Just How Big is the Philippines?

Finding the true comparative size of our country.

The 7,641 islands of the Philippines is home to more than 100 million Filipinos, and the sheer cultural and environmental diversity of our archipelago should be enough to prove just how big the Philippines is. Alas, when most people think of the Philippines, they envision a small smattering of islands in the middle of the Pacific, not realizing the sheer size of the Philippine islands.

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This is where The True Size comes in. A project launched by James Talmage and Damon Maneice, the True Size addresses a debated issue in the world of cartography: the exaggerated size of countries near the poles, like the U.S.A. and Europe, and the downplayed size of countries near the equator, like all the countries in Africa.

You can view The True Size map here. In it, you’ll see just how huge the entire continent of Africa is—big enough to encompass the United States of America, China, and India, all of which are the most populated countries in the world. And you’ll also see just how small Europe is in size despite its huge impact on the world.

Now, just how big is the Philippines?

Well, according to the map, the Philippines is bigger than the United Kingdom, Ireland, and then some.


And just a tiny bit smaller than the state of California in the U.S.A.

It’s still bigger than Portugal and about the same size as Spain, the country that controlled the Philippines for 300 years.

And we’re about the same size as Madagascar, considered a 'small' island in the giant continent that is Africa (blue: USA; yellow: India; orange: China).

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As for how other countries size up to the Philippines, it looks like we’re larger than South Korea (yellow), Ireland (pink), and the United Arab Emirates (blue).

So there’s the answer to our question. The Philippines is pretty damn big.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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