North America vs. South America

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Difference between North America and South America

Although the cultures of North America and South America couldn't be any more different, comparisons between the two are inevitable, given their proximity to each other. Admittedly, there are quite a few similarities between both, especially with regard to geographical features, but there certainly enough differences that distinguish them as two decidedly individual continents. Let's take a look at some of their more distinctive geographical traits.


The geographical make up of North America is quite diverse, and it is made up of no less than six major regions, each of which is broken down into several smaller sub regions. The lowland regions of the continent are comprised of the Coastal Plain, the Canadian Shield and the Interior Plains, while the highland regions are comprised of the Appalachian Highlands, the North American Cordillera and the Antillean System.

South America is actually quite similar to North America in terms of geographical diversity, with high mountains to be found in the western section of the continent and lower rolling mountains towards the east. In between these mountain ranges are broad lowland plains. That being said, South America does have a higher mountain range in the Andes than can be found in North America. On the other hand, the plains in South America cover a much smaller land area, and the eastern highlands is more spread apart.


The Coastal Plain of North America stretches from the eastern coast of the country, running from Mexico to Cape Cod. This plain reaches out to the ocean as the continental shelf, and it actually makes up the islands of the Bahamas. The Interior Plains for its part is wide and fairly level, and it makes up a huge part of the interior of North America. This places it squarely between the Appalachian Highlands, the Canadian Shield, and the Rocky Mountains. The Interior Plain stretches southward to meet the Coastal Plain.

As for South America, its lowland regions are comprised of broad plains interspersed with smaller areas of growth. The Amazon Basin is the widest and most extensive area of the lowlands, and it is characterized by thick, lush rainforests.

Bodies Of Water

The longest bodies of water in North America are the Mississippi and Mackenzie River systems, both of which stretch across the continent. There are also numerous smaller rivers, with many of them located towards the eastern and western coastal areas of the United States. These rivers are typically used for commerce and for power generation. The rivers in Central America are a lot shorter and consequently, have faster currents that make them less suitable for commercial use.

South America doesn't have nearly as many lakes as North America, although it does make up for it in rivers and waterfalls. Most of the main rivers in the continent flow into either the Atlantic or the Caribbean. The Amazon is the second longest river in the world.


North America

  • Diverse range of landforms and bodies of water
  • Comprised of six distinct geographical regions
  • Has a lot more lakes than South America
  • Made up in large part of the Interior Plains
  • Notable for the Mississippi and Mackenzie River systems

South America

  • Geographically very similar to North America
  • The Andes is a higher mountain range than any in North America
  • Relatively few lakes compared to North America
  • Has an abundance of rivers, waterfalls and rainforests
  • Rivers aren't ideally suited for commercial purposes, but locals use the Amazon as the often only available transportation highway
Which has more States?
  • North America
  • South America

comments 16 Comments

  • Abraham . 3+ yrs. ago

I admit, I have not been on this webpage in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is

such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making

people more aware of possible issues.

Great stuff as usual...

  • ron . 3+ yrs. ago

south america a far greater continent than north america so full of life natural resources great in agriculture and fresh food less chemichal healty fish and much greener. i live in south america and north america .america a road to wealth south america a road to life

  • pepe . 3+ yrs. ago

you suck.

  • dds . 3+ yrs. ago

lol you are such an ignorant moron

  • dds . 3+ yrs. ago

North america especially Canada can be said to describe and outweigh south america. You're destroying you're natural resources at a far greater rate than north america just to make farm lands.

  • USA . 3+ yrs. ago

except for the vast corruption and squandering of natural resources by a uneducated people

  • barbara lykins . 3+ yrs. ago

I live on North America, and I see no problem with it. We all are equal and this post is very rude. We eat healthy. How about you keep your comments over thre. You stay there and we stay here!!

  • John . 3+ yrs. ago

Wel both continent have there own advantage for example1 cows in south America has fresh gras to eat which is healthy and in north America dry straws with vitamin 2 the us has very good medical and more update with technology but for a slower healty life south America is by far best especially when it comes to food

  • Zaynul Abedin . 3+ yrs. ago

To be known is in a sense to be famous. North America can successfully stand the test of the postulate. I believe South America may have innumerable resource prospects, but they are yet to be unearthed and hence cannot stand the test that way.

  • cleementbrenya . 3+ yrs. ago

let people know what the world is about

  • anomynus . 3+ yrs. ago

suck my ****

  • Ngger . 3+ yrs. ago


  • Ngger . 3+ yrs. ago

suk my fat one

  • Ngger . 3+ yrs. ago

wats good

  • hi . 3+ yrs. ago

hi very good website got an A* in geography homework

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