Countries by Coastline Length

December 22, 2023

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Californian coastline

Measuring a country’s coastline is difficult due to a phenomenon called “coastline paradox”. An observation made by scientist and mathematician Lewis Richardson and expanded upon by fellow mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, coastline paradox is where the length of a coastline changes depending on the scale that is used to measure it.

Put simply, the closer you look, the more wiggles you see, so the smaller the ruler, the longer the coastline becomes. This means that when comparing countries based on the length of their coastline, the same scale must be used.

In this article, we reveal the results and discuss and compare the geographical features of the world’s ten longest coastlines.

Countries ranked by length of coastline

RankCountryCoastline (km)Coastline (miles)
1Canada202,080125,567
2Norway83,28151,748
3Indonesia54,71633,999
Greenland44,08727,394
4Russia37,65323,396
5Philippines36,28922,549
6Japan29,75118,486
7Australia25,76016,007
8United States19,92412,380
Antarctica17,96811,165
9New Zealand15,1349,404
10China14,5009,010
11Greece13,6768,498
12United Kingdom12,4297,723
13Mexico9,3305,797
14Italy7,6004,722
15Brazil7,4914,655
16Denmark7,3144,545
17Turkey7,2004,474
18India7,0004,350
19Chile6,4353,999
20Micronesia, Federated States of6,1123,798
21Croatia5,8353,626
22Solomon Islands5,3133,301
23Papua New Guinea5,1523,201
24Argentina4,9893,100
25Iceland4,9703,088
26Spain4,9643,084
27France4,8533,016
28Madagascar4,8283,000
29Malaysia4,6752,905
30Estonia3,7942,357
31Cuba3,7352,321
Svalbard3,5872,229
32Bahamas3,5422,201
33Vietnam3,4442,140
34Somalia3,3332,071
35Thailand3,2192,000
36Sweden3,2182,000
37Colombia3,2081,993
Coral Sea Islands3,0951,923
French Southern and Antarctic Lands2,948.401,832
38Morocco2,9451,830
39Venezuela2,8001,740
40South Africa2,7981,739
41Ukraine2,7821,729
42Saudi Arabia2,6401,640
43Vanuatu2,5281,571
French Polynesia2,5251,569
44North Korea2,4951,550
45Panama2,4901,547
46Mozambique2,4701,535
47Egypt2,4501,522
48Iran2,4401,516
49Peru2,4141,500
50South Korea2,4131,499
51Germany2,3891,484
New Caledonia2,2541,401
52Ecuador2,2371,390
53Eritrea2,2341,388
54Oman2,0921,300
55Myanmar1,9301,199
56Yemen1,9061,184
57Portugal1,7931,114
58Haiti1,7711,100
59Libya1,7701,100
60Angola1,600994
61Namibia1,572977
62Taiwan1,566.30973
63Palau1,519944
Northern Mariana Islands1,482921
64Ireland1,448900
65Tanzania1,424885
66Sri Lanka1,340833
67United Arab Emirates1,318819
68Costa Rica1,290802
69Dominican Republic1,288800
Falkland Islands1,288800
70Finland1,250777
71Tunisia1,148713
72Kiribati1,143710
73Fiji1,129702
Faroe Islands1,117694
74Pakistan1,046650
75Jamaica1,022635
76Algeria998620
77Cape Verde965600
Spratly Islands926575
78Nicaragua910565
79Gabon885550
80Nigeria853530
80Sudan853530
82Honduras832517
83Mauritania754469
Hong Kong733455
84Timor-Leste706439
British Indian Ocean Territory698434
85Uruguay660410
86Cyprus648403
87Maldives644400
88Bangladesh580360
89Liberia579360
90Qatar563350
91Ghana539335
92Kenya536333
93Senegal531330
Paracel Islands518322
94Côte d'Ivoire515320
Puerto Rico501311
95Kuwait499310
96Latvia498309
97Seychelles491305
98Guyana459285
99Netherlands451280
100Cambodia443275
101Poland440273
102Tonga419260
103Samoa403250
104Cameroon402250
104Sierra Leone402250
106Guatemala400249
Turks and Caicos Islands389242
107Belize386240
107Suriname386240
109Marshall Islands370.4230
Curaçao364226
110Albania362225
110Trinidad and Tobago362225
112Bulgaria354220
113Guinea-Bissau350217
114Comoros340211
115Guinea320199
116Djibouti314195
117Georgia310193
118El Salvador307191
119Equatorial Guinea296184
120Montenegro293.5182
121Israel273170
122Malta252.8157
123Lebanon225140
123Romania225140
125São Tomé and Príncipe209130
126Singapore193120
126Syria193120
U.S. Virgin Islands188117
128Mauritius177110
129Republic of the Congo169105
130Bahrain161100
130Brunei161100
Cayman Islands16099
Isle of Man16099
132Saint Lucia15898
133Antigua and Barbuda15395
134Dominica14892
Christmas Island138.986
135Saint Kitts and Nevis13584
Wallis and Futuna12980
Guam125.578
Jan Mayen124.177
136Benin12175
136Grenada12175
138Cook Islands12075
Saint Pierre and Miquelon12075
American Samoa11672
Bermuda10364
Heard Island and McDonald Islands101.963
Tokelau10163
139Barbados9760
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha9458
140Lithuania9056
United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges85.753
141Saint Vincent and the Grenadines8452
Akrotiri and Dhekelia83.852
British Virgin Islands8050
142Gambia8050
Ashmore and Cartier Islands74.146
Jersey7043
Aruba68.543
143Belgium66.541
144Niue6440
Anguilla6138
Saint Martin58.937
145Iraq5836
146Togo5635
Pitcairn Islands5132
Guernsey5031
147Slovenia46.629
Macau4125
148Palestine4025
Montserrat4025
149 Democratic Republic of the Congo3723
Norfolk Island3220
150Nauru3019
Bouvet Island29.618
Cocos (Keeling) Islands2616
151Jordan2616
152Tuvalu2415
153Bosnia and Herzegovina2012
Wake Island19.312
Gibraltar127
Clipperton Island11.17
Navassa Island85
154Monaco4.13
155Kazakhstan00
155Turkmenistan00
155Azerbaijan00
155Afghanistan00
155Andorra00
155Armenia00
155Austria00
155Belarus00
155Bhutan00
155Bolivia00
155Botswana00
155Burkina Faso00
155Burundi00
155Central African Republic00
155Chad00
155Czech Republic00
155Ethiopia00
155Hungary00
155Kosovo00
155Kyrgyzstan00
155Laos00
155Lesotho00
155Liechtenstein00
155Luxembourg00
155Malawi00
155Mali00
155Moldova00
155Mongolia00
155Nepal00
155Niger00
155North Macedonia00
155Paraguay00
155Rwanda00
155San Marino00
155Serbia00
155Slovakia00
155South Sudan00
155Swaziland00
155Switzerland00
155Tajikistan00
155Uganda00
155Uzbekistan00
155Vatican City00
155Zambia00
155Zimbabwe00
Data is taken from information compiled by The World Factbook
Note: the table also includes territories and dependencies (indicated by —)

