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South Asia
Countries 6 to 10 (see page)
Territories 0, 1, or 2 (see page)
GDP (PPP) $4.02 trillion
GDP per capita (PPP) $2,762
Languages Assamese/Asomiya, Bengali, Bodo, Burmese, Dari, Dhivehi, Dogri, Dzongkha, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Manipuri, Nepali, Oriya, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Sinhala, Siraiki, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, Urdu, and others
Time Zones UTC +8:00 (Tibet) to UTC +3:30 (Iran)
Largest Cities Ahmedabadmarker, Amritsarmarker, Bangaloremarker, Calcuttamarker,Chennaimarker, Cochinmarker, Colombomarker, Dhakamarker, Delhimarker, Diego Garciamarker, Hydrabadmarker, Islamabadmarker, Lahoremarker, Kabulmarker, Karachimarker, Kathmandumarker, Lhasamarker, Malémarker, Mumbaimarker, Peshawarmarker, Punemarker, Suratmarker, Tehranmarker, Thimpumarker, and Yangonmarker

South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayanmarker countries and, for some authorities (see below), also includes the adjoining countries on the west and the east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kushmarker.

South Asia is surrounded (clockwise, from west to east) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia and the Indian oceanmarker.

South Asia typically consists of Bangladeshmarker, Bhutanmarker, Indiamarker, the Maldivesmarker, Nepalmarker, Pakistanmarker and Sri Lankamarker. Some definitions may also include Afghanistanmarker, Burmamarker, Tibet, and the British Indian Ocean Territoriesmarker. Iranmarker is also included in the UN subregion of "Southern Asia," although many sources consider Iran as being part of West Asia.

South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and most densely populated geographical region in the world. The region has often seen conflicts and political instability, including wars between the region's two nuclear-armed states, Pakistanmarker and Indiamarker. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organization in the region.


Along with a number of core countries, South Asia differs in inclusion by different clubbing of countries, though essentially it mostly encompasses countries that were part of the former British Indian Empire, including the current territories of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at the core, but also including Ceylonmarker (now Sri Lanka), Burmamarker (officially Myanmar) and Sikkimmarker. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singaporemarker, though administered at various times under the Raj have not been proposed as any part of South Asia. The Raj also encompassed the 562 protected princely states that were not directly ruled by the Raj, some of which joined the Union of India (including Hyderabad State, Kingdom of Mysore, Barodamarker, Gwaliormarker and a part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir), while some joined the Dominion of Pakistan (including Bahawalpur, Kalat, Khayrpur, Swat and parts of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir ). Sikkimmarker joined India in 1975. One partmarker of Jammu and Kashmir became a part of China.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contiguous block of countries, started in with seven countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — when it was established in 1985, but was extended to include Afghanistanmarker as an eight member in 2006. The World Bank grouping includes only the original seven members of SAARC, and leaves Afghanistan out. This bloc of countries include three independent countries that were not under the British rule - Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The South Asia Free Trade Agreement endorsed by SAARC has been signed by the seven original members of the organization, though it has a special provision for the Maldives.

The United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN) includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Islamic Republic of Iranmarker, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia, while Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member country of the Pacific POPIN subregional network in principle. Culturally, though not politically, Tibet has been identified as a part of South Asia, while the British Indian Ocean Territorymarker has been connected to the region for security considerations. The United Nations scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran, while the Hirschmann-Herfindahl Index of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC.

