Largest Countries in the World 2022

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What are the largest countries in the world? The answers may surprise you. Maps can be misleading, so they're especially unhelpful for size comparisons. A much more accurate solution is to compare the actual area of each country. Area is typically measured in either square miles (mi²) or square kilometers (km²)—though, in certain circumstances (especially agricultural uses), hectares may also be also used.

Every country actually has two different measurements of area: land area, which is the area of all the land—and only land—in a given country and total area, sometimes referred to as Country area, which includes a country's land area as well as all the area taken up by lakes, reservoirs, inland rivers, and sometimes coastal and territorial waters.

For some countries, the difference between these two measurements is significant. For example:

Country Land Area (km²) Total Area (km²)
Canada 8,965,590 9,879,750
United States 9,147,420 9,831,510

Note that the U.S. has a greater land area. But once Canada's more than two million lakes and inland waterways are added in, it takes the prize as the larger (and presumably wetter) of the two countries.

Top 10 Largest Countries in the World (by total area km²):

  1. Russia — 17,098,250 km²
  2. Canada — 9,879,750 km²
  3. China — 9,600,013 km²
  4. United States — 9,525,067 - 9,831,510 km²
  5. Brazil — 8,515,770 km²
  6. Australia — 7,741,220 km²
  7. India — 3,287,260 km²
  8. Argentina — 2,780,400 km²
  9. Kazakhstan — 2,724,902 km²
  10. Algeria — 2,381,741 km²

Not surprisingly, the largest country in the world is Russia, which spans a vast 17,098,250 km² across Eastern Europe and Asia. This is followed by Canada (9,879,750 km²) and its aforementioned two million lakes. The country ranked third changes depending upon the source of the comparison. Encyclopedia Britannica gives the third slot to China (9,600,013 km²) and places the United States in fourth. However, other sources, such as the United Nations and the CIA World Factbook, display a larger area for the U.S. and rank it above China.

The difference between the high and low estimates for the U.S. appears to be because one includes coastal and territorial waters, but the other does not. However, considering China's area does not seem to include coastal and territorial waters, and the U.S. is smaller than China until those waters are added to the mix, we'd give the nod to China. Source-to-source discrepancies such as this are common, even understandable. Determining the precise area of a sizable and irregularly shaped landmass is no small task, and there are no universally accepted guidelines for completing it. Some countries may measure their area using satellite surveys, and others may rely upon mathematical computations and manual estimates. Moreover, different countries have different philosophies regarding the inclusion of areas such as overseas territories, disputed regions, and (as mentioned above) various bodies of water. Whichever countries are third- and fourth-largest, South America's largest country, Brazil (8,515,770 km²), has a lock on fifth place. The only country in the world with the exact same name as its continent, Australia (7,714,220 km²), rounds out the top six.

Technically, the largest country in both Asia and Europe is Russia. However, because Russia is considered a European country in terms of culture and population, many sources designate Russia as the largest European country and grant the title of Asia's largest country to China. After Russia, the second-largest country in Europe is another judgment call: If considering the area of the mainland only, Ukraine's 603,550 km² would be the second-largest area. However, if one counts not only mainland France but also its overseas departments (such as Martinique and Mayotte), its area swells to 640,679 km², giving France the edge. Africa's largest country is Algeria (2,381,741 km²).

The smallest countries in the world are predominantly in Europe, Oceania, and the Americas. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world at a tiny 0.44 km², followed by Monaco at 2.02 km², both in Europe. Next are Nauru (21 km²) and Tuvalu (26 km²), both island countries in Oceania. The smallest country in the Americas is another island country, Saint Kitts and Nevis, which has an area of only 261 km².

Finally, what if the phrase "largest country" is actually a reference to a country's population rather than its physical size? The countries with the largest populations on Earth are (in order): China, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Pakistan. For a full list of the largest (and smallest) countries in the world, check out the table below.

