Our planet is a vast and diverse place comprising numerous countries. Each has its own special character, stories, and landscapes. Among these, a select group stands out due to their sheer size. These countries stretch across vast lands, from freezing cold areas to sun-kissed terrains.
Their size showcases varied ecosystems and plays a significant role in global politics, economics, and culture. In this article, we’ll spotlight the top 10 largest countries by land area.
We delve deep into what makes each of these giants unique and how their immense size influences the world around us.
The largest countries in the world
Spanning a staggering 17,098,242 sq. km, Russia stands unparalleled as the largest country in the world in 2023. With Moscow serving as both its capital and its most populous city, Russia plays a significant role on the global stage. Russian, the official and national language, resonates throughout its vast territories.
Governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the nation’s president is Vladimir Putin, and Mikhail Mishustin is its Prime Minister. Home to just under 145 million people, Russia’s vastness matches its dense population. The sheer size and influence of Russia undeniably set it apart in any list detailing the world’s largest countries by area.
Encompassing 9,948,670 sq. km, Canada stands majestically as the world’s second-largest country in 2023. With its heart in Ottawa, the capital, and its bustling life in its largest city, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a vast expanse of diversity. Its landscape stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and reaches up to the cold realms of the Arctic Ocean.
Governed as a federal parliamentary and a constitutional monarchy, Canada’s current monarch is Charles III, with Mary Simon as the Governor General and Justin Trudeau leading as the Prime Minister. English and French, as its official languages, mirror the nation’s rich bilingual heritage. With ten provinces and three territories, Canada’s allure is not just in size but also in its cultural richness.
Spanning 9,706,961 sq. km, China emerges as the third-largest country in the world in 2023. Situated on the vast Asiatic landmass, its expanses are rich in history and modern developments. Beijing is the capital and serves as the political heart of the country. Shanghai is its largest city; it showcases the nation’s urban prowess.
The official language, Chinese, underpins the nation’s deep-rooted culture and traditions. Led by President Xi Jinping, China’s governance structure is a unitary, Marxist-Leninist, one-party socialist republic. As a dominant player in global affairs, China’s size and influence are a testament to its power and legacy.
Covering 9,372,610 sq. km, the USA stands as the fourth-largest country in 2023. With its political hub in Washington D.C. and its beating heart in New York City, the largest city, it’s a nation of grandeur and diversity. English ties the nation together as its national language. Governed as a federal presidential constitutional republic, with President Joe Biden as the president and Kamala Harris by his side as Vice President.
Famously known as the United States (US), this North American giant comprises 50 states, a federal district, five significant unincorporated territories, nine minor islands, and 326 Indian reservations. Each part contributes to the nation’s uniqueness.
Stretching across 8,515,767 sq. km, Brazil claims its spot as the fifth-largest country in the world in 2023. Brasilia, its capital, stands proud, while Sao Paulo, the largest city, buzzes with energy. Portuguese serves as the binding language of this vibrant nation.
Under the leadership of President Lula da Silva and Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, Brazil functions as a federal presidential constitutional republic. As the largest nation in South America, Brazil’s influence is undeniable. Comprising 26 states and a Federal district, Brazil is not just vast in land but also rich in culture, history, and influence.
Australia, stretching over 7,692,024 sq. km, is the world’s sixth-largest country in 2023. The heart of its politics is Canberra, while Sydney’s vibrant streets make it the largest city. Everyone mostly speaks English here.
It’s interesting how Australia is both a continent and a country, made up of the mainland, Tasmania, and a bunch of smaller islands. With Charles III as the monarch and Anthony Albanese as the Prime Minister, Australia is a mix of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.
India, covering 3,287,590 sq. km, takes the title of the seventh-largest country in 2023. It’s tucked away in South Asia, with New Delhi as its capital. If you’ve ever been to Mumbai, you’d know why it’s the largest city – it’s bustling! People here mostly converse in Hindi and English.
With leaders like President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s not just vast; it’s diverse and colorful. And it’s packed! It’s the world’s most populous country.
Argentina, with its vast lands of 2,780,400 sq. km, ranks as the eighth biggest in 2023. Buenos Aires isn’t just the capital; it’s also the largest city and a hotspot of culture and activity.
The country’s leadership features President Alberto Fermandez and Vice President Cristina Fermandez de Kirchner. Situated down south in South America, it’s only outdone in size by Brazil on the continent. It’s a place of tango, soccer, and some of the world’s most scenic landscapes.
Stretching over 2,724,900 sq. km, Kazakhstan claims the title of the ninth-largest country in 2023. Astana, its capital, serves as the political hub, while the lively city of Almaty takes the crown as its largest urban area. Conversations here flow in both Kazakh and Russian. With Kassym-Jomart as its President and Alihan Smaiylov as the Prime Minister, the country follows a unitary dominant-party presidential system.
What’s unique about Kazakhstan is that it sits between Central Asia and a bit of Eastern Europe, making it a transcontinental gem. And though it’s vast, it’s not crowded. In fact, it boasts one of the world’s lowest population densities, home to only 19 million people.
Covering an expansive 2,381,741 sq. km, Algeria stands as the tenth-largest country by land in 2023. Both the heartbeat and the buzz of the nation resonate from Algiers, its capital and largest city. Arabic and Tamazight are the predominant languages spoken by its people.
Under the leadership of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane, Algeria functions as a unitary semi-presidential republic.