Afghanistan is otherwise considered as Central Asian or Middle-Eastern, Burma as Southeast Asian, and Tibet is otherwise considered Central Asian or East Asian. A lack of coherent definition for South Asia has resulted in not only a lack of academic studies, but also in a lack interest for such studies. Identification with a South Asian identity was also found to be significantly low among respondents in a two-year survey across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Indian subcontinent

The term "Indian subcontinent" refers to a large, self-contained landmass which is geographically separated from the rest of the Asian continent. Due to similar scope, the terms "South Asia" and "Indian subcontinent" are used by some academics interchangeably. Due to political sensitivities, some prefer to use the terms "South Asian Subcontinent", the "Indo-Pak Subcontinent", or simply "South Asia" or "the Subcontinent" over the term "Indian subcontinent". According to some academics, the term "South Asia" is in more common use in Europe and North America, rather than the terms "Subcontinent" or the "Indian Subcontinent". Indologist Ronald B. Inden argues that the usage of the term "South Asia" is getting more widespread since it clearly distinguishes the region from East Asia. However, this opinion is not shared by all.

By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent." It may be noted that geophysically the Tsang Po river in Tibet is situated at the outside of the border of the Subcontinental structure, while the Pamir Mountainsmarker in Tajikistanmarker is situated inside that border.

According to one clubbing of countries, it includes most parts of the South Asia, including those on the continental crust (Bangladeshmarker, Bhutanmarker, Indiamarker, Nepalmarker, and Pakistanmarker), an island country on the continental shelf (Sri Lankamarker), and an island country rising above the oceanic crust (the Maldivesmarker). Another clubbing includes only Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the mainstay of the British Raj, as the Subcontinent. This version also includes the disputed territory of Aksai Chinmarker, which was part of British Indian princely state Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as a part of Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. A booklet published by the United States Department of Statemarker in 1959 includes Afghanistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, Nepal, and Pakistan as part of the "Subcontinent of South Asia". When the term Indian Subcontinent is used to mean the South Asia, the islands countries of Sri Lanka and the Maldives are sometimes not included, while Tibet and Nepal are included and excluded intermittently, depending on the context.

Definition by South Asian Studies programs

When the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge established in 1964, it was primarily responsible for promoting within the University the study of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladeshmarker, the Himalayan Kingdoms (Nepalmarker, Bhutanmarker, and Sikkim), and Burma (now officially Myanmar). But, over the years it has also extended its activities to include Thailandmarker, Malaysiamarker, Singaporemarker, Vietnammarker, Cambodiamarker, Laosmarker, Indonesiamarker, the Philippinesmarker and Hong Kongmarker. The Centers for South Asian Studies at both University of Michiganmarker and University of Virginiamarker list Tibet along with seven members of SAARC as a South Asian country, leaving the Maldives out. The South Asian Studies Program of Rutgers Universitymarker and the University of California, Berkeleymarker Center for South Asia Studies do the same without leaving out the Maldives, while the South Asian Studies Program of Brandeis Universitymarker defines the region as comprising "India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Burma, Maldives and Tibet". The similar program of Columbia University also includes Tibet, but leaves out both Afghanistan and the Maldives.


While the South Asia had never been a coherent geopolitical region, it has a distinct geographical identity. The boundaries of South Asia vary based on how South Asia is defined. South Asia's north, east, and west boundaries vary based on definitions used. South Asia's southern border is the Indian Oceanmarker. The UN subregion of Southern Asia's northern boundary would be the Himalayasmarker, its western boundary would be made up of the Iraq-Iran border, Turkey-Iran border, Armenia-Iran border, and the Azerbaijan-Iran border. Its eastern boundary would be the India-Burma border and the Bangladesh-Burma border. Most of this region is a subcontinent resting on the Indian Plate (the northerly portion of the Indo-Australian Plate) separated from the rest of Eurasia. It was once a small continent before colliding with the Eurasian Plate about 50-55 million years ago and giving birth to the Himalayan rangemarker and the Tibetan plateaumarker. It is the peninsular region south of the Himalayasmarker and Kuen Lunmarker mountain ranges and east of the Indus Rivermarker and the Iranian Plateau, extending southward into the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Seamarker (to the southwest) and the Bay of Bengalmarker (to the southeast).

