Afghanistan is a landlocked nation (does not have access to the sea) in south-central Asia. At the crossroads of north-south and east-west trade routes, the country has been invaded many times, by Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C., and by the Soviet Union in the twentieth century A.D. Almost as large as the state of Texas, Afghanistan is bounded by six different countries. Afghanistan's longest border—accounting for its entire southern boundary and most of its eastern one—is with Pakistan. The shortest one, bordering China's Xinjiang province, is only 76 kilometers (47 miles), at the end of the Wakhan corridor.
Albania is one of the smallest countries in Europe. It is located in southeastern Europe on the west coast of the Balkan peninsula (the peninsula surrounded by, from west to east, the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, and Black Seas) along the Strait of Otranto, which connects the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Albania covers 28,748 square kilometers (17,864 square miles), or slightly more area than the state of Maryland.
Algeria is the largest of the three countries that form the Maghreb region of northwest Africa. (The Maghreb region is made up of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.) Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa; only Sudan is larger. Algeria is a little less than three-and-a-half times the size of Texas, and it is as large as the whole of Western Europe.
Andorra is one of the smallest independent countries on earth. It is a landlocked nation (does not have access to the sea) located on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France.
Angola is located on the west coast of the African continent, south of the equator. Angola is south and southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC), northwest of Zambia, north of Namibia, and east of the Atlantic Ocean. Cabinda Province is separated from the rest of Angola by the DROC and is completely surrounded by that country and the Republic of the Congo. With a total land area of 1,246,700 square kilometers (481,226 square miles), including the exclave (area separate from the main part of a country) of Cabinda, Angola is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Angola is divided into eighteen provinces.
The continent of Antarctica is almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle (66.5°S), surrounded by the Southern Ocean. Both the geographic and magnetic South Poles are located on the continent. With a total area of about 14,000,000 square kilometers (5,405,430 square miles), Antarctica ranks fifth in size among the world's continents, larger than Australia or Europe. It is slightly less than one-and-one-half times the size of the United States.
Antigua and Barbuda, a dependency of the United Kingdom, is part of the Leeward Islands, in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea. Its total area, which is nearly two-andone-half times that of Washington, D.C., includes the islands of Antigua (280 square kilometers/108 square miles) and Barbuda (161 square kilometers/62 square miles), and the uninhabited island of Redondo (1.3 square kilometers/5 square miles). The country is divided into six parishes.
Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, covering most of the southern peninsula of the continent. It is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north; Brazil, Uruguay, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east; and Chile to the west and south. With an area of 2,766,890 square kilometers (1,068,302 square miles), the nation is a little less than one-third the size of the United States. Argentina is divided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city.
Armenia is a small, landlocked nation located in the mountainous region southwest of Russia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. With a total area of 29,800 square kilometers (11,500 square miles), it is somewhat larger than the state of Maryland. Armenia is divided into eleven provinces.
The nation of Australia, which also happens to be the world's smallest continent, is situated in the Southern Hemisphere southeast of Asia, between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Australia covers an area of 7,686,300 square kilometers (2,966,200 square miles). It is slightly smaller than the contiguous United States (not including Alaska and Hawaii). Australia is divided into six states and two territories.
Centrally situated at the heart of central Europe and bordering eight different countries, Austria historically has been a political, economic, and cultural crossroads. For hundreds of years, the small, landlocked country (does not have access to the sea) was at the center of a great empire—the Hapsburg regime that ruled much of Europe until World War I (1914-18). Austria has an area of 83,858 square kilometers (32,378 square miles), or slightly less than the state of Maine.
Azerbaijan is located in southwestern Asia between Iran to the south and Russia to the north, with its eastern border along the Caspian Sea. With a total land area of 86,600 square kilometers (33,400 square miles), Azerbaijan is slightly smaller than the state of Maine. It is divided into fifty-nine rayons, eleven cities (administrative districts), and one autonomous republic.
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas occupies an archipelago that straddles the Tropic of Cancer at the northwestern end of the West Indies (islands lying between southeastern North America and northern South America), about 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the southeast coast of Florida. The Bahamas have a land area of 13,940 square kilometers (5,382 square miles), spread out over approximately 233,000 square kilometers (90,000 square miles) of water in the southwestern portion of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Bahrain is a Middle Eastern (southwestern Asia and northern Africa) country consisting of thirty-three islands, six of which are inhabited. The country's position in an inlet of the Persian Gulf has given it a regional importance as a trade and transportation center. With an area of 620 square kilometers (239 square miles), Bahrain is more than three times as large as Washington, D.C.
Bangladesh is located in southern Asia between Myanmar and India, along the Bay of Bengal. With a total area of 143,998 square kilometers (55,598 square miles), the country is slightly smaller than the state of Wisconsin.
The second-smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere and the easternmost Caribbean island, Barbados lies between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is located roughly 320 kilometers (200 miles) north-northeast of Trinidad and Tobago. It has an area of 430 square kilometers (166 square miles), or nearly two-and-one-half times the size of Washington, D.C.
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country (does not have access to the sea) in east-central Europe, about 260 kilometers (161 miles) southeast of the Baltic Sea coastline. With a total area of 207,600 square kilometers (80,154 square miles), it is slightly smaller than the state of Texas.
Belgium is one of Europe's smallest and most densely populated countries. It is located in a part of northwestern Europe that was once called the Low Countries and today is known as the Benelux region (primarily due to Belgium's economic partnership with its neighbors Luxembourg and the Netherlands). Centrally located in Western Europe with few natural frontiers, Belgium has been called the crossroads of Europe. For much of its history, it was a battleground for the major European powers of France, Britain, and Germany. Today, its capital, Brussels, is the seat of both NATO and the European Union.
Belize is in Central America. Belize is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea at the southeastern edge of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Known as British Honduras until 1973, Belize has a land area of 22,806 square kilometers (8,803 square miles), which makes it slightly larger than the state of Massachusetts.
Formerly a French colony known as Dahomey, Benin is a small country on the coast of West Africa, between Togo and Nigeria. It is bounded on the north by the Niger River and on the south by the Bight of Benin, which forms part of the Gulf of Guinea. Benin has an area of 112,620 square kilometers (43,483 square miles), or slightly less land than the state of Pennsylvania.
Bhutan is a small, landlocked country in the Himalaya Mountains, between China and India in Southern Asia. To the north and northwest, it borders the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet (Xizang Zizhiqu); to the south and southwest, the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam; and to the east, the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh (formerly the NorthEast Frontier Agency). Bhutan has an area of 47,000 square kilometers (18,147 square miles), making it slightly more than half as large as the state of Indiana.
Home to the world's highest capital city and highest commercially navigable lake, Bolivia has been called the "rooftop of the world." This landlocked country in south-central South America is the continent's fifth-largest nation. With an area of 1,098,580 square kilometers (424,164 square miles), it is almost three times the size of Montana.
The nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula, between the countries of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. With a total area of 51,129 square kilometers (19,741 square miles), the country is slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia.
Botswana is a landlocked country (does not have access to the sea) located in southern Africa. It is bordered by Zimbabwe to the northeast, South Africa to the south and southeast, and Namibia to the north and west. Botswana covers an area of 600,370 square kilometers (231,802 square miles), or slightly less than the state of Texas.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador. Its eastern coastline borders the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 8,511,965 square kilometers (3,286,488 square miles), it is slightly smaller than the United States. The country is divided into twenty-six states and one federal district. Brazil has land area in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, because the equator crosses through the northern part of the country.
The small country of Brunei is an enclave (distinct cultural area or country surrounded by a larger country) on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. Brunei shares the island with two neighbors: the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesia. Brunei has an area of 5,770 square kilometers (2,228 square miles), or slightly more than the state of Delaware.
Bulgaria is part of the Balkan Peninsula (peninsula surrounded by, from west to east, the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, and Black Seas) in southeastern Europe. It has an eastern coastline on the Black Sea and shares borders with Romania, Turkey, Greece, the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia (Macedonia) and Serbia and Montenegro (formerly part of Yugoslavia). With an area of about 110,910 square kilometers (42,811 square miles), the country is slightly larger than the state of Tennessee. Bulgaria is divided into twenty-eight provinces.
Burkina Faso (known as Upper Volta from 1960 until 1984) is a landlocked country (does not have access to the sea) in northwest Africa. It lies west of Niger; northwest of Benin; north of Mali, Togo, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire; and east and south of Mali. With an area of 274,200 square kilometers (105,869 square miles), the country is slightly larger than the state of Colorado. Burkina Faso is divided into thirty provinces.
Burundi is a small, densely populated, land-locked country (does not have access to the sea) in east-central Africa, bounded by Rwanda, Tanzania, and Lake Tanganyika. It is slightly larger than the state of Maryland.
Cambodia is located in the southwestern part of the Indochina peninsula. (Besides Cambodia, the countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and part of Malaysia make up the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia.) Cambodia lies completely within the tropics—its southernmost points are only a little more than ten degrees above the equator. Bordered by Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, Cambodia also has a short but heavily indented coastline on the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia has an area of 181,040 square kilometers (69,900 square miles), or slightly less than the state of Oklahoma.
Cameroon is a triangle-shaped country located between West Africa and Central Africa. It has a western border on the waters of the Bight of Biafra in the Gulf of Guinea, between Equatorial Guinea (south) and Nigeria (north). It also shares borders with the countries of Gabon and Republic of the Congo to the south, and Central African Republic and Chad to the east. With a total area of 475,440 square kilometers (183,568 square miles), Cameroon is slightly larger than the state of California. The country is divided into ten provinces.
Canada is located on the northern portion of the North American continent, north of the mainland of the United States. Waters bordering the country include the North Atlantic Ocean to the east, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Arctic Ocean to the north. With a total area of about 9,976,185 square kilometers (3,851,809 square miles), it is the largest country in the Western Hemisphere and the second-largest in the world, exceeded only by Russia. Canada's size is about the same as that of the continent of Europe. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories.
Cape Verde is an archipelago (chain of islands) off the coast of West Africa. The country consists of ten islands and five islets (small islands) located in the North Atlantic Ocean just west of Senegal. The islands are generally divided into northern (Barlavento) and southern (Sotavento) groups. With a total land area of 4,033 square kilometers (1,557 square miles), the country is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. The country is divided into fourteen districts.
In accordance with its name, the landlocked Central African Republic lies roughly at the center of the African continent just north of the equator and more than 603 kilometers (375 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean. Bordered by five neighboring nations, it has an area of 622,984 square kilometers (240,534 square miles), or slightly less than the state of Texas.
Chad is a landlocked country located in northern Central Africa, south of Libya. It extends north to south for more than 1,609 kilometers (1,000 miles) from the Tropic of Cancer, within the Sahara Desert. It is bordered by Libya to the north; Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon to the west; and Sudan and the Central African Republic to the east. With an area of 1,284,000 square kilometers (495,755 square miles), Chad is slightly more than three times the size of the state of California. The country is divided into fourteen prefectures (districts).
Chile is a long, narrow country fringing the southwestern edge of South America, between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes Mountains to the east. It reaches to Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of the continent, and it touches the Atlantic Ocean at the Strait of Magellan. It also extends beyond the Strait of Magellan to include part of Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago that it shares with Argentina. The Andes Mountains span almost the full length of the country, which has an area of 756,950 square kilometers (292,260 square miles), or slightly less than the state of Montana. Measuring 4,270 kilometers (2,653 miles) between its northern and southern extremities, Chile has an average width of not much more than 161 kilometers (100 miles), making it the world's longest and narrowest country. Its 38-degree latitude span gives it an extremely varied climate and vegetation.
China is located in eastern Asia, west of the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea. The country is bordered by fourteen other nations. With a total area of about 9,596,960 square kilometers (3,705,407 square miles), the country is slightly smaller than the United States. China is administratively divided into twenty-three provinces, five autonomous (self-governing) regions, and four municipalities.
Located in the northwest corner of the South American continent, Colombia is the only country in South America with both Atlantic (Caribbean) and Pacific Ocean coastlines. It is the fifth-largest in size of the Latin American countries. It shares borders with Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. With an area of about 1,138,910 square kilometers (439,736 square miles), the country is slightly less than three times the size of Montana. Colombia is divided into thirty-two departments and one federal district.
Comoros is a group of three islands located in the northern edge of the Mozambique Channel, between the eastern shore of Mozambique and the island of Madagascar. With an area of 2,170 square kilometers (838 square miles), the country is a little more than twelve times the size of Washington, D.C.