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Top 15 Largest Countries In The World

Published April 20, 2016
Which country on earth is biggest by area? Countries in this list means sovereign states, which has a firmer definition than country. A sovereign state is a geographical area with an independent political government. The United Kingdom is for example a sovereign state but Scotland is not, since Scotland is partly governed by the UK Parliament. In the same way, China is a sovereign state but Tibet is not, although unwillingly. Nor is Greenland a sovereign state, even though it has become more and more independent from Denmark. So how big is Denmark and the other mega countries on earth? Here is the list of the largest countries in the world, based on statistics from the United Nations.
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15. Indonesia - 1,904,569 km2 (735,358 mi2)

Indonesia consists only of islands, more than 17,500 of them. This is a reason why there are so many different ethnic groups in the country. Indonesia has an estimated population of 258 million people, which makes it the fourth most populous country in the world. Most people live on Java, the long island northwest of Australia, and this is also where the capital Jakarta is.

14. Mexico - 1,964,375 km2 (758,449 mi2)

Mexico has a popuation of 113 million, of which some are always on their way into the United States. This is beacuse Mexico shares a 3,201 km (1,989 mile) long border with "the land of opportunity". Mexico is traversed by four mountain ranges, which is the reason many cities are located at pretty high altitudes. The long and narrow peninsula is called La península de Baja California (The Baja California Peninsula in english), which is separated from the rest of Mexico by the Colorado River.
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13. Saudi Arabia - 2,149,690 km2 (830,000 mi2)

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and constitutes most of the Arabian Peninsula. The country has a population of 31 million people, of which around a third are foreign guest workers. Almost all of the country has a desert climate, except the Red Sea coast (to the southwest). This is where most of the population live in cities.

12. Denmark (With Greenland) - 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 mi2)

Greenland was a Danish colony in 1721-1953 and after that a Danish amt (sort of a county) in 1953-1979. The population of Greenland then got limited independence through a referendum in 1979, and even more independence in 2008, and is now considered an "autonomous country within in the Danish Realm". The same is the case with Faroe Islands, a small group of islands between Norway, Great Britain and Iceland. The control of foreign affairs, defence and part of the economy is still retained by Denmark. If Greenland is considered its own country, its area is 2,166,086 km2 (836,109 mi2). If Greenland is considered part of Denmark, then Denmark's area is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 mi2). Either way, Greenland/Denmark is number 12 on this list of the largest countries in the world. Greenland has a population of only 56,000, of which 88 % are inuits. Almost all people live along fjords in southwestern Greenland, where the climate is relatively mild. Greenland is a lot like Scandinavia 10,000 years ago, in the way that 88 % of the land is covered in a thich ice sheet.

11. Democratic Republic Of The Congo - 2,344,858 km2 (905,355 mi2)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, is the second largest country in Africa. It should not be confused with the Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, which is a lot smaller country just west of The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country was hit hard by war in 1998-2003, and the violence unfortunately rages on in many areas. There are large rainforests in the country where you can find chimpanzees and gorillas. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has 82 million inhabitants.

10. Algeria - 2,381,741 km2 (919,595 mi2)

The tenth biggest country in the world, and largest country in Africa, is Algeria. About 90 % of the country is covered by the Sahara, so most of the 40 million inhabitants live along the north coast. Here, it is pretty hilly and mountainous, with two mountain ranges traversing the country.

9. Kazakhstan - 2,724,900 km2 (1,052,100 mi2)

Kazakhstan is not just the home of Borat, but also the world's ninth largest country by area, and the largest country in world surrounded only by land borders. The country has many types of nature; 7,000 m high mountains, canyons, grasslands, steppe and more. The climate is a bit cold and dry in general, and the country has distinct seasons. Kazakhstan has a population of only 18 million, which is not much for such a large country. Kazakhstan used to be part of the Soviet Union, but became independent in 1991.

8. Argentina - 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 mi2)

The second largest country in South America is Argentina. As most countries of this size, the country has many different types of nature, and you can find everything from snow-covered mountains to warm seashores. Since the country stretches far from the north to the south the climate varies from suptropical to subarctic. Central Argentina has a temperate climate, like most of Europe. Argentina has a population of 43 million, of which 86 % are descended from Europeans. The map also shows the area in Antarctica that Argentina claims, something that is far from accepted by the rest of the world.

7. India - 3,287,263 km2 (1,269,219 mi2)

The seventh largest country in the world is India. India is with its 1,3 billion inhabitants also the second most populous country in the world. The continent of India moves slowly to the north and pushes against the rest of Asia, which is the reason the Himalaya rises like a roof in the northern parts of the country. But besides mountains, India also has deserts, great plains, rainforests, beaches and many other types of landscapes. Except in the mountainous parts, the climate is warm and either dry or wet.