[[Image:Location-Asia-UNsubregions.png|thumb|left|225px|United Nations geoscheme for Asia:


The region is home to an astounding variety of geographical features, such as glaciers, rainforests, valleys, deserts, and grasslands that are typical of much larger continents. It is surrounded by three water bodies — the Bay of Bengalmarker, the Indian Oceanmarker and the Arabian Seamarker. The climate of this vast region varies considerably from area to area from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north. The variety is influenced by not only the altitude, but also by factors such as proximity to the sea coast and the seasonal impact of the monsoons. Southern parts are mostly hot in summers and receive rain during monsoon period(s). The northern belt of Indo-Gangetic plains also is hot in summer, but cooler in winter. The mountainous north is colder and receives snowfall at higher altitudes of Himalyan ranges. As the Himalayasmarker block the north-Asian bitter cold winds, the temperatures are considerably moderate in the plains down below. For most part, the climate of the region is called the Monsoon climate, which keeps the region humid during summer and dry during winter, and favors the cultivation of jute, tea, rice, and various vegetables in this region.


Map of South Asia illustrating stability and historical permanency of the regional cultural frontiers and areas.
The remote pre-history of South Asia culminates in the Indus Valley Civilization, which is followed by the legends of ancient Vedic period and the sketchy references to the rise and fall of Mahajanapadas - the precursors of regional kingdoms and later ancient empires - ending in the historical accounts of medieval empires and the arrival of European traders who later became the rulers.

Almost all South Asian countries were under direct or indirect European Colonial subjugation at some point. Much of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar were gradually occupied by Great Britainmarker - starting from 1757, reaching their zenith in 1857 and ruling till 1947. Nepal and Bhutan were to some extent a protectorate of Great Britainmarker until after World War II. In the millennia long history of South Asia, this European occupation period is rather short, but its proximity to the present and its lasting impact on the region make it prominent. The network of means of transportation and communication as well as banking and training of requisite workforce, and also the existing rail, post, telegraph, and education facilities have evolved out of the base established in the colonial era, often called the British Raj. As an aftermath of World War II, most of the region gained independence from Europe by the late 1940s. Tibet at times has governed itself as an independent state and at other times has had various levels of association with China, it became under Chinese control in the 18th century in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the 20th century. Tibetan and Chinese views on the Sino-Tibetan relation vary significantly. The Tibetans saw the Dalai Lama's relation with the Manchu emperor in more of a religious light than what would be considered political.

Since 1947, most South Asian countries have achieved tremendous progress in all spheres. Most notable achievements are in the fields of education; industry; health care; information technology and services based on its applications; research in the fields of cutting edge sciences and technologies; defence related self-reliance projects; international/global trade and business enterprises and outsourcing of human resources. Areas of difficulty remain, however, including religious extremism, high levels of corruption, disagreements on political boundaries, and inequitable distribution of wealth.

Territory and region data

2009 referenced population figures except where noted.

The core countries

This club of countries covers about 4,480,000 km² (1,729,738 mi²) or 10 percent of the Asian continent, and accounting for about 40 percent of Asia's population.

Name of country/region, with flag Area

Population* Population density

(per km²)
Capital or Secretariat Currency Government/Common Market Official languages Coat of Arms
147,570 162,221,000 1,099 Dhakamarker Taka Parliamentary republic Bengali
38,394 697,000 18 Thimphumarker Ngultrum, Indian rupee Constitutional monarchy Dzongkha
3,287,240 1,198,003,000 365 New Delhimarker Indian rupee Federal republic, Parliamentary democracy 22 official languages
147,181 29,331,000 200 Kathmandumarker Nepalese rupee Democratic Republic Nepali
803,940 180,808,000 225 Islamabadmarker Pakistani rupee Islamic Republic Urdu, English, Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, Siraiki, Sindhi
65,610 20,238,000 309 Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Sri Lankan rupee Democratic Socialist Republic Sinhala, Tamil, English

Countries and territories from extended definitions

Afghanistan and the Maldives are included in the list of countries of South Asia more often than others in this group.

