Is China Bigger than the US? Explained

is china bigger than the us

Is China Bigger than the US? That’s the million-dollar question that’s been buzzing around for quite some time. In a world where size matters, these two giants have been flexing their muscles on the global stage.

But what does “bigger” really mean? Is it about landmass, population, economy, or influence? Join us on a journey to unpack the complexities of this comparison.

We’ll delve into numbers, stats, and a bit of geopolitics to shed light on this captivating debate.

Is China bigger than the US?

No, China is not greater in size than the United States. China covers around 3.7 million square miles, whereas the United States covers around 3.8 million square miles. The territories that the US also claims contribute to its larger size.

However, if we focus solely on landmass, China covers 3.6 million square miles, slightly more than the United States, which includes bodies of water and islands in its total area.

Additionally, China has disputed regions like Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, and if officially claimed, it would make China 4% larger than the United States. Currently, the United States holds a greater land area than China.

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Which country is the biggest?

The largest country in the world is not the United States or China. It’s Russia, taking the top spot with a vast land area of 17,098,250 square kilometers. Canada follows as the second-largest country with a land area of 9,879,750 square kilometers, although a significant portion of it is covered by water.

When considering total territory, Canada surpasses the United States, which has a land area of 9,147,420 square kilometers.

While China may be larger than the United States in terms of land area, it still falls behind Russia as the biggest country globally, with Russia having almost double the land area of any other nation.

How is China bigger than the USA?

China is not universally bigger than the USA in all aspects. While China surpasses the United States in terms of population with over 1.4 billion people compared to the U.S.’s approximately 331 million, it falls short in other areas.

Geographically, the USA’s land area is slightly larger, covering around 3.8 million square miles compared to China’s approximately 3.7 million square miles. Economically, the USA holds the edge in terms of nominal GDP, having a higher total GDP in U.S. dollars.

Additionally, when considering military power and global military reach, the United States boasts a more extensive and technologically advanced military force, maintaining numerous military bases worldwide. In summary, while China may surpass the USA in certain aspects, it is not universally bigger in all areas.

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Is China bigger than the USA in terms of land mass?

China is not bigger than the USA in terms of landmass. The United States occupies a total area of about 3.8 million square miles, whereas China has an area of approximately 3.7 million square miles. In fact, the United States is slightly larger in terms of land area than China.

The American landmass covers about 2.2% more territory than China’s 3.5 million square miles. So, when it comes to sheer geographical expanse, the United States holds a slight edge over China.

How did the United States get its territories?

The expansion of the United States and the acquisition of its territories have been shaped by a complex series of historical events:

  1. The American Revolutionary War: The United States was founded through the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) as 13 colonies fought for independence from British rule. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 marked the end of the war and established the original boundaries of the United States.
  2. The Purchase of Louisiana: In 1803, the United States acquired a vast territory known as the Louisiana Purchase from France for $15 million, doubling the country’s size.
  3. Treaty of Adams and Onís: In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty with Spain resulted in the acquisition of Florida by the United States.
  4. Annexation of Texas: Texas, once part of Mexico, was annexed by the United States in 1845.
  5. Mexican Cession: The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico ceded significant territories to the United States, including California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
  6. The Purchase of Alaska: Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867 for $7.2 million.
  7. The Confederate States of America: During the American Civil War (1861-1865), southern states attempted to secede from the Union, but after the war, they were reabsorbed into the United States.
  8. The Guano Islands Act: This law in 1856 allowed the U.S. to claim uninhabited islands with guano deposits, leading to the acquisition of several islands.
  9. The Republic of Hawaii: Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898 and became a territory in 1900 before becoming the 50th state in 1959.
  10. Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States following the Spanish-American War in 1898 and remains a U.S. territory.


Is China’s navy bigger than the US?

No, China’s navy is not currently bigger than the US Navy in terms of overall capabilities, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and advanced technology.

Is China military bigger than the US?

No, the U.S. military is larger than China’s in terms of overall capabilities, including personnel, technology, and global presence.

How large is China?

China is the world’s most populous country with over 1.4 billion people.

Is China’s population larger than that of the United States?

Yes, China’s population is larger than that of the United States. China has over 1.4 billion people, while the U.S. has around 331 million.


The question of whether China is bigger than the US is multifaceted. While China surpasses the US in population, the US holds advantages in other areas such as landmass and military capabilities. Comparing these two global giants requires a nuanced perspective.



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