The 20 Largest Countries in the World by Area and Population

Territorial extension is a widely used criterion for comparing countries. You biggest countries in the world in territorial extension are:

  • Russia
  • Canada
  • China
  • United States
  • Brazil

Another criterion used is the absolute population. The most populous countries in the world are:

  • China
  • India
  • United States
  • Indonesia
  • Paquistão

What are the 20 largest countries in the world by land area?

The following table presents, according to data collected by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) website, the 20 largest countries in the world in territorial extension.


Territorial extension (2020)


17.098.246 km2


9.984.670 km2


9.596.961 km2

United States

9.371.174 km2


8.515.767 km2


7.692.024 km2


3.287.590 km2


2.780.400 km2


2.724.900 km2


2.381.741 km2

Democratic Republic of Congo

2.344.858 km2

 Arabia saudita 

2.149.690 km2


1.964.375 km2


1.904.569 km2


1.886.068 km2


1.759.540 km2


1.628.750 km2


1.564.116 km2


1.285.216 km2


1.284.000 km2

Source: IBGE countries

The territorial extension is the total measure of the area of ​​a territory. The unit of measure adopted is usually the square kilometer (km2). This measurement can be applied to any surface on the planet, being usually adopted for measuring the areas of cities, states and countries.

Nowadays, the biggest country in the world is russia, which has about 17 million square kilometers, that is, almost twice as much as the second largest country in terms of territory in the world. The territory of Russia is so extensive that comprises two continents (Asia and Europe), different types of climate and vegetation, as well as different time zones.

Russia is the largest country on the globe, and it is located on two different continents, Asia and Europe.

The second largest country in terms of land area in the world is Canada, followed by China, India and the United States, the three of which each have a Approximate area of ​​9 million square kilometers. Brazil completes the group of the first five most extensive countries in the world, which has an area of ​​8.515.767 square kilometers.

What are the 20 largest countries in the world by population?

In addition to territorial extension, another criterion commonly used to rank countries is population. In that case, a population comprises the total number of inhabitants of a given country, and thus the concept of absolute population is adopted. The accelerated growth of the world population, especially in the last century, resulted in very populous countries. The two world highlights are India and China, which have more than 1 billion inhabitants each.

China is the largest country in the world, with a population of over 1 billion.

The United States has about 330 million inhabitants, being the third place in population in the world. Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil complete the list, with more than 2 million inhabitants each. Thus, Brazil is the sixth most populous country in the world, with 212.559.417 inhabitants, according to 2020 data collected by the IBGE. Below is a list of the 20 largest countries in the world by population.


Population (2020)


1.439.323.776 inhabitants


1.380.004.385 inhabitants

United States

331.002.651 inhabitants


273.523.615 inhabitants


220.892.340 inhabitants


212.559.417 inhabitants

Niga © ria

206.139.589 inhabitants


164.689.383 inhabitants


145.934.462 inhabitants


128.932.753 inhabitants


126.476.461 inhabitants


114.963.588 inhabitants


109.581.078 inhabitants


102.334.404 inhabitants


97.338.579 inhabitants

Democratic Republic of Congo

89.561.403 inhabitants


84.339.067 inhabitants


83.992.949 inhabitants


83.783.942 inhabitants


69.799.978 inhabitants

Source: Wordometers

What is the smallest country in the world?

  • In territorial extension

The smallest country in terms of land area in the world is Vatican. It measures 0,44 square kilometers and is located within the city of Rome (Italy). The Vatican is the seat of the Catholic Church and is located in Europe, being a territory of great importance for Catholic Christians.

Vatican City, located in Europe, is the smallest country in land area in the world.

Secondly with regard to the smallest territorial extension among the countries of the globe, it is Mônaco, also located in Europe, with approximately 2,02 square kilometers. already the third place is from Nauru, a country in Oceania that has 21,3 square kilometers.

  • in population

The least populous country in the world is Nauru, which has 10.824 inhabitants. In turn, Tuvalu is second smallest country in population in the world, with 11.792 inhabitants. Already Palau is the third, with 18.094 inhabitants. These three countries are islands and they are all in Oceania. 

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