Caribbean

Coordinates: 14°31′32″N 75°49′06″W / 14.52556°N 75.81833°W / 14.52556; -75.81833

Caribbean
Caribbean general map.png
Area275,400 km2 (106,300 sq mi)
Population44,182,048[1][2]
Population density151.5/km2 (392/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsAfrican, European, Indian, Latino or Hispanic (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mestizo, Mulatto, Pardo, and Zambo), Chinese, Jewish, Arab, Amerindian, Javanese,[3] Hmong, Multiracial
ReligionsChristianity, Hinduism, Islam, Afro-American religions, Traditional African religions, Rastafarianism, Native American religion, Judaism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion (incl. Taoism and Confucianism), Bahá'í, Kebatinan, Sikhism, Irreligion, others
DemonymCaribbean, West Indian
Countries13 sovereign states
Dependencies
LanguagesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, French Creoles, English Creoles, Dutch Creoles, Papiamento, Caribbean Hindustani, Chinese, among others
Time zonesUTC−5 to UTC−4
Internet TLDMultiple
Calling codeMultiple
Largest cities
UN M49 code029 – Caribbean
419Latin America
019Americas
001World

The Caribbean (/ˌkærɪˈbən, kəˈrɪbiən/, locally /ˈkærɪbiæn/;[5] Spanish: El Caribe; French: la Caraïbe; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea[6] and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean)[7] and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America and north of South America islets, reefs and cays.[8] Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea:[9] the Greater Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (which includes the Leeward Antilles). They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago (the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands), which are considered to be part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.[10]

Geopolitically, the islands of the Caribbean (the West Indies) are often regarded as a region of North America sometimes as part of Central America or left as a region of their own.[11][12] They are organized into 30 sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. From December 15, 1954, to October 10, 2010, there was a country known as the Netherlands Antilles composed of five states, all of which were Dutch dependencies.[13] From January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962, there was also a short-lived political union called the West Indies Federation composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories, all of which were then British dependencies. The West Indies cricket team continues to represent many of those nations.

  1. ^ ""World Population Prospects 2022"". population.un.org. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "World Population Prospects 2022: Demographic indicators by region, subregion and country, annually for 1950-2100" (XSLX). population.un.org ("Total Population, as of 1 July (thousands)"). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  3. ^ McWhorter, John H. (2005). Defining Creole. Oxford University Press US. p. 379. ISBN 978-0-19-516670-5.
  4. ^ "Cancun Riviera Maya, Hotels and All Inclusive Resorts, Mexican Caribbean Travel". www.mexicancaribbean.com.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference dce was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Engerman, Stanley L. (2000). "A Population History of the Caribbean". In Haines, Michael R.; Steckel, Richard Hall (eds.). A Population History of North America. Cambridge University Press. pp. 483–528. ISBN 978-0-521-49666-7. OCLC 41118518.
  7. ^ Hillman, Richard S.; D'Agostino, Thomas J., eds. (2003). Understanding the contemporary Caribbean. London, UK: Lynne Rienner. ISBN 978-1588266637. OCLC 300280211.
  8. ^ See the list of Caribbean islands.
  9. ^ Asann, Ridvan (2007). A Brief History of the Caribbean (Revised ed.). New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8160-3811-4.
  10. ^ Higman, B. W. (2011). A ConciseHistory of the Caribbean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0521043489.
  11. ^ "North America". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia; "... associated with the continent is Greenland, the largest island in the world, and such offshore groups as the Arctic Archipelago, the Bahamas, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the Aleutian Islands," but also "North America is bounded ... on the south by the Caribbean Sea," and "according to some authorities, North America begins not at the Isthmus of Panama but at the narrows of Tehuantepec."
  12. ^ The World: Geographic Overview, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency; "North America is commonly understood to include the island of Greenland, the isles of the Caribbean, and to extend south all the way to the Isthmus of Panama."
  13. ^ The Netherlands Antilles: The joy of six, The Economist Magazine, April 29, 2010


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