Largest Countries In The World: Size, Area, & Population

by David & Intan

For a fun bit of travel trivia, what are the largest countries in the world? Russia is actually the biggest by far, but some of the others in the top 10 ranking might surprise you.

In this article, I’ll explain and list the biggest countries of the world in terms of size (land area) and then population. I’ll also share some interesting facts about each of the countries.

As a world traveler, this subject is interesting to me since I’m working on visiting many of these places myself, and also because I happen to come from one of the world’s biggest countries (the United States).

Without further ado, let’s talk about the largest countries in the world!

Size: Largest Countries In The World

 

1. Russia – 17,098,242 km²

Russia is the largest country in the world by total area, spanning 11 time zones across two continents (Asia and Europe) and covering one-tenth of all the land on Earth.

As a country, Russia is known for many things: vodka, strong winters, Tetris, and Leo Tolstoy. Famous landmarks include St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Geographically, Russia has the deepest lake in the world (Lake Baikal), and one-fifth of the world’s trees. Yakutsk (in Siberia) is the coldest city in the world, with a record low of −64.4 °C (−83.9 °F)!
 

2. Canada – 9,984,670 km²

Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area. In fact, the UK could fit into Canada more than 40 times!

As a country, Canada is known for ice hockey, maple syrup, and the northern lights. It also has 2 million lakes — more than any other country.

Famous natural landmarks in Canada include Niagara Falls (the most powerful waterfall in North America) and Banff National Park, with its turquoise lakes.
 

3. United States – 9,833,520 km²

The United States of America is the third largest country in the world by total area, with 3.8 million square miles of land.

There’s a lot of wonderful nature in the United States, with diverse landscapes and lots of freedom to roam. Opportunities abound for camping, hiking, and road tripping.

As a country, the U.S. is known for baseball, billionaires, fast food, guns, and Hollywood. It has the biggest economy in the world, and famous landmarks include the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

USA United States America

The United States comes in at 3rd place among the largest countries in the world


 

4. China – 9,706,961 km²

China is the fourth largest country in the world by total area. It’s roughly equivalent to the United States in terms of size, but it only spans one official time zone, whereas the continental USA spans four.

China has the biggest population in the world, with more than 1.4 billion people, and famous landmarks include the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. For nature, you can see the karsts of Guilin or the ‘Avatar’ mountains of Zhangjiajie.

As a country, China is known for its food, tea, culture, cities, and wildlife (especially panda bears). It currently has the fastest growing economy in the world.
 

5. Brazil – 8,515,767 km²

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world by total area, and it’s the biggest country in South America. It also has more than 7,500 kilometers of coastline.

As a country, Brazil is known for soccer, beaches, coffee, and the Amazon rainforest, which is the world’s largest rainforest. Brazil is considered one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world due to its many species of plants and animals.

Famous landmarks in Brazil include Iguazu Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro.
 

6. Australia – 7,692,024 km²

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world by total area. Because of deserts in central Australia, more than 90 percent of the population lives on the shores.

As a country, Australia is known for its great coastline, beaches, wine, and wildlife (especially kangaroos and koala bears). It’s also home to the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and more than 500 national parks.

Famous landmarks in Australia include the Sydney Opera House and the Uluru rock formation.
 

7. India – 3,287,590 km²

India is the seventh largest country in the world by total area, and it’s on track to pass China soon as the most populous country in the world, with almost 1.4 billion people.

As a country, India is known for yoga, cricket, food, spices, and wildlife, since it’s home to tigers, rhinos, elephants, and cobras. India produces nearly 70% of the world’s spices.

Famous landmarks in India include the Taj Mahal and Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal. It’s one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 39.
 

India Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal in India


 

8. Argentina – 2,780,400 km²

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world by total area, being bigger than Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas combined. It’s unusual for having more cattle than people.

As a country, Argentina is known for the tango dance, soccer, wine, and beef. It’s also home to Iguazu Falls, which it shares with Brazil at the border. The Iguazu waterfall has 275 separate cascades, making it the largest broken waterfall in the world.

Argentina’s mountain Aconcagua, in the Andes range, is the highest mountain in the Americas and the highest outside of Asia, at 6,961 meters. The popular Patagonia brand of sportwear takes its name from the Patagonia region in Argentina, which is full of mountains, glaciers, and wonderful hiking trails.
 

9. Kazakhstan – 2,724,900 km²

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by total area, and it’s the biggest country in Central Asia. It’s roughly equivalent to all of Western Europe in size.

