When it comes to the size of countries, the United States and Russia are two of the most noticeable standouts. For centuries, people have asked the question: Is Russia bigger than the United States? In terms of land area, the answer is a resounding yes. Russia is the largest country in the world, covering over 6.6 million square miles, while the United States covers just over 3.7 million square miles. However, determining which nation is bigger is not as straightforward as merely looking at their landmass. To get a full understanding of the size of each nation, one must also consider the size of its population, its territorial waters, and its exclusive economic zones. This article will compare the geographical size of Russia and the United States, exploring factors such as area, population density, and territorial waters.
Is Russia Bigger Than the United States?
Yes, Russia is bigger than the United States. Russia has an area of 17,098,242 square kilometers while the United States has an area of 9,833,520 square kilometers. That means that Russia is almost 7 million square kilometers larger than the United States! This is because Russia is the biggest country in the world by land area. It spans two continents (Europe and Asia) and shares borders with 14 countries. Its location on the world map gives it access to important resources and strategic points that other countries don’t have.
Comparing The Land Area Of Russia And The United States
- Land area is perhaps the most basic measure when comparing the size of countries, and yet it is also one of the most misleading. When we are measuring the land area of Russia and the United States, we are not measuring their actual territory, but rather the realities of their territorial boundaries. It is important to understand that a country’s land area can and often does differ from its territorial boundaries. Russia and the United States are examples of this.
- Russia’s land area is not only significantly larger than that of the United States, but its territorial boundaries are also far more expansive. The United States owns the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, while Russia owns the nearby islands of the Kuril Islands, a portion of Sakhalin Island, and a number of Arctic Islands. These territories exist outside of Russia’s official territorial boundaries but within its economic jurisdiction. They are what are known as “disputed territories”, with each country claiming the islands as its own.
- The United States is the fourth largest country in the world, behind Russia, Canada, and China. When it comes to land area, the United States ranks second. In terms of square miles, Russia’s territory is over six million square miles larger than that of the United States. However, this does not tell the whole story. When looking at countries’ size, it is important to consider more than just their landmass. When considering a country’s size and population density together, it becomes apparent that Russia is not as large as one might imagine when looking at its area alone. The population of Russia is only slightly larger than that of the United States; however, this difference makes a huge impact on their respective population densities (the number of people per square mile). The US has a population density of over 80 people per square mile while Russia has a population density of just over 21 people per square mile. This means that the US is nearly twice as densely populated as Russia.
- The United States has a territorial water area of 3,200 square miles. That is almost five times larger than Russia’s territorial water area of 700 square miles. However, this does not mean that Russia’s territorial waters are five times smaller than those of the United States. In fact, it is quite the opposite – Russia’s territorial waters are actually more than seven times larger than those of the United States. This difference can be attributed to both country’s size and population density. The United States is a much larger country with a much higher population density, while Russia is a much smaller country with a much lower population density. The impact of these differences on each nation’s territorial waters can be seen when comparing their respective exclusive economic zones (the area over which they have exclusive rights to natural resources).
- The United States has an exclusive economic zone of 1,200 square miles. This is almost three times larger than Russia’s exclusive economic zone of just over 400 square miles. However, this does not mean that Russia’s exclusive economic zone is three times smaller than that of the United States. In fact, it is quite the opposite – Russia’s exclusive economic zone is actually more than five times larger than that of the United States. This difference can be attributed to both country’s size and population density. The United States is a much larger country with a much higher population density, while Russia is a much smaller country with a much lower population density. The impact of these differences on each nation’s exclusive economic zones can be seen when comparing their respective territorial waters and exclusive economic zones together as well as their combined waters (the area over which they have sole rights to natural resources).
Examining Population Density
- The size of a country’s population is perhaps one of the most important factors in determining its size. After all, a country’s population is the primary force behind its economy, culture, and overall power. With this in mind, we can see that the United States is significantly larger than Russia in terms of population.
- The United States has a population of approximately 325 million people, making it the third most populated country in the world. Meanwhile, Russia has a population of approximately 144 million people, making it the ninth most populated country in the world. This means that the United States is a far larger country than Russia in terms of both population and the potential that its people have to drive the economy.
- Even if Russia were to expand its territorial boundaries to match the United States, it would still be significantly smaller due to its lower population density. Population density is the term used to describe how crowded an area is with people. Population density is measured in people per square mile, with lower density being better for both ecosystems and economies.
- Russia has a population density of 11 people per square mile, making it one of the least densely populated countries in the world. In comparison, the United States has a population density of 91 people per square mile, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Exploring The Territorial Waters Of Each Nation
- A nation’s territorial waters are the waters that lie within the boundaries of its territorial boundary. These are waters that are under the nation’s jurisdiction and laws. The United States has a territorial boundary of 12 nautical miles from shore, while Russia has a boundary of 24 nautical miles from shore.
- This means that Russia has jurisdiction over a larger amount of water than the United States, and this jurisdiction is what allows Russia to claim a portion of Sakhalin Island as its own.
- This is also what led to the “ditches in the desert” incident, where the United States claimed that Russia was dredging a channel within its own territorial waters, a move the United States viewed as an aggressive attempt to expand its territorial boundaries.
Investigating Exclusive Economic Zones
- An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a jurisdiction that is adjacent to a nation’s territorial waters. Within these zones, a country has the right to exploit and manage marine resources, such as fishing and mining.
- The United States has an EEZ of 200 nautical miles from shore, making it the largest EEZ in the world. This means that the United States is entitled to control and manage a large number of marine resources in the world’s oceans.
- In comparison, Russia has an EEZ of 370 nautical miles from shore, making it the second-largest EEZ in the world. The difference in size between the two countries’ EEZs cannot be understated.
- When comparing the size of the two countries, it is necessary to examine the size of their EEZs as well.
When determining which country is bigger, it is important not to rely on landmass alone. A more complete measurement should take into account a country’s population density, territorial waters, and EEZ. When taking all of these factors into account, it becomes clear that the United States is a larger country than Russia. While Russia has a larger landmass, the United States is more densely populated, has greater jurisdiction over marine resources, and is entitled to a larger EEZ.