river Nile, one of the longest rivers in the world

Longest Rivers in the World

Top 50 Longest Rivers in the World List – But How Long is a River?

It is notoriously tricky to exactly define the longest rivers in the world. In theory, the length of a river is just the distance between the source and the mouth of the river but it’s not that simple to measure and the values often differ in books, media and websites.

There are many reasons for this: Often the river sources are not clearly defined, or the longest rivers in the world derive from the confluence of two or more tributaries. The source might be a tributary with its own name before it flows into the main (parent) river. It’s relatively easy to measure the mouth of a river if it flows into another river but if it flows out to sea measurements have to be taken to determine where the river ends and the sea begins.

Our list of all longest rivers in the world omits so-called “river systems”, which are sometimes found in other sources. For example: The Mississippi-Missouri is a river system consisting of two rivers measuring 6,051 km in length – and therefore ranks 4th in other lists of the longest rivers in the world. We have listed these two rivers separately (Missouri = 4,130 km/2566 Miles) and (Mississippi = 3,766 km/2340 Miles). But at the end of the day, the incredible River Nile tops the longest rivers list.

ADDucation Tips! Click column headings with arrows to sort the longest rivers in the world. Click the + icon to expand columns on tablets and mobiles.

Longest rivers in the worldLength (miles)Length (km)River SourceRiver MouthFlows Through CountriesFlows Through Cities
Nile41456671Ruandaberge (Rwanda/Burundi)Mediterranean Sea (north of Cairo)Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, EgyptCairo, Luxor, Aswan, Khartoum, Malakei
Amazon40006437Andes (Peru), from Maranón and UcayaliAtlanticPeru, BrazilIquitos, Macapa, Santarém
Yangtze River
(Long River)
39006276Tibet, from the rivers Tuotuo He & Dam ChuEast China Sea (at Shanghai)Tibet, PR ChinaChongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing, Shanghai
Hwang Ho
(Yellow River)
30114845Tibet, from Gyaring Lake & Ngoring LakeYellow Sea (Gulf of Bohai)Tibet, PR ChinaWuhai, Baotou, Puyang, Kaifeng, Jinan
Mekong27964500Qinghai (China)South China Sea (Pacific)China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, VietnamVientiane, Phnom Penh
Lena27344400Baikal MountainsArctic Ocean (Leptewsee)RussiaLensk, Oljokminsk, Yakutsk
Congo27184374Mitumba Mountains (Democratic Republic of Congo)Atlantic OceanDR Congo, Republic of CongoBrazzaville, Kinshasa, Matadi, Mbandaka
Irtysh26414250Mongolian Altai (Republic of China)Ob (in Russia)China, Kazakhstan, RussiaUst- Kamenogorsk, Semai, Omsk, Tobolsk
Niger25974180Lomaberge (Guinea)Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea)Guinea, Mali, Benin, NigeriaBamako, Niamey, Port Harcourt
Missouri25664130Montana (USA), from Jefferson & MadisonMississippi (at St. Louis)United States (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois)Omaha, Kansas City, Saint Joseph
Yenisei25434092Sayan Mountains (RUS)Arctic Ocean (Kara Sea)Russia (Siberia)Kyzyl, Chernogorsk, Abakan, Krasnoyarsk
Paraná24793990Serra da Mantiqueira, from Paranaiba & Rio GrandeRio de la Plata (Buenos Aires)Brazil, Paraguay (Iguacu Falls), ArgentinaIguacu, Posadas, Rosario, Buenos Aires
Mississippi23403766Lake Itasca (Minnesota)Gulf of Mexico (New Orleans)United States (Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana)Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, Baton Rouge, New Orleans
Ob22803670Altai Mountains (RUS) from Bija & KatunObbusen (Kara Sea)Russia (West Siberia)Bijsk, Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Surgut
Volga21933530Valdai Hills (RUS)Caspian SeaRussia (European part)Kazan, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd
Juruá20403283Ucayali in the Andes (Peru)AmazonPeru, BrazilCruzeiro do Sul
Purus19953210Andes (Peru), from Curiuja & CujarAmazonPeru, BrazilBoca do Acre, Lábrea
Sao Francisco19883200Serra da Canastra (eastern Brazil)AtlanticBrazil (Minas Gerais, Bahia, Sergipe, Pernambuco, Alagoas)Januaria, Barra, Petrolina, Paulo Afonso
Indus19763180Himalayas (Tibet)Arabian SeaTibet, China, India, PakistanHyderabad
Brahmaputra19083070Himalayas (Tibet)As Padma in the Bay of BengalTibet, China, India, BangladeshGuwahati, Mymensingh, Gongga
Rio Grande
(Rio Bravo)
18853034Rocky Mountains (Colorado, USA)Gulf of Mexico (Matamoros)USA (Colorado, New Mexico, Texas), MexicoAlbuquerque, El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Laredo
