How Many Countries Are There 2021

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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.

For the ultimate list of not just countries, but also territories and regions that have some degree of self-governance but are not universally considered fully-fledged countries, check the table below.

How Many Countries Are There 2021

Rank Country 2021 Population Area Region Subregion
Vatican City8001 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Tokelau1,37312 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Niue1,619260 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Falkland Islands3,53312,173 km²AmericasSouth America
Montserrat4,977102 km²AmericasCaribbean
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766242 km²AmericasNorthern America
Saint Barthelemy9,90721 km²AmericasCaribbean
Nauru10,87621 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Wallis And Futuna11,094142 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Tuvalu11,93126 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Anguilla15,11791 km²AmericasCaribbean
Cook Islands17,565236 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Palau18,169459 km²OceaniaMicronesia
British Virgin Islands30,421151 km²AmericasCaribbean
Gibraltar33,6986 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
San Marino34,01761 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Liechtenstein38,250160 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231948 km²AmericasCaribbean
Saint Martin39,23453 km²AmericasCaribbean
Monaco39,5112 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Sint Maarten43,41234 km²AmericasCaribbean
Faroe Islands49,0491,393 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544261 km²AmericasCaribbean
American Samoa55,100199 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Greenland56,8772,166,086 km²AmericasNorthern America
Northern Mariana Islands57,917464 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Marshall Islands59,610181 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Bermuda62,09054 km²AmericasNorthern America
Cayman Islands66,497264 km²AmericasCaribbean
Dominica72,167751 km²AmericasCaribbean
Andorra77,355468 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Isle of Man85,410572 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Antigua And Barbuda98,731442 km²AmericasCaribbean
Seychelles98,908452 km²AfricaEastern Africa
United States Virgin Islands104,226347 km²AmericasCaribbean
Tonga106,760747 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Aruba107,204180 km²AmericasCaribbean
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines111,263389 km²AmericasCaribbean
Grenada113,021344 km²AmericasCaribbean
Micronesia116,254702 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Kiribati121,392811 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Curacao164,798444 km²AmericasCaribbean
Guam170,179549 km²OceaniaMicronesia
Saint Lucia184,400616 km²AmericasCaribbean
Samoa200,1492,842 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Sao Tome And Principe223,368964 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Mayotte279,515374 km²AfricaEastern Africa
French Polynesia282,5304,167 km²OceaniaPolynesia
Barbados287,711430 km²AmericasCaribbean
New Caledonia288,21818,575 km²OceaniaMelanesia
French Guiana306,44883,534 km²AmericasSouth America
Vanuatu314,46412,189 km²OceaniaMelanesia
Iceland343,353103,000 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Martinique374,7451,128 km²AmericasCaribbean
Bahamas396,91313,943 km²AmericasCaribbean
Guadeloupe400,0201,628 km²AmericasCaribbean
Belize404,91422,966 km²AmericasCentral America
Brunei441,5325,765 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Malta442,784316 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Maldives543,617300 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Cape Verde561,8984,033 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Suriname591,800163,820 km²AmericasSouth America
Western Sahara611,875266,000 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Montenegro628,05313,812 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Luxembourg634,8142,586 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Macau658,39430 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Solomon Islands703,99628,896 km²OceaniaMelanesia
Bhutan779,89838,394 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Guyana790,326214,969 km²AmericasSouth America
Comoros888,4511,862 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Reunion901,6862,511 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Fiji902,90618,272 km²OceaniaMelanesia
Djibouti1,002,18723,200 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Eswatini1,172,36217,364 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
Cyprus1,215,5849,251 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Mauritius1,273,4332,040 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Estonia1,325,18545,227 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Timor Leste1,343,87314,874 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,3755,130 km²AmericasCaribbean
Equatorial Guinea1,449,89628,051 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Bahrain1,748,296765 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Latvia1,866,94264,559 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Guinea Bissau2,015,49436,125 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Slovenia2,078,72420,273 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
North Macedonia2,082,65825,713 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Lesotho2,159,07930,355 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
Gabon2,278,825267,668 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Botswana2,397,241582,000 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
Gambia2,486,94510,689 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Namibia2,587,344825,615 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
Lithuania2,689,86265,300 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Puerto Rico2,828,2558,870 km²AmericasCaribbean
Albania2,872,93328,748 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Qatar2,930,52811,586 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Armenia2,968,12729,743 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Jamaica2,973,46310,991 km²AmericasCaribbean
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,46651,209 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Mongolia3,329,2891,564,110 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Uruguay3,485,151181,034 km²AmericasSouth America
Eritrea3,601,467117,600 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Georgia3,979,76569,700 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Moldova4,024,01933,846 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Croatia4,081,65156,594 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Kuwait4,328,55017,818 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Panama4,381,57975,417 km²AmericasCentral America
Mauritania4,775,1191,030,700 km²AfricaWestern Africa
New Zealand4,860,643270,467 km²OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
Central African Republic4,919,981622,984 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Ireland4,982,90770,273 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Costa Rica5,139,05251,100 km²AmericasCentral America
Liberia5,180,203111,369 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Palestine5,222,7486,220 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Oman5,223,375309,500 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Slovakia5,460,72149,037 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Norway5,465,630323,802 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Finland5,548,360338,424 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Republic of the Congo5,657,013342,000 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Denmark5,813,29843,094 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Singapore5,896,686710 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Turkmenistan6,117,924488,100 km²AsiaCentral Asia
El Salvador6,518,49921,041 km²AmericasCentral America
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356199,951 km²AsiaCentral Asia
Nicaragua6,702,385130,373 km²AmericasCentral America
Lebanon6,769,14610,452 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Bulgaria6,896,663110,879 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Libya6,958,5321,759,540 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Paraguay7,219,638406,752 km²AmericasSouth America
Laos7,379,358236,800 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Hong Kong7,552,8101,104 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Sierra Leone8,141,34371,740 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Togo8,478,25056,785 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Serbia8,697,55088,361 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Switzerland8,715,49441,284 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Israel8,789,77420,770 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Austria9,043,07083,871 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Papua New Guinea9,119,010462,840 km²OceaniaMelanesia
Belarus9,442,862207,600 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Hungary9,634,16493,028 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Tajikistan9,749,627143,100 km²AsiaCentral Asia
United Arab Emirates9,991,08983,600 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Honduras10,062,991112,492 km²AmericasCentral America
Sweden10,160,169450,295 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Portugal10,167,92592,090 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Azerbaijan10,223,34286,600 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Jordan10,269,02189,342 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Greece10,370,744131,990 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Czech Republic10,724,55578,865 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Dominican Republic10,953,70348,671 km²AmericasCaribbean
Cuba11,317,505109,884 km²AmericasCaribbean
South Sudan11,381,378619,745 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Haiti11,541,68527,750 km²AmericasCaribbean
Belgium11,632,32630,528 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Bolivia11,832,9401,098,581 km²AmericasSouth America
Tunisia11,935,766163,610 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Burundi12,255,43327,834 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Benin12,451,040112,622 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Rwanda13,276,51326,338 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Guinea13,497,244245,857 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Zimbabwe15,092,171390,757 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Somalia16,359,504637,657 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Chad16,914,9851,284,000 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Cambodia16,946,438181,035 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Netherlands17,173,09941,850 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Senegal17,196,301196,722 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Ecuador17,888,475276,841 km²AmericasSouth America
Guatemala18,249,860108,889 km²AmericasCentral America
Syria18,275,702185,180 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Zambia18,920,651752,612 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Kazakhstan18,994,9622,724,900 km²AsiaCentral Asia
Romania19,127,774238,391 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Chile19,212,361756,102 km²AmericasSouth America
Malawi19,647,684118,484 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Mali20,855,7351,240,192 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Burkina Faso21,497,096272,967 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Sri Lanka21,497,31065,610 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Taiwan23,855,01036,193 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Niger25,130,8171,267,000 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Australia25,788,2157,692,024 km²OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand
North Korea25,887,041120,538 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Ivory Coast27,053,629322,463 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Cameroon27,224,265475,442 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Madagascar28,427,328587,041 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Venezuela28,704,954916,445 km²AmericasSouth America
Nepal29,674,920147,181 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Yemen30,490,640527,968 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Ghana31,732,129238,533 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Mozambique32,163,047801,590 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Malaysia32,776,194330,803 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Peru33,359,4181,285,216 km²AmericasSouth America
Angola33,933,6101,246,700 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Uzbekistan33,935,763447,400 km²AsiaCentral Asia
Saudi Arabia35,340,6832,149,690 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Morocco37,344,795446,550 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Poland37,797,005312,679 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Canada38,067,9039,984,670 km²AmericasNorthern America
Afghanistan39,835,428652,230 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Iraq41,179,350438,317 km²AsiaWestern Asia
Ukraine43,466,819603,500 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Algeria44,616,6242,381,741 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Sudan44,909,3531,886,068 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Argentina45,605,8262,780,400 km²AmericasSouth America
Spain46,745,216505,992 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Uganda47,123,531241,550 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Colombia51,265,8441,141,748 km²AmericasSouth America
South Korea51,305,186100,210 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Myanmar54,806,012676,578 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Kenya54,985,698580,367 km²AfricaEastern Africa
South Africa60,041,9941,221,037 km²AfricaSouthern Africa
Italy60,367,477301,336 km²EuropeSouthern Europe
Tanzania61,498,437945,087 km²AfricaEastern Africa
France65,426,179551,695 km²EuropeWestern Europe
United Kingdom68,207,116242,900 km²EuropeNorthern Europe
Thailand69,950,850513,120 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Germany83,900,473357,114 km²EuropeWestern Europe
Iran85,028,7591,648,195 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Turkey85,042,738783,562 km²AsiaWestern Asia
DR Congo92,377,9932,344,858 km²AfricaMiddle Africa
Vietnam98,168,833331,212 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Egypt104,258,3271,002,450 km²AfricaNorthern Africa
Philippines111,046,913342,353 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
Ethiopia117,876,2271,104,300 km²AfricaEastern Africa
Japan126,050,804377,930 km²AsiaEastern Asia
Mexico130,262,2161,964,375 km²AmericasCentral America
Russia145,912,02517,098,242 km²EuropeEastern Europe
Bangladesh166,303,498147,570 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Nigeria211,400,708923,768 km²AfricaWestern Africa
Brazil213,993,4378,515,767 km²AmericasSouth America
Pakistan225,199,937881,912 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
Indonesia276,361,7831,904,569 km²AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
United States332,915,0739,372,610 km²AmericasNorthern America
India1,393,409,0383,287,590 km²AsiaSouthern Asia
China1,444,216,1079,706,961 km²AsiaEastern Asia

How Many Countries Are There 2021