Countries that could have realistically been significantly larger

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#1
With a point of departure (from real life) of 1850 or later, which countries could have realistically been significantly larger than they are actually right now in real life?

For the record, what I want is for a country's additional territories (relative to real life) to increase this country's total population by at least 20%.

Anyway, so far, I could think of:

1. Germany: Had it allied with Russia instead of with Austria-Hungary, the two of them could have partitioned Austria-Hungary together with Italy, Serbia, and Romania. This would have allowed Germany to annex the German parts of Austria as well as Czechia. This, combined with the fact that Germany would keep all of the territories that the German Empire had in 1914 in real life, would have given Germany a population at least 20% greater than it is in real life.

2. Russia: Had it kept most or all of the territories of the former Soviet Union, its population right now would be about two times larger than it is in real life.

3. India: Had it kept Pakistan and Bangladesh, its population right now would be 27.5% larger than it is in real life.

4. Pakistan: Had it kept Bangladesh, its population right now would be over 80% larger than it is in real life.

5. Austria: Would have had a much larger population had Austria-Hungary survived.

6. Hungary: Same as with Austria.

7. Turkey: Would have had a much larger population had the Ottoman Empire survived.

8. Afghanistan: Would have had a population about two times larger than it is in real life had Britain not stripped it of a lot of Pashtun-majority areas in the south (areas which are now part of Pakistan).

9. Serbia: Would have had a population more than two times larger than it is in real life had it kept most or all of Yugoslavia intact.

10. France: Would have had a population about 65% larger had it been able to permanently hold onto Algeria. Of course, I suspect that this would have been much harder to successfully pull off for demographic reasons and also due to the religious and cultural differences between France and Algeria.

11. Egypt: Would have had a population about 40% larger had it been able to permanently hold onto Sudan.

Anyway, which cases of this am I forgetting to list here?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#2
Some more examples of this that I just thought of:

12. Poland: Had it permanently kept the Kresy (eastern Poland), it might have qualified for this. Of course, it would have been even better if Poland would have conquered even more Soviet territory in 1919-1921 (I know that Poland was offered Minsk in the Riga talks, but declined because it didn't want too many non-Poles inside of Poland).

13. Kazakhstan: Had the Bolsheviks put Kyrgyzstan inside of Kazakhstan (which actually makes sense due to the fact that Kazakhs and Kyrgyz shared one language box on the 1897 Imperial Russian census), Kazakhstan would have had a population perhaps 30-35% greater than it actually has right now in real life.
 
Apr 2017
774
U.S.A.
#3
Jordan if it took back the west bank when Israel offered to return it.
Iraq if it managed to keep Kuwait or border territory with Iran.
Romania if it was allowed to keep Bessarabia.
Bulgaria if it was allowed to keep Macedonia.
Greece if it was allowed to unify with Cyprus or the western border with Turkey before the population exchanges.
Portugal if it held onto its colonial empire (they were winning until the coup in the 70's).
Britain if it held onto any/all of its colonial empire.
China if it held onto its territory before the Europeans/Japanese annexations.
Sweden if it remained in union with Norway.
Czechia if it remained Czechoslovakia.
Maybe Finland if it didn't lose its border territory to the Soviet Union (it lost its 3rd largest city but I believe most of the population moved to Finland).
Korea if it was united in the Korean war (either side).
Sudan if the south didn't break away.
Malaysia if Singapore remained in the federation.
Ethiopia if Eritrea didn't break away.
Argentina if it annexed Paraguay after the war of the triple alliance.
Australia/New Zealand if they remained grouped as one colony.
Japan if it still held Korea (and other territories).
Israel if it kept the Palestinian territories and the Sinai Peninsula.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#4
Jordan if it took back the west bank when Israel offered to return it.
Yep.

Iraq if it managed to keep Kuwait or border territory with Iran.
Probably wouldn't result in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life like I want (and said in my OP here), though.

Romania if it was allowed to keep Bessarabia.
Probably wouldn't result in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life like I want (and said in my OP here), though. Indeed, even acquiring northern Bukovina on top of Bessarabia probably couldn't fix this issue.

Bulgaria if it was allowed to keep Macedonia.
Yep.

Greece if it was allowed to unify with Cyprus or the western border with Turkey before the population exchanges.
Would that have actually resulted in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life, though?

Portugal if it held onto its colonial empire (they were winning until the coup in the 70's).
Yep--though integrating that many non-Whites into Portugal would have been one hell of a challenge. This is why I consider this to be unrealistic in the long(er)-run unless Portugal was willing to engage in extreme gerrymandering--and even then, how long would Portugal's colonial subjects have actually tolerated this?

Britain if it held onto any/all of its colonial empire.
Yep. In this case, holding onto Canada, Australia, and New Zealand might perhaps actually be doable.

China if it held onto its territory before the Europeans/Japanese annexations.
Not enough additional people. For instance, acquiring Taiwan would only boost China's population by something like 2%--whereas I want a 20+% increase in population relative to real life.

Sweden if it remained in union with Norway.
Yep.

Czechia if it remained Czechoslovakia.
Yep.

