How Many Countries Are There 2020

How many countries are there in the world? The simplest answer is there are 197 countries in the world.

Calculating the number of countries in the world may seem like it should be a simple task, but it is one that quickly becomes fraught with political, geographical and socio-economic difficulties. Depending on the source, the number of countries can vary quite considerably and there is no universal agreement on the total.

However, many people look to the United Nations as the most reliable source, as for a country to become a member of the UN requires a considerable process of assessment and voting by existing members. A country applying for UN membership must receive consent from all five permanent member countries of the Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China), in addition to receiving approval from a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly.

At present, the UN recognises a total of 197 countries. This includes 193 member countries, two UN observers (Holy See (Vatican) and Palestine), and Taiwan and Kosovo, each widely regarded as self-governed territories, and Taiwan in particular recognised as having significant economic resources. However, it should be noted that China regards Taiwan as being part of its territory, as does Serbia with Kosovo. Both are good examples of the political sensitivities involved in defining what makes a country, particularly when the area involved shares contested space, such as in the case of Palestine.

It is also worth noting that some well-established countries haven't always been members of the UN, which complicates using UN figures. For example, Switzerland joined the UN in 2002, but few would argue over Switzerland's status as a sovereign state long before this date. It can therefore be useful to look to other internationally-recognised organisations for country data, such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

When looking at a map of the world, it may seem relatively easy to determine areas of the globe that look like they should be countries. For example, Greenland, a large island between the north Atlantic and Arctic oceans, certainly looks like it ought to be a country. However, Greenland is not a UN member country and, while it controls many of its own domestic affairs, it is in fact ultimately controlled by Denmark, a much smaller European country thousands of miles away.

Even the United Kingdom, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a strong global economic player, is simply the collective name for the constituent countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all of which have varying levels of devolution and each of which has a complicated political history with England, including territorial disputes that continue to this day.

All of this demonstrates that it is not so simple to determine the exact number of countries there are in the world, and the constantly changing nature of politics means that issues around sovereignty are unlikely to ever be fully resolved as the ever-shifting forces of globalisation continue to redefine the meaning of nationhood.

The table below shows 232 because it includes territories and regions that have some element of self-governance but are not considered soverign states.

How Many Countries Are There 2020

Rank Country Population 2020 Area Region Subregion
1China1,439,323,7769,706,961 km²AsiaEastern Asia
2India1,380,004,3853,287,590 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
3United States331,002,6519,372,610 km²AmericasNorthern America
4Indonesia273,523,6151,904,569 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
5Pakistan220,892,340881,912 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
6Brazil212,559,4178,515,767 km²AmericasSouth America
7Nigeria206,139,589923,768 km²AfricaWestern Africa
8Bangladesh164,689,383147,570 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
9Russia145,934,46217,098,242 km²EuropeEastern Europe
10Mexico128,932,7531,964,375 km²AmericasCentral America
11Japan126,476,461377,930 km²AsiaEastern Asia
12Ethiopia114,963,5881,104,300 km²AfricaEastern Africa
13Philippines109,581,078342,353 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
14Egypt102,334,4041,002,450 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
15Vietnam97,338,579331,212 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
16Dr Congo89,561,4032,344,858 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
17Turkey84,339,067783,562 km²AsiaWestern Asia
18Iran83,992,9491,648,195 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
19Germany83,783,942357,114 km²EuropeWestern Europe
20Thailand69,799,978513,120 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
21United Kingdom67,886,011242,900 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
22France65,273,511551,695 km²EuropeWestern Europe
23Italy60,461,826301,336 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
24Tanzania59,734,218945,087 km²AfricaEastern Africa
25South Africa59,308,6901,221,037 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
26Myanmar54,409,800676,578 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
27Kenya53,771,296580,367 km²AfricaEastern Africa
28South Korea51,269,185100,210 km²AsiaEastern Asia
29Colombia50,882,8911,141,748 km²AmericasSouth America
30Spain46,754,778505,992 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
31Uganda45,741,007241,550 km²AfricaEastern Africa
32Argentina45,195,7742,780,400 km²AmericasSouth America
33Algeria43,851,0442,381,741 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
34Sudan43,849,2601,886,068 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
35Ukraine43,733,762603,500 km²EuropeEastern Europe
36Iraq40,222,493438,317 km²AsiaWestern Asia
37Afghanistan38,928,346652,230 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
38Poland37,846,611312,679 km²EuropeEastern Europe
39Canada37,742,1549,984,670 km²AmericasNorthern America
40Morocco36,910,560446,550 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
41Saudi Arabia34,813,8712,149,690 km²AsiaWestern Asia
42Uzbekistan33,469,203447,400 km²AsiaCentral Asia
43Peru32,971,8541,285,216 km²AmericasSouth America
44Angola32,866,2721,246,700 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
45Malaysia32,365,999330,803 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
46Mozambique31,255,435801,590 km²AfricaEastern Africa
47Ghana31,072,940238,533 km²AfricaWestern Africa
48Yemen29,825,964527,968 km²AsiaWestern Asia
49Nepal29,136,808147,181 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
50Venezuela28,435,940916,445 km²AmericasSouth America
51Madagascar27,691,018587,041 km²AfricaEastern Africa
52Cameroon26,545,863475,442 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
53Ivory Coast26,378,274322,463 km²AfricaWestern Africa
54North Korea25,778,816120,538 km²AsiaEastern Asia
55Australia25,499,8847,692,024 km²OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
56Niger24,206,6441,267,000 km²AfricaWestern Africa
57Taiwan23,816,77536,193 km²AsiaEastern Asia
58Sri Lanka21,413,24965,610 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
59Burkina Faso20,903,273272,967 km²AfricaWestern Africa
60Mali20,250,8331,240,192 km²AfricaWestern Africa
61Romania19,237,691238,391 km²EuropeEastern Europe
62Malawi19,129,952118,484 km²AfricaEastern Africa
63Chile19,116,201756,102 km²AmericasSouth America
64Kazakhstan18,776,7072,724,900 km²AsiaCentral Asia
65Zambia18,383,955752,612 km²AfricaEastern Africa
66Guatemala17,915,568108,889 km²AmericasCentral America
67Ecuador17,643,054276,841 km²AmericasSouth America
68Syria17,500,658185,180 km²AsiaWestern Asia
69Netherlands17,134,87241,850 km²EuropeWestern Europe
70Senegal16,743,927196,722 km²AfricaWestern Africa
71Cambodia16,718,965181,035 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
72Chad16,425,8641,284,000 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
