Which Country Has the Most Lakes

Which Country Has the Most Lakes

CanadaThe Undisputed Champion of the World!

The first question: what exactly is a lake? The scientific definition is, lakes must have an “aphotic zone” (an area deep enough where vegetation can’t grow), otherwise, it’s a “pond.”

LAGOS research teams define a lake as 1-hectare (2.47 acres) or larger.  LAGOS (lagoslakes.org) is the gold standard for lake research in North America.

The definition used here, from World Population Review, (worldpopulationreview.com) is: a water body that is 0.2 square miles (128 acres) or larger.

  1. Canada 879,800
  2. Russia 201,200
  3. USA 102,500 (or 252,000 depending on Alaska*).
  4. Finland 44,000*
  5. China 23,800
  6. Sweden 22,600
  7. Brazil 20,900
  8. Norway 20,000
  9. Argentina     13,600
  10. Kazakhstan   12,400

Canada is home to 3 out of every 5 lakes on Earth. Counting smaller water bodies of at least 1 hectare, (2.47 acres) Canada has about 3.5 million “lakes.” By either measure, Canada rules!

Russia is second with 201,200 lakes, but at nearly twice the size of Canada, the land of the “Rus” is an underachiever. With all those Russian lakes, Putin should go jump in one of them… and stay there.

With 44,000*, Finland punches way above its weight in lake competition. By comparison, underachieving Russia 50 times larger. Finland’s Scandinavian neighbors come in with Sweden (#6 at 22,600 lakes) and Norway (#8 with 20,000 lakes).

The USA clocks in with 102,500 lakes of 128 acres or more, including Alaska.*

Surprisingly, Switzerland has 7,000 lakes, despite being less than two-thirds the size of West Virginia. Its next door neighbor, Germany, has 2,000 lakes.

Although Australia has an entire continent to itself, only has 11,400 lakes! No wonder most of the animals that live there want to kill you.

* Alaska claims 3 million lakes, 5-acres or larger. Of these, about 150,000 may meet the 128-acre threshold. If so, the USA would have approximately 252,000, putting it firmly in second place, with 50,000 more lakes than Russia.

** Finland has 187,888 lakes of “500 square meters” (0.12 acre), or larger. 44,000 is an estimate of Finnish lakes, 128-acres or more, based on Norway’s and Sweden’s ratios.

1 kommentarer

  • Jariten

    According to Deutschland.de Germany has 12,000 lakes. 3,000 in the state of Brandenburg alone. Please check your data.

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