South America




Central America

South America



In South America, Spanish is the official language of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers , or almost 3.5% of the Earth's surface. As of 2005, its population was estimated at more than 371,090,000. South America ranks fourth in area after Asia, Africa, and North America and fifth in population after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

In 1494, Portugal and Spain, the two great maritime powers of that time, on the expectation of new lands being discovered in the west, signed the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which they agreed that all the land outside Europe should be an exclusive duopoly between the two countries. The Treaty established an imaginary line along a north-south meridian 370 leagues west of Cape Verde Islands, roughly 46° 37' W. In terms of the treaty, all land to the west of the line (known to comprehend most of the South American soil) would belong to Spain, and all land to the east, to Portugal. As accurate measurements of longitude were impossible at that time, the line was not strictly enforced, resulting in a Portuguese expansion of Brazil across the meridian.