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South Asia or Southern Asia is a term used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably.<ref>John McLeod, The history of India, page 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0-313-31459-4
Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 0-8226-0034-X
Jim Norwine & Alfonso González, The Third World: states of mind and being, pages 209, Taylor & Francis, 1988, ISBN 0-04-910121-8
{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}
Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0-7506-2050-1
Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-19-856817-7
Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-674-04979-9
Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0-19-513798-1
Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-30787-2
Shiv R. Jhawar, Building a Noble World, page 39, Noble World Foundation, 2004, ISBN 9780974919706
Erika Lee and Judy Yung, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, page xxiii, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN 9780199752799</ref>

The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka form the countries of South Asia, with deviating definitions based on often substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean Territory, Mauritius, and the Tibet Autonomous Region are included as well. South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world.<ref>[1]{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) is an economic cooperation organisation in the region which was established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South Asia.<ref name="SAARC Summit">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Counting India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives as the constituent countries – South Asia covers about 4.4 million km² (1.7 million mi²), which is 10% of the Asian continent or 3.3% of the world's land surface area.<ref name=JJCO>Desai, Praful B. 2002. Cancer control efforts in the Indian subcontinent. Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology. 32 (Supplement 1): S13-S16. "The Indian subcontinent in South Asia occupies 2.4% of the world land mass and is home to 16.5% of the world population...."</ref><ref name=EoMA>"Indian Subcontinent". Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Macmillan Reference USA (Gale Group), 2006: "The area is divided between five major nation-states, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and includes as well the two small nations of Bhutan and the Maldives Republic... The total area can be estimated at 4.4 million square kilometres, or exactly 10 percent of the land surface of Asia... In 2000, the total population was about 22 percent of the world's population and 34 percent of the population of Asia."</ref> Overall, it accounts for about 45% of Asia's population (or over 25% of the world's population) and is home to a vast array of peoples.<ref name="JJCO"/><ref name=Britannica>"Asia" > Overview. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2009: "The Indian subcontinent is home to a vast diversity of peoples, most of whom speak languages from the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European family."</ref><ref name=EoMA>"Indian Subcontinent". Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Macmillan Reference USA (Gale Group), 2006: "The total area can be estimated at 4.4 million square kilometres, or exactly 10 percent of the land surface of Asia... In 2000, the total population was about 22 percent of the world's population and 34 percent of the population of Asia."</ref>


South Asia sections
Intro  Definitions  Geography  Political Divisions  History  Regional groups of countries  Demographics  Economy  Health and nutrition  Governance  Culture and heritage  See also  References  External links  

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