The 10 Countries with the longest coastline

1. Canada

Sunrise at Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada
Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Colombia
Coastline length: 202,080 km (125,567 miles)
Land area: 9,093,507 km²

When it comes to the world’s longest coastline, Canada is the hands-down winner. Measuring more than 200,000 kilometers, the country’s coastline is almost two and a half times longer than second-place Norway and about 14 times longer than tenth-place China!

As the world’s second-largest country in terms of land area, it’s little surprise that Canada ranks so highly on this list, especially considering only two of its 13 provinces and territories (Alberta and Saskatchewan) are landlocked. The other 11 directly border three of the world’s five oceans. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west of the country, the Arctic Ocean is to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean is to the east.

Given Canada’s large size, its coastline comprises varied terrain, from white sandy beaches to towering rock formations to Arctic tundra.

2. Norway

Reine on the island of Moskenesøya on the Lofoten archipelago
The fishing village of Reine on the island of Moskenesøya, Norway
Coastline length: 83,281 km (51,748 miles)
Land area: 304,282 km²

As mentioned, the world’s second-longest coastline is in Norway. At almost 83,300 kilometers long, the Scandinavian country’s coastline lies around all but the eastern side of the mainland, as well as around thousands of islands of varying sizes. It borders the North, Norwegian, Barents, and Greenland seas, as well as the Arctic Ocean.

Norway’s coastline is characterized by its uneven, rocky terrain and countless fjords. The majority of the country’s population lives along the coast, with many people residing in the capital of Oslo, which is located towards the top of Oslo Fjord. Norway’s coastline is also popular with tourists, who are captivated by its rugged beauty and the spectacular Aurora Borealis, which can be seen along the northern coasts.

3. Indonesia

View across Komodo, an island in Indonesia
Komodo, one of more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia’s coastline
Coastline length: 54,716 km (33,999 miles)
Land area: 1,811,569 km²

Measuring just over 54,700 kilometers, Indonesia’s coastline is the third-longest in the world. This is largely due to the sheer number of islands that belong to the country. While it only comes eighth out of the countries on this list in terms of land mass, it is the world’s largest archipelagic state, consisting of 17,508 islands.

The seas that border Indonesia’s coastline include the Timor Sea, Arafura Sea, Banda Sea, Java Sea, and Celebes Sea, while the North Pacific Ocean lies to the east and the Indian Ocean is to the west.

