Geographically, the Western Hemisphere refers to the half of the Earth situated west of the Prime Meridian, which crosses Greenwich, London, England, and east of the anti-meridian, which crosses through the Pacific Ocean and parts of Russia, Fiji, and Antarctica. Simply put, the Western Hemisphere is the western half of the Earth. The center of the Western Hemisphere is the intersection of the Earth's equator and the 90th meridian west, which is located near the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The population of the Western Hemisphere exceeds 1 billion and contains slightly more than one-third of the land on Earth. At least part of six of the seven continents and four of the five oceans are located within the Western Hemisphere.
Continents in the Western Hemisphere
The continents located in the Western Hemisphere are North America and South America as well as the western parts of Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Antarctica. However, North America and South America, which includes the Caribbean, Central America, and Greenland, are the only continents located entirely in the Western Hemisphere. Asia is the only continent entirely located in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Continents Entirely Located in the Western Hemisphere
North America is located in both the Western and Northern Hemispheres. The continent is the third largest and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, South America, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. North America is home to about 579 million residents, which is about 7.5% of the total global population.
South America is primarily located in the Western and Southern Hemispheres, although a small part of the continent is in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and North America. South America is the world's fourth largest continent, with an area of 6,890,000 square miles. The continent has a population of about 420 million people.
Continents Partially Located in the Western Hemisphere
Western portions of Europe are also located in the Western Hemisphere. Portugal, Ireland, and Iceland are entirely located in the Western Hemisphere as well as parts of Spain, the United Kingdom, and France. The easternmost tip of European Russia is also located in the Western Hemisphere.
The northwestern countries of Africa including Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, and Sierra Leone are entirely located within the Western Hemisphere as well as parts of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Algeria, and Togo.
The Western Hemisphere also constitutes about half of Antarctica. The two major regions of Antarctica, West Antarctica and East Antarctica, are named based on the hemisphere in which they are located.
Oceans in the Western Hemisphere
At least part of four of the Earth’s five oceans is located in the Western Hemisphere. These are the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean (Antarctic), and the Arctic Ocean.
About half of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are located in the western hemisphere. The Atlantic Ocean separates Africa and Europe from the Americas, while the Pacific Ocean, which is the largest and deepest of the oceans, separates Asia and Australia from the Americas.
The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica, while the Arctic Ocean surrounds the Arctic Circle.