What Is The Largest Country In Africa By Land Area?

You have probably seen one of those images showing how you can fit a few continents inside Africa. It’s no exaggeration.  At 30.2 million square kilometers1, Africa is massive. It is the second largest continent and takes up just over twenty percent of the earth’s total land area. To put that into perspective, think about this: Europe is 10.18 million square kilometers1 and South America is 17.8 million square kilometers1. Both Europe and South America can fit inside Africa!

How Big Is Algeria by Land Area and Population?

So, what is this huge continent’s largest country? If you guessed Algeria, you are right. It measures 2.38 million square kilometers2 and is the world’s 10th biggest country by land size.

Algeria has been Africa’s largest country by land size since 2011. Before that the mantle was carried by Sudan.  Sudan split into two countries, Sudan and South Sudan. Even after splitting, Sudan is still the 3rd largest country in Africa measuring 1.88 million square kilometres2. The Democratic Republic of Congo is second at 2.34 million square kilometers2. 

Africa has 54 countries. In terms of population, Algeria is the 9th most populous, with close to 44 million3 people. Nigeria is by far the most populous country with more than two hundred million people. That’s one fifth of Africa’s population. Ethiopia and Egypt are 2nd and 3rd with 114 million3 people and 102 million3 people, respectively.

How Algeria Compare In Other Ways

Algeria is a large desert country. Home to the largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara. The Sahara spans across eleven countries. Algeria hosts the biggest portion of the Sahara compared to the other ten countries. 20% of the Sahara is in Algeria. 

The Sahara is not just sand. It has oases, rocks and even treasures beneath the ground.  Algeria has more oases than the other countries in the Sahara. Crude oil and natural gas are also abundant in the Sahara. Although Algeria is not Africa’s largest producer of oil, it has the largest oil refinery. It’s located in the city of Skikda. Algeria does however take the prize for the largest producer of natural gas in Africa!

About refineries, Algeria is home to the largest sugar refinery in the world. Algeria has a huge agriculture industry, mostly producing cereals and fruits. It one of the world’s top producers of dates, figs and watermelons. But sugar does not grow well in Algeria. They import almost all of it in raw form. Then refine it for domestic use. 

Did I mention it’s hot in Algeria? Well, it’s not Africa’s hottest country but it is home to Africa’s hottest hot spring, the Hammam Chellala! The water temperature reaches ninety-eight Degrees Celsius. Hot enough to boil an egg! 

Find out more about Algeria

There’s a whole lot more to learn about Algeria. And we have written a book all about Algeria it in our Kids Adventures in Africa book series.  Click here to find out more about this awesome country!


  • https://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/continents/Land.shtml
  • https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/largest-countries-in-africa
  • https://www.worldometers.info/population/countries-in-africa-by-population/ 

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