We have a total of 196 countries in the world today. We have different parameters in which we rank countries around the world. Few parameters can be the largest countries, developing countries, happiest countries, peaceful countries and the list goes on. Data has been collated by the United Nations Statistics Division. However, we have 15 largest countries around the world by total area,
The largest country in the world has a total area of over 17,098,246 km² and is spread over the two continents of Europe and Asia. Russia is also one of the countries with longest coastlines. The Western part of Russia lies in Europe, while the Eastern part is in Asia, hence the region as a whole is called Eurasia. A large part of the country is permanently snow-clad and is called Siberia.
The country has the world’s largest railway network they start from Moscow in the west and travelling to Vladivostok in the east. The entire journey is of 9,200km long and it will take approximately 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete non-stop. Lake Baikal located in Russia is one of the deepest places on Earth that contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater. One of the coldest countries in the world is home to Oymyakon which is coldest inhabited place on Earth with the lowest recorded temperature was -67.8 °C. on 6th February 1933.
2. Canada-9,984,670 km²
Canada has a total area of more than 9,984,670 km² and makes up about half of the area of North America. Not only is it the second largest country, but it also has the longest coastline in the world and the border it shares with the United States is the longest international border in the world. The famous waterfall Niagara Falls is located along this border.
The federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state have two main languages being spoken are English and French. Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and other important cities include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. One of the countries with largest forest area where half of the country is covered in forests and approximately it has 10% world’s forest reserve. The country has also the largest freshwater lakes in the world and total figures are unknown.
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3. China-9,596,961 km²
Like the US, China too has an area of about 37 lakh square miles, only slightly less than the United States. It is the world’s fastest growing economy and a major challenge to the US in terms of global power. China is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations and many things like paper, fireworks and silk were discovered in Ancient China. The famous Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is also located in China and the construction was started by the Qin dynasty in 200 BCE. Modern day China shares its borders with 14 countries including India, Russia, and Pakistan. China is also famous for its adventurous bungee jumps in the world.
The largest city in the country in Shanghai, however, Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing is considered as the political, educational and cultural centre of the country with some important historical sites and government buildings. One of the highly diverse geographies in the world has river, hills and plains in the east and deserts, high plateaus, and mountains in the west. The highest point of China is Mount Everest which is also the tallest mountain the world with a height of 8,848 meters above sea level.
4. The United States of America-9,525,067 km²
This country apart from being one of the largest, with a total area of over 9,525,067 km² is also the world’s largest economy, oldest democracy and has the world’s highest military spending. It is also one of the coldest countries in the world. Currently, the only superpower in the world, the USA is hailed as the land of dreams where any worthy person can achieve great heights with hard work.
The United States does not have an official language, however, English is considered as a primary language that is being used for legislation, regulations, executive orders, treaties, federal court rulings, and all other official pronouncements. Washington, D.C. is the countries capital with New York City as its largest cities and other major cities include Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami. One of the world’s most famous bridges in the world, Golden Gate Bridge spans from the San Francisco Bay and connects the city to its northern suburbs. It was built in the 1930s.
5. Brazil-8,515,767 km²
This is the largest country in South America and has a total area of approximately 8,515,767 km². The Amazon River flows through Brazil and it is also home to the largest rainforest in the world – the Amazon Rainforest. Brazil is famous for its tropical beaches and welcoming people. It is also the world’s fifth-largest country by population size. Its new capital, Brasilia was specially built in 41 months and looks like an aeroplane from the sky.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and occupies 47.3% of South America and covers 3 time zones. The capital city of Brazil is Brasília inaugurated in 1960 is a well-planned city distinguished by its white, modern architecture and was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The site is also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its modernist architecture. The largest city in the country is Sao Paulo and other major cities include Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Fortaleza. The total coastline of Brazil is 7,491 kilometres that makes it 16th longest coastline of the world.
6. Australia-7,692,024 km²
This country is part of the continent of Oceania, is in the Southern hemisphere and has an area of more than 7,692,024 km². However, Australia is not an island but a part of the continental shelf. It was colonized by the British and used as a prison colony for a long time. It is famous for its unique and endemic wildlife. The Great Barrier Reef is also a biodiversity hotspot which is fast disappearing.
Because of its isolation and large size, it is also known as the ‘island continent’. The initial capital of the country was Melbourne, however, later, In 1927, the seat of national government was moved to the newly created city of Canberra and it still continues to be the national capital of the country. The country has different landscapes that include urban areas, mountain ranges, deserts and rain forests. It also has diverse wildlife that includes 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.
7. India-3,287,263 km²
The seventh largest in terms of size, with an area of 3,287,263 km², and second-largest in terms of population, India is one of the most culturally, ecologically and geographically diverse country. Like China, it has one of the most ancient civilizations in the world and is home to the famous Taj Mahal. It was connected to the landmasses of Antarctica and Australia and separated during the continental drift. It pushed upwards against the current day Himalayas and was previously separated by the Tethys Sea. It is the largest democracy in the world and its population will quickly overtake China.
