6 Major Rivers of World, List of Major Rivers

1. Major Rivers of World : Nile 

6 major rivers of world

Nile River Map

  • Origin – Lake Victoria, Shared by nations Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya
  • Length – 6853 Km,
  • Flow rate – 2830 Cu m/s
  • Mouth – Mediterranean Sea, Egypt

Nile is longest among 6 major rivers of world. It rises from south of Equator, crosses the equator and flows through northern region of Africa and meets Mediterranean sea. It flows along 11 countries – Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethyopia, Egypt, Eritrea. It has two tributaries – Blue Nile and White Nile. White Nile is longer and rises from the Great Lakes region of Africa. The basin of Nile river covers about one-tenth of the area of the African continent. Nile river served as the stage for the evolution of civilizations in the ancient world. Nile is considered to have several sources. White Nile which is considered proper Nile originates from “Lake Victoria“. Lake Victoria  is considered as the second largest fresh water lake in the world, first being Lake Superior near US/Canada border. Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana in the Ethiopian highlands. The two streams meet in Sudan, south of Egypt. Egypt is also called Gift of Nile.

2. Major Rivers of World : Amazon

major rivers of world

Amazon river and Amazonia

  • Origin – Andes Mountains, Peru
  • Length – 6400 Km
  • Mouth – Atlantic Ocean, Brazil
  • Discharge rate – 2 09,000 Cu m/sec

Amazon is the largest river in the world by discharge rate. The length of this river is 6400 Km which makes it the second longest river in the world. Its source is Andes mountains, in Peru and its mouth is Atlantic ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil. The basin of Amazon includes greater part of Brazil and Peru, significant parts of Columbia, Ecuador and Bolivia and small part of Venezuela. The largest city along the Amazon River is Manaus which is located in Brazil. It is estimated that about one-fifth of all the water that runs off the Earth’s surface is carried by the Amazon.

3. Major Rivers of World : Yangtze (Chang Jiang)

major rivers of world

  • Origin – Tanggula Mountains, Quinghai
  • Length – 6300 Km
  • Mouth – near Shanghai, East China Sea
  • Discharge rate – 30,166 Cu m/sec

This is third longest among 6 major rivers of the world.  The local  Chinese name of this river is Chang Jiang. It is longest river in Asia and third longest river in world. It has length of 6300 Km. More than three-fourths of the river’s course runs through mountains. The Yangtze has eight main tributaries. The Yangtze is the most important river of China. It is used as China’s main waterway, and its basin is China’s great granary and contains nearly one-third of the national population.

4. Major Rivers of World : Mississippi – Missouri

major rivers of world

  • Origin – Lake Itasca, Minesota
  • Length – 3766 Km individual 5971 Km with with tributaries Missouri-Jefferson
  • Mouth – Near New Orleans, Gulf of Mexico

Mississippi River, the longest river of North America which along with its tributaries drains an area of about 3.1 million square km, or about one-eighth of the entire North American continent. Mississippi flows almost north of the continent where it meets its main tributary Missouri from west and Ohio river from east. It makes a vast delta near New Orleans before meeting Gulf of Mexico. With its tributaries, the river Mississippi drains 31 states of U.S. and two provinces of Canada. By adding the length of the tributaries Missouri- Jefferson system the combined length becomes 5,971 km which makes this river fourth longest in world.


 5. Major Rivers of World : Yenisei River

major rivers of world

  • Origin – Mangolia
  • Length – 5539 Km
  • Mouth – Kara Sea

It is the longest river of Russia and one of the longest river of Asia. It is world’s sixth largest river in terms of discharge. The Yenisei runs from south to north across the central Siberia. The longest stream follows the Yenisei-AngaraSelenga river system. Main tributary Selenga river which rises from western Mongolia and flow through Lake Baikal (the world’s deepest freshwater lake) into the other tributary Angara. With the inclusion of the Selenga, the Yenisey becomes 5,539 km long.


6. Major Rivers of World : Yellow River

major rivers of world

  • Origin – Bayan Har Mountains
  • Length – 5464 Km
  • Mouth – Bohai Sea, Shandong

The Yellow River also known as “Huang He“. It is the third-longest river in Asia, following the Yangtze and Yenisei rivers. It is sixth longest river in world with length of 5,464 km approx. It originates from Bayan Har mountains of western China and mouths at Bohai Sea in Shandong province. The Yellow River is called “the cradle of Chinese civilization”, because its basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization. Due to frequent devastating floods it has also earned the name  “Sorrow of China”.