Canada Or USA: Which Country Is Larger In Terms Of *Land* Area (Excluding Water) ?

Without further ado, here is the answer: the United States of America. Yes, Canada is a larger country as a whole, but when excluding water area and looking at land area alone, the US is actually a bigger country! Surprised?

I am writing this before seeing the results of our polls on our individual cities’ Facebook pages, but I am assuming Canada will maybe have received the most votes.

That’s because most people are surprised when I tell them that Canada is only larger than the US because of its substantial water area, even though pretty much everyone is aware that overall Canada is larger.

That being said, even the difference in total area isn’t as huge as it seems. That’s mostly due to the fact that traditional maps grossly exaggerate Canada’s true size, as we’ve told you before (we’ll show you with maps below).

But first of all, for those who don’t follow us and don’t know that we never make anything up (except on April Fool’s Day haha), here is the land area of Canada and the United States as per Wikipedia:

Every country’s total area is split into land area and water area, and that’s where you can see that Canada is behind the USA in land area, with 9.094 million square kilometers to the USA’s 9.148 million square kilometers.

It is only when water area is added that Canada takes the lead.

To be fair, it’s not a huge difference… but the fact is, in terms of land area, yes Canada truly is smaller than our southern neighbor contrary to popular belief.

It sure doesn’t look like it when you look at regular (distorted) maps that show Canada as a huge country that seems so much larger than the USA, and that’s why a lot of people are surprised by this stat.

But when using the True Size Tool, you can see that in reality, Canada’s territory is quite similar to the contiguous part of the US (the lower 48 States).

And when adding Alaska to the USA’s land size and removing Canada’s vast water areas, the US actually has a bit more land.

If it’s any consolation, at least Canada is #1 in the entire world in terms of water area.

Summary

So yes, we Canadians can proudly say that our country is larger than the US… but only thanks to our substantial water area. In terms of actual land area, our southern neighbors win.

Did you know that the US had more land area than Canada? Tell us in the comments below.

You can also read our previous quiz:

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Cover image: Canadian flag and American flag 

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 59/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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