Those of you, who have always wondered which is the largest country in the world, need not look any further, as that question will be definitively answered here.
There are as many as 233 countries around the world. The criteria of being the largest, is a bit ambiguous. It could mean the largest country by area (land mass) or by population.
By Area - Russia
The largest country, by land mass is Russia, which is the biggest part of what was once U.S.S.R and it exists as a semi-presidential republic today. It covers more than a ninth of the Earth's total land mass. It covers a total area of 6,612,100 square miles (17,125,200 square kilometers), which constitutes about 11.5% of the Earth's total land mass.
The total land area on Earth is 197 million square miles or 510 million square kilometers. Situated in Eurasia, Russia extends across the whole of Northern part of Asia and about 40% of European land mass. It spans about 11 different time zones, with a variety of land forms and all kinds of climate conditions.
Russia has the world's biggest reserves of energy and minerals. It is still, unarguably, a superpower when it comes to energy resources. It also is fortunate enough to have the greatest forest reserves in the world, along with roughly 25% of the world's unfrozen freshwater reserves, in its lakes.
About 143 million people inhabit this country and it is the ninth most populous country in the world. Due to the abundant forest reserves in Russia, it is also known as the 'lungs of Europe'.
The country has the largest lake in the world, by volume, which is Baikal and it is also the deepest one in the world. Mount Elbrus, in Russia, is the highest topographical point in the whole of Europe. It also contains about 10% of the world's total arable land.
The country has 100,000 rivers, out of which, the Volga is the longest river in the whole of Europe. The country is home to about 266 species of mammals and about 780 species of birds.
By Population - China
If one considers what really forms a country, is the people, then the largest one, by population, is China, that is the 'People's Republic of China', with a total population of 1,415,516,131 people and counting.
About 19.62% of the world's population, lives in China. With about 3.7 million square miles of land area, it is the second largest country by land area and the fourth largest by total area. Currently, it is the third biggest economy in the world. It has a 14,500 km long coastline.
With so much population, China holds the title of the fastest aging country in the world too. The 'Three Gorges Dam' in China, is the biggest dam in the world.