The 25 coldest countries in the world

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While global warming is consistently altering the climatic patterns around the world, there are still places in the world that remain cold throughout the year. It all depends on the geographical location—countries that are located close to either of the two poles experience cold climates.

We used the data from WolrdBank to determine the 25 coldest countries in the world that experience low temperatures throughout the year.

Ukraine snow
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Ukraine

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 48.6°F

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine has a moderate continental climate characterized by mild summers and cold winters. It is generally colder in the north, with temperatures in the range of 41.9-44.6°F, and warmer in the south, with an average temperature of 51.8-55.4°F. The coldest day in the last 70 years was reported in January 2006 by the Luhansk weather station, where the temperature dropped to -23.62 °F.

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Warsaw, Poland
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Poland

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 46.3°F

Situated on the Baltic Sea coast, Poland has a temperate climate in some parts and a continental climate in the country’s interior. Poland enjoys mildly warm summers and extremely cold winters. In Poland’s northeast and southwest, temperatures range from 42.8 °F to 50 °F, although individual readings vary widely depending on the season. In the last 71 years, the coldest day was reported in January 2021 by the Bialystok weather station, where the temperature dropped to -13.7 °F.

Denmark
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Denmark

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020:  47.7°F

Located in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, Denmark enjoys a moderate climate with mild, humid winters and cool, unstable summers. The annual average temperature varies yearly, from below 42.8 ºF to 50 ºF.

The coldest day in the last 73 years was reported in February 2012 by the Odense weather station, where the temperature dropped to -9.58 ºF.

Bratislava
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Slovakia

 Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 47°F

Located in Central Europe, Slovakia has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters with temperatures ranging between −41.8 to 104.5 °F. The coldest day in the last 64 years was reported in February 2012 by the Poprad Tatry weather station, where the temperature dropped to -20.2 °F. The coldest winter in Slovakia was reported in 1963, with an average temperature of 20.3 °F.

Prague
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Czech Republic

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 47 °F

A landlocked country in the western part of Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic enjoys a temperate continental and oceanic climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. The coldest day in the last 73 years was reported in January 2006 by the Ostrava weather station, where the temperature dropped to -16.6 °F.

Georgia
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Georgia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 45.8°F

Situated in the Caucasus region on the Black Sea, Georgia is characterized by a moderate climate zone with average daytime temperatures ranging between 50 °F and 87.8°F. In the last 65 years, the coldest day was reported in February 2020 by the Akhaltsikhe weather station, where the temperature dropped to -4°F.

Belarus
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Belarus

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 45.5°F

Belarus is a landlocked country at the border with Russia, with a moderate climate characterized by pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters and average temperatures ranging from 28.4°F to 77°F. The coldest day was reported in February 2012 by the Vasilevichi weather station, where the temperature dropped to -25.06°F

Lithuania
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Lithuania

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 45.3°F

Lithuania is a small Baltic country with a temperate climate characterized by cold and wet winters and nice summer months. The mean temperature varies from the region. The best months for traveling to this beautiful country are from May to September. The coldest day reported in Lithuania was in February 2021 by the Birzai weather station, where the temperature dropped to -15.1 °F.

Armenia
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Armenia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 44.8°F

A landlocked country in the Eurasian Caucasus, Armenia has a moderate climate with the average temperature ranging between 32°F and 82.4°F. From December to February, Armenia has ideal weather conditions for winter sports. The coldest day in Armenia was reported in January 2021 by the Amasia weather station, where the temperature dropped to -15.16°F.

Austria
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Austria

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 45°F

Located in the heart of Europe, Austria’s climate is greatly influenced by the Alps. There is an alpine climate divide between continental Europe in the north and the extended Mediterranean region in the south. Temperatures range from 35.6°F to 73.4°F on average per day, depending on the season. In the last 73 years, the coldest day was recorded in February 2021 by the Villacher Alpe weather station, where the temperature dropped to -7.7 °F.

Great Wall
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China

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 44.7 °F

Due to China’s size of over 3.6 million square miles, the climate varies significantly from region to region, with more than 30 climate classifications. The coldest area is the northeast region, with temperatures dropping to -22°F and extremely cold winters. The western part of the country has a more arid climate, which cold winters and hot summers. Pacific influence increases in the country’s southwest region, characterized by tropical rainfall and humidity. In the southeast, summer temperatures are still around 82.4°F, but in winter, they rarely fall below 59°F. The coldest day was recorded in January 2001 by the Hailar weather station, where the temperature dropped to a staggering -45.2 °F.

Kazakhstan
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Kazakhstan

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 44.4°F

A landlocked country east of the Caspian Sea on the border with Europe, Kazakhstan has a moderate climate with average daytime temperatures ranging between 21.2°F and 87.8 °F. The coldest day in Kazakhstan was reported by the Ruzaevka weather station in January 2006 when the temperature dropped to -41.9 °F.

Latvia
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Latvia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 44.3°F

Another Baltic country on this list is Latvia, located north of Lithuania and south of Estonia. The country has a temperate climate with average daytime temperatures ranging between 28.4 °F and 75.2 °F. The coldest day was reported in February 2021 by the Daugavpils weather station, where the temperature dropped to -17.3 °F.

Liechtenstein
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Liechtenstein

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 44°F

A landlocked country in the Eastern Alps of Central Europe, Liechtenstein enjoys a continental climate with cold, snowy winters and cool, humid summers.

