This is a list of countries spanning more than one continent
, sometimes referred to as transcontinental states
. The definitions of what continent
(s) a particular country
covers may vary according to which criteria are used (whether purely geographical
or geological or, on the other hand, political
criteria). An example is Russia
, which has its historical core as well as most of its population (72%), economic activity and political institutions (such as its capital city
) in Europe
, yet geographically
most of the territory (71%) is actually in Asia
The article borders of the continents describes the details and disputes of continental boundaries, which are reflected in this list.
Separately listed below are 1.) countries whose contiguous continental territory or where nearby islands lie in two (or more) different continents, and 2.) distant non-contiguous parts lie on a different continent than the rest of the country.
Africa and Asia
- See Borders of the continents for more details about the geographical border between Africa and Asia.
The border between Asia
is considered to go along the Isthmus of Suez and the Suez Canal
. The border continues through the Gulf of Suez
, Red Sea
and Gulf of Aden
controls Hanish Islands
in the Red Sea which lie beyond this border, as well as Socotra
, so it has non-contiguous island territory in Africa, but is not considered a transcontinental country.
Three of 29 governorates of Egypt lie entirely on Asian Sinai Peninsula and two are transcontinental: Ismailia Governorate is nearly equally divided by the Suez Canal, and Suez Governorate, which is coterminous with the transcontinental city of Suez, has a small portion east of the Canal.
Asia and Europe
- See Borders of the continents for more details about the geographical border between Europe and Asia.
- See also Geographic criteria for EU membership.
Western sources, such as the National Geographic Society, usually state that the Europe-Asia boundary follows the watershed of the Ural Mountains to the source of the Ural River , then follows that river to the Caspian Sea. The border then follows the watershed of the Caucasus Mountains from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. This is the definition illustrated in this section, although variations exist.
- Azerbaijan - situated in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
- Georgia - situated in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
- Kazakhstan - situated in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
- Russia - situated in Northern Asia and Eastern Europe.
- Turkey - situated in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe.
The northeastern Azerbaijan district borders run mostly along the main Caucasus watershed. Five districts are entirely within Europe, and the transcontinental Khizi district is almost equally divided on the two sides of the watershed. Azerbaijan is a member of the Council of Europe.
Georgia's regional borders cross the main Caucasus watershed perpendicularly in the east-central region of the country, though some of its subdivisional lines follow it. Georgia's three transcontinental regions are Shida Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, and Kakheti.
The Java district of Shida Kartli is transcontinental (mostly in Europe) and the region's other four districts are entirely within Asia. The Kazbegi and Dusheti districts of Mtskheta-Mtianeti are transcontinental, with the Khevi subdivision of Kazbegi and the Khevsureti subdivision of Dusheti being entirely in Europe and the Mtiuleti subdivision of Kazbegi being transcontinental, and the region's other three districts are entirely within Asia. The Akhmeta district of Kakheti is transcontinental, with its Tusheti subdivision in Europe, and the region's other seven districts are entirely within Asia. Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe.
South Ossetia includes the northern half of Shida Kartli (including Java) and very small portions of the three neighbouring Georgian regions.
Kazakhstan's provincial borders don't follow the Ural River, although some of its western district borders do so. Two of the provinces are transcontinental, Atyrau Province and West Kazakhstan Province. The capital of the former, Atyrau, is split by the mouth of the Ural and is a transcontinental city. Almost all of it is in Asia with a small portion in Europe. Two of Atyrau Province's districts are entirely in Europe, three of its districts are entirely in Asia, and its Inderskiy and Makhambetskiy districts are transcontinental. Five of West Kazakhstan's districts and the province's capital city of Oral are entirely in Europe, five of its districts are entirely in Asia, and its Akzhaikskiy district is transcontinental.
Russian regions' borders follow the Ural Mountains and Ural River closely enough. There is a very small area (less than 300 km²) of Russian territory south of the main Caucasus watershed in Asia. Orenburg on the Ural River is a transcontinental city. More detail on the political divisions through which the intercontinental boundary runs can be found here. Russia is a member of the Council of Europe.
Three of Turkey's provinces are entirely in Europe while Çanakkale and Istanbul are transcontinental provinces. Three of Çanakkale's districts are entirely in Europe and its other nine districts are entirely in Asia. Nineteen of Istanbul's districts are entirely in Europe and its other twelve districts (forming Anatolia) are entirely in Asia.
North and South America
- See Borders of the continents and South America pages for more details about the geographical border between the two Americas.
