A large very sparsely populated mostly frozen continent at the bottom of the world was settled several millenia ago by seafaring peoples from the west originally possibly from Asia. They came via South America across the Drake Passage and settled along the coast of this vast continent. 94% of the country is covered with glaciers or ice caps. Contact with Europeans in the late 18th century brought diseases such as smallpox and influenza which wiped out about 50-60% of the population. In the 19th and 20th centuries the economy expanded at a phenomenal rate and rapid industrialization occurred among the population as the British who were the colonizers at the time promoted economic growth and development. The country remained neutral during both World Wars during the 20th century and this further helped the economy to expand at a fairly rapid pace. Oil was discovered in the offshore waters in the 1960s and has added even more wealth to the country. Today, the country has one of the highest standards of living and quality of life in the world.