Further explanation of disputed ranking: The dispute for world's third-largest country arose from the inclusion of coastal and territorial waters for the United States. This discrepancy was deduced from comparing the CIA World Factbook and its previous iterations against the information for United States on Encyclopædia Britannica, particularly its footnote section. In sum, according to older versions of the CIA World Factbook (from 1982 to 1996), the US was listed as the world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and China) with a total area of 9,372,610 sq km. However, in the 1997 edition, the US added coastal waters to its total area (increasing it to 9,629,091 sq km). And then again in 2007, US added territorial water to its total area (increasing it to 9,833,517 sq km). During this time, China's total area remained unchanged. In other words, no coastal or territorial water area was added to China's total area figure. The United States has a coastal water area of 109,362 sq km, and a territorial water area of 195,213 sq km, for a total of 304,575 sq km of additional water space. This is larger than entire countries like Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Adding this figure to the US will boost it over China in ranking since China's coastal and territorial water figures are currently unknown (no official publication) and thus cannot be added into China's total area figure.