Given the region’s importance to U.S. national security, it’s important to understand the true size of the Middle East. While you may have heard that Iraq is “the size of California” or other similar comparisons, the size of the region is expressed with more impact in this map, which superimposes the Middle East and its countries over a map of the 48 continuous United States.
The comparison is stark: Egypt stretches from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho; the Arabian Peninsula engulfs the Great Plains; and the entire Great Lakes region could fit within Iran with room to spare. The distance between southwest Egypt and southeast Iran is the same as the distance between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. The legend at the bottom of the map points out that “the Middle East encompasses 90 percent of the area of the contiguous United States.”
Click here or on the picture above to enlarge and see the full map.
This map was created by the U.S. government. It was taken from the government documents website of the Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Il.