You are currently viewing 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.


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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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: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. jim

    hi, i saw this same article on (URL REMOVED) but it had another author. Did you copy this article from someone else or do you write under a pseudonym ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No, we don’t write anywhere else and this is our own original content. I see they copied our content, thanks for letting us know, we’ll get them to remove it.

  2. P.A. Crawley

    ‘Contiguous’ i.e. uninterrupted land.
    square kilometres
    Russia 16,326,870
    China 9.388,211
    Australia 7,682,300
    U.S.A. 7,663,941
    Canada 7,487,393

  3. Okah Napoleon

    The true of the matter is that both countries are equal in size. Since in a way both are larger than the other.

  4. Al Smith

    well, usa is really the biggest county in the world. Through, its military bases the USA, controls most of the world.

  5. luis

    Andrew enlighten me if their are any inaccuracy in my mental state of being pertaining to this however i ma fairly certain that it is viewed in such a manner world wide, scratch that is how its globally view, it must be. which is why Canada is the second largest county in the world ” hands down”.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, Canada is the second-largest as I say in the article. The fact is, everyone is always surprised when I tell them that when considering only land, the US is bigger. That’s it, that’s the post 🙂

      1. KevinBlok

        I’m assuming your American and being second to Canada just doesn’t sit well jo matter what the facts are. So, as long as us is always first, let the rest of the world deal in facts.
        Thanks for your opinion Andrew.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I’m assuming you are very insecure. I’m 100% Canadian. It’s not an opinion. In terms of land area, the US is larger than Canada. You can Google it youself, it’s not rocket science :p

  6. Andrew

    They should just compare boundaries including waters each country has recognized legal control over. So Canada is bigger hands down.

  7. Harrison

    I’m from Canada lol

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