Listed below are the top ten largest countries in the world — ranging from Russia at 6.6 million square miles down to Algeria in tenth place at 920,000 square miles.
Russia was set to become even bigger in early 2014 as a result of its plans to gain control of Crimea from Ukraine.
Although China is only the third largest country on the list, it has the largest population of any country in the world. Let’s have a look at the ten largest countries in order of size…
10 Algeria (920,000 square miles)
A third of Algeria is covered by the Sahara Desert, with the Western Sahara also extending into the six countries that border it: Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Mauritania. The country has a population of 38.48 million and Algiers is the capital.
Algeria lies in the Maghreb region of North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its economy is built on the country’s vast oil resources.
But it also has a long coastline, unspoilt mountain ranges and spectacular deserts which are popular with foreign tourists, despite the instability of the country’s politics.
9 Kazakhstan (1.05 million square miles)
Kazakhstan was originally part of the USSR and was the last Soviet republic to become independent when the USSR was dissolved in 1991.
It is the world’s largest landlocked country, bordered by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It has a population of 16.8million, and the capital is Astana where you will find two of the country’s most unique attractions.
The first is the amazing Kahn Shatyr Entertainment Center, which opened in 2006 and is a huge transparent tent built like a tall pyramid housing the country’s best entertainers. The other is the largest mosque in Central Asia, the Nut-Astama, with its magnificent dome.
Kazakh is the language mostly spoken in the country but the official language is Russian — dating back to the days when it was part of the USSR.
8 Argentina (1.07 million square miles)
Argentina is a beautiful country with much to offer its locals and tourists alike. Outside of South America, it became familiar to most people thanks to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, about Eva Peron, the wife of the country’s dictator ruler Juan Peron, which was later turned into a movie starring pop queen Madonna.
The country was also in the headlines in 1982 for a very different reason — when Argentina invaded the remote British Falkland Islands with the intention of capturing them back.
Although it led to a brief, bitter war they were unsuccessful and the Falklands remain British. Argentina lies in the south eastern tip of South America and is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the north-east, Uruguay to the east and Chile to the west.
The capital is Buenos Aires and the country has a population of 41.09 million. The city of Ushuaia in the province of Tierra del Fuego is the world’s most southerly city.
7 India (1.27 million square miles)
The Republic of India is the second most populated country in the world after China, with over 1.2 billion people living there. New Delhi is the capital and India is bordered by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan.
There are many beautiful monuments and temples around the country, but the most famous is the Taj Mahal in Agra which was created by Emperor Shah Jahan who built it as a memorial to his third wife Mumtaz Mahal after she died in childbirth in 1631.
Another famous tourist site is The Gateway to India in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) where snake charmers mingle with priests waiting to bless the tourists.
India is a bustling country, with people seemingly populating every corner of its vast expanse. However, there are in fact many areas like the deserts of Rajasthan and the Himalayan states to the north which have relatively low population densities.
6 Australia (2.79 million square miles)
Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and lies between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is still has the British monarch as head of state. Canberra is its capital, while scenic Sydney is the largest city with its beautiful harbor, including the magnificent opera house and Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Australia is a great sporting country thanks to the beautiful weather which means people love to spend time outside. It is also noted for its wild animals, including koala bears, kangaroos, wombats, emus and a string of venomous spiders and snakes.
Australia is a country of contrasts with the wildness of the bush side-by-side with the culture of cities like Melbourne and Perth.
Australia has a population of 22.68 million, which includes a lot of English people who have emigrated there for a life in the sun.
The vast majority of it is the vast and unpopulated interior known fondly as the Outback.
5 Brazil (3.29 million square miles)
Brazil won the right to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics. It covers nearly half of South America and is the continent’s largest nation with a population of 198.7 million people.
It is famous for its annual carnival in Rio de Janeiro, with its throbbing Samba music and extravagant costumes.
Brazil has also for many years been the world’s largest coffee producer, and is the only Latin American country that has Portugese as its national language. Its culture is also influenced by Portugal.
Brazil’s border is 10,492 miles long and it borders ten countries — French Guyana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.
4 USA (3.72 million square miles)
The USA comprises 50 states, and only two countries border it — Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The capital is Washington DC where the president’s official residence, The White House and the Senate, are situated.
However, New York City is the largest city in the US and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world with the Statue of Liberty, Broadway and the site of the terrible terrorist attack on September 11 2001 when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed.
Other places that attract a lot of tourists across America include Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and Disneyland in Florida.
The USA has a population of 313.9 million people of all nationalities, and includes a huge number of different landscapes including deserts, mountain ranges, as well as arctic tundra in Alaska.
3 China (3.75 million square miles)
The People’s Republic of China is still under Communist rule and is the most populated country in the world with 1.351 billion people living there. The capital is Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympic Games and the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium is one of its major tourist attractions.
China is bordered by 14 countries — Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Burma (Myanar), Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Tajikistan, North Korea and Bhutan.
It is famous for being the location of one of the great wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China, which winds across deserts, grasslands and mountains for 5,500 miles from East to West.
2 Canada (3.86 million square miles)
Canada is a huge country which is bordered by the USA, the French islands of St Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland, and the border stretches for 5,552 miles. Although Ottawa is the capital, Toronto is the largest city and the country has six different time zones.
It is one of the richest countries in the world and it still has Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as its head of state. With a population of 35 million, it is famous for having the longest road in the world — Yonge Street — which starts at Lake Ontario and runs northwards for 1,178 miles through Ontario until it almost reaches the Minnesota border.
1 Russia (6.6 million square miles)
Russia is the biggest country in the world, and has a population 143 million — although it used to be even larger than it is today.
When it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), governed by the Communist Party, it had a population of 293 million and incorporated many countries which are separate entities today.
The USSR existed between 1922 and 1991, when it was dissolved marking the end of the Cold War.
Some 14 states that were part of USSR then became Republics in their own right — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, as it is now called. Fourteen countries border it — Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea.
Most of the country is a vast expanse of wild grassland, woodland and tundra. Lake Baikal, which lies in Siberia, is the world’s deepest freshwater lake.