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Largest Countries in Asia 2023

With a total land area of 31,105,763 km2 (12,009,997 mi2), Asia is far and away the largest continent on Earth. Asia features a wide range of biomes and climates, from the frigid tundra of Siberia in Russia to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the equatorial jungles of Indonesia. What are the largest countries in Asia? The answer to that question is not entirely straightforward. Asia includes 45 sovereign states that are fully recognized by the United Nations, as well as several non-country territories such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Palestine, and four transcontinental countries (Russia, Egypt, Cyprus, and Turkey) that have land in Asia but are typically counted as European or African. This is important because two of those transcontinental countries, Russia and Turkey, are the first and tenth largest on the continent when counted as Asian. The list below shows them (marked with an *) in relation to Asia's "proper" top 10 largest countries.

Top 12 Largest Countries in Asia by Land Area (United Nations):

  1. Russia* — 16,376,870 km2 (6,323,142 mi2)
  2. China — 9,388,210 km2 (3,624,807 mi2)
  3. India — 2,973,190 km2 (1,147,955 mi2)
  4. Kazakhstan — 2,699,700 km2 (1,042,360 mi2)
  5. Saudi Arabia — 2,149,690 km2 (830,000 mi2)
  6. Indonesia — 1,877,519 km2 (724,914 mi2)
  7. Iran — 1,628,760 km2 (628,867 mi2)
  8. Mongolia — 1,557,250 km2 (601,257 mi2)
  9. Pakistan — 770,880 km2 (297,638 mi2)
  10. Turkey* — 769,630 km2 (297,156 mi2)
  11. Myanmar — 769,630 km2 (297,156 mi2)
  12. Afghanistan — 652,230 km2 (251,827 mi2)

Whether grouped with Asia or Europe, Russia tops any list of the world's largest countries by area, being nearly twice the size of the next closest country. The order of the next three countries, Canada, the United States, and China, varies a bit depending upon two variables. First, whether the ranking counts land area or total area, which also includes certain bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. And second, whether China's area should include only the mainland or also its territory Taiwan and Special Administrative Regions Hong Kong and Macau, all three of which would likely be independent countries if not for China's influence at the United Nations.

CountryLand AreaTotal AreaInland Waters
China (all regions)942,470960,00117,531
China (mainland only)938,821956,29117,470
United States914,742983,15168,409

Asia is also the globe's most populous continent thanks to the presence of China (pop. 1,444,216,107) and India (pop. 1,393,409,038), the world's two most heavily populated countries. Together, these two countries accounted for just over 36% of the world's total population in 2021. In fact, when ordered in terms of population instead of land area, the list of largest countries in Asia shifts considerably:

Top 13 Largest Countries in Asia by Population (United Nations 2021):

  1. China — 1,444,216,107
  2. India — 1,393,409,038
  3. Indonesia — 276,361,783
  4. Pakistan — 225,199,937
  5. Bangladesh — 166,303,498
  6. Russia* — 145,934,462
  7. Japan — 126,050,804
  8. Philippines — 111,046,913
  9. Egypt* — 104,258,327
  10. Vietnam — 98,168,833
  11. Turkey* — 85,042,738
  12. Iran — 85,028,759
  13. Thailand — 69,950,850

Asia also includes several of the world's smallest countries. The smallest nation in Asia is Macau, a non-sovereign "Special Administrative Region" claimed by China. Due to its connections with China, Macau is not always considered a fully fledged country. But when it is, it is also the eighth smallest country in the world. Macau squeezes a population of roughly 682,800 into a tiny total area of 33 km2 (13 mi2).

Top 14 Smallest Countries in Asia by Land Area (United Nations)

  1. Macau (China SAR) — 33 km2 (13 mi2)
  2. Maldives — 300 km2 (116 mi2)
  3. Singapore — 716 km2 (276 mi2)
  4. Bahrain — 783 km2 (302 mi2)
  5. Hong Kong (China SAR) — 1,050 km2 (405 mi2)
  6. Brunei Darussalam — 5,270 km2 (2,035 mi2)
  7. Palestine (U.N. observer state) — 6,020 km2 (2,324 mi2)
  8. Cyprus* — 9,240 km2 (3,568 mi2)
  9. Lebanon — 10,230 km2 (3,950 mi2)
  10. Qatar — 11,490 km2 (4,436 mi2)
  11. Timor-Leste — 14,870 km2 (5,741 mi2)
  12. Kuwait — 17,820 km2 (6,880 mi2)
  13. Israel — 21,640 km2 (8,355 mi2)
  14. Bhutan — 28,140 km2 (10,865 mi2)

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Area (km²)
Area (mi²)
% of Earth's Area
China9.7M3.7M6.54%Eastern Asia
India3.3M1.3M2.21%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Kazakhstan2.7M1.1M1.84%Central Asia
Saudi Arabia2.1M829.8K1.45%Western Asia, The Middle East
Indonesia1.9M735.2K1.28%South-Eastern Asia
Iran1.6M636.2K1.11%Southern Asia, The Middle East
Mongolia1.6M603.7K1.05%Eastern Asia
Pakistan881.9K340.4K0.59%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Turkey783.6K302.5K0.53%Western Asia, The Middle East
Myanmar676.6K261.2K0.46%South-Eastern Asia
Afghanistan652.2K251.8K0.44%South Central Asia, Southern Asia
Yemen528K203.8K0.36%Western Asia, The Middle East
Thailand513.1K198.1K0.35%South-Eastern Asia
Turkmenistan488.1K188.4K0.33%Central Asia, South Central Asia
Uzbekistan447.4K172.7K0.3%Central Asia, South Central Asia
Iraq438.3K169.2K0.3%Western Asia, The Middle East
Japan377.9K145.9K0.25%Eastern Asia
Philippines342.4K132.1K0.23%South-Eastern Asia
Vietnam331.2K127.8K0.22%South-Eastern Asia
Malaysia330.8K127.7K0.22%South-Eastern Asia
Oman309.5K119.5K0.21%Western Asia, The Middle East
Laos236.8K91.4K0.16%South-Eastern Asia
Kyrgyzstan200K77.2K0.13%Central Asia, South Central Asia
Syria185.2K71.5K0.12%Western Asia, The Middle East
Cambodia181K69.9K0.12%South-Eastern Asia
Bangladesh147.6K57K< 0.1%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Nepal147.2K56.8K< 0.1%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Tajikistan143.1K55.2K< 0.1%Central Asia, South Central Asia
North Korea120.5K46.5K< 0.1%Eastern Asia
South Korea100.2K38.7K< 0.1%Eastern Asia
Jordan89.3K34.5K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Azerbaijan86.6K33.4K< 0.1%Western Asia
United Arab Emirates83.6K32.3K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Georgia69.7K26.9K< 0.1%Western Asia
Sri Lanka65.6K25.3K< 0.1%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Bhutan38.4K14.8K< 0.1%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Taiwan36.2K14K< 0.1%Eastern Asia
Armenia29.7K11.5K< 0.1%Western Asia
Israel20.8K8K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Kuwait17.8K6.9K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Timor Leste14.9K5.7K< 0.1%South-Eastern Asia
Qatar11.6K4.5K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Lebanon10.5K4K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Palestine6.2K2.4K< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Brunei5.8K2.2K< 0.1%South-Eastern Asia
Hong Kong1.1K426< 0.1%Eastern Asia
Bahrain765295< 0.1%Western Asia, The Middle East
Singapore710274< 0.1%South-Eastern Asia
Maldives300116< 0.1%Southern Asia, South Central Asia
Macau3313< 0.1%Eastern Asia
showing: 50 rows

What are the three biggest countries in Asia?

The three biggest countries in Asia by square miles are Russia with 6,323,142 mi2 (16,376,870 km2); China with 3,624,807 mi2 (9,388,210 km2), and India with 1,147,955 mi2 (2,973,190 km2 ).

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