With a population of nearly 68 million and an area of over 1.5 million square miles, Central Asia forms the vast—though sparsely populated—geographical core of the Asian continent. (Central Asia has about 43 people per square mile as compared to East Asia’s 350 and South Asia’s 365). Because of its central location, the region has been a crossroads for much of its history, including the 1500-year period when the Silk Road was a major trade route within Asia and between Asia and Europe.

Map of Central Asia
Image credit: Map by IQSCM, based on a drawing from FreeVectorMaps.com