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
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Last updated: October 3, 2018
First submittedAugust 22, 2012
Times taken101,117
Average score75.0%
Rating4.50
5:00
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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
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
+1
Level 71
Jul 18, 2016
What about the Vikings?
+2
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
relative tiny area
+1
Level 59
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 50
Sep 15, 2020
Yes, but some countries still use the Mercator projection which unfortunately results in some very skewed ideas about relative size.
+1
Level 59
Oct 17, 2021
What countries don't use Mercator?
+1
Level 71
Nov 20, 2022
Lots of settlements, independent from the motherland, don't make an empire. Also, they settled in Greenland, Iceland, Russia and Canada but only tiny parts of those. It's also debatable wether Swedes, Danes and Norsemen should be grouped together.
+2
Level 68
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 48
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 61
Oct 13, 2020
Then why is Brazil included. It's just a split away from the Portuguese Empire.
+1
Level 59
Oct 17, 2021
I think because the operational center of the Portuguese Empire was in Portugal, not in Brazil.
+1
Level 83
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 50
Jan 20, 2017
Roman empire included areas not ever controlled by Italy. And though I'm not certain, vice versa is probably true.
+3
Level 82
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 85
Jan 19, 2017
The Belgian Empire included today's DR Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. (Plus Belgium!) That's pretty big...
+3
Level 86
Jan 19, 2017
Congo is huge. The other three not so much.
+2
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 61
Jan 20, 2017
Roman!!! Oh come on!!
+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 50
Mar 27, 2022
That's just another roman empire
+1
Level 64
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 64
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.

+2
Level 63
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.
+4
Level 72
Aug 13, 2017
The Inca, Aztec and Mayan Empires, in comparison to the colonial powers, were absolutely tiny.
+1
Level 50
Sep 15, 2020
Greenland is pretty small in the grand scheme of things (unless for some unknown reason you're still using a Mercator projection in this modern day and age)
+1
Level 37
Jun 6, 2017
Ugh,Alexander!
+1
Level 70
Jul 15, 2017
Canadian isn't an acceptable type in for Canada? Really?
+4
Level 72
Aug 13, 2017
Because there's never been a Canadian Empire. It's simply the nation state of Canada.
+1
Level 59
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 53
Oct 25, 2017
Tibet? Wow
+1
Level 49
Mar 18, 2022
If you look up the Tibetan Empire, then you can see how huge it was. And also how ugly its flag was.
+5
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

+1
Level 65
Nov 21, 2022
The quiz uses square miles. Both of those values are smaller than the smallest quiz answer.
+3
Level 37
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
+5
Level 46
Dec 28, 2017
probably not, they just are huge history nerds.
+4
Level 73
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.

+2
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 55
Jun 29, 2020
Or might be Chinese/Indian.
+1
Level 49
Mar 18, 2022
I already knew about the Tibetan Empire and how big it was, just because we're smart doesn't mean that we're cheating...
+1
Level 27
Jul 5, 2018
Where is Austro-Hungarian Empire ?
+8
Level 72
Dec 7, 2018
Central Europe.
+3
Level 67
Jul 23, 2019
It isnt, it doesnt exist anymore
+1
Level 54
Dec 15, 2020
Neither do most of these empires... to answer the question, it doesn't even break a million square kilometres.
+2
Level 35
Jul 30, 2018
Where is Majapahit Empire?
+1
Level 26
Sep 23, 2018
Why not USSR?

It is different from the Russian Empire.

