United States vs United Kingdom: Geographical Comparison

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Difference between U.S.A. and U.K.

Being among the most powerful and most influential countries in the world, comparisons between the United States and the United Kingdom are always bound to come up. There are various aspects to use as points of comparison between them of course, but nearly all of them seem to point to their distinctiveness from one another. This comparison article focuses on the more telling geographical differences between both.

Land Area

The United States has a total land area of 9,372,610 km2, making it the third or fourth largest country in the world, depending on how it is measured. The United Kingdom on the other hand has a land area of only 245,000 km2, including Great Britain, a portion of Ireland towards the northeast, and various other smaller islands. The largest countries in the United Kingdom in order of size are England, with a land are of 130,410 km2 (comprising more than half the total land area of the U.K.), Scotland with a land area of 78,772 km2, Wales which covers 20,758 km2, and Northern Ireland, which measures 14,160 km2.

Physical Geography

The United States has quite a varied topography, comprised of practically every common type of landmass. Both the Atlantic and gulf shores are characterized by plains that stretch from the Mexican border all the way to New York City, covering Florida. The inland areas on the other hand are characterized by hills and forests. There are also numerous mountain ranges and bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and streams.

The United Kingdom is no less varied in terms of geographical features, and the country is characterized by everything from lowlands to mountains and wide fertile plains. Wales and Northern Ireland for their part are characterized by mountainous regions and gently rolling plains.


According to current records, the United States is listed as having 12,248 kilometers in land borders, and a coastline of 19,924 km. These figures comprise the entire United States territory. 2,477 km of the land boundaries are made up of the Canadian-Alaskan border, and 29 km is taken up by the Cuban-Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base border. The rest of this land boundary measurement is made up of the perimeter of the first 48 states all taken together.

The U.K. for its part has a coastline measuring 12,429 km. This is quite a bit smaller than the United States' coastline, although it is still longer than the coastlines of countries such as Italy, Spain and France.


United States

  • Exceedingly wide and varied terrain
  • Characterized by majestic mountain ranges, rolling hills, broad fertile plains, lush forests and even deserts
  • Has a longer coastline than the U.K.
  • Is either the third or fourth largest country in the world

United Kingdom

  • Has quite a varied topography given its relatively smaller size
  • Primary geographical features include mountains, hills, lowlands, and forests
  • Shorter coastline than the United States, although it is still longer than France's, Spain's and Italy's coastlines

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