Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe, according to the total dimensions of its area, so it’s not exactly small.
And not only that, the area within Spain encompasses a multitude of different microclimates, regions, cultures, ecosystems, and more.
There is plenty of variety within Spain, as the country has a lot to offer!
That being said, being big within Europe doesn’t exactly do much when it comes to comparisons with the rest of the world. Europe is made out of small countries, so being one of the biggest doesn’t make you “big.”
In fact, let’s take a leap over to the American continent…how big is Spain compared to the United States? (Spoiler, not very big at all!)
You know how we said that Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe?
Yeah, well, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world as a whole. (In the worldwide list, Spain comes at number 52, a fair bit further down).
So it’s safe to say that the United States is way bigger than Spain and, in comparison, Spain is…pretty small.
But exactly how much smaller is Spain compared to the US? How do the dimensions of both countries compare and contrast?
Let’s get right into it!
Size Comparison: Spain Vs. US
It’s more than safe to say that Spain is a lot smaller than the United States, but let’s find out exactly by how much.
If we’re being exact, Spain is around 19 times smaller than the US. This means that you could fit 19 Spains inside of the United States, before running out of space.
So imagine the size of Spain, now multiply that by 19, and you roughly get the size of the US. It’s a pretty big difference, isn’t it?
Spain is 505 square kilometers big (194.9 square miles) give or take. The United States, on the other hand, is around 9,833.5 square kilometers (3796.7 square miles) big. And that kind of says it all.
The population also reflects this massive difference in size. Spain has approximately just over 47 million people, while the United States has 329.5 million people.
But let’s look at some other ways of measuring size in a country. Specifically, we will go over the area (again), as well as the coastal length, and the land per capita.
The overall area, measured in square kilometers (or squared miles), is the main way of quantifying the total size of a country, as it encompasses all of its lands and, therefore, the space it takes up within the world.
(And yes, this usually also contains any land from islands that belong to the country. It’s essentially any and all land belonging to the country in question.)
As we already mentioned, Spain has an overall area of approximately 194.9 square miles, while the United States has an overall area of approximately 3796.7 square miles.
The coastal length of a country is essentially the length of all coastal territory if it was to be straightened out into a line.
So, it is the total length of the parts of the country’s perimeter that are in direct contact with oceans or seas. Basically, it measures up the coastal territory.
Usually, Spain has a decent shot at being amongst the biggest, when it comes to coastal length at all, and that is because most of its perimeter is by ocean or sea.
After all, Spain makes up the majority of Iberian peninsula (along with Portugal), so it is completely surrounded by water, except for in the north, where it is adjoined to France.
However…the United States takes up most of the North American continent and ranges from one side to the other, so it also has a fair bit of coastal territory.
To be exact, Spain has 3,084 miles of coastline, ranking at number 26 within the world. The United States, on the other hand, has 95,471 miles of coastline, ranking at number 8 within the world.
So the United States has almost 30 times as much coastline as Spain does. Again, the difference is huge!
Land Per Capita
Per capita is a term that comes from Latin and translates into “by head”. So it is usually used, within official and scientific statistics, to describe the amount of something per head, which essentially means per person.
So land per capita is basically just the amount of land there is per person, taking into account both the area of land belonging to the country and the average population.
This is always an interesting measure to take into account within a country, as there’s a big difference between a country feeling crowded, or empty.
If a country is small but there aren’t many people, then it will feel bigger because you will have more space between things and to yourself.
Meanwhile, even if a country is huge, if the population is equally massive, everything might feel crowded, giving the impression that there isn’t much space at all!
So, how does the land per capita compare between Spain and the US?
Spain has around 12.34 square kilometers for every 1000 people (miles). Meanwhile, the United States has around 30.16 square kilometers for every 1000 people (miles).
Okay, so let’s sum this up. How big is Spain compared to the US? The answer is not very big at all.
In fact, Spain is 19 times smaller than the United States, meaning that you could fit 19 Spains inside the United States, more or less. (Remember that all the measurements we go through are approximations!)
The US has a bigger overall area, a larger coastal length, and far more land per capita. So not only is it bigger, but it also feels bigger because there is more space per person!
The overwhelming conclusion is that, in comparison, Spain is small next to the sheer size of the US. Although within Europe, Spain is actually the fourth biggest country!