List of countries by length of coastline

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An example of the coastline paradox. If the coastline of Britain is measured using a scale interval of 200 km (left), then the length of the coastline is about 2400 km. Using a scale interval of 50 km (right), the length of the coastline is about 3400 km.

This article contains two lists of countries by length of coastline, in kilometers. A coastline of zero indicates that the country is landlocked.

Overview[edit]

The coastline paradox states that a coastline does not have a well-defined length. Measurements of the length of a coastline behave like a fractal, being different at different scale intervals (distance between points on the coastline at which measurements are taken). The smaller the scale interval (meaning the more detailed the measurement), the longer the coastline will be.[Note 1] This "magnifying" effect is greater for convoluted coastlines than for relatively smooth ones. Treated as fractals, coastlines can however be measured. For example, the coast of Great Britain has a size of about 28000 km1.43, which is called its Hausdorff measure.[1]

  • The leftmost table includes data for 198 countries and 55 territories from The World Factbook, provided by the Central Intelligence Agency. The "coast/area ratio" column measures how many meters of coastline correspond to every square kilometer of land area. The ratio illustrates the ease of accessibility to the country's coast from every point in its interior. Therefore, an island country like Maldives, or a country carved by the sea like Greece, is more likely to have a high ratio, while a landlocked country will have a ratio of zero. Note that the scales at which The World Factbook figures were measured are not stated, nor is it known whether the figures are all reported using the same scale, thus the figures are not necessarily comparable across different countries.
  • The rightmost table includes data for 182 independent countries and 13 dependencies from the World Resources Institute, based on data calculated in 2000 from the World Vector Shoreline, United States Defense Mapping Agency, 1989. It may include territories whose status have changed. According to their technical notes, the "coastline length was derived from the World Vector Shoreline database at 1:250,000 kilometers. The estimates (...) were calculated using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and an underlying database consistent for the entire world. The methodology used to estimate length is based on the following: 1) A country's coastline is made up of individual lines, and an individual line has two or more vertices and/or nodes. 2) The length between two vertices is calculated on the surface of a sphere. 3) The sum of the lengths of the pairs of vertices is aggregated for each individual line, and 4) the sum of the lengths of individual lines was aggregated for a country. In general, the coastline length of islands that are part of a country, but are not overseas territories, are included in the coastline estimate for that country (e.g., Canary Islands are included in Spain). Coastline length for overseas territories and dependencies are listed separately. Disputed areas are not included in country or regional totals."[2]

List[edit]

