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South America

South America, the fourth largest continent; 17.8 million km2, 350 mln. in. (2001). South America forms the southern part of the American continent; geographically, the border between the north and the south is most often set at the narrowest place in Central America: the Panama Canal. In practice, the border between Colombia and Panama separates the two continents.

The nature of South America holds great contrasts, from tropical rainforest and subtropical desert in the north to icy winds to the south. As a whole, South America is sparsely populated and characterized by economic and social inequalities, both within and between countries. A common feature of all the states is the ethnic and cultural diversity and mix as well as the great importance of the Catholic Church.

As noted on Countryaah, most countries became independent in the 1800s, but colonial dependence has been partly replaced by strong economic ties with the United States and Western Europe.


South America contains landscapes with mountains, rainforest, flood plains and low plateaus. The original Native American population is still present in the rainforest, but otherwise the population of the South American countries is culturally mixed due to immigration from around the world, beginning with the Spanish and Portuguese colonization in the 1500s.


South America extends from the tropical climate zone around the equator through the subtropical zone to the temperate climate zone in the southern regions.


South America is located on the South American Plate, which also includes the ocean floor of the South Atlantic up to the ridge of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.


In the Amazon slave country and on the eastern side of the Andes, the world's largest contiguous area of tropical rainforest is found. The diversity is very high; Ecuador has at least 18,000 species of vascular plants, and Brazil maybe 40,000.


South and Central America and the Caribbean comprise the Neotropical region comprising the Amazon lowlands, mountain forests and highland plains in the Andes, subtropical savannas, the Patagonian plain and the temperate part of the Andes with its moist coastal forests.


In most South American countries, the national language is Spanish; however, Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname respectively. Portuguese, English, French and Dutch as a national language. In a number of countries, some of the Native American languages are also national languages.

Health Conditions

The disease pattern is characterized by the different climatic conditions. In the tropical countries, a large number of tropical diseases continue to exist, among other things. malaria and Chagas' disease, affecting the rural population hard.


Although South America consists of many different nations, there are clear similarities between the educational systems of the individual states, especially in terms of school structure and education policy.


South America's first residents were descendants of the groups who immigrated to North America from northern Asia during the last Ice Age. The oldest traces of humans in South America to date are 12,000-14,000 years old.

Countries in South America
  1. Argentina
  2. Bolivia
  3. Brazil
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Ecuador
  7. Guyana
  8. Paraguay
  9. Peru
  10. Suriname
  11. Uruguay
  12. Venezuela

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