Difference Between Latin America and South America (with Table)

In 1492, when Christopher Columbus reached Terrafirma in the Caribbean, he thought that he had found a shortcut to Asia. But after 10 years, Amerigo Vespucci denoted the land as ‘New World.’ As a result, this western hemisphere was named “America” in Vespucci’s honor. In the present time, when it comes to the term south America and Latin America people still have trouble sorting out their America.

Latin America includes countries whose heritage is predominantly Spanish, Portuguese, or French. It is in general consist of Mexico, the island of the Caribbean, Central America, and the entire continent of South America. It is all the countries in America that speak Latin languages: french, Spanish, Portuguese.

South America is a continent mostly in the southern hemisphere and towards the western hemisphere with a small portion of the northern hemisphere. Sometimes it is also referred to as the southern subcontinent of America. It is a piece of land that goes from Chile to Venezuela.

The difference between Latin America and South America is that Latin America is a linguistic or cultural division of the continent whereas south America is the geographical division of the continent.

Comparison Table Between Latin America and South America

Parameter of ComparisonLatin AmericaSouth America
DivisionIt is a linguistic or cultural division of the continent.It is the geographical division of the continent.
GeographyIt constitutes the whole of South America, Mexico in Northern America, the Island of Caribbean sea, and Central America.It is the continent of the southern hemisphere, south of and adjacent to North America.
PopulationLatin America has a larger population.South America has a comparatively lesser population.
EconomyLatin America is greatly indulged in exports.South America is indulged in Minning, Agriculture, and Foresting.
LanguageIn Latin America, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are spoken.In South America, Dutch, English, Spanish, etc are spoken.

What is Latin America?

Latin America is a region or sometimes considered a geographical region that includes the entire Caribbean that is all western hemisphere countries south of the united states.

Some people define Latin America as a country with a history of Iberian Colonialism such as Spanish and Portuguese. Others define Latin America as a region of predominant romantic language such as Spanish, Portuguese, or french. In simple words, Latin America is the country where Spanish or Portuguese is currently the dominant language.

Latin America had been settled for millions of years by a wide range of indigenous groups before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Some of those indigenous groups such as Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas boasted advanced civilization. The first European to arrive in America were Spanish soon followed by Portuguese. They colonized brazil. They conquested Central America, South America, and Mexico.

The majority of Latin America gained independence from the Portuguese in 1825, and between 1810 and 1825 another section of Latin America gained independence from Spain. In 1898, Cuba one of the two remaining colonies of Spain gained independence.

North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean together constitute Latin America with Mexico in North America being the Largest and the only country of Latin America.

What is South America?

South America is one of the seven continents and it is the fourth largest continent in the world. In the Western Hemisphere, simply as America, it s the Southern portion of the landmass on earth generally referred to as the New World. Geographically speaking, South America is Roughly triangular in shape and compact, being tapering to a point Chile in the south and broad in the north towards Central America.

In the Northwest, South America has joined North America by a land bridge(Isthmus of Panama) narrowing to about 80km. It is separated from Antarctica in the south by the Drake Passage. It is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, The Caribbean sea to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest.

There are three different development stages that summarize the history of South America. Each of these stages corresponding to a major division of geology time. Precambrian time, the first stage, traced long back around 4.46 billion to 540 million years ago. The second stage, a Paleozoic era that witnessed the formation of the first supercontinent Gondwana was about 541 to 252 million years ago. And lastly, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras, in which the present continental structure emerged was about the past 252 million years ago.

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Main Differences Between Latin America and South America

  1. Latin America is a linguistic or cultural division of the continent. On the other hand, South America is the geographical division of the continent.
  2. Latin America constitutes the whole of South America, Mexico in Northern America, the Island of the Caribbean sea, and Central America. As against, South America is the continent of the southern hemisphere, south of and adjacent to North America.
  3. Latin America has a larger population. It has a population of about 656,039,296 as of November 2020. On the other hand, South America has a comparatively lesser population. It has a current population of about 42.24 crores making it the fifth most populated continent in the world.
  4. Latin America is greatly indulged in exports, a GDP of about 5.3 trillion USD. As against, South America is indulged in Minning, Agriculture, and Foresting. It has a GDP of about 3.990 Trillion USD.
  5. In Latin America, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are spoken. Whereas, in South America, Dutch, English, Spanish, etc are spoken.
  6. The territorial extent of Latin America is about 19,197,000 km2 and the territorial extent of South America is about 17,840,000 square kilometers making it the fourth largest continent in the world.

Conclusion

The Americas in wider sense refer to the North and South Continent including all territories and island that lies within the borders. There are great misuse and confusion in Latin America and South America. Although for some people they are synonymous, there are many differences that a geographical entity should not be confused with an ideological or culture.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mf0eAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR2&dq=latin+america+and+south+america&ots=3xCqcWt0lE&sig=YqMHeYDe4Tr0YSgfDLFhezYhR_M
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733398000778
  3. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e625/bf771ba5c3936aca9ab330d260786f862dbf.pdf
  4. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-935704-10-2_5