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How Many Countries are there in 2024?

How many countries are there in the world? While this might seem to be a simple question, the answer is quite complicated.

The problem is that different organizations have different stances on exactly what it takes to qualify as a country. Depending on the source, the number of countries can vary quite considerably, and there is no universal agreement on the total.

That said, the United Nations is generally regarded as the de facto authority on nationhood. Currently, the U.N. recognizes 193 countries as member states. It also recognizes two "observers states", the Holy See/Vatican City and Palestine, which are self-ruling territories but not full-fledged countries.

However, even the U.N. list is not free of controversy. The U.N. does not currently acknowledge the self-governed territory of Taiwan (Republic of China), which was a member of the U.N. from 1945 to 1971, but is now considered a territory of mainland China. Similarly, as of 2020, roughly half of U.N. members still considered Kosovo to be part of Serbia rather than its own nation.

By comparison, Britannica's list of countries grants full nation-hood rights to Vatican City, Taiwan, and Kosovo for a total of 196 countries. Then there's Wikipedia's list of sovereign states, which mirrors the U.N.'s list of 193 countries and two observer states, then adds eleven sovereign states, including Taiwan, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Cook Islands, and more for a total of 206.

Perhaps the most puzzling non-country is Greenland, a massive island between the north Atlantic and Arctic oceans, which certainly looks like it ought to be its own country—just like its tiny neighbor, Iceland. However, Greenland is not a U.N. member country and, while it controls many of its own domestic affairs, it is ultimately controlled by Denmark, a European country even tinier than Iceland, thousands of miles away.

Other sources use a less rigid definition of country and give dependent and disputed territories such as Greenland and the Gaza Strip their own separate listings. This is the reason the United States' CIA Factbook lists 237 countries.

All of this demonstrates that it is not so simple to determine the exact number of countries there are in the world. Moreover, and the constantly changing nature of politics means that issues around sovereignty are unlikely to ever be fully resolved.

