Home > North America > Largest lakes
Panorama of Lake Superior   Continent with a very high number of lakes, even large ones, given that 8 of the top 13 largest natural lake basins in the world are found here.

   Five (four if Huron and Michigan were more correctly considered as a single basin) of these lakes are found in the Great Lakes region, between Canada and the United States of America.

   Most of the lakes in this ranking are located in a sort of arc that begins in the northwest of Canada and ends close to the Appalachian Mountains; among the few exceptions we find the Lake Nicaragua, in the homonymous country, by far the largest in Central America.

Lake Area (kmē)
Area (sq mi)
Superior (1) 82,100 31,699 Canada, United States
Huron (2) 59,600 23,012 Canada, United States
Michigan (3) 58,016 22,400 United States
Great Bear Lake (4) 31,328 12,096 Canada
Great Slave Lake (5) 28,568 11,030 Canada
Erie 25,700 9,923 Canada, United States
Winnipeg 24,387 9,416 Canada
Ontario 18,960 7,320 Canada, United States
Lake Nicaragua (6) 8,138 3,142 Nicaragua
Athabasca 7,935 3,064 Canada
Reindeer Lake 6,650 2,568 Canada
Nettilling (7) 5,542 2,140 Canada
Winnipegosis 5,374 2,075 Canada
Nipigon 4,848 1,872 Canada
Great Salt Lake (8) 4,662 1,800 United States
Manitoba 4,624 1,785 Canada
Lake of the Woods 4,350 1,680 Canada, United States
Dubawnt 3,833 1,480 Canada
Amadjuak (9) 3,115 1,203 Canada

* artificial reservoirs are excluded

(1) Second largest lake on Earth.
(2) It should more correctly be considered as a single basin along with Lake Michigan, thus overtaking Lake Superior as surface area; contains the largest lake island in the world, Manitoulin.
(3) See previous note, geographically Huron and Michigan are actually a single lake; first in the world among the lakes entirely in a single country.
(4) Eighth worldwide by surface area.
(5) Tenth natural lake basin on the planet and the deepest in North America.
(6) Largest lake in Central America, the only one on this list not in Canada or the United States.
(7) The largest lake on the planet on an island (Baffin).
(8) As the name suggests it is a saline lake.
(9) Second largest lake on the planet on an island, it is also located on Baffin.