Most authorities and most Panamanians consider Panama to be North America's southernmost nation, entirely within both Central America and North America. An alternative view is that the man-made Panama Canal, being a concrete line to demarcate the Isthmus of Panama, divides the continents. That would place Darién Province and four comarcas indígenas entirely in South America. Panamá Province and Colón Province would both be transcontinental, with Colón nearly equally divided between both Americas and Panamá Province unequally divided, with nearly a 1:4 ratio in South America's favour. A map of the locations of the districts of these two provinces and their area and population numbers is needed. The Pearl Islands and Taboga Island in the Gulf of Panama are part of Panamá Province and would be associated with South America and North America, respectively. Six other provinces and the comarca indígena of Ngöbe-Buglé would be entirely in North America.
Africa and Europe
- See Borders of the continents for more details about the geographical border between Africa and Europe.
- Italy: Although mainland Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, the Aegadian Islands, Ustica, and the Aeolian Islands are associated with Europe, the closest land to Pantelleria and the Pelagie Islands is Tunisia on the African mainland. They belong to the transcontinental Sicilian provinces of Trapani and Agrigento, respectively, and they are coterminous with the comuni of Pantelleria and Lampedusa e Linosa, respectively.
- Malta: Malta has been geopolitically European in modern times, but may be considered geographically associated with Africa. More detail may be found here.
- Portugal: Continental Portugal is in Europe, while the Azores archipelago (also associated with Europe) and the archipelago of Madeira (geographically part of Africa) in the Atlantic Ocean constitute the Autonomous regions of Portugal. The Azores has two islands (Corvo and Flores) that are part of the American plate while the latter region also includes Porto Santo Island, the Desertas Islands, and the Savage Islands, all of which are in fact African islands.
- Spain: Although its mainland is in Europe, Spain has holdings (the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and its Plazas de soberanía including Ceuta and Melilla on the African mainland) that are geographically part of Africa. They are considered Autonomous communities of Spain. The African Mediterranean island of Isla de Alborán belongs to the transcontinental city of Almería and the transcontinental province of Almería.
Asia and Africa
Asia and Oceania
- Indonesia: Indonesia is commonly associated with Asia, Southeast Asia or Malay Archipelago. However, eastern provinces of Indonesia from Wallace Line to east are geographically associated with Oceania such as West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, West Papua and Papua.
- East Timor: East Timor is classified as Asian by the United Nations, and a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum. East Timor has applied for membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at which it is an observer; it is also an observer at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Biogeographically, East Timor lies within Wallacea, an ecological transition zone between Asia and Australasia. The Portuguese sources, Lello Universal and Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira, described Timor as being in Oceania. The social organization of its tribal population is extremely similar to societies in Oceania. The languages spoken in the territory are mainly Austronesian, the same group that comprises the languages of Maritime Southeast Asia which includes Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and also New Guinea which is usually considered as part of Melanesia.
- Australia: The Commonwealth of Australia consists of its namesake continent and island possessions associated with Oceania, Asia, and Antarctica. Its Indian Ocean island possessions of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are associated with Asia. The majority of the ancestry of Australia's Asian island residents is Asian and the majority of them are Muslim or Buddhist.
- Japan: All of Japan consists of Asian islands except for the remote and uninhabited Minami Torishima, which is an Oceanian island and administratively part of the city of Tokyo and the subdivision of Ogasawara Village, along with other outlying Japanese islands to the south and southeast of the city.
North America and Oceania
North and South America
North American Caribbean islands belonging to South American countries:
South American Caribbean islands:
- Aruba: Lies on the continental shelf of South America, and is thus considered to lie entirely in South America, but all Caribbean islands are often labelled as North American, and the language and cultural links are not to South America.
- Colombia: Mainland Colombia is in northwestern South America and Malpelo Island in the Pacific Ocean is also associated with South America, but the nation also controls the San Andrés and Providencia archipelago, 400 miles WNW of Colombia's Caribbean coast, near the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. This archipelago is coterminous with the department of the same name.
- Netherlands Antilles: Bonaire and Curaçao lie entirely in South America because of the position of the continental shelf, while Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten lie entirely in North America. Similarly to Aruba, its historical connections are with the other Caribbean islands that are often labelled as North American, and the language and cultural links are not to South America but increasingly because of tourism and the financial industry to other English speaking Caribbean nations.
- Trinidad and Tobago: Lies on the continental shelf of South America, and is thus considered to lie entirely in South America, but all Caribbean islands are often labelled as North American, and the language and cultural links are not to South America but to the rest of the English speaking Caribbean nations.
These examples have integral parts associated with other continents. France, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom may also be considered transcontinental by virtue of distant island possessions associated with a continent other than where the country is based.
A number of nations claim ownership over portions of the continent of Antarctica. Some, including Argentina and Chile, consider the Antarctic land they claim to be integral parts of their national territory. Some nations also have sub-Antarctic island possessions north of 60°S latitude and thus recognized by international law under the Antarctic Treaty System, which holds in abeyance land claims south of 60°S latitude.