Again, Indonesia’s coastline features a wide range of landscapes, including mangrove forests along the coasts of Papua, Kalimantan, and Sumatra and shrimp farms along the Java and Sulawesi coasts. The islands of Java and Sumatra have Indonesia’s most picturesque coastlines, attracting tourists from all over the world, who come to snorkel and dive in the coral reefs or simply relax on one of the sandy beaches.

4. Russia

Snow-capped Kamchatka Mountains on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Kamchatka Peninsula on the Pacific Ocean
Coastline length: 37,653 km (23,396 miles)
Land area: 16,377,742 km²

With a land area of almost 16.4 million square kilometers, Russia may be the largest country in the world, but it only has the fourth longest coastline.

The country’s coastline is bordered by the Arctic Ocean and its seas (including the Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi) in the north, the Pacific Ocean and its seas (including the Bering and Okhotsk) in the east, the Atlantic Ocean and its Baltic and Black seas in the west and the Caspian Sea in the south.

Much of Russia’s coastline is in the north of the country, and because it is located almost entirely in the Arctic Circle, its water is mostly frozen all year round. Many of Russia’s large cities are situated on the coast, including St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Magadan, Kaliningrad, Yalta, and Baltiysk.

5. Philippines

Aerial view of El Nido beach on Palawan Island
El Nido, Philippine municipality on Palawan island
Coastline length: 36,289 km (22,549 miles)
Land area: 298,170 km²

The island nation is surrounded by the Philippine Sea, the Celebes Sea, the Sulu Sea, and the South China Sea. Its coastline — which features numerous bays, islets, and gulfs — is highly irregular. 

Around 60 percent of the Philippines’s population lives on the coast, with many people relying on fishing activities for their livelihoods. Coastal fishing is extremely important for the country’s economy, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of the Philippines’s total fish catch. Tourism is also a significant contributor to the country’s economy, with tens of thousands of visitors coming to the Philippines each year to dive and snorkel in the crystal clear waters off the coast. 

6. Japan

Sun setting over the Pacific Ocean and the coastline on the Miura Peninsula
Sun setting over Miura, Japan
Coastline length: 29,751 km (18,486 miles)
Land area: 364,485 km²

Japan’s coastline measures just over 29,700 kilometers when you include the coastlines of each of the country’s 6,852 islands.

The seas that border the islands include the Sea of Japan in the west, the Sea of Okhotsk in the north, and the East China Sea in the south.

The largest of Japan’s islands are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Hokkaido’s coastline and the north and west coastline of Honshu are relatively straight, while Honshu’s east coast and the coastlines of Kyushu are much more irregular.

Fishing is one of the country’s largest industries, which is the reason why so many of its residents live along the coast.

7. Australia

The Twelve Apostles, a group of limestone stacks, located off the south coast of Australia
The Twelve Apostles off the shore of Port Campbell National Park
Coastline length: 25,760 km | 16,007 mi
Land area: 7,682,300 km²

Completely surrounded by water, Australia has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

The coastline’s most notable feature is the Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest coral reef system — but it is also known for its beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, and mangrove swamps, as well as Cape Tribulation, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the rainforest meets the reef. It is for these reasons that Australia’s coast is an extremely popular tourist destination, and the country’s thriving tourism and fishing industries are why most of the population lives along the coastlines. The coast is also the preferred option for many Australian residents because much of the outback is uninhabitable due to its inhospitable environment.

8. United States

Coastline along the Pacific Coast Highway, California
Pacific Coast Highway, California
Coastline length: 19,924 km | 12,380 mi
Land area: 9,147,593 km²

The United States is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the southwest.

23 of the US’s 50 states have coastlines, including Alaska, which has the longest, the island state of Hawaii, and California and Florida, which are among the most-visited.

Like Canada’s, the US’s coastline is incredibly diverse. While Alaska’s coastline is icy, cold, and remote, the coastlines of Hawaii, California, and Florida consist of warm water, sandy beaches, and crowds of tourists.

9. New Zealand

Sun setting on the horizon at Monkey Island, New Zealand
Sunset at Monkey Island, New Zealand
Coastline length: 15,134 km | 9,404 mi
Land area: 264,537 km²

New Zealand’s coastline runs for more than 15,100 kilometers, putting it ninth on the list of top ten countries with the longest coastline.

The country’s three major islands and 600 or so smaller islands are surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. From sandy beaches to dramatic fjords and rugged headlands, New Zealand’s coastline is both beautiful and varied. It is also highly biodiverse, being home to a range of flora and fauna that’s protected within reserves around the coast.

10. China

Lighthouse on the coastline of Dongshan Island, Zhangzhou
Dongshan Island, Zhangzhou
Coastline length: 14,500 km | 9,010 mi
Land area: 9,326,410 km²

Stretching from Liaodong Bay in the north to Beibu Gulf in the south, China has coastlines on the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea.

Mainly low-lying, China’s northern coastline is much more regular than the southern coastline, which is lined with mountains, hills, rocks, and river deltas.

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