As a country, Kazakhstan is not very famous to many people, but it’s full of natural scenery, with beautiful mountains and alpine lakes. Horseriding is a big part of Kazakh culture, and it’s also known for oil, skiing, and apples.

Kazakhstan is a very safe country with a total of 131 ethnicities, from Kazakhs to Russians, Germans, Tatars and Uyghurs.
 

10. Algeria – 2,381,741 km²

Algeria is the tenth largest country in the world by total area, and it’s the biggest country in Africa.

As a country, Algeria is mainly known for oil exports and the Sahara desert, which is the largest hot desert in the world. Approximately 90 percent of the country is covered by desert, so most of the population lives along the Mediterranean coast.

There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in Algeria, including the ancient Roman city ruins of Timgad.
 

Population: Biggest Countries In The World

 

1. China – 1.44 billion

China is currently the world’s biggest country by population, with 1.44 billion people. However, it’s expected to shrink to 1.4 billion by 2050, which would put it in second place behind India.
 

2. India – 1.38 billion

India is the world’s second biggest country by population, with 1.38 billion people. It’s expected to grow to 1.64 billion by 2050, which would make it pass China as the world’s most populous country.
 

3. United States – 331 million

The United States of America is the world’s third biggest country by population, with 331 million people. It’s expected to grow to 380 million by 2050. Major cities in the U.S. include New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
 

4. Indonesia – 273 million

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, with 273 million people. It’s expected to grow to 330 million by 2050. Major cities in Indonesia include Jakarta and Surabaya.
 

Mount Bromo Kawah Ijen Tour

Indonesia is the world’s 4th biggest country by population. Seen here: Mount Bromo.


 

5. Pakistan – 220 million

Pakistan is the world’s fifth most populous country, with 220 million people. It’s expected to grow to 338 million by 2050. Major cities in Pakistan include Karachi and Lahore.
 

6. Brazil – 212 million

Brazil is the world’s sixth most populous country, with 212 million people. It’s expected to grow to 228 million by 2050. Major cities in Brazil include Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
 

7. Nigeria – 206 million

Nigeria is the world’s seventh most populous country, with 206 million people. It’s expected to grow to 400 million by 2050, which would make it the world’s 3rd biggest country by population size. Major cities in Nigeria include Lagos, Kano, and Ibadan.
 

8. Bangladesh – 164 million

Bangladesh is the world’s eighth most populous country, with 164 million people. It’s expected to grow to 192 million by 2050. Major cities in Bangladesh include Dhaka and Chittagong.
 

9. Russia – 145 million

Russia is the world’s ninth most populous country, with 145 million people. It’s expected to shrink to 135 million by 2050. Major cities in Russia include Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
 

10. Mexico – 128 million

Mexico is the world’s tenth most populous country, with 128 million people. It’s expected to grow to 155 million by 2050. Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico, and the most populous city in North America.

Mexico South America What Are The Biggest Largest Countries In The World

Mexico is the world’s 10th biggest country by population (128 million)


 

FAQ: Largest Countries In The World

 

• What Is The Biggest Country In The World In Population?

The biggest country in the world in terms of population is currently China, with 1.44 billion people. However, India has a population of 1.38 billion people, and it’s soon expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country.
 

• What Is The Biggest Island In The World?

The biggest island in the world is Greenland by far, although it’s owned by Denmark and it’s not considered an independent country.

The second biggest island in the world is New Guinea, which is split between the countries of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and the third biggest island is Borneo, which is split between three countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Brunei What Are The Biggest Largest Countries In The World

Borneo is the world’s 3rd biggest island and it’s split between 3 countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.


 

• What Is The Most Populous Island In The World?

The most populous island in the world is Java, Indonesia, which is home to 148 million people as of 2021.
 

• What Is The Biggest Continent In The World?

Asia is the biggest continent in the world in terms of both size and population. As of 2023, Asia has an estimated population of more than 4.7 billion people, and a land area of more than 31 million square kilometers (almost 12 million square miles).

Taiwan Taipei Asia What Are The Biggest Largest Countries In The World

Asia is the world’s biggest and most populous continent. Seen here: Taipei, Taiwan.


 

More World Travel Tips

I hope you enjoyed this list of the largest countries in the world!

Don’t forget to bookmark my travel blog for more tips, info, and photos as I document my own experiences around the world.

Thanks and happy travels!
 

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