Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, but the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa. Since the Renaissance, Europe has had a major influence in culture, economics and social movements in the world. The most significant inventions had their origins in the Western world, primarily Europe and the United States. The culture of Europe can be described as a series of overlapping cultures; cultural mixes exist across the continent. As a continent, the economy of Europe is currently the largest on Earth and it is the richest region as measured by assets under management.