Spain is a beautiful, influential and huge country, the second-largest of the European Union, losing only to France. Because of that, a lot of people wonder how big is Spain compared to other countries around the world. It brings the question: Is Brazil bigger than Spain?
Brazil is about 17 times bigger than Spain (16.82 precisely). While Spain is an influential European nation with a total size of 195,365 mi² (505,992 km²), it seems small compared to the largest South American country (and fifth-largest globally): Brazil has a total area of 3,287,956 mi².
There’s a lot of history between Brazil and Spain (and Portugal). In fact, most of Brazil’s territory was supposed to be a Spanish domain. But after years of negotiations and treaties, Brazil ended up being colonized by Portugal. For now, let’s focus on the size comparison, and later you can check more details about the Brazilian colonization and disputes between Spain and Portugal.
Brazil or Spain: Who’s Bigger? (Infographic)
Some comparisons are just not fair, and comparing the size of pretty much any country with Brazil, China, Russia, or the US is often unfair. For example, Spain is a beautiful and extensive country, but compared to the size of Brazil, it looks tiny. And that’s expected: Brazil is well-known for being a gigantic place, with continental dimensions. Brazil is even bigger than Oceania. Take a look at the numbers in the following table to check how big is Spain compared to Brazil.
|Country||Total Area (Square Miles)||Total Area (Square Kilometers)|
|Brazil||3,287,956 mi²||8,515,767 km²|
|Spain||195,365 mi²||505,992 km²|
The stats described in the table above are enough to prove that Brazil is 16.82 times the size of Spain. But images are a better way to compare sizes. So we created a beautiful infographic highlighting the differences in the size between both countries. That’s also an excellent way to visualize how Spain looks when superimposed on the Brazilian territory on a precise scale.
To create an accurate comparison, we needed to avoid any kind of distortions and problems. A common mistake that people do when comparing the size of countries, states, or cities is using Google Maps, for example. As Google uses the Mercator projection, a 2D map projection that sacrifices size to maintain shape, their software it’s not the best option for this study.
Fortunately, we were able to learn about a special software (thetruesize.com) that correct these flaws known as Mercator distortions. Using The True Size it’s possible to represent the actual size of Spain compared to Brazil in a clean, simple, and precise manner. What About Brazil has no relation and is not sponsored by this tool. But It’s just so great that I feel almost obligated to give a huge shoutout/recommendation to these guys. The software is free, and you can check and play around with the tools using this link.
Spain Is A Big Country
Spain may look small when compared to Brazil, but don’t be mistaken: it’s a big country. Especially compared to the rest of Europe. Counting Spain’s contiguous territory plus the Canary Islands and Spanish territories along the North African coastline, it’s the second-largest country in the European Union (losing only to France).
|Country||Total Area (Square Miles)||Total Area (Square Kilometers)|
GDP: Brazil And Spain Economies Are Similar
Brazil can be way bigger than Spain, but both countries are going similar in terms of economy. In terms of nominal GDP, Brazil is going slightly better, with $1.36 trillion versus $1.25 trillion. However, the GDP per capita of Spain is way better than Brazil’s: $26,832 versus $6,450. [GDP numbers from 2020].
|Country||GDP – Nominal||GDP – Per Capita|
|United States||$20.81 trillion||$63,051|
|United Kingdom||$2.64 trillion||$39,229|
|South Korea||$1.59 trillion||$30,644|
Brazil And Spain Share A Lot Of History
In 1500 a Portuguese expedition led by Pedro Alvares Cabral arrived in the territory that became Brazil. This expedition arrived on our land on April 22, 1500, as a result of the great navigations promoted by Portugal during the 15th century. As Pedro was Portuguese on a mission sent by the crown, after noticing the potential of the land, Portugal started colonizing Brazil.
However, Portugal was not the only nation interested in the lands that became the region known as South America. On the other side of the continent, since Columbus discovered America, Spain started to colonize part of South America. With both shores being explored by different forces, it was inevitable that at some moment they would end up facing each other interests. Usually, it means war. But fortunately, this had been decided even before Portugal arrived in Brazil.
The Treaty of Tordesillas
In 1492, after hearing the reports from Columbus, the Spanish monarchs sought help from the Pope to grant them control over the “New World”. They intended to prevent Portugal and other rivals from setting up in the area. In 1943, pope Alexander VI (that was Spanish) determined the demarcation of a line that would be located 100 leagues west of Cape Verde. Portuguese expeditions were to remain east of that line. All territories west of that line would belong to Spain.
After that, King Dom João II, from Portugal, was very angry with the decision of Pope Alexander VI because the demarcation proposed by him left almost no territory for Portugal in the New World. To resolve this conflict, Spanish and Portuguese ambassadors met in the village of Tordesillas, Spain, in 1494. A new agreement was signed and the line was moved, 370 leagues to the west of Cape Verde. This document became known as the Treaty of Tordesillas.
At that time, no one knew what the real extent of the western hemisphere was. It was the Treaty of Tordesillas that allowed Portugal to start colonizing Brazil by the coastal region where Pedro Álvares Cabral landed in 1500. But this is not the end. If you have already seen the current Brazilian map, you probably noticed that it does not follow the division determined by the treaty. It went way over the line, taking a lot of the land that “belonged” to Spain.
The Treaty of Madrid
Through the years Portugal extended the limits defined by the Treaty of Tordesillas, expanding the territory that became Brazil and some to the west of the line. Spain noticed this fact and in 1750 a new treaty was signed: the Treaty of Madrid. In this document, Brazil (Portugal back then) gave up some lands that were a huge interest for Spain in exchange for lands that gave Brazil a shape very similar to what It is now.
Is Brazil or Spain richer? As a general rule, Brazil is richer than Spain. The nominal Brazilian GDP is around $1.36 trillion, while the Spanish nominal GDP is about $1.25 trillion. However, in terms of GDP per capita, Spain is going way better: $26,832 (Spain) versus $6,450 (Brazil).
Is Spain smaller than Brazil? Spain is about 16.82 times smaller than Brazil. Spain is the second-largest country in European Union, with a total area of 195,365 mi² (505,992 km²), but it seems small compared to Brazil. The total size of Brazil is 3,287,956 mi² (8,515,767 km²), a gigantic country.
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