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 98.26 2016
2 Gabon 90.04 2016
3 Seychelles 88.41 2016
4 Palau 87.61 2016
5 Guyana 83.90 2016
6 Lao PDR 82.11 2016
7 Solomon Islands 77.86 2016
8 Papua New Guinea 74.10 2016
9 Finland 73.11 2016
10 Bhutan 72.48 2016
11 Brunei 72.11 2016
12 Guinea-Bissau 69.77 2016
13 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 69.23 2016
14 Sweden 68.92 2016
15 Japan 68.46 2016
16 Malaysia 67.60 2016
17 Dem. Rep. Congo 67.17 2016
18 Congo 65.35 2016
19 Zambia 65.20 2016
20 Korea 63.35 2016
21 Slovenia 61.97 2016
22 Panama 61.89 2016
23 Montenegro 61.49 2016
24 Samoa 60.42 2016
25 Belize 59.68 2016
26 Brazil 58.93 2016
27 Peru 57.66 2016
28 Dominica 57.41 2016
29 Puerto Rico 56.29 2016
30 Fiji 55.94 2016
31 São Tomé and Principe 55.83 2016
32 Equatorial Guinea 55.49 2016
33 Costa Rica 54.57 2016
34 Latvia 53.98 2016
35 Cayman Islands 52.92 2016
36 Cambodia 52.85 2016
37 Venezuela 52.74 2016
38 Colombia 52.70 2016
39 Tanzania 51.58 2016
40 The Bahamas 51.45 2016
41 Estonia 51.34 2016
42 Bolivia 50.29 2016
43 Ecuador 50.21 2016
44 Grenada 49.97 2016
45 Indonesia 49.86 2016
46 Russia 49.76 2016
47 The Gambia 48.38 2016
48 Vietnam 48.06 2016
49 Mozambique 47.98 2016
50 Austria 46.91 2016
51 Angola 46.31 2016
52 Trinidad and Tobago 46.02 2016
53 New Caledonia 45.90 2016
54 Timor-Leste 45.38 2016
55 Myanmar 43.63 2016
56 Liechtenstein 43.13 2016
57 Liberia 43.08 2016
58 Sierra Leone 43.05 2016
59 Senegal 42.76 2016
60 Bosnia and Herzegovina 42.68 2016
61 Belarus 42.63 2016
62 St. Kitts and Nevis 42.31 2016
63 Dominican Republic 41.73 2016
64 Ghana 41.16 2016
65 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 40.73 2016
66 Georgia 40.62 2016
67 Slovak Republic 40.35 2016
68 Honduras 39.97 2016
69 North Macedonia 39.57 2016
70 Cameroon 39.34 2016
71 New Zealand 38.56 2016
72 Canada 38.16 2016
73 Benin 37.79 2016
74 Paraguay 37.75 2016
75 Spain 36.94 2016
76 Vanuatu 36.10 2016
77 Luxembourg 35.68 2016
78 Central African Republic 35.56 2016
79 Zimbabwe 35.54 2016
80 Bulgaria 35.37 2016
81 Lithuania 34.83 2016
82 Portugal 34.61 2016
83 Czech Republic 34.56 2016
84 Croatia 34.35 2016
85 Eswatini 34.34 2016
86 Andorra 34.04 2016
87 United States 33.93 2016
88 Mexico 33.92 2016
89 Tuvalu 33.33 2016
90 Malawi 33.19 2016
91 St. Lucia 33.18 2016
92 Norway 33.18 2016
93 Sri Lanka 32.90 2016
94 Côte d'Ivoire 32.71 2016
95 Guatemala 32.70 2016
96 Germany 32.69 2016
97 Thailand 32.16 2016
98 Switzerland 31.83 2016
99 Italy 31.79 2016
100 Greece 31.69 2016
101 Cuba 31.28 2016
102 France 31.23 2016
103 Serbia 31.12 2016
104 Jamaica 30.92 2016
105 Poland 30.88 2016
106 Romania 30.12 2016
107 Albania 28.12 2016
108 Philippines 27.77 2016
109 Nicaragua 25.88 2016
110 Guinea 25.75 2016
111 Nepal 25.36 2016
112 Chile 24.26 2016
113 India 23.83 2016
114 Singapore 23.06 2016
115 Hungary 22.91 2016
116 Belgium 22.58 2016
117 Cabo Verde 22.55 2016
118 China 22.35 2016
119 Antigua and Barbuda 22.27 2016
120 Madagascar 21.41 2016
121 Rwanda 19.73 2016
122 Comoros 19.67 2016
123 Burkina Faso 19.34 2016
124 Mauritius 19.03 2016
125 Botswana 18.95 2016
126 Cyprus 18.69 2016
127 Ukraine 16.71 2016
128 Australia 16.26 2016
129 Turkey 15.35 2016
130 Kiribati 15.00 2016
131 Eritrea 14.91 2016
132 Denmark 14.70 2016
133 Barbados 14.65 2016
134 Azerbaijan 14.10 2016
135 Lebanon 13.43 2016
136 United Kingdom 13.07 2016
137 Morocco 12.60 2016
138 El Salvador 12.58 2016
139 Moldova 12.58 2016
140 Ethiopia 12.54 2016
141 Tonga 12.50 2016
142 Armenia 11.67 2016
143 Netherlands 11.18 2016
144 Ireland 11.03 2016
145 Bangladesh 10.96 2016
146 Burundi 10.93 2016
147 Uruguay 10.67 2016
148 Somalia 10.02 2016
149 Argentina 9.80 2016
150 Uganda 9.68 2016
151 Turkmenistan 8.78 2016
152 Namibia 8.31 2016
153 Mongolia 8.02 2016
154 Kenya 7.82 2016
155 Israel 7.73 2016
156 South Africa 7.62 2016
157 Uzbekistan 7.54 2016
158 Nigeria 7.23 2016
159 Tunisia 6.77 2016
160 Iran 6.56 2016
161 United Arab Emirates 4.56 2016
162 Mali 3.80 2016
163 Chad 3.77 2016
164 Haiti 3.49 2016
165 Kyrgyz Republic 3.28 2016
166 Togo 3.09 2016
167 Tajikistan 2.97 2016
168 Syrian Arab Republic 2.67 2016
169 Afghanistan 2.07 2016
170 Iraq 1.90 2016
171 Pakistan 1.85 2016
172 Lesotho 1.65 2016
173 Kazakhstan 1.23 2016
174 Jordan 1.10 2016
175 Malta 1.09 2016
176 Yemen 1.04 2016
177 Niger 0.89 2016
178 Algeria 0.82 2016
179 Bahrain 0.78 2016
180 Iceland 0.50 2016
181 Saudi Arabia 0.45 2016
182 Kuwait 0.35 2016
183 Djibouti 0.24 2016
184 Mauritania 0.21 2016
185 Libya 0.12 2016
186 Egypt 0.07 2016
187 Oman 0.01 2016
188 Greenland 0.00 2016
189 Nauru 0.00 2016
189 San Marino 0.00 2016
189 Qatar 0.00 2016

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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