Difference between Continent and Country

The demarcation of land into countries and continents has enabled people to live in peace with each other and follow rules under a political system which ensures good living standards and safety of life.

The world has been divided geographically to make it easy to for people to move around and be recognized by the places where they live. Political areas of influences like villages and cities combine together to form a single country and several countries combined together make a continent.



Continent vs Country
Continents in world map marked in different colors and countries are divided by thin white lines.

A continent is an area of land that is home to many different countries. The seven continents of the world are North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica. Australia and Antarctica are two exceptions as they are countries as well as continents due to their smaller size.

A country is actually part of a continent that has been determined by drawing national boundaries which separate one country from another. In political geography and international politics, a country is a geographical territory which has its own government, administration and laws, and often a constitution, police, military, tax rules, and a population who are referred to as one another’s countrymen.

Continent vs Country

What is the difference between a continent and a country? While many people understand that both these terms have different meanings, they are not able to rightly distinguish the differences between the two. The word ‘continent’ has been derived from a Latin word ‘terra continens’ or ‘continent land’, which means connected or continuous land. On the other hand, the word ‘country’ is derived from the Latin ‘contra’, which means that which lies opposite or against the view. A continent is a part of the whole earth while a country is the part of a continent.

A country is an entity which consists of villages, towns and cities while a continent is an entity which comprises of several countries. While a continent is determined by geography, a country is determined by boundaries, even when sometimes these boundaries are disputed.

The biggest difference between continent and country is that while a continent is just a separation in the geographical boundaries, a country is separated geographically, politically and culturally. There is nothing which brings together people living in one continent together except their location and their geographical boundaries. On the other hand, people living in a country have a lot of things in common which include their culture, language and history.

A country has its own government, laws, constitution, military, police and a number of other institutions as well as a unique culture and tradition which set it apart from other countries in the same continent.

Comparison Chart

Continent Country
A continent does not have any government or any system of rules. A country has an international status as a land inhabited by a particular group of people.
A continent is a large area of land which is marked by its geographical locations and contains regions known as countries which are unequal in size. A country is a smaller piece of land which has its own boundaries and rules and regulations for its people.
A continent is not dependant on anyone or anything as it only houses countries. A country is dependent on other countries for trade and support against others.
There are only 7 seven continents in the world. There are hundreds of big and small countries in these 7 continents.
The borders of a continent are oceans, seas, rivers, mountain ranges. The borders of a country are other countries and are not always consistent over time.
A continent is a big region that does not have any government or people; rather it houses several countries. A country is a region with its own government, people, rules and regulations.
Continents have no government as a whole. Countries are self-governed and have their own political entities.


A funny song that will help to memorize the continent names: