Biggest Nations and Empires Ever

Guess the nations that controlled the largest land areas.
Includes current nations and historical empires
Groups together different dynasties that arose from a similar cultural group
Size in square kilometers. Year of maximum extent.
Source: Wikipedia
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: October 3, 2018
First submittedAugust 22, 2012
Times taken71,872
Rating4.63
5:00
Enter answer here:
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 / 24 guessed
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Size
Year
Answer
35.5 mil
1920
British Empire
24 mil
1200s
Mongol Empire
22.8 mil
1895
Russian Empire
14.7 mil
1700s
China
13.7 mil
1810
Spanish Empire
11.5 mil
1920
French Empire
11.1 mil
720
Umayyad Caliphate
10.0 mil
current
Canada
10.0 mil
1934
United States of America
8.5 mil
current
Brazil
7.7 mil
current
Australia
5.5 mil
500 BC
Achaemenid Persian Empire
Size
Year
Answer
5.5 mil
1820
Portuguese Empire
7 mil
1943
Empire of Japan
5.2 mil
1683
Ottoman Empire
6 mil
1942
Nazi Germany
5.2 mil
323 BC
Macedonia
5 mil
250 BC
Maurya Empire (India)
5 mil
1823
Mexican Empire
5 mil
117
Roman Empire
4.6 mil
800
Tibetan Empire
4 mil
441
Hunnic Empire
4 mil
1940
Dutch Empire
3.8 mil
1938
Italian Empire
+11
Level ∞
Jun 16, 2012
A very tough quiz to make! I dare you to make a better one!
+3
Level 44
Aug 22, 2012
Well done QM
+3
Level 67
Feb 6, 2020
Way to shut up the complainers upfront :) well, those that actualy read before they write.. well, it was a nice thought anyway ;)
+7
Level 68
Aug 22, 2012
21/23 from the first try. Happy! :)
+2
Level 24
Jan 19, 2017
First one I guessed was Mongolian because of Genghis Khan
+9
Level 43
Aug 22, 2012
22/23. I've never heard of the Tibetan Empire :(
+1
Level 28
Sep 5, 2019
same here
+1
Level 67
Feb 6, 2020
apparently not many people have, only 8% guessed
+1
Level 44
Feb 6, 2020
Me neither.
+2
Level 55
Aug 22, 2012
missed the Arab Caliphate
+4
Level 68
Sep 23, 2015
So did many historians...
+2
Level 20
Dec 28, 2017
i was thinking about tibet and say ''nah impossible''
+2
Level 31
Aug 22, 2012
what about the byzantine empire?
+2
Level 32
Aug 27, 2012
I guess it's not mentioned because it's mainly part of the old Roman Empire
+2
Level 79
Feb 25, 2013
see my comment above. Maybe it's not counted because it was also known as the Eastern Roman Empire. On the other hand, it might also be smaller than the Dutch Empire. The Roman Empire in its entirety was only 5 million sq km and the Dutch Empire is listed at 4.
+2
Level 70
Jan 19, 2017
I think it's not included because it wasn't quite big enough. I tried Byzantium, Byzantine, and Eastern Roman as well. However, wikipedia has it listed at only 2.8 million sq km. Many parts of the eastern empire weren't roman during the maximal extent of the Roman empire in 117.
+1
Level 79
Feb 6, 2020
That comment seems to have gone missing now... I probably also said something about "similar cultural groups" being arbitrary, and the only reason for us to think of the Romans and Italians as separate is because we learn more about them in Western history classes. If we learned as much about different Indian and Chinese dynasties and Persian empires etc we could separate many of them out, too. We only think of them all as being monolithic because of our selective ignorance.
+1
Level 59
Oct 24, 2012
The Napoleonic Empire is counted as the French Empire here, which was bigger in the 20th century than during Napoleon's rule. Also, Indiavoyager, it says that there are current countries here as well, not only empires from the past.
+2
Level 75
Dec 3, 2012
19-20th century French Empire included most of West Africa, for yall's information.
+1
Level 76
Dec 10, 2012
You can type Spain and spanish comes up but you can't type Italy for italian.