6. Australia - 7,692,024 km2 (2,969,907 mi2)

Australia was in the 18th and 19th centuries literally invaded by Europeans and they constitute 90 % of the 24 million inhabitants today. The indigenous people of Australia, the Aboriginals, constitute around 2 % of the population. The remaining population is mostly Asians. The southwestern parts of the nation has a temperate climate, while the rest of the continent is hotter. In the middle of Australia are several large deserts, and the population density is very low here. The deserts are surrounded by grasslands, which in turn are surrounded by forests. But in northwestern Australia, the desert reaches all the way to the coast. In the northeastern part of the country there are rainforests.

5. Brazil - 8,515,767 km2 (3,287,956 mi2)

The largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world, is Brazil. It is also, with its population of 205 million, the fifth most populous country in the world. Brazil has an interesting mix of skin color, where 48 % describe themselves as white, 44 %as brown and 8&nbnsp;as black. A minority are Asians (1.1 %) and direct descendants to Brazil's indigenous people (0.4 % "Indians"). A total of around 70 % are of European origin, since the time when Brazil was a Portugese colony. The country's rainforests are home to around 70 isolated tribes. Those very rainforests are typical for Brazil, since all of northwestern Brazil is covered by the Amazon rainforest. The rest of the nation is mainly covered by "normal" forests and shrubbery. The climate is tropical in most of the country, except in the far south where it is temperate.

4. United States - 9,526,468 km2 (3,678,190 mi2)

The Unites States of America constitutes the middle part of the North American continent. It only borders to Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. But you must not forget the two states of Alaska and Hawaii, which is far away from the rest of the country. USA has a population of 324 million people, which makes the country the third most populous in the world after China and India. The majority identifies themselves as white (72 %), 16 % as Hispanic or Latino American, 13 % as black and 5 % as Asian. Around 1 % are descendants to the indigenous people ("Indians"). The country as many different climate zones. The northern part of the westcoast is similar to Scandinavia, while the southern part of the west coast is more like the Mediterranean region. Inside the west coast are deserts, steppes and mountain chains. The eastern half of the United States is flatter. Here, the southern part has a subtropical climate while the northern part has a temperate climate.

3. China - 9,706,961 km2 (3,705,407 mi2)

China has the biggest population in the world - 1,4 billion. The country has since 1979 had a policy about having only one child. This policy is strict in some areas and looser in others. A survey in 2007 showed its extent: 36 % are only allowed one child (mostly people in the cities), 53 % are allowed two children if the first child is a girl (people in cities and rural areas), 10 % are allowed two children regardless of the gender of the first child (mainly people in rural areas) and 2 % are allowed as many children as they want (mainly Tibetans). The punishment for breaking the policy is mostly different kinds of fines. The policy has led to newborn girls being abandoned, given away for adoption or murdered. This is because the culture in China favours families with sons in different ways, so some parents don't want to "get stuck" with a girl as their only child. There are around 118 men to every 100 women in China today. The landscape in China is very varied and hard to describe briefly. But generally, southeastern China is covered in forests, while northwestern China has grasslands, steppes and deserts. The light green areas on the map are Tibet and Taiwan, which involuntarily are under China's government.

2. Canada - 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,100 mi2)

Number two on the list of the largest sovereign states in the world is Canada. Canada has Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom as its monarch, but Canada is still regarded a country of its own. The queen has power in certain rare situations, but she would hardly act against the parliament of Canada if such situations would occur. Canada has a population of 36 million, of which four fifths live within 150 km (93 miles) from USA. Canada has three types of indigenous people: First Nations ("Indians"), Métis ("half-Indians") and Inuits, which together constitute 4 % of the population. The remaining 96 % are almost all of European origin. Most of Canada is covered of coniferous forests except further north where there is tundra, of which some parts are covered by snow all year round. The climate along the coasts close to the United States is somewhat like northern Europe, while the middle part of Canada has a more considerable difference between summer and winter. The magnetic North Pole is in northern Canada.

1. Russia - 17,098,242 km2 (6,601,670 mi2)

The world's largest country, by far, is Russia. The nation spans all across northern Asia, and lies also partly in Europe. Russia has a population of 144 million people, which makes it the ninth most populous country in the world. Ethnic Russians constitute 81 % of the population. Most of this big country consists of large, flat areas. To the south these areas are steppes, in the middle coniferous forests, and to the north tundra. But there are also a fair amount of mountains, lakes and rivers. The largest part of the country has a temperate climate, but the northern parts (Siberia) has a subarctic climate with very cold winters. The north coast, which often is snow-covered all year round, has an arctic climate.
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