The 10 Largest Countries In The World By Land Mass

The 10 largest countries in the world by size make up about 49% of the total size of the earth. The planet, which is the most habitable for humans, is estimated at 148,940,000 Km² (57,510,000 square miles) and consists of 7 continents and 195 officially recognized countries.

Generally, the countries of the world are divided by boundaries and each has unique characteristics that include size, people, language, and culture. Here, however, we intend to focus on 10 top countries with the largest physical entities in terms of size of land measured in square kilometres, and water area. Before then, nonetheless, it is worthy of note that the largest country in the world is about 1,637,686,951 hectares larger than the smallest country (Vatican City) which has a land mass of 0.49km² (49 hectares).

The Largest Countries In The World By Land Area

10. Algeria

  • Capital: Algiers
  • Surface: 2,381,741 km²
  • Land Size: 2,381,740km²
  • Continent: Africa
  • Geo Location: Northern hemisphere
  • Population: 43,851,044
Largest countries
Sahara desert (Image Source)

Coming tenth on the ranking of the 10 largest countries is the only African country, Algeria. Situated in the Maghreb region of North Africa, Algeria is bordered by six countries and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. To the north, it is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea, to the south by Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, to the East by Tunisia and Libya, and to the west by Morocco and Western Sahara, a state yet to attain an official status. About 90 percent of the country is swallowed up by deserts. Notwithstanding, these deserts are elevated.

Facts About Algeria

  1. Algiers is the largest city in Algeria.
  2. Arabic and Berber are the official languages of the country.
  3. More than half of the country is covered by the Sahara desert.
  4. The country was first known as the Kingdom of Numidia.
  5. Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves.
  6. It is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.

9. Kazakhstan 

  • Capital: Nur-Sultan
  • Surface: 2,724,902 km²
  • Land Size: 2,699,700 km²
  • Continent: Asia / Europe
  • Geo Location: Northern and Eastern hemispheres
  • Population: 18,776,707
Largest countries in the World
Astana, Kazahstan (Imag Source)

The transcontinental country of Kazakhstan which lies in Central Asia and Eastern Europe covers an area of 1.8% of the entire land area of the planet. It is equivalent in size to Western Europe. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

Apart from being one of the largest countries in the world, it is also prominent for being the largest landlocked country in the world. This country was part of the Soviet Union (USSR) which was the largest nation in the world up until its collapse. Astana is the capital of this country and it earns the description of the weirdest capital city in the world because of its magnificent architecture.

The topography of the country is characterized by plains and highlands. Consequently, there are notably two periods in the year, the cold and dry season.

Interesting Facts About Kazakhstan

  1. It is the largest country in Central Asia.
  2. The official languages of Kazakhstan are Russian and Kazakh. There are also more than 115 languages spoken in the country.
  3. The country was been ruled by one leader, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, from 1991 when the country gained its independence to 2019.
  4. It ranks 4th in the list of countries to record the lowest temperatures ever with -41 degrees centigrade. Antarctica recorded the lowest with -89 degrees centigrade.
  5. Kazakhstan is home to about 5,000 ancient rock carvings which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside 2 other places.

8. Argentina

  • Capital: Buenos Aires
  • Surface: 2,780,400 km²
  • Land Size: 2,736,690 km²
  • Continent: South America
  • Geo Location: Southern hemisphere
  • Population: 45,195,774
Largest countries
Image Source

By land size, Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world, occupying 1.8% of the total land area of the planet. There are principally four regions in the country; the Andes, the Pampas, the North, and Patagonia to the south. It is bordered by five other countries.

The weather varies across the northern and the southern axis of the country. The temperature of the northern axis of Argentina is characterized by tropical and swampy weather. South of the country, the people get a feel of the cold weather coming from the freezing glacial regions. One of the stormiest places in the world, Cape Horn, is partly in the country as well as in Chile. Another area Argentina shares with Chile is Patagonia, adjudged one of the magnificent places on earth. However, it is one of the most dangerous places as well. The largest waterfall system on earth, Iguazu Falls, lies between Argentina and Brazil. Both countries rank among the ten largest countries.

Things To Know About Argentina

  1. The country has 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city. The largest of the provinces by size and population is the Buenos Aires province.
  2. The first animated feature film was created and released in Argentina in 1917 by Quirino Cristiani.
  3. It is the first country to use fingerprints identification in the world in 1892.
  4. Mount Aconcagua is the highest point in the southern hemisphere and the highest outside of Asia with an elevation of 6,960.8 m (22,837 ft).
  5. Laguna del Carbon is the lowest point in Argentina, and the Americas, and the 7th-lowest in the world.

7. India 

  • Capital: New Delhi
  • Surface: 3,287,260 km²
  • Land Size: 2,973,190 km²
  • Continent: Asia
  • Geo Location: Northern/Eastern hemispheres
  • Population: 1,380,004,385
Map of India (Image Source)

This South Asian country shares its land borders with seven countries. These countries are Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China. Because of its many rivers, it is sometimes referred to as the land of rivers. Other interesting sights in one of the largest countries in the world include the Himalayan Mountains and the shores of the southern peninsula.

India ranks second after China in terms of population as the country covers 2% of the total landmass of the earth. The population density of India is 1069 persons per square mile.

In the past decades, India has been caught up in several boundary disagreements. This should be expected from a country with a small landmass but with a high population. One of these disagreements is over the claim of the northern region of Kashmir and of its control between India and Pakistan. There are speculations that sometime in the 2020s India might overtake China in population.

What To Know About India

  1. The official languages of India are Hindi and English.
  2. Rajasthan is the largest state in India. It sits on a 342,239 km² area.
  3. It houses the world’s only floating post office and has been in service for about 200 years.
  4. Mawsynram in India is the world’s wettest city. The city experiences an average rainfall of 11,871mm – 10 times more than India’s national average.
  5. India has an anti-gravity hill.

6. Australia

  • Capital: Canberra
  • Surface: 7,741,220 km²
  • Land Size: 7,682,300km²
  • Continent: Australia/Oceania
  • Geo Location: Southern/Easternhemispheres
  • Population: 25,499,884
Largest countries on earth
Sydney Opera House and Skyline, Sydney, Australia (Image Source)

Constituting 5.2% of the total landmass of earth, Australia enjoys the status of being the only nation to occupy an entire continent. It is also the largest country in Oceania. There is an argument further to the effect that in technical terms, judging by its size, it is more proper to regard Australia as a continental landmass than an island. The coastal cities like Sydney in the East and Perth in the West accommodate a greater part of the population than the Australian Outback. This is because the latter ranks as one of the hottest and driest regions in the world.

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Facts To Know About Australia

  1. Australia is a country and a continent.
  2. Its national language is English
  3. Fraser Island in Australia is the world’s largest sand island.
  4. It has 2 territories and 6 states.
  5. The country has the only 2 mammals in the world that lay eggs – Echidna and the Platypus.
  6. Although it has generated debates, the world’s oldest fossils were said to have been found in Australia. They are estimated to date as far back as about 3.5 billion years.

5. Brazil 

  • Capital: Brasília
  • Surface: 8,515,770 km²
  • Land Size: 8,358,140km²
  • Continent: South America
  • Geo Location: Northern/Southern hemispheres
  • Population: 212,559,417

Brazil is a former colony of Portugal and it is one of the largest countries in the world. It also passes as the largest Portuguese-speaking country on earth. The country has 26 states with Amazonas being the largest.

Its landmass contributes 5.6% of the total land size of the earth. Except for Chile and Ecuador, Brazil shares borders with all other South American countries. It has four time zones. An interesting detail about Brazil is that both the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn run through the country. Experts would admit that this is the only country where this happens.

Furthermore, Brazil is home to Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest. Amazon covers a large mass area. As such, it is a habitat for a wide range of animals and plants.

Interesting Facts About Brazil

  1. Research has claimed that human settlement in the country may have started more than 30,000 years ago.
  2. It is among the most populated countries in the world.
  3. Brazil takes half of South America.
  4. The country is the world’s largest exporter of coffee.
  5. It is home to the 2nd largest river in the world, the Amazon river.

4. United States

  • Capital: Washington D.C
  • Surface: 9,525,067 – 9,831,510 km²
  • Land Size: 9,147,420km²
  • Continent: North America
  • Geo Location: Northern/Western hemispheres
  • Population: 331,002,651
Largest Countries
United States Map (Image Source)

The United States does not share borders with as many countries as the previous countries considered. It is bordered by only two nations, Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. It is on record that the border between America and Canada is the longest international border in the world. The enormity of its landmass is such that it claims 6.1% of the total landmass. It is significant too to note that River Mississippi is located in this country.

