Together, India and China are home to a staggering 2.7 billion individuals. But in MinuteEarth’s video below, host Kate Yoshida explains that the two nations have actually grown at about the same rate, population-wise, as the rest of the world's countries. So why, then, do they have so many more inhabitants?

For one thing, India and China had more residents to start with, once global modernization began contributing to rapid population growth several centuries ago. We don't quite know why this is, since lots of variables contribute to long-term population dynamics, but it might be because both nations have lots of fertile land and access to water, making it possible to grow lots of food to feed lots of people. And since the domestication of both plants and animals basically originated in Asia, the region's early inhabitants were able to eat often, and well.

To learn more, listen to Yoshida's full lesson below: