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Geography of the Countries of Africa

The continent of Africa is the world"s second-largest based on land area and population just after Asia. It has a population of around one billion people (as of 2009) and covers 20.4% of the Earth"s land area. Africa is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Africa is known for its biodiversity, varied topography, culture and varied climate.

The continent straddles the equator and encompasses the entire tropical band. Africa"s northern and southernmost countries also stretch out of the tropics (from 0° to 23.5° N and S latitude) and into the northern and southern temperate latitudes (latitudes above the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn).

As the world"s second-largest continent, Africa is divided into 53 officially recognized countries. The following is a list of Africa"s countries ordered by land area. For reference, the country"s population and capital city have also been included.

1) Sudan

Area: 967,500 square miles (2,505,813 sq km)

Population: 39,154,490

Capital: Khartoum

2) Algeria

Area: 919,594 square miles (2,381,740 sq km)

Population: 33,333,216

Capital: Algiers

3) Democratic Republic of the Congo

Area: 905,355 square miles (2,344,858 sq km)

Population: 63,655,000

Capital: Kinshasa

4) Libya

Area: 679,362 square miles (1,759,540 sq km)

Population: 6,036,914

Capital: Tripoli

5) Chad

Area: 495,755 square miles (1,284,000 sq km)

Population: 10,146,000

Capital: N"Djamena

6) Niger

Area: 489,191 square miles (1,267,000 sq km)

Population: 13,957,000

Capital: Niamey

7) Angola

Area: 481,353 square miles (1,246,700 sq km)

Population: 15,941,000

Capital: Luanda

8) Mali

Area: 478,840 square miles (1,240,192 sq km)

Population: 13,518,000

Capital: Bamako

9) South Africa

Area: 471,455 square miles (1,221,037 sq km)

Population: 47,432,000

Capital: Pretoria

10) Ethiopia

Area: 426,372 square miles (1,104,300 sq km)

Population: 85,237,338

Capital: Addis Ababa

11) Mauritania

Area: 396,955 square

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