How Big is Africa?

The True Size of Africa compared to contiguous U.S. (screenshot from

6 March 2024

While visiting southern Africa in January I was impressed at how large the continent is. Africa is huge – so big that the contiguous U.S. can fit inside it three times, as shown above.

For instance, the air distance from top to bottom of Africa – Tunis, Tunisia to Cape Town, South Africa – is farther than Seattle to Toyko.

4, 894 air miles from Cape Town to Tunis (map from Wikimedia Commons, red notes added)
4, 792 air miles from Seattle to Toyko, Japan (map from Wikimedia Commons, red notes added)

This animation shows how Africa compares in size to other continents.

Asia is the only continent larger than Africa.

World map of 7 continents (image from Wikimedia Commons)

And Asia is the only continent with a larger human population than Africa’s. Africa comes in second in both cases.

World population by Continent (screenshot from Wikipedia)

To get an idea of this on your own, try to see how big things are.

(credits are in the captions)

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