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Least-Forested Countries

Can you name the countries of the world that have the lowest percentage of forest cover?
According to CCI_LC data via FAOStat. 2020 data.
No data exists for the Vatican
Quiz by Jarl5
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Last updated: June 22, 2023
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First submittedJune 1, 2017
Times taken48,128
Average score70.0%
Rating4.40
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%
Continent
Country
0.0583
Africa
Egypt
0.0652
Asia
Saudi Arabia
0.0842
Africa
Libya
0.0947
Africa
Djibouti
0.145
Asia
Oman
0.184
Asia
Turkmenistan
0.204
Asia
Jordan
0.270
Africa
Mauritania
0.361
Europe
Iceland
0.425
Asia
Kuwait
%
Continent
Country
0.596
Asia
Iraq
0.641
Asia
Uzbekistan
0.648
Asia
United Arab Emirates
0.667
Africa
Niger
0.686
Africa
Algeria
0.713
Oceania
Marshall Islands
0.894
Asia
Yemen
0.929
Asia
Qatar
1.39
Asia
Maldives
1.44
Oceania
Nauru
+38
Level ∞
Jun 19, 2017
Nearest misses: Afghanistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Togo, Maldives, Haiti, Chad, Mali, United Arab Emirates.
+6
Level 68
Jun 19, 2017
Wow! Thanks so much for the second feature!
+6
Level 75
Sep 1, 2017
I missed ten of the top list but got nearly all of the second. :(
+1
Level 61
Sep 1, 2017
likewise!
+5
Level 75
Apr 14, 2020
My guess is that about 75% of land area in the Maldives is forested. Unless there's some definition of forest that requires an area that would disqualify almost all of its islands.
+1
Level 75
Sep 1, 2023
This might be why the Marshall Islands are here too.

(Whereas Qatar, right in between them and the Maldives on the list, is truly without trees almost everywhere.)

+1
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
Quizmaster please approve my caveat!
+8
Level 88
Aug 9, 2018
The U.A.E. must include indoor trees.
+12
Level 62
Aug 29, 2019
If I lived in Qatar, I would plant a tree
+1
Level 57
Sep 1, 2023
Surprised about Haiti
+2
Level 76
Jun 19, 2017
0% San Marino seems 'extreme' although I don't know the exact definition of forested area
+1
Level 68
Jun 19, 2017
My guess is that there has to be a large enough area of trees to qualify as a "forest" and that San Marino doesn't have enough space for that.
+7
Level ∞
Jun 19, 2017
I removed Nauru, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican after looking at satellite maps.
+10
Level 77
Jun 20, 2017
I looked at Vatican City on satellite maps too...I don't think carefully planted trees and gardens count as "forest." I would say that Vatican should still be a big fat zero. Or at least still be on the list somewhere.
+5
Level 69
Sep 1, 2017
doesnt matter if it doesnt have enough space, there is nothing in the description about that! so you removed legitimate answers therefore this quiz should not count towards the points system...
+2
Level 67
Sep 1, 2017
I tried "Vatican" "The Vatican" "Holy See" and every other combination I could think of. I haven't been there but I assume the Pope takes his walks through acres and acres of rolling forests...
+8
Level 82
Sep 1, 2017
hm... yeah... I circumabulated the entire country of the Vatican and did not see a single forest.
+22
Level 52
Nov 8, 2017
I do like the fact that if we're counting planted trees as forest, Vatican's number rises by ~0.0045% every Christmas when they put up the Vatican Christmas tree.
+1
Level 55
Jun 3, 2022
After looking at the satellite imagery, I would put the Vatican at around 10 - 20 %, because of the park trees.
+3
Level 62
Jun 22, 2017
Surprised Mali doesn't make the list.
+2
Level 68
Jun 22, 2017
Looks like it's one of the nearest misses
+1
Level 57
Sep 1, 2017
San Marino

