# Widest Countries East to West

Name the countries that have the longest east/west spans.
Continuous spans on the same land mass, not including exclaves
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 21, 2019
 First submitted August 8, 2015 Times taken 65,454 Rating 4.92
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 Span Country 10,564 km Russia 5,823 km Canada 5,224 km China 4,563 km United States 4,329 km Brazil 4,045 km Australia 3,151 km Mexico 3,008 km Kazakhstan 2,887 km India 2,523 km Mongolia
 Span Country 2,176 km Saudi Arabia 2,110 km Algeria 2,122 km D.R. Congo 1,911 km Iran 1,820 km Sudan 1,773 km Mali 1,702 km Niger 1,670 km Morocco 1,634 km Libya 1,610 km Turkey
+6
Level ∞
Aug 8, 2015
This quiz is based on original research. The distances are approximate, and may be slightly generous. Please let me know if I made any major mistakes.
+2
Level 82
Aug 9, 2015
Can you explain how you define the "width" of a country? I find some of your estimates quite generous indeed, especially for countries with high latitudes. For example, I find about 8000km for Russia and 5200 for Canada (which would be behind China).
+2
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
For the Russian mainland, I get a longitudinal span of 191.3 degrees. In your calculations did you take into account that Russia's easternmost point is actually in the western hemisphere?
+2
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
And yes, we take into account latitude, but use a generous estimate. I use the latitude of either the easternmost or westernmost point, whichever is closest to the equator.
+2
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
You're right, I also made a slight mistake. Wikipedia tells me that the westernmost point of mainland Russia is at 27°E, and the easternmost at 169°W, which would give a span of (180°-27°) + (180°-169°) = 164°, am I wrong? The wiki page does not give the latitude of those points, but I tend to choose an average value on the territory, which would be close to 60°N for Russia. So I guess we would finally get something like 9000km... the only sure thing is that Russia is by a long way the widest country ;).
+2
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
Sorry, that was a mistake. I get a longitude span of 164.017.
+3
Level 74
Aug 10, 2015
The concept of "wide" means looking only from an east-west perspective. I've done a Longest Countries quiz that looks at the greatest distance from one end of each country's mainland to the other, regardless of compass direction. There is also means less debate about how to calculate the distances.
+1
Level 49
Oct 27, 2015
Probably better using the longitude of each ends of the countries
+7
Level 66
Oct 27, 2015
I am personally surprised that Morocco made the list and South Africa didn't. Could you check that, cause it doesn't seem right to me. Otherwise an interesting quiz.
+2
Level 42
Apr 19, 2020
I am also equally surprised
+2
Level 65
Dec 23, 2020
It's still there 5 years later, so there must be some explanation. I make South Africa about twice as "wide" as Morocco though.
+1
Level 55
Oct 27, 2015
You should reverse Algeria and D.R. Congo, they are out of order.
+1
Level 36
Apr 10, 2018
um, you missed INDONESIA?????
+11
Level 72
May 12, 2018
Read the instructions: "Continuous spans on the same land mass".
+1
Level 78
Aug 9, 2015
I don't understand how DRC is wider than Australia...
+1
Level 82
Aug 9, 2015
Yes, DRC must be a "major mistake". I would estimate it around 2300km.
+4
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
I was going to write something about the Mercator projection, but actually I just made a mistake. This has been fixed.
+1
Level 21
May 22, 2016
Yeah. That would have been funny given the fact that it is over 700km between Adelaide and Melbourne.
+2
Level 74
Aug 9, 2015
The longest straight line across Canada I can get without transiting the sea is 4696 km, and for Russia it's 6623 km. It's tricky though, because the shortest east-west distance can be quite a bit longer than the shortest distance between the easternmost and westernmost points!!! especially for Russia. Try it out on a globe to see what I mean.
+1
Level 82
Aug 9, 2015
The problem is, that the lines that can be considered as straight lines on a sphere are great circles, which parallels are not... That's why I maintain that the width of a country is not well-defined.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
After a bit of thinking, I'm sure that one must use the great-circle distance to get a somewhat pertinent result. It can prove to be surprising... for example, if you take a value of 164° for Russia's longitude span and a latitude of 60° for the extremities of the arc, it gives a value of... only 6600km, which is interestingly close to the value given by Jerry928. I will compute the values for the other top 5 countries. I use this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great-circle_distance
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
Strangely, the USA are the most puzzling country, because the westernmost and eastermost points are both at high latitude and don't provide the highest distance between points on the west and east boundary of the 48 states... Once again, I don't think this is very well defined. It's a much more complicated problem than expected.

Anyway, here are my estimates: 1) Russia: 6200km ; 2) China and Canada: both very close to 5000km ; 4) USA: between 4400km and 4700km ; 5) Brazil: 4250km

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
Oh, and this is quite helpful to understand the difference between the orthodromic distance, which is the only true distance on a sphere, and the loxodrome (or rhumb line), i.e. a straight line on a Mercator projection. http://www.sciences.univ-nantes.fr/sites/genevieve_tulloue/Meca/RefTerre/Orthodromie1.php
+1
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
I did find a couple errors in my calculations, but I think they are closer to accurate now. For Russia, I get a longitude span of 164.017 degrees. I used the latitude of the easternmost point of 54.65. Approximating a degree as 69.172 miles, gives me this formula for the span: 69.172 * 164.017 * cos(54.65) = 6564.08 miles. Convert to kilometers to yield 10,564 kilometers.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
Like I said above, it's not reasonable to use the rhumb line distance (or at least, it is artificial). If you go from (27°E, 54,5°N) to (169°W, 54,5°N) by the shortest possible way on the surface of the earth, it will be 7800km long, not 10500. Seriously, my link above really helps realizing that.
+2
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
And yes we are using the rhumb line, even though it may not be the shortest line between two distances. Your great circle for Russia likely goes over the north pole, which explains why we are so far apart for that country. I think that violates the idea of traveling east-west, which really only works on a flat map.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
Ok, that's your quiz, you can of course make that choice, but I must admit that I don't like that. For me, if the line presents a maximum in latitude, it's sufficient for the idea of traveling east-west...
+1
Level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
You're welcome. It's fun to think about that problem (yes, I like maths ;) ).
+1
Level 73
Aug 10, 2015
Don't change a thing...I got 100% on both.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2015
I was also wondering about South Africa. Using your definition, I find 1630km.
+1
Level ∞
Aug 11, 2015
I got 1,607.
+1
Level 62
Oct 27, 2015
I was also thinking South Africa is wider, just did a simple straight line measurement from Alexander bay(just south of Namibia border) to the kosi river mouth (just south of the mozambique border) = 1630
+1
Level 70
Nov 24, 2016
To be widest I presume means East to West along a latitude line and not crossing other countries in doing so. The best I can get on Google Earth is just over 1,600 km......... much like the answer given by Quizmaster.
+1
Level 24
Jan 13, 2017
Because Lesotho is in the way
+1
Level 55
May 12, 2018
Above the quizmaster explains that s/he takes the easternmost and westernmost points of the country on a single landmass and calculates the distance between them. If that's correct, then Lesotho doesn't really matter here.
+1
Level 54
Oct 27, 2015
Indonesia?
+1
Level 47
Jan 11, 2017
Not on one landmass
+1
Level 57
Oct 27, 2015
Full marks Broseph Stalins!
+3
Level 69
Nov 28, 2015
Very surprised Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan didn't make it.
+2
Level 69
Nov 28, 2015
Same, and Ukraine maybe...?
+1
Level 74
Jan 24, 2016
"Continuous" means, that Island Nations are fully excluded? Kiribati spanns over 4.000 km from east to west.
+2
Level 79
Jan 25, 2016
"on the same land mass"
+1
Level 30
Feb 15, 2016
why can't indonesia is not on the list? indonesia has a very wide area.
+3
Level 21
May 22, 2016
+1
Level 71
Feb 15, 2016
And I thought I was good at geography!

On the plus side, I typing in the least gotten country-Morocco. :D

How is Indonesia not here though

+4
Level 21
May 22, 2016
+1
Level 23
Feb 15, 2016
Indonesia should make the list. Unless you discount islands.
+4
Level 21
May 22, 2016
+1
Level 41
Feb 16, 2016
Guessed them all but the United States!!
+1
Level 59
May 22, 2016
The one country I missed was The United States, lol
+1
Level 43
May 22, 2016
I can't believe I actually got all of them
+1
Level 44
Oct 5, 2016
Enjoyed this one got Morocco with a minute to spare
+1
Level 67
Nov 24, 2016
Is it possible not to think about Australia??? Helle yeah...
+2
Level 14
Jan 11, 2017
Im A person
+2
Level 37
Jan 12, 2017
I thought Argentina would be in the list :(
+1
Level 49
Apr 14, 2021
A very long boi, but not as wide. I typed it in as well :D
+1
Level 51
Jan 13, 2017
iran
+2
Level 63
Jul 21, 2017
I may be wrong, but just by eye Norway looks like it should be on this quiz. It looks wider than Turkey and Libya. Is this just because of distortion on my map to make countries that are further north look wider, or should it be on here?
+1
Level 63
Aug 3, 2017
Maybe you're confusing height for width.
+2
Level 63
Dec 4, 2017
No, I mean width. Just by longitude it has a 26 degree east-west span compared to 19 for Turkey and 16 for Libya (approximately). I am not sure it is really possible to measure such a distance in miles and this is probably why there is no secondary source to back the quiz up. You can measure a distance in miles but on a spherical earth you can't really say how much of that is the east-west or the north-south direction.
+1
Level 67
Feb 13, 2020
Besides being high up north (which makes it look extra big on usual maps). I dont think the most western point and eastern point of a country is used, but the biggest distance east-west on the same latitude. So some countries might have a south-west north-east alignment so their most western and most eastern points span a lot of °. But nowhere straight across east-west. Hope this makes sense. Drawing it would be so much easier/clearer.
+1
Level 61
Jul 23, 2017
I can't believe that I thought to type Niger and Libya before trying Australia. I got it in the last few seconds.
+1
Level 45
Sep 6, 2017
Good quiz.
+1
Level 71
Sep 7, 2017
Namibia?
+1
Level 34
Dec 3, 2017
morocco. nope
+1
Level 65
Dec 4, 2017
Almost forgot China... 20/20
+1
Level 33
Dec 4, 2017
Indonesia is at a disadvantage. If it was one landmass, I'm sure it'd make the list.
+1
Level 53
Dec 12, 2017
how did ukraine not make the list?
+12
Level 64
Dec 21, 2017
It isn't as wide as the countries on the list
+2
Level 56
Jan 25, 2018
Clearly the question/parameters of the question is poorly defined. The distance between the eastern-most point to the western-most point of both Norway and Sweden would surely make them eligible to be on this list.

