The top positions are occupied by Russia, Canada, the United States, China, Brazil, and Australia, with almost continental surfaces of over 5,000,000 km². The Eurasian colossus is the only European member on the list of the world’s largest countries, which is dominated by Asian, African, and American states.
Bolivia (28th), Colombia (26th), South Africa (25th), Peru (20th), Iran (18th), Indonesia (15th), Mexico (14th) are additional nations with extensive land areas. Each of these countries possesses over 2,000,000 km². After the six continental behemoths, we have India (7th), Argentina, Kazakhstan, Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Greenland, and Saudi Arabia (13th). In total, there exist 30 countries that surpass the 1,000,000 km² threshold in terms of area, at a broader level.
Having large land masses is not the most important factor in current geopolitics, as size is not everything: being extensive does not imply being highly populated or very powerful. China has a population of 1.412 billion, the United States has around 331 million, and Canada has around 38 million. Their populations are not comparable, even though Canada, the United States, and China have a comparable area, ranging from 9,984,000 to 9,597,000 km².
Los países del mundo por superficie marítima
The United States, like countries with islands and archipelagos in the middle of the ocean and who can extend their maritime borders hundreds of nautical miles around them, are situated on the opposite side. China, which has built a gigantic economic and diplomatic strategy to dominate maritime trade but is surrounded by chains of islands under another flag, or Kazakhstan, which is the largest country without direct access to open sea, are land powers with little geographical projection towards the sea. In addition, the land mass differs from countries with greater maritime sovereignty, as some of the largest states in the world are land powers with little geographical projection towards the sea.
These sparsely populated territories are characteristic of straight borders, drawn with a square and ruler during colonial times. In addition to important parts of western China and the United States, Niger, Mali, Chad, Mongolia, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Australia, deserts like Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Brazil, forests like Alaska, the United States, Greenland, Russia, Canada, and arctic regions are also occupied by sparsely populated countries, which are also larger than many other countries.
Las reclamaciones sobre la Antártida
Canada and Russia are among the countries with the second largest territory, spanning over millions of square kilometers. However, Antarctica remains outside the list, as it is not politically organized. Denmark’s Kingdom also includes an autonomous country within it, which is Greenland, with a population of only 58,000. Despite being the twelfth largest country in terms of land area, Denmark’s Kingdom could potentially occupy the twelfth position among the world’s largest countries.