south america

South America is dominated by the Andes mountains in the west; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and vast lowlands where rivers such as the Amazon, Orinoco and Paraná flow.

South America's population is estimated at more than 423 million, with most living near the continent's western or eastern coasts, while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated.

Brasil is by far the most populous country, with more than half of the continent's population, followed by Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Perú. In recent decades, Brasil has also generated half of the continent's GDP and has become the continent's first regional power.

Given a long history of colonialism, the overwhelming majority of South Americans speak Spanish or Portuguese, and societies and states are rich in Western traditions. Relative to Europe, Asia and Africa, 20th‑century South America has been a peaceful continent with few wars.