Regional Comparisons

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Physical features, climate, and even cultures compare and vary from country to country all over the world. Italy, Russia, China, and Indonesia are four different countries from four regions of the world that have both similar and different characteristics.

In Europe, Italy has what is a called a Mediterranean climate which comprises of humid summers and moderately cold winters. This climate is basically equivalent to the climate found in California. Further East of Europe and into North Asia, Russia which is the largest country in the world has mostly a dull, Subarctic and tundra climate. South of Russia and into Central Asia and East Asia is the very populous country of China. The Eastern side of China, where most of the population is located, has mostly a humid Subtropical climate while Western China is mostly in a tropical/suptropical desert and steppe altitudinal zone. Down into Southeast Asia, along the equator are the islands of Indonesia. Like the many other island countries that surround it, Indonesia has a rainforest climate where it is constantly humid and hot.

One feature that makes Italy unique is the ratio between its birth and its death rate. The majority of the countries in the world, including Russia, China, and Indonesia, the percentage of the population of the elderly is lower than that of the young. In Italy, 17% of the population is over 65 years of age and 15% of the population is under 15. Italy and China have certain issues to deal with pertaining to their population. One of the issues Italy is dealing with is whether or not it is able to sustain its economic system with its kind of birth rate. In China, a "one child-one family" policy is used mostly in urban areas to regulate and slow down the population growth in order to balance the amount of people and the resources available. China, Indonesia, and most of Russia are within the same Gross Domestic Product range. Even though the GNP in these countries is lower than the world's average, China is presently one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Both China and Indonesia are very populous countries (China: 1.3 billion, Indonesia: 215 million). While China holds the title for having the most populous country in the world, the island of Java, part of Indonesia, holds the title for being the most densely populated island in the world. Russia's population is large as well, but due to the enormous size of the country, the population of Russia is not dense at all. There are only 22 people per square mile in Russia as to 488 people per square mile in Italy.

One characteristic that affects the variety of cultures and traditions between these countries are their main religions. The Vatican City, which is the heart of Catholicism, is found in the middle of Italy making Roman Catholicism Italy's main religion. Many kinds of Eastern Christianity can be found in Russia, including Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism of Eastern Rites, and many others. China's main religions, however, are non-Christian religions consisting of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The largest population of Sunni Muslims is found in the islands of Indonesia.