There are over 30 countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere, including countries in North and South America and the western portion of Europe and Africa. There are an additional 12 countries that are partial in the Western Hemisphere.
There are 12 countries that are partially in the Western Hemisphere because of the longitudinal demarcation: Algeria, Burkino Faso, Fiji, France, Ghana, Kiribati, Mali, Russia, Spain, Togo and the United Kingdom. Some of these countries, like France, Algeria and Mali, have large portions of their land masses that lie in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The United States is counted in with these countries because it is intersected by the 180th Meridian in the Aleutian Islands. The U.S. is always included in the list of Western Hemisphere countries since such a small portion lies in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The term "Western Hemisphere" is most often used in political and geographical contexts to describe the American continent and nearby countries in South and Central America. The term distinguishes the region from Europe, Asia and Africa. In addition to the individual countries in the Americas, the islands of the Caribbean also fall in the Western Hemisphere. The islands include:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Dominican Republic
- Trinidad and Tobago
- St. Lucia
- St. Kitts and Nevits
The Western Hemisphere also includes regions in Oceania as well as two non-sovereign terrirories, French Guiana and the Falkand Islands.
Many of the locations in the Western Hemisphere share a number of characteristics, including values, cultural ties, commercial relationships and demographic similarities between certain populations.