Because we’re a site focused on examining the many regions of the world objectively, it’s a fun day when we get to expound upon a place as culturally rich and unique as India. We’re going to talk about more than just which continent it’s located in (while providing a few helpful maps, of course) and will also take a look at the important place this country has on the world’s stage, and the critical importance it’s held throughout the history of human civilization.
Have you ever been to India? Do you plan to travel there? Are you simply looking for more information on this particular part of the world? No matter your reasoning, our cursory overview of the country will hopefully help to pique that interest, and also teach you a bit about the geographic significance of it, on the particular continent it’s located in.
And because that question is particularly easy to answer, we can get it out of the way immediately—India is located in the Asian continent. Not only that, but it’s one of the most heavily populated places in the Asian continent, and has one of the higher population-per-area ratios of anywhere in the world. This is something of a double-edged sword, which you’ll see as we examine the history of India’s economy and the ways that it’s immensely successful. Financial and prosperity inequality is a huge talking point on this particular issue.
The “present day” isn’t the only thing we’re interested in examining, after all.
The Asian Continent
We’ve written somewhat extensively about the continent of Asia before, and in doing so, have elaborated upon two important facts—Asia is the largest continent in terms of sheer landmass, and it’s also the largest continent in terms of total population. How large? Think over 4.3 billion people, large. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s the largest in both of these respects, but there’s still interesting information to be gleaned from examining the ‘why’ of it all. After all, a great deal of Asia isn’t densely populated, which means that the major, metropolitan population centers are positively packed with citizens of respective countries.
India holds an interesting place in this conversation, for two reasons. Firstly, the country may very well surpass China in terms of population, within the next several decades. Secondly, it’s home to far more diverse regions than most people know, which has resulted in a very centralized population spread. You’ll see what we mean upon examining the major population centers of the country, as well as our closer look at the landmarks and regions that can be found within the country, as well as bordering it.
The Indian Ocean
There are regions of India that we’re going to examine due to their being unique and of considerable importance to the country, but first, let’s take a look at the Indian Ocean. Obviously, this huge expanse of Earth’s oceans is named after the country that it borders—and India has a rather large peninsula that extends right into it.
History is what denotes the importance of the Indian Ocean, and its relation to the country that is its namesake. It’s the third-largest of the world’s oceans, but in terms of plate tectonics and geological history, it’s technically the youngest. However, the Indian Ocean is responsible for facilitating an immense amount of international trade, dating back up to nearly 8000 years ago. It’s this trade potential that brought India a great deal of its early prosperity. It also helped to compound the problems related to British colonialism, but that’s a subject requiring its own individual study. For now, it suffices to say that the Indian Ocean has been of immense importance to the development of civilizations and cultures within the country of India.
We’ve established where India can be found on the Asian continent (and have included a few maps for your reference, thus far throughout the article.) However, there’s more interesting information to be found than simply where India is. The country is positively brimming with beauty, culture, and both historical and economical significance. It’s the second most heavily populated country in the world and is expected to become the most heavily populated within a few decades of continuing population trends.
It has a booming technological infrastructure, that is setting the precedent for the rest of the world, at times. But we’ll expound upon this, and more, as we continue to explore
Regions & Landmarks
India tends to be recognized for its economy and population centers more than many other things, but the country is home to unique regions, biomes, and landmarks in plenty. Chief among them, perhaps, is the Himalayan Mountain Range. It extends along the northern border of India, but extends into four other countries, apart from that—namely China, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Nepal. The Himalayas are home to Mount Everest, the tallest mountain peak on the planet.
It’s not the only significant region or landmark that can be found in the country, either. The Ganges Plain is an exceptionally fertile region to the south of the Himalayas and is responsible for a great deal of India’s agricultural potential. The Great Indian Desert occupies the western area of the country, making it quite arid. Somewhat ironically, the eastern regions of India receive some of the heaviest precipitation that can be found on the Asian continent, at least during the Monsoon months.
The numbers alone are an interesting subject, for sure. We’ve talked briefly about the population of India above, but it’s worth delving more deeply into what these numbers mean for the country—its past, present, and future.
First, let’s compare the approximate populations of China and India, the two most heavily-populated countries on the most heavily populated continent our planet has:
- China: 1,387,160,000 people
- India: 1,299,499,000 people
Both of these are approximations for 2015 based on previous years’ census data, but they’re relatively accurate to one another. The reason for this comparison is something that we also briefly touched upon—these countries are extremely close in terms of population numbers, but India is growing far faster than China, at current rates. Within the next handful of decades, it’s fully expected to surpass it, if the current trends continue.
The demographics of India’s population are interesting, too. The vast majority of India’s population is Hindu, making it the country with the greatest Hindu population in the world. This accounts for about 79% of the population, while the second greatest number is attributed to the Muslim population—about 14% of the population. Other religious demographics include Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, and others, each ranking at 2% or less of the total Indian population.
And where do they all live? Of course, the actual population is spread out across the entirety of India, but it has huge population centers that contain significant percentages of the country’s sum total of citizens.
- Mumbai: 12,442,373 people
- Delhi: 11,034,555 people
- Bangalore: 8,443,675 people
- Hyderabad: 6,731,790 people
- Ahmedabad: 5,577,940 people
- Chennai: 4,646,732 people
- Kolkata: 4,496,694 people
- Surat: 4,467,797 people
- Pune: 3,124458 people
- Jaipur: 3,046,163 people
- Lucknow: 2,817,105 people
- Kanpur: 2,765,348 people
- Nagpur: 2,405,665 people
- Visakhapatnam: 2,035,922 people
- Indore: 1,960,631 people
- Thane: 1,818,872 people
- Bhopal: 1,798,218 people
- Pimpri-Chinchwad: 1,729,359 people
- Patna: 1,683,200 people
- Vadodara: 1,666,703 people
And these are only the twenty most populous cities in the country! You’ll see that even number twenty on this list contains more than 1.5 million people, and you’d have to keep moving down those city rankings, reaching number forty-six before you’d start to drop below a population of 1 million.
What does this tell us about the country’s population? Mostly, that it’s not just growing in the most densely populated regions. Even though Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore are significantly larger than other cities found in India, the overall population is high across the entire country.
And with that swelling population has come a peaking and at times tumultuous economy. Its growth has been uneven, and though the ruling government of the country has remained stable, many of the policies and legislature having to do with trade fluctuate, bend, and flex in ways that can make economic issues volatile.
In spite of any unpredictability, however, India’s economy has been steadily growing by more than five percent for each of the past five years. Considering some of the country’s problems with economic inequality among its citizens, this is a somewhat surprising trend. It points to the strengths of India’s import/export market, as well as the areas that it has always succeeded in, economically—textiles, precious gems, and more recently, engineering products.
We hope that this cursory overview of India has been informative and helpful. Though the premise of the topic was simple—which continent is India located in?—there’s far more to be gleaned from better understanding some of the defining features of this country, its people, and the history of the region it’s located in. India is an extremely prominent part of the Asian continent, as we’ve established. It’s the second most populated country in the world, and within the next couple of decades, continuing population climbs will position it as the most populated, even above China! If you have any further questions about India or any other places within the continent of Asia, let us know in the comments below!