There are obviously many countries in the world, and in each country, you can find different people, places, and cultures. The size of a country can be determined by a couple of things, including population and area. In this article, I’m going to be focusing on the size of a country depending on its area. The area of a country includes its landmass as well as any inland water bodies. We’re going to be taking a look at the top ten largest countries by size, starting small and ending with the biggest country on the globe. Without further ado, let’s see if we can’t brush up on our geography and take a closer look into the top ten countries by size.
#10 – Algeria
We’re starting our list of the top 10 countries by size with Algeria, a country located in North Africa. This particular country has an area of 919,595 square miles. Algeria is located right on the Mediterranean coast, and it is actually the largest country in the whole of the African continent. It is surrounded by other countries such as Libya, Morocco, Niger, Mali, and Morocco. Algeria’s most populous city is Algiers, which is the capital of the country. The entire country is split into 48 provinces and a total of 1,541 different counties. They have had the same president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, since 1999. This country has the second largest oil reserves in all of Africa, and the ninth largest natural gas reserves in all of the world. As a result of this strong economy, Algeria is widely considered to be a middle power.
#9 – Kazakhstan
Although Kazakhstan is only the ninth largest overall country in the world, this country does hold the honor for being the largest landlocked country in the world. Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, and it has an area of 1,052,100 square miles. It shares borders with countries like Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Surprisingly, although Kazakhstan has such large area, it’s not as populated as you may think. It only has around 15 people per square mile. Compare to Algeria, which has approximately 41 people per square mile. Kazakhstan’s largest city is Almaty, which was its capital up until 1997. Today, Kazakhstan’s capital city is Astana. Historically, this country is significant for being one of the last countries to declare independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Some say that Kazakhstan is still picking up the pieces.
#8 – Argentina
We’re brought out west for the next item on this list. Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, and the first largest Spanish speaking country in the world, clocking in at 1,073,500 square miles in total area. This country shares borders with Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Chile, among others. Argentina is a middle power country, with its national capital being located in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires also happens to be the most populous city in the country, with the Greater Buenos Aires area having a population of nearly 13,000,000 people. As far as population density goes, Argentina sits between Kazakhstan and Algeria with around 37 people per square mile. Citizens of Argentina should be proud of the fact that this country has the second highest Human Development Index in all of Latin America, which means that this is an especially well run country.
#7 – India
India, also known as the Republic of India, is the seventh largest country in the world. Located in South Asia, India boasts a total area of around 1,269,219 square miles, with 9.6% of that area consisting of water. Although India is just the seventh largest country by area, they’re the second largest country in the world by population. Over 1.2 billion people live in India, which contributes to this country’s hefty population density of 391 people per square mile. Outside of that, India also has the seventh largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, and they have the third largest standing army in the entire world. India is rapidly developing as a country, and they have been doing so since they declared for independence in the late 1940’s. Living in India, one can expect to live for around 68 years. More than 70% of people living in this country live in rural areas, although that number dwindles by the year.
#6 – Australia
Let’s head south to talk about the next largest country on this list. Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, with an overall area for 2,969,907 square miles, which is obviously a large jump from India before. It’s important to note that, although we call the continent as a whole ‘Australia’, the country Australia is simply the continent’s mainland. Other countries nearby include New Zealand, Tasmania, and Papua New Guinea. The capital of Australia is Canberra, but its most populous city is Sydney. Most people who live in Australia live in urban areas, particularly near the eastern seaboard. Over 24 million people are said to live in Australia, which means that the country has a relatively small population density at about 8 million people per square mile. Although you may not always think of the Commonwealth of Australia as a big country, it definitely is one.
#5 – Brazil
The next country on this list is Brazil, and even though it’s just the fifth largest country in the world, it’s still by far the largest country on the continent of South America. The coastline alone is 4,655 miles long. As a whole, Brazil has an area of 3,287,956 square miles, and less than 1% of that area consists of water. Brazil is also one of the most highly populated countries in the world, with an estimated 206,000,000 living there in 2018. This means that the country has an overall population density of about 62 people per square mile. You may not think of Brazil as a global superpower now, but many experts say that it is well on its way to becoming one. The country has a very strong economy, with the ninth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP. This country also has many valuable exports, the most notable of which is probably coffee, which it has been the largest producer of for over one hundred years.
#4 – United States of America
The next country that I’m going to be talking about on this list of the top ten countries by size is the United States of America. If you go by population, then they are the third largest country in the world. America has a total area of around 3,796,742 square miles, with a little under 7% of that area consisting of inland water. Over 320,000,000 million people are estimated to be living in the United States since 2017, which means that the country has a population density of about 91 people per square mile. The majority of people in America live in urban areas, with the most populous city in the country being New York City. The United States of America actually has the largest population of immigrants in the entire world, which obviously contributes to the fact that this country is also one of the most ethnically diverse on the planet. It also has the largest economy in the world by nominal GDP.
#3 – China
Next on this list of the largest countries, let’s talk about China, also known as the People’s Republic of China. This country, located in East Asia, has a total area of 3,705,407 square miles. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that less than America’s? This number doesn’t include a few other parts of China, including Taiwan (which is technically the Republic of China), disputed islands in the South China Sea, and disputed territories with India. If you added those technicalities, then a total of 137,296 additional square kilometers can be added to China’s total. Nonetheless, China is the most populous country in the world with nearly 1.4 billion people living there, contributing to a population density of 375 people per square mile. Its largest city is Shanghai, and it has one of the largest economies in the entire world, next to the United States.
#2 – Canada
Canada is the next country on our list, with a total area of 3,855,100 square miles. Just under 9% of that area consists of water. If you examine the area of countries by land area, then they’re just the fourth largest country in the world. Despite its large size, due to its frigid climate, Canada doesn’t have a very large population, with only around 35,000,000 people recorded as living there in 2018. This makes their population density just at 10 people per square mile, which is the lowest that we’ve seen on this list. The majority of the people who do live in Canada are primarily located in urban areas, in cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. The capital of Canada is Ottawa, which is really only the fourth largest city in the entire country. Canada is a highly developed country, and it is well-known in North American for its civil liberties, quality education, and quality of life. If you plan on living here, though, you better pack a jacket!
#1 – Russia
Speaking of cold countries, it’s time we talked about the largest country in the world: Russia. This massive country has an area of 6,592,800 square miles, dwarfing its competition. Fun fact: Russia alone covers up more than one-eighth of the surface of the entire Earth. The country spans two continents in Asia in Europe, but the majority of people who live in Russia live in European Russia. The capital of Russia is Moscow, which is home to over 10 million people. As a whole, Russia has over 144,000,000 people living there, giving them a population density of 22 people per square mile. This country is seen as a potential global superpower, primarily due to the fact that it possesses such a large stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia also holds the honor of being the first country to send humans up into space, and for creating the world’s first human-made satellite. It’s a larger than life country in both mass and in achievement.