+1
Level 40
Dec 22, 2012
Australia? Really? How it that? You're not confusing it with the Austro-Hungarian empire are you? (I was surprised not to see it there.) Still... cracking good quiz!
+4
Level 34
Jul 13, 2016
No.... Read the damn descriptions please. The Canadian, Brazillian and Australian Empires have never existed!
+8
Level 39
Sep 14, 2016
Actually Brazil was an empire until 1889
+1
Level 41
Dec 23, 2012
18. good quiz.
+1
Level 17
Jan 20, 2013
17/23, kicking myself over forgetting the Ottoman Empire. Very tough quiz!
+1
Level 53
Mar 13, 2013
i don't think "arab" should be accepted. it should be "arab caliphate," if you really know what the name is then you don't need to cheat by just typing in arab. its reasonable for france, spain, italy, etc., but not for an empire without a modern country. it wasn't the arab empire it was the arab caliphate
+3
Level 79
Jan 19, 2017
Why would there be a special exception for the Arab Empire? None of these other empires except one actually used the English word "empire," but we don't require you to know Reich, империя, Imperio, or whatever the happened to be called in their own language- just the adjective that goes before it.
+1
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
yea, weird that according to you you could omit "empire" but not "caliphate" Isnt meaning the correct thing good enough? Empire is a word well know by non english speakers, caliphate however isnt. So I think it is atleast as fair if not more, to accept that one without caliphate is you accept the others without empire.

And "without a modern country" is an even more weird argument to me. I would think the other way around. That the ones that are a country now should sooner require the suffix empire, as not to confuse it with its current state

+2
Level 25
May 17, 2014
wow finished with 2 seconds left...mexico ftw!!
+1
Level 43
May 28, 2014
I tried Flemish instead of Dutch... also Mexico instead of Mexican Empire =?
+1
Level 66
Aug 13, 2017
Flanders is just a region of the Low Countries; when they were united, it was ruled by the Dutch.
+1
Level 71
May 30, 2014
I dont know how this was formulated, but many large kingdoms were either left out or not considered. Timur, Ummayad caliphate, Mughals, Palas, Han,Yuan, Ming, Qing etc.
+1
Level 25
Jun 15, 2014
A-ma-zing! Loved this quiz, got everything but India. I was thinking India at the last minute, but didn't think India would be accepted. Oh well!
+1
Level 44
Jul 29, 2014
should accept: iran for Persian Empire saudi arabia for Arab Caliphate
+1
Level 63
Feb 6, 2020
But that's like saying accept the United States for Navajo... they're not the same thing.
+3
Level 66
Oct 23, 2014
Brazil was actually an Empire once. It covered all of its current size plus Uruguay. The sizes are rounded so it wouldn't even move, but I think it would be accurate to correct the name.
+1
Level 70
Oct 23, 2014
Please can somebody explain how Australia and Canada are empires? I always assumed an empire required an emperor! Thank you...
+4
Level 66
Oct 23, 2014
no... Australia just has Thor! And Canada has Bieber!
+2
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
How does australia have Thor... He is scandinavian/germanic.
+5
Level 67
Aug 21, 2019
and nobody in Canada wants Bieber. thats why we sent him to the U.S
+4
Level 82
Feb 6, 2020
Australia has Crocodile Dundee.
+1
Level 72
Feb 6, 2020
Google Chris Hemsworth and you'll have your answer as to how Australia has Thor
+7
Level ∞
Oct 23, 2014
They're not. They are nations. Where does it say this quiz is only empires?
+1
Level 50
Feb 6, 2020
In addition to the fact that answers don't have to be empires, empires do not have to have an emperor. For example, the British, French, and Spanish empires did not have an emperor. The French empire did not even have a king.
+1
Level 66
Apr 3, 2020
British empire did have an empress and then two emperors, just only of India.
+1
Level 44
Oct 23, 2014
18/23 thought I had us and brazil. somehow missed portugal
+1
Level 36
Oct 23, 2014
This is basically the worst and most nonsensical quiz I have ever seen.
