Which country on earth is the largest to the
surface? Here are the largest countries according to the
latest UN statistics. Before reading the list,
it may be helpful to know what is meant by a country. A country is
a geographical area with independent political
control. For example, Sweden is a country, while the
province of Uppland is not because it is partly governed
by the Swedish Parliament. In the same way, China is a
country, but not Tibet because it is involuntarily ruled
by China. Greenland is not a country of its own either,
despite the fact that it has become increasingly
independent from Denmark through several changes in the
You can read how big Denmark is in this list of the
world's largest countries, where all areas are taken
from the UN's latest proper statistics compiled in 2018.
The area figures refer to the country's total surface
area, which includes land area and inland waters
(streams and lakes) but not polar regions and
uninhabited islands. The population is also taken from
the UN's latest reliable statistics.
For comparison, it can be mentioned that Sweden
according to the UN has an area of 438,574 km2.
Area: 1,910,931 km2
fact that Indonesia is one of the world's largest
countries can be difficult to see on a map because the
country only consists of islands. This means that there
are many different ethnic groups within the
country. Most people live there in Java, the elongated
island northwest of Australia, where the country's
capital Jakarta is also located.
Indonesia has 264 million residents (2018),
making it the fourth most populous country in the world.
Area: 1,964,375 km2
Of Mexico's 125 million residents (2018),
there are always some who are on their way to the United
States. Mexico shares a border of over three hundred
miles with "the land of opportunity".
As the third largest country in North America (see
Mexico is crossed by four mountain ranges, which means
that many cities are located at quite high
altitudes. The long peninsula is called La península
de California (California peninsula in Swedish),
which is bounded by the rest of Mexico by the Colorado
- Saudi Arabia
Area: 2,206,714 km2
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East
and makes up most of the Arabian Peninsula. Almost the
entire country has a desert climate, except for the
country's southwest coast towards the Red Sea, where
most of the population is gathered in cities.
Saudi Arabia has 33 million residents (2018).
- Denmark (with Greenland and the Faroe
Area: 2,210,415 km2
Greenland was a Danish colony between the years
1721-1953 and then a Danish county (approximately:
county) between the years 1953-1979. Thereafter, the
population of Greenland gained political autonomy
through a referendum in 1979 and the island is today
considered an autonomous territory. The same thing
happened with the Faroe Islands in 1948 (small
archipelago between Norway, Great Britain and
Iceland). However, the responsibility for foreign
policy, security and finances still lies with Denmark.
If you count Greenland as a separate country, its area
is 2,166,086 km2. If, on the
other hand, Greenland and the Faroe Islands are included
in Denmark, Denmark's area is 2,210,415 km2.Which,
Greenland / Denmark is number 12 on this top list.
Only 56,000 people (2018) live in
Greenland, of which the vast majority are Inuit. Almost
all residents live along the fjords in southwest
Greenland, where the climate is relatively
mild. Greenland is similar to Sweden about 10,000 years
ago, in that almost the entire island is covered by
kilometer-thick ice sheet.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
Area: 2,344,858 km2
Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as
Zaire, also known as Congo-Kingshasa, is Africa's second
largest country. It should not be confused with the
Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville,
which is a much smaller country just west of the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Democratic Republic of Congo was hit hard by war
between 1998-2003, and unfortunately violence is still
raging in many areas. But the country also has beautiful
rainforests where you can find chimpanzees and gorillas,
among other things.
Area: 2,381,741 km2
world's 10th largest country and Africa's largest
country is Algeria. It is also one of the driest
countries in the world - a large part of the country is
covered by the Sahara, so most of the country's 41
million residents (2017) live together
along the northern coast. Despite the desert, the
country is quite hilly and mountainous, with two
mountain ranges crossing the country.
Area: 2,724,902 km2
Kazakhstan is not only Borat's home country but also the
world's 9th largest country, and the world's largest
country completely surrounded by land borders (except
the Caspian Sea). Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet
Union, but became independent in 1991. The
country has many different kinds of nature; 7,000 m high
mountains, canyons, grasslands, steppes, etc. The
climate is generally a bit cold and dry, and the country
has clear seasons.
Kazakhstan has only 18 million residents (2018),
which is a bit for such a large country.
Area: 2,796,427 km2
The second largest country in South America is
Argentina. Like all countries of this size, the country
has many different kinds of nature, and you can find
everything from snow-capped mountain ranges to warm sea
beaches. As the country extends far from north to south,
the climate varies from subtropical to
subarctic. Central Argentina has a temperate climate,
like most of Europe.
