Who Is the Largest of Them All?

Land accounts for less than 30% of the earth's surface, yet it still measures up to roughly 130 million square kilometers (about 50 million square miles). Of the 193 countries in the world today, some have a territory as small as a city, while others are as large as continents. We wonder: Measured by landmass, which is the largest country in the world?

A. United States
B. United States
C. Canada
D. Russian Federation

A. United States is not correct.

The United States does not have the largest land area in the world. Its size, though — at more than 9.1 million square kilometers (3.5 million square miles) — ranks third among the world's nations.

The largest U.S. state, Alaska, accounts for about 17.8% of the country's total area, followed by Texas with 7.2%. On the other hand, the smallest state, Rhode Island, has an area that is only 0.04% of the U.S. total.

B. United States is not correct.

The United States does not have the largest land area in the world. Its size, though — at more than 9.1 million square kilometers (3.5 million square miles) — ranks third among the world's nations.

The largest U.S. state, Alaska, accounts for about 17.8% of the country's total area, followed by Texas with 7.2%. On the other hand, the smallest state, Rhode Island, has an area that is only 0.04% of the U.S. total.

C. Canada is not correct.

At 9.0 million square kilometers (3.47 million square miles), Canada's landmass is the world's fourth-largest and includes ten provinces and three territories. Those three territories — Northwest, Nunavut and Yukon — alone add up to more than 3.6 million square kilometers (1.4 million square miles), which is 40% of Canada's total land area.

Despite their size, the combined population of these three territories is only about 100,000 people. In fact, approximately 90% of Canada's population of 32.5 million people is concentrated within 100 miles (160 km) of the U.S. border.

D. Russian Federation is correct.

Russia holds the title of largest country in the world, with a land area of 16.4 million square kilometers (6.3 million square miles). Thus, its land area is 75% greater than that of the next largest nation, China — and nearly four times as large as the newly expanded European Union, with its 4.3 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles) covering 27 member nations.

Only 21% of Russia's population lives in Siberia — which makes up 75% of Russia's territory. In contrast, 7% of Russia's population lives in the Greater Moscow area alone.

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