Name of country/region, with flag Area

Population* Population density

(per km²)
Capital or Secretariat Currency Government/Common Market Official languages Coat of Arms
647,500 33,609,937 51.9 Kabulmarker Afghan afghani Islamic republic Dari , Pashto
60 3,500 58.3 Diego Garciamarker Pound sterling British Overseas Territory English
676,578 48,137,141 71.1 Yangonmarker Myanma kyat Military Junta Burmese; Jingpho, Shan, Karen, Mon, (Spoken in Burma's Autonomous States.)
1,648,195 70,495,782 (2006 Census) 40.3 Tehranmarker Iranian rial Islamic republic Persian, Constitutional status for regional languages
298 396,334 1,329.9 Malémarker Rufiyaa Republic Dhivehi
- Tibet Autonomous Region 1,228,400 2,740,000 2.2 Lhasamarker Chinese yuan Autonomous region of China Tibetan, Mandarin Chinese

Regional groups of countries

Name of country/region, with flag Area

Population* Population density

(per km²)
Capital or Secretariat Currency Countries included Official languages Coat of Arms
UN subregion of South Asia 6,285,724 1,653,457,908 263.04 N/A N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka N/A N/A
SAARC 3,989,969 1,549,348,689 388.31 Kathmandumarker N/A Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka None


Ethnic groups

South Asia, which consists of the nations of Bangladeshmarker, Bhutanmarker, Indiamarker, Maldivesmarker, Nepalmarker, Pakistanmarker, and Sri Lankamarker, is ethnically diverse, with more than 2,000 ethnic entities with populations ranging from hundreds of millions to small tribal groups. South Asia has been invaded and settled by many ethnic groups over the centuries - including various Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups - and amalgamation of Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and native societies has produced composite cultures with many common traditions and beliefs. But, the traditions of different ethnic groups in South Asia have diverged throughout earlier times, sometimes giving rise to strong local traditions such as the distinct South Indian culture. Other ethnic groups, successively streaming in later mainly from Central Asia and Iran, e.g. Sakas, Kushans, Huns etc. influenced pre-existing South Asian cultures. Among the last of these new arrivals were the Arabs followed by the Turks, the Pashtuns and the Moghuls. However, Arab influence remained relatively limited in comparison to that of the Turks, Pashtuns and Moghuls, who brought in much cultural influence and contributed to the birth of Urdu, a syncretic language of combined Indo-Persian heritage, which is widely spoken today. Ethnic Englishmen and other Britons are now practically absent after their two centuries long colonial presence, although they have left an imprint of western culture in the elite society.


The largest spoken language in this region is now Urdu, its speakers numbering over 500 million. Hindi is also a derivative of Urdu language; the main difference is that Urdu follows the Arabic and Persian script (the major Muslim languages) and Hindi is written in Sanskrit script ; the second largest spoken language is Bengali, with about 210 million speakers .Hindi is spoken is some states of Indiamarker, and is similar linguistically to Urdu. Many people are not aware of the fact that most of the Indians speak local languages and are not familiar with Hindi. Other languages of this region fall into a few major linguistic groups: the Dravidian languages and the Indo-Aryan languages, a sub-branch of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. The other great sub-branch of Indo-Iranian, the Iranian languages, also have significant minority representation in South Asia, with Pashtu and Baluchi being widely spoken along the northwestern fringes of the region, in modern-day Pakistanmarker. Many Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, who are speakers of their language-group, are found in northeast India, Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Other small groups, speaking Austro-Asiatic languages, are also present in South Asia. English is another language which dominates South Asia, especially as a medium of advanced education and government administration.

Most of South Asia writes using various abugidas of Brāhmī origin while languages such as Urdu, Pashto, and Sindhi use derivatives of the Perso-Arabic script. Not all languages in South Asia follow this strict dichotomy though. For example, Kashmiri is written in both the Perso-Arabic script and in the Devanagari script. The same can be said for Punjabi, which is written in both Shahmukhi and Gurmukhī. Dhivehi is written in a script called Tāna that shows characteristics of both the Arabic alphabet and of an abugida.


