What Is the Third Largest Country in the World?
According to the CIA World Factbook, the United States is the third largest country in the world. However, Encyclopaedia Britannica states China is the world's third largest country. The discrepancy arises from the CIA World Factbook including coastal and territorial waters as part of the area of the United States.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the entire area of the United States is 9,826,675 square kilometers, whereas that of China's is 9,596,960 square kilometers. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the entire area of China is 9,572,900 square kilometers, whereas the area of the United States is 9,526,468 square kilometers.