Geopolitical Regions of the Americas

The Americas, also known as America, are lands of the western hemisphere, composed of numerous entities and regions variably defined by geography, politics, and culture. The Americas are recognized in the English-speaking world to comprise two separate continents: North America and South America. The Americas are also considered to comprise a single continent named America in parts of Europe, Latin America and some other areas.

  • North America - when used to denote less than the entire North American continent, this term may include Canada, Mexico and the United States, or just Canada and the United States together. It may also include the dependencies of Bermuda (U.K.), Greenland (Denmark), and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France).

  • Middle America - Mexico and the nations of Central America; often also includes the West Indies. Occasionally, Colombia and Venezuela are also included in Middle America.

    • Central America - the southern region of the North American continent, comprising Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Sometimes, Central America may be defined to only include the five countries which gained independence as the United Provinces of Central America. This definition excludes Belize and Panama.

    • West Indies - the island territories of the Caribbean.

  • South America - contains the nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the French overseas department of French Guiana. Also includes the insular territories of the Falkland Islands (U.K.), the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (U.K.), Fernando de Noronha (Brazil), Trindade and Martim Vaz (Brazil), the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), and the Juan Fernández Islands (Chile).

Linguistically and culturally, Latin America usually refers to the region of the Americas where Romance languages derived from Latin — namely Spanish, Portuguese, and variably French — are officially or primarily spoken.