Largest Countries in the World 2022

Rank Country Area % of Earth's Area
1Russia17,098,242 km²11.52%
2Canada9,984,670 km²6.73%
3China9,706,961 km²6.54%
4United States9,372,610 km²6.31%
5Brazil8,515,767 km²5.74%
6Australia7,692,024 km²5.18%
7India3,287,590 km²2.21%
8Argentina2,780,400 km²1.87%
9Kazakhstan2,724,900 km²1.84%
10Algeria2,381,741 km²1.60%
11DR Congo2,344,858 km²1.58%
12Greenland2,166,086 km²1.46%
13Saudi Arabia2,149,690 km²1.45%
14Mexico1,964,375 km²1.32%
15Indonesia1,904,569 km²1.28%
16Sudan1,886,068 km²1.27%
17Libya1,759,540 km²1.19%
18Iran1,648,195 km²1.11%
19Mongolia1,564,110 km²1.05%
20Peru1,285,216 km²0.87%
21Chad1,284,000 km²0.86%
22Niger1,267,000 km²0.85%
23Angola1,246,700 km²0.84%
24Mali1,240,192 km²0.84%
25South Africa1,221,037 km²0.82%
26Colombia1,141,748 km²0.77%
27Ethiopia1,104,300 km²0.74%
28Bolivia1,098,581 km²0.74%
29Mauritania1,030,700 km²0.69%
30Egypt1,002,450 km²0.68%
31Tanzania945,087 km²0.64%
32Nigeria923,768 km²0.62%
33Venezuela916,445 km²0.62%
34Pakistan881,912 km²0.59%
35Namibia825,615 km²0.56%
36Mozambique801,590 km²0.54%
37Turkey783,562 km²0.53%
38Chile756,102 km²0.51%
39Zambia752,612 km²0.51%
40Myanmar676,578 km²0.46%
41Afghanistan652,230 km²0.44%
42Somalia637,657 km²0.43%
43Central African Republic622,984 km²0.42%
44South Sudan619,745 km²0.42%
45Ukraine603,500 km²0.41%
46Madagascar587,041 km²0.40%
47Botswana582,000 km²0.39%
48Kenya580,367 km²0.39%
49France551,695 km²0.37%
50Yemen527,968 km²0.36%
51Thailand513,120 km²0.35%
52Spain505,992 km²0.34%
53Turkmenistan488,100 km²0.33%
54Cameroon475,442 km²0.32%
55Papua New Guinea462,840 km²0.31%
56Sweden450,295 km²0.30%
57Uzbekistan447,400 km²0.30%
58Morocco446,550 km²0.30%
59Iraq438,317 km²0.30%
60Paraguay406,752 km²0.27%
61Zimbabwe390,757 km²0.26%
62Japan377,930 km²0.25%
63Germany357,114 km²0.24%
64Philippines342,353 km²0.23%
65Republic of the Congo342,000 km²0.23%
66Finland338,424 km²0.23%
67Vietnam331,212 km²0.22%
68Malaysia330,803 km²0.22%
69Norway323,802 km²0.22%
70Ivory Coast322,463 km²0.22%
71Poland312,679 km²0.21%
72Oman309,500 km²0.21%
73Italy301,336 km²0.20%
74Ecuador276,841 km²0.19%
75Burkina Faso272,967 km²0.18%
76New Zealand270,467 km²0.18%
77Gabon267,668 km²0.18%
78Western Sahara266,000 km²0.18%
79Guinea245,857 km²0.17%
80United Kingdom242,900 km²0.16%
81Uganda241,550 km²0.16%
82Ghana238,533 km²0.16%
83Romania238,391 km²0.16%
84Laos236,800 km²0.16%
85Guyana214,969 km²0.14%
86Belarus207,600 km²0.14%
87Kyrgyzstan199,951 km²0.13%
88Senegal196,722 km²0.13%
89Syria185,180 km²0.12%
90Cambodia181,035 km²0.12%
91Uruguay181,034 km²0.12%
92Suriname163,820 km²0.11%
93Tunisia163,610 km²0.11%
94Bangladesh147,570 km²< 0.1%
95Nepal147,181 km²< 0.1%
96Tajikistan143,100 km²< 0.1%
97Greece131,990 km²< 0.1%
98Nicaragua130,373 km²< 0.1%
99North Korea120,538 km²< 0.1%
100Malawi118,484 km²< 0.1%
101Eritrea117,600 km²< 0.1%
102Benin112,622 km²< 0.1%
103Honduras112,492 km²< 0.1%
104Liberia111,369 km²< 0.1%
105Bulgaria110,879 km²< 0.1%
106Cuba109,884 km²< 0.1%
107Guatemala108,889 km²< 0.1%
108Iceland103,000 km²< 0.1%
109South Korea100,210 km²< 0.1%
110Hungary93,028 km²< 0.1%
111Portugal92,090 km²< 0.1%
112Jordan89,342 km²< 0.1%
113Serbia88,361 km²< 0.1%
114Azerbaijan86,600 km²< 0.1%
115Austria83,871 km²< 0.1%
116United Arab Emirates83,600 km²< 0.1%
117French Guiana83,534 km²< 0.1%
