Geography is the study of landscapes, peoples and environments. Geography teaches us that there are seven continents, seven oceans. That within continents there are countries great and small. Do you know the largest and the smallest? Do you know the right questions to get these answers?
Which is the largest country in Europe? What is the largest country in the world?
When plugging these questions into our search engines, we usually come up with several options, two of which stand out. Are we talking largest by land mass or by population?
While a country may be bigger in relative terrain, it does not necessarily mean it holds the most population, wealth, or sightseeing. The deeper the questions, the clearer the answers.
Do we want the most populated, or the least? The country with the wealthiest inhabitants, or the best tourism?
Or perhaps we’re looking for the smallest country in the world? The least populated would make a great vacation spot when one is looking to hide from the hustle and bustle of humanity.
So, which is the biggest country by population?
Typing it into Google’s search gave the option to search in Forbes.com, a good place to start. But this question posed another question: Are we talking Native population or just population? Let’s answer both!
According to Forbes.com, in 2014 the largest Native Population living abroad is Ireland, at 17%. That means that seventeen percent of Ireland’s natives do not stay in Ireland.
The second is New Zealand at 14%, then Portugal at 14% and Mexico at 12%.
The U.S. holds second to the lowest native population at only 0.5% and China being the lowest at a mere 0.3%. What happens in China stays in China!
The largest country in the world according to population density is China at over 1.3 billion. That’s no wonder given their last statistic. Second largest population according to Forbes.com is India at 1.2 billion. The United States has third place at nearly 319 million.
With numbers like these it’s hard to imagine what the smallest country in the world would be like.
Which exactly is the smallest country in the world?
WorldAtlas.com agrees with Wikipedia in saying that the smallest country in the world is Vatican City at 0.44km squared. Vatican City is located in Rome, Italy and has a population of about 450 as of 2012. Total acreage for the smallest country is 109. That’s pretty small! Home to attractions such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, as well as St. Peter’s Square, there’s more sightseeing than actual habitation going on here.
The next smallest countries in the world are Monaco at 2km squared and is home to more billionaires than any other country. Population is around 36,000.
Nauru is significantly larger at 21km squared. East of Australia, it is the smallest island country in the world, but the most obese. Forty percent of their population suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Tuvalu is only slightly larger at 26km squared. While it’s larger in size, the population is much smaller at around 10,000, probably given the rougher terrain. There are only around 8km of roads and only one hospital on the island.
Vatican City is the smallest country of the world and of Europe.
Now we ask: which is the largest?
An interesting question that gave two different answers. Only upon further research was it made clear.
The first answer was Russia according to Wikipedia. But according to mapsofworld.com it was Ukraine. Which is correct? Well, both! Depending on how technical you want your answer to be, both answers are correct.
Mapsofworld.com added other criteria that Wikipedia did not. When saying that Russia was the largest country by area, the information is including the parts affiliated within Asia. In like manner, saying Ukraine is the largest European country is excluding the Asian affiliates from Russian borders, shrinking it. Make sense now?
Russia is not only the largest country within Europe it is also the largest country in the world, twice the size of Canada and the U.S. respectively. Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent.
The largest populated country in Africa is Nigeria at 184 million as of July 2015 projections.
Ethiopia is second at just over 90 million.
Egypt ranks third at 88.5 million. While these countries rank top three in population, they are not the largest in land mass.
According to AnswersAfrica.com the largest country in Africa (according to land mass) is now Algeria with a land mass of 2.38 million sqkm.
The second largest being the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a land mass of 2.34 million km squared. Sudan used to hold the title of largest country until June 2011 when South Sudan segregated from the North and declared independence.
In conclusion: it’s all about asking the right questions. As we’ve learned, there are several aspects to consider when asking which is the largest country in the world.
Russia is the largest if we are including Asian influence and land mass; China if we are wanting to go by population; China again if we want Native population. The smallest country by population and land mass is the Vatican City. And remember, if you don’t like the answer, ask a different question.