+1
Level 69
Nov 15, 2018
got Hunnic and Tibetan, missed Italian, French and Dutch.....
+2
Level 64
Oct 26, 2020
Seriously the French? Half the world was carved up by the British and French at the beginning of last century.
+5
Level 50
Dec 7, 2018
Was Australia not bigger when before Papua New Guinea and the Solomon islands got independance?
+2
Level 66
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 73
Dec 7, 2018
Tibet is such an inhospitable place, I bet it included like 16 people at its peak
+1
Level 49
Mar 18, 2022
Believe it or not, around 10,000,000 lived in the Tibetan empire.
+3
Level 75
Dec 23, 2018
Japan and Germany appear out of size sequence.
+2
Level 27
Jul 11, 2019
Should accept Alexandrian empire as Macedonian
+1
Level 59
Jul 12, 2019
no vikings?
+4
Level 74
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
+3
Level 67
Feb 6, 2020
Czeched haha I Ghana believe you wrote that
+1
Level 74
Feb 6, 2020
Och, mon. Wi remarks like that, I'll pretend I nae Kenya.
+4
Level 76
Nov 20, 2019
Got 'Hunnic Empire' after typing 'Hun'... for 'Hungary'!
+2
Level 57
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 76
Jul 18, 2020
Yes, where does the remaining 2 million sq km come from?
+1
Level 51
Feb 6, 2020
21/24 missed Umayyad, Tibet, and Mexican. Good wuiz
+1
Level 71
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?
+2
Level 86
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 63
Feb 6, 2020
Fascinating quiz, Quizmaster!
+1
Level 36
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 84
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 53
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 50
Sep 15, 2020
Apart from Greenland which is around a couple of million sq km, the others don't make much difference.
+2
Level 67
Mar 24, 2020
How abut the Mughal empire? It reached 4.6 million kilometers squared.
+1
Level 60
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

+1
Level 55
Jun 29, 2020
Its the other war around. Mauryan Empire under Ashoka was bigger than Mughal Empire ever was.
+1
Level 78
Jul 11, 2020
Merely out of curiosity, why was the Xiongnu empire missed out?
+2
Level 69
Oct 26, 2020
Looking at it on wikipedia, I would guess it's that they are considered by a lot of scholars to have been the cultural ancestors of the huns, and therefore are disqualified by the "same culture group" clause
+1
Level 55
Jul 31, 2020
The USA was the largest country in the world, in 1969 when it laid a flag (claim) to the MOON!
+3
Level 82
Sep 24, 2020
Read your wording again. Something doesn't sound right.
+1
Level 59
Feb 23, 2022
But the moon is not "in the world".
+1
Level 55
Nov 18, 2022
The flag was symbolic and not a claim. The USA was part of the UN treaty that stated the moon can not be claimed by any nation.
+2
Level 56
Aug 12, 2020
I am mexican and couldn’t guess the Mexican empire lol
+1
Level 71
Sep 7, 2020
During the whole quiz I was thinking that the size was population, and I was confused how Macedonia and Ottoman had the same population...
+1
Level 44
Dec 12, 2020
The biggest moment of australia was when they had also new guinea
+1
Level 40
Aug 25, 2021
I cant believe I got the Tibetan empire but I didn't get the Macedonian empire ( slaps face )
+2
Level 53
Sep 9, 2021
What about the Soviet Union?
+1
Level 55
Oct 17, 2021
Considered the same as the Russian Empire, it appears.
+1
Level 57
Apr 4, 2022
The Russian Empire was larger (very slightly)
+1
Level 62
Sep 30, 2021
I missed the Persian Empire *facepalm*
+1
Level 55
Oct 17, 2021
I got Tibet... but missed China.
+1
Level 32
Dec 20, 2021
Abbasid caliphate??
+1
Level 38
Jan 27, 2022
I meant to say Hungary, but the Hunnic was accepted anyway because I said hun, and I took a while to get Japan
+1
Level 61
Mar 27, 2022
Why not Yugoslavia?
+1
Level 41
Apr 22, 2022
Not very large
+1
Level 57
Apr 4, 2022
Lol I typed in Mughal and they accepted Maurya
+1
Level 41
Apr 22, 2022
Ah yes, the Australian and Canadian empires 🧐
+1
Level 49
May 20, 2022
*Nations* and Empires
+1
Level 61
Jul 28, 2022
How is Portugal listed at only 5.5 million square kilometres? Colonial Brazil alone was 8.1 million square kilometres.
+1
Level 71
Nov 20, 2022
How was 1934 the USA's maximum extent? Has it shrunk since then?
+1
Level 65
Nov 21, 2022
Where's the Ohioan Empire??