West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa that comprises the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, as well as Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom Overseas Territory).
The total area of Western Africa is 6.14 million km² area and below are the largest countries in the region.
1. Niger (Land area: 1,267,000 km²)
Niger is the largest country in West Africa, and the 22nd largest country in the world, but over 80% of its land is covered by the Sahara desert. This is one reason for Niger’s low population density of just 12 people per square kilometer. 94% of Niger’s population live on just 35% of the land. The Maradi region hold 20% of the population on 3.3% of the country’s land, while just 3% of the population live in the desert and mountains to the north, which makes up 53% of the land area.
2. Mali (Land area: 1,240,192 km²)
The west African country of Mali covers 478,800 square miles (1,240,000 square kilometers) of area, making it the second largest country in West Africa. Mali completely landlocked and is bordered by Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niamey, and Algeria. It is the 8th largest nation in Africa. Calculated with the 2019 population of 19,768,861 citizens, the population density of Mali is 41.1 people per square mile (15.9 people per square kilometer), making it the 176th most densely populated country in the world.
3. Mauritania (Land area: 1,030,700 km²)
Mauritania is the 27th largest country in the world and the third largest country in West Africa, covering 397,700 square miles (1.03 million square kilometers) of surface area. Despite its size, Mauritania is one of the world’s least densely populated countries with just 10 people per square mile (4 people per square kilometer), which ranks 186th in the world, despite being the 21st largest country, with a size comparable to Egypt.
4. Nigeria (Land area: 923,768 km²)
The total surface area of Nigeria is approximately 923,768 square kilometers. In combination with the nearly 200 million person population, the density of Nigeria is around 212.04 individuals per sq km. This country also has the highest population of any African nation, and much of this population resides in the south and southwestern areas.
5. Ivory Coast (Land area: 322,463 km²)
Ivory Coast comprises 322,463 km2, of which 318,003 km2 is land and 4,460 km2 is water, which makes the country about the size of Germany and the fifth largest country in West Africa.
6. Burkina Faso (Land area: 272,967 km²)
Burkina Faso has an area of 272,967 km2, making it the sixth biggest country in West Africa. The country has a population of 22.6 million, most of whom live in the center and south of Burkina Faso.
7. Guinea (Land area: 245,857 km²)
The country of Guinea is found on the west coast of Africa between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone and covers 245,857 square kilometers of surface area making it the seventh largest country in West Africa.
8. Ghana (Land area: 238,533 km²)
Ghana covers an area of 238,533 km2, spanning diverse biomes that range from coastal savannas to tropical rain forests. With over 32 million people, Ghana is the second-most populous country in West Africa, after Nigeria, with an overall population density of 313 people per square mile, or 121 people per square kilometer.
9. Senegal (Land area: 196,722 km²)
Senegal covers a total of 196,722 square kilometers of area, making it the ninth largest country in West Africa. More than 42% of Senegal’s 17.6 million population lives in rural areas, with a population density that varies from 77 people per square kilometer to 2 people per square kilometer in the arid eastern region of the country.
10. Benin (Land area: 112,622 km²)
The west African country of Benin covers a total of 112,622 square kilometers of area, making it the tenth largest country in West Africa. Most of Benin’s population lives on the southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea. The capital is Porto-Novo with a population of 265,000 but the largest city is Cotonou with a population of 685,000.
Top 10 Largest Countries in Africa (by total area):