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Top-10 list of the biggest empires in the world

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Top-10 list of the biggest empires in the world


Throughout human history, empires have risen and fallen, leaving an indelible mark on the course of civilizations. These vast and powerful entities have shaped the world in numerous ways, influencing culture, politics, and trade. In this article, we will explore the top 10 biggest empires in world history, examining their territorial extent, cultural contributions, and historical significance.

World’s Largest Empire

The British Empire left an enduring imprint on global history, influencing various aspects of contemporary life, from language and culture to international relations. Its formation unfolded over centuries, marked by colonization, conflicts, and trade, with significant expansion occurring in the 19th century. At its zenith, the British Empire sprawled across approximately 13.71 million square miles, encompassing about a quarter of the Earth’s landmass — an unparalleled extent in both population and territory.

The famous saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” highlighted its global reach, with colonies scattered worldwide. However, following World War II, British imperialism underwent a decline, leading to the relinquishment of numerous colonial holdings. Despite this, the legacy of the British Empire persists, profoundly influencing the modern world. Today, the United Kingdom remains a formidable player in global affairs, a testament to the enduring impact of its once-mighty imperial reach.

Key Facts Related to the Biggest Empire of the World

Here are some of the key facts related to the biggest empire in the world:

  • In 1913, the British Empire governed 23% of the global population, totaling 412 million people.
  • The British Empire, the largest in history, peaked in 1920, spanning an immense 71 million square miles, nearly a quarter of the Earth’s land area.
  • Referred to as “the empire on which the sun never sets,” the British Empire’s influence reached across the globe.
  • Despite its vastness, the British Empire saw its decline, and today, it consists of 14 small territories, including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.
  • The Mongol Empire, existing in the 13th and 14th centuries, is recognized as the largest contiguous land empire, covering 9.27 million square miles.
  • Originating in Mongolia, the Mongol Empire stretched from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan and into the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
  • The Russian Empire, ranking third in size, reached a peak land area of 8 million square miles.

Top-10 Biggest Empires in the World

The British Empire, with the total extend of 13.71 million square miles, holds the title of the biggest empire in the world, followed by Mongol Empire, Russian Empire, Qing Dynasty, Spanish Empire, and Second French colonial Empire.

Here is the list of top-10 biggest empires in the world:

Largest Empires in the World
Rank Empire Extend (in sq. mi) % of World Land Area
1. British Empire 13.71 million 26.35%
2. Mongol Empire 9.27 million 17.81%
3. Russian Empire 8.8 million 16.92%
4. Qing Dynasty 5.68 million 10.91%
5. Spanish Empire 5.29 million 10.17%
6. Second French Colonial Empire 4.44 million 8.53%
7. Abbasid Caliphate 4.29 million 8.24%
8. Umayyad Caliphate 4.29 million 8.24%
9. Yuan Dynasty 4.25 million 8.16%
10. Xiongnu Empire 3.47 million 6.68%

World’s Biggest Empire – The British Empire

Land Area: 13.71 million square mi

The British Empire, spanning 13.71 million square miles, represented over 22% of the Earth’s landmass and housed 458 million people by 1938, constituting over 20% of the global population. Evolving from colonies and trading posts to dominions and protectorates, the empire faced its demise after the financial strain of World War I. The impact of Japan’s occupation during World War II and the loss of India in 1947 marked the conclusion of the once-mighty British Empire.

Second Largest Empire of the World – The Mongol Empire

Land Area: 9.27 million square mi

The Mongol Empire, spanning 9.27 million square miles, constituted over 16% of the Earth’s landmass, with a population of 110 million people from 1270 to 1309, surpassing 25% of the world’s populace. As the largest contiguous empire, it originated under Genghis Khan, blending Mongol and Turkish tribes. Marked by technological and ideological advancements, the empire faced a gradual decline starting in 1331 with the onset of the Black Death, ultimately leading to its annexation by Russia in 1783.

Third Biggest Empire of the World- The Russian Empire

Land Area: 8.8 million square mi

Spanning 8.8 million square miles, the Russian Empire comprised over 15% of the Earth’s landmass, hosting a population of 176.4 million in 1913, surpassing 9% of the global populace. As the last absolute monarchy in Europe and a pre-World War I European great power, Russia maintained a society divided into five distinct social estates. The empire’s demise occurred with the tumultuous Russian Revolution of 1917, marking the conclusion of its historical influence.



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