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True Size of Countries

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The Size of Countries Around the Globe

The true dimensions of the world's countries may come as a surprise to some, as popular map projections, like the Mercator projection, don't accurately represent the relative size of different regions. Created in 1569, the Mercator projection was groundbreaking for its time. However, due to the spherical shape of the Earth and the flat design of the map, countries closer to the poles appear stretched and distorted. 

To address these discrepancies and offer a more accurate view of the Earth's countries, we present the following data, listing countries by their true land area in square kilometers. Our exploration unveils some fascinating patterns and brings some intriguing differences among regions to light.

Key findings from the data include:

  • Russia tops the list as the largest country globally, with a staggering 16.4 million square kilometers, significantly larger than any other country. 
  • The top five countries [Russia, China, United States, Canada, and Brazil] make up almost half of the world's total land area, indicating a considerable variation in size among the world's nations.
  • Seven out of the top 10 largest countries belong to either Asia or the Americas, demonstrating how these two continents dominate in terms of landmass.
  • Despite the distortion in most projections, Greenland truly ranks 58th in terms of land area, falling behind countries like Sweden and Paraguay and covering only 410,500 square kilometers.
  • The smallest countries, like Monaco and Vatican City, have less than 1 square kilometer of land area, underscoring the significant variations in country sizes.

By Country

Full Data Set

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