Country and Continents Worksheets

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The Differences Between a Country and a Continent

The demarcation of Earth's land into continents and countries has allowed people to live in peace and harmony with each other, following certain rules and laws under a political system that safeguards their life. Or at least they try to. Moreover, this geographical division makes it easier for people to recognize the places they live in and to move around.

However, many children and adults alike become confused regarding countries and continents. It isn't that complicated, but there are a few variations that can help one make a distinction between the two.

What Is a Continent?

A continent is regarded as a collective region and a large mass of land separated from other continents through a boundary, which can be artificial or naturally occurring, such as oceans or mountains. Generally, the continental shelves identify the actual boundaries of the continents. A continental shelf is a gently sloping area spreading outwards from the beach far into the ocean.

A continent is home to many different countries, except for Australia and Antarctica, as they stand on their own as both a continent and country. All the continents combined cover an area of about 148 million square kilometers (or 57 million square miles) of land on Earth's surface. In short, continents occupy most of Earth's surface.

What Is a Country?

A country is a part of a continent that has been formed by laying out natural boundaries, separating each country from another. According to international politics and political geography, a country is a single geographical territory unit having its own government, administration, constitution, and laws.

Most countries have further divisions like provinces or states to facilitate governance. Moreover, the size of each country varies. The world's largest country, Russia, covers a land area of 17 million square kilometers. Whereas the world's smallest country, Vatican City, covers a land area of around 2.6 square kilometers.

Following are the differences between a continent and a country that helps you recognize a country and continent, differentiating between the two.

Landmass - A continent has a larger landmass characterized by geographical boundaries, whereas a country has a small landmass and is located within the continent.

Borders - Countries have imaginary boundaries which are not always consistent over time, and continents typically have natural boundaries such as oceans, rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc.

Government - Continents do not have a set system of rules or governing bodies. In contrast, countries have international status and their own government.

People - People living on a continent have the same geographical boundaries and location, whereas people of a country share more than just location, such as language, culture, and history.

Occurrence - The number of continents in the world is 7, making them easy to identify. In comparison, there are 197 countries in the world as of 2022.

How Many Continents Are There?

Following are the total seven continents in the world listed by size, from largest to smallest:


Asia is a continent consisting of 50 counties and has the highest population, with 61% of Earth's total population living here. It lies primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres - a hemisphere is the half of the Earth divided by the equator.


Africa is the second-largest and the second-most populous continent, comprising 54 countries. It is the hottest continent and consists of the world's largest desert, the Sahara Desert, which occupies around 25% of Africa's total area.

North America

North America consists of 23 countries, led by the United States of America as the largest economy in the world. It lies in the northern hemisphere and within the western hemisphere.

South America

South America is a continent comprising 12 countries and is home to the Amazon rainforest, which is the largest forest in the world, covering 30% of South America's total area. It is located mostly in the western and southern hemispheres, with a small fraction in the northern hemisphere.


Antarctica is the fifth largest and coldest continent in the world. It has no countries or permanent inhabitants, with the exceptions of scientists and researchers maintaining research stations there.


Europe is a continent comprising 51 countries. It is located in the northern and eastern hemispheres. Europe is the most economically developed continent in the world, with the European Union as the biggest political union globally.


Australia, also known as Oceania, consists of 14 countries and is the least populated continent after Antarctica. It lies in the southern hemisphere.

How Many Countries Are There?

There are a total of 195 countries in the world. Following are some of the countries listed by continent, size, and population:

Asian Countries

- China
- India
- Indonesia
- Japan
- Philippines
- Turkey
- Pakistan
- Malaysia
- United Arab Emirates
- Afghanistan

African Countries

- Nigeria
- Ethiopia
- Kenya
- Algeria
- Sudan
- Ghana
- Madagascar
- Morocco
- Tanzania
- Namibia

North American Countries

- United States
- Mexico
- Canada
- Cuba
- Guatemala
- Honduras
- Dominican Republic
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Haiti

South American Countries

- Brazil
- Argentina
- Paraguay
- Uruguay
- Chile
- Colombia
- Ecuador
- Peru
- Venezuela
- Bolivia

European Countries

- Russia
- Germany
- United Kingdom
- Spain
- Norway
- Italy
- Greece
- Netherlands
- Romania
- Iceland

Australian/Oceanic Countries

- Australia
- Papua New Guinea
- New Zealand
- Fiji
- Solomon Islands
- Samoa
- Tongo
- Palau
- French Polynesia
- Guam

Top 5 Countries by Size

1. Russia, Europe - 17 .1 million square kilometers
2. Canada, North America - 9.9 million square kilometers
3. China, Asia - 8.7 square kilometers
4. United States, North America - 9.3 million square kilometers
5. Brazil, South America - 8.5 million square kilometers

Top 5 Counties by Population

1. China, Asia- 1.41 billion population
2. India, Asia- 1.34 billion population
3. United States, North America- 328 billion population
4. Indonesia, Asia- 270 million population
5. Pakistan, Asia- 221 million population

Earth is divided into different geographical lands and regions known as continents and countries. A continent is a larger area distributed by geographical boundaries, and a country is a smaller landmass within a continent. In this article, we have discussed what a country and continent are, the difference between a continent and a country based on landmass, boundaries, etc., and how many continents and countries there are in the world.