Humanities › Geography The 7 Continents Ranked by Size and Population Share Flipboard Email Print Martin Barraud/Getty Images Geography Population Basics Physical Geography Political Geography Country Information Key Figures & Milestones Maps Urban Geography By Matt Rosenberg Geography Expert M.A., Geography, California State University - Northridge B.A., Geography, University of California - Davis Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook." our editorial process Matt Rosenberg Updated December 02, 2019 What is the largest continent on Earth? That's easy: Asia. It's the biggest in terms of both size and population. But what about the other continents: Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America? 2:02 Watch Now: What are the Biggest Continents By Area and Population? 01 of 07 Asia, the Largest Continent: 17,212,200 Square Miles (44,579,000 Square Km) Linka A Odom/Getty Images Being the largest in square miles by a big margin also puts Asia at an advantage population-wise, having 4,601,371,000 of the world's population of 7.7 billion. And these aren't the only superlatives of this continent. Asia also boasts the highest and lowest points on Earth. Mt. Everest is the highest point, at 29,029 feet above sea level. The lowest point is the Dead Sea, which is more than 1,400 feet below sea level. 02 of 07 Africa: 11,730,000 Square Miles (30,370,000 Square Km) Tom Cockrem/Getty Images Africa is number two on both lists: population and size. Its population is estimated at 1,308,064,000. Along with Asia, these two continents are forecast to be the highest areas of world population growth in the coming decades as well. Africa is home to the longest river in the world, the Nile. It stretches 4,132 miles from Sudan to the Mediterranean Sea. 03 of 07 North America: 9,540,000 Square Miles (24,709,000 Square Km) Rudy Malmquist/Getty Images North America is where the two lists diverge in their rankings because this continent's population is not growing as fast as Asia's. North America is third in area, but it's fifth on the list in population with 366,601,000 people. North America boasts Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. One of the Great Lakes, Superior covers more than 31,700 square miles between the United States and Canada. 04 of 07 South America: 6,890,000 Square Miles (17,840,000 Square Km) Gene Wahrlich/Getty Images The fourth largest continent, South America, is fifth on the world population list, with 648,121,000 people living there (including the Caribbean). Of the United Nations' most populous cities list of the world, São Paulo, Brazil, ranks number four. South America has the longest mountain range in the world. The Andes Mountains stretch 4,300 miles from Venezuela south to Chile. 05 of 07 Antarctica: About 5,400,000 Square Miles (14,000,000 Square Km) David Merron/Getty Images No one has to guess very hard which is the least populous continent, as there are no permanent residents in Antarctica. Up to 4,000 researchers and personnel live there in the summer and 1,000 in the winter. The amount of ice cover in Antarctica affects the exchange of heat, moisture, and gases between the ocean and the atmosphere. Changes in the ice, in turn, affect global weather patterns—and by extension, over time, climate. 06 of 07 Europe: 3,930,000 Square Miles (10,180,000 Square Km) Pixabay/Pexels Europe comes in at number three on population rankings, with a 2019 estimate of 747,183,000 people. The United Nations Population Division expects its population to decline over the coming decades due to low fertility rates. Europe lays claim to the largest and smallest nations in the world. Russia is the biggest at 6.6 million square miles, while Vatican City is the smallest at 109 acres. 07 of 07 Australia: 2,967,907 Square Miles (7,692,024 Square Km) John Crux Photography/Getty Images It might be the smallest continent, but Australia is the sixth largest nation in the world, and that with only about 10 percent of the continent being habitable. The majority of the population, at 24,992.37, live in the urban areas on the coasts. Australia's population is often listed together with Oceania, which as of 2019, is 42,128,000. Australia is about the size of the contiguous 48 states of America. Sources "Population, Total." The World Bank Group, 2019.“World Map.” World Atlas - Maps, Geography, Travel, 31 July 2019."The World's Cities in 2018." World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, United Nations, 2018.“World Population Prospects—Population Division.” United Nations, 2019.