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Share of World Forests by Country

The global forest cover comprises over three trillion trees.

Approximately half of these trees (1.3 trillion) are found in the tropics and subtropics, while about one-fourth (0.74 trillion) are in the boreal regions, and one-fifth (0.66 trillion) in temperate regions.

So, how does this distribution look on a country-by-country basis?

Utilizing data from the World Bank, the VisualCapitalist team illustrated each country's share of the world's total forest area.

Percentage of the worlds' forests by country

Naturally, larger countries typically boast more forested areas, resulting in a higher percentage of the world's forests.

At the forefront of the list, Russia claims over one-fifth of the world's forests, encompassing a vast expanse of 8 million km2, which is slightly less than half of the entire country.

Following closely, Brazil, the fifth-largest and sixth-most populated nation, ranks second with just over 12% of the total forests, covering close to 5 million km2, over 60% of its landmass. Its prominent forest, the Amazon, has encountered significant deforestation, losing 237,000 km2 in five years. The Amazon rainforest is also a substantial part of Peru’s forest cover (ranked 10th on this visualization, with a 1.8% share).

Canada and the U.S. each harbor about 8% of the world's forests, fostering renowned national park systems dedicated to preserving the continent's natural biodiversity.

China secures the fifth spot, contributing 5.5% of the global forest cover. Unlike other nations experiencing forest decline, China has expanded its forest area by 511,807 km2 in 25 years, larger than Thailand's entire landmass. However, critics caution against potential drawbacks, such as promoting monocultures of non-native trees at the expense of native species.

Meanwhile, Australia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) each claim a 3% share of the world's forests. The Congo Basin, the world's second-largest tropical rainforest, heavily influences the DRC's forest cover and extends across five other countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

Completing the top 10, Indonesia, India, and Peru each contribute 2% to the global forest coverage.

Rank

Counry

Forested area km2

% of world's forests

1

Russia

8,153,116

20.10%

2

Brazil

4,953,914

12.30%

3

Canada

3,468,911

8.60%

4

U.S.

3,097,950

7.70%

5

China

2,218,578

5.50%

6

Australia

1,340,051

3.30%

7

DRC

1,250,539

3.10%

8

Indonesia

915,277

2.30%

9

India

724,264

1.80%

10

Peru

721,575

1.80%

11

Angola

660,523

1.60%

12

Mexico

655,643

1.60%

13

Colombia

589,426

1.50%

14

Bolivia

506,208

1.30%

15

Venezuela

461,734

1.10%

16

Tanzania

452,760

1.10%

17

Zambia

446,258

1.10%

18

Mozambique

364,976

0.90%

19

Papua New Guinea

358,222

0.90%

20

Argentina

284,637

0.70%

Countries with abundant forest cover and smaller populations also have higher forest area per capita. 

Rank

Country

Sq. meters per capita

1

French Guiana

301,716

2

Suriname

260,815

3

Guyana

216,259

4

Gabon

109,335

5

Niue

95,773

6

Canada

94,921

7

Russia

56,022

8

Australia

50,982

9

Bolivia

47,384

10

Central African Republic

44,306

11

Botswana

44,281

12

Congo

41,984

13

Finland

40,337

14

Mongolia

39,916

15

Papua New Guinea

36,812

16

Bhutan

36,697

17

Belize

36,197

18

Solomon Islands

33,774

19

New Caledonia

29,506

20

Namibia

28,634


Want to learn more about the planet's forests?  Pay attention to these books.

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