Asia is the most extensive of all the continents, and it occupies approximately 30% of the land area of the Earth. It is also the most populated continent being home to about 60% of the total population in the world. Asia represents the eastern part of the Eurasian supercontinent with Europe occupying the western part. 48 nations constitute Asia with Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Russia having parts of their territories in neighboring Europe. The Maldives ranks as the smallest Asian nation with 116 square miles in total area.
1. The Maldives
The Maldives occupies the southern part of Asia, and it constitutes 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. Its area is approximately 116 square miles, while the population is about 427,756. This territory has been subdivided into 21 administrative atolls, each of which is governed by an elected Atoll Council. Its administrative division oversees the activities of the capital Malé. The Maldives prides in a rich marine ecosystem which ranges from the shallow coast, fringing mangroves, deep sea, and reef ecosystems. Also present are 187 species of coral reefs and coral, 21 species of dolphins and whales, 1100 species of fish, 83 species of echinoderms, and 5 species of sea turtle. This ecosystem sustains a vibrant tourism industry.
Singapore is one of the world's city-states, and it lies in Southeast Asia. Its area is roughly 276 square miles. Singapore's territory features both a mainland and other islands. The mainland's measurements are roughly 17 miles from north to south and 31 miles from east to west, with 120 miles of coastline. The Straits of Johor separate the state from Malaysia while the Singapore Strait separates it from Indonesia. The largest of Singapore's outlying islands are Sentosa, Jurong Island, Pulau Ubin, and Pulau Tekong. Singapore has been able to expand its territory by reclaiming land using earth acquired from the seabed, its hills, and neighboring nations.
Bahrain is another of Asia's island countries, and it lies in the Persian Gulf. Its area covers 295 square miles with a population of 1,425,171. The state has launched extensive land reclamation activities which have increased its 33 islands to more than 80 island and island groups. The largest of these islands are Umm an Nasan, Bahrain Island, Sitra, Muharraq Island, and the Hawar Islands. Nearly 92% of Bahrain's territory is a desert with seasonal droughts, and the inhabitants have to contend with constant dust storms.
Brunei lies in Southeastern Asia where it borders East Malaysia and the South China Sea. Its area of 2,226 square miles makes it Asia’s 4th smallest nation. Brunei is recognized as the only sovereign state located entirely on Borneo island. The rest of Borneo's territory is shared between Indonesia and Malaysia. Its population is roughly 423,196 people, 66.3% of whom are Bruneian Malay while 11.2% are Chinese. Brunei has amassed wealth from extensive natural gas and petroleum fields, and it is considered a developed country.
Palestine's area is 2,402 square miles with a population of 4,550,368 people. The State claims the Gaza Strip which borders Egypt and Israel, and the West Bank which borders both Jordan and Israel. Majority of the regions claimed by Palestine continue to be occupied by Israel since 1967. About 136 UN members recognize the Palestinian State, and it participates in the G77, the Arab League, the International Olympic Committee, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Palestine consists of 16 administrative divisions. Islam has a following among 93% of Palestinians followed by 6% of Christians.
The island of Cyprus lies in the Mediterranean Sea's Eastern Basis. Its area is 3,572 square miles and 2,276 square miles of Northern Cyprus is excluded. Cyprus lies in proximity to Northern Africa and Southern Europe, and its history includes extensive Western European, Greek, Levantine, Turkish, and Byzantine influence. The island's landscape is dominated by the Kyrenia and Troodos Mountains with the Mesaoria plain lying between them. The island consists of four segments. The Republic of Cyprus accounts for 60% of the area while a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" in the north represents 36% of the territory. A buffer zone under the mandate of the UN separates the two parts while the regions of Dhekelia and Akrotiri are under British sovereignty.
Lebanon's area is estimated at 4,536 square miles, and it extends along the Mediterranean Sea's coast. It has earned the reputation of "the pearl of the middle east" as it has served as a trade link between the Mediterranean territory and East Asia and India. Lebanon, being close to Syria, is home to a growing number of refugees which are casting a strain on Lebanon's resources. The Northern Lebanon area and the Beqa'a have particularly been impacted hard by the crisis.
Qatar lies in Western Asia where it occupies an area of 4,473 square miles. It is situated on the Qatar Peninsula which is part of the Arabian Peninsula's northeastern coast. It only has a land border with Saudi Arabia while the remainder of its territory borders the Persian Gulf. Qatar has been able to establish itself as a high-income nation thanks to oil and natural gas reserves. An estimated 2,675,522 inhabitants reside in Qatar including thousands of migrant laborers from nations such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Timor-Leste ranks as the 9th smallest Asian nation covering 5743 square miles. Its territory includes the eastern half of Timor island, the outlying islands of Jaco and Atauro, and the enclave of Oecusse. East Timor's history includes Portuguese and Indonesian occupation, and it acquired sovereignty in 2002. East Timor together with the Philippines is unique for being predominantly Christian in Southeast Asia.
Kuwait lies at the far northwestern corner of the Persian Gulf, and it sits on an area of 6,879 square miles. This location and oil revenues have sustained its economy for decades. Kuwait's territory extends over nine islands, and Warbah and Bubiyan remain largely uninhabited. The Kuwait Bay is the country's most notable geographic landmark, and it indents the shoreline for nearly 25 miles to provide natural protection for Kuwait's port. Kuwait shares a 155 miles long border with Saudi Arabia. This boundary was agreed upon in the 1922 Treaty of Al Ugayr. Kuwait's population is about 4.2 million residents of which 2.9 million are expatriates.