The distribution of land across the Earth’s surface has changed over its history. Currently, the greatest amount of land mass is situated in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, five of the Earth's seven continents are fully or partly located in the Northern Hemisphere. The northern half of the Earth also includes many islands scattered throughout the oceans. It is estimated that 68% of the Earth’s land exists in the Northern Hemisphere, while 32% is located in the Southern Hemisphere. All of North America and continental Europe is situated in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as parts of Asia, Africa, and South America.
Continents Located in the Northern Hemisphere
Asia is the world’s largest continent by land area. The continent is largely located in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, except for a few island nations, and it contains the world's largest country by area, Russia. The continent features a wide variety of geological features and is home to the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest. The continent has diverse climatic conditions, such as arctic climate in the areas near the North Pole, and tropical climate in some areas of Southeastern Asia.
Africa ranks as the second largest continent in the world, and approximately 66% of its land mass is located north of the Equator. The continent’s largest nation by land area is Algeria, which is entirely located in the Northern Hemisphere. Parts of the continent close to the Equator experience warm tropical climate, while northern regions are mainly hot and arid. Africa's vast Sahara Desert is situated completely within the Northern Hemisphere. Additionally, the world’s longest river, the Nile, is located in Africa and flows through the Northern Hemisphere.
North America is located entirely within the Northern Hemisphere. The continent covers approximately 9.5 million square miles and is endowed with a wide range of geological features, such as high mountain ranges, expansive savannas, and vast desert plains. The continent’s largest country by total area is Canada, which occupies 3.85 million square miles. North America also includes large countries such as Mexico and the United States (US), as well as numerous smaller countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
Europe is the world’s second smallest continent, covering an area of 3.93 million miles, and is located completely in the Northern Hemisphere. The largest country in Europe is also the world’s largest, Russia (also considered to be part of Asia). The continent has numerous geographical features such as beautiful mountain ranges and extensive coastal areas.
Only a small upper portion of South America is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Vast rainforests dominate the northern region of the continent, within the Amazon basin. It is estimated that only 10% of South America is situated north of the Equator.
Interesting Facts About the Northern Hemisphere
Since most of the Earth's land mass is located in the Northern Hemisphere, the hemisphere north of the Equator is also covered in relatively less ocean than the Southern Hemisphere. Given the amount of land mass, the largest population on Earth is also located in the Northern Hemisphere.