Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Sea

Europe has 12 nations on the Mediterranean coast

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The Mediterranean Sea is a large body of water with Europe to the north, northern Africa to the south, and southwestern Asia to the east. The narrow Strait of Gibraltar to the west is the only outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. Its total area is 970,000 square miles, and its greatest depth is off the coast of Greece, where it is 16,800 feet deep.

Because of the Mediterranean's size and central location, it borders 21 countries on three continents. Europe has the most nations with coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea with 12. Populations listed are from mid-2017.


Algeria covers 919,595 square miles and has a population of 40,969,443. Its capital is Algiers.

Egypt is mostly in Africa, but its Sinai Peninsula is in Asia. The country is 386,662 square miles in area with a population of 97,041,072. The capital is Cairo.

Libya has a population of 6,653,210 spread over 679,362 square miles, but about a sixth of its residents are centered in the capital of Tripoli, the nation's most populous city.

Morocco's population is 33,986,655. The country covers 172,414 square miles. Rabat is its capital.

Tunisia, whose capital is Tunis, is the smallest African nation along the Mediterranean, with just 63,170 square miles of territory and a population of 11,403,800.


Israel has 8,019 square miles of territory with a population of 8,299,706. It claims Jerusalem as its capital, although most of the world fails to recognize it as such.

Lebanon has a population of 6,229,794 squeezed into 4,015 square miles. Its capital is Beirut.

Syria covers 714,498 square miles with Damascus as its capital. Its population is 18,028,549, down from a high of 21,018,834 in 2010 due at least in part to a longstanding civil war.

Turkey, with 302,535 square miles of territory, is in both Europe and Asia, but 95 percent of its land mass is in Asia, as is its capital, Ankara. The country has a population of 80,845,215.


Albania is 11,099 square miles in area with a population of 3,047,987. The capital is Tirana.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, formerly part of Yugoslavia, covers an area of 19,767 square miles. Its population is 3,856,181, and its capital is Sarajevo.

Croatia, also formerly part of Yugoslavia, has 21,851 square miles of territory with its capital at Zagreb. Its population is 4,292,095.

Cyprus is a 3,572-square-mile island nation surrounded by the Mediterranean. Its population is 1,221,549, and its capital is Nicosia.

France has an area of 248,573 square miles and a population of 67,106,161. Paris is the capital.

Greece covers 50,949 square miles and has as its capital the ancient city of Athens. The country's population is 10,768,477.

Italy's population is 62,137,802. With its capital in Rome, the country has 116,348 square miles of territory.

At just 122 square miles, Malta is the second-smallest nation bordering the Meditteranean Sea. Its population is 416,338, and the capital is Valletta.

The smallest nation bordering the Mediterranean is the city-state of Monaco, which is just 0.77 square miles and has a population of 30,645.

Montenegro, another country that was part of Yugoslavia, also borders the sea. Its capital is Podgorica, it has an area of 5,333 square miles, and its population is 642,550.

Slovenia, another part of the former Yugoslavia, calls Ljubljana its capital. The country has 7,827 square miles and a population of 1,972,126.

Spain covers 195,124 square miles with a population of 48,958,159. Its capital is Madrid.

Territories Bordering the Mediterranean

In addition to 21 sovereign countries, several territories also have Mediterranean coastlines:

  • Gibraltar (British territory on Spain's Iberian Peninsula)
  • Ceuta and Melilla (two autonomous Spanish cities on the northern African coast)
  • Mount Athos (autonomous part of the Greek Republic)
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia (British territory on Cyprus)
  • The Gaza Strip (Palestinian National Authority)
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Briney, Amanda. "Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Sea." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Briney, Amanda. (2023, April 5). Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Retrieved from Briney, Amanda. "Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Sea." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 6, 2023).