The World Factbook World Resources Institute
Rank Country Land area[3]
(km²)
Coastline[4]
(km)
Coast/area ratio
(m/km²)
Rank Country Coastline
(km)[2]
 World 148,940,000 1,162,306 7.80  World[Note 2] 1,634,701
 other[Note 3] 356,000
1  Canada[5] 9,984,670 202,080 20.24 1  Canada 265,523
2  Indonesia 1,811,569 54,716 30.20 4  Indonesia 95,181
 Greenland[Note 4] 2,166,086 44,087 20.35
3  Russia[6] 16,377,742 37,653 2.30 3  Russia 110,310
4  Philippines 298,170 36,289 121.71 8  Philippines 33,900
5  Japan 364,485 29,751 81.63 12  Japan 29,020
6  Australia 7,682,300 25,760 3.35 6  Australia 66,530
7  Norway 304,282 25,148[Note 5] 82.65 7  Norway 53,199
8  United States 9,161,966 19,924 2.17 2  United States 133,312
 Antarctica 14,000,000 17,968 1.30
9  New Zealand 267,710[7] 15,134 56.53 17  New Zealand 17,209
10  China 9,569,901 14,500 1.52 11  China 30,017
11  Greece 131,957 13,676 104.68 19  Greece 15,147
12  United Kingdom 241,930 12,429 51.37 16  United Kingdom 19,717
13  Mexico 1,943,945 9,330 4.80 14  Mexico 23,761
14  Italy 294,140 7,600 26.00 28  Italy 9,226
15  Brazil 8,459,417 7,491 0.89 9  Brazil 33,379
16  Denmark 42,434 7,314 172.40 44  Denmark 5,316
17  Turkey 783,562 7,200 9.40 31  Turkey 8,140
18  India 2,973,193 7,000 2.00 18  India 17,181
19  Chile 743,812 6,435 8.65 5  Chile 78,563
20  Croatia 55,974 6,268[8] 104.20 42  Croatia 5,664
21  Federated States of Micronesia 702 6,112 8,710.00 92  Micronesia, Federated States of 1,295
22  Solomon Islands 27,986 5,313 189.80 26  Solomon Islands 9,880
23  Papua New Guinea 452,860 5,152 11.38 15  Papua New Guinea 20,197
24  Argentina 2,736,690 4,989 1.82 30  Argentina 8,397
25  Iceland 100,250 4,970 49.60 29  Iceland 8,506
26  Spain 498,980 4,964 9.95 34  Spain[Note 6] 7,268
27  France[Note 7] 640,427 4,853 7.58 33  France 7,330
28  Madagascar 581,540 4,828 8.30 25  Madagascar 9,935
29  Malaysia 328,657 4,675 14.22 27  Malaysia 9,323
30  Estonia 42,388 3,794 89.51 61  Estonia 2,956
31  Cuba 109,820 3,735 34.01 21  Cuba 14,519
 Svalbard 62,045 3,587 57.81
32  The Bahamas 10,010 3,542 353.80 24  Bahamas, The 11,238
33  Vietnam 310,070 3,444[Note 8] 11.11 23  Vietnam 11,409
34  Thailand 510,890 3,219 6.30 35  Thailand 7,066
35  Sweden 410,335 3,218 7.84 13  Sweden 26,384
36  Colombia 1,038,700 3,208 3.09 41  Colombia 5,875
 Coral Sea Islands <3 3,095 >1,000,000
37  Somalia 627,337 3,333 4.82 50  Somalia 3,898
 French Southern and Antarctic Lands 7,667.6 2,948.4[Note 9] 400.00
38  Venezuela 882,050 2,800 3.20 37  Venezuela 6,762
39  South Africa 1,214,470 2,798 2.30 51  South Africa 3,751
40  Ukraine 579,330 2,782 4.80 45  Ukraine 4,953
41  Saudi Arabia 2,149,690 2,640 1.23 32  Saudi Arabia 7,572
42  Vanuatu 12,189 2,528 207.40 59  Vanuatu 3,132
 French Polynesia 3,827 2,525 659.80  French Polynesia 5,830
43  North Korea 120,408 2,495 20.72 49  Korea, North 4,009
44  Panama 74,340 2,490 33.50 43  Panama 5,637
45  Mozambique 786,380 2,470 3.14 36  Mozambique 6,942
46  Egypt 995,450 2,450 2.46 39  Egypt 5,898
47  Iran 1,531,595 2,440[Note 10] 1.59 40  Iran 5,891
48  Peru 1,279,996 2,414 1.89 55  Peru 3,362
49  South Korea 96,920 2,413 24.90 22  Korea, South 12,478
50  Germany 348,672 2,389 6.85 52  Germany 3,624
 New Caledonia 18,275 2,254 123.30  New Caledonia 3,624
51  Ecuador 276,841 2,237 8.08 47  Ecuador 4,597
52  Eritrea 101,000 2,234[8] 22.10 54  Eritrea 3,446
53  Oman 309,500 2,092 6.76 65  Oman 2,810
54  Burma 653,508 1,930 2.95 20  Burma 14,708
55  Yemen 527,968 1,906 3.61 58  Yemen 3,149
56  Morocco 446,300 1,835 4.14 73  Morocco 2,009
57  Portugal 91,470 1,793 19.60 63  Portugal 2,830
58  Haiti 27,560 1,771 64.26 77  Haiti 1,977
59  Libya 1,759,540 1,770 1.01 71  Libya 2,025
60  Angola 1,246,700 1,600 1.30 67  Angola 2,252
61  Namibia 823,290 1,572 1.91 84  Namibia 1,754
62  Taiwan 32,260 1,566.3 48.55 74  Taiwan 2,007
63  Palau 459 1,519 3,310.00
 Northern Mariana Islands 464 1,482 3,190.00
64  Ireland 68,883 1,448 21.02 38  Ireland 6,437
65  Tanzania 885,800 1,424 1.61 53  Tanzania 3,461
66  Sri Lanka 64,630 1,340 20.70 64  Sri Lanka 2,825
67  United Arab Emirates 83,600 1,318 15.80 62  United Arab Emirates 2,871
68  Costa Rica 51,060 1,290 25.30 70  Costa Rica 2,069
69  Dominican Republic 48,320 1,288 26.66 88  Dominican Republic 1,612
 Falkland Islands 12,173 1,288 105.80
70  Finland 303,815 1,250 4.11 10  Finland 31,119
71  Tunisia 155,360 1,148 7.39 79  Tunisia 1,927
72  Kiribati 811 1,143 1,410.00 78  Kiribati 1,961
73  Fiji 18,274 1,129 61.78 46  Fiji 4,638
 Faroe Islands 1,393 1,117 801.90
 Western Sahara 266,000 1,110 4.17
74  Pakistan 881,912 1,046 1.36 66  Pakistan 2,599
75  Jamaica 10,831 1,022 94.36 102  Jamaica 895
76  Algeria 2,381,741 998 0.42 90  Algeria 1,557
77  Cape Verde 4,033 965 239.00 97  Cape Verde 1,121
  Spratly Islands <5 926 ≥200,000
78  Nicaragua 119,990 910 7.60 80  Nicaragua 1,915
79  Gabon 257,667 885 3.43 72  Gabon 2,019
80  Nigeria 910,768 853 0.94 60  Nigeria 3,122
80  Sudan 1,861,484[7] 853 0.46 68  Sudan 2,245
82  Honduras 111,890 832[Note 11] 7.44 82  Honduras 1,878
83  Mauritania 1,030,700 754 0.73 94  Mauritania 1,268
 Hong Kong[Note 12] 1,054 733 695.00  Hong Kong 955
84  Timor-Leste 14,874 706 47.50
 British Indian Ocean Territory 60 698 10,000.00
85  Uruguay 175,015 660 3.80 98  Uruguay 1,096
86  Cyprus 9,241 648 70.10 112  Cyprus 671
87  Maldives 298 644 2,160.00 75  Maldives 2,002
88  Bangladesh 130,168 580 4.50 56  Bangladesh 3,306
89  Liberia 96,320 579 6.01 104  Liberia 842
90  Qatar 11,586 563 48.60 100  Qatar 909
91  Ghana 227,533 539 2.37 106  Ghana 758
92  Kenya 569,140 536 0.94 89  Kenya 1,586
93  Senegal 192,530 531 2.76 91  Senegal 1,327
  Paracel Islands 7.75 518 66,800.00
94  Ivory Coast 318,003 515 1.62 105  Côte d'Ivoire 797
 Puerto Rico 8,870 501 56.50  Puerto Rico 1,094
95  Kuwait 17,818 499 28.00 107  Kuwait 756
96  Latvia 62,249 498 8.00 116  Latvia 566
97  Seychelles 455 491 1,080.00 109  Seychelles 747
98  Guyana 196,849 459 2.33 95  Guyana 1,154
99  Netherlands 33,893 451[Note 13] 13.30 81  Netherlands 1,914
100  Cambodia 176,515 443 2.51 96  Cambodia 1,127
101  Poland 312,679 440 1.40 99  Poland 1,032
102  Tonga 717 419 584.00 101  Tonga 909
103  Samoa 2,821 403 143.00 120  Samoa 463
104  Cameroon 469,440 402 0.86 83  Cameroon 1,799
104  Sierra Leone 71,620 402 5.61 86  Sierra Leone 1,677
106  Guatemala 107,159 400 4.00 122  Guatemala 445
 Turks and Caicos Islands 948 389 410.00
107  Belize 22,806 386 16.90 76  Belize 1,996
107  Suriname 156,000 386 2.47 114  Suriname 620
109  Marshall Islands 181 370.4 2,050.00 69  Marshall Islands 2,106
 Curacao 444 364 820.00
110  Albania 27,398 362 13.20 113  Albania 649
110  Trinidad and Tobago 5,128 362 70.60 110  Trinidad and Tobago 704
112  Bulgaria 108,489 354 3.26 121  Bulgaria 457
113  Guinea-Bissau 28,120 350 12.00 57  Guinea-Bissau 3,176
114  Comoros[Note 14] 2,235 340 150.00 119  Comoros 469
115  Guinea 245,717 320 1.30 87  Guinea 1,615
116  Djibouti 23,180 314 13.50 123  Djibouti 443
117  Georgia 69,700 310 4.40 124  Georgia 376
118  El Salvador 20,721 307 14.80 108  El Salvador 756
119  Equatorial Guinea 28,051 296 10.60 115  Equatorial Guinea 603
120  Montenegro 13,452 293.5 21.82
121  Israel 20,330 273 13.40 136  Israel 205
122  Lebanon 10,230 225 22.00 125  Lebanon 294
122  Romania 229,891 225 0.98 111  Romania 696
124  São Tomé and Príncipe 964 209 217.00 128  São Tomé and Príncipe 269
125  Malta 316 252.81 800.00 137  Malta 198
126  Singapore 687 193 281.00 129  Singapore 268
126  Syria 183,630 193 1.05 134  Syria 212
 U.S. Virgin Islands 346 188 543.00  U.S. Virgin Islands 390
128  Mauritius 2,030 177 87.20 118  Mauritius 496
129  Republic of the Congo 341,500 169 0.50 135  Congo, Republic of the 205
130  Bahrain 760 161 210.00 132  Bahrain 255
130  Brunei 5,265 161 30.60 127  Brunei 269
 Cayman Islands 264 160 610.00
 Isle of Man 572 160 280.00
132  Saint Lucia 606 158 261.00 139  Saint Lucia 166
133  Antigua and Barbuda 442.6 153 346.00 126  Antigua and Barbuda 289
134  Dominica 751 148 197.00 141  Dominica 152
 Christmas Island 135 138.9 1,030.00
135  Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 135 517.00
 Wallis and Futuna 142 129 908.00
 Guam 544 125.5 231.00
 Jan Mayen 377 124.1 329.00
136  Benin 110,622 121 1.09 140  Benin 153
