• Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
  • Area – comparative: slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US
  • Land boundaries: total : 9,665 km
  • Border countries: Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,224 km, Chile 5,150 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 579 km
  • Coastline: 4,989 km


  • Situated south of Peru and west of Bolivia and Argentina, Chile fills a narrow 1,800-mile (2,897 km) strip between the Andes and the Pacific. One-third of Chile is covered by the towering ranges of the Andes. In the north is the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert, and in the center is a 700-mile-long (1,127 km), thickly populated valley with most of Chile’s arable land.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Ethnicity/Race: European and European-Indian 95%, Indian 3%, other 2%
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 11%, small Jewish and Muslim populations
  • Literacy rate: 95% (1992).


  • China is slightly larger in area than the U.S. The greater part of the country is mountainous. Its principal ranges are the Tien Shan, the Kunlun chain, and the Trans-Himalaya. In the southwest is Tibet, which China annexed in 1950. The Gobi Desert lies to the north.
  • The earliest recorded human settlements in what is today called China were discovered in the Huang Ho basin and date from about 5000 B.C
  • Religions: Daoism (Taoism), Buddhism, Muslim 2%-3%, Christian 1% (est.)
  • Note: officially atheist, but traditionally pragmatic and eclectic
  • Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic divisions entry
  • National name: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo


  • Hellenic Republic
  • National name: Elliniki Dimokratia
  • Area: 50,942 sq mi (131,940 sq km)
  • Population (2001 est.): 10,623,835 (average annual rate of natural increase: 0.0%); birth rate: 9.8/1000; infant mortality rate: 6.4/1000; density per sq mi: 209
  • Capital: Athens
  • Largest cities (1991 est.): Athens, 3,000,000; ThessalonÌki, 720,000; Piraeus, 170,000; Patras, 155,000
  • Monetary unit: Drachma
  • Language: Greek
  • Ethnicity/Race: Greek 98%, other 2%; note: the Greek government states there are no ethnic divisions in Greece
  • Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
  • The Greek Islands are generally subdivided into two groups, according to location: the Ionian Islands (including Corfu, Cephalonia, and Leucas) west of the mainland and the Aegean Islands (including Euboea, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Crete) to the east and south.


  • India is the world’s largest democracy. The country’s 1 billion residents speak 1,500 languages and dialects, including the official tongues, Hindi and English.
  • Languages : Hindi (national lang., primary tongue of 30% of pop.), English (national, political, and commercial lang.), 14 official languages
  • Major Religions : Hindu 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%, Buddhist 0.7%, Jains 0.5%, other 0.4%
  • Ethnic groups : Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
  • Go to Indian Students Organization website.


  • Japan, twice the size of California (with half the U.S. population), is made up of four main island – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu – plus hundreds of small ones extending 3,000 kilometers northeast to southwest. More than 75 percent of the country is mountainous. To fly from the city of Sapporo in the north to Fukuoka in the south would take less than four hours.
  • Japan’s archipelago lies across longitude 140 degrees and stretches between latitudes 20 degrees and 45 degrees north. Tokyo is situated roughly midway, about equal to Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Tokyo is located on the largest island, Honshu, which has the most arable land and about 80 percent of the nation’s population. The Tokyo-Osaka corridor has long been the center of agriculture, government, culture and business.


  • Distinct as it is rich, Korean culture is a product of exchange with China, Asian religious influences, historical aggressions and occupations, and the unique character of the Korean people themselves. Literature, painting, folk art, calligraphy, sculpture, architecture, music, dance and theater have been ever-present in Korean life. Each discipline reflects a variety religious beliefs, political movements, personal and ritual expressions indicative of the time and feelings of the Korean people throughout the centuries. Many modern concert halls, art centers, galleries, parks, and libraries house and encourage the arts while making great effort to preserve and display the ancient traditions along with contemporary expressions. More popular locations are the Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Cultural Center, the National Theater, the National Museum of Korea and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.


  • Spain occupies most of the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe. It is bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay, France, and Andorra; on the east by the Mediterranean sea; on the south by the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean; and on the west by Portugal and the Atlantic ocean
  • Communities, that enjoy a certain degree of self-government. Each of these regions has its own parliament with specific legislative powers.
  • Spain has a permanent population of 40 million. It is the fifth most populated country in Europe and the second largest in terms of area. Interestingly, even though it is primarily a Catholic country, Spain’s birth-rate today is the lowest in the World. Also of particular interest is the fact that Spain attracts close to 50 million foreign tourists annually, 25% more than its permanent population.


  • Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
  • Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
  • Terrain: central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
  • People:
  • Population: 58,024,000 million 19% Urban
  • Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
  • Religions: Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)
  • Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
  • Currency: Baht
  • Main Industries: tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world’s second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer