South America Living

South America Facts

Natives of South America

South America is the fourth largest continent in the world. There are a total of seven recognized continents (large land mass): Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.   Map of South America

Note: Some geologists group North and South America into one continent – America – making the list six in total. Other scientists combine Europe and Asia into one continent – Eurasia.

Flags of South America           Fun Quiz For Kids

How Many Countries in South America?

There are 12 independent countries in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In addition, there are 3 dependencies i.e. claimed by an independent country: Falkland Islands – also called the Malvinas (British territory but Argentina still trying to claim it), French Guiana (territory of France), South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (British territory).

For a list of capital cities in South America with an online travel guide to each click here: Capital Cities in South America

Population of South America

Depending on the source, the population of South America is between 371,000,000 and 382,000,000 inhabitants.

How Large is South America?

South America encompasses an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 square miles).

What Borders the Continent of South America?

South America is bordered by the Pacific ocean to the West and Atlantic ocean to the North and East. The Caribbean sea is in the Northwest. North and South America are connected by the isthmus of Panama.

What Languages are Spoken in South America?

Primarily Spanish and Portuguese – official language of Brazil, the largest country in South America.

Indigenous languages include Aymara (2.2 million speakers in Bolivia and Peru) Guarani (in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay) and Quechua (10-13 million speakers in Argentina, Northern Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru). Others as well such as French (in French Guiana) but in much smaller numbers.

English is spoken by many as a second language, and is the primary language in Guyana. Dutch is the offical language of Suriname.

What is the Primary Religion in South America?

The primary religion is Roman Catholicism (over 90% of the population). Also practised is Protestantism, Judaism (Argentina has the largest Jewish community), Islam, Animism (belief that all animals, plants and inanimate objects possess a soul) and shamanism.

What is the largest country in South America?

Brazil is the largest country and also has the most people – 203,429,773.

What is the smallest country in South America?

Suriname is the smallest country with a population of 490,000. It was formerly a Dutch and British and colony and named ‘Dutch Guiana’ until it achieved independence in 1975.

Where is the highest waterfall in South America?

The highest waterfall is Angel Falls (Santo del Angel in Spanish) located in Venezuela. It is 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) high!

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