with 0% forrest

+2
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
See above comments
+7
Level 72
Sep 1, 2017
Some of us don't read the comments before we take quizzes. Are you going to put the list of exceptions up top or do you plan on just replying to people with "see above comments"? ;)
+4
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
There's no point in bringing up the same argument again and again when it has been mentioned many times above. As a general rule you should just read comments before you type yours so you don't state something twice.
+1
Level 88
Apr 13, 2020
Use "Find in page __________” from your menu on a long comment section. It's a lot quicker than typing any comment you'll make.
+3
Level 73
Sep 1, 2017
you should readd San Marino, Monaco and Vatican, at least. No forrest and barely no trees at all in thoses places...
+2
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
See above comments
+2
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
Maybe Vatican?
+3
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
See above comments
+7
Level 67
Sep 1, 2017
Hey, have you seen the comments?
+4
Level 59
Sep 1, 2017
A planted tree does not constitute a forest. Vatican needs to be back on the list!
+2
Level 77
Sep 1, 2017
WHY DO I ALWAYS MISS JORDAN?!?!?!?!?!?
+1
Level 77
Jun 3, 2022
We all miss her. My Boys was an underrated classic. But don’t worry, she appears as a recurring character on Ozark! Oh… you said Jordan, not Jordana…
+1
Level 58
Sep 1, 2017
what about Greenland? I see data from 0 to 0.00054
+4
Level 68
Sep 1, 2017
Not a country
+11
Level 90
Sep 1, 2017
Shocked about Pakistan. How does a large country with one of the worlds great river basins have that little forest? Especially considering none of it's neighbors are on the list. Did Pakistan at one time have forests and they got cut down?
+3
Level 73
Jun 3, 2022
Well, Egypt also has the Nile but virtually no forests. Rivers create arable land, which is usually farmed, not forested. Without the Indus, Pakistan would probably have mostly a desert climate.
+1
Level 71
Jun 3, 2022
Yeah, if you look at the Indus River Basin, mostly based in Punjab, you'll see it's mostly flatlands and plains--ideal for farming, but not forests. Certain parts of northern Pakistan are very mountainous while the southwest is mostly desert. For sure Pakistan has a lot of geographic diversity, but this doesn't equate to having forest.
+1
Level 15
Jun 5, 2022
What little there was was cut down for firewood
+2
Level 78
Sep 1, 2017
Please keep in mind the source, the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). I've worked for some years on issues involving ag stats, enough to know that theirs are a running joke (as is the organization in general).
+1
Level 80
Sep 1, 2017
Since Haiti is notorious for its overforestation, I'm really surprised it wasn't here (even though it just missed the list anyway)
+5
Level 75
Sep 2, 2017
Surprised not to see Namibia or Australia. Granted I've never been to either, it seems they're always portrayed as mostly desert wastelands. Also interesting fact: Iceland was 97% forest when first settled, but has now fallen to below 0.5% due to deforestation
+3
Level 60
Sep 6, 2017
Australia has an enormous desert in the middle, but there's significant rainforest in the north as well. The whole scale of the place is crazy.
+1
Level 60
Sep 3, 2017
vatican, monaco, no forest
+2
Level 71
Sep 6, 2017
Confused that vatican, singapore and monaco not included. I kept thinking I had spelled them wrong. Would be nice if it was in the instructions that cities or certain countries are eliminated for whatever reason.
+2
Level 51
Sep 10, 2017
I didn't even think of those countries for some reason--just focused on desert countries. But I agree that they should either be included or there should be a note in the description telling us that they are excluded.
+1
Level 68
Sep 10, 2017
First there wasn't a caveat, then I added one, then it got taken away. We can't please everyone.
+2
Level 80
Nov 14, 2017
Just please add the Vatican, Monaco, Nauru, and San Marino back. There is no reason whatsoever for them not to be on here. And yes, I read the above comments, and have yet to see a reason as to why they were removed.
+3
Level 82
Jan 19, 2018
Just look at the satelite photos ... No idea where FAO gets the data from, but it's clearly wrong in this case:

Nauru - clearly more than 2% forest, here are also some photos from the ground

San Marino - mostly houses and farmland, but also plenty of trees in between and also a few larger patches

Monaco - dubious IMO, there is apparently some steeper land with trees, but I don't think it reaches 1.88% without counting the parks ...

Vatican - it does seem to include also some forest. Wikipedia says: Today's Vatican Gardens are spread over nearly 23 hectares (57 acres), they contain a variety of medieval fortifications, buildings and monuments from the 9th century to the present day, set among vibrant flower beds and topiary, green lawns and a 3 hectares (7.4 acres) patch of forest.

+2
Level 82
Jan 19, 2018
3/44 ha = 6.8% in Vatican
+1
Level 74
Feb 12, 2018
0,006% in Oman? So how tiny is the forest there. It must have less than 10 trees.
+1
Level 67
Jan 27, 2022
26.249410816295015, 56.371906400874956 take a look at tree park in Oman.

It looks like a lot of the towns have trees as well, but most look to be planted so probably wouldn't count towards forest area.

+2
Level 48
Jan 19, 2019
I got lost in the Singapore forest once, barely made it out
+1
Level 65
Nov 18, 2019
Quite a bit of forest in San Marino. Maybe even five percent. look up these coordinates on google maps: 43.930711, 12.451588
+5
Level 67
Apr 13, 2020
If the United Arab Emirates have forests, Pakistan has them too. I'm not arguing with the quiz, I'm arguing with the source.
+2
Level 45
Apr 13, 2020
Kazakhstan!?!?
+1
Level 52
Apr 13, 2020
I know. With such a large land area and close proximity to Russia you’d think that they would have some forest. But then again, under Kazakhstan is Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan who all have to go to one, dryer up lake to get water.
+3
Level 84
Apr 13, 2020
Once I started on the Middle East: Leba... cedars of where? Yeah, scratch that one. Next!
+1
Level 56
Apr 21, 2020
Got my first country with about a minute to go. Then 11 more! What I don't understand is why it's Mauretania but not Senegal, why Algeria & Libya but not Tunisia, why Togo and not Benin, etc. etc. Just one of those random things I suppose.
+1
Level 82
Jun 22, 2023
Algeria, Libya and Mauritania include huge chunks of Sahara
+4
Level 76
Sep 8, 2020
I will never understand why these quizzes completely omit Greenland. It should either be counted as its own country or counted as a part of Denmark.

If you did that here, based on the FAOSTAT data for 2020, then ~0.284% of the Kingdom of Denmark is forested. 836000 square miles of land can't just disappear for these quizzes

+1
Level 75
Sep 1, 2023
Agreed.
+1
Level 54
Jun 3, 2022
Sea forest includes?
+3
Level 75
Jun 3, 2022
That photo is of the UAE, which isn't one of the answers!
+1
Level 51
Jun 4, 2022
What? What is ICELAND doing up here?
+2
Level 82
Oct 1, 2022
Iceland became completely deforested over the last 1000 years of human occupation, largely because it was so isolated, so people relied on local timber. There are some efforts are reforestation now, but they're in their infancy an the country is still mostly devoid of trees.
+2
Level 66
Jun 22, 2023
Even when Iceland had forest, it wasn't a big percentage of the island.
+2
Level 83
Jun 22, 2023
I seem to remember all the guidebooks sporting the joke: 'What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest? - Stand up!'
+1
Level 75
Sep 1, 2023
Svalbard has plenty of polar willow trees. They're all under 9 cms in height though (and I'd say that almost all of them are less than half that tall).
+1
Level 82
Oct 1, 2022
I'm not amazed that Pakistan has very little forest, but I am amazed that it has even less than the UAE. I don't recall seeing any forests in the UAE when I was there. I remember seeing city and desert and very little else.
+1
Level 82
Jun 22, 2023
UAE has quite a few mangroves, plus some palm groves.
+2
Level 74
Jun 22, 2023
I'm surprised that Bahrain doesn't qualify, good for them for planting some trees on their island.
+2
Level 74
Jun 23, 2023
Tried all the Stans except ... Uzbekistan :(