In South Asia Hinduism and Islam and in some of its countries Buddhism are the dominant religions. Other Indian religions and Christianity are practiced by significant number of people.

Historically, fusion of Indo-Aryan Vedic religion with native South Asian non-Vedic Shramana traditions and other Dravidian and local tribal beliefs gave rise to the ancient religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism and much later to Sikhism, when Sufi tradition of Islam also significantly influenced the nascent Sikhism and its holiest scripture. As a consequence, these four religions share many similar cultural practices, festivals and traditions.

Arabs brought the Abrahamic religion of Islam to South Asia, first in the present day Keralamarker and the Maldive Islandsmarker and later in Sindhmarker, Balochistan and much of Punjab. Subsequently, Muslim Turks/Pashtuns/Moghuls furthered it not only among the Punjabi and Kashmiri people but also throughout the Indo-Gangetic plains and farther east, and deep south upto the Deccanmarker.
Afghanistan Sunni Muslim (80%), Shi'a Muslim (19%), other (1%)
Bangladesh Muslim (90%), Hindu (9%), Christian (.5%), Buddhist (.5%), Believers in tribal faiths (0.1%)
British Indian Ocean Territorymarker Christian (45.55%), Hindu (38.55%), Muslim (9.25%), Non-Religious (6.50%), Atheist (0.10%), Other (0.05%)
Bhutan Buddhist (75%), Hindu (25%)
Burma Theravada Buddhism (89%), Muslim (4%), Christian (4%) (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Animist (1%), others (including Hinduism) (2%)
India Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (1.9%), Buddhist (0.8%), Jain (0.4%), Others (0.6%)
Iran Shi'a Muslim (89%), Sunni Muslim (9%), Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i (2%)
Maldivesmarker Sunni Muslim (100%) (One must be a Sunni Muslim to be a citizen on the Maldives)
Nepal Hindu (80.6%), Buddhist (10.7%), Muslim (4.2%), Kirat (3.6%)
Pakistan Muslim (96.28%), Hindu (1.85%), Christian (1.59%), Ahmadi (0.22%)
Sri Lanka Theravada Buddhist (70.42%), Hindu (10.89%), Muslim (8.78%), Catholic (7.77%), Other Christian (1.96%), Other (0.13%)
Tibet Tibetan Buddhism, Bön, Others


Sri Lanka has the highest GDP per capita in the region, while Nepal, Afghanistan, and Myanmar have the lowest. India is the largest economy in the region; it is the world's 12th largest or 4th largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. Pakistan has the next largest economy and the third highest GDP per capita in the region, followed by Bangladesh. If Iran is counted, it is the richest economy and the second largest in region. According to a World Bank report in 2007, South Asia is the least integrated region in the world; trade between South Asian states is only 2% of the region's combined GDP, compared to 20% in East Asia.

Malnutrition in South Asia

According to the World Bank, 70% of the South Asian population and about 75% of South Asia's poor live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture for their livelihood. According to the Global Hunger Index, South Asia has one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world. In a latest report published by UNICEF in 2008 on global hunger shows that the actual number of child deaths was around 2.1 million. As of 2008 India is ranked 66th on the global hunger index. The 2006 report stated that "the low status of women in South Asian countries and their lack of nutritional knowledge are important determinants of high prevalence of underweight children in the region". Corruption and the lack of initiative on the part of the government has been one of the major problems associated with nutrition in India. Illiteracy in villages has been found to be one of the major issues that need more government attention. The report mentioned that, although there has been a reduction in malnutrition due to the green revolution in South Asia, there is concern that South Asia has "inadequate feeding and caring practices for young children"..


Indiamarker is the dominant political power in the region. It is contributed by the fact that it is by far the largest country in the covering around three-fourths the land area of the subcontinent. It also has the largest population of around three times the combined population of the 6 other countries in the subcontinent. India is also the most populous democracy in the world and is a nuclear power. The second largest country in the subcontinent area-wise and population-wise is Pakistanmarker and has traditionally maintained the balance of power in the region due to its strategic relationships with Arab states and neighbouring Chinamarker . Pakistanmarker is the 6th most populous country in the world and is also a nuclear power.

