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Europe is the world's second smallest continent, with an area of 10,400,000 km² (4,000,000 square miles), making it slightly larger than Australia.

In terms of population it is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa. The population of Europe in 2001 was estimated to be 666,498,000: roughly one seventh of the world's population.

The Middle East (Arabic: الشرق الأوسط, Hebrew: המזרח התיכון) has been at the centre of world affairs since the middle of the 20th century, and is probably the modern world's most strategically, economically, politically and culturally sensitive area. It possesses huge stocks of crude oil, is the birthplace and spiritual centre of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Africa is the world's second-largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. At c. 30,244,050 km2 (11,677,240 mi2) including the islands, it covers 20.3% of the total land area on Earth, and with over 800 million human inhabitants it accounts for around one seventh of Earth's human population.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles Europe, Middle East & Africa.

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