The Earth can be divided two halves or hemispheres, which is a term derived from Ancient Greece, and translates to "half of a sphere." For example, the globe can be divided into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, which are separated by the Equator, or the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, which are separated by the Prime Meridian.
The Southern Hemisphere is the half of the Earth south of the Equator, and it contains at least part of five continents, four oceans, and several islands. The five continents located in the Southern Hemisphere are Antarctica, Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia. However, of these continents, only Australia and Antarctica are completely within the Southern Hemisphere. About 800 million people live in this half of the Earth. With an estimated population of 261 million, Indonesia is the most populous nation that is at least partly located within the Southern Hemisphere, while Brazil ranks as the second most populous, with an estimated population of 200 million.
Five Countries Located in the Southern Hemisphere
There are 32 countries in the Southern Hemisphere from five of the Earth's continents. For example, Southern Hemisphere countries in Africa include Zambia, South Africa, and Lesotho. Countries south of the Equator in South America include Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. Countries in Asia located in the Southern Hemisphere include Indonesia and East Timor.
South Africa, which is officially the Republic of South Africa, is Africa’s southernmost nation and lies entirely within the Southern Hemisphere. The country has a total area of 471,445 sq mi and an estimated population of 58 million. The country has three capital cities, namely Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Johannesburg is the nation’s largest city.
Australia, which is officially named the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign nation that makes up the bulk of the Australian continent. The country has an area of approximately 2,969,907 sq mi, which ranks as the sixth most extensive country in the world. The capital of Australia is Canberra, while Sydney is its most populous city. Australia had an estimated population of 25 million in 2019.
East Timor, which is officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and sometimes referred to simply as Timor-Leste, is a country located in Maritime Southeast Asia. The nation comprises the islands of Jaco and Atauro, part of the island of Timor, and Oecusse. The small nation has an area of only 5,794 sq mi and an estimated population of 1.17 million. Dili is East Timor's capital and largest city.
Indonesia, which is officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country located in Southeast Asia. The country occupies an area of 735,358 sq mi, about 4.85% of which is water, and has an estimated population of 261 million, ranking as the most populous country located at least partly in the Southern Hemisphere. Jakarta is Indonesia's capital and largest city.
Brazil is the most extensive country in the Southern Hemisphere, with area of approximately 3,287,956 sq mi, although it does lie entirely within the Southern Hemisphere. Officially named the Federative Republic of Brazil, Brasilia is the nation's capital and São Paulo is its most populous city. Given its history of significant migration, Brazil is one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries.
Territories Located in the Southern Hemisphere
In addition to sovereign nations, the Southern Hemisphere also contains numerous territories within its vast oceans, such as the Indian, South Atlantic, and South Pacific Ocean. Examples of territories located in the Southern Hemisphere include the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI), which is an external territory of Australia, and Jarvis Island, an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States.