The only way they wouldn't would be if you are measuring a single, longest UNBROKEN span of the country, which you don't define in the question. Update your question if you must, because otherwise I see an error in this quiz.

+1
Level 63
Feb 25, 2018
It's only east-west distance. Because Norway and Sweden are both quite *tall* as well that part of the distance must not be counted. But I agree that the question is not really defined in the quiz. I think there probably is a way to measure the distance so that the countries closer to the poles are not disadvantaged but I'm not sure if this is what was used or not.
+1
Level 63
Feb 25, 2018
The reason for this is that the westernmost point of both countries is far further south than the easternmost point.
+1
Level 28
Jan 26, 2018
I forgot China. I feel stupid.
+1
Level 57
May 12, 2018
i wonder how the answers would change if the countries were ranked by difference in degrees longitude between the easternmost and westernmost points
+1
Level 57
May 12, 2018
They are, excluding exclaves
+2
Level 57
May 13, 2018
The quiz uses horizontal distance, which helps the countries nearer the equator
+1
Level 38
May 12, 2018
%100 with 0:20 on the clock. Almost forgot about Morocco
+1
Level 38
May 12, 2018
And Ukraine is about 300km away from making this list....
+2
Level 67
May 12, 2018
I think you should mention that you've measured diagonally.
+1
Level 46
May 12, 2018
+1
Level 64
May 12, 2018
100%!!! YES!
+1
Level 44
May 13, 2018
I would have included Indonesia. I suppose you don't count the ocean distance between the islands, but it seems to me that you should.
+1
Level 62
May 13, 2018
+1
Level 36
May 14, 2018
+3
Level 66
May 15, 2018
The note says "continuous land mass," and much of Indonesia is separated by the ocean. I think that once you wade into that territory (excuse the pun), it gets dicey. You'd probably have to add Micronesia and Kiribati too.
+1
Level 66
May 14, 2018
Gosh, missed Morocco.
+1
Level 66
Aug 23, 2018
Algeria and D.R. Congo should be switched, as Algeria is listed as 2,110km and D.R. Congo is 2,122km.
+1
Level 67
Jan 26, 2019
Interesting how the answers are nearly in order :)
+1
Level 46
May 26, 2019
Argentina should be on here as the distance from Glaciar Perito Moreno in South-West Argentina and Comandante Andresito in North-East Argentina when the latitude is averaged out as 38.0828 degrees South and only the longitudes are different the distance is 1667km according to NOAA's distance calculator based on coordinates. Therefore Argentina should be on this list.
+1
Level 57
Jun 12, 2019
How is morocco meassured, i checked on google maps and i couldnt find a place where its wider than about 800km
+1
Level 48
Oct 5, 2019
I think it's because of Western Sahara.
+1
Level 63
Oct 28, 2019
If there was a very narrow country going from the equator to the north pole and just missing the north pole in the right way, this quiz would give it a width of about 20 000 km even though it would only be about 10 000 km long.
+1
Level 63
Oct 28, 2019
Actually if I have interpreted a comment above correctly that could go up to 40 000 km of "width".
+1
Level 67
Feb 13, 2020
Weird how the only one I missed is morocco and it is guessed least, by quite a margin! Why are others guessed so much more?
+1
Level 56
Feb 2, 2021
If western sahara is included, I assume people forgot about that
+2
Level 70
Feb 13, 2020
I got this, so how about a 'Widest Countries West to East' quiz?
+1
Level 22
Mar 14, 2020
Where is Indonesia?
+1
Level 45
Jun 12, 2020

CONTINUAL LANDMASSES Indonesia is made up of islands

+1
Level 45
Sep 13, 2020
How did Morocco make the list but Argentina didn't?
+1
Level 68
Jan 12, 2021
I'm gonna hazard a wld guess here: because it's wider?
+1
Level 16
Jan 26, 2021
Indonesia isn't wide?
+1
Level 56
Feb 2, 2021
Caveats say they have to be part of the same landmass. Indonesia is islands
+2
Level 39
Feb 18, 2021
w i d e p u t i n
+1
Level 37
Feb 24, 2021
im so confused as to how indonesia isnt there
+1
Level 49
Apr 14, 2021
Me too! The I read the notes.
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