Top 20 largest lakes in the world 2021

A lake is a large body of water within a body of land separated from the ocean. The largest lakes, which rival the size of entire nations, are more of a rarity

A lake is a large body of water within a body of land separated from the ocean. The largest lakes, which rival the size of entire nations, are more of a rarity. One might expect the world’s largest lakes to be very alike, but from depth to saline content, their properties can be quite different.

As well, the ranking of the world’s largest lakes is far from static, as human activity can turn a massive body of water into a desert within a single generation.

Related: Top 20 longest bridges in the world

There are hundreds of lakes around the world that hold claim to the title of the largest lake of some kind – either by volume, surface area, or a plethora of other defining qualifiers and caveats.

For the purpose of this article, we’ve listed the largest lakes in the world when measured by total surface area.

Here are the top 20 largest lakes in the world

RankLakeCountrySize
1.Caspian SeaKazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran371,000 km2 (143,000 sq mi)
2.SuperiorCanada, United States82,100 km(31,700 sq mi)
3.VictoriaUganda, Kenya, Tanzania68,870 km(26,590 sq mi)
4.HuronCanada, United States59,600 km2 (23,000 sq mi)
5.MichiganUnited States58,000 km(22,000 sq mi)
6.TanganyikaBurundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo32,600 km(12,600 sq mi)
7.BaikalRussia31,500 km(12,200 sq mi)
8.Great Bear LakeCanada31,000 km(12,000 sq mi)
9.MalawiMalawi, Mozambique, Tanzania29,500 km(11,400 sq mi)
10.Great Slave LakeCanada27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi)
11.ErieCanada, United States25,700 km2 (9,900 sq mi)
12.WinnipegCanada24,514 km(9,465 sq mi)
13.OntarioCanada, United States18,960 km(7,320 sq mi)
14.LadogaRussia18,130 km(7,000 sq mi)
15.BalkhashKazakhstan16,400 km(6,300 sq mi)
16.BangweuluZambia15,100 km2 (5,800 sq mi)
17.VostokAntarctica12,500 km(4,800 sq mi)
18.OnegaRussia9,700 km2 (3,700 sq mi)
19.TiticacaBolivia, Peru8,372 km(3,232 sq mi)
20.NicaraguaNicaragua8,264 km(3,191 sq mi)
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Nanaoseiike is a husband, blogger, web developer, and tech enthusiast. I love country music and lead guitar 🎸