Tunguska, Lower18582990Central Siberian mountainsIn the Yenisei at TuruchanskRussia (Siberia)Tura, Turuchansk
Salween18522980Tibet (China)Indian Ocean (Andaman Sea)Tibet, China, Myanmar, ThailandLiuku, Mawlamyaing
Danube (Donau)17682845Black Forest (D), from the rivers Brigach & BregBlack SeaD, AT, SK, HU, HR, SRB, ROU, BGR, MDA, UAUlm, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade
Darling17652840Great Dividing Range, from Culgoa & BarwonMurray RiverAustralia (New South Wales)Renmark, Bourke, Wilcannia, Menindee
Amur17552824Kentai mountains from Argun & ShilkaPacific (at Nikolajewks)China, RussiaKhabarovsk, Komsomolsk, Mohe
Japurá17522820Andes (Colombia)AmazonColombia, BrazilSolano, Tefé
Euphrates17002736Taurus Mountains (TR) from Murat & KarasuPersian Gulf (with the Tigris as Shatt al-Arab)Turkey, Syria, Iraq (Euphrates + Tigris = Mesopotamia)Ar-Raqqa, Deir az-Zur, Karbala, Najaf
Wiljui16472650Central Siberian mountainsLenaRussia (Siberia, Yakutia)Njurba, Wiljuisk
Ganges16282620From the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi riversAs Padma River in the Bay of BengalNepal, India, BangladeshKanpur, Allahabad, Patna, Farakka
Zambezi16002575Lunda Uplands (Zambia)Indian OceanZambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), MozambiqueMongu, Livingstone, Tete, Sena
Yukon15882555Marsh Lake, Coast Mountains (CAN)Bering Sea (Alaska)Canada, United States (Alaska)Whitehorse, Dawson, Eagle, Tanana, Nulato
Rio Paraguay15842549Mato Grosso (BR)Paraná (at Corrientes)Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, ArgentinaAsunción, Corumba, Formosa
Tocantins15532500Serra Geral do Parana (BR)Atlantic (Rio Pará)Brazil (Goiás, Tocantins, Maranhão, Pará)Marabá, Tucuruí
Pilcomayo15472490Poopo Lake (BOL)Rio Paraguay (at Asunción)Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina
Ishim15222450Kazakh UplandsIn the IrtyshKazakhstan, RussiaAstana, Petropavlovsk, Ishim
Ural15092428Southern Urals (RUS)Caspian SeaKazakhstan, RussiaOrsk, Orenburg, Oral, Atyrau
Murray14762375Snowy Mountains (AUS)Indian Ocean (at Adelaide)Australia (New South Wales, Victoria)Albury, Echuca, Swan Hill, Mildura
Arkansas14502333Leadville in the Sawatch RangeMississippiUSA (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas)Little Rock, Pueblo, Wichita, Tulsa
Colorado14502333Rocky MountainsGulf of CaliforniaUSA (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California), MexicoGrand Junction, Lake Havasu City, Yuma, San Luis
Olenjok14232290Central Siberian mountainsLaptev Sea (Arctic Ocean)Russia (North Siberia)Olenjok
Aldan14132274Stanovoy Range (RUS)In the LenaRussia (Yakutia)Tommot, Chandyga
Rio Negro14012255From Rio Guainía & Rio CasiquiareIn Manaus in the AmazonBrazil, Venezuela, ColombiaManaus, Cacau Pireira
Syr Darya13742212From Naryn and KaradarjaAral SeaKyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, KazakhstanKhujand
Dnepr13702205Valdai Hills (RUS)Black SeaRussia, Belarus, UkraineSmolensk, Orsha, Kiev, Kremenchug, Nikopol
Araguaia13662198Serra dos CaiapósRio TocantinsBrazilBarra do Garcas, Aruana
Irrawaddy13482170From Mali and N’maiGulf of Martaban (Andaman Sea)MyanmarMandalay
Oranje13422160Drakensberg (Lesotho)AtlanticLesotho, South Africa, NamibiaUpington, Oranjemund
Kasai13382153Highlands of Bié (Angola)In the CongoAngola, DR CongoBandundu
Kolyma13242130From Kulu and Ajan – JurjachEast Siberian SeaRussia (East Siberia)Ust- Srednekan, Syrjanka
Orinoco12522015Cerro Delgado Chalbaud (Sierra Parima)AtlanticVenezuela, ColombiaBolivar, Guayana, Curiapo, Tucupita
Rio Salado12502011From Rio Toro and Rio GuachipasParaná River (near Santa Fe)ArgentinaSalta, Santa Fe
Rio Xingu12301980From Rio Ronur & Rio CulueneAmazonBrazil
Red River12221966Great Plains (Texas)Atchafalaya RiverUSA (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana)Shreveport, Alexandria
Columbia12141953Columbia Lake (CAN)PacificCanada (British Columbia), United States (Washington, Oregon)Revelstoke, Portland, Vancouver
Mamoré12001931From Ichilo and ChapareWith the Rio Beni in the Rio MadeiraBoliviaCochabamba
Mackenzie River11821903Beaver Lake (Great Slave Lake)Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean)Canada (Northwest Territories)Fort Samson, Fort Providence, Wrigley, Tulita
Tigris11811900Taurus Mountains (Turkey)With the Euphrates as Shatt al-Arab in the Persian GulfTurkey, Syria, IraqMosul, Tikrit, Samarra, Baghdad, Amarah, Kut

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