Southwest Asia

Southwest Asia

Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (largely overlapping with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. The term Western Asia is sometimes used in writings about the archeology and the late prehistory of the region, and in the United Nations subregion geoscheme. Unlike the Middle East, which is broadly-defined to include several North African countries such as Egypt, Southwestern Asia is a purely geographical term that is reserved for the southwestern extremities of the Asian continent.

Southwest Asia is partly co-terminous with the traditional European names the "Middle East" and the "Near East", both of which describe the regions' geographical position in relation to Europe rather than their location within Asia. The term "Western Asia" has become the preferred term of use for the Middle East by international organizations (most notably the United Nations [ [ United Nations Cartographic Section Web Site] ] ) and also in countries to the east of the region, such as India and Australia, because of the perceived Eurocentrism of the historical term "Middle East".Fact|date=May 2008 In terms of cultural and political geography, the Middle East often includes North African countries, particularly Egypt.

The United Nations includes Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan in Western Asia. However, these countries also lie in regions that straddle both Asia and Europe, and have sociopolitical ties to both.

The Asian part of the Arab world (including Arabia proper) is called the "Mashreq" in Arabic.

:"See continent and transcontinental country for further definitions"

Countries in Southwest Asia

Some of the countries classified as southwest Asian are sometimes classified differently. People from Afghanistan, for example, are sometimes considered from Central Asia, but usually as West Asian according to, for example, the Canadian census. [ [ Ethnic Origin (247), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census] ] Southwest Asia is in most contexts meant to encompass:
*AFG ["Ethnic Groups in Canada," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008 © 1997-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.] ["Asia," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008 © 1997-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.]

*flagicon|PSE Palestinian Territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank)
*Anatolia, the Asian portion of
*Sinai Peninsula, the Asian portion of

Use in ethnicity statistics

The Canadian government uses "West Asian" in its statistics; however people from the Arab countries are counted in a separate "Arab" category. [ [ Statistics Canada: Population Groups (28) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census] ] []

See also

Other subregions of Asia

*East Asia
*Southeast Asia
*South Asia (Indian subcontinent)
*Central Asia
*North Asia (Siberia)
*Northern Eurasia (extends into Europe)
*Central Eurasia (extends into Europe)


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