Download Table Data

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Country
Population
Area (km²)
Continent
Subregion
UN Member
India1,441,719,8523.3MAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
China1,425,178,7829.7MAsiaEastern Asia
United States341,814,4209.4MNorth AmericaNorthern America
Indonesia279,798,0491.9MAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Pakistan245,209,815881.9KAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Nigeria229,152,217923.8KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Brazil217,637,2978.5MSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Bangladesh174,701,211147.6KAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Russia143,957,07917.1MAsiaEuropeEastern Europe
Ethiopia129,719,7191.1MAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Mexico129,388,4672MNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Japan122,631,432377.9KAsiaEastern Asia
Philippines119,106,224342.4KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Egypt114,484,2521MAfricaNorthern Africa, The Middle East
DR Congo105,625,1142.3MAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Vietnam99,497,680331.2KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Iran89,809,7811.6MAsiaSouthern Asia, The Middle East
Turkey86,260,417783.6KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Germany83,252,474357.1KEuropeWestern Europe
Thailand71,885,799513.1KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Tanzania69,419,073945.1KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
United Kingdom67,961,439242.9KEuropeNorthern Europe
France64,881,830551.7KEuropeWestern Europe
South Africa61,020,2211.2MAfricaSouthern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Italy58,697,744301.3KEuropeSouthern Europe
Kenya56,203,030580.4KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Myanmar54,964,694676.6KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Colombia52,340,7741.1MSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
South Korea51,741,963100.2KAsiaEastern Asia
Uganda49,924,252241.6KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Sudan49,358,2281.9MAfricaNorthern Africa
Spain47,473,373506KEuropeSouthern Europe
Iraq46,523,657438.3KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Algeria46,278,7512.4MAfricaNorthern Africa
Argentina46,057,8662.8MSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Afghanistan43,372,950652.2KAsiaSouth Central Asia, Southern Asia
Poland40,221,726312.7KEuropeEastern Europe
Canada39,107,04610MNorth AmericaNorthern America
Morocco38,211,459446.6KAfricaNorthern Africa
Ukraine37,937,821603.5KEuropeEastern Europe
Angola37,804,6341.2MAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Saudi Arabia37,473,9292.1MAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Uzbekistan35,673,804447.4KAsiaCentral Asia, South Central Asia
Yemen35,219,853528KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Mozambique34,858,402801.6KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Ghana34,777,522238.5KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Peru34,683,4441.3MSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Malaysia34,671,895330.8KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Nepal31,240,315147.2KAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Madagascar31,056,610587KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Ivory Coast29,603,302322.5KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Venezuela29,395,334916.4KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Cameroon29,394,433475.4KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Niger28,238,9721.3MAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Australia26,699,4827.7MOceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
North Korea26,244,582120.5KAsiaEastern Asia
Syria24,348,053185.2KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Mali24,015,7891.2MAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Taiwan23,950,21436.2KAsiaEastern Asia
Burkina Faso23,840,247273KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Sri Lanka21,949,26865.6KAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Malawi21,475,962118.5KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Zambia21,134,695752.6KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Kazakhstan19,828,1652.7MAsiaCentral Asia
Chile19,658,839756.1KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Romania19,618,996238.4KEuropeEastern Europe
Chad18,847,1481.3MAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Somalia18,706,922637.7KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Ecuador18,377,367276.8KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Guatemala18,358,430108.9KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Senegal18,221,567196.7KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Netherlands17,671,12541.9KEuropeWestern Europe
Cambodia17,121,847181KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Zimbabwe17,020,321390.8KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Guinea14,528,770245.9KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Rwanda14,414,91026.3KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Benin14,080,072112.6KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Burundi13,591,65727.8KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Bolivia12,567,3361.1MSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Tunisia12,564,689163.6KAfricaNorthern Africa
Haiti11,867,03027.8KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Belgium11,715,77430.5KEuropeWestern Europe
Dominican Republic11,434,00548.7KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Jordan11,384,92289.3KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
South Sudan11,277,092619.7KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Cuba11,174,587109.9KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Honduras10,759,406112.5KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Sweden10,673,669450.3KEuropeNorthern Europe
Papua New Guinea10,515,788462.8KOceaniaMelanesia
Czech Republic10,503,73478.9KEuropeEastern Europe
Azerbaijan10,462,90486.6KAsiaWestern Asia
Tajikistan10,331,513143.1KAsiaCentral Asia, South Central Asia
Greece10,302,720132KEuropeSouthern Europe
Portugal10,223,34992.1KEuropeSouthern Europe
Hungary9,994,99393KEuropeEastern Europe
United Arab Emirates9,591,85383.6KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Belarus9,455,037207.6KEuropeEastern Europe
Israel9,311,65220.8KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Togo9,260,86456.8KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Sierra Leone8,977,97271.7KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Austria8,977,13983.9KEuropeWestern Europe
Switzerland8,851,43141.3KEuropeWestern Europe
Laos7,736,681236.8KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Hong Kong7,496,6811.1KAsiaEastern Asia
Nicaragua7,142,529130.4KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Serbia7,097,02888.4KEuropeSouthern Europe
Libya6,964,1971.8MAfricaNorthern Africa
Paraguay6,947,270406.8KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Kyrgyzstan6,839,606200KAsiaCentral Asia, South Central Asia
Bulgaria6,618,615110.9KEuropeEastern Europe
Turkmenistan6,598,071488.1KAsiaCentral Asia, South Central Asia
El Salvador6,396,28921KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Republic of the Congo6,244,547342KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Singapore6,052,709710AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Denmark5,939,69543.1KEuropeNorthern Europe
Central African Republic5,915,627623KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Slovakia5,702,83249KEuropeEastern Europe
Finland5,549,886338.4KEuropeNorthern Europe
Liberia5,536,949111.4KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Norway5,514,477323.8KEuropeNorthern Europe
Palestine5,494,9636.2KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
New Zealand5,269,939270.5KOceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
Costa Rica5,246,71451.1KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Lebanon5,219,04410.5KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Ireland5,089,47870.3KEuropeNorthern Europe
Mauritania4,993,9221MAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Oman4,713,553309.5KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Panama4,527,96175.4KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Kuwait4,349,38017.8KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Croatia3,986,62756.6KEuropeSouthern Europe
Eritrea3,817,651117.6KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Georgia3,717,42569.7KAsiaWestern Asia
Mongolia3,493,6291.6MAsiaEastern Asia
Uruguay3,423,316181KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Moldova3,329,86533.8KEuropeEastern Europe
Puerto Rico3,268,8028.9KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Bosnia and Herzegovina3,194,37851.2KEuropeSouthern Europe
Gambia2,841,80310.7KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Albania2,826,02028.7KEuropeSouthern Europe
Jamaica2,824,73811KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Armenia2,777,97929.7KAsiaWestern Asia
Qatar2,737,06111.6KAsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Botswana2,719,694582KAfricaSouthern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Lithuania2,692,79865.3KEuropeNorthern Europe
Namibia2,645,805825.6KAfricaSouthern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Gabon2,484,557267.7KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Lesotho2,356,08330.4KAfricaSouthern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Guinea Bissau2,197,14936.1KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Slovenia2,118,96520.3KEuropeSouthern Europe
North Macedonia2,082,70625.7KEuropeSouthern Europe
Latvia1,810,24064.6KEuropeNorthern Europe
Equatorial Guinea1,754,99328.1KAfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Trinidad and Tobago1,538,2005.1KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Bahrain1,498,712765AsiaWestern Asia, The Middle East
Timor Leste1,379,88314.9KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Estonia1,319,04145.2KEuropeNorthern Europe
Mauritius1,301,9782KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Cyprus1,268,4679.3KEuropeEastern Europe, The Middle East
Eswatini1,222,07517.4KAfricaSouthern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Djibouti1,152,32923.2KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Reunion989,3502.5KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Fiji943,07218.3KOceaniaMelanesia
Comoros867,6051.9KAfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Guyana819,594215KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Bhutan792,38238.4KAsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Solomon Islands756,67328.9KOceaniaMelanesia
Macau713,08233AsiaEastern Asia
Luxembourg661,5942.6KEuropeWestern Europe
Suriname628,785163.8KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Montenegro626,10213.8KEuropeSouthern Europe
Cape Verde604,4614KAfricaWestern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Western Sahara598,385266KAfricaNorthern Africa
Malta536,740316EuropeSouthern Europe
Maldives517,887300AsiaSouthern Asia, South Central Asia
Brunei455,8585.8KAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Belize416,65623KNorth AmericaCentral America, Latin America
Bahamas415,22313.9KNorth AmericaCaribbean
Guadeloupe396,3461.6KNorth AmericaCaribbean, Latin America
Iceland377,689103KEuropeNorthern Europe
Martinique366,4161.1KNorth AmericaCaribbean, Latin America
Mayotte345,996374AfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Vanuatu342,32512.2KOceaniaMelanesia
French Guiana319,79683.5KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
French Polynesia311,3834.2KOceaniaPolynesia
New Caledonia295,96618.6KOceaniaMelanesia
Barbados282,309430North AmericaCaribbean
Sao Tome and Principe236,381964AfricaMiddle Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Samoa228,9662.8KOceaniaPolynesia
Curacao192,965444North AmericaCaribbean
Saint Lucia180,805616North AmericaCaribbean
Guam174,114549OceaniaMicronesia
Kiribati135,763811OceaniaMicronesia
Grenada126,887344North AmericaCaribbean
Micronesia116,300702OceaniaMicronesia
Jersey112,843116EuropeNorthern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa
Tonga108,683747OceaniaPolynesia
Seychelles108,263452AfricaEastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
Aruba106,177180North AmericaCaribbean
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines103,683389North AmericaCaribbean
United States Virgin Islands98,055347North AmericaCaribbean
Antigua and Barbuda94,816442North AmericaCaribbean
Isle of Man84,904572EuropeNorthern Europe
Andorra80,341468EuropeSouthern Europe
Dominica73,368751North AmericaCaribbean
Cayman Islands69,885264North AmericaCaribbean
Bermuda63,93554North AmericaNorthern America
Guernsey63,78878EuropeNorthern Europe
Greenland56,7892.2MNorth AmericaNorthern America
Faroe Islands53,4441.4KEuropeNorthern Europe
Northern Mariana Islands50,025464OceaniaMicronesia
Saint Kitts and Nevis47,847261North AmericaCaribbean
Turks and Caicos Islands46,431948North AmericaCaribbean
Sint Maarten44,30934North AmericaCaribbean
American Samoa43,544199OceaniaPolynesia
Marshall Islands42,415181OceaniaMicronesia
Liechtenstein39,822160EuropeWestern Europe
Monaco36,1572EuropeWestern Europe
San Marino33,61461EuropeSouthern Europe
Gibraltar32,7187EuropeSouthern Europe
Saint Martin32,33753North AmericaCaribbean, Latin America
British Virgin Islands31,763151North AmericaCaribbean
Palau18,051459OceaniaMicronesia
Cook Islands17,072240OceaniaPolynesia
Anguilla15,93691North AmericaCaribbean
Nauru12,88421OceaniaMicronesia
Tuvalu11,47826OceaniaPolynesia
Wallis and Futuna11,439274OceaniaPolynesia
Saint Barthelemy11,01921North AmericaCaribbean, Latin America
Saint Pierre and Miquelon5,815242North AmericaNorthern America
Montserrat4,372102North AmericaCaribbean
Falkland Islands3,80312.2KSouth AmericaSouth America, Latin America
Niue1,935261OceaniaPolynesia
Tokelau1,91512OceaniaPolynesia
Vatican City526< 1EuropeSouthern Europe
showing: 234 rows

Are there 256 countries in the world?

The number of countries can vary depending on the organization that is recognizing them. For example, the UN only recognizes 193 countries whereas the US CIA Factbook shows 237.

Are there over 200 countries?

Britannica does recognize over 200 sovereign states/countries, but the UN only recognizes 193 in total.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources