The things I think about…
I’ve had to do some work recently that’s required looking at maps, which got me thinking about how map land sizes can be skewed. Which got me thinking about the times I’ve flown over oceans and couldn’t fathom their size, which got me thinking about how perception changes based on context. And then I got to thinking about how much land vs how much ocean… Well, you can see the rabbit hole I went down.
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Visualizing Countries by Share of Earth’s Surface
There are over 510 million square kilometers of area on the surface of Earth, but less than 30% of this is covered by land. The rest is water, in the form of vast oceans.
Today’s visualization uses data primarily from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) to rank the world’s countries by their share of Earth’s surface.
Breakdown of Countries Share of Earth’s Surface
The largest countries by surface area are Russia (3.35%), Canada (1.96%), and China (1.88%).
Together they occupy roughly 7.2% of Earth’s surface. Russia is so big that even if we divided the country between its Asian and European sections, those new regions would still be the largest in their respective continents.