Is Greenland Larger Than Australia?

An aerial view of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef .
An aerial view of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef .

There have been debates as far as Greenland and Australia are concerned regarding size. Some people argue that Greenland should be treated as a continent just like Australia. The arguments range from various factors such as population, culture, flora, and fauna among many other factors. One may be entitled to his/her opinion, but in this case, Australia is much bigger and unique in various ways.

Map representations have not helped in clarifying the differences. Mercator’s projection present earth on a flat surface and the lands near the North Pole appear much bigger than the ones near the equator. In fact, such presentations have complicated matters since some regions appear equal despite having varying sizes. The earth is oval but maps are flat. The three-dimensional drawing of maps would have helped in noting such varying measurements.

Population and Size

To begin with, Australia houses millions of people with its population being approximately over twenty-three million people. In fact, Australia comes in position 55 globally regarding most populated nations. Most land in this region is covered by desert, but people have adapted such conditions with many inhabitants occupying the coastal areas. On the other hand, Greenland has a much smaller population and is ranked 205th globally with almost sixty thousand people living there. However, most parts of Greenland are covered with ice resulting in harsh living conditions which may suggest a reason why there are few inhabitants here.

The population may not be an appropriate measure of size since regions such as Antarctica would have been negligible due to near zero population. According to size, Australia’s land is approximated to be 7,741,220 square kilometers dwarfing Greenland’s cover of merely 2,166,086 square kilometers. Considering the land area, Australia is almost four times bigger than Greenland.

Tectonic Plate Boundaries

Some of the factors which may be considered are the tectonic plates onto which these regions lie on. Australia has its tectonic plate known as the Australian Plate. On the other hand, Greenland does not have its own but instead sits on the North American Tectonic Plate. As a result, Australia should be considered to be on its own because it does not share the tectonic plate with another continent. In this case, Greenland could be viewed as being part of North America since it shares the same plate. Furthermore, North America and Greenland are very close which may suggest that the two regions are technically one. Australia is farther away from neighboring continents such as Asia and Africa.

Endemic Flora and Fauna

Moreover, Australia has many varieties of flora and fauna. The continent is associated with animals such as the kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, and wombats which are rare in other regions of the world. Australian Aboriginal culture also makes the continent unique. On the other hand, Greenland’s flora and fauna are typical in other places such as Canada with its culture related to that of the North American region.

Comparison of Greenland and Australia

Regarding the given facts above, Australia is massive and deserves the continental status assigned to it. The diverse characteristics it possesses are indications that the region has unique status just like other continents. Greenland, however, has an almost similar feature to those of Canada and the North American region. Therefore, it is fair to say that Australia is much bigger than Greenland.


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