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Largest countries in the world 2021: The 10 largest countries in the world by area in square kilometers

Düsseldorf Russia, India or the USA? These states are very big. But which of them is the largest in terms of area? You can find out in this ranking. The data refer to the area in square kilometers of the respective countries. We also show how the land area is distributed and how it is used.

The entire world is around 510 million square kilometers. Around 360.6 million square kilometers (71 percent) are accounted for by the water surface alone. In contrast, there are around 150 million square kilometers of land (29 percent).

There are 194 states in this country: 193 members of the United Nations (UN), as well as the non-UN member Vatican City - the generally recognized smallest state in the world.

It must be mentioned at this point, however, that in addition to these states there are others whose status as a state is at least controversial. But which countries are the ten largest countries in the world?

These are the ten largest countries in the world in terms of area in 2020

10th place - Algeria

In tenth place in the ranking of the largest countries is Algeria. The state is the largest country in Africa and covers an area of ​​2,381,741 square kilometers. Algeria is more than six times the size of Germany, which is 357,386 square kilometers. But in Algeria, the Sahara desert takes up around two million square kilometers, a good 85 percent of the country's total area.

Due to this peculiarity, the population of Algeria is very unevenly distributed. 96 percent of the around 42.5 million Algerians live in the northern part of the country. However, this only makes up a fifth of the total area.

65 percent of the residents live in cities, which are primarily in the coastal regions of the country. Due to this uneven distribution of the Algerian population, the average population density of the country is increasing. This is currently 17.2 inhabitants per square kilometer.

9th place - Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan ranks ninth in the ranking of the largest countries in the world. The country covers an area of ​​2,724,900 square kilometers and is mainly located in Central Asia. Only 5.4 percent of the land area of ​​Kazakhstan is assigned to the outermost Eastern Europe.

Steppes and forest steppes make up 28.5 percent of the total area. Deserts - usually sand and gravel deserts - cover 44 percent of the total area of ​​Kazakhstan.

The population is just over 18 million people. Seen in terms of area, the average population density is therefore low. Statistically speaking, only seven people live per square kilometer. For comparison: In Germany 233 people live per square kilometer, in Berlin even 4090 people live in the same area.

The most densely populated areas of Kazakhstan are in the extreme south and in the steppe region in the north of the country. In these areas the population density is around 25 inhabitants per square kilometer.

8th place - Argentina

Argentina is only slightly larger than Kazakhstan. The country is in eighth place in the ranking with a total area of ​​2,780,400 square kilometers. In addition, Argentina is the second largest country in South America.

The distance from the northernmost to the southernmost point of the country is 3694 kilometers, the widest point from west to east is about 1423 kilometers wide. Around twelve percent of the land area of ​​Argentina consists of forest.

Patagonia in the south makes up around a quarter of the total area. However, due to the harsh climate, it is only very sparsely populated. Here, on average, only one to three people live in one square kilometer. The majority (87 percent) of the approximately 44 million inhabitants of Argentina live in cities.

7th place - India

With a total area of ​​3,287,263 square kilometers, India ranks seventh in the ranking of the largest countries in the world. More than 21 percent of the country is forest. That corresponds to 701,700 square kilometers - which is about twice the size of Germany.

But the country's forest areas are declining. In 2001, the value of India's forested area was 9.5 percent higher. This decline in wooded areas in India is associated, among other things, with extremely strong population growth.

The population of India today is around 1.35 billion people. The billion mark was only exceeded a relatively short time ago, in 2001. Due to the rapidly growing population of India, the average population density of the country is also increasing. This is currently 407 inhabitants per square kilometer. Since the population of India is very unevenly distributed in the country, the population density in the metropolitan areas of the country can be more than 1100 people per square kilometer.

6th place - Australia

Australia is more than twice the size of India in terms of land area. The country has an area of ​​7,741,220 square kilometers, making it the sixth largest country in the world in terms of area and at the same time a continent of its own.

About 59,000 square kilometers are water. According to official surveys, the coastline of Australia is 25,760 kilometers long. Much of Australia's land area is used as grazing land - especially in the outback, the central part of the country. Only six percent of the country's area is used for growing food and fodder crops.

The population of Australia is around 24.6 million and has been rising for decades. Due to the large area and the comparatively small number of inhabitants, the average population density of Australia is comparatively low at 3.1 inhabitants per square kilometer.

5th place - Brazil

Brazil has around 900,000 square meters more land area than Australia. The country has a total area of ​​8,515,770 square kilometers and thus takes up 47.3 percent of the total area of ​​South America.

This makes Brazil the largest country in South America in terms of area.

The country's forest areas continue to shrink. In 2010, 60.1 percent of Brazil was covered with forest. In 1990 this value was 66.9 percent.

Brazil has around 208.3 million inhabitants. Around 90 percent of the Brazilian population lives in the eastern and southern areas of the country. The population density in these areas is between 20 and over 300 inhabitants per square kilometer. In the other regions of the country, this figure is four to 20 inhabitants per square kilometer.

4th place - China

With an area of ​​9,596,960 square kilometers, the People's Republic of China is three times the size of India. China ranks fourth among the largest countries in the world.

There are around 5500 kilometers between the Siberian border and the southern tip of the island of Hainan. The Chinese territory extends from east to west for about 5200 kilometers.

The topographical nature of China can be divided into five forms: mountains (33.3 percent), plateaus (26 percent), basins (18.8 percent), plains (12 percent) and hill country (9.9 percent).

China's land area consists of 36 percent fertile arable land, 24 percent grasslands, 9 percent forests and 2 percent wetlands. In addition, 21 percent is desert and 6.5 percent wasteland. The cities in China - despite their size and enormous population - only take up 1.5 percent of the total area of ​​the country.

The People's Republic of China is the most populous country on earth with around 1.4 billion people. However, the population distribution in the country is very uneven. The current world population is currently around 7.8 billion people. Well over 90 percent of the total population of the country live on the 43 percent of the eastern national territory. In some parts of China, for example, the population density is quite high, at 800 to 900 people per square kilometer.

3rd place - USA

The USA ranks third among the world's largest countries with a total area of ​​9,833,517 square kilometers. The United States has around 240,000 square kilometers more area than China.

About 328 million people live in the United States. The agglomerations can be found in the areas of the east and west coast. More than 8.5 million people live in New York alone.

The average population density in the United States is 33 people per square kilometer, but varies from areas with a population density of less than ten people per square kilometer to regions with a population density of more than 400 people per square kilometer.

The eastern areas of the USA were heavily forested until the 19th century. However, only a few of these areas are left today. These former forest areas were converted into arable land or cultivated after the settlement of European immigrants.

2nd place - Canada

Canada covers an area of ​​9,984,670 square kilometers - almost 150,000 square kilometers more than the United States. Canada occupies around 41 percent of North America and is almost as big as all of Europe.

Around 110,000 square kilometers of the country, spread over 92 individual areas, are now protected areas. The population in Canada is comparatively small at 35 million people.

In connection with the enormous land area, the population density of the country is also very low. This is on average only 3.9 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The heavily populated areas are close to the 350-kilometer border with the United States. Large parts of the north of Canada, on the other hand, are considered unpopulated.

1st place - Russia

In terms of area, Russia is by far in first place in the ranking of the largest countries in the world. With an area of ​​17,098,242 square kilometers, Russia is almost twice the size of Canada in second place.

Russia comprises eleven percent of the world's total land area, which roughly corresponds to the area of ​​Australia and Europe combined.

23 percent of Russian territory is on the European continent, while the remaining 77 percent are attributed to Asia. The distance between the westernmost and easternmost points of Russia is about 9000 kilometers. There are 4,000 kilometers between the south and the east. At the same time, Russia also has the largest forest area in the world. This takes up two thirds of the total area of ​​Russia.

Table - The 10 largest countries in the world in 2020 summarized by area

placeCountry / Statetotal area
1.Russia17,098,242 km²
2.Canada9,984,670 km ²
3.United States9,833,517 km²
4.China9,596,960 km²
5.Brazil8,515,770 km²
6.Australia7,741,220 km²
7.India3,287,263 km²
8.Argentina2,780,400 km²
9.Kazakhstan2,724,900 km²
10.Algeria2,381,741 km²

Source: Statista

For comparison: The Federal Republic of Germany would cover an area of ​​357,127 square kilometers 63rd place of the largest countries in the world. The entire world is around 510 million square kilometers.

More: In addition to the largest countries in the world, the smallest countries in the world appear like true pimples. The eleven smallest countries in the world in the ranking.