73Somalia15,893,222637,657 km²AfricaEastern Africa
74Zimbabwe14,862,924390,757 km²AfricaEastern Africa
75Guinea13,132,795245,857 km²AfricaWestern Africa
76Rwanda12,952,21826,338 km²AfricaEastern Africa
77Benin12,123,200112,622 km²AfricaWestern Africa
78Burundi11,890,78427,834 km²AfricaEastern Africa
79Tunisia11,818,619163,610 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
80Bolivia11,673,0211,098,581 km²AmericasSouth America
81Belgium11,589,62330,528 km²EuropeWestern Europe
82Haiti11,402,52827,750 km²AmericasCaribbean
83Cuba11,326,616109,884 km²AmericasCaribbean
84South Sudan11,193,725619,745 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
85Dominican Republic10,847,91048,671 km²AmericasCaribbean
86Czech Republic10,708,98178,865 km²EuropeEastern Europe
87Greece10,423,054131,990 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
88Jordan10,203,13489,342 km²AsiaWestern Asia
89Portugal10,196,70992,090 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
90Azerbaijan10,139,17786,600 km²AsiaWestern Asia
91Sweden10,099,265450,295 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
92Honduras9,904,607112,492 km²AmericasCentral America
93United Arab Emirates9,890,40283,600 km²AsiaWestern Asia
94Hungary9,660,35193,028 km²EuropeEastern Europe
95Tajikistan9,537,645143,100 km²AsiaCentral Asia
96Belarus9,449,323207,600 km²EuropeEastern Europe
97Austria9,006,39883,871 km²EuropeWestern Europe
98Papua New Guinea8,947,024462,840 km²OceaniaMelanesia
99Serbia8,737,37188,361 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
100Israel8,655,53520,770 km²AsiaWestern Asia
101Switzerland8,654,62241,284 km²EuropeWestern Europe
102Togo8,278,72456,785 km²AfricaWestern Africa
103Sierra Leone7,976,98371,740 km²AfricaWestern Africa
104Hong Kong7,496,9811,104 km²AsiaEastern Asia
105Laos7,275,560236,800 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
106Paraguay7,132,538406,752 km²AmericasSouth America
107Bulgaria6,948,445110,879 km²EuropeEastern Europe
108Libya6,871,2921,759,540 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
109Lebanon6,825,44510,452 km²AsiaWestern Asia
110Nicaragua6,624,554130,373 km²AmericasCentral America
111Kyrgyzstan6,524,195199,951 km²AsiaCentral Asia
112El Salvador6,486,20521,041 km²AmericasCentral America
113Turkmenistan6,031,200488,100 km²AsiaCentral Asia
114Singapore5,850,342710 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
115Denmark5,792,20243,094 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
116Finland5,540,720338,424 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
117Republic Of The Congo5,518,087342,000 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
118Slovakia5,459,64249,037 km²EuropeEastern Europe
119Norway5,421,241323,802 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
120Oman5,106,626309,500 km²AsiaWestern Asia
121Palestine5,101,4146,220 km²AsiaWestern Asia
122Costa Rica5,094,11851,100 km²AmericasCentral America
123Liberia5,057,681111,369 km²AfricaWestern Africa
124Ireland4,937,78670,273 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
125Central African Republic4,829,767622,984 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
126New Zealand4,822,233270,467 km²OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
127Mauritania4,649,6581,030,700 km²AfricaWestern Africa
128Panama4,314,76775,417 km²AmericasCentral America
129Kuwait4,270,57117,818 km²AsiaWestern Asia
130Croatia4,105,26756,594 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
131Moldova4,033,96333,846 km²EuropeEastern Europe
132Georgia3,989,16769,700 km²AsiaWestern Asia
133Eritrea3,546,421117,600 km²AfricaEastern Africa
134Uruguay3,473,730181,034 km²AmericasSouth America
135Bosnia And Herzegovina3,280,81951,209 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
136Mongolia3,278,2901,564,110 km²AsiaEastern Asia
137Armenia2,963,24329,743 km²AsiaWestern Asia
138Jamaica2,961,16710,991 km²AmericasCaribbean
139Qatar2,881,05311,586 km²AsiaWestern Asia
140Albania2,877,79728,748 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
141Puerto Rico2,860,8538,870 km²AmericasCaribbean
142Lithuania2,722,28965,300 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
143Namibia2,540,905825,615 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
144Gambia2,416,66810,689 km²AfricaWestern Africa
145Botswana2,351,627582,000 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
146Gabon2,225,734267,668 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
147Lesotho2,142,24930,355 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
148Macedonia2,083,37425,713 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
