Africa Guide

The True Size of Africa

How big is Africa? A question often asked but rarely understood when only a km2 figure is given.

Africa is larger in area than the USA, China, India, Japan and all of Europe combined.

The graphical map presentation below is meant only as an aid to illustrate the fact that Africa is much larger than many people assume. Some countries have been rotated or organized to fit their areas inside the graphic (e.g. China).

Africa political map thumbAfrica relief map thumbTrue size of Africa map

true size of Africa map

x 1000 km2
USA 9,629
China 9,573
India 3,287
Mexico 1,964
Peru 1,285
France 633
Spain 506
Papua New Guinee 462
Sweden 441
Japan 378
Germany 357
Norway 324
Italy 301
New Zealand 270
United Kingdom 243
Nepal 147
Bangladesh 144
Greece 132
TOTAL 30,102
AFRICA 30,221
for Reference:
The Surface of the MOON

Please note:

The figure in the table for the USA does include Alaska and Hawaii, but they are not used in the map, as are a handful of other entries (such as Norway and Sweden).

The reason for this is that the map purposely uses familiar shapes because the mathematically exact depiction, using equal area scaling would be even more drastic, but would appear highly distorted.

The small maps below are visualized in the same way giving a view in relation to Africa that is rarely seen.

It is worth looking at "Bucky Fullers" maps or the "Peters" equal area proposals to see the real shape of countries and continents.

The main aim of this presentation is to demonstrate that Africa is truly immense...

Africa with superimposed countries

Thanks to Kai Kruse for this informative contribution to a better understanding of the true size of Africa.

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