+5
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
Why? worse.. ok taste differ, but how on earth is it nonsensical.
+1
Level 35
Oct 23, 2014
excuse me QM, what about the austro-hungrois? seems to me it was a very important empire during WWI...
+1
Level 51
May 23, 2016
It was important and had a large population but this quiz relates to land area that it covered.
+3
Level 49
Dec 7, 2018
it was about the size of myanmar mercator projection has done it again
+1
Level 46
Oct 24, 2014
Tibetan? Is there another name for this that'd be more familiar? I'm assuming this was part of the update.
+2
Level 45
Oct 26, 2014
Were the Inca, Mayan and Aztec Empires smaller than the Tibetan Empire?
+1
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
Yea I wondered about that too, I thought it covered quite a big area though not heavily populated
+1
Level 64
Feb 7, 2020
The empires weren't notably big. I believe it had something to do with a lack of transport (no horses or other large animals until the Europeans arrived). The Incas used a system of runners to relay information but they just didn't have same advantages as the Old World.
+1
Level 33
Oct 31, 2014
Canada has an empire? Australia and Brazil too? . . pennicilin, diabetic insulin, golf, tarmac, adhesive postage stamps, pneumatic tyres, flushing toilet, television, the Bank of England, the U.S Navy, electric toaster, most of AC/DC, all of The Proclaimers, Peter Pan, bicycles, the BBC, the A.T.M, cordite, the first Bible in English, Dolly the sheep, tossing the Caber, and deep fried Mars bars affect the whole world, so everyone lives in the Scottish Empire . . .
+4
Level 32
Nov 24, 2014
Are you being sarcastic because QM said it includes largest countries...
+2
Level 49
Dec 7, 2018
bro it says largest nations and empires
+2
Level 32
Nov 24, 2014
What about the Soviet Union? Or is it not big as the Russian Empire?
+1
Level 24
Dec 17, 2014
I think you should separate between the empires and nations. Also, I don't know if it affected anyone, but I think "nation" should just be "country).
+1
Level 73
Dec 18, 2014
Conceptually elusive. Might want to give a few better hints.
+4
Level 67
Feb 6, 2020
The description not sufficient enough? Says it all imo.
+1
Level 38
Sep 11, 2015
Nice quiz! Got hung up on Tibet for a whole minute, but finally got it with 30 seconds to go:)
+1
Level 41
Dec 16, 2015
got all except for tibet
+1
Level 67
Dec 16, 2015
no aztec or incas ?
+2
Level 43
Dec 16, 2015
Khmer Empire?
+1
Level 67
Jun 5, 2018
I wondered about that as well, some interesting surprises indeed!
+1
Level 62
Dec 16, 2015
Very fun quiz. :)
+1
Level 37
Apr 16, 2016
Considering it was over a contiguous area, them Mongols really did build themselves an impressive area of control.
+1
Level 75
May 11, 2016
Just missed Tibet. But looking at the stats, so did everyone else, so I don't feel too bad.
+1
Level 63
Jan 19, 2017
I got Tibet (been there). But forgot Japan, would you believe.
+2
Level 64
Jul 13, 2016
someone needs to make a "countries/empires of the world" by century quiz. who was around in 2000, 1900, 1800, etc.?
+1
Level 66
Jul 18, 2016
What about the Vikings?
+1
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
relative tiny area
+1
Level 45
Aug 7, 2019
They owned Greenland, some Canadian islands, and Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and some parts of Russia and the UK. Not exactly small.
+1
Level 60
Aug 26, 2016
got all but Spain... I feel really stupid now, especially because I got every country on this list in somewhat close proximity to Spain and even tried the Moors, but missed the empire that conquered the country I live in.
+1
Level 47
Sep 6, 2016
The USSR and Russian Empire are different. The Russian Empire had Poland and Finland. DIFFERENT
+3
Level ∞
Sep 6, 2016
"Groups together different dynasties that arose from a similar cultural group"
+1
Level 72
Oct 24, 2016
Good quiz, though inevitably given the imprecise nature of such things there's going to be potential quibbles. Makes sense not to include, for example the Seleucid Empire or the Byzantines, as they are direct successors to Alexander's Empire and Rome respectively. I do think, however, that the Mauryan Empire, Mughal Empire and modern India should all be treated separately though, on the same grounds as the Roman Empire and Italy.