Argentina has a population of 44 million (2018).
In addition to Argentina, the map also shows the area in
Antarctica that Argentina claimed until 1959 when the
Antarctic Treaty was signed and all countries were
allowed to waive their claims.
Area: 3,287,263 km2
India is the world's seventh largest country, and the
world's second most populous country. As many as 1.30
billion residents live here (2018). The
Indian subcontinent is moving slowly northward, pushing
the rest of Asia, causing the Himalayas to rise like a
roof in the northern part of the country. But in
addition to mountains, India also has deserts, plains,
rainforests, sandy beaches and many other types of
nature. Apart from the mountainous parts, the climate is
warm, and either dry or wet.
Area: 7,692,024 km2
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Australia was formally
invaded by Europeans and today their descendants make up
the majority of the country's 25 million residents
(2018). The indigenous people, the
Aborigines, make up only a small part. The remaining
residents are mainly Asians.
The southwestern part of the country has a temperate
climate, while the rest of the country is warmer. In the
middle of the country, several deserts stretch out, and
here the population density is very low. The deserts are
surrounded by grasslands, which in turn are surrounded
by forests. In northwestern Australia, however, the
desert extends all the way to the sea. In the
northeastern part of the country there are rainforests.
Area: 8,515,767 km2
The largest country in South America, and the world's
fifth largest country, is Brazil. With its 208 million
residents (2018), it is also the
world's fifth most populous country.
Rainforest is typical of the country, as the entire
northwestern part of Brazil is covered by the Amazon
rainforest. The rest of the country is mainly covered by
"ordinary" forests and shrubs. The climate is tropical
throughout the country, except along the south where it
Area: 9,600,000 km2
largest of all countries in Asia, and the fourth largest
in the world, is China. China is the country in the
world with the most residents - as much as 1.40
billion (including Hong Kong and Macau) (2018).
From 1979, the country had a policy that it was only
allowed to have one child - a policy that was
differently strict in different areas. A survey in 2007
showed its extent - 36% were only allowed to have one
child (mainly people in cities), 53% were allowed to
have two children if the first child is a girl (people
in cities and rural areas), 10% were allowed to have two
children regardless gender of the first child (mainly
people in rural areas) and 2% had as many children as
possible (mainly Tibetans). The punishment
for violating the policy was usually a fine of various
kinds. The policy led to many newborn girls being
abandoned, adopted away or killed, as the culture in
China in various ways promotes families with sons. In
2015, the one-child policy began to be seriously phased
out, mainly because the country had too many men, too
few young people and too many old people.
China's nature is very varied and difficult to describe
briefly. In general, however, southeastern China is
covered by forests, while northwestern China consists of
grasslands, steppes and deserts.
The light green areas shown on the map are Tibet and
Taiwan, which are involuntarily part of China's
Area: 9,833,517 km2
The central part of the North American continent
consists of the United States, which borders only Canada
and Mexico. However, one must not forget the two states
of Alaska and Hawaii, which are far from the rest of the
The country has many different climate zones. The north
west coast is reminiscent of Sweden's west coast, while
the south west coast is reminiscent of the
Mediterranean. Within the west coast there are deserts,
steppes and mountain ranges. The eastern half of the
country is flatter and here the southern part has a
subtropical climate, while the northern part has
The United States has 323 million residents (2017),
making the country the third most populous after China
Area: 9,984,670 km2
Second on the top list of the world's largest countries
is Canada. The country has Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
as monarch, but is considered a separate country. The
Queen has power in certain rare situations, but even if
these were to occur, she would hardly act contrary to
the wishes of the Canadian Parliament.
Most of Canada is covered by coniferous forest, while
further north it becomes tundra which is sometimes
covered in snow all year round. Along the coasts near
the USA, the climate is similar to Sweden, while in the
middle of the country there is a greater difference
between summer and winter.
The magnetic north pole is located in northern Canada.
Canada has 37 million residents (2018),
most of whom live near the US border.
Area: 17,098,246 km2
world's largest country, by a good margin, is
Russia. The country spans the whole of northern Asia,
and is also partly located in Europe. Russia has 144
million residents (2013), making it
the ninth most populous country in the world.
Most of Russia consists of large, flat areas. Farthest
south are these steppes, in the middle coniferous
forest, and farthest north tundra. But there are also a
lot of mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. Most of the
country has temperate climates, but the northern parts
(Siberia) have subarctic climates with very cold
winters. The northern coast, which is usually covered in
snow all year round, has an arctic climate.