The world’s largest and oldest civilization has never invaded any country in its history. The world’s biggest family lives in India with 39 wives and 94 children. India was the first country to develop extraction and purifying techniques of sugar, however, later it taught many countries about refining and cultivation of sugar. The game of chess was invented in India.
8. Argentina-2,780,400 km²
One of the largest countries in the world, Argentina is the second largest country in South America and the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. It has a total area of about 2,780,400 km². The southern tip of the country has a place called Cape Horn and is the stormiest place on earth. It was colonized by the Europeans based on a legend that the area had a mountain of silver – hence the name Argentina, from “Argentum”, the Latin word for silver.
The official language of Argentina is Spanish and Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of the Argentine Republic. The country is quite famous for its vibrant nightlife and because of its atmosphere. The total country was divided into four topographical regions named as the Andean region, Patagonia, the subtropical plain of the north, and the pampas. It has 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 30 national parks in the country. The Perito Moreno Glacier situated in the Los Glaciares National Park is the third largest reserve of freshwater in the world and also one of the glaciers in the world that are growing not sinking.
9. Kazakhstan-2,724,900 km²
Kazakhstan was formerly a part of the Soviet Union and was the second largest country in the USSR. Located in Central Asia, it has a territory of approximately 2,724,900 km². Kazakhstan is also the world’s largest landlocked country. As part of the Soviet Union, extensive nuclear testing was done in the deserts of this country and this has resulted in genetic disabilities of many people from this region.
The official name of the country is the Republic of Kazakhstan and official languages are Kazakh and Russian. The 9th largest country in the world and the world’s largest landlocked country has its capital city as Astana. The geography of the country includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. The oldest nature reserve in Central Asia known as the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve was established in 1926 located in the southern province of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
10. Algeria-2,381,741 km²
Algeria is the largest country in Africa and also the northernmost. It has an area of 2,381,741 km² though eighty per cent of this area is covered by the Sahara desert. Sudan was the largest country in Africa until 2011, after which South Sudan split from Sudan. The Sahara desert is home to some of the unique animals on Earth who have adapted to the harsh climate of the Sahara.
Officially known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria with official languages as Arabic and Berber. The capital and the largest city is Algiers situated on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria. The geography of the country mainly consists of high plateaus and the Sahara Desert, almost 80% of the country is covered in the Sahara Desert. The highest peak of the country is Mount Tahat with an elevation of 2,908 meters above sea level. The country has numerous kinds of beaches with its own distinctive features and attractions.
11. Democratic Republic of the Congo- 2,344,858 km²
Also known by the various names such as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa or simply the Congo is one of the largest countries in the world situated in Central Africa. The official language of the region is French and with an area of 2,345,409 square kilometers, it is listed as 11th largest country in the world and second largest in Africa. The capital of the country is Kinshasa and the largest city in the country situated on the Congo River. The highest point of the country is Mount Stanley with an elevation of 5,109 m.
Image Source: Wikimedia
12. Saudi Arabia- 2,149,690 km²
Officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a desert country surrounded by the Arabian Peninsula, along with the Red Sea and Persian (Arabian) Gulf coastlines. The official language of the country is Arabic and with a land area of 2,149,690 square kilometers, it is listed as the 12th largest country in the world. The country capital is Riyadh and also the most populous with a home to approximately 8 million people. There are no rivers or lakes in the country, however, they have numerous wadis and fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in wadis, basins, and oases.
13. Mexico- 1,964,375 km²
Officially known as the United Mexican States and composed of 32 federal entities along with 31 states and a “capital city” (Mexico City). The country has 68 official languages, howvever, Spanish being the major one. The 10th most populous country in the world with around 128 million people. The country expanded into 1,964,375 square kilometres by total area and listed as one of the largest countries in the world.
14. Indonesia- 1,910,931 km²
The Southeast Asian country made up of thousands of volcanic islands and officially known as the Republic of Indonesia. The official language of the country is Indonesian with Jakarta is the capital and the most populous city of Indonesia. The world’s largest archipelagic country with over 17,500 islands and largest one being Sumatra, JavaBali, Kalimantan and the Moluccas Islands. The highest peak of the country being the Puncak Jaya with over 4,884 meters.
Image Source: Wikimedia
15. Sudan- 1,861,484 km²
One of the largest country also known as the Republic of the Sudan and Khartoum is the capital of the country. The capital city is located where both blue and while the Nile merges at one place. The country manily consists of flat plains along with few several mountain ranges. The highest point of the country is Deriba Caldera with an elevation of 3,042 meters, howvever, later the caldera rim became Sudan’s new highest point when south Sudan has been formed.
Image Source: Wikimedia
After reading about these ten largest countries in the world, which of these would you like to explore? Because of the diversity of geographical features present in these large landmasses, they house a large number of plant and animal species, many of which, like those of the Amazon Forest (Brazil) and Western Ghats (India), have yet to be discovered. However, the large international borders of these largest countries have also led to many conflicts between these countries. These are the 15 largest countries in the world. Do post your comments.