Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical south-eastern region of Asia, consisting of the regions that are situated south of mainland China, east of the Indian subcontinent, and north-west of mainland Australia.[5] Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean, and to the south by Australia and the Indian Ocean. Apart from the British Indian Ocean Territory and two out of 26 atolls of Maldives in South Asia, Maritime Southeast Asia is the only other subregion of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere. Mainland Southeast Asia is completely in the Northern Hemisphere. East Timor and the southern portion of Indonesia are the only parts that are south of the Equator.

Southeast Asia
Area4,545,792 km2 (1,755,140 sq mi)
Population675,796,065 (3rd)[1][2]
Population density135.6/km2 (351/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)$9.727 trillion[3]
GDP (nominal)$3.317 trillion (exchange rate)[4]
GDP per capita$5,017 (exchange rate)[4]
HDI 0.723
Ethnic groupsIndigenous (Southeast Asians)
Austronesian, Austroasiatic, Negrito, Sino-Tibetan, and Tai peoples
East Asians
South Asians
ReligionsAnimism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Tai folk, Taoism, and Vietnamese folk
DemonymSoutheast Asian
Dependencies Andaman and Nicobar Islands[note 2] (India)
Time zones
Internet, .id, .kh, .la, .mm, .my, .ph, .sg, .th, .tl, .vn
Calling codeZone 6 & 8
Largest cities
UN M49 code035 – South-eastern Asia

The region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with both heavy seismic and volcanic activities.[6] The Sunda Plate is the main plate of the region, featuring almost all Southeast Asian countries except Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern Laos, northern Vietnam, and northern Luzon of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar, Thailand, and Peninsular Malaysia are part of the Alpide belt, while the islands of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Both seismic belts meet in Indonesia, causing the region to have relatively high occurrences of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, particularly in the Philippines and Indonesia.[7]

It covers about 4,500,000 km2 (1,700,000 sq mi), which is 10.5% of Asia or 3% of Earth's total land area. Its total population is more than 675 million, about 8.5% of the world's population. It is the third most populous geographical region in Asia after South Asia and East Asia.[8] The region is culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different ethnic groups.[9] Ten countries in the region are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional organization established for economic, political, military, educational, and cultural integration amongst its members.[10]

Southeast Asia was home to one of the few regions across Eurasia that did not get subsumed by the Mongol Empire. However, most modern Southeast Asian countries were also previously European colonial states, with the only exception being Siam (Thailand nowadays). European colonization stole natural resources and exploited labour from the lands they conquered, and proposed to enforce European religions on the region. Subsequent to this history, several Southeast Asian countries were also subsumed under the Imperial Japanese Empire, which perpetrated numerous war crimes, with estimates that between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military murdered from nearly three to over ten million people, most likely six million Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos and Indochinese, among others.[11]

Today, Southeast Asia is predominantly governed by independent states.[12] Vietnam and Laos are some of the only countries in the world left that continue to follow the socialist or communist model.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Southeast Asia, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.