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. Visit Allcitycodes to find the list of capital cities in South America.
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.
|Countries||Life expectancy (years)||Life expectancy for women (years)||Life expectancy for men (years)|
|Argentina||77 (2018)||80 (2018)||73 (2018)|
|Bolivia||71 (2018)||74 (2018)||68 (2018)|
|Brazil||76 (2018)||79 (2018)||72 (2018)|
|Chile||80 (2018)||82 (2018)||78 (2018)|
|Colombia||77 (2018)||80 (2018)||74 (2018)|
|Ecuador||77 (2018)||80 (2018)||74 (2018)|
|Guyana||70 (2018)||73 (2018)||67 (2018)|
|Paraguay||74 (2018)||76 (2018)||72 (2018)|
|Peru||77 (2018)||79 (2018)||74 (2018)|
|Suriname||72 (2018)||75 (2018)||68 (2018)|
|Uruguay||78 (2018)||81 (2018)||74 (2018)|
|Venezuela||72 (2018)||76 (2018)||68 (2018)|
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.
Rainforests in northern South America are probably the world’s richest ecosystems. Ecuador, with an area much like the Norrlands, is estimated to have about 15,000 species of seed plants, Brazil perhaps 40,000. Important plant families throughout tropical South America are palm trees, Panama plants, paranets and crass plants, among epiphytes, especially orchids and pineapple plants. Originally from the Amazon comes rubber trees and giant lilies. Pollination using hummingbirds is common.
Many useful plants originate from northern South America, such as corn, cocoa, pineapple, tomato, peppers, avocado, passion fruit and cassava. Potatoes originate from the Andes (Peru, Bolivia).
In drier tropical areas (parts of Colombia, Venezuela, northeast, central and southern Brazil) deciduous forest and savanna (campos, llanos) occur. In the temperate parts (Argentina, Uruguay) there are extensive grasslands (pampas), dry steppes and semi-deserts. Patagonia’s steppes form a transition to the Antarctic floral kingdom.
In the Andes there are species in the northern temperate genus such as violets, dewdrops and brackets, but also the Antarctic genus such as thorn pimples (Acaena), gold pads (Azorella) and gunners. Above the forest border, dry mountain heaths (puna) with plants in dense cushions or, in the more humid equatorial parts (páramos) with, among other things, so-called rosewoods, grow very large herbs with dense leaf rosettes; these include pineapple plants and lupins. From the mountain forests of the Andes are derived from koa bush and Chinese trees.
On the coastal strip west of the Andes there is vegetation of Mediterranean type. To the north, it passes into one of the world’s driest deserts, the Atacama Desert, which is conditioned by the cold Humboldt stream.
The area farthest to the south and southwest and neighboring islands (Falkland Islands, southern Georgia) is counted as the Antarctic Flora Kingdom. On the mainland, there are moist, mossy forests of the southern beetles and other Antarctic genera such as thyme pimples and Phyllachne. The islands are forestless with moist grasslands (tussock grass).
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.
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.