Which Countries Are the Same Size as Missouri?

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The Show Me State is part of America’s Heartland and, since the 1980 census, has maintained the mean center of the United States population.

At 69,715 square miles in area, it’s the 21st largest state in the union, just behind Oklahoma (69,899 square miles) and, perhaps surprisingly, ahead of Florida (65,758 square miles).

But Missouri is just a blip on the 196,940,000 square miles of Earth’s surface. Approximately 0.0354% of the planet is the Show Me State. The entirety of the United States is just 1.87% of the surface.

Missouri is still larger than 94 of the smallest countries or dependencies combined.

Look at a world map. You might be inclined to compare the block-shaped Missouri to other similarly-shaped countries, perhaps in Europe or Africa. What about France? Belarus? Maybe Egypt? Or Zimbabwe?

All four are significantly larger than Missouri. Egypt is actually 386,662 square miles, the French Republic is spread across 248,573 square miles, Zimbabwe is 150,872 square miles, and Belarus is 80,160 square miles.

How about a country that is thin on the map, such as the Philippines or Japan? No again. The Philippines are approximately 100,000 square miles and Japan is 145,914 square miles.

While there are no countries on Earth that match Missouri’s area, two nations and a dependency are close enough in size to answer the question.

Getty Images© Provided by KTVI-TV St. Louis

At 69,898 square miles, the Kingdom of Cambodia is the closest in total area to the Show Me State. Cambodia is located in mainland Southeast Asia and counts Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam as its neighbors. The Gulf of Thailand is located along the country’s southwest coast. Cambodia has twice as many citizens as Missouri—13.4 million to 6.168 million. It gained its independence from France in November 1953 after serving as a protectorate for 90 years.

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Nestled between the much-larger Brazil and Argentina along the South Atlantic coast is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. At 68,037 square miles, it’s the fourth-smallest country in South America. Uruguay fought off invaders from the British, Spanish, and Portuguese colonial powers and declared its independence from the former Brazilian Empire in August 1825. It’s credited with being the first nation to legalize the use of marijuana, which happened in 2013.

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If you wanted to play by “Price is Right” rules, the Republic of Somaliland (68,300 square miles) is the closest to Missouri in area without exceeding it. Located along the Horn of Africa on the western-most coast of the continent, just south of the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Peninsula, Somaliland is an unrecognized state. Once known as British Somaliland, it merged with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to form Somalia. Following the start of the Somali Civil War, Somaliland attempted to break away with its own declaration of independence in May 1991 and has sought international recognition ever since. As of 2021, Somaliland has an estimated population of 5.7 million people.

By Kevin S. Held

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