The most narrow country in the world is the Republic of Gambia, which has an average width of about 22 miles (35 km). The Gambia is also the smallest country in Africa, with an area slightly less than the size of the U.S. state of Delaware.
More facts about narrow countries:
- Other countries that are among the most narrow include Cyprus, with an average width of about 25 miles (41 km); Jamaica, with an average width of about 29 miles (47 km); and Israel, with an average width of about 30 miles (49 km).
- Though Chile is often cited as the most narrow country, in terms of average width, it's nowhere close. In fact, Chile has an average width of about 100 miles (161 km), almost five times the average width of The Gambia.
- During the rainy season, the Amazon river is wider than the average width of The Gambia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most narrow country in the world?
The most narrow country in the world is Chile, which stretches along the western edge of South America. According to the CIA World Factbook, Chile's width varies significantly, with a minimum width of about 64 kilometers (40 miles) at its narrowest point.
How long is Chile from north to south?
Chile is approximately 4,300 kilometers (2,670 miles) long from north to south, making it one of the longest countries in the world in terms of length. This extensive stretch gives it a diverse range of climates and ecosystems.
What geographical features contribute to Chile's narrowness?
Chile's narrowness is largely due to its location between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes Mountains to the east. This geographical positioning confines the country to a slender strip of land that runs along the continent's edge.
Does Chile's narrowness affect its climate?
Yes, Chile's narrowness contributes to its diverse climate zones. Despite its slim width, the country's extensive length spans from the Atacama Desert in the north, one of the driest places on Earth, to the glacial fields in the south. This results in a variety of climates, including Mediterranean, desert, alpine tundra, and subpolar oceanic climates.
What are some challenges Chile faces due to its geography?
Chile's geography poses several challenges, such as vulnerability to natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Additionally, the narrowness can make transportation and infrastructure development more complex, especially in the mountainous regions.
How does Chile's narrowness impact its economy?
Chile's economy is significantly influenced by its narrowness and length, which provide it with a vast coastline for maritime activities. The country is a global leader in fishing and aquaculture, and it also benefits from rich mineral deposits, especially copper, found in the Andean region.
Are there any other countries that are similarly narrow?
While Chile is the most narrow country, there are other countries with narrow features. For example, Vietnam and Norway also have long, slender shapes, but they do not reach the extreme narrowness of Chile. These countries' geographies similarly influence their climates, economies, and cultures.