What are the largest countries in the world? Maps can be deceiving, so it's best to measure this by their actual square mileage.
Here is a list of the top ten largest countries by area in square miles:
- Russia (6,599,921 square miles)
- Canada (3,854,083 square miles)
- China (3,746,887 square miles)
- United States (3,617,827 square miles)
- Brazil (3,287,086 square miles)
- Australia (2,969,121 square miles)
- India (1,269,010 square miles)
- Argentina (1,073,234 square miles)
- Kazakhstan (1,051,811 square miles)
- Algeria (919,352 square miles)
Not surprisingly, the largest country by area is Russia, spanning a vast 17,098,242 km² across Eastern Europe and Asia. This is followed by Canada (9,984,670 km²) and China (9,706,961 km²), both much smaller although still very large, while the United States and Brazil complete the top five at 9,372,610 km² and 8,515,767 km², respectively, putting a total of three countries in the Americas in the world's top five largest.
The largest country by landmass in Asia is China, at 9,706,961 km², while the smallest is Macau, an autonomous region on the south coast of China that is just 30 km². Africa's largest country is Algeria (2,381,741 km²), and its smallest is the Indian Ocean archipelago of Mayotte (374 km²). While Russia is on the European landmass, France is Western Europe's largest country at 551,695 km²; however, it only just makes it into the top fifty, so it is comparatively small.
The smallest countries in the world are predominantly in Europe, Oceania, and the Americas, and many are island nations, some of which are constituent territories of other countries. Vatican City is the smallest in the world at a tiny 0.44 km², followed by Monaco at 2.02 km² and Gibraltar at 6 km². They are followed by Tokelau (12 km²) and Nauru (21 km²), both in the Oceania region. The smallest country in the Americas is the Caribbean islands of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, at 34 and 53 km², respectively.