Humanities › Geography The Largest Countries in the World Share Flipboard Email Print A Visual Comparison of the World's Largest Countries. Illustration by Hugo Lin. ThoughtCo. Geography Country Information Basics Physical Geography Political Geography Population Key Figures & Milestones Maps Urban Geography By Matt Rosenberg Geography Expert M.A., Geography, California State University - Northridge B.A., Geography, University of California - Davis Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook." our editorial process Matt Rosenberg Updated October 21, 2019 If you take a look at a globe or a map of the world, it's not too hard to find the largest country, Russia. Covering more than 6.5 million square miles and stretching 11 time zones, no other nation can match Russia for sheer size. But can you name all 10 of the largest nations on Earth based on land mass? Here are a few hints. The second-largest country in the world is Russia's neighbor, but it's just two-thirds as big. Two other geographic giants share the longest international border in the world. And one occupies an entire continent. 01 of 10 Russia St. Petersburg, Russia and the Cathedral on Spilled Blood. Amos Chapple / Getty Images Russia, as we know it today, is a very new country, born out of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. But the nation can trace its roots all the way back to the 9th century CE, when the state of Rus was founded. Size: 6,592,771 square milesPopulation: 145,872,256Capital city: MoscowDate of independence: August 24, 1991Primary languages: Russian (official), Tatar, ChechenPrimary religions: Russian Orthodox, MuslimNational symbol: Bear, the double-headed eagleNational colors: White, blue, and redNational anthem: "Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii" (National Anthem of the Russian Federation) 02 of 10 Canada Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta. Witold Skrypczak / Getty Images Canada's ceremonial head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, which shouldn't come as a surprise because Canada was once part of the British empire. The longest international border in the world is shared by Canada and the United States. Size: 3,854,082 square milesPopulation: 37,411,047Capital city: OttawaDate of independence: July 1, 1867Primary languages: English and French (official)Primary religions: Catholic, ProtestantNational symbol: Maple leaf, beaverNational colors: Red and whiteNational anthem: "O, Canada" 03 of 10 United States North American map. Shan Shui / Getty Images If it weren't for the state of Alaska, the U.S wouldn't be nearly as large as it is today. The largest state in the nation is more than 660,000 square miles, bigger than Texas and California put together. Size: 3,717,727 square milesPopulation: 329,064,917Capital city: Washington, D.C.Date of independence: July 4, 1776Primary languages: English, SpanishPrimary religions: Protestant, Roman CatholicNational symbol: Bald eagleNational colors: Red, white, and blueNational anthem: "The Star-Spangled Banner" 04 of 10 China Beijing, China. DuKai photographer / Getty Images China may only be the fourth-largest nation in the world, but with more than a billion people, it's number 1 when it comes to population. China is also home to the largest human-made structure in the world, the Great Wall. Size: 3,704,426 square milesPopulation: 1,433,783,686Capital city: BeijingDate of independence: October 1, 1949Primary language: Mandarin Chinese (official)Primary religions: Buddhist, Christian, MuslimNational symbol: DragonNational colors: Red and yellowNational anthem: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers) 05 of 10 Brazil Aerial view of Amazon River, Amazon Jungle, Brazil, South America. Eurasia / Getty Images Brazil isn't just the largest nation in terms of land mass in South America; it's also the most populous. This former colony of Portugal is also the largest Portuguese-speaking country on earth. Size: 3,285,618 square milesPopulation: 211,049,527Capital city: BrasiliaDate of independence: September 7, 1822Primary languages: Portuguese (official)Primary religions: Roman Catholic, ProtestantNational symbol: Southern Cross constellationNational colors: Green, yellow, and blueNational anthem: "Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem) 06 of 10 Australia Aerial view of Sydney cityscape, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Spaces Images / Getty Images Australia is the only nation to occupy an entire continent. Like Canada, it is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a group of more than 50 former British colonies. Size: 2,967,124 square milesPopulation: 25,203,198Capital city: CanberraDate of independence: January 1, 1901Primary language: EnglishPrimary religions: Protestant, Roman CatholicNational symbol: Southern Cross constellation, kangarooNational colors: Green and goldNational anthem: "Advance Australia Fair" 07 of 10 India Old Delhi. Mani Babbar / Getty Images India is much smaller than China in terms of land mass, but it's expected to overtake its neighbor in population sometime in the 2020s. India holds the distinction of being the largest nation with a democratic form of governance. Size: 1,269,009 square milesPopulation: 1,366,417,754Capital city: New DelhiDate of independence: August 15, 1947Primary languages: Hindi, Bengali, TeluguPrimary religions: Hindu, MuslimNational symbol: The Lion Capital of Ashoka, Bengal tiger, lotus flowerNational colors: Saffron, white, and green National anthem: "Jana-Gana-Mana" (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People) 08 of 10 Argentina Foz de Iguazu (Iguacu Falls), Iguazu National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Argentina, South America. Michael Runkel / Getty Images Argentina is a distant second to its neighbor Brazil in terms of land mass and population, but the two countries share one big notable feature. Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system on the planet, lies between these two countries. Size: 1,068,019 square milesPopulation: 44,780,677Capital city: Buenos AiresDate of independence: July 9, 1816Primary languages: Spanish (official), Italian, EnglishPrimary religions: Roman CatholicNational symbol: Sun of May National colors: Sky blue and white National anthem: "Himno Nacional Argentino" (Argentine National Anthem) 09 of 10 Kazakhstan Kolsay Lake at early morning, Tien Shan Mountains, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Asia. G&M Therin-Weise / Getty Images Kazakhstan is another former state of the Soviet Union that declared its independence in 1991. It is the largest land-locked nation in the world. Size: 1,048,877 square milesPopulation: 18,551,427Capital city: AstanaDate of independence: December 16, 1991Primary languages: Kazakh and Russian (official)Primary religions: Muslim, Russian Orthodox)National symbol: Golden eagleNational colors: Blue and yellowNational anthem: "Menin Qazaqstanim" (My Kazakhstan) 10 of 10 Algeria Life In The Algerian Capital. Pascal Parrot / Getty Images The 10th-largest nation on the planet is also the biggest country in Africa. Although Arabic and Berber are the official languages, French is also widely spoken because Algeria is a former French colony. Size: 919,352 square milesPopulation: 43,053,054Capital city: AlgiersDate of independence: July 5, 1962Primary languages: Arabic and Berber (official), FrenchPrimary religions: Muslim (official)National symbol: Star and crescent, fennec foxNational colors: Green, white and redNational anthem: "Kassaman" (We Pledge) Other Ways of Determining the Largest Nations Land mass is not the only way to measure the size of a country. Population is another common metric for ranking the largest nations. Economic output can also be used to measure a nation's size in terms of financial and political power. In both cases, many of the same nations on this list can also rank among the top 10 in terms of population and economy, although not always.