Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Americas where Romance languages (mainly Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French) are predominant.
First used in 1861, the term originated in the 19th century. The region consists of twenty sovereign states and four territories that stretches from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America, including the Caribbean Islands.
Historically the term Latin has been used to refer to cultures with Roman influences. The Latin American region was also home to some of the earlier civilizations and empires such as Aztec, Inca, Tupi, Maya, Caribs, and Toltecs.
The earliest settlements in the Americas are of the Las Vegas Culture from about 8000 BC and 4600 BC. With the arrival of the European explorers, the indigenous empires such as the Incas and Aztecs were defeated by the invasion. European culture, customs, religion, and government were introduced.
Many Latin American countries sought freedom from colonization in the 19th Century.
Latin America covers a total area of 7,412,000 square miles (19,197,000 sq. km.) with a population of about 626,741,000, as per 2015 estimate.
The time zones of the entire region range from UTC 2 to UTC 8.
Mexico City is the largest city in Latin America followed by São Paulo and Buenos Aires. Other major cities are Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Bogotá, Santiago, and Caracas.
The region is known for its abundant ecological diversity. The world’s greatest ecosystem, the Amazon Rainforest, and world's largest wetlands, the Pantanal are located in Latin America.
The Amazon basin, the world’s largest river basin, spans nearly seven Latin American nations.
Spanish and Portuguese are the two widely spoken languages of Latin America.
Almost 90% of people in Latin Americans are Christians.
Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru are five largest countries in Latin America.
Eighty percent of the population in Latin America resides in urban areas.
The Amazon rainforest generates more than 20% of the world's oxygen.
Costa Rica does not officially have a military.
Last Updated Date: June 23, 2016