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 articles 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)
 World 148,940,000 356,000 2.39
1  Canada[5] 9,984,670 202,080 22.22
2  Indonesia 1,811,569 54,716 30.20
 Greenland[Note 2] 2,166,086 44,087 20.35
3  Russia[6] 16,377,742 37,653 2.30
4  Philippines 298,170 36,289 121.71
5  Japan 364,485 29,751 81.63
6  Australia 7,682,300 25,760 3.35
7  Norway 304,282 25,148[Note 3] 82.65
8  United States 9,161,966 19,924 2.17
 Antarctica 14,000,000 17,968 1.30
9  New Zealand 267,710[7] 15,134 56.53
10  China 9,569,901 14,500 1.52
11  Greece 131,957 13,676 104.68
12  United Kingdom 241,930 12,429 51.37
13  Mexico 1,943,945 9,330 4.80
14  Italy 294,140 7,600 26.00
15  Brazil 8,459,417 7,491 0.89
16  Denmark 42,434 7,314 172.40
17  Turkey 783,562 7,200 9.40
18  India 2,973,193 7,000 2.00
19  Chile 743,812 6,435 8.65
20  Croatia 55,974 6,268[8] 104.20
21  Federated States of Micronesia 702 6,112 8,710.00
22  Solomon Islands 27,986 5,313 189.80
23  Papua New Guinea 452,860 5,152 11.38
24  Argentina 2,736,690 4,989 1.82
25  Iceland 100,250 4,970 49.60
26  Spain 498,980 4,964 9.95
27  France[Note 4] 640,427 4,853 7.58
28  Madagascar 581,540 4,828 8.30
29  Malaysia 328,657 4,675 14.22
30  Estonia 42,388 3,794 89.51
31  Cuba 109,820 3,735 34.01
 Svalbard 62,045 3,587 57.81
32  The Bahamas 10,010 3,542 353.80
33  Vietnam 310,070 3,444[Note 5] 11.11
34  Thailand 510,890 3,219 6.30
35  Sweden 410,335 3,218 7.84
36  Colombia 1,038,700 3,208 3.09
 Coral Sea Islands <3 3,095 >1,000,000
37  Somalia 627,337 3,025 4.82
 French Southern and Antarctic Lands 7,667.6 2,948.4[Note 6] 400.00
38  Venezuela 882,050 2,800 3.20
39  South Africa 1,214,470 2,798 2.30
40  Ukraine 579,330 2,782 4.80
41  Saudi Arabia 2,149,690 2,640 1.23
42  Vanuatu 12,189 2,528 207.40
 French Polynesia 3,827 2,525 659.80
43  North Korea 120,408 2,495 20.72
44  Panama 74,340 2,490 33.50
45  Mozambique 786,380 2,470 3.14
46  Egypt 995,450 2,450 2.46
47  Iran 1,531,595 2,440[Note 7] 1.59
48  Peru 1,279,996 2,414 1.89
49  South Korea 96,920 2,413 24.90
50  Germany 348,672 2,389 6.85
 New Caledonia 18,275 2,254 123.30
51  Ecuador 276,841 2,237 8.08
52  Eritrea 101,000 2,234[8] 22.10
53  Oman 309,500 2,092 6.76
54  Burma 653,508 1,930 2.95
55  Yemen 527,968 1,906 3.61
56  Morocco 446,300 1,835 4.14
57  Portugal 91,470 1,793 19.60
58  Haiti 27,560 1,771 64.26
59  Libya 1,759,540 1,770 1.01
60  Angola 1,246,700 1,600 1.30
61  Namibia 823,290 1,572 1.91
62  Taiwan 32,260 1,566.3 48.55
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
65  Tanzania 885,800 1,424 1.61
66  Sri Lanka 64,630 1,340 20.70
67  United Arab Emirates 83,600 1,318 15.80
68  Costa Rica 51,060 1,290 25.30
69  Dominican Republic 48,320 1,288 26.66
 Falkland Islands 12,173 1,288 105.80
70  Finland 303,815 1,250 4.11
71  Tunisia 155,360 1,148 7.39
72  Kiribati 811 1,143 1,410.00
73  Fiji 18,274 1,129 61.78
 Faroe Islands 1,393 1,117 801.90
 Western Sahara 266,000 1,110 4.17
74  Pakistan 881,912 1,046 1.36
75  Jamaica 10,831 1,022 94.36
76  Algeria 2,381,741 998 0.42
77  Cape Verde 4,033 965 239.00
  Spratly Islands <5 926 ≥200,000
78  Nicaragua 119,990 910 7.60
79  Gabon 257,667 885 3.43
80  Nigeria 910,768 853 0.94
80  Sudan 1,861,484[7] 853 0.46
82  Honduras 111,890 832[Note 8] 7.44