The country has 50 states and a population strength which secures for it the third spot on the role of the countries of the world with the largest population. This makes it the country with the largest population after China and India which have a population of over a billion people.

Some Features of USA You Should Know

  1. The official language of the United States is English.
  2. The country is reportedly the only country that has all the 5 climate zones – tropical, dry, temperate, polar, and continental.
  3. Alaska is the largest state (1.718 km²) in the United States followed by Texas.
  4. It is the third most visited country by tourists in the world after France and Spain.
  5. The United States is not just among the largest countries in the world. It also has the biggest economy in the world.

3. China

  • Capital: Beijing
  • Surface: 9,600,013 km²
  • Land Size: 9,388,211km²
  • Continent: Asia
  • Geo Location: Northern/Eastern hemispheres
  • Population: 1,439,323,776
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China (Image Source)

It is one of the largest countries in the world and also serves as home to the largest human-made structure in the world, the Great Wall. The exact size of China, however, is debatable as sources have different claims. This is because some of its territories are embroiled in border disputes. Such territories include Taiwan, South Tibet, Aksai, and Chin.

China is located in Asia, the largest continent in the world. It covers about 6.3% of the total landmass of the earth. What is more, China shares borders with 14 countries that include Vietnam, Russia, Afghanistan, and India.

What to Know About China

  1. Chongqing is the largest city in China with 82,300 km² of area.
  2. It is the most populated country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people.
  3. China’s official languages are Standard Chinese and Mandarin
  4. The longest river in Asia and the third-longest river in the world, the Yangtze River, is located in China.
  5. Approximately, one-third of China consists of mountains.
  6. Mount Everest is the peak of the Himalayas and is the tallest in the world. It is located in China and Nepal.

2. Canada

  • Capital: Ottawa
  • Surface: 9,879,750 km²
  • Land Size: 9,093,510km²
  • Continent: North America
  • Geo Location: Northern/Western hemispheres
  • Population: 37,846,611

This country shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean to the East, the Arctic Ocean to the North, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the United States of America to the South. It claims to itself 6.1% of the total surface of the earth and is the largest country in the western hemisphere.

However, lakes occupy a good portion of this surface. In fact, 50% of the natural lakes on the planet are found here. But for the lakes, the United State would be larger than Canada by the size of land.

As it is with Russia, Canada may have a large surface and large landmass, but it has a low population. However, checks reveal that the number of people is growing.

Facts About Canada

  1. North Bay is the largest city in Canada while Nunavut is its largest territory by area.
  2. It is the third-largest oil reserve in the world
  3. The country has 2 official languages – English and French and about 60 indigenous languages.
  4. It has 20% of the world’s freshwater
  5. Canada has the longest highway in the world

1. Russia

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Surface: 17,098,250 km²
  • Land Size: 16,376,870 km²
  • Water Area: 720,500 sq km
  • Continent: Asia / Europe
  • Geo Location: Eastern/Western hemispheres
  • Population: 145,934,462

Russia is so enormous in size that it is reckoned to be almost twice as big as Canada which comes second in the ranking of the largest countries. It is so big that it constitutes 11% of the total landmass of the earth. Considered the largest country in both Asia and Europe, it covers a very large surface on both continents. To put it another way, Russia is a transcontinental country because it stretches through two continents. It shares borders with 16 countries and has 9 different time zones.

However, Russia cannot boast of a large population as it would of a large landmass. Its population strength is only 2% of the world’s population, putting it at a low for such a large habitable land. Moscow doubles as the largest city and the capital of Russia. This is where a good number of the Russian population lives.

Facts to Know About Russia

  • Russia is bigger than Pluto.
  • It ranks as one of the coldest countries on the planet. For the most part of the year, places like Siberia witnesses snow.
  • The country’s main language is Russian but there are more than 100 languages
  • It has the longest river in Europe, the Volga
  • It houses the world’s deepest lake, Baikal
  • Russia has the most number of trees in the world

Recap Of The 10 Largest Countries in The World

10. Algeria

9. Kazakhstan

8. Argentina

7. India

6. Australia

5. Brazil

4. United States of America

3. China

2. Canada

  1. Russia


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