+1
Level 49
Jan 20, 2017
Roman empire included areas not ever controlled by Italy. And though I'm not certain, vice versa is probably true.
+2
Level 78
Jan 11, 2017
The list seems to be mostly largest to smallest, but the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany are out of order.
+1
Level 81
Jan 19, 2017
The Belgian Empire included today's DR Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. (Plus Belgium!) That's pretty big...
+2
Level 78
Jan 19, 2017
Congo is huge. The other three not so much.
+1
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
But not nearly big enough, around 2.5 mil km2 it needs a lot more to make the list. Like almost double that.
+1
Level 47
Jan 20, 2017
Roman!!! Oh come on!!
+2
Level 34
Jan 21, 2017
Curious where Mali, Egypt, and Byzantine fall.
+2
Level 39
Jan 26, 2017
Third reich should be accepted
+1
Level 39
Jan 26, 2017
Byzantine empire should be in the list
+1
Level 59
Jan 29, 2017
Did it again today but didn't get Umayyad Caliphate, although I did the last time I tried. What did I type in? Because I'm sure I didn't type 'Umayyad' last time xD
+1
Level 59
Jan 29, 2017
Probably 'Arabic', but not sure about this one..
+1
Level 44
Feb 9, 2017
How are you counting the portuguese empire? Brazil was a part of it and after the indepence it hardy grew!!! so if Brazil alone is 8.5 the Portuguese empire should obviously be bigger that 8.5, besides Brazil, Angola and Mozambique where also part of the empire, correct your math.
+1
Level 64
Feb 27, 2017
Japan and Nazi Germany are out of order. Also, where's Japan in the source?
+1
Level 66
May 7, 2017
I thought there would be entries for Denmark since it controls Greenland, then also the Inca, Aztec, and Mayan Empires.
+3
Level 66
Aug 13, 2017
The Inca, Aztec and Mayan Empires, in comparison to the colonial powers, were absolutely tiny.
+1
Level 37
Jun 6, 2017
Ugh,Alexander!
+1
Level 68
Jul 15, 2017
Canadian isn't an acceptable type in for Canada? Really?
+3
Level 66
Aug 13, 2017
Because there's never been a Canadian Empire. It's simply the nation state of Canada.
+1
Level 60
Jul 19, 2017
i missed one but still got 5/5 i didnt know that could happen!
+2
Level 54
Oct 25, 2017
For those curious, Sudan (pre-2011) misses out by quite a bit, with only 2.5 million square kilometres.
+1
Level 49
Oct 25, 2017
Tibet? Wow
+4
Level 39
Nov 1, 2017
@Quizmaster Turkic khaganate: 6 million square km https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkic_Khaganate# Seljuk empire: 3.9 million square km https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seljuk_Empire
+3
Level 38
Nov 29, 2017
Ignoring the usual naysayers, Quiz Master, this was a great quiz. Thank you for the effort!
+1
Level 20
Dec 28, 2017
i am sure that the 8 percent that answer tibet is cheating
+2
Level 38
Dec 28, 2017
probably not, they just are huge history nerds.
+2
Level 67
Jun 5, 2018
I wasn't. Tibet is a relatively large land area with a long history and previous autonomy. I think it was the 2nd or 3rd to last one I got out of the 23. ... One of the things I did was try to guess every significant culture I could think of and when I ran out of those I guessed large regions or peoples, etc. ... It was pretty interesting how many famous empires did not make the list. Aztec, Inca, Maya, Carthaginian, Khmer.
+1
Level 34
Apr 6, 2019
No LMAO. I can remember about Tibet bc I'm Asian and I learn a lot about it Lololol
+1
Level 28
Jul 5, 2018
Where is Austro-Hungarian Empire ?
+4
Level 67
Dec 7, 2018
Central Europe.
