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List of countries by length of coastline

An example of the coastline paradox. If the coastline of Great 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.

Contents

OverviewEdit

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]

  • Data marked The World Factbook or TWF covers 198 countries and 55 territories, from the book published by the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition to coastline lengths, this is the source of the land area used to calculate the "coast/area ratio" for both TWF and WRI (see below) coastline measurement. This ratio 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.
  • Data marked World Resources Institute or WRI covers 182 independent countries and 13 dependencies, 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 scale. 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]

ListEdit

Note: non-sovereign areas in italic

Country The World Factbook[3] World Resources Institute[2] Land area
km2 (TWF)[4]
Coast/area ratio (m/km2)
# km # km (TWF) (WRI)
 World[Note 2] 1,162,306 1,634,701 148,940,000 7.80 11.0
 Others[Note 3] 356,000
  Canada 1 202,080 1 265,523 9,093,507 22.2 29.2
  Norway 2 58,133 7 53,199 304,282 191 175
  Indonesia 3 54,720 4 95,181 1,811,569 30.2 52.5
  Greenland[Note 4] 44,087 2,166,086 20.4
  Russia 4 37,653[Note 5] 3 110,310 16,377,742 2.30 6.74
  Philippines 5 36,289 8 33,900 341,353 122 114
  Japan 6 29,751 12 29,020 364,485 81.6 79.6
  Australia 7 25,760 6 66,530 7,682,300 3.35 8.66
  United States 8 19,924 2 133,312 9,147,593 2.18 14.6
  Antarctica 17,968 14,000,000 1.28
  New Zealand 9 15,134 17 17,209 264,537 57.2 65.1
  China 10 14,500 11 30,017 9,326,410 1.55 3.22
  Greece 11 13,676 19 15,147 131,957 104 115
  United Kingdom 12 12,429 16 19,717 241,930 51.4 81.5
  Mexico 13 9,330 14 23,761 1,943,945 4.80 12.2
  Italy 14 7,782 28 9,226 294,140 25.8 31.4
  Denmark 15 7,314 44 5,316 42,434 172 125
  Turkey 16 7,200 31 8,140 783,562 9.19 10.4
  India 17 7,500 18 17,181 2,973,193 2.35 5.78
  Chile 18 6,435 5 78,563 743,812 8.65 106
  Brazil 19 7,491 9 33,379 8,459,417 0.886 3.95
  Micronesia, Federated States of 20 6,112 92 1,295 702 8,710 1,840
  Croatia 21 5,835[5] 42 5,664 55,974 112 101
  Solomon Islands 22 5,313 26 9,880 27,986 190 353
  Papua New Guinea 23 5,152 15 20,197 452,860 11.4 44.6
  Argentina 24 4,989 30 8,397 2,736,690 1.82 3.07
  Iceland 25 4,970 29 8,506 100,250 49.6 84.8
  Spain[Note 6] 26 4,964 34 7,268 498,980 9.95 14.6
  Metropolitan France 27 4,853 33 7,330 640,427 7.58 11.4
  Madagascar 28 4,828 25 9,935 581,540 8.30 17.1
  Malaysia 29 4,675 27 9,323 328,657 14.2 28.4
  Estonia 30 3,794 61 2,956 42,388 89.5 69.7
  Cuba 31 3,735 21 14,519 109,820 34.0 132
  Svalbard 3,587 62,045 57.8
  Bahamas, The 32 3,542 24 11,238 10,010 354 1,120
  Vietnam 33 3,444[Note 7] 23 11,409 310,070 11.1 36.8
  Thailand 34 3,219 35 7,066 510,890 6.30 13.8
  Sweden 35 3,218 13 26,384 410,335 7.84 64.3
  Colombia 36 3,208 41 5,875 1,038,700 3.09 5.66
  Coral Sea Islands 3,095 <3 >1,000,000
  Somalia 37 3,333 50 3,898 627,337 5.31 6.21
  Iran 38 3,294[Note 8] 40 5,891 1,636,100 1.59 3.85
  French Southern and Antarctic Lands 2,948.4[Note 9] 7,667.6 385
  Venezuela 39 2,800 37 6,762 882,050 3.17 7.67
  South Africa 40 2,798 51 3,751 1,214,470 2.30 3.09
  Ukraine 41 2,782 45 4,953 579,330 4.80 8.55
  Saudi Arabia 42 2,640 32 7,572 2,149,690 1.23 3.52
  Vanuatu 43 2,528 59 3,132 12,189 207 257
  French Polynesia 2,525 5,830 3,827 660 1,520
  Korea, North 44 2,495 49 4,009 120,408 20.7 33.3
  Panama 45 2,490 43 5,637 74,340 33.5 75.8
  Mozambique 46 2,470 36 6,942 786,380 3.14 8.83
  Egypt 47 2,450 39 5,898 995,450 2.46 5.92
  Peru 48 2,414 55 3,362 1,279,996 1.89 2.63
  Korea, South 49 2,413 22 12,478 96,920 24.9 129
  Germany 50 2,389 52 3,624 348,672 6.85 10.4
  New Caledonia 2,254 3,624 18,275 123 198
  Ecuador 51 2,237 47 4,597 276,841 8.08 16.6
