Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. It covers 8.6% of the Earth's total surface area (or 29.9% of its land area) and with approximately 4 billion people, it accounts for 60% of the world's current human population. It is located chiefly in the eastern and northern hemispheres.
Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Eurasia—with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe—lying east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Given its size and diversity, Asia—a toponym dating back to classical antiquity—is more a cultural concept incorporating a number of regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity (see Subregions of Asia, Asian people).
The wealth of Asia differs widely between, and within, states. This is due to its vast size, and huge range of different cultures, environments, historical ties and government systems. In terms of nominal GDP, Japan has the largest economy on the continent and the second largest in the world. In purchasing power parity term, however, the People's Republic of China has the largest economy in Asia and the second largest in the world.