Put the size of countries in perspective by comparing them to US states

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This Mercator projection is famous for distorting land areas

Like Jake Hofman, we at Decision Science News love putting things in perspective. Watch this space for a paper we are writing on the topic. We recently thought:

  • Wouldn’t it be cool for US readers to see how big foreign countries are by comparing them to presumably familiar US states?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool for non-US readers to see how big US states are by comparing them to presumably familiar countries?
  • Wouldn’t it be fun to group countries by area?

To keep things simple, we only consider the area of each state, twice the area of each state, and the area of the entire USA as units. We only bother with twice states’ area thing for big countries (larger than 2,500,000 sq km). For compactness, we do not provide the reverse mapping from countries to US states. R code available upon request.

Here you are. A list of US states along with countries and dependencies that are roughly as large as them:
Smaller than Rhode Island (4,002 sq km):

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Comoros, Cook Islands, Dominica, Gaza Strip, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guernsey, Holy See (Vatican City), Hong Kong, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius,  Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tonga, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu


As big as Rhode Island (4,002 sq km):

Cape Verde, French Polynesia


As big as Delaware (5,061 sq km):

Brunei, Cyprus, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, West Bank


As big as Connecticut (14,359 sq km):

Bahamas, East Timor, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia (The), Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Qatar, Swaziland, Vanuatu


As big as New Jersey (22,590 sq km):

Belize, Djibouti, El Salvador, Israel, New Caledonia, Slovenia


As big as Vermont (24,903 sq km):

Republic of Macedonia


As big as Massachusetts (27,337 sq km):



As big as Hawaii (28,314 sq km):

Albania, Armenia, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Solomon Islands


As big as Maryland (32,134 sq km):

Belgium, Bhutan, Denmark, Estonia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Moldova, Netherlands, Republic of China (Taiwan), Switzerland


As big as West Virginia (62,758 sq km):

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Svalbard, Togo


As big as South Carolina (82,898 sq km):

Austria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Panama, United Arab Emirates


As big as Maine (91,652 sq km):

French Guiana, Jordan, Portugal


As big as Indiana (94,327 sq km):

Hungary, Korea, South


As big as Kentucky (104,664 sq km):

Iceland, Serbia and Montenegro


As big as Tennessee (109,158 sq km):



As big as Virginia (110,771 sq km):

Benin, Bulgaria, Cuba, Honduras, Liberia


As big as Pennsylvania (119,290 sq km):

Eritrea, Korea, North, Malawi


As big as Mississippi (125,443 sq km):



As big as Louisiana (134,273 sq km):



As big as New York (141,090 sq km):

Nepal, Tajikistan


As big as Iowa (145,754 sq km):



As big as Wisconsin (169,652 sq km):

Suriname, Tunisia


As big as Missouri (180,545 sq km):



As big as Oklahoma (181,048 sq km):



As big as Washington (184,674 sq km):



As big as South Dakota (199,742 sq km):

Kyrgyzstan, Senegal


As big as Kansas (213,109 sq km):



As big as Idaho (216,456 sq km):



As big as Minnesota (225,181 sq km):

Laos, Romania, Uganda


As big as Michigan (250,737 sq km):

Ghana, Guinea, United Kingdom


As big as Colorado (269,618 sq km):

Burkina Faso, Gabon, New Zealand, Western Sahara


As big as Nevada (286,367 sq km):



As big as Arizona (295,274 sq km):

Italy, Philippines


As big as New Mexico (314,924 sq km):

Congo, Republic of the, Côte d’Ivoire, Finland, Malaysia, Norway, Oman, Poland, Vietnam


As big as Montana (380,847 sq km):

Germany, Japan, Zimbabwe


As big as California (423,999 sq km):

Cameroon, France, Iraq, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen


As big as Texas (695,673 sq km):

Afghanistan, Bolivia, Botswana, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Zambia


As big as Alaska (1,700,133 sq km):

Algeria, Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Greenland, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Niger, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan


Twice as big as Alaska (3,400,266 sq km):

Argentina, India, Kazakhstan


As big as the United States (9,826,630 sq km):

Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China


Twice as big as the United States (19,653,260 sq km):



Map credit:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_map_projections#mediaviewer/File:Miller_projection_SW.jpg

Country Areas: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_area

The post Put the size of countries in perspective by comparing them to US states appeared first on Decision Science News.

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