You do know that you (and i guess SE as well if they present statistics for "North America, Japan and Europe") are comparing 2 countries to a continent right?.... A continent totalling about 850 million people...
Last time I checked, North America was a continent, North America, South America, Europe, Aisa, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, I'm missing one, err, India is a sub continent, err, wait, no I'm not. So yes, North America is a continent, there is no country called North America, unless someone changed it when I wasn't watching, did the US invade Canada like they planned to do in the 30's before WW2 distracted them? So we're comparing two REGIONS with one COUNTRY (Australia isn't in Europe, which I'm sure they are glad about, although to be honest, I love Australians because they love Rugby and I'm Welsh). Edited, Jan 21st 2011 3:15pm by Lexxuk
Close but wrong. North America and South America are not 2 different continents, its a big one called America, divided into 3 major zones: north america, central america and south america, and North America includes Mexico, USA and Canada... again, even if USA deny it or dont like it.
There are 6 different ways of counting the number of continents.
#1 - 7 continents = North America, South America, Antarctica, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia (or Oceania). Is most commonly taught.
#2 - 6 continents = Same as above, only Asia and Europe is combined "Eurasia" as it is one land mass. Is mostly used in geographical sense
#3 - 6 continents = Same as #1 only North and South America is combined into America. Is mostly used in Latin America and some european nmations.
#4 - 5 continents = America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia. Antartica is excluded as it is mostly uninhabited. This is where the 5 Olypic Rings is from.
#5 - 5 continents = America, Africa, Antarctica, Eurasia, Australia.
#6 - 4 contenents = America, Antarctica, Afro-Eurasia, Australia. Is essentially the minimum number considering all connected land masses as one continent.
So both of you are correct. Niether one is more correct than another as it is based on the teachings you were brought up with. Similar to how words are spelt differently like 'honor' or 'honour' or wether you use Metric or Imperial.
for a nice graphical (with colours) version