I've actually thought about Czechoslovakia before, but was unsure because I don't know to what extent Czechoslovakia was a Greater Czechia. I mean, the Russian Empire was clearly a Greater Russia and pre-WWII Yugoslavia was clearly a Greater Serbia (with Serbia's King becoming King of Yugoslavia), but I don't know if Czechoslovakia was ever actually considered a Greater Czechia. Still, it would probably technically qualify for this.

Maybe Finland if it didn't lose its border territory to the Soviet Union (it lost its 3rd largest city but I believe most of the population moved to Finland).
Probably not since it is very unlikely to result in a 20+% gain in population relative to real life.

Korea if it was united in the Korean war (either side).
Yep.

Sudan if the south didn't break away.
Yep.

Malaysia if Singapore remained in the federation.
Close, but not quite. Annexing Singapore would increase Malaysia's population by 17.6%, which is less than the 20+% that I want for this.

Ethiopia if Eritrea didn't break away.
Nope--too small of a population.

Argentina if it annexed Paraguay after the war of the triple alliance.
Close but not quite. Annexing Paraguay wouldn't increase Argentina's population by 20+%.

Australia/New Zealand if they remained grouped as one colony.
Nope--too small of a population.

Japan if it still held Korea (and other territories).
Yep--though Japan would be unlikely to keep these territories other than perhaps Taiwan in the long(er)-run due to them having too many people. As for Taiwan itself, annexing it to Japan would come close, but it wouldn't be enough since it wouldn't increase Japan's population by 20+% like I want.

Israel if it kept the Palestinian territories and the Sinai Peninsula.
Israel would have no desire to actually annex these territories and thus it would not count for this, though.
 
Feb 2014
170
Miami
#5
Brazil should be included. The United States carried their manifest destiny to the pacific. I’m surprised Brazil didn’t try to push into Peru or at least annex Uruguay

Peru-Bolivia confederation could have lead them to being a regional power.

Columbia if the gran Columbia federation had not imploded

United republic of Central America if they didn’t secede from one another. Maybe even obtain Yucatán as a republic and panama if they aligned with the US

Netherlands if Belgium and Luxembourg had remained part of the nation instead of becoming independent

Arabia (not Saudi) has the British fulfilled their ww1 promises to the Arab uprising who wanted a united republic for the Arabs.

Mexico had it not lost the northern half of the country to the United States.

Thailand if they were not broken down in size and made a buffer state between British India and French Indochina

Irán if they didn’t lose Mesopotamia to the Turks, and the causcases & part of Central Asia to the Russian empire

Denmark if Sweden didn’t break the kalmar union. We would probably call the nation Scandinavia after the region instead of their small nation names
 
Last edited:
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2014
170
Miami
#6
Also Greece had it been successful in its war against turkey. They planned to take over Smyrna, eastern Thrace, and a good portion of Western Asia Minor. They would had made Constantinople the capital which hadn’t been a capital of a Greek nation since 1453
 
Apr 2017
774
U.S.A.
#9
Probably wouldn't result in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life like I want (and said in my OP here), though.

Probably wouldn't result in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life like I want (and said in my OP here), though. Indeed, even acquiring northern Bukovina on top of Bessarabia probably couldn't fix this issue.


Would that have actually resulted in a 20+% increase in population relative to real life, though?



Yep--though integrating that many non-Whites into Portugal would have been one hell of a challenge. This is why I consider this to be unrealistic in the long(er)-run unless Portugal was willing to engage in extreme gerrymandering--and even then, how long would Portugal's colonial subjects have actually tolerated this?

Not enough additional people. For instance, acquiring Taiwan would only boost China's population by something like 2%--whereas I want a 20+% increase in population relative to real life.

Probably not since it is very unlikely to result in a 20+% gain in population relative to real life.

Nope--too small of a population.

Nope--too small of a population.

Israel would have no desire to actually annex these territories and thus it would not count for this, though.
Using modern numbers Iraq has 37 million people, Kuwait has 4.5 million and Khuzestan (the main border region of Iran that Iraq wanted) has 4.7 million people. Combined that would make it 9.2 million more, which is more than 20%.

Romania has a population of 20 million, the republic of Moldova has 3.5 million, adding the former parts of Bessarabia and Bukovina would easily put this up to 4 million (thus 20%).

Greece has a population of 10.8 million, Cyprus has 1.1 million, Turkish thrace and the Izmir region alone would increase this by millions.

Portugal was actually very racially tolerant and had every intent of integrating its colonies. The rise of African nationalism is the only thing that prevented this.

Australia has a population of 25 million, New Zealand is 5 million, which would just barely be 20%.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,625
#10
Norway could have easily conquered the Shetlands with an alliance of the Scandinavian nation’s. But then they would become corrupt, redirect the Northern Empire. Retake St. Petersburg. Conquer the North of Germany (back when they were still only drunks, and not humourless militant drunks). But then just as all hope seems lost against the dark powers of the North: a last alliance of France and Italy...


...and the Swedish-Norwegian-Danish empire would thoroughly WHOOP their asses! Come on! France and Italy! =D I mean, the Italians surrendered to telephone posts set up to look like artillery =D

But then China, Romania, the Arab world would come and invade, take Royal Emperor Karl Gustav Caesar Augustus XVIXC off his high horse. And the Empire will be broken apart to their current borders, with Norway keeping their the Shetlands.

That’s how I see it happening at least.