  Eritrea 52 2,234[5] 54 3,446 101,000 22.1 34.1
  Oman 53 2,092 65 2,810 309,500 6.76 9.08
  Burma 54 1,930 20 14,708 653,508 2.95 22.5
  Yemen 55 1,906 58 3,149 527,968 3.61 5.96
  Morocco 56 1,835 73 2,009 446,300 4.11 4.50
  Portugal 57 1,793 63 2,830 91,470 19.6 30.9
  Haiti 58 1,771 77 1,977 27,560 64.3 71.7
  Libya 59 1,770 71 2,025 1,759,540 1.01 1.15
  Angola 60 1,600 67 2,252 1,246,700 1.28 1.81
  Namibia 61 1,572 84 1,754 823,290 1.91 2.13
  Taiwan 62 1,566.3 74 2,007 32,260 48.6 62.2
  Palau 63 1,519 459 3,310
  Northern Mariana Islands 1,482 464 3,190
  Ireland 64 1,448 38 6,437 68,883 21.0 93.4
  Tanzania 65 1,424 53 3,461 885,800 1.61 3.91
  Sri Lanka 66 1,340 64 2,825 64,630 20.7 43.7
  United Arab Emirates 67 1,318 62 2,871 83,600 15.8 34.3
  Costa Rica 68 1,290 70 2,069 51,060 25.3 40.5
  Dominican Republic 69 1,288 88 1,612 48,320 26.7 33.4
  Falkland Islands 1,288 12,173 106
  Finland 70 1,250 10 31,119 303,815 4.11 102
  Tunisia 71 1,148 79 1,927 155,360 7.39 12.4
  Kiribati 72 1,143 78 1,961 811 1,410 2,420
  Fiji 73 1,129 46 4,638 18,274 61.8 254
  Faroe Islands 1,117 1,393 802
Western Sahara 1,110 266,000 4.17
  Pakistan 74 1,046 66 2,599 881,912 1.19 2.95
  Jamaica 75 1,022 102 895 10,831 94.4 82.6
  Algeria 76 998 90 1,557 2,381,741 0.419 0.654
  Cape Verde 77 965 97 1,121 4,033 239 278
  Spratly Islands 926 <5 >200,000
  Nicaragua 78 910 80 1,915 119,990 7.58 16.0
  Gabon 79 885 72 2,019 257,667 3.43 7.84
  Nigeria 80 853 60 3,122 910,768 0.937 3.43
  Sudan 81 853 68 2,245 1,861,484[6] 0.458 1.21
  Honduras 82 832[Note 10] 82 1,878 111,890 7.44 16.8
  Mauritania 83 754 94 1,268 1,030,700 0.732 1.23
  Hong Kong 733 955 1,054 695 906
  Timor-Leste 84 706 14,874 47.5
  British Indian Ocean Territory 698 60 11,600
  Uruguay 85 660 98 1,096 175,015 3.77 6.26
  Cyprus 86 648 112 671 9,241 70.1 72.6
  Maldives 87 644 75 2,002 298 2,160 6,720
  Bangladesh 88 580 56 3,306 130,168 4.46 25.4
  Liberia 89 579 104 842 96,320 6.01 8.74
  Qatar 90 563 100 909 11,586 48.6 78.5
  Ghana 91 539 106 758 227,533 2.37 3.33
  Kenya 92 536 89 1,586 569,140 0.942 2.79
  Senegal 93 531 91 1,327 192,530 2.76 6.89
  Paracel Islands 518 7.75 66,800
  Côte d'Ivoire 94 515 105 797 318,003 1.62 2.51
  Puerto Rico 501 1,094 8,870 56.5 123
  Kuwait 95 499 107 756 17,818 28.0 42.4
  Latvia 96 498 116 566 62,249 8.00 9.09
  Seychelles 97 491 109 747 455 1,080 1,640
  Guyana 98 459 95 1,154 196,849 2.33 5.86
  Netherlands 99 451[Note 11] 81 1,914 33,893 13.3 56.5
  Cambodia 100 443 96 1,127 176,515 2.51 6.38
  Poland 101 440 99 1,032 312,679 1.41 3.30
  Tonga 102 419 101 909 717 584 1,270
  Samoa 103 403 120 463 2,821 143 164
  Cameroon 104 402 83 1,799 469,440 0.856 3.83
  Sierra Leone 104 402 86 1,677 71,620 5.61 23.4
  Guatemala 106 400 122 445 107,159 3.73 4.15
  Turks and Caicos Islands 389 948 410
  Belize 107 386 76 1,996 22,806 16.9 87.5
  Suriname 107 386 114 620 156,000 2.47 3.97
  Marshall Islands 109 370.4 69 2,106 181 2,050 11,600
  Curaçao 364 444 820
  Albania 110 362 113 649 27,398 13.2 23.7
  Trinidad and Tobago 110 362 110 704 5,128 70.6 137
  Bulgaria 112 354 121 457 108,489 3.26 4.21
  Guinea-Bissau 113 350 57 3,176 28,120 12.4 113
  Comoros 114 340 119 469 2,235 152 210
  Guinea 115 320 87 1,615 245,717 1.30 6.57
  Djibouti 116 314 123 443 23,180 13.5 19.1
  Georgia 117 310 124 376 69,700 4.45 5.39
  El Salvador 118 307 108 756 20,721 14.8 36.5
  Equatorial Guinea 119 296 115 603 28,051 10.6 21.5
  Montenegro 120 293.5 13,812 51.37
  Israel 121 273[Note 12] 136 205 20,330 13.4 10.1
  Lebanon 122 225 125 294 10,230 22.0 28.7
  Romania 122 225 111 696 229,891 0.979 3.03
  São Tomé and Príncipe 124 209 128 269 964 217 279
  Malta 125 252.81 137 198 316 800 627
  Singapore 126 193 129 268 687 281 390
  Syria 126 193 134 212 183,630 1.05 1.15
  U.S. Virgin Islands 188 390 346 543 1,130
  Mauritius 128 177 118 496 2,030 87.2 244
  Congo, Republic of the 129 169 135 205 341,500 0.495 0.600
  Bahrain 130 161 132 255 760 212 336
  Brunei 130 161 127 269 5,265 30.6 51.1
  Cayman Islands 160 264 606
  Isle of Man 160 572 280
  Saint Lucia 132 158 139 166 606 261 274
  Antigua and Barbuda 133 153 126 289 442.6 346 653
  Dominica 134 148 141 152 751 197 202
  Christmas Island 138.9 135 1,030
  Saint Kitts and Nevis 135 135 261 517
  Wallis and Futuna 129 142 908
  Guam 125.5 544 231
  Jan Mayen 124.1 377 329
  Benin 136 121 140 153 110,622 1.09 1.38
  Grenada 136 121 133 252 344 352 733
  Cook Islands 138 120 236 508
  Saint Pierre and Miquelon 120 242 496
  American Samoa 116 199 583
  Bermuda 103 180 54 1,910 3,330
  Heard Island and McDonald Islands 101.9 412 247
  Tokelau 101 12 8,420
  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 100[Note 13] 308 325
  Barbados 139 97 143 97 430 226 226
  Lithuania 140 90 131 258 62,680 1.44 4.12
  United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges 85.7 22.41 3,820
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 141 84 130 264 389 216 679
  Akrotiri and Dhekelia 83.8 253.8[6] 330
  British Virgin Islands 80 151 530
  Gambia 142 80 117 503 10,000 8.00 50.3
  Ashmore and Cartier Islands 74.1 5 14,800
  Jersey 70 116 603
  Aruba 68.5 107 180 381 594
  Belgium 143 66.5 144 76 30,278 2.20 2.51
  Niue 144 64 260 246
  Anguilla 61 91 670
  Saint Martin 58.9[Note 14] 54.4 1,080
  Iraq 145 58 142 105 437,367 0.133 0.240
  Togo 146 56 145 53 54,385 1.03 0.975
  Pitcairn Islands 51 47 1,090
  Guernsey 50 78 641
  Slovenia 147 46.6 146 41 20,151 2.31 2.03
  Macau 41 36 28.2 1,450 1,280
  Gaza Strip 40 360 111
  Montserrat 40 102 392
  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 148 37 138 177 2,267,048 0.0163 0.0781
  Norfolk Island 32 36 889
  Nauru 149 30 21 1,430
  Bouvet Island 29.6 49 604
  Cocos (Keeling) Islands 26 14 1,860
  Jordan 150 26[Note 15] 147 27 88,802 0.293 0.304
  Tuvalu 151 24 26 923
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 152 20 148 23 51,187 0.391 0.449
  Wake Island 19.3 6.5 2,970
  Gibraltar 12 6.5 1,850
  Clipperton Island 11.1 6 1,850
  Navassa Island 8 5.4 1,480
  Monaco 153 4.1 2 2,050
  Saint Barthélemy NA 21
  Sint Maarten NA[Note 16] 34 0.0147
  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands NA 3,903 0.000128
  Kazakhstan 154 0[Note 17] 48 4,528 2,699,700 0 1.68
  Turkmenistan 155 0[Note 18] 93 1,289 469,930 0 2.74
  Azerbaijan 156 0[Note 19] 103 871 82,629 0 10.5
  West Bank 0[Note 20] 5,640 0
  Afghanistan 158 0 149 0 652,230 0 0
  Andorra 159 0 468 0
  Armenia 160 0 149 0 28,203 0 0
  Austria 161 0 149 0 82,445 0 0
  Belarus 162 0 149 0 202,900 0 0
  Bhutan 163 0 149 0 38,394 0 0
  Bolivia 164 0 149 0 1,083,301 0 0
  Botswana 165 0 149 0 566,730 0 0
  Burkina Faso 166 0 149 0 273,800 0 0
  Burundi 167 0 149 0 25,680 0 0
  Central African Republic 168 0 149 0 622,984 0 0
  Chad 169 0 149 0 1,259,200 0 0
  Czech Republic 170 0 149 0 77,247 0 0
  Ethiopia 171 0 149 0 1,000,000 0 0
  Hungary 172 0 149 0 89,608 0 0
  Kyrgyzstan 173 0 149 0 191,801 0 0
  Laos 174 0 149 0 230,800 0 0
  Lesotho 175 0 149 0 30,355 0 0
  Liechtenstein 176 0 160 0
  Luxembourg 177 0 149 0 2,586 0 0
  Malawi 178 0 149 0 94,080 0 0
  Mali 179 0 149 0 1,220,190 0 0
  Moldova 180 0 149 0 32,891 0 0
  Mongolia 181 0 149 0 1,553,556 0 0
    Nepal 182 0 149 0 143,351 0 0
  Niger 183 0 149 0 1,266,700 0 0
  North Macedonia 184 0 149 0 25,433 0 0
  Paraguay 185 0 149 0 397,302 0 0
  Rwanda 186 0 149 0 24,668 0 0
  San Marino 187 0 61 0
  Serbia 188 0 88,361 0
  Slovakia 189 0 149 0 48,105 0 0
  South Sudan 190 0 644,329[6] 0
  Swaziland 191 0 149 0 17,204 0 0
   Switzerland 192 0 149 0 39,997 0 0
  Tajikistan 193 0 149 0 141,510 0 0
  Uganda 194 0 149 0 197,100 0 0
  Uzbekistan 195 0 85 1,707 425,400 0 4.01
   Vatican City 196 0 0.44 0
  Zambia 197 0 149 0 743,398 0 0
  Zimbabwe 198 0 149 0 386,847 0 0
  French Guiana 763
  Guadeloupe 581
  Martinique 369
  Caribbean Netherlands 361
  Réunion 219