83  Mauritania 1,030,700 754 0.73
 Hong Kong[Note 9] 1,054 733 695.00
84  Timor-Leste 14,874 706 47.50
 British Indian Ocean Territory 60 698 10,000.00
85  Uruguay 175,015 660 3.80
86  Cyprus 9,241 648 70.10
87  Maldives 298 644 2,160.00
88  Bangladesh 130,168 580 4.50
89  Liberia 96,320 579 6.01
90  Qatar 11,586 563 48.60
91  Ghana 227,533 539 2.37
92  Kenya 569,140 536 0.94
93  Senegal 192,530 531 2.76
  Paracel Islands 7.75 518 66,800.00
94  Ivory Coast 318,003 515 1.62
 Puerto Rico 8,870 501 56.50
95  Kuwait 17,818 499 28.00
96  Latvia 62,249 498 8.00
97  Seychelles 455 491 1,080.00
98  Guyana 196,849 459 2.33
99  Netherlands 33,893 451[Note 10] 13.30
100  Cambodia 176,515 443 2.51
101  Poland 312,679 440 1.40
102  Tonga 717 419 584.00
103  Samoa 2,821 403 143.00
104  Cameroon 469,440 402 0.86
104  Sierra Leone 71,620 402 5.61
106  Guatemala 107,159 400 4.00
 Turks and Caicos Islands 948 389 410.00
107  Belize 22,806 386 16.90
107  Suriname 156,000 386 2.47
109  Marshall Islands 181 370.4 2,050.00
 Curacao 444 364 820.00
110  Albania 27,398 362 13.20
110  Trinidad and Tobago 5,128 362 70.60
112  Bulgaria 108,489 354 3.26
113  Guinea-Bissau 28,120 350 12.00
114  Comoros[Note 11] 2,235 340 150.00
115  Guinea 245,717 320 1.30
116  Djibouti 23,180 314 13.50
117  Georgia 69,700 310 4.40
118  El Salvador 20,721 307 14.80
119  Equatorial Guinea 28,051 296 10.60
120  Montenegro 13,452 293.5 21.82
121  Israel 20,330 273 13.40
122  Lebanon 10,230 225 22.00
122  Romania 229,891 225 0.98
124  São Tomé and Príncipe 964 209 217.00
125  Malta 316 252.81 800.00
126  Singapore 687 193 281.00
126  Syria 183,630 193 1.05
 U.S. Virgin Islands 346 188 543.00
128  Mauritius 2,030 177 87.20
129  Republic of the Congo 341,500 169 0.50
130  Bahrain 760 161 210.00
130  Brunei 5,265 161 30.60
 Cayman Islands 264 160 610.00
 Isle of Man 572 160 280.00
132  Saint Lucia 606 158 261.00
133  Antigua and Barbuda 442.6 153 346.00
134  Dominica 751 148 197.00
 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
136  Grenada 344 121 352.00
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
 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 12] 400.00
139  Barbados 430 97 230.00
140  Lithuania 62,680 90 1.00
 United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges 22.41 85.7 3,820.00
141  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 84 220.00
 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
 Ashmore and Cartier Islands 5 74.1 10,000.00
 Jersey 116 70 600.00
 Aruba 180 68.5 380.00
143  Belgium 30,278 66.5 2.20
144  Niue 260 64 250.00
 Anguilla 91 61 670.00
 Saint Martin 54.4 58.9[Note 13] 1,000.00
145  Iraq 437,367 58 0.13
146  Togo 54,385 56 1.00
 Pitcairn Islands 47 51 1,100.00
 Guernsey 78 50 600.00
147  Slovenia 20,151 46.6 2.31
 Macau 28.2 41 1,500.00
 Gaza Strip 360 40 100.00
 Montserrat 102 40 400.00
148  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,267,048 37 0.02
 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
151  Tuvalu 26 24 920.00
152  Bosnia and Herzegovina 51,187 20 0.40
 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 14] 1,000.00
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 3,903 NA NA
154  Kazakhstan 2,699,700 0[Note 15] 0.00
154  Turkmenistan 469,930 0[Note 16] 0.00
154  Azerbaijan 82,629 0[Note 17] 0.00
154  Uzbekistan 425,400 0[Note 18] 0.00
154  Afghanistan 652,230 0 0.00
154  Andorra 468 0 0.00
154  Armenia 28,203 0 0.00
154  Austria 82,445 0 0.00
154  Belarus 202,900 0 0.00
154  Bhutan 38,394 0 0.00
154  Bolivia 1,083,301 0 0.00
154  Botswana 566,730 0 0.00
154  Burkina Faso 273,800 0 0.00
154  Burundi 25,680 0 0.00
154  Central African Republic 622,984 0 0.00
154  Chad 1,259,200 0 0.00
154  Czech Republic 77,247 0 0.00
154  Ethiopia 1,000,000 0 0.00
154  Hungary 89,608 0 0.00
154  Kyrgyzstan 191,801 0 0.00
154  Laos 230,800 0 0.00
154  Lesotho 30,355 0 0.00
154  Liechtenstein 160 0 0.00
154  Luxembourg 2,586 0 0.00
154  Macedonia 25,433 0 0.00
154  Malawi 94,080 0 0.00
154  Mali 1,220,190 0 0.00
154  Moldova 32,891 0 0.00
154  Mongolia 1,553,556 0 0.00
154    Nepal 143,351 0 0.00
154  Niger 1,266,700 0 0.00
154  Paraguay 397,302 0 0.00
154  Rwanda 24,668 0 0.00
154  San Marino 61 0 0.00
154  Serbia 88,361 0 0.00
154  Slovakia 48,105 0 0.00
154  South Sudan 644,329[7] 0 0.00
154  Swaziland 17,204 0 0.00
154   Switzerland 39,997 0 0.00
154  Tajikistan 141,510 0 0.00
154  Uganda 197,100 0 0.00
154   Vatican City 0.44 0 0.00
 West Bank 5,640 0 0.00
154  Zambia 743,398 0 0.00
154  Zimbabwe 386,847 0 0.00
Rank Country Coastline
(km)[2]
 World[Note 19] 1,634,701
1  Canada 265,523
2  United States 133,312
3  Russia 110,310
4  Indonesia 95,181
5  Chile 78,563
6  Australia 66,530
7  Norway 53,199
8  Philippines 33,900
9  Brazil 33,379
10  Finland 31,119
11  China 30,017
12  Japan 29,020
13  Sweden 26,384
14  Mexico 23,761
15  Papua New Guinea 20,197
16  United Kingdom 19,717
17  New Zealand 17,209
18  India 17,181
19  Greece 15,147
20  Burma 14,708
21  Cuba 14,519
22  Korea, South 12,478
23  Vietnam 11,409
24  Bahamas, The 11,238
25  Madagascar 9,935
26  Solomon Islands 9,880
27  Malaysia 9,323
28  Italy 9,226
29  Iceland 8,506
30  Argentina 8,397
31  Turkey 8,140
32  Saudi Arabia 7,572
33  France 7,330
34  Spain[Note 20] 7,268
35  Thailand 7,066
36  Mozambique 6,942
37  Venezuela 6,762
38  Ireland 6,437
39  Egypt 5,898
40  Iran 5,891
41  Colombia 5,875
 French Polynesia 5,830
42  Croatia 5,664
43  Panama 5,637
44  Denmark 5,316
45  Ukraine 4,953
46  Fiji 4,638
47  Ecuador 4,597
48  Kazakhstan 4,528
49  Korea, North 4,009
50  Somalia 3,898
51  South Africa 3,751
52  Germany 3,624
 New Caledonia 3,624
53  Tanzania 3,461
54  Eritrea 3,446
55  Peru 3,362
56  Bangladesh 3,306
57  Guinea-Bissau 3,176
58  Yemen 3,149
59  Vanuatu 3,132
60  Nigeria 3,122
61  Estonia 2,956
62  United Arab Emirates 2,871
63  Portugal 2,830
64  Sri Lanka 2,825
65  Oman 2,810
66  Pakistan 2,599
67  Angola 2,252
68  Sudan 2,245
69  Marshall Islands 2,106
70  Costa Rica 2,069
71  Libya 2,025
72  Gabon 2,019
73  Morocco 2,009
74  Taiwan 2,007
75  Maldives 2,002
76  Belize 1,996
77  Haiti 1,977
78  Kiribati 1,961
79  Tunisia 1,927
80  Nicaragua 1,915
81  Netherlands 1,914
82  Honduras 1,878
83  Cameroon 1,799
84  Namibia 1,754
85  Uzbekistan 1,707
86  Sierra Leone 1,677
87  Guinea 1,615
88  Dominican Republic 1,612
89  Kenya 1,586
90  Algeria 1,557
91  Senegal 1,327
92  Micronesia, Federated States of 1,295
93  Turkmenistan 1,289
94  Mauritania 1,268
95  Guyana 1,154
96  Cambodia 1,127
97  Cape Verde 1,121
98  Uruguay 1,096
 Puerto Rico 1,094
99  Poland 1,032
 Hong Kong 955
100  Qatar 909
101  Tonga 909
102  Jamaica 895
103  Azerbaijan 871
104  Liberia 842
105  Côte d'Ivoire 797
 French Guiana 763
106  Ghana 758
107  Kuwait 756
108  El Salvador 756
109  Seychelles 747
110  Trinidad and Tobago 704
111  Romania 696
112  Cyprus 671
113  Albania 649
114  Suriname 620
115  Equatorial Guinea 603
 Guadeloupe 581
116  Latvia 566
117  Gambia 503
118  Mauritius 496
119  Comoros 469
120  Samoa 463
121  Bulgaria 457
122  Guatemala 445
123  Djibouti 443
 U.S. Virgin Islands 390
124  Georgia 376
 Martinique 369
 Netherlands Antilles 361
125  Lebanon 294
126  Antigua and Barbuda 289
127  Brunei 269
128  São Tomé and Príncipe 269
129  Singapore 268
130  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 264
131  Lithuania 258
132  Bahrain 255
133  Grenada 252
 Réunion 219
134  Syria 212
135  Congo, Republic of the 205
136  Israel 205
137  Malta 198
 Bermuda 180
138  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 177
139  Saint Lucia 166
140  Benin 153
141  Dominica 152
 Aruba 107
142  Iraq 105
143  Barbados 97
144  Belgium 76
145  Togo 53
146  Slovenia 41
 Macau 36
147  Jordan 27
148  Bosnia and Herzegovina 23
149  Afghanistan 0
149  Armenia 0
149  Austria 0
149  Belarus 0
149  Bhutan 0
149  Bolivia 0
149  Botswana 0
149  Burkina Faso 0
149  Burundi 0
149  Central African Republic 0
149  Chad 0
149  Czech Republic 0
149  Ethiopia 0
149  Hungary 0
149  Kyrgyzstan 0
149  Laos 0
149  Lesotho 0
149  Luxembourg 0
149  Macedonia, Republic of 0
149  Malawi 0
149  Mali 0
149  Moldova 0
149  Mongolia 0
149    Nepal 0
149  Niger 0
149  Paraguay 0
149  Rwanda 0
149  Slovakia 0
149  Swaziland 0
149   Switzerland 0
149  Tajikistan 0
149  Uganda 0
149  Zambia 0
149  Zimbabwe 0

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. ^ Greenland is an autonomous country within Denmark.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Data includes Metropolitan France and the five overseas regions.
  5. ^ Excludes minor outlying islands.
  6. ^ Does not include Ile Saint-Paul and Iles Crozet (data unavailable) or Adelie Land claim to Antarctica.
  7. ^ Iran has an additional 740 km of coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  8. ^ Includes coastline in the Gulf of Fonseca (163 km).
  9. ^ Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China
  10. ^ 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).
  11. ^ Figures include Mayotte, which is administered by France.
  12. ^ Excluding Ascension Island (data unavailable).
  13. ^ Figure represents coastline of entire island, including Sint Maarten (administered by the Netherlands).
  14. ^ Coastline included in figure for Saint Martin (administered by France).
  15. ^ Kazakhstan has a coastline with the Aral and Caspian seas (both landlocked) with a total length of 2,964 km.
  16. ^ Turkmenistan has a coastline with the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked, with a total length of 1,768 km.
  17. ^ Azerbaijan has a 713-km coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  18. ^ Uzbekistan has a 420-km coastline along the Aral Sea, which is landlocked.
  19. ^ World total includes countries not listed and coastline for disputed areas.
  20. ^ Includes coastline length for the Canary Islands.

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]