136  Grenada 344 121 352.00 133  Grenada 252
138  Cook Islands 236 120 510.00
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 242 120 500.00
 American Samoa 199 116 583.00
 Bermuda 54 103 1,900.00  Bermuda 180
 Heard Island and McDonald Islands 412 101.9 247.00
 Tokelau 12 101 8,400.00
 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 308 100[Note 15] 400.00
139  Barbados 430 97 230.00 143  Barbados 97
140  Lithuania 62,680 90 1.00 131  Lithuania 258
 United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges 22.41 85.7 3,820.00
141  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 84 220.00 130  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 264
 Akrotiri and Dhekelia 253.8[7] 83.8 330.00
 British Virgin Islands 151 80 500.00
142  The Gambia 10,000 80 8.00 117  Gambia 503
 Ashmore and Cartier Islands 5 74.1 10,000.00
 Jersey 116 70 600.00
 Aruba 180 68.5 380.00  Aruba 107
143  Belgium 30,278 66.5 2.20 144  Belgium 76
144  Niue 260 64 250.00
 Anguilla 91 61 670.00
 Saint Martin 54.4 58.9[Note 16] 1,000.00
145  Iraq 437,367 58 0.13 142  Iraq 105
146  Togo 54,385 56 1.00 145  Togo 53
 Pitcairn Islands 47 51 1,100.00
 Guernsey 78 50 600.00
147  Slovenia 20,151 46.6 2.31 146  Slovenia 41
 Macau 28.2 41 1,500.00  Macau 36
 Gaza Strip 360 40 100.00
 Montserrat 102 40 400.00
148  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,267,048 37 0.02 138  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 177
 Norfolk Island 36 32 890.00
149  Nauru 21 30 1,000.00
 Bouvet Island 49 29.6 610.00
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands 14 26 1,900.00
150  Jordan 88,802 26 0.29 147  Jordan 27
151  Tuvalu 26 24 920.00
152  Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,187 20 0.40 148  Bosnia and Herzegovina 23
 Wake Island 6.5 19.3 3,000.00
 Gibraltar 6.5 12 1,800.00
 Clipperton Island 6 11.1 2,000.00
 Navassa Island 5.4 8 1,000.00
153  Monaco 2 4.1 2,000.00
 Saint Barthelemy 21 NA NA
 Sint Maarten 34 NA[Note 17] 1,000.00
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 3,903 NA NA
154  Kazakhstan 2,699,700 0[Note 18] 0.00 48  Kazakhstan 4,528
154  Turkmenistan 469,930 0[Note 19] 0.00 93  Turkmenistan 1,289
154  Azerbaijan 82,629 0[Note 20] 0.00 103  Azerbaijan 871
154  Uzbekistan 425,400 0[Note 21] 0.00 85  Uzbekistan 1,707
154  Afghanistan 652,230 0 0.00 149  Afghanistan 0
154  Andorra 468 0 0.00
154  Armenia 28,203 0 0.00 149  Armenia 0
154  Austria 82,445 0 0.00 149  Austria 0
154  Belarus 202,900 0 0.00 149  Belarus 0
154  Bhutan 38,394 0 0.00 149  Bhutan 0
154  Bolivia 1,083,301 0 0.00 149  Bolivia 0
154  Botswana 566,730 0 0.00 149  Botswana 0
154  Burkina Faso 273,800 0 0.00 149  Burkina Faso 0
154  Burundi 25,680 0 0.00 149  Burundi 0
154  Central African Republic 622,984 0 0.00 149  Central African Republic 0
154  Chad 1,259,200 0 0.00 149  Chad 0
154  Czech Republic 77,247 0 0.00 149  Czech Republic 0
154  Ethiopia 1,000,000 0 0.00 149  Ethiopia 0
154  Hungary 89,608 0 0.00 149  Hungary 0
154  Kyrgyzstan 191,801 0 0.00 149  Kyrgyzstan 0
154  Laos 230,800 0 0.00 149  Laos 0
154  Lesotho 30,355 0 0.00 149  Lesotho 0
154  Liechtenstein 160 0 0.00
154  Luxembourg 2,586 0 0.00 149  Luxembourg 0
154  Macedonia 25,433 0 0.00 149  Macedonia, Republic of 0
154  Malawi 94,080 0 0.00 149  Malawi 0
154  Mali 1,220,190 0 0.00 149  Mali 0
154  Moldova 32,891 0 0.00 149  Moldova 0
154  Mongolia 1,553,556 0 0.00 149  Mongolia 0
154    Nepal 143,351 0 0.00 149    Nepal 0
154  Niger 1,266,700 0 0.00 149  Niger 0
154  Paraguay 397,302 0 0.00 149  Paraguay 0
154  Rwanda 24,668 0 0.00 149  Rwanda 0
154  San Marino 61 0 0.00
154  Serbia 88,361 0 0.00
154  Slovakia 48,105 0 0.00 149  Slovakia 0
154  South Sudan 644,329[7] 0 0.00
154  Swaziland 17,204 0 0.00 149  Swaziland 0
154   Switzerland 39,997 0 0.00 149   Switzerland 0
154  Tajikistan 141,510 0 0.00 149  Tajikistan 0
154  Uganda 197,100 0 0.00 149  Uganda 0
154   Vatican City 0.44 0 0.00
 West Bank 5,640 0 0.00
154  Zambia 743,398 0 0.00 149  Zambia 0
154  Zimbabwe 386,847 0 0.00 149  Zimbabwe 0
 French Guiana 763
 Guadeloupe 581
 Martinique 369
 Netherlands Antilles 361
 Réunion 219

