The Largest Countries In North America

The continent of North America. Image credit: AridOcean/Shutterstock.com
  • North America has two of the world's three largest countries by area.
  • Around 9% of Canada's surface area is occupied by lakes.
  • Cuba is the largest Caribbean country in North America.

North America is located in the Northern Hemisphere. It borders the Caribbean Sea, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and South America. The total area of North America is 9.5 million square miles, accounting for 4.8% of the total earth surface. North America is the third largest continent in the world by land area, after Africa and Asia. The continent is home to over 579 million people, making it the fourth-most populous continent in the world. 

The 10 Largest North American Countries By Area

Facts To Remember

North America hosts two of the world's five largest countries - Canada and the United States of America (the US) that rank two and three on the list of the world's largest countries. 

Canada

Canada occupies a whopping 9,984,670 sq. km (3,854,083 sq. miles) of area in North America and is the largest country in the entire Western Hemisphere. It is the northernmost country in the continent. A large part of this area (around 9%) comprises of water bodies, especially lakes. The country is home to around 879,800 lakes that makes it top the list of countries with most lakes. If Canada's water area of the lakes is subtracted from its total area then it would rank below China and the US in terms of size. Canada stretches from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific coast in the west and from the Arctic coast in the north to the border with the US to the south. The longest distance from east to west is 3426 miles while that from north to south is 2879 miles. Compared to its size, Canada is sparsely populated as a large part of its territory extends beyond the Arctic Circle and experiences harsh climatic conditions not suitable for most forms of life.

The United States

The United States ranks second in size in the continent in terms of size with an area of 9,372,610 sq. km (3,617,827 sq. miles). The 48 contiguous US states and the District of Columbia together cover 8,080,462 sq.km (119,884 sq. miles) while the remaining area comprises of Alaska, Hawaii, and the insular US territories. If the area of only the contiguous US states are taken into account, the US would be the 5th largest country in the world. If only land area is taken into account, the US would rank 4th. The country also stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the west to the Atlantic coast to the east. It shares the world's longest land border with Canada to the north and borders Mexico to the south.

Other Large North American Countries

Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize are the other North American countries featuring on the list of the 10 largest countries in North America. With an area of 130,373 sq. km (50,324 sq. miles), Nicaragua is the biggest country from Central America, a subregion of the continent. Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean subregion of North America. It has an area of 109,884 sq. km (42,415 sq. miles).

The Smallest Country In North America

North America's smallest country is Saint Kitts And Nevis, an island country in the West Indies in the Caribbean subregion of the continent. It covers a total area of only 261 sq. km (101 sq. miles). It has two main islands, St. Kitts with an area of 176.12 sq. km (68 sq. miles) and Nevis with an area of 93 sq. km (36 sq. miles).

The Largest Countries in North America

RankCountryArea (km²)Area (mi²)Subregion
1Canada9,984,670 3,854,083 Northern America
2United States9,372,610 3,617,827 Northern America
3Mexico1,964,375 758,249 Central America
4Nicaragua130,373 50,324 Central America
5Honduras112,492 43,422 Central America
6Cuba109,88442,415 Caribbean
7Guatemala108,889 42,031Central America
8Panama75,417 29,111Central America
9Costa Rica51,100 19,725Central America
10Haiti27,750 10,712 Caribbean
11Belize22,966 8,865 Central America
12El Salvador21,041 8,122 Central America
13Bahamas13,9435,382 Caribbean
14Jamaica10,9914,243 Caribbean
15Trinidad And Tobago5,1301,980 Caribbean
16Saint Lucia616 238 Caribbean
17Antigua And Barbuda442 171 Caribbean
18Barbados430166 Caribbean
19Saint Vincent And The Grenadines389150 Caribbean
20Grenada344 133 Caribbean
21Saint Kitts And Nevis261 101 Caribbean
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