Rainforests are found in the tropics, the region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, just above and below the Equator. In this tropic zone the sun is very strong and shines about the same amount of time every day all year long, keeping the climate warm and relatively stable.

Map showing the tropics. Click to enlarge.

Many countries have tropical forests. The countries with the largest areas of tropical forest are (in order):

  1. Brazil
  2. Congo (Democratic Republic)
  3. Indonesia
  4. Peru
  5. Colombia
Other countries that have large areas of rainforest include Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ecuador, Gabon, Guyana, India, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Congo, Suriname, and Venezuela.

 

Map showing world distribution of primary forests in the tropics. Click to enlarge.
Primary forests:
by country
Hectares
(2018)
Square miles
(2018)
Loss
Hectares
(2001-18)
Loss
Square miles
(2001-18)
Brazil320,069,3651,235,79423,160,47889,423
D.R. Congo100,227,214386,9794,352,84916,806
Indonesia84,683,971326,9679,154,00035,344
Peru67,318,459259,9181,806,9416,977
Colombia53,380,802206,1041,382,7925,339
Bolivia38,364,537148,1262,452,5739,469
Venezuela38,190,405147,454420,9021,625
Papua New Guinea31,920,894123,247674,3212,604
Gabon22,443,92186,656225,603871
Republic of Congo20,860,12680,541293,0531,131
Cameroon18,521,98171,514553,6532,138
Guyana17,181,36366,338111,662431
Myanmar13,497,07952,112538,3052,078
Malaysia13,430,90551,8572,508,5539,686
Suriname12,662,50448,890107,874417
Ecuador10,465,90440,409161,127622
India9,874,81238,127310,6241,199
Mexico8,685,28333,534528,1112,039
French Guiana7,807,72830,14646,404179
Laos7,621,35129,426700,8492,706
Central African Republic7,220,06427,877143,064552
Vietnam6,105,90923,575625,8102,416
Thailand5,817,83322,463119,022460
Philippines4,447,21717,171135,352523

 

This data is from Global Forest Watch 2019 using a 30 percent canopy cover definition for forest.

 

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