The African Continent
Africa is the second largest continent in the world, both in area and population. It covers 11.7 million square miles, which is approximately 20.4% of the total land area on earth. About 16% of the global population, or around 1.2 billion people, live in Africa. This continent is extremely diverse, and politically divided into 54 countries of varying sizes, geographies, and cultures. This article takes a closer look at the countries of Africa according to the size of their land area.
The 5 Largest Countries in Africa
Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the 10th largest country in the world. Located in the northern region of the continent, it covers an area of 919,595 square miles. Around 90% of Algeria is covered in desert. Its population is around 38.7 million.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa and the 18th largest in the world. It covers an area of 905,355 square miles and is located in the central region of the continent on either side of the equator. The DRC is home to the Congo Rainforest, which is the second largest in the world. It has a population of around 4.66 million.
Sudan is the 3rd largest nation in Africa with a total area of 718,723 square miles. This country is located in northern Africa. The Nile river runs along the north-south length of Sudan, dividing the country into eastern and western halves. It has a population of about 37.2 million.
The 4th largest country in Africa is Libya, which covers an area of 679,362 square miles. It is located in the north central area of Africa and has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea. Libya has a population size of 6.4 million, the majority of whom live in the urban areas along the coast.
Chad is the 5th largest country in Africa with a total area of 495,755 square miles. It is a landlocked country, located in the central region of Africa. Chad is home to Lake Chad, which is the second largest lake in Africa and the largest wetland in the country. The population size here is around 13.67 million.
The 5 Smallest Countries in Africa
Cape Verde is the 5th smallest country in Africa, but Africa’s largest island nation. It covers an area of 1,557 square miles and has a population of 525,000 according to the 2015 estimate. Cape Verde is one of the top countries in the world for renewable energy production; around 30% of its energy comes from wind.
Comoros is the 4th smallest country in Africa with a total area of 863 square miles. It is an island nation located between Madagascar and Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. Comoros is the only tropical climate nation that belongs to the Arab League. It has a population of around 798,000.
The 3rd smallest country in Africa is Mauritius, which covers an area of only 788 square miles. This island nation is located off the southeastern coast of Africa, between the mainland and the northern tip of Madagascar. Its population is around 1.35 million.
Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe is another island country, divided into two principal islands. Together, they cover an area of 372 square miles, making this the 2nd smallest country in Africa. It is located off the coast of West Africa and is considered the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. It has a population of around 190,000.
The smallest country in Africa is Seychelles, a 174 square-mile island located off the eastern coast. It consists of roughly 115 islands and has a population of around 92,000. Approximately 30% of the residents here are employed by the tourism industry.
The Countries Of Africa By Size
|Rank||Name||Area, Squared Kilometres (Miles Squared)|
|2||Democratic Republic of the Congo||2,344,858 (905,355)|
|9||South Africa||1,221,037 (471,445)|
|18||South Sudan||644,329 (248,777)|
|20||Central African Republic||622,984 (240,535)|
|27||Republic of the Congo||342,000 (132,047)|
|28||CÃ´te d'Ivoire||322,460 (124,503)|
|29||Burkina Faso||274,000 (105,792)|
|40||Sierra Leone||71,740 (27,699)|
|44||Equatorial Guinea||28,051 (10,831)|
|50||Cape Verde||4,033 (1,557)|
|53||SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe||964 (372)|