149Slovenia2,078,93820,273 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
150Guinea Bissau1,968,00136,125 km²AfricaWestern Africa
151Latvia1,886,19864,559 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
152Bahrain1,701,575765 km²AsiaWestern Asia
153Equatorial Guinea1,402,98528,051 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
154Trinidad And Tobago1,399,4885,130 km²AmericasCaribbean
155Estonia1,326,53545,227 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
156Timor Leste1,318,44514,874 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
157Mauritius1,271,7682,040 km²AfricaEastern Africa
158Cyprus1,207,3599,251 km²EuropeEastern Europe
159Swaziland1,160,16417,364 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
160Djibouti988,00023,200 km²AfricaEastern Africa
161Fiji896,44518,272 km²OceaniaMelanesia
162Reunion895,3122,511 km²AfricaEastern Africa
163Comoros869,6011,862 km²AfricaEastern Africa
164Guyana786,552214,969 km²AmericasSouth America
165Bhutan771,60838,394 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
166Solomon Islands686,88428,896 km²OceaniaMelanesia
167Macau649,33530 km²AsiaEastern Asia
168Montenegro628,06613,812 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
169Luxembourg625,9782,586 km²EuropeWestern Europe
170Western Sahara597,339266,000 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
171Suriname586,632163,820 km²AmericasSouth America
172Cape Verde555,9874,033 km²AfricaWestern Africa
173Maldives540,544300 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
174Malta441,543316 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
175Brunei437,4795,765 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
176Guadeloupe400,1241,628 km²AmericasCaribbean
177Belize397,62822,966 km²AmericasCentral America
178Bahamas393,24413,943 km²AmericasCaribbean
179Martinique375,2651,128 km²AmericasCaribbean
180Iceland341,243103,000 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
181Vanuatu307,14512,189 km²OceaniaMelanesia
182French Guiana298,68283,534 km²AmericasSouth America
183Barbados287,375430 km²AmericasCaribbean
184New Caledonia285,49818,575 km²OceaniaMelanesia
185French Polynesia280,9084,167 km²OceaniaPolynesia
186Mayotte272,815374 km²AfricaEastern Africa
187Sao Tome And Principe219,159964 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
188Samoa198,4142,842 km²OceaniaPolynesia
189Saint Lucia183,627616 km²AmericasCaribbean
190Guam168,775549 km²OceaniaMicronesia
191Curacao164,093444 km²AmericasCaribbean
192Kiribati119,449811 km²OceaniaMicronesia
193Micronesia115,023702 km²OceaniaMicronesia
194Grenada112,523344 km²AmericasCaribbean
195Saint Vincent And The Grenadines110,940389 km²AmericasCaribbean
196Aruba106,766180 km²AmericasCaribbean
197Tonga105,695747 km²OceaniaPolynesia
198United States Virgin Islands104,425347 km²AmericasCaribbean
199Seychelles98,347452 km²AfricaEastern Africa
200Antigua And Barbuda97,929442 km²AmericasCaribbean
201Isle Of Man85,033572 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
202Andorra77,265468 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
203Dominica71,986751 km²AmericasCaribbean
204Cayman Islands65,722264 km²AmericasCaribbean
205Bermuda62,27854 km²AmericasNorthern America
206Marshall Islands59,190181 km²OceaniaMicronesia
207Northern Mariana Islands57,559464 km²OceaniaMicronesia
208Greenland56,7702,166,086 km²AmericasNorthern America
209American Samoa55,191199 km²OceaniaPolynesia
210Saint Kitts And Nevis53,199261 km²AmericasCaribbean
211Faroe Islands48,8631,393 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
212Sint Maarten42,87634 km²AmericasCaribbean
213Monaco39,2422 km²EuropeWestern Europe
214Turks And Caicos Islands38,717948 km²AmericasCaribbean
215Saint Martin38,66653 km²AmericasCaribbean
216Liechtenstein38,128160 km²EuropeWestern Europe
217San Marino33,93161 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
218Gibraltar33,6916 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
219British Virgin Islands30,231151 km²AmericasCaribbean
220Palau18,094459 km²OceaniaMicronesia
221Cook Islands17,564236 km²OceaniaPolynesia
222Anguilla15,00391 km²AmericasCaribbean
223Tuvalu11,79226 km²OceaniaPolynesia
224Wallis And Futuna11,239142 km²OceaniaPolynesia
225Nauru10,82421 km²OceaniaMicronesia
226Saint Barthelemy9,87721 km²AmericasCaribbean
227Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,794242 km²AmericasNorthern America
228Montserrat4,992102 km²AmericasCaribbean
229Falkland Islands3,48012,173 km²AmericasSouth America
230Niue1,626260 km²OceaniaPolynesia
231Tokelau1,35712 km²OceaniaPolynesia
232Vatican City8011 km²EuropeSouthern Europe