudillo, never really intended to declare an independent Entre Rios. Rather, he was making a political statement in opposition to the monarchist and centralist ideas that back then permeated Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
politics. The "country" was reincorporated at the United Provinces in 1821. In 1825 the Cisplatine Province
Cisplatine Province
declared its independence from the Empire of Brazil, which led the Cisplatine War
Cisplatine War
between the imperials and the Argentine from the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
United Provinces of the Río de la Plata
to control the region. Three years later, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
intervened in question by proclaiming a tie and creating in the former Cisplatina a new independent country: The Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Uruguay
which was the only separatist province that maintained its independence. Later in 1836, while Brazil
Brazil
was experiencing the chaos of the regency, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
proclaimed its independence motivated by a tax crisis. This was the longest and most bloody separatist conflict in South America. With the anticipation of the coronation of Pedro II to the throne of Brazil, the country could stabilize and fight the separatists, which the province of Santa Catarina had joined in 1839. The Conflict came to an end with the total defeat of both Riograndense Republic and Juliana Republic
Juliana Republic
and their reincorporation as provinces in 1845.[25][26] The Peru–Bolivian Confederation, a short-lived union of Peru
Peru
and Bolivia, was blocked by Chile
Chile
in the War of the Confederation (1836–1839) and again during the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
(1879–1883). Paraguay
Paraguay
was virtually destroyed by Argentina
Argentina
and Brazil
Brazil
in the Paraguayan War. Wars and conflicts[edit]

Imperial Brazilian Navy
Imperial Brazilian Navy
and army troops during the Siege of Paysandú, 1865

The Uruguayan Army
Uruguayan Army
at the Battle of Sauce, 1866

The Imperial Brazilian Army
Imperial Brazilian Army
during a procession in Paraguay, 1868

The Chilean Army
Chilean Army
in the battlefield of the Battle of Chorrillos, 1883

A German submarine under attack by Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
PBY Catalina, 31 July 1943

South-American history in early 19th century
19th century
was built almost exclusively on wars. Despite the Spanish American wars of independence and the Brazilian War of Independence, the new nations quickly began to suffer with internal conflicts and wars among themselves. In 1825 the proclamation of independence of Cisplatina led to the Cisplatine War
Cisplatine War
between historical rivals the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, Argentina's predecessor. The result was a stalemate with the British ending in the independence of Uruguay. Soon after, another Brazilian province proclaimed its independence leading to the Ragamuffin War
Ragamuffin War
which Brazil
Brazil
won. Between 1836 and 1839 the War of the Confederation
War of the Confederation
broke out between the short-lived Peru-Bolivian Confederation
Peru-Bolivian Confederation
and Chile, with the support of the Argentine Confederation. The war was fought mostly in the actual territory of Peru
Peru
and ended with a Confederate defeat and the dissolution of the Confederacy and annexation of many territories by Argentina. Meanwhile, the Argentine Civil Wars
Argentine Civil Wars
plagued Argentina
Argentina
since its independence. The conflict was mainly between those who defended the centralization of power in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and those who defended a confederation. During this period it can be said that "there were two Argentines": the Argentine Confederation
Argentine Confederation
and the Argentine Republic. At the same time the political instability in Uruguay
Uruguay
led to the Uruguayan Civil War
Uruguayan Civil War
among the main political factions of the country. All this instability in the platine region interfered with the goals of other countries such as Brazil, which was soon forced to take sides. In 1851 the Brazilian Empire, supporting the centralizing unitarians, and the uruguayn government invaded Argentina
Argentina
and deposed the caudillo, Juan Manuel Rosas, who ruled the confederation with an iron hand. Although the Platine War
Platine War
did not put an end to the political chaos and civil war in Argentina, it brought temporary peace to Uruguay
Uruguay
where the Colorados faction won, supported by the Brazilian Empire, British Empire, French Empire and the Unitarian Party
Unitarian Party
of Argentina.[27] Peace lasted only a short time: in 1864 the Uruguayan factions faced each other again in the Uruguayan War. The Blancos supported by Paraguay
Paraguay
started to attack Brazilian and Argentine farmers near the borders. The Empire made an initial attempt to settle the dispute between Blancos and Colorados without success. In 1864, after a Brazilian ultimatum was refused, the imperial government declared that Brazil's military would begin reprisals. Brazil
Brazil
declined to acknowledge a formal state of war, and, for most of its duration, the Uruguayan–Brazilian armed conflict was an undeclared war which led to the deposition of the Blancos and the rise of the pro-Brazilian Colorados to power again. This angered the Paraguayan government, which even before the end of the war invaded Brazil, beginning the biggest and deadliest war in both South American and Latin American histories: the Paraguayan War. The Paraguayan War
Paraguayan War
began when the Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López ordered the invasion of the Brazilian provinces of Mato Grosso and Rio Grande
Rio Grande
do Sul. His attempt to cross Argentinian territory without Argentinian approval led the pro-Brazilian Argentine government into the war. The pro-Brazilian Uruguayan government showed its support by sending troops. In 1865 the three countries signed the Treaty of the Triple Alliance
Treaty of the Triple Alliance
against Paraguay. At the beginning of the war, the Paraguayans took the lead with several victories, until the Triple Alliance organized to repel the invaders and fight effectively. This was the second total war experience in the world after the American Civil War. It was deemed the greatest war effort in the history of all participating countries, taking almost 6 years and ending with the complete devastation of Paraguay. The country lost 40% of its territory to Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
and lost 60% of its population, including 90% of the men. The dictator Lopez was killed in battle and a new government was instituted in alliance with Brazil, which maintained occupation forces in the country until 1876.[28] The last South American war in the 19th century
19th century
was the War of the Pacific with Bolivia
Bolivia
and Peru
Peru
on one side and Chile
Chile
on the other. In 1879 the war began with Chilean troops occupying Bolivian ports, followed by Bolivia
Bolivia
declaring war on Chile
Chile
which activated an alliance treaty with Peru. The Bolivians were completely defeated in 1880 and Lima
Lima
was occupied in 1881. The peace was signed with Peru
Peru
in 1883 while a truce was signed with Bolivia
Bolivia
in 1884. Chile
Chile
annexed territories of both countries leaving Bolivia
Bolivia
with no path to the sea.[29] In the new century, as wars became less violent and less frequent, Brazil
Brazil
entered into a small conflict with Bolivia
Bolivia
for the possession of the Acre, which was acquired by Brazil
Brazil
in 1902. In 1917 Brazil declared war on the Central Powers
Central Powers
and join the allied side in the World
World
War I, sending a small fleet to the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and some troops to be integrated with the British and French troops. Brazil
Brazil
was the only South American country that fought in WWI.[30][31] Later in 1932 Colombia
Colombia
and Peru
Peru
entered a short armed conflict for territory in the Amazon. In the same year Paraguay
Paraguay
declared war on Bolivia
Bolivia
for possession of the Chaco, in a conflict that ended three years later with Paraguay's victory. Between 1941 and 1942 Peru
Peru
and Ecuador
Ecuador
fought decisively for territories claimed by both that were annexed by Peru, usurping Ecuador's frontier with Brazil.[32] Also in this period the first naval battle of World War II
World War II
was fought on the continent, in the River Plate, between British forces and German submarines.[33] The Germans still made numerous attacks on Brazilian ships on the coast, causing Brazil
Brazil
to declare war on the Axis powers
Axis powers
in 1942, being the only South American country to fight in this war (and in both World
World
Wars). Brazil
Brazil
sent naval and air forces to combat German and Italian submarines off the continent and throughout the South Atlantic, in addition to sending an expeditionary force to fight in the Italian Campaign.[34][35][34] A brief war was fought between Argentina
Argentina
and the UK in 1982, following an Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, which ended with an Argentine defeat. The last international war to be fought on South American soil was the 1995 Cenepa War
Cenepa War
between Ecuador
Ecuador
and the Peru along their mutual border. Rise and fall of military dictatorships[edit]

Argentine soldiers during the Falklands
Falklands
War

The Brazilian Minas Geraes class kindled an Argentine–Brazilian–Chilean naval arms race.

Wars became less frequent in the 20th century, with Bolivia-Paraguay and Peru- Ecuador
Ecuador
fighting the last inter-state wars. Early in the 20th century, the three wealthiest South American countries engaged in a vastly expensive naval arms race which was catalyzed by the introduction of a new warship type, the "dreadnought". At one point, the Argentine government was spending a fifth of its entire yearly budget for just two dreadnoughts, a price that did not include later in-service costs, which for the Brazilian dreadnoughts was sixty percent of the initial purchase.[36][37] The continent became a battlefield of the Cold War
Cold War
in the late 20th century. Some democratically elected governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay
Uruguay
and Paraguay
Paraguay
were overthrown or displaced by military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s. To curtail opposition, their governments detained tens of thousands of political prisoners, many of whom were tortured and/or killed on inter-state collaboration. Economically, they began a transition to neoliberal economic policies. They placed their own actions within the US Cold War
Cold War
doctrine of "National Security" against internal subversion. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Peru
Peru
suffered from an internal conflict. Argentina
Argentina
and Britain fought the Falklands
Falklands
War in 1982. Colombia
Colombia
has had an ongoing, though diminished internal conflict, which started in 1964 with the creation of Marxist guerrillas (FARC-EP) and then involved several illegal armed groups of leftist-leaning ideology as well as the private armies of powerful drug lords. Many of these are now defunct, and only a small portion of the ELN remains, along with the stronger, though also greatly reduced, FARC. These leftist groups smuggle narcotics out of Colombia
Colombia
to fund their operations, while also using kidnapping, bombings, land mines and assassinations as weapons against both elected and non-elected citizens.

Presidents of UNASUR
UNASUR
member states at the Second Brasília
Brasília
Summit on 23 May 2008.

Revolutionary movements and right-wing military dictatorships became common after World
World
War II, but since the 1980s, a wave of democratization passed through the continent, and democratic rule is widespread now.[38] Nonetheless, allegations of corruption are still very common, and several countries have developed crises which have forced the resignation of their governments, although, on most occasions, regular civilian succession has continued. International indebtedness turned into a severe problem in the late 1980s, and some countries, despite having strong democracies, have not yet developed political institutions capable of handling such crises without resorting to unorthodox economic policies, as most recently illustrated by Argentina's default in the early 21st century.[39][neutrality is disputed] The last twenty years have seen an increased push towards regional integration, with the creation of uniquely South American institutions such as the Andean Community, Mercosur
Mercosur
and Unasur. Notably, starting with the election of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela
Venezuela
in 1998, the region experienced what has been termed a pink tide – the election of several leftist and center-left administrations to most countries of the area, except for the Guianas and Colombia. Countries and territories[edit] See also: List of South American countries by population and List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America
South America
by median age of population

Flag Arms Country
Country
or territory with flag Area (km²)[40] (sq mi) Population (2016 est.)[1] Population
Population
density per km2 (per sq mi) Capital

Argentina 2766890 !2,766,890 km2 (1,068,300 sq mi) 43,847,430 1430 !14.3/km² (37/sq mi) Buenos Aires

Bolivia 1098580 !1,098,580 km2 (424,160 sq mi) 10,887,882 0810 !8.4/km² (21.8/sq mi) La Paz
La Paz
and Sucre[41]

Brazil 8514877 !8,514,877 km2 (3,287,612 sq mi) 207,652,865 2200 !22.0/km² (57/sq mi) Brasília

Chile[42] 0756950 !  756,950 km2 (292,260 sq mi) 17,909,754 2110 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Santiago

Colombia 1138910 !1,141,748 km2 (440,831 sq mi) 48,653,419 3770 !40/km² (103.6/sq mi) Bogotá

Ecuador 0283560 !  283,560 km2 (109,480 sq mi) 16,385,068 4710 !53.8/km² (139.3/sq mi) Quito

Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
(United Kingdom)[43] 0012173 !   12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi) 2,910 0026 !0.26/km² (0.7/sq mi) Stanley

French Guiana
French Guiana
(France) 0091000 !   91,000 km2 (35,000 sq mi) 275,713 0210 !2.7/km² (5.4/sq mi) Cayenne
Cayenne
(Préfecture)

Guyana 0214999 !  214,999 km2 (83,012 sq mi) 773,303 0360 !3.5/km² (9.1/sq mi) Georgetown

Paraguay 0406750 !  406,750 km2 (157,050 sq mi) 6,725,308 1560 !15.6/km² (40.4/sq mi) Asunción

Peru 1285220 !1,285,220 km2 (496,230 sq mi) 31,773,839 2170 !22/km² (57/sq mi) Lima

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
(United Kingdom)[44] 0003093 !    3,093 km2 (1,194 sq mi) 20 0000 !0/km² (0/sq mi) King Edward Point[45]

Suriname 0163270 !  163,270 km2 (63,040 sq mi) 558,368 0270 !3/km² (7.8/sq mi) Paramaribo

Uruguay 0176220 !  176,220 km2 (68,040 sq mi) 3,444,006 1940 !19.4/km² (50.2/sq mi) Montevideo

Venezuela 09116445 !  916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) 31,568,179 2780 !30.2/km² (72/sq mi) Caracas

Total 7007178245130000000♠17,824,513 420,458,044 21.5/km²

Politics[edit]

Headquarters of the UNASUR
UNASUR
in Quito, Ecuador

South American flags

Historically, the Hispanic countries were founded as Republican dictatorships led by caudillos. Brazil
Brazil
was the only exception, being a constitutional monarchy for its first 67 years of independence, until a coup d'état proclaimed a republic. In the late 19th century, the most democratic countries were Brazil,[46] Chile, Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay.[47] In the interwar period, nationalism grew stronger on the continent, influenced by countries like Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
and Fascist Italy. A series of authoritarian rules broke out in South American countries with views bringing them closer to the Axis Powers,[48] like Vargas's Brazil
Brazil
or Perón's Argentina. In the late 20th century, during the Cold War, many countries became military dictatorships under American tutelage in attempts to avoid the influence of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the authoritarian regimes, these countries became democratic republics. During the first decade of the 21st century, South American governments have drifted to the political left, with leftist leaders being elected in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru
Peru
and Venezuela. Most South American countries are making increasing use of protectionist policies, helping local development. All South American countries are presidential republics with the exceptions of Peru, which is a semi-presidential republic, and Suriname, a parliamentary republic. French Guiana
French Guiana
is a French overseas department, while the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are British colonies. It is currently the only inhabited continent in the world without monarchies; the Empire of Brazil
Brazil
existed during the 19th century
19th century
and there was an unsuccessful attempt to establish a Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia
Patagonia
in southern Argentina
Argentina
and Chile. Also in the twentieth century, Suriname
Suriname
was established as a constituent kingdom of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Guyana
Guyana
retained the British monarch
British monarch
as head of state for 4 years after its independence. Recently, an intergovernmental entity has been formed which aims to merge the two existing customs unions: Mercosur
Mercosur
and the Andean Community, thus forming the third-largest trade bloc in the world.[49] This new political organization, known as Union of South American Nations, seeks to establish free movement of people, economic development, a common defense policy and the elimination of tariffs. Demographics[edit]

Satellite view of South America
South America
at night from NASA.

South America
South America
has over 420 million[1] inhabitants and a rate of population growth of about 0.6% per year. There are several areas of sparse demographics such as tropical forests, the Atacama Desert
Atacama Desert
and the icy portions of Patagonia. On the other hand, the continent presents regions of high population density, such as the great urban centers. The population is formed by descendants of Europeans (mainly Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians), Africans
Africans
and indigenous peoples. There is a high percentage of mestizos that vary greatly in composition by place. There is also a minor population of Asians, especially in Brazil. The two main languages are by far Spanish and Portuguese, followed by French, English and Dutch in smaller numbers. Economically, Brazil, Argentina
Argentina
and Chile
Chile
are the wealthiest and most developed nations in the continent. Language[edit]

Languages in South America

Spanish and Portuguese are the most spoken languages in South America, with approximately 200 million speakers each. Spanish is the official language of most countries, along with other native languages in some countries. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. Dutch is the official language of Suriname; English is the official language of Guyana, although there are at least twelve other languages spoken in the country, including Portuguese, Chinese, Hindustani and several native languages.[50] English is also spoken in the Falkland Islands. French is the official language of French Guiana
French Guiana
and the second language in Amapá, Brazil. Indigenous languages of South America
South America
include Quechua in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile
Chile
and Colombia; Wayuunaiki
Wayuunaiki
in northern Colombia
Colombia
(La Guajira) and northwestern Venezuela
Venezuela
(Zulia); Guaraní in Paraguay
Paraguay
and, to a much lesser extent, in Bolivia; Aymara in Bolivia, Peru, and less often in Chile; and Mapudungun
Mapudungun
is spoken in certain pockets of southern Chile
Chile
and, more rarely, Argentina. At least three South American indigenous languages (Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani) are recognized along with Spanish as national languages. Other languages found in South America
South America
include Hindustani and Javanese in Suriname; Italian in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Chile; and German in certain pockets of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. German is also spoken in many regions of the southern states of Brazil, Riograndenser Hunsrückisch being the most widely spoken German dialect in the country; among other Germanic dialects, a Brazilian form of East Pomeranian is also well represented and is experiencing a revival. Welsh remains spoken and written in the historic towns of Trelew
Trelew
and Rawson in the Argentine Patagonia. There are also small clusters of Japanese-speakers in Brazil, Colombia
Colombia
and Peru. Arabic speakers, often of Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian descent, can be found in Arab communities in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela
Venezuela
and in Paraguay.[51] Religion[edit]

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Ipiales, Colombia

Main article: Religion in Latin America See also: History of the Jews in Latin America
Latin America
and the Caribbean, Buddhism in Brazil, and Islam in Argentina An estimated 90% of South Americans are Christians[52] (82% Roman Catholic, 8% other Christian denominations mainly traditional Protestants
Protestants
and Evangelicals
Evangelicals
but also Orthodox), accounting for ca. 19% of Christians
Christians
worldwide. Crypto-Jews
Crypto-Jews
or Marranos, conversos, and Anusim were an important part of colonial life in Latin America. Both Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina
and São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil
figure among the largest Jewish populations by urban area. Japanese Buddhism and Shinto-derived Japanese New Religions
Japanese New Religions
are common in Brazil
Brazil
and Peru. Korean Confucianism
Korean Confucianism
is especially found in Brazil while Chinese Buddhism and Chinese Confucianism have spread throughout the continent. Kardecist Spiritism can be found in several countries. Part of Religions in South America
South America
(2013):[53]

Religion in South America

Countries Christians Roman Catholics Other Christians No religion (atheists and agnostics)

 Argentina 88% 77% 11% 11%

 Bolivia 96% 74% 22% 4%

 Brazil 86% 64% 22% 9%

 Chile 70% 57% 13% 25%

 Colombia 92% 80% 12% 7%

 Paraguay 96% 87% 9% 2%

 Peru 94% 81% 13% 3%

 Suriname 51% 29% 22% 5%

 Uruguay 58% 47% 11% 41%

 Venezuela 88% 71% 17% 8%

Ethnic demographics[edit] Main article: Ethnic groups in South America

Afro-Brazilian girls

Former president of Brazil
Brazil
Lula and members of the Italian Brazilian community during the Grape Festival at Caxias do Sul

A Japanese-Brazilian Miko
Miko
during a festival in Curitiba

Peruvian
Peruvian
woman and her son of indigenous descent

Genetic admixture occurs at very high levels in South America. In Argentina, the European influence accounts for 65–79% of the genetic background, Amerindian
Amerindian
for 17–31% and sub-Saharan African for 2–4%. In Colombia, the sub-Saharan African genetic background varied from 1% to 89%, while the European genetic background varied from 20% to 79%, depending on the region. In Peru, European ancestries ranged from 1% to 31%, while the African contribution was only 1% to 3%.[54] The Genographic Project determined the average Peruvian
Peruvian
from Lima
Lima
had about 28% European ancestry, 68% Native American, 2% Asian ancestry and 2% sub-Saharan African.[55] Descendants of indigenous peoples, such as the Quechua and Aymara, or the Urarina[56] of Amazonia make up the majority of the population in Bolivia
Bolivia
(56%) and, per some sources, in Peru
Peru
(44%).[57][58] In Ecuador, Amerindians are a large minority that comprises two-fifths of the population. The native European population is also a significant element in most other former Portuguese colonies. People who identify as of primarily or totally European descent, or identify their phenotype as corresponding to such group, are more of a majority in Argentina,[59] and Uruguay[60] and more than half of the population of Chile
Chile
(64.7%)[61] and (48.4%) in Brazil.[62][63][64] In Venezuela, according to the national census 42% of the population is primarily native Spanish, Italian and Portuguese descendants.[65] In Colombia, people who identify as European descendant are about 37%.[66][67] In Peru, European descendants are the third group in number (15%).[68] Mestizos
Mestizos
(mixed European and Amerindian) are the largest ethnic group in Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia[66] and Ecuador
Ecuador
and the second group in Peru. South America
South America
is also home to one of the largest populations of Africans. This group is significantly present in Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Ecuador. Brazil
Brazil
followed by Peru
Peru
have the largest Japanese, Korean and Chinese communities in South America.[69] East Indians form the largest ethnic group in Guyana
Guyana
and Suriname.[70]

Ethnic distribution in South America[71][72]

Country Amerindians White people Mestizos Mulatos Black people Zambos Asian people

 Argentina 1% 85% 14% 0% 0% 0% 0%

 Bolivia 55% 12% 30% 2% 0% <1% 0%

 Brazil <1% 48% 23% 20% 8% 0% 1.%

 Chile 3% 64% 33% 0% 0% 0% 0%

 Colombia 2% 37% 49% 8% 2% 0% 0%

 Ecuador 39% 10% 41% 5% 5% 0% 0%

 Paraguay 3% 20% 75% 4% 0% 0% 0%

 Peru 45% 15% 35% 2% 0% 0% 3%

 Uruguay 0% 88% 8% 4% 0% 0% 0%

 Venezuela 3% 43% 60% 8% 2% 0% 1%

Indigenous people[edit] Main articles: List of Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
of South America
South America
and Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
in South America In many places indigenous people still practice a traditional lifestyle based on subsistence agriculture or as hunter-gatherers. There are still some uncontacted tribes residing in the Amazon Rainforest.[73]

Aguarunas Alacalufe Arawaks Ashanincas Atacameños Awá Aymara – lives in the Altiplano
Altiplano
of Bolivia, Argentina, Chile
Chile
and Peru. Their language is co-official in Peru
Peru
and Bolivia. Traditional lifestyle includes llama herding. Banawa Cañaris Caiapos Chibcha Cocama Chayahuita Diaguita Enxet Gê, Guaraní – lives in Paraguay
Paraguay
where the Guarani language
Guarani language
is co-official with Spanish. Juris Kuna live on the Colombia– Panama
Panama
border. Mapuche
Mapuche
– lives mainly in southern Chile
Chile
and Argentina. Matsés Pehuenche
Pehuenche
– a branch of Mapuches that lived in the Andean valleys of southern (see Araucanian). Quechuas
Quechuas
– makes up a large part of the population of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Are diverse as an ethnic group. The Incas spoke Southern Quechua. Selknam Shipibo Shuar (see Jívaro). Tupi Urarina Wai-Wai Wayuu Xucuru Yaghan Yagua Yąnomamö Zaparos

Populace[edit]

South American cities

São Paulo

Buenos Aires

Rio de Janeiro

Lima

Bogotá

The most populous country in South America
South America
is Brazil
Brazil
with 207.7 million persons. The second largest country is Colombia
Colombia
with a population of 48,653,419. Argentina
Argentina
is the third most populous country with 43,847,430. While Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia
Colombia
maintain the largest populations, large city populations are not restricted to those nations. The largest cities in South America, by far, are São Paulo, Bogotá, and Lima. These cities are the only cities on the continent to exceed eight million, and three of five in the Americas. Next in size are Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Caracas, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
and Salvador. Five of the top ten metropolitan areas are located in the Brazil. These metropolitan areas all have a population of above 4 million and include the São Paulo
São Paulo
metropolitan area, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
metropolitan area, and Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
metropolitan area. Whilst the majority of the largest metropolitan areas are within Brazil, Argentina
Argentina
is host to the second largest metropolitan area by population in South America: the Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
metropolitan region is above 13 million inhabitants. South America
South America
has also been witness to the growth of megapolitan areas. In Brazil
Brazil
four megaregions exist including the Expanded Metropolitan Complex of São Paulo
São Paulo
with more than 32 million inhabitants. The others are the Greater Rio, Greater Belo Horizonte and Greater Porto Alegre. Colombia
Colombia
also has four megaregions which comprise 72% of its population, followed by Venezuela, Argentina
Argentina
and Peru
Peru
which are also homes of megaregions. The top ten largest South American metropolitan areas by population as of 2015, based on national census numbers from each country:

Metro Area Population Area Country

São Paulo 21,090,792 7,947 km2 (3,068 sq mi)  Brazil

Buenos Aires 13,693,657 3,830 km2 (1,480 sq mi)  Argentina

Rio de Janeiro 13,131,431 6,744 km2 (2,604 sq mi)  Brazil

Lima 9,904,727 2,819 km2 (1,088 sq mi)  Peru

Bogotá 9,800,225 4,200 km2 (1,600 sq mi)  Colombia

Santiago 6,683,852 15,403 km2 (5,947 sq mi)  Chile

Belo Horizonte 5,829,923 9,467 km2 (3,655 sq mi)  Brazil

Caracas 5,322,310 4,715 km2 (1,820 sq mi)  Venezuela

Porto Alegre 4,258,926 10,232 km2 (3,951 sq mi)  Brazil

Brasilia 4,201,737 56,433 km2 (21,789 sq mi)  Brazil

‌2015 Census figures. Economy[edit] Main articles: Economy of South America, List of Latin American and Caribbean
Caribbean
countries by GDP (nominal), and List of South American countries by GDP (PPP)

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (March 2017)

Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Néstor Kirchner, Cristina Fernández, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Nicanor Duarte, and Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
signed the founding charter of the Bank of the South.

Trading panel of the São Paulo
São Paulo
Stock Exchange is the second biggest in the Americas
Americas
and 13th in the world.

Financial center of Santiago, Chile

Launch at the Kourou Space Center
Kourou Space Center
in French Guiana

Refinery
Refinery
of Brazilian state-owned Petrobras
Petrobras
in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Chuquicamata
Chuquicamata
is the largest open pit mine in the world, near the city of Calama in Chile.

KC-390 is the largest military transport aircraft produced in South America by the Brazilian company Embraer.

Vineyard
Vineyard
in Luján de Cuyo, province of Mendoza, Argentina

South America
South America
relies less on the export of both manufactured goods and natural resources than the world average; merchandise exports from the continent were 16% of GDP on an exchange rate basis, compared to 25% for the world as a whole.[74] Brazil
Brazil
(the seventh largest economy in the world and the largest in South America) leads in terms of merchandise exports at $251 billion, followed by Venezuela
Venezuela
at $93 billion, Chile
Chile
at $86 billion, and Argentina
Argentina
at $84 billion.[74] Since 1930, the continent has experienced remarkable growth and diversification in most economic sectors. Most agricultural and livestock products are destined for the domestic market and local consumption. However, the export of agricultural products is essential for the balance of trade in most countries.[75] The main agrarian crops are export crops, such as soy and wheat. The production of staple foods such as vegetables, corn or beans is large, but focused on domestic consumption. Livestock raising for meat exports is important in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Uruguay
and Colombia. In tropical regions the most important crops are coffee, cocoa and bananas, mainly in Brazil, Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador. Traditionally, the countries producing sugar for export are Peru, Guyana
Guyana
and Suriname, and in Brazil, sugar cane is also used to make ethanol. On the coast of Peru, northeast and south of Brazil, cotton is grown. Fifty percent of the South American surface is covered by forests, but timber industries are small and directed to domestic markets. In recent years, however, transnational companies have been settling in the Amazon to exploit noble timber destined for export. The Pacific coastal waters of South America
South America
are the most important for commercial fishing. The anchovy catch reaches thousands of tons, and tuna is also abundant ( Peru
Peru
is a major exporter). The capture of crustaceans is remarkable, particularly in northeastern Brazil
Brazil
and Chile.[75] Only Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
are part of the G20
G20
(industrial countries), while only Brazil
Brazil
is part of the G8+5
G8+5
(the most powerful and influential nations in the world). In the tourism sector, a series of negotiations began in 2005 to promote tourism and increase air connections within the region. Punta del Este, Florianópolis
Florianópolis
and Mar del Plata are among the most important resorts in South America.[75] The most industrialized countries in South America
South America
are Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela
Venezuela
and Uruguay
Uruguay
respectively. These countries alone account for more than 75 percent of the region's economy and add up to a GDP of more than US$3.0 trillion. Industries in South America
South America
began to take on the economies of the region from the 1930s when the Great Depression
Great Depression
in the United States
United States
and other countries of the world boosted industrial production in the continent. From that period the region left the agricultural side behind and began to achieve high rates of economic growth that remained until the early 1990s when they slowed due to political instabilities, economic crises and neoliberal policies.[75] Since the end of the economic crisis in Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
that occurred in the period from 1998 to 2002, which has led to economic recession, rising unemployment and falling population income, the industrial and service sectors have been recovering rapidly. Chile, Argentina
Argentina
and Brazil
Brazil
have recovered fastest, growing at an average of 5% per year. All of South America
South America
after this period has been recovering and showing good signs of economic stability, with controlled inflation and exchange rates, continuous growth, a decrease in social inequality and unemployment–factors that favor industry.[75] The main industries are: electronics, textiles, food, automotive, metallurgy, aviation, naval, clothing, beverage, steel, tobacco, timber, chemical, among others. Exports reach almost US$400 billion annually, with Brazil
Brazil
accounting for half of this.[75] The economic gap between the rich and poor in most South American nations is larger than on most other continents. The richest 10% receive over 40% of the nation's income in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay,[76] while the poorest 20% receive 3% or less in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia.[77] This wide gap can be seen in many large South American cities where makeshift shacks and slums lie in the vicinity of skyscrapers and upper-class luxury apartments; nearly one in nine South Americans live on less than $2 per day (on a purchasing power parity basis).[78]

Country GDP (nominal) in 2017[79] GDP (PPP) in 2017[79] GDP (PPP) per capita in 2017[79] Merchandise exports ($bn), 2011[74] HDI in 2014 (rank)[80] Percent with less than $2 (PPP) per person per day[78]

 Argentina 7005628935000000000♠628,935 7005912816000000000♠912,816 7004207070000000000♠20,707 7001837000000000000♠83.7 6999836000000000000♠0.836 7000260000000000000♠2.6

 Bolivia 7004392670000000000♠39,267 7004836080000000000♠83,608 7003755200000000000♠7,552 7000910000000000000♠9.1 6999662000000000000♠0.662 7001249000000000000♠24.9

 Brazil 7006214094000000000♠2,140,940 7006321603100000000♠3,216,031 7004154850000000000♠15,485 7002250800000000000♠250.8 6999755000000000000♠0.755 7001108000000000000♠10.8

 Chile 7005251220000000000♠251,220 7005455941000000000♠455,941 7004247960000000000♠24,796 7001861000000000000♠86.1 6999832000000000000♠0.832 7000270000000000000♠2.7

 Colombia 7005306439000000000♠306,439 7005720151000000000♠720,151 7004146090000000000♠14,609 7001565000000000000♠56.5 6999720000000000000♠0.720 7001158000000000000♠15.8

 Ecuador 7004973620000000000♠97,362 7005184629000000000♠184,629 7004110040000000000♠11,004 7001223000000000000♠22.3 6999732000000000000♠0.732 7001106000000000000♠10.6

 Falkland Islands[81] (UK) 7002165000000000000♠165 7002165000000000000♠165 7004554000000000000♠55,400 6999100000000000000♠0.1

 French Guiana[82] (France) 7003445600000000000♠4,456 7003445600000000000♠4,456 7004197280000000000♠19,728 7000130000000000000♠1.3

 Guyana 7003359100000000000♠3,591 7003639800000000000♠6,398 7003830600000000000♠8,306 6999900000000000000♠0.9 6999636000000000000♠0.636 7001180000000000000♠18.0

 Paraguay 7004287430000000000♠28,743 7004680050000000000♠68,005 7003977900000000000♠9,779 7000980000000000000♠9.8 6999679000000000000♠0.679 7001132000000000000♠13.2

 Peru 7005285032000000000♠285,032 7005469803000000000♠469,803 7004135010000000000♠13,501 7001463000000000000♠46.3 6999734000000000000♠0.734 7001127000000000000♠12.7

 Suriname 7003364100000000000♠3,641 7003796100000000000♠7,961 7004139340000000000♠13,934 7000160000000000000♠1.6 6999714000000000000♠0.714 7001272000000000000♠27.2

 Uruguay 7004581230000000000♠58,123 7004778000000000000♠77,800 7004222710000000000♠22,271 7000800000000000000♠8.0 6999793000000000000♠0.793 7000220000000000000♠2.2

 Venezuela 7005251589000000000♠251,589 7005404109000000000♠404,109 7004128560000000000♠12,856 7001926000000000000♠92.6 6999762000000000000♠0.762 7001129000000000000♠12.9

Total 7006383656900000000♠3,836,569 7006664262300000000♠6,642,623 7004178520000000000♠17,852 7002669100000000000♠669.1 6999729000000000000♠0.729 7001113000000000000♠11.3

Economically largest cities as of 2014[edit]

Rank City Country GDP in Int$ bn[83] Population
Population
(mil)[84] GDP per capita

1 São Paulo  Brazil $430 20,847,500 $20,650

2 Buenos Aires  Argentina $315 13,381,800 $23,606

3 Lima  Peru $176 10,670,200 $16,530

4 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil $176 12,234,100 $14,176

5 Santiago  Chile $171 7,164,400 $32,929

6 Bogotá  Colombia $160 9,800,000 $17,497

7 Brasília  Brazil $141 3,976,500 $35,689

8 Belo Horizonte  Brazil $84 5,595,800 $15,134

9 Porto Alegre  Brazil $62 4,120,900 $15,078

10 Campinas  Brazil $59 2,854,200 $20,759

Tourism[edit] Tourism
Tourism
has increasingly become a significant source of income for many South American countries.[85][86] Historical relics, architectural and natural wonders, a diverse range of foods and culture, vibrant and colorful cities, and stunning landscapes attract millions of tourists every year to South America. Some of the most visited places in the region are Iguazu Falls, Recife, Olinda, Machu Picchu, Bariloche, the Amazon rainforest, Rio de Janeiro, São Luís, Salvador, Fortaleza, Maceió, Buenos Aires, Florianópolis, San Ignacio Miní, Isla Margarita, Natal, Lima, São Paulo, Angel Falls, Brasília, Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Belo Horizonte, Lake Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni, Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, Los Roques archipelago, Gran Sabana, Patagonia, Tayrona National Natural Park, Santa Marta, Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier
and the Galápagos Islands.[87][88] In 2016 Brazil
Brazil
hosted the 2016 Summer
Summer
Olympics. Culture[edit]

Tango
Tango
show in Buenos Aires, typical argentine dance.

Carmen Miranda, Portuguese Brazilian actress helped popularize samba internationally.

Teatro Solis, Uruguay.

National Library, Brazil.

South Americans are culturally influenced by their indigenous peoples, the historic connection with the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
and Africa, and waves of immigrants from around the globe. South American nations have a rich variety of music. Some of the most famous genres include vallenato and cumbia from Colombia, pasillo from Colombia
Colombia
and Ecuador, samba, bossa nova and música sertaneja from Brazil, and tango from Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay. Also well known is the non-commercial folk genre Nueva Canción
Nueva Canción
movement which was founded in Argentina
Argentina
and Chile
Chile
and quickly spread to the rest of the Latin America. People on the Peruvian
Peruvian
coast created the fine guitar and cajon duos or trios in the most mestizo (mixed) of South American rhythms such as the Marinera (from Lima), the Tondero
Tondero
(from Piura), the 19th century
19th century
popular Creole Valse or Peruvian
Peruvian
Valse, the soulful Arequipan Yaravi, and the early 20th century Paraguayan Guarania. In the late 20th century, Spanish rock emerged by young hipsters influenced by British pop and American rock. Brazil
Brazil
has a Portuguese-language pop rock industry as well a great variety of other music genres. The literature of South America
South America
has attracted considerable critical and popular acclaim, especially with the Latin American Boom
Latin American Boom
of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez
in novels and Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
and Pablo Neruda in other genres. The Brazilians Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis
and João Guimarães Rosa are widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian writers. Because of South America's broad ethnic mix, South American cuisine has African, South American Indian, Asian, and European influences. Bahia, Brazil, is especially well known for its West African–influenced cuisine. Argentines, Chileans, Uruguayans, Brazilians, Bolivians, and Venezuelans regularly consume wine. People in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Chile, Bolivia
Bolivia
and Brazil drink mate, an herb which is brewed. The Paraguayan version, terere, differs from other forms of mate in that it is served cold. Pisco
Pisco
is a liquor distilled from grapes in Peru
Peru
and Chile. Peruvian
Peruvian
cuisine mixes elements from Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, African, Arab, Andean, and Amazonic food. Plastic arts[edit]

Bird (Singapore), sculpture of Fernando Botero

The artist Oswaldo Guayasamín
Oswaldo Guayasamín
(1919–1999) from Ecuador, represented with his painting style the feeling of the peoples of Latin America[89] highlighting social injustices in various parts of the world. The Colombian Fernando Botero
Fernando Botero
(1932) is one of the greatest exponents of painting and sculpture that continues still active and has been able to develop a recognizable style of his own.[90] For his part, the Venezuelan Carlos Cruz-Diez
Carlos Cruz-Diez
has contributed significantly to contemporary art,[91] with the presence of works around the world. Currently several emerging South American artists are recognized by international art critics: Guillermo Lorca—Chilean painter,[92][93] Teddy Cobeña—Ecuadorian sculptor and recipient of international sculpture award in France)[94][95][96] and Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas[97][98]—winner of the Zurich Museum Art Award among many others. Sport[edit] Main article: Sport in South America

Maracanã Stadium
Maracanã Stadium
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Panorama of the interior of the Maracanã stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World
World
Cup

Atucha I Nuclear Power Plant, the first South-American nuclear power plant, in Argentina

A wide range of sports are played in the continent of South America, with football (a.k.a. soccer) being the most popular overall, while baseball is the most popular in Venezuela. Other sports include basketball, cycling, polo, volleyball, futsal, motorsports, rugby (mostly in Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay), handball, tennis, golf, field hockey and boxing. South America
South America
hosted its first Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 and will host the Youth Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Argentina
in 2018. South America
South America
shares with Europe
Europe
supremacy over the sport of football as all winners in FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
history and all winning teams in the FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
have come from these two continents. Brazil
Brazil
holds the record at the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
with five titles in total. Argentina and Uruguay
Uruguay
have two titles each. So far four South American nations have hosted the tournament including the first edition in Uruguay (1930). The other three were Brazil
Brazil
(1950, 2014), Chile
Chile
(1962), and Argentina
Argentina
(1978). South America
South America
is home to the longest running international football tournament; the Copa América, which has been regularly contested since 1916. Uruguay
Uruguay
won the Copa América
Copa América
a record 15 times, surpassing hosts Argentina
Argentina
in 2011 to reach 15 titles (they were previously equal at 14 titles each during the 2011 Copa América). Also, in South America, a multi-sport event, the South American Games, are held every four years. The first edition was held in La Paz
La Paz
in 1978 and the most recent took place in Santiago
Santiago
in 2014. Infrastructure[edit] Energy[edit] Due to the diversity of topography and pluviometric precipitation conditions, the region's water resources vary enormously in different areas. In the Andes, navigation possibilities are limited, except for the Magdalena River, Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca
and the lakes of the southern regions of Chile
Chile
and Argentina. Irrigation
Irrigation
is an important factor for agriculture from northwestern Peru
Peru
to Patagonia. Less than 10% of the known electrical potential of the Andes
Andes
had been used until the mid-1960s. The Brazilian Highlands
Brazilian Highlands
has a much higher hydroelectric potential than the Andean region and its possibilities of exploitation are greater due to the existence of several large rivers with high margins and the occurrence of great differences forming huge cataracts, such as those of Paulo Afonso, Iguaçu and others. The Amazon River
Amazon River
system has about 13,000 km of waterways, but its possibilities for hydroelectric use are still unknown. Most of the continent's energy is generated through hydroelectric power plants, but there is also an important share of thermoelectric and wind energy. Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
are the only South American countries that generate nuclear power, each with two nuclear power plants. In 1991 these countries signed a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement.

Panoramic view of the Itaipu Dam, the largest of the world in energy production.

Transport[edit]

Stretch of the Pan-American Highway
Pan-American Highway
in Argentina

The Port of Callao in Peru

The La Paz
La Paz
cable car system in Bolivia
Bolivia
is home to both the longest and highest urban cable car network in the world.

South American transportation systems are still deficient, with low kilometric densities. The region has about 1,700,000 km of highways and 100,000 km of railways, which are concentrated in the coastal strip, and the interior is still devoid of communication. Only two railroads are continental: the Transandina, which connects Buenos Aires, in Argentina
Argentina
to Valparaíso, in Chile, and the Brazil– Bolivia
Bolivia
Railroad, which makes it the connection between the port of Santos in Brazil
Brazil
and the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia. In addition, there is the Pan-American Highway, which crosses the Andean countries from north to south, although some stretches are unfinished.[99] Two areas of greater density occur in the railway sector: the platinum network, which develops around the Platine region, largely belonging to Argentina, with more than 45,000 km in length; And the Southeast Brazil
Brazil
network, which mainly serves the state of São Paulo, state of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
and Minas Gerais. Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina
Argentina
also stand out in the road sector. In addition to the modern roads that extend through northern Argentina
Argentina
and south-east and south of Brazil, a vast road complex aims to link Brasilia, the federal capital, to the South, Southeast, Northeast and Northern regions of Brazil. The Port of Callao is the main port of Peru. South America
South America
has one of the largest bays of navigable inland waterways in the world, represented mainly by the Amazon basin, the Platine basin, the São Francisco and the Orinoco
Orinoco
basins, Brazil
Brazil
having about 54,000 km navigable, while Argentina
Argentina
has 6,500 km and Venezuela, 1,200 km. The two main merchant fleets also belong to Brazil
Brazil
and Argentina. The following are those of Chile, Venezuela, Peru
Peru
and Colombia. The largest ports in commercial movement are those of Buenos Aires, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Bahía Blanca, Rosario, Valparaiso, Recife, Salvador, Montevideo, Paranaguá, Rio Grande, Fortaleza, Belém
Belém
and Maracaibo. In South America, commercial aviation has a magnificent expansion field, which has one of the largest traffic density lines in the world, Rio de Janeiro–São Paulo, and large airports, such as Congonhas, São Paulo–Guarulhos International and Viracopos (São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
International and Santos Dumont (Rio de Janeiro), Ezeiza (Buenos Aires), Confins International Airport
Confins International Airport
(Belo Horizonte), Curitiba
Curitiba
International Airport (Curitiba), Brasilia, Caracas, Montevideo, Lima, Bogotá, Recife, Salvador, Salgado Filho International Airport (Porto Alegre), Fortaleza, Manaus and Belém. The main public transport in major cities is the bus. Many cities also have a diverse system of metro and subway trains. The Santiago subway[100] is the largest network in South America, with 103 km, while the São Paulo
São Paulo
subway is the largest in transportation, with more than 4.6 million passengers per day[101] and was voted the best in the Americas. In Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
was installed the first railroad of the continent, in 1854. Today the city has a vast and diversified system of metropolitan trains, integrated with buses and subway. Recently it was also inaugurated in the city a Light Rail System called VLT, a small electrical trams at low speed, while São Paulo inaugurated its monorail, the first of South America.[citation needed] In Brazil, an express bus system called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which operates in several cities, has also been developed. See also[edit] Main article: Outline of South America

Americas
Americas
(terminology) Bibliography of South America Flags of South America

Geography portal

Notes and references[edit] Content notes[edit] ^  Continent
Continent
model: In some parts of the world South America is viewed as a subcontinent of the Americas[102] (a single continent in these areas), for example Latin America, Latin Europe, and Iran. In most of the countries with English as an official language, however, it is considered a continent; see Americas
Americas
(terminology). References[edit]

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and Economic Growth in Latin American Countries: A Panel Data Approach. FEEM Working Paper No. 26.2004 ^ "Top attractions". Gosouthamerica.about.com. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2009-04-18.  ^ Backpackers destination. vipbackpackers.com ^ "Guayasamín, el pintor ecuatoriano que retrató los sufrimientos latinoamericanos". Andes, Agencia de Noticias.  ^ "Fenando Botero, Sala de Exposciones, Bilbao". Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao.  ^ "Carlo Cruz-Díez redefines colour with new york". Wall papper, Art News.  ^ "Museo de Bellas Artes de Chile" (PDF). Museo de Bellas Artes.  ^ "Life style". America Economia. Retrieved 22 April 2017.  ^ "Las esculturas de Teddy Cobeña
Teddy Cobeña
las favoritas del público". Europa Press. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2017.  ^ " Teddy Cobeña
Teddy Cobeña
lleva sus esculturas a Paris". El Universo. Retrieved 22 April 2017.  ^ "Las esculturas de Teddy Cobeña
Teddy Cobeña
las favoritas en Francia". EFE. 19 December 2016.  ^ " Adrián Villar Rojas o cómo convertir las ruinas en un éxito planetario". La Nacion.  ^ "Tiempo-ficción de Adrián Villar Rojas". El Cultural. 14 January 2016.  ^ "A Gap in the Andes : Image of the Day". Earthobservatory.nasa.gov. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2017-01-22.  ^ "Guía del Viajero" (in Spanish). Metro de Santiago. Retrieved 2015-07-03.  ^ "Metro – Passengers" (in Portuguese). Companhia Do Metropolitano De São Paulo. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-14.  ^ Ambassador Rubens A. Barbosa. "MERCOSUL IN THE REGIONAL CONTEXT". Archived from the original on September 30, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 

Sources[edit]

"South America". The Columbia Gazetteer of the World
World
Online. 2005. New York: Columbia University Press. Latin American Network Information Database

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: South America
South America
(category)

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for South America.

The Wikibook [[wikibooks:]] has a page on the topic of: Wikijunior South America

v t e

Countries and dependencies of South America

Sovereign states

Entire

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela

In part

France

French Guiana

Dependencies

Falkland Islands / South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

UK

v t e

Continents of the world

   

Africa

Antarctica

Asia

Australia

Europe

North America

South America

   

Afro-Eurasia

America

Eurasia

Oceania

   

Former supercontinents Gondwana Laurasia Pangaea Pannotia Rodinia Columbia Kenorland Nena Sclavia Ur Vaalbara

Historical continents Amazonia Arctica Asiamerica Atlantica Avalonia Baltica Cimmeria Congo craton Euramerica Kalaharia Kazakhstania Laurentia North China Siberia South China East Antarctica India

   

Submerged continents Kerguelen Plateau Zealandia

Possible future supercontinents Pangaea
Pangaea
Ultima Amasia Novopangaea

Mythical and hypothesised continents Atlantis Kumari Kandam Lemuria Meropis Mu Hyperborea Terra Australis

See also Regions of the world Continental fragment

Book Category

v t e

Regions of the world

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold
Gold
Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan
Japan
Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China
China
proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China
China
Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China
China
Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group

West

Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt

South

Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

v t e

Regions of North America

Northern

Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic
Atlantic
Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth

West

Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie

South

South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Coastal states Eastern United States

Appalachia

Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin
Great Basin
Desert

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic
Atlantic
coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area

San Francisco Bay North Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) East Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton
Cotton
Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt

Latin

Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean
Caribbean
Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Regions of Oceania

Australasia

Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands (archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia

Maralinga

Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula

Melanesia

Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu

Micronesia

Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island

Polynesia

Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of South America

East

Amazon basin Atlantic
Atlantic
Forest Caatinga Cerrado

North

Caribbean
Caribbean
South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco
Orinoco
Delta

South

Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula

West

Andes

Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Polar regions

Antarctic

Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands

Arctic

Arctic
Arctic
Alaska British Arctic
Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic
Arctic
Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
Timor
Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China
China
Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China
China
Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 170506329 LCCN: sh85125524 GND: 4078014-4 SELIBR: 163484 BNF: cb15238513g (d