Each major continent has a contender in the Big 4 longest rivers of the world - Africa's Nile river (7,088km), South America's Amazon river (6,992km), Asia's Yangtze river (6,300km) and North America's Mississippi river (6,275km). In total, these 4 rivers receive inflows from a combined drainage area of 15 million km2. To appreciate this magnitude, the largest country in the world - Russia - has a land mass of about 17 million km2.
Which is the longest river in the world?
The longest river in the world is Nile–White Nile–Kagera–Nyabarongo–Mwogo–Rukarara of Africa with a length of 7,088 kilometers (4,404 miles) spanning Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and flowing out to Mediterranean Sea. At second and third, are Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Apurímac which stretches 6,992 kilometers (4,345 miles) and Yangtze–Jinsha–Tongtian–Ulan Moron which is 6,418 kilometers (3,988 miles) long.The lengths of the major rivers and river systems in the world range from 112 km to 7,088 km, with the average river being 1,664.7 km long.
Rivers with the largest drainage basin. The river with the largest drainage basin in the world is Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Apurímac of South America with a basin area of 7,050,000 square kilometers.
Rivers with the highest average discharge. The river with the highest average discharge in the world is Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Apurímac of South America with a discharge rate of 209,000 m3/s.
Here are the world's longest rivers.
Nile–White Nile–Kagera–Nyabarongo–Mwogo–Rukarara is the longest river in the world at 7,088 kilometers (4,404 miles).
Nile–White Nile–Kagera–Nyabarongo–Mwogo–Rukarara is a river that is 7,088 kilometers (or 4,404 miles) long and drains from a 3,254,555 km2 drainage basin in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan.
Nile–White Nile–Kagera–Nyabarongo–Mwogo–Rukarara discharges at 2,800 m3/3 and flows out into Mediterranean Sea.
Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Apurímac is the largest river by drainage area in the world at 7,050,000 km2.
The river system, from Amazon River to Ucayali to Tambo to Ene and Apurímac river, is the longest river system in South America at 6,992km (4,344 miles), with its drainage area spreading across the width of the South American continent at an area of 7 million square kilometers (largest drainage basin in the world!). The Amazon river system is also the second longest in the world, with the Nile River system pipping slightly ahead at 7,088km.In terms of discharge volume, the Amazon river system is the largest in the world, discharging at 209,000 cubic meters per second onto the Atlantic Ocean.
Yangtze–Jinsha–Tongtian–Ulan Moron is the 3rd longest river in the world at 6,418 kilometers (3,988 miles).
Yangtze–Jinsha–Tongtian–Ulan Moron is a river that is 6,418 kilometers (or 3,988 miles) long and drains from a 1,800,000 km2 drainage basin in China.
Its average discharge rate is 30,166 m3/3 and the river flows out into East China Sea.
Mississippi–Missouri–Jefferson–Beaverhead–Red Rock–Hell Roaring is the longest river in North America at 6,275 kilometers (3,899 miles).
At 6,275km (3,899 miles), the Mississippi–Missouri–Jefferson–Beaverhead–Red Rock–Hell Roaring river system is the longest in North America, helmed by the two longest rivers in the United States, the Missouri river (3,768 km) and the Mississippi River (3,544 km).The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Originating from the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before merging into the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River has its sources at Lake Itasca and Brower's Spring in Montana, and stretches for another 3,544km southwards before flowing out eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.
The drainage area of the river spans 2,980,000 square kilometers and discharges at a rate of 16,792m3. The deepest part of the Mississippi River is in New Orleans, where its depth could reach 200 feet (61m).
Yenisei–Angara–Selenge–Ider is the 2nd longest river in Asia at 5,539 kilometers (3,442 miles).
Yenisei–Angara–Selenge–Ider is a river that is 5,539 kilometers (or 3,442 miles) long and drains from a 2,580,000 km2 drainage basin in Russia (97% of river) and Mongolia (2.9%).
The average volume of water flow is 18,050 m3/3 and the river flows out into Kara Sea.
Yellow River (Huang He) is the 3rd longest river in Asia at 5,464 kilometers (3,395 miles).
Yellow River (Huang He) is a 5,464-km long (3,395 miles) river that drains from a 745,000-km2 wide basin in China.
The average volume of water flow is 2,571 m3/3 and the river flows out into Bohai Sea.
Ob–Irtysh is the largest river by drainage area in Asia at 2,990,000 km2.
Ob–Irtysh is a river that stretches 5,410 kilometers (or 3,362 miles) in length, draining from a 2,990,000 km2 basin in Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia.
Ob–Irtysh discharges at 12,475 m3/3 and flows out into Gulf of Ob.
Río De La Plata–Paraná–Rio Grande is the 2nd longest river in South America at 4,880 kilometers (3,032 miles).
The Paraná river system is the second longest river system in South America at 4,880 kilometers (3032 miles), after the mighty Amazon river. Draining from an area of 2,582,672 square kilometers, the Paraná river flows south-westerly through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina at a rate of 22,000m3/s, before discharging onto Río de la Plata.
Congo–Chambeshi (Zaïre) is the 2nd largest river by drainage area in the world at 3,680,000 km2.
Congo–Chambeshi (Zaïre) is a river that is 4,700 kilometers (or 2,920 miles) long and drains from a 3,680,000 km2 drainage basin in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Cameroon, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda.
Its average discharge rate is 41,800 m3/3 and the river flows out into Atlantic Ocean.
More on the longest and largest river systems in the world: