Countries of South America

All you need to know about the continent and its countries

South America & Its Countries

south america

About South America

  • There are 12 sovereign countries and two dependencies on the continent.
  • Brazil is South America’s largest and most populous country.
  • The Falkland Islands is the smallest and least populous country.
  • It has a population of over 433 million people.
  • In South America, there are nine Spanish-speaking countries.

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Boundaries

The Caribbean Sea to the northwest and north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast, east, and southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the west surround South America.

Area

It covers about 17.84 million km².

Facts

  • South America is the fourth largest continent on earth.
  • The world’s largest snake is found on this continent.
  • Untainted indigenous tribes live in the Amazon forest.
  • The world record for the longest hot dog is held by Paraguay.
  • In Paraguay, there are no doorbells.

Countries of South America

1. Argentina

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country in the southern half of South America. The land of “The Hand of God” Diego Maradona, a country names after the precious metal Silver, Argentina. This country forms the southern cone of South America. With the highest and lowest points of Southern Hemisphere, Argentina is a country with largest Spanish Speaking population. Listen in to know more about this glorious nation.

2. Bolivia

Bolivia is home to the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Basin, and the world’s highest navigable lake (Lake Titicaca, which lies between the Bolivian and Peruvian borders). After Ecuador, it is the eighth most populous country in South America, with residents speaking primarily Spanish and Quechua and Aymara indigenous languages.

3. Brazil

Brazil is the largest South American country in terms of both area (8.5 million square kilometres, 3.3 million square miles) and population (nearly half of all South Americans live there) (over 214 million citizens). Although Brazilians also speak Spanish, English, and French, it is the only country in South America where Portuguese is the official language. The Brazilian Highlands and the Amazon Rainforest are two of Brazil’s most prominent landforms. This country is home to many soccer  legends including “The Black Pearl”  Pele. Brazil has 60% of the Amazon rainforests and world’s 2nd longest river “The Amazon” also flows through it.

4. Chile

Southern most country of the world, one of the longest country which gets its name from the Aimaran translation of “Where the land ends”, it is Chile. With a huge coastline, the country has a lot to boast like one of the largest swimming pools, and a territory of its on on Antarctica. Chile is home to the world’s driest place, despite its proximity to the Pacific Ocean (Atacama Desert). Chile is the sixth most populous and seventh-largest country in South America, with over 19 million people (756,096 square kilometers, 291,855 square miles). Chile uses Spanish as its primary language.

5. Colombia

Colombia is a transcontinental country named after the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. The only South American country with both an Atlantic and a Pacific coast. It is the world’s second most bio diverse country, with the greatest number of endemic animal species. A happy country, it is also the world’s largest flower exporter. With over 51 million people, Columbia is the second most populous country in South America. Over 99 percent of the population speaks Spanish, with many people also speaking Amerindian languages.

6. Ecuador

The country that is nearest to space, has equal days and nights all the year long. It is Ecuador, named after the imaginary line that divides the earth in to two hemispheres. From being highly bio diverse country to being one of the two countries in South America, which does not share its borders with massive Brazil. With 276,841 square kilometres, Ecuador is the smallest country in South America. The Pacific Ocean, the Amazon Basin, and the Andes Mountains all border it. Listen in to know more about this amazing place

7. Guyana

Famous as “The Land of Waterfalls”, this South American country has a unique ecosystem. Guyana has such dense rainforests that they have never been explored by humans and thus are a place where every now and then a new species is found. Guyana borders Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the north, and Suriname to the west. Because of its history as a British colony, it is the only South American country where English is the official language.A part of the West Indies, there are some famous cricketers who call this land their Home. Listen in to know more about them.

8. Paraguay

This country is called “Heart of South America”, since its located in the center of the continent. Because of its central location on the continent, Paraguay is known as the Corazón de Americ. Paraguay is South America’s ninth largest country.With the largest water reservoir in the world, it has the largest Naval force for a land locked country. Paraguay is home to many bird and animal species and has various  means to harbor them.

9. Peru

Peru is on the Pacific coast of South America, in the continent’s northern half. The country is divided into three geographical regions: the Andes Mountains, the coast, and the Amazon Rainforest. Peru is home to over 33 million people, the majority of whom live in cities. Lima, the country’s capital, has the largest population. Peru is a place with dramatic ecology as well. 

10. Suriname

Suriname, at 163,820 square kilometres, is the smallest South American country. It is situated directly above Brazil, the largest South American country. While Dutch is the official language of Suriname, the majority of the population speaks other languages (including Sranan Tongo, Hindi, Chinese, Javanese, and Spanish). Suriname is also bordered by French Guinea and Guyana. The only country outside Europe to have Dutch as its official language, Suriname is a country that lies north of the equator. It is the smallest country of South America. The country has a lot of rain forests and abundant natural resources. Listen in to know more about Suriname.

11. Uruguay

Uruguay is a small country on the Atlantic coast of South America in the southeast. It is bordered on the north by Brazil and the west by Argentina. The country’s population is estimated to be around 3.5 million people. Montevideo, the country’s capital, is home to about a third of Uruguayans. The vast majority of Uruguayans are of European ancestry. Uruguay’s economy is heavily reliant on exports, the most important of which is beef. The country hosted and won the first ever FIFA World Cup in 1930. It also is the birth place of the dance Tango. 

12. Venezuela

Venezuela is situated on the Caribbean coast of northern South America. The northeastern Maracaibo lowlands, northern mountains, central Orinoco plains, and southeasterly Guiana highlands make up the country’s four geographical regions. The majority of Venezuela’s population lives in the north of the country. Venezuela’s vast oil reserves are well-known. Famous as “Country of the Grace”, Venezuela was named after the Italian City Venice. This place has a huge biodiversity including world’s largest rodent. There are are also mountains which are peak less and a place where there is forever lightening. 

Dependency 1: Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands, also known as Islas Malvinas in Argentina, are a small archipelago off Argentina’s Patagonian coast. It is one of 14 British Overseas Territories around the world, which means it has its own government but is still administered by the UK as of 1833. A place with 5 breeds of Penguins, nesting ground of a prominent species of Albatross, Falkland Islands is an archipelago which is a British Overseas Territory. A place with just one city, no chain of stores, Falkland islands have more sheep than humans, making wool export a major source if income.

Dependency 2: French Guinea

French Guiana is a French dependency, as its name implies. The territory is located on South America’s northeastern Atlantic coast. The population of French Guiana is around 300,000 people, the majority of whom are Creoles. The Guiana Space Center is located in French Guiana, and it is from here that a number of space launches are launched. Forests cover ninety-eight percent of the land.

FAQ's about South American countries

There are 12 countries in South America today according to the United Nations. 

Brazil is the most populous country.

The smallest country in South America is Aruba.

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