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  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 the list, see the reference below: "CIA World Factbook: Coastline".
  4. ^ Greenland is an autonomous country within Denmark.
  5. ^ Russia has an additional 850 km of coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  6. ^ Includes coastline length for the Canary Islands.
  7. ^ Excludes minor outlying islands.
  8. ^ Iran has an additional 784 km of coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked and Including 30 islands in the South and North Islands.
  9. ^ Does not include Île Saint-Paul and Îles Crozet (data unavailable) or Adelie Land claim to Antarctica.
  10. ^ Includes coastline in the Gulf of Fonseca (163 km).
  11. ^ 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).
  12. ^ Israel has an additional coastline along the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee (both landlocked), with a total length of 63 km.
  13. ^ Excluding Ascension Island (data unavailable).
  14. ^ Figure represents coastline of entire island, including Sint Maarten (administered by the Netherlands).
  15. ^ Jordan has an additional 50 km of coastline along the Dead Sea, which is landlocked.
  16. ^ Coastline included in figure for Saint Martin (administered by France).
  17. ^ Kazakhstan has a coastline with the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked, with a total length of 1,894 km.
  18. ^ Turkmenistan has a coastline with the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked, with a total length of 1,768 km.
  19. ^ Azerbaijan has a 713-km coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is landlocked.
  20. ^ The West Bank has a 40-km coastline along the Dead Sea, which is landlocked.

ReferencesEdit

  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[permanent dead link]
  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: Coastline
  4. ^ CIA World Factbook: Area
  5. ^ a b Includes coastline of outlying islands.
  6. ^ a b c Figure represents total area rather than land area.

Further readingEdit