10 Largest Countries in South America
We have a pretty clear idea of the countries closest to us. We know about how big they are, both on the surface and how many people live there. But when we stretch to the other side of the Atlantic, the knowledge can be a bit like that. Sure, we have the United States, Canada and Mexico. And we have South America with Argentine tango, Brazilian rhythms, football and carnivals. But that is where the knowledge often ends. At least for us up in more northern latitudes.
According to COUNTRYAAH, South America is a continent with 12 countries and forms the southern part of the American double continent. The continent is the fourth largest in the world and consists of 12 different countries with a total population of 426 million.
But what are these countries? And which of them is the largest and has the most inhabitants? Here we take a look at the ten largest. We start with the list based on population.
The 10 largest countries in South America by population
Population: 3.4 million
In tenth place we find Uruguay, located along the southeast coast. The capital is Montevideo, which is also the country’s largest city. 1.8 million of the country’s population live here. More than half of all the people in the country are here. The country is the least corrupt country in all of South America. A total of 12 million cows graze on Uruguay’s land, four times more than the people living in the country!
Population: 7 million
Paraguay is located in the heart of South America, with Argentina in the south and Brazil in the northeast. 10 percent of the population lives in the capital Asuncion. Incidentally, only a little more than half of all residents live in any city, which is the lowest proportion of all countries in South America. Many of our soybeans are grown here, and the country also exports hydropower. Anyone who wants to see the world’s largest rodent, the Kapybaran, or the water pig, can do so in Paraguay.
Population: 11.6 million
A stone’s throw northwest from Paraguay we find Bolivia. The country is at high altitudes and can boast both the world’s highest navigable lake and the world’s highest city. Just over 62 percent of the population lives in cities. The climate is humid and the rainfall can be huge. We also find the world’s largest salt desert here. The capital is Sucre, but it is the third largest city of La Paz which in practice serves as the capital.
Population: 16.3 million
Ecuador is located along the western coast up north and borders Peru in the southeast and Colombia in the north. Despite the country’s relatively modest surface, the landscape offers miles-long beaches as well as high volcanic mountains and snow-capped peaks. The capital of Quito has 1.8 million inhabitants and is known for its churches and its beautiful buildings. The country’s national flower is the rose. Something else that is grown is bananas. Ecuador is the country in the world that exports the most bananas.
Population: 18 million
Chile is located west of the Andes and runs in a narrow 420 km long strip along the coast. One third of the population lives in the modern capital Santiago de Chile, also known as South America’s Barcelona. The world’s longest beach is in Chile, and also the world’s driest place, the Atacama Desert.
Population: 30 million
At the top of the northern coast, just north of the equator, we find Venezuela. This is where Columbus ended up in 1498 when he called the country “paradise on earth”. The houses he saw were built on piles, and the land was therefore called Venezuela, or “little Venice”. Most of the 30 million inhabitants live in cities, 1.9 million in the central city of the capital Caracas. The country has in recent years been associated with unrest and high inflation. But here are also nice features, such as 25,000 different species of orchids and over 1,400 different species of birds.
Population: 31.2 million
Peru is also on the coast and it borders with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, among others. 75 percent of the population lives in cities, and in the capital Lima, as many as 9.8 million people live. Say Peru and you immediately think of the Inca culture. But there is also much else, such as 25 percent of all the world’s alpaca sheep. That one of the national dishes is grilled guinea pig may sound less pleasant. Equally strange is that our Swedish potatoes are originally from Peru.
Population: 45 million
The bronze scene in terms of population in South America is occupied by Argentina. Tangon’s homeland where you can hear accordion by Piazzolla. The name comes from the Latin word for silver, and when it comes to food, Argentina has the world’s highest meat consumption. They can also boast of being the world’s largest Spanish-speaking country. And more records are available. The capital of Buenos Aires is the most visited in all of South America, and the oldest plant ever found in the country.
Population: 50 million
Second place Colombia has a very young population. More than half of them are counted as young. The country lies at the equator and has coasts both towards the Pacific and the Caribbean. Author Gabriel García Márquez was born here, as did lesser drug king Pablo Escobar. The capital is Bogotá, where 7.4 million of its inhabitants have their homes.
Population: 212 million
With over 200 million inhabitants, Brazil wins so high over all other South American countries in terms of population. In fact, it also tops the list of the continent’s largest countries to the surface. Coffee cultivation, South America’s perhaps best football team and rich wildlife is one of the characteristics of the country. On the island of Ilha da Queimada Grande there are more snakes than humans. It is the only place in the world where you find the worm-like worm Golden lance worm. And for those who want to try a different dish, there is piraya soup on the menu. As a further curiosity it can be mentioned that Brazil’s national animal is the parrot.
The 10 largest countries in South America by area
Only one country in retains its place on the list in terms of population, namely Brazil. Moreover, it also wins here by a large margin. The only country on this list but not on the population list is Guyana. The one who was there but not here is Uruguay.
Otherwise, the countries are the same. However, it has been redecorated, which shows that the countries differ a great deal in terms of population density.
10. Guyana – 214 969 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 3.6
Last on top ten and not represented in the above list we find Guyana. It is located in the northeast just off the Atlantic. And what does the country then mean? In addition to being the only English-speaking country in South America, it also has the world’s largest gold mines. Also one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls can be found here. In addition, it can be mentioned that only 30% of the country’s area is inhabited. The rest is rainforest.
9. Ecuador – 283 561 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 56.7
8. Paraguay – 406 752 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 16.9
7. Chile – 756 102 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 23.3
6. Venezuela – 912 050 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) 33.9
5. Bolivia – 1,098,581 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) 10.0
4. Colombia – 1 138 910 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 41.5
3. Peru – 1 285 216 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 23.9
2. Argentina – 2 780 400 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 15.8
1. Brazil – 8 515 770 km²
Population density (inv. Per km²) – 24.2
It is easy to see that there is great variation between the different countries, both in terms of area and population. In addition, the population density also differs considerably. Most densely populated is Ecuador, and at least Guyana.
Not a single country was included in any of the lists. However, Little Surinam can boast about one thing. It is the country in South America that is the least in terms of both population and area!