118Czech Republic78,865 km²< 0.1%
119Panama75,417 km²< 0.1%
120Sierra Leone71,740 km²< 0.1%
121Ireland70,273 km²< 0.1%
122Georgia69,700 km²< 0.1%
123Sri Lanka65,610 km²< 0.1%
124Lithuania65,300 km²< 0.1%
125Latvia64,559 km²< 0.1%
126Togo56,785 km²< 0.1%
127Croatia56,594 km²< 0.1%
128Bosnia And Herzegovina51,209 km²< 0.1%
129Costa Rica51,100 km²< 0.1%
130Slovakia49,037 km²< 0.1%
131Dominican Republic48,671 km²< 0.1%
132Estonia45,227 km²< 0.1%
133Denmark43,094 km²< 0.1%
134Netherlands41,850 km²< 0.1%
135Switzerland41,284 km²< 0.1%
136Bhutan38,394 km²< 0.1%
137Taiwan36,193 km²< 0.1%
138Guinea Bissau36,125 km²< 0.1%
139Moldova33,846 km²< 0.1%
140Belgium30,528 km²< 0.1%
141Lesotho30,355 km²< 0.1%
142Armenia29,743 km²< 0.1%
143Solomon Islands28,896 km²< 0.1%
144Albania28,748 km²< 0.1%
145Equatorial Guinea28,051 km²< 0.1%
146Burundi27,834 km²< 0.1%
147Haiti27,750 km²< 0.1%
148Rwanda26,338 km²< 0.1%
149North Macedonia25,713 km²< 0.1%
150Djibouti23,200 km²< 0.1%
151Belize22,966 km²< 0.1%
152El Salvador21,041 km²< 0.1%
153Israel20,770 km²< 0.1%
154Slovenia20,273 km²< 0.1%
155New Caledonia18,575 km²< 0.1%
156Fiji18,272 km²< 0.1%
157Kuwait17,818 km²< 0.1%
158Eswatini17,364 km²< 0.1%
159Timor Leste14,874 km²< 0.1%
160Bahamas13,943 km²< 0.1%
161Montenegro13,812 km²< 0.1%
162Vanuatu12,189 km²< 0.1%
163Falkland Islands12,173 km²< 0.1%
164Qatar11,586 km²< 0.1%
165Jamaica10,991 km²< 0.1%
166Gambia10,689 km²< 0.1%
167Lebanon10,452 km²< 0.1%
168Cyprus9,251 km²< 0.1%
169Puerto Rico8,870 km²< 0.1%
170Palestine6,220 km²< 0.1%
171Brunei5,765 km²< 0.1%
172Trinidad And Tobago5,130 km²< 0.1%
173French Polynesia4,167 km²< 0.1%
174Cape Verde4,033 km²< 0.1%
175Samoa2,842 km²< 0.1%
176Luxembourg2,586 km²< 0.1%
177Reunion2,511 km²< 0.1%
178Mauritius2,040 km²< 0.1%
179Comoros1,862 km²< 0.1%
180Guadeloupe1,628 km²< 0.1%
181Faroe Islands1,393 km²< 0.1%
182Martinique1,128 km²< 0.1%
183Hong Kong1,104 km²< 0.1%
184Sao Tome And Principe964 km²< 0.1%
185Turks And Caicos Islands948 km²< 0.1%
186Kiribati811 km²< 0.1%
187Bahrain765 km²< 0.1%
188Dominica751 km²< 0.1%
189Tonga747 km²< 0.1%
190Singapore710 km²< 0.1%
191Micronesia702 km²< 0.1%
192Saint Lucia616 km²< 0.1%
193Isle of Man572 km²< 0.1%
194Guam549 km²< 0.1%
195Andorra468 km²< 0.1%
196Northern Mariana Islands464 km²< 0.1%
197Palau459 km²< 0.1%
198Seychelles452 km²< 0.1%
199Curacao444 km²< 0.1%
200Antigua And Barbuda442 km²< 0.1%
201Barbados430 km²< 0.1%
202Saint Vincent And the Grenadines389 km²< 0.1%
203Mayotte374 km²< 0.1%
204United States Virgin Islands347 km²< 0.1%
205Grenada344 km²< 0.1%
206Malta316 km²< 0.1%
207Maldives300 km²< 0.1%
208Cayman Islands264 km²< 0.1%
209Saint Kitts And Nevis261 km²< 0.1%
210Niue260 km²< 0.1%
211Saint Pierre And Miquelon242 km²< 0.1%
212Cook Islands236 km²< 0.1%
213American Samoa199 km²< 0.1%
214Marshall Islands181 km²< 0.1%
215Aruba180 km²< 0.1%
216Liechtenstein160 km²< 0.1%
217British Virgin Islands151 km²< 0.1%
218Wallis And Futuna142 km²< 0.1%
219Montserrat102 km²< 0.1%
220Anguilla91 km²< 0.1%
221San Marino61 km²< 0.1%
222Bermuda54 km²< 0.1%
223Saint Martin53 km²< 0.1%
224Sint Maarten34 km²< 0.1%
225Macau30 km²< 0.1%
226Tuvalu26 km²< 0.1%
228Saint Barthelemy21 km²< 0.1%
227Nauru21 km²< 0.1%
229Tokelau12 km²< 0.1%
230Gibraltar6 km²< 0.1%
231Monaco2 km²< 0.1%
232Vatican City1 km²< 0.1%

Largest Countries in the World 2022