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The World's 15 Largest Countries

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 law.

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.

  1. Indonesia

Area: 1,910,931 km2

The 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.

  1. Mexico

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 Countryaah), 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 River.


  1. 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

Saudi Arabia has 33 million residents (2018).

  1. Denmark (with Greenland and the Faroe Islands)

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.

  1. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Area: 2,344,858 km2

The 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.

Democratic Republic of the 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.

  1. Algeria

Area: 2,381,741 km2

The 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.


  1. Kazakhstan

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.

  1. Argentina

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.

  1. India

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.


  1. Australia

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.

  1. Brazil

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 is temperate.

  1. China

Area: 9,600,000 km2

The 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 political regime.

  1. USA

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 country.


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 temperate.

The United States has 323 million residents (2017), making the country the third most populous after China and India.

  1. Canada

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.

  1. Russia

Area: 17,098,246 km2

The 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.

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