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Asia, the largest of the earth's seven continents, lying almost entirely in the northern hemisphere. With outlying islands, it covers an estimated 44,936,000 sq km (17,350,000 sq mi), or about one-third of the world's total land area. Its peoples account for three-fifths of the world's population; in the mid-1990s Asia had an estimated 3.46 billion inhabitants.
"Asia," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.