See also

Notes and References

  1. According to CIA World Fact Book, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, British Indian ocean territory, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka comprise South Asia.
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. [4]
  7. Bertram Hughes Farmer, An Introduction to South Asia, pages 1, Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0415056950
  8. Arthur Berriedale Keith, A Constitutional History of India: 1600-1935, pages 440-444, Methuen & Co, 1936
  9. United Nations, Yearbook of the United Nations‎, pages 297, Office of Public Information, 1947, United Nations
  10. Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge (volume 4), pages 177, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 1947
  11. Ian Copland, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire: 1917-1947,‎ pages 263, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0521894360
  13. International Relations And Security Network, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich
  14. South Asia: Data, Projects and Research, The World Bank
  15. Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area, SAARC Secretariat, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  16. Asia-Pacific POPIN Consultative Workshop Report, Asia-Pacific POPIN Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1995), pages 7-11
  17. Sheldon I. Pollock, Literary cultures in history, pages 748-749, University of California Press, 2003, ISBN 0520228219
  18. Territories (British Indian Ocean Territory), Jane's Information Group
  19. Geographical region and composition, Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, United Nations
  20. Mapping and Analysis of Agricultural Trade Liberalization in South Asia, Trade and Investment Division (TID), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  21. Aziz-ul-Haque, South and Central Asia: Building Economic and Political Linkages, Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Pakistan, ISBN 978-969-8020-20-0
  22. Vernon Marston Hewitt, The international politics of South Asia, page xi, Manchester University Press, 1992, ISBN 0719033926
  23. Kishore C. Dash, Regionalism in South Asia, pages 172-175, Routledge, 2008, ISBN 0415431174
  24. The history of India - By John McLeod
  25. Milton Walter Meyer, South Asia: A Short History of the Subcontinent, pages 1, Adams Littlefield, 1976, ISBN 082260034X
  26. Jim Norwine & Alfonso González, The Third World: states of mind and being,‎ pages 209, Taylor & Francis, 1988, ISBN 0049101218
  27. Lucian W. Pye & Mary W. Pye, Asian Power and Politics, pages 133, Harvard University Press, 1985, ISBN 0674049799
  28. Mark Juergensmeyer, The Oxford handbook of global religions, pages 465, Oxford University Press US, 2006, ISBN 0195137981
  29. Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia, pages 3, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0415307872
  30. Judith Schott & Alix Henley, Culture, Religion, and Childbearing in a Multiracial Society, pages 274, Elsevier Health Sciences, 1996, ISBN 0750620501
  31. Raj S. Bhopal, Ethnicity, race, and health in multicultural societies, pages 33, Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0198568177
  32. Imagining India - By Ronald B. Inden
  33. Worldwide destinations - By Brian G. Boniface, Christopher P. Cooper
  34. Oxford English Dictionary 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1989
  35. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, Merriam-Webster, 2002, retrieved 11 March 2007
  36. Valentin Semenovich Burtman & Peter Hale Molnar, Geological and Geophysical Evidence for Deep Subduction of Continental Crust Beneath the Pamir, pages 10, Geological Society of America, 1993, ISBN 0813722810
  37. Stephen Adolphe Wurm, Peter Mühlhäusler & Darrell T. Tryon, Atlas of languages of intercultural communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas, pages 787, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies, Published by Walter de Gruyter, 1996, ISBN 3110134179
  38. After partition: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, BBC, 2007-08-08
  39. Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, The Subcontinent of South Asia: Afghanistan, Ceylon, India, Nepal and Pakistan, United States Department of State, Public Services Division, 1959
  40. John McLeod, The history of India, pages 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN 0313314594
