There is a lot of variation among the world’s 200 or so countries. They vary in government, size, and population. However, one of the most notable differences among the many countries of the world is their variation in size. They differ in the millions of square miles from Russia at one end of the scale to the Vatican City at the other. The ten smallest countries in the world vary in location as well, and they are:
(Continents in parentheses are countries that are off the coast of the continent mentioned)
10. Maldives – (Asia)
9. Seychelles – (Africa)
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – (South America)
7. Marshall Islands – Oceania
6. Liechtenstein – Europe
5. San Marino – Europe
4. Tuvalu – Oceania
3. Nauru – Oceania
2. Monaco – Europe
1. Vatican City – Europe
The Maldives are an island nation off the coast of Asia, to the southwest of India. The island is composed of over 2000 islands, but of that amount, only 1/10 of them are occupied extensively by people. Once a colony of the United Kingdom, it gained independence in the year 1965. Interestingly, it is the country of the world that has the lowest high point.
Seychelles is a group of islands off the coast of Africa, north of Madagascar. Again, the island nation was once a colony of the UK, but as of 1976, it is its own independent nation. The government is headed by a president, who resides at the prestigious State House, in Victoria.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
This group of two islands is located to the north of South America. This is the smallest country in both of the Americas. It has a population of 39,000, and the island of Nevis has been given the right to succeed if it wants to. If it did, then it would make Nevis the smallest country in the Americas.
7. Marshall Islands
The Marshall Islands are located in the Pacific Islands, and are home to 58,000 residents. The country used to be a member of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (which was an organization administered by the United States of America), but it gained its independence and sovereignty in 1986. The country is composed of 34 islands and many reefs. It lies to the northeast of Australia.
This country of 62 square miles is one of the many micronations of Europe. It has a population of 34,000, and it is sandwiched between the countries of Austria and Switzerland. It is the smallest country in the world that has German as a native language. It is a popular winter sports vacation spot, as it is a very mountanous country.
5. San Marino
San Marino, like Liechtenstein, is one of the micronations of the European continent. It is a landlocked nation, that is completely surronded by the country of Italy. It is the oldest sovereign nation in the world, with its founding year being 301 A.D. It is also the country which has the oldest constitution that is still in effect. It’s land area is only 24 sqaure miles.
Tuvalu is a group of islands located in the Pacific Islands, in between Australia and the state of Hawaii. The whole country is only 9 square miles. It was formerly known as the Ellice Islands, and it gained its independence in 1978. The islands were first inhabited by Polynesian people, but the island became greatly influenced by the UK in the late 19th century.
Nauru is also a country located in the Pacific Islands. It was formerly known as Pleasant Island. In the late 19th century, it became a colony of the nation of Germany. The country relies on the phosphorous located on the islands, but the resources are diminishing. It gained its independence in the year 1968, and it is only 8.5 square miles.
Monaco is a micronation on the continent of Europe. Just like San Marino is completely surronded by Italy, Monaco is completely surronded by the nation of France. It is only 0.7 square miles, but it has 32,000 residents. Because of this, it is the world’s most densely populated country. It is known for its casinos.
1. Vatican City
Finally, the smallest country in the world is the Vatican City. It currently has 770 residents, but interestingly enough, none of them live there. It is considered the religious center of the Roman Catholic Church, which comprises 1 billion of the 2 billion Christians in the world. It has an elected monarchy that is not controlled by heredity.
Sealand is a self-declared micronation off the coast of the UK. It was a former WWII sea fort. Paddy Roy Bates currently occupies the “micronation.” It even has its own currency. Since it is not recognized by any UN member as an independent nation, it is really not. However, if it was a country, it would be smaller than the Vatican City.
The world is full of many nations, and they are all different from each other. The smallest nations are, in my opinion, the most peculiar ones. They are also the ones that are the most fun to examine, to see how their government, currency, and people relate to the world’s.