In 1913, 412 million people lived under the control of the British Empire, 23 percent of the world’s population at that time.
It remains the largest empire in human history and at the peak of its power in 1920, it covered an astonishing 13.71 million square miles – that’s close to a quarter of the world’s land area. Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes that at its height, it was described as “the empire on which the sun never sets” but of course the sun finally did set on it.
Today, Britannia no longer rules the waves and its remnants consist of 17 small dependent and unincorporated territories scattered across the world such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.
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The Mongol Empire existed during the 13th and 14th centuries and it is recognized as being the largest contiguous land empire in history. It of course originated in Mongolia and once stretched from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan, extending into the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, covering 9.27 million square miles.
The Russian Empire comes third on the list with a peak land area of 8.8 million square miles.
The data for this infographic was published by website World Atlas.