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The smaller the scale interval mathematically, the more detailed and the "greater the scale of the map", in common usage. See scale (map).
  2. ^ World total includes countries not listed and coastline for disputed areas.
  3. ^ 95 nations and other entities are islands that border no other countries. For list, see reference below: "CIA World Factbook: Coastline".
  4. ^ Greenland is an autonomous country within Denmark.
  5. ^ According to the Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA), the Norwegian coastline, including fjords, islands and Svalbard, is as much as 100,915 km. Source: NMA. Statistics Norway report the same figures Land area and length of coastline.
  6. ^ Includes coastline length for the Canary Islands.
  7. ^ Data includes Metropolitan France and the five overseas regions.
  8. ^ Excludes minor outlying islands.
  9. ^ Does not include Ile Saint-Paul and Iles Crozet (data unavailable) or Adelie Land claim to Antarctica.
  10. ^ Iran has an additional 740 km of coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  11. ^ Includes coastline in the Gulf of Fonseca (163 km).
  12. ^ Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China
  13. ^ In 1900, the Dutch coastline measured approximately 1400 km. It has significantly been reduced by the closing of the Zuiderzee by the Afsluitdijk in 1932 (250 km) and the closing of several sea arms by the Delta Works (700 km).
  14. ^ Figures include Mayotte, which is administered by France.
  15. ^ Excluding Ascension Island (data unavailable).
  16. ^ Figure represents coastline of entire island, including Sint Maarten (administered by the Netherlands).
  17. ^ Coastline included in figure for Saint Martin (administered by France).
  18. ^ Kazakhstan has a coastline with the Aral and Caspian seas (both landlocked) with a total length of 2,964 km.
  19. ^ Turkmenistan has a coastline with the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked, with a total length of 1,768 km.
  20. ^ Azerbaijan has a 713-km coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  21. ^ Uzbekistan has a 420-km coastline along the Aral Sea, which is landlocked.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Measuring the Size of Britains Coast (German): https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/K%C3%BCstenl%C3%A4nge_Gro%C3%9Fbritanniens.pdf
  2. ^ a b "Coastal and Marine Ecosystems — Marine Jurisdictions: Coastline length". World Resources Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  3. ^ CIA World Factbook: Area
  4. ^ CIA World Factbook: Coastline
  5. ^ See File:Canada topo.jpg.
  6. ^ See File:Russland topo.png.
  7. ^ a b c d Figure represents total area rather than land area.
  8. ^ a b Includes coastline of minor outlying islands.

Further reading[edit]