Estonia
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Estonia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 43.3°F

Located in the northern Baltic, Estonia enjoys a temperate climate with average temperatures between 28.4°F and 73.4 °F. The coldest day in Estonia was recorded by the Tallinn weather station in February 2012 when the temperature dropped to -17.1 °F.

Ice landscape in Alps
mantaphoto/istockphoto

Switzerland

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 42.9°F

Located in the Central European Alps, Switzerland, for a small country, has a particularly varied climate. While the overall climate is temperate, the Alps, which split the country in two from east to west, are blocking the north from Mediterranean influences. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Switzerland remains -43.24 °F recorded at La Brévine in 1987.

Tajikistan
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Tajikistan

 Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020:  38.7°F

Located in Central Asia, Tajikistan enjoys a Continental climate with arid characteristics meaning the summers are scorching and the winters are extremely cold. The coldest day in Tajikistan was reported in February 2022 by the Irht weather station, where the temperature dropped to -16.6. °F. while the lowest temperature ever recorded in Tajikistan was  -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit at Lake Bulunkul.

Sweden
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Sweden

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 36.7°F

Located on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Sweden has three distinct climate zones depending on the region— the south has an oceanic climate, the middle has a humid continental climate, and there is a subarctic climate in the north. South of the Arctic Circle, summers are warm and pleasant, with maximum temperatures between 68°F and 77 °F. During severe winters, northern mountain regions can experience temperatures below -22°F.  The coldest day in Sweden was reported by the Kvikkjokk Arrenjarka in February 2001 when the temperature dropped to -61.2 °F.

Finland
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Finland

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 36.5 °F

Finland, another Scandinavian country on this list, is located much further away from the equator than Central Europe, meaning that the winter days in the country are much shorter, darker, and colder. The northern part of Finland is located in the cold polar zone of the Arctic, and the southern areas are in the temperate climate zone. The coldest day in Finland was recorded in January 1999 by the Sodankyla weather station when the temperature dropped to -57. 1 °F.

 

Iceland
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Iceland

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020:  36.1°F

Located in the North Sea between Europe and Greenland, Iceland has a Polar Tundra climate and, as a result, remains cold throughout the year. Those visiting Iceland won’t need to bring bathing suits as it rarely gets warm here. The average monthly temperature varies from 26.6 °F  to 37.4  °F  in winter and from 46.4 °F  to  59  °F  in summer.

Kyrgyz Republic
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Kyrgyzstan

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020:  35.9°F

Kyrgyzstan is a country located in Central Asia characterized by two climate zones —the northern part of Kyrgyzstan is located in the temperate climate zone, while the southern part is subtropical. The coldest day in Kyrgyzstan was reported by  the Talas weather station in February 2021 when the mean daily temperature was -2.38°F.

Northern lights in Norway
Biletskiy_Evgeniy / istockphoto

Norway

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 35.2°F

With a north-south extension of more than 675.29 sq mi, Norway has several climate zones. Finnmark, in the northeast, has an average annual temperature of 37.4 °F with long snowy, cold winters. By contrast, the climate on the country’s west coast is much milder, favored by the warm currents of the North Atlantic, with an average summer temperature of 62.6°F. On the other hand, the interior southeast of the Scandinavian mountain range is more continental in nature. The coldest day in the last 73 years was reported in January 2016 by the Karasjok weather station, where the temperature dropped to − 60.5 °F.

Mongolia
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Mongolia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 33.1°F

A landlocked country in eastern Central Asia between China and Russia, Mongolia has an arid continental climate with short summers and long, extremely cold winters. Sub-freezing temperatures are common during the winter in the country, and low temperatures remain above freezing throughout the rest of the year. The coldest day in Mongolia was reported in February 2016 by the Tsetsen Uul weather station, where the temperature dropped to hair-raising -66.46 °F.

Russia
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Russia

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 21.9°F

There are numerous climate regions in Russia, which stretches over 93474.919 square miles from west to east and approximately 1544.409 square miles from north to south.

Murmansk and Siberia are located in the Arctic Ocean’s cold polar zone. The southernmost regions near the Black Sea belong to the subtropics, while large parts of the country are in the temperate climate zone. Towards the east, near Japan, the climate is monsoon-like.

There are extreme fluctuations in temperatures within the elongated country. Eastern Siberia can experience temperatures as low as -76°F at night, whereas the steppe regions of central Siberia often reach 95 °F. The coldest day in the last 200 years was reported in February 2002 by the Oymyakon weather station, where the temperature dropped to -91.66 °F.

Canada
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Canada

Annual Mean Temperature 1991-2020: 20.5°F

Located in North America, Canada is by all measures the coldest country on earth. While the subarctic climate dominates most of the country, the northern parts have a Polar Tundra climate, and the southern part features a continental climate.  In the northernmost regions, near the Arctic, snow covers most areas in winter, and temperatures rarely rise above 50°F. In 1947, -81.4°F was recorded in Yukon northwest of the country.

Snowman
Tunatura / istockphoto

Methodology

MediaFeed used the WorldBank data to determine the mean average temperatures for each country from 1991-2020; then, we converted the data from Celsius to Fahrenheit. We additionally used the data from Worlddata.info to determine the extreme temperatures recorded in each country.

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