Coastlines enable transportation for importation and exportation, provide recreational opportunities for tourism, support essential marine ecosystems, and allow access to important food sources. Because of this, coastlines sustain life. In fact, life without coastal waters would be difficult, if not impossible, for most countries. So, it stands to reason the countries who benefit the most from coastlines are the ones with the most coastline. Discover the 10 countries with the most coastline in the world and learn how each country benefits from its coastal waters.
This northern country is known for breaking many records. Canada is the second-largest country in the world by area, has the greatest number of lakes in the world, features some of the rarest species, and has the longest coastline out of any country. Canada’s coastline is an impressive 125,566 miles long.
Canada’s Pacific North Coast is an essential marine habitat for dolphins, 27 whale species, sea lions, porpoises, and seals. This coast also supports abundant seabird species and glass sponge reefs. This country’s coastline also relies on its ports for oil exports and the fishing industry.
The beautiful country of Norway, including its outlying islands, features a coastline of 51,748 miles, the second-largest on Earth. This northern European country is known for its stunning fjords and rugged terrain. It also features hundreds of thousands of freshwater lakes.
Like Canada, Norway’s coasts are home to rich and abundant marine life. The waters near the coast hold the world’s largest populations of cod and herring. It is also home to ancient coral reefs, kelp forests, vulnerable species, and enormous seabird colonies. Norway also relies on its coastlines for maritime transport, fish farming, and the petroleum industry.
The Republic of Indonesia is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean and features a coastline of 33,998 miles, the third-longest in the world. This beautiful country is known for its vast landscape of densely forested volcanic mountains that slope toward the coastal plain.
Indonesian coasts support huge fisheries. The fishing industry in this country is worth $27 billion. Indonesia also uses its coasts to sustain diverse coral and mangrove populations and the tourism industry.
This northern country is bordered by the Pacific and Arctic oceans and is the largest country in the world by land area. It features a coastline of 23,396 miles and the world’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal. This impressive and enormous region is home to deserts, rolling plains, enormous marshes, huge mountains, and a frozen coastline.
The Russian coastline accounts for 53% of the Arctic Ocean coastline, which it aspires to transform into a navigable corridor through Arctic waters. Along with using the coastline as an essential transportation system, Russia protects vulnerable ecosystems and natural resources along the coast.
The Philippines is a string of more than 7,100 islands in Southeast Asia, lying between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. Along with a 22,548-mile-long coast, the Philippines consist of impressive mountain peaks, rolling hills, and fertile plains.
Its coastline is ecologically diverse and features important marine resources such as mangroves and coral reefs. In fact, this country is an essential global center for marine biodiversity. Its coastline also supports major towns and cities and is an important part of its tourism. Manila Bay, a sheltered harbor, is one of the busiest commercial hubs in the country.
Located in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean, Japan is surrounded by water, including the Sea of Okhotsk, the East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. This stunning country is covered in mountains, dense forests, plains, valleys, and coasts. Japan has the sixth-longest coastline in the world, featuring 18,486 miles.
Japan’s long coastline is one of the Earth’s most essential and varied regions for fishing, which is the main economic activity in the country. It features more than 300 ports, both big and small, that contribute to its economic success, infrastructure, and development. The Port of Nagoya is the busiest trading port in the country.
Australia is both a continent and a country that is about the size of the United States. It is one of the biggest countries in the world, featuring a coastline of 16,006 miles. And it’s surrounded by the Pacific, Southern, and Indian oceans and the Coral, Tasman, and Timor seas. This landmass is extremely diverse in geographic features, including extensive desert, snow-capped mountains, and tropical coastlines.
Australia’s underwater habitats are just as diverse. These coasts protect marine life, such as the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef. Australia’s coastline also provides fresh seafood, stores carbon, and brings in money from tourism due to its many recreational activities around the water.
8. United States
As one of the largest countries in the world, the United States boasts a coastline of 12,380 miles. This country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. And its environments are exceptionally diverse, including deserts, mountain ranges, rainforests, and expansive plains. And its coastlines can be everything from rugged and wild to tropical paradises.
America is home to many coastal communities that rely on the shoreline for food, tourism, and other resources. Additionally, coastal fisheries and aquaculture play a major role in the economy, as it provides jobs and protein sources. The United States also uses its coastline for transport and industry.
9. New Zealand
The Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea border the country of New Zealand. This region of the world features rugged mountains, extensive plains, rolling hills, subtropical forests, and miles of coastline featuring sandy beaches and jagged cliffs. The New Zealand coastline is 9,403 miles.
This island nation relies on its coastline for many things. This country has the largest oceanic zone, of which it has exclusive rights for the exploration and exploitation of marine resources. And its ocean waters and coastline support hundreds of species. Plus, New Zealand was the filming location of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The People’s Republic of China is a country in East Asia with a coastline along the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Yellow Sea, covering an area of 9,009 miles. Because the country features mountains, dense forests, deserts, enormous rivers, and fertile lowlands, it is extremely diverse. Coastlines are rugged and wild, with jagged cliffs and forests or beautiful sandy shores perfect for vacations and tourism.
China’s coastal regions are densely populated and account for over 60% of the country’s total GDP. Its coastline is an essential component of the country’s economic success. China has some of the busiest ports in the world. Along with supporting nearly half of its population, Chinese coastlines also sustain diverse marine ecosystems.
Summary of the 10 Countries With the Most Coastline in the World
Here’s a recap of the countries we looked at that have the most coastline in miles.
|8||United States||12,380 miles|
|9||New Zealand||9,403 miles|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Russ Heinl/Shutterstock.com
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