Forest area (% of land area) - Country Ranking

Definition: Forest area is land under natural or planted stands of trees of at least 5 meters in situ, whether productive or not, and excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems (for example, in fruit plantations and agroforestry systems) and trees in urban parks and gardens.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Suriname 98.28 2015
2 Gabon 89.26 2015
3 Seychelles 88.41 2015
4 Palau 87.61 2015
5 Guyana 83.95 2015
6 Lao PDR 81.29 2015
7 Solomon Islands 78.06 2015
8 Papua New Guinea 74.10 2015
9 Finland 73.11 2015
10 Bhutan 72.28 2015
11 Brunei 72.11 2015
12 Guinea-Bissau 70.13 2015
13 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 69.23 2015
14 Sweden 68.92 2015
15 Japan 68.46 2015
16 Malaysia 67.55 2015
17 Dem. Rep. Congo 67.30 2015
18 Zambia 65.42 2015
19 Congo 65.40 2015
20 Korea 63.44 2015
21 Panama 62.11 2015
22 Slovenia 61.97 2015
23 Montenegro 61.49 2015
24 Samoa 60.42 2015
25 Belize 59.90 2015
26 Brazil 59.05 2015
27 Peru 57.79 2015
28 Dominica 57.77 2015
29 Puerto Rico 55.91 2015
30 Equatorial Guinea 55.90 2015
31 São Tomé and Principe 55.83 2015
32 Fiji 55.68 2015
33 Costa Rica 53.98 2015
34 Latvia 53.97 2015
35 Cambodia 53.57 2015
36 Venezuela 52.93 2015
37 Cayman Islands 52.92 2015
38 Colombia 52.73 2015
39 Estonia 52.65 2015
40 Tanzania 52.00 2015
41 The Bahamas 51.45 2015
42 Bolivia 50.55 2015
43 Ecuador 50.52 2015
44 Indonesia 50.24 2015
45 Grenada 49.97 2015
46 Russia 49.76 2015
47 Mozambique 48.25 2015
48 The Gambia 48.22 2015
49 Vietnam 47.64 2015
50 Austria 46.88 2015
51 Angola 46.41 2015
52 Timor-Leste 46.13 2015
53 New Caledonia 45.90 2015
54 Trinidad and Tobago 45.71 2015
55 Myanmar 44.47 2015
56 Liberia 43.39 2015
57 Liechtenstein 43.13 2015
58 Senegal 42.97 2015
59 Bosnia and Herzegovina 42.68 2015
60 Belarus 42.55 2015
61 St. Kitts and Nevis 42.31 2015
62 Sierra Leone 42.17 2015
63 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 41.78 2015
64 Dominican Republic 41.05 2015
65 Honduras 41.04 2015
66 Ghana 41.03 2015
67 Georgia 40.62 2015
68 Slovak Republic 40.35 2015
69 Cameroon 39.80 2015
70 Macedonia 39.57 2015
71 Paraguay 38.57 2015
72 New Zealand 38.56 2015
73 Benin 38.23 2015
74 Canada 38.17 2015
75 Spain 36.82 2015
76 Zimbabwe 36.35 2015
77 Vanuatu 36.10 2015
78 Central African Republic 35.59 2015
79 Bulgaria 35.22 2015
80 Lithuania 34.80 2015
81 Portugal 34.74 2015
82 Czech Republic 34.54 2015
83 Croatia 34.35 2015
84 Swaziland 34.07 2015
85 Andorra 34.04 2015
86 Mexico 33.97 2015
87 United States 33.90 2015
88 Luxembourg 33.47 2015
89 Malawi 33.38 2015
90 Tuvalu 33.33 2015
91 St. Lucia 33.28 2015
92 Norway 33.16 2015
93 Guatemala 33.03 2015
94 Sri Lanka 33.01 2015
95 Germany 32.73 2015
96 Côte d'Ivoire 32.71 2015
97 Thailand 32.10 2015
98 Switzerland 31.73 2015
99 Italy 31.61 2015
100 Greece 31.45 2015
101 Serbia 31.10 2015
102 France 31.03 2015
103 Jamaica 30.95 2015
104 Poland 30.81 2015
105 Cuba 30.76 2015
106 Romania 29.82 2015
107 Albania 28.16 2015
108 Philippines 26.96 2015
109 Guinea 25.90 2015
110 Nicaragua 25.88 2015
111 Nepal 25.36 2015
112 Chile 23.85 2015
113 India 23.77 2015
114 Singapore 23.06 2015
115 Hungary 22.85 2015
116 Belgium 22.57 2015
117 Cabo Verde 22.31 2015
118 Antigua and Barbuda 22.27 2015
119 China 22.19 2015
120 Madagascar 21.44 2015
121 Comoros 19.88 2015
122 Burkina Faso 19.55 2015
123 Rwanda 19.46 2015
124 Botswana 19.13 2015
125 Mauritius 19.01 2015
126 Cyprus 18.69 2015
127 Ukraine 16.67 2015
128 Australia 16.24 2015
129 Turkey 15.22 2015
130 Kiribati 15.00 2015
131 Eritrea 14.95 2015
132 Barbados 14.65 2015
133 Denmark 14.58 2015
134 Azerbaijan 13.78 2015
135 Lebanon 13.42 2015
136 United Kingdom 13.00 2015
137 El Salvador 12.79 2015
138 Morocco 12.62 2015
139 Tonga 12.50 2015
140 Ethiopia 12.50 2015
141 Moldova 12.44 2015
142 Armenia 11.66 2015
143 Netherlands 11.16 2015
144 Bangladesh 10.98 2015
145 Ireland 10.95 2015
146 Burundi 10.75 2015
147 Uruguay 10.54 2015
148 Uganda 10.36 2015
149 Somalia 10.14 2015
150 Argentina 9.91 2015
151 Turkmenistan 8.78 2015
152 Namibia 8.40 2015
153 Sudan 8.08 2015
154 Mongolia 8.08 2015
155 Kenya 7.75 2015
156 Nigeria 7.68 2015
157 Israel 7.62 2015
158 South Africa 7.62 2015
159 Uzbekistan 7.57 2015
160 Tunisia 6.70 2015
161 Iran 6.56 2015
162 Chad 3.87 2015
163 Mali 3.86 2015
164 United Arab Emirates 3.86 2015
165 Haiti 3.52 2015
166 Togo 3.46 2015
167 Kyrgyz Republic 3.32 2015
168 Tajikistan 2.97 2015
169 Syrian Arab Republic 2.67 2015
170 Afghanistan 2.07 2015
171 Pakistan 1.91 2015
172 Iraq 1.90 2015
173 Lesotho 1.61 2015
174 Kazakhstan 1.23 2015
175 Jordan 1.10 2015
176 Malta 1.09 2015
177 Yemen 1.04 2015
178 Niger 0.90 2015
179 Algeria 0.82 2015
180 Bahrain 0.78 2015
181 Iceland 0.49 2015
182 Saudi Arabia 0.45 2015
183 Kuwait 0.35 2015
184 Djibouti 0.24 2015
185 Mauritania 0.22 2015
186 Libya 0.12 2015
187 Egypt 0.07 2015
188 Oman 0.01 2015
189 Greenland 0.00 2015
190 Qatar 0.00 2015
190 Nauru 0.00 2015
190 San Marino 0.00 2015

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Development Relevance: As threats to biodiversity mount, the international community is increasingly focusing on conserving diversity. Deforestation is a major cause of loss of biodiversity, and habitat conservation is vital for stemming this loss. Conservation efforts have focused on protecting areas of high biodiversity. On a global average, more than one-third of all forest is primary forest, i.e. forest of native species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes have not been significantly disturbed. Primary forests, in particular tropical moist forests, include the most species-rich, diverse terrestrial ecosystems. The decrease of forest area, .11 percent over a ten-year period, is largely due to reclassification of primary forest to "other naturally regenerated forest" because of selective logging and other human interventions. Destruction of rainforests remains a significant environmental problem Much of what remains of the world's rainforests is in the Amazon basin, where the Amazon Rainforest covers approximately 4 million square kilometers. The regions with the highest tropical deforestation rate are in Central America and tropical Asia. FAO estimates that the decrease of primary forest area, 0.4 percent over a ten-year period, is largely due to reclassification of primary forest to "other naturally regenerated forest" because of selective logging and other human interventions. Large-scale planting of trees is significantly reducing the net loss of forest area globally, and afforestation and natural expansion of forests in some countries and regions have reduced the net loss of forest area significantly at the global level. Forests cover about 31 percent of total land area of the world; the world's total forest area is just over 4 billion hectares. On a global average, more than one-third of all forest is primary forest, i.e. forest of native species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes have not been significantly disturbed. Primary forests, in particular tropical moist forests, include the most species-rich, diverse terrestrial ecosystems. National parks, game reserves, wilderness areas and other legally established protected areas cover more than 10 percent of the total forest area in most countries and regions. FAO estimates that around 10 million people are employed in forest management and conservation - but many more are directly dependent on forests for their livelihoods. Close to 1.2 billion hectares of forest are managed primarily for the production of wood and non-wood forest products. An additional 25 percent of forest area is designated for multiple uses - in most cases including the production of wood and non-wood forest products. The area designated primarily for productive purposes has decreased by more than 50 million hectares since 1990 as forests have been designated for other purposes.

Limitations and Exceptions: FAO has been collecting and analyzing data on forest area since 1946. This is done at intervals of 5-10 years as part of the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA). FAO reports data for 229 countries and territories; for the remaining 56 small island states and territories where no information is provided, a report is prepared by FAO using existing information and a literature search. The data are aggregated at sub-regional, regional and global levels by the FRA team at FAO, and estimates are produced by straight summation. The lag between the reference year and the actual production of data series as well as the frequency of data production varies between countries. Deforested areas do not include areas logged but intended for regeneration or areas degraded by fuelwood gathering, acid precipitation, or forest fires. Negative numbers indicate an increase in forest area. Data includes areas with bamboo and palms; forest roads, firebreaks and other small open areas; forest in national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas such as those of specific scientific, historical, cultural or spiritual interest; windbreaks, shelterbelts and corridors of trees with an area of more than 0.5 hectares and width of more than 20 meters; plantations primarily used for forestry or protective purposes, such as rubber-wood plantations and cork oak stands. Data excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems, such as fruit plantations and agroforestry systems. Forest area also excludes trees in urban parks and gardens. The proportion of forest area to total land area is calculated and changes in the proportion are computed to identify trends.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Forest is determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of other predominant land uses. The trees should reach a minimum height of 5 meters in situ. Areas under reforestation that have not yet reached but are expected to reach a canopy cover of 10 percent and a tree height of 5 meters are included, as are temporarily unstocked areas, resulting from human intervention or natural causes, which are expected to regenerate. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides detail information on forest cover, and adjusted estimates of forest cover. The survey uses a uniform definition of forest. Although FAO provides a breakdown of forest cover between natural forest and plantation for developing countries, forest data used to derive this indictor data does not reflect that breakdown. Total land area does not include inland water bodies such as major rivers and lakes. Variations from year to year may be due to updated or revised data rather than to change in area. The indictor is derived by dividing total area under forest of a country by country's total land area, and multiplying by 100.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual