Posted on April 22 2011
The literal definition of hemisphere is “half sphere” which may lead people to believe that the Northern Hemisphere would include half the countries of the world and half the population. This is a mistaken assumption. In actuality, a vast majority of the land on the planet is located in the Northern Hemisphere and around 90% of the world’s population lives there.
The best way to determine the literally hundreds of countries that lie in the Northern Hemisphere is to consult a current world map. Locate the equator on the map. Every country above that line is considered to be part of the Northern Hemisphere. This encompasses the entire continent of North America (which includes Central America) and all of Europe, most of Asia, approximately two thirds of Africa, and about ten percent of South America.
On closer examination, it breaks down something like this:
North America consists of some 42 countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico and Greenland as well as the smaller countries in Central America and the various island nations of the Caribbean.
Europe is made up of fifty countries and another dozen territories. This includes Eastern Europe, some former Soviet states, Northern Europe, Central Europe, and the Mediterranean countries and islands.
Pretty much all of Asia is in the Northern Hemisphere, except for Indonesia, which crosses the equator and has most of its land in the Southern Hemisphere. Asia includes China, Russia and the rest of the former soviet states, Japan, India, and the Middle Eastern countries as well as islands like the Philippines. Around 54 countries in all.
Africa has 32 countries that are primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Western Sahara. A few more are located partially in the Northern Hemisphere but mostly in the Southern.
South America has five countries mostly located in the Northern Hemisphere and two others that are partially above the equator.