There are nearly 195 countries in the world today occupying 29.2% of Earth’s land mass. This total comprises 193 sovereign states that are members of the United Nations (UN) and it also includes 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.
With one-eighth (11%) of the earth’s land mass is covered by just one country – Russia – the following are the Top 10 largest countries in the world by land area.
Algeria is a vast country – the largest in Africa and the 10th largest in the world covering an area of 2.38 million square kilometers. It is also the largest Arabic-speaking country in the world and the largest Islamic state.
Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world and the second-largest Russian-speaking country covering an area of 2.72 million square kilometers. It is bounded on the northwest and north by Russia, on the east by China, and on the south by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea, and Turkmenistan.
Argentina is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and second-largest country in South America covering an area of 2.78 million square kilometers. It covers most of the southern portion of the continent and occupies an area more extensive than Mexico and the U.S. state of Texas combined.
India is the third-largest country in Asia and occupies the greater part of South Asia covering an area of 3.16 million square kilometers.
India is also the second-most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world.
Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world covering an area of 7.69 million square kilometers, which is about 2.4 times bigger than India.
However, the population of Australia is 24.6 million people, which is relatively small, as compared to an estimated 1.35 billion people in India.
Australia is also the third-largest English-speaking country and the largest country in the Oceania region, the largest country without land borders, and also the largest country completely in the Southern Hemisphere.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, that occupies half the South America continent’s landmass, covering an area of 8.51 million square kilometers.
Brazil is also the largest Portuguese-speaking country, the largest country in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere, and the largest contiguous territory in the Americas.
The total population in Brazil was estimated at 208.5 million people in 2018, which is equivalent to 2.75% of the total world population. Brazil ranks number 5 in the list of countries by population.
4. United States
The United States is the fourth largest country in the world in area (after Russia, Canada, and China), covering an area of 9.62 million square kilometers, which when compared is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe’s 10.1 million square kilometers.
The United States is also the largest country in the English-speaking world and has the largest economy in the world. The nation’s economy accounts for about 25% of the world’s nominal GDP.
The United States is also the third-most populous country in the world (after China and India), with an estimated population of 329.1 million people as of 2019.
China is the third-largest country in the world, occupying nearly the entire East Asian landmass, covering an area of 9.70 million square kilometers (almost as large as the whole of Europe).
China is the also largest of all Asian countries and is the most populous country in the world with approximately 1.39 billion people as of 2019 (accounting one-fifth of the world’s population).
With more than 4,000 years of recorded history, China is one of the few existing countries that also flourished economically and culturally in the earliest stages of world civilization.
Today, China is an export powerhouse and the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
Canada, is the second largest country in the world in area (after Russia), occupying roughly the northern two-fifths of the continent of North America, covering an area of 9.98 million square kilometers.
Despite Canada’s great size, it is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries, in fact, the entire population of Canada is about the same as can be found in the state of California (39.3 million people as of 2019).
Canada is officially bilingual in English and French, reflecting the country’s history as ground once contested by two of Europe’s great powers.
Canada also has the longest border in the world not patrolled by military forces, and the overwhelming majority of its population lives within 300 km (185 miles) of the international boundary with the United States.
In terms of land area, Russia is the world’s largest country. With a total area of 17.1 million square kilometers (6,601,668 square miles), Russia covers about one-eighth of the world’s land surface, thus making, Russia about 2 times larger than the world’s second-largest country, Canada.
Russia extends over a vast expanse of eastern Europe and northern Asia. It spans across 11 time zones and contains Europe’s longest river, the Volga, and its largest lake, Ladoga.
Russia also has the world’s most extreme climate, with forbidding winters, having the lowest temperature outside the North and South poles.
Russia is also rich in mineral resources and materials, including vast reserves of oil, gas, and precious metals. These resources made possible great economic advances, including the rapid development of mining, metallurgy, heavy engineering, and defense-related sector, employing a huge portion of the Russian workforce.