  41. James C. Harle, The art and architecture of the Indian subcontinent, pages 214, Yale University Press, 1994, ISBN 0300062176
  42. Joseph Hackin & Paul Louis Couchoud, The Mythologies of the East: Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Nepal and Tibet, Indo-China and Java, pages 1, Aryan Books International, 1996, ISBN 817305018X
  43. Grolier Incorporated, The Encyclopedia Americana (volume 14), pages 201, Grolier, 1988, ISBN 0717201198
  44. About Us, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
  45. About CSAS, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Michigan
  46. About Us, Center for South Asian Studies, University of Virginia
  47. South Asian Studies Program, Rutgers University
  48. Center for South Asia Studies: University of California, Berkeley
  49. South Asian Studies, Brandeis University
  50. Liberal Studies M.A. Program: South Asian Studies, Columbia University
  51. Asian Vegetation Zones, Grolier Online, Scholastic Inc.
  52. Saul Bernard Cohen, Geopolitics of the world system, pages 304, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, ISBN 0847699072
  53. MSN Encarta - Tibet
  54. Encyclopedia Britannica - "China, Asia", 1911, read in part: "CHINA, a country of eastern Asia, the principal division of the Chinese empire. In addition to China proper the Chinese Empire includes Manchuria, Mongolia, Tibet and Sin-kiang (East Turkestan, Kulja, Dzungaria, &c., i.e. all the Chinese dependencies lying between. Mongolia on the north and Tibet on the south)."
  55. In the Heart of Tibet, New York Times, 1903
  56. Goldstein, M.C., A History of Modern Tibet: The Demise of the Lamaist State, University of California Press, 1989, p44: "While the ancient relationships between Tibet and China are complex and beyond the scope of this study, there can be no question regarding the subordination of Tibet to Manchu-ruled China following the chaotic era of the 6th and 7th Dalai Lamas in the first decades of the eighteenth century....Sino-Tibetan relations are further complicated by Tibetan political theory, which conceived of the linkage with China as chöyön, a term that refers to the symbiotic relationship between a religious figure and a lay patron....Thus for the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama and the Manchu emperor stood respectively as spiritual teacher and a lay patron rather than subject and lord"
  57. Petech L.,China and Tibet in the Early XVIIIth Century: History of the Establishment of Chinese Protectorate in Tibet, 1972, p260: "In 1751 the organization of the protectorate took its final shape, which it maintained, except for some modifications in 1792, till its end in 1912. The ambans were given rights of control and supervision and since 1792 also a direct participation in the Tibetan government."
  58. Gernet, J., Foster, J.R. & Hartman C., A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1982, p481, reads in part: "From 1751 onwards Chinese control over Tibet became permanent and remained so more or less ever after, in spite of British efforts to seize possession of this Chinese protectorate at the beginning of the twentieth century."
  59. USCensusBureau:Countries ranked by population, 2009
  60. Burma hasn't had a census in a many decades, figures are mostly guesswork.
  61. Statistical Centre of Iran
  62. Iran's Census 2006 count figures are higher than 2009 Census Bureau estimated figures, despite 2006 Census reporting that half its citizens are under 25, therefore considered more accurate.
  63. ICL - Iran - Constitution
  65. CIA - The World Factbook - Afghanistan
  66. Bangladesh : AT A GLANCE
  67. The Association of Religion Data Archives | National Profiles
  68. CIA - The World Factbook
  69. CIA - The World Factbook - Burma
  70. CIA - The World Factbook
  71. Indian Census
  72. CIA - The World Factbook
  73. Maldives - maldives religion
  74. Maldives
  75. Maldives - Religion,
  76. NEPAL
  77. Population by religions, Statistics Division of the Government of Pakistan
  78. [5]
  80. A special report on India: India elsewhere: An awkward neighbour in a troublesome neighbourhood Dec 11th 2008 The Economist
  83. [6]
  84. Subcontinent
  85. Infoplease: Area and Population of Countries (mid-2006 estimates)
  86. United Nations Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  89. List of countries by population

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