+2
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
It isnt, it doesnt exist anymore
+2
Level 35
Jul 30, 2018
Where is Majapahit Empire?
+1
Level 28
Sep 23, 2018
Why not USSR? It is different from the Russian Empire.
+1
Level 61
Nov 15, 2018
got Hunnic and Tibetan, missed Italian, French and Dutch.....
+3
Level 45
Dec 7, 2018
Was Australia not bigger when before Papua New Guinea and the Solomon islands got independance?
+1
Level 59
Feb 10, 2020
I am surprised it took so long in the comments to see someone make this point. First thing I thought when it said it is current Australia....'wait a minute'....LOL.
+1
Level 70
Dec 7, 2018
Tibet is such an inhospitable place, I bet it included like 16 people at its peak
+1
Level 73
Dec 23, 2018
Japan and Germany appear out of size sequence.
+1
Level 28
Jul 11, 2019
Should accept Alexandrian empire as Macedonian
+1
Level 45
Jul 12, 2019
no vikings?
+1
Level 68
Sep 11, 2019
Japan and Germany are out of place on the list, they both should be listed higher up because last time I Czeched, 7 mil > 5.5 mil and 6 mil > 5.2 mil
+1
Level 67
Feb 6, 2020
Czeched haha I Ghana believe you wrote that
+1
Level 69
Feb 6, 2020
Och, mon. Wi remarks like that, I'll pretend I nae Kenya.
+2
Level 63
Nov 20, 2019
Got 'Hunnic Empire' after typing 'Hun'... for 'Hungary'!
+2
Level 54
Feb 6, 2020
Dutch empire with 4 mil sqkm???? In 1940? What belonged to the Netherlands at that time besides Indonesia, Surinam, the Dutch West Indies and NL itself? Altogether barely 2 mil sqkm?
+1
Level 54
Feb 6, 2020
21/24 missed Umayyad, Tibet, and Mexican. Good wuiz
+1
Level 58
Feb 6, 2020
Why was America at its greatest extent in 1934? I know that America would've been larger in the past due to imperial expansion in the early 1900s, but I thought that mostly happened in the first decade or two of the century. Was there something annexed by America in 1934 that allowed it to reach its greatest extent?
+1
Level 80
Feb 6, 2020
Good question. I would have guessed around 1898 when the US acquired Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. This may be based on an interpretation of the Howard-Wheeler Act (a/k/a Indian Reorganization Act of 1934) that restored at least some Native American sovereignty over reservations. If you remove that territory from the calculation, the area of the US becomes smaller in 1934.
+1
Level 59
Feb 6, 2020
Fascinating quiz, Quizmaster!
+1
Level 30
Feb 6, 2020
Timurid empire is missing. I checked it, because I could not believe that and it listed in the source given in description as well (at 4.4 mil. of sq kilometres). It is definitely not related to the Ottoman, nor the Mongol. Please check it out!
+1
Level 79
Feb 7, 2020
I'm guessing they're counting it as a offshoot of the Mongolian Empire, and not counting it because it was not as large. But you're right... see what I said above about the differences between the Italian and Roman Empires.
+1
Level 44
Mar 20, 2020
Danish empire? the danish empire was Sweden, Norway, Some of germany, Iceland, faroe islands and greenland. That must be bigger than some of these.
+1
Level 51
Mar 24, 2020
How abut the Mughal empire? It reached 4.6 million kilometers squared.
+1
Level 54
Apr 7, 2020
Great quiz I agree, but how tf is Mughal Empire and Mauryan Empire the same and even India is accepted for both. I humbly request you to change Mauryan Empire to Mughal Empire because both are completely two different Empires with nothing in common except for the land they once ruled. It's utterly nonsensical to accept Mughal for Mauryan. Mughal Empire was bigger than Mauryan Empire and so Mauryan Empire shouldn't be accepted even if you accept India for Mughal Empire. Or give us the source which says the Mughal Empire is the same as the Mauryan Empire. It's such a. Disappointment to see such silly mistakes in this website ;-;
Mughal Empire Wikipedia
Mauryan Empire Wikipedia