Largest Deserts in the World for General Awareness

Which is the largest desert in the World? The Antarctic Desert is the largest desert in the world in terms of its size. 

Deserts in the world is an important topic for the General Awareness section of various Government exams or other competitive exams.  

What are Deserts?

A land area that is barren and where little precipitation occurs is known as desert. Any area that receives less than 10 inches or 250 millimetres of precipitation is classified as a desert.

You can know more on Desertification on the link provided here.

Candidates can expect 1 to 2 questions from this topic in exams which surely makes it important for them to go through the list of important deserts in the world. The list of largest deserts in the world is also available to download in PDF format for candidates convenience. 

Largest Desert in the World PDF:-Download PDF Here

Preparing for Government exams? Check the given links for assistance:

Largest Deserts in the World

As already mentioned, Antarctic Desert is the largest desert in the world, it is located in the southern hemisphere in the continent of Antarctica. It expands across 14,000,000 kilometres(5,500,000 square miles).

Do you know which is the largest desert in India?

The Thar Desert is the largest desert in India also known as the Great Indian desert; forms a natural boundary line between India and Pakistan.

Similarly, the table below gives the list of 25 largest deserts in the world with its size and type along with its location in the world.

List of Largest deserts in the World
Important Deserts Type of desert Location Area (sq mi) Area (km²)
Antarctica Polar ice and tundra Antarctica 5500000 14000000
Arctic Polar ice and tundra Northern America (Alaska, Canada and Greenland)

Northern Europe (Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden)

Eastern Europe (European Russia)

North Asia (Siberia)

5400000 13985000
Sahara Subtropical North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia)

West Africa (Mali, Mauritania and Niger)

Middle Africa (Chad)

East Africa (Eritrea)

3,300,000 9,000,000
Australian Desert Subtropical Australia 1000000 2700000
Arabian Desert Subtropical Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen) 900000 2,330,000
Gobi Desert Cold Winter East Asia (China and Mongolia) 500000 1295000
Kalahari Desert Subtropical Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia and South Africa)

Middle Africa (Angola)

360000 900,000
Patagonian Desert Cold Winter South America (Argentina and Chile) 200000 620000
Syrian Desert Subtropical Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, and Syria) 200000 520,000
Great Basin Cold Winter United States 190000 492,000
Chihuahuan Desert Subtropical Central America (Mexico)

Northern America (United States)

175000 450,000
Karakum Desert Cold Winter Turkmenistan 135000 350,000
Colorado Plateau Cold Winter United States 130000 337,000
Sonoran Desert Subtropical Central America (Mexico)

Northern America (United States)

120000 310,000
Kyzylkum Desert Cold Winter Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) 115000 300,000
Taklamakan Desert Cold Winter China 105000 270000
Thar Desert Subtropical Indian Subcontinent (India and Pakistan) 77000 200,000
Dasht-e Margo Subtropical Afghanistan 58000 150000
Registan Desert Subtropical Afghanistan 56400 146000
Atacama Desert Mild Coastal South America (Chile and Peru) 54000 140,000
Mojave Desert Subtropical United States 48000 124,000
Columbia Basin Cold Winter United States 32100 83,100
Namib Desert Cool Coastal Southern Africa (Namibia)

Middle Africa (Angola)

31000 81,000
Dasht-e Kavir Subtropical Iran 30000 77,000
Dasht-e Loot Subtropical Iran 20100 52,000

Reference- Wikipedia []

Candidates preparing for competitive exams can check relevant articles for General Awareness section:

Longest Bridges in India Famous Books and Authors
Highest Mountains in the World Largest Libraries in the World
List of Indian Navy Chief Admirals Longest Rivers of the World
Central Banks of different Countries Important Boundaries & Lines of the World

Online Quiz 2023

Important deserts in the World – Sample Questions For General Awareness

Understand the relevance of the important deserts of the world for competitive exams by knowing the type of questions asked based on the same. For better preparation of candidates, given below are sample question asked in the general awareness section of competitive exams for Major deserts in the World:

Q.1 Which is the largest hot desert in the world?

  1. Antarctica Desert
  2. Arctic Desert
  3. Sahara desert
  4. Atacama Desert

Answer (3) the Sahara Desert

Q.2. Which is the driest place in the world?

  1. Atacama desert in South America
  2. Sahara desert in Africa
  3. Australian desert in Australia
  4. Gobi desert in Asia

Answer (1) Atacama desert in South America

Q.3. Which continent was known to have no desert?

  1. North America
  2. South America
  3. Europe
  4. Africa

Answer (3) Europe

Q.4. Which is the coldest desert in the world?

  1. Antarctic desert
  2. Gobi desert
  3. Kalahari desert
  4. Arabian desert

Answer (1) Antarctic Desert

Q.5. Which is the biggest and coldest desert in Asia?

  1. Kalahari desert
  2. Thar desert
  3. Karakum desert
  4. Gobi desert

Answer (4) Gobi Desert

Apart from the sample questions given above, candidates can check Previous Year Question Papers with solution PDF to understand the type of questions asked in the general awareness section of these examinations.

Important Deserts in the World PDFDownload PDF Here

What are the Types of Desert?

Deserts are very important to keep the ecosystem in balance. Deserts cover more than one-third part of the dry land of Earth. Here we will understand the types of deserts.

Broadly, there are 4 types of deserts –

  1. Arid desert – Hot and dry
  2. Semi-Arid desert
  3. Coastal Desert
  4. Cold Desert

Hot & dry – Arid desert – an example of this type of dessert is the Sahara Desert. Such deserts have warm and dry temperature year-round.

Semi-Arid Deserts – These deserts are a bit cooler than hot and dry deserts. The long, dry summers are followed by winters with some rain in semi-arid deserts. These deserts are found in North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia.

Coastal Deserts – These deserts are dry like any other desert but not hot. In these deserts, the mild summers are longer than the cool winters. These deserts are not as harsh, hence, a variety of animals can live in coastal deserts than in arid and semi-arid deserts. Coastal deserts are found in Chile region of South America.

Cold Deserts – These deserts receive most of their precipitation as snow. They have long cold winters with a lot of snowfalls and short summer that are moist and warm. Cold deserts are found in the South pole (Antarctic region), parts of North America and Greenland.

Candidates appearing for any of the government examinations can check the details and syllabus from the given links:

Bank Exam Syllabus SSC Syllabus RRB Syllabus LIC Syllabus

Government Exam 2023

Frequently Asked Question – Largest Desert in the World


Q.1. What are the types of the desert?

Ans. Desert in the world can be divided into 4 types – they are hot and dry deserts also known as an arid desert, semi-arid deserts, coastal deserts, and cold deserts.

Q.2. What is the size of the Sahara desert?

Ans. The size of the Sahar desert is 3.5 million sq metres.

Q.3. What is the type and size of the Thar desert?

Ans. The Thar Desert is a subtropical desert with a size of 238,254 square km.

Q.4. Kalahari desert is located at which place?

Ans. Kalahari desert is located in South Africa.

Q 5. Which is the coldest desert in India?

Ans. Ladakh is a cold desert in India. It lies in the Great Himalayas, on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir.


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