List of Countries by Continent 2021

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Continents are Earth’s primary land divisions. However, the exact number of continents on Earth is not universally agreed upon. Many nations use a system that divides the world into seven continents, which are (from largest to smallest in terms of land area): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia/Oceania. But some countries use other systems, which divide the world into fewer continents. For example, some combine North and South America into a single continent called simply "The Americas," or merge Europe and Asia into "Eurasia." Some lists also exclude Antarctica because it has no countries, nor even any permanent human residents. (Note: This article observes a seven-continent system.)

How many countries are there in the world?

The exact number of countries in the world is an even more hotly debated subject. A country is defined as a nation or sovereign state with its own independent government or as an area of land that forms an independent political unit with its own government. As of November 2021, the United Nations recognizes 195 countries in the world. 193 of these countries are members of the United Nations (UN) and two countries are not: Vatican City/Holy See and the State of Palestine, both of which are classified as non-member observer states.

However, U.N. membership is not the last word on the subject of nationhood. There also exist dozens of "territories" which are technically not countries because they are ruled by another nation. Some of these territories are largely independent, but still part of another country—for instance, Greenland is actually part of Denmark, and Puerto Rico is officially part of the United States (though not a state).

Even more confusingly, some would-be countries have declared their independence, but haven't yet been officially recognized by enough members of the United Nations (U.N.), and so are technically still considered territories, not countries. For example, Kosovo is treated as its own independent country by some U.N. members but still treated as part of Serbia by others. Another example is Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China), which was its own sovereign state until it was subsumed by mainland China, which prevents any attempt by the United Nations to reinstate Taiwan's full country status.

Many territories of all types will be included on this list but will be marked to distinguish them from the U.N.-recognized countries.

One final point regarding this particular list of countries per continent: A few countries bridge the gap between two continents, such as Russia (Europe/Asia), Cyprus (Europe/Asia), and Egypt (Africa/Asia). These transcontinental countries will be tallied with whatever continent the U.N. considers them.

Africa

Africa has a total of 54 countries, the most of any continent. The most populous of these countries is Nigeria, which has more than 211 million people. The largest country by land area in Africa is Algeria, which spans over 919,595 mi² (2,381,741 km²). Africa also has one of the world's best-known transcontinental countries, Egypt, whose northeastern corner extends into Asia. Below are the 54 countries in Africa in alphabetical order:

Countries of Africa:

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cabo Verde/Cape Verde
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo/Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt (transcontinental - generally considered African)
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast/Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Territories of Africa:

  • Canary Islands (Spain)
  • Ceuta (Spain)
  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands (France)
  • Madeira (Portugal)
  • Mayotte (France)
  • Melilla (Spain)
  • Pelagie Islands (Italy)
  • Plazas de Soberania (Spain)
  • Reunion (France)
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK)
  • Socotra Archipelago (Yemen)

Asia

Asia has the second-highest number of countries of any continent, but exactly how many that is can be tricky to determine. The United Nations recognizes 49 countries in Asia, which is the most widely accepted number. However, depending upon which territories one recognizes and which intercontinental countries one includes, Asia could be said to have as few as 45 or as many as 53 countries.

The most populous country in Asia (and the world) is China, which has more than 1.4 billion people. The largest country by land area is Russia, which is 6.6 million square miles (17.125 million square kilometers)—however, because 78% of its people live in the European part of the country, Russia is generally considered to be a European country.

In fact, Asia is the continent with the largest number of transcontinental countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, and (surprisingly to many) Egypt, some of which are counted as Asian and some of which are not. Similarly, Cyprus is geographically located close to Asia's Middle East region but is widely considered a European country.

Finally, Asia also includes several partially recognized and/or disputed territories, such as Taiwan (claimed by China), Palestine (disputed territory), and China's two "Special Administrative Regions," Hong Kong and Macau. Below are all of the countries and territories in Asia, listed alphabetically:

Countries and territories of Asia:

  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Azerbaijan (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • British Indian Ocean Territory (UK territory)
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Cyprus (transcontinental - generally considered European)
  • Egypt (transcontinental - generally considered African)
  • Georgia (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Hong Kong (China - Special Administrative Region)
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel (U.N. member, though partially unrecognized)
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Macau (China - Special Administrative Region)
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar (formerly Burma)
  • Nepal
  • North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine (limited recognition)
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia (transcontinental - generally considered European)
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea (Republic of Korea)
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Taiwan (limited recognition - claimed by China)
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste/East Timor
  • Turkey (transcontinental - generally considered European)
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Europe

Europe has 51 independent U.N.-recognized states. The largest country by both population and land area is Russia with 145.93 million people and spanning over 6.6 million square miles (17.125 million square kilometers). Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey are considered to be transcontinental countries, meaning that they are considered to be parts of both Asia and Europe. Europe’s countries are listed below in alphabetical order:

Countries of Europe:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus (generally considered European)
  • Czechia/Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan (transcontinental - generally considered Asian)
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia (transcontinental - generally considered European)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey (transcontinental - generally considered European)
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City (Holy See)

Territories of Europe:

  • Åland (Finland)
  • Channel Islands (UK)
  • Faroe Islands (Denmark)
  • Gibraltar (UK)
  • Guernsey (UK - crown dependency)
  • Isle of Man (UK - crown dependency)
  • Jersey (UK - crown dependency)
  • Kosovo (partially recognized, claimed by Serbia)
  • Northern Cyprus (not recognized, claimed by Cyprus)
  • Northern Ireland (UK)
  • Svalbard (Norway)

North America

North America is made up of 23 countries and nearly as many territories. The most populated of these countries is the United States, which has a population of 329.9 million people. The largest country in North America by land area is Canada, which spans over 3.855 million square miles (9,984,670 square kilometers). Canada and the United States together occupy 79% of the continent’s total land area.

Countries of North America:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America

Territories of North America:

North America also has 22 territories, including some of the world's most compelling non-countries. For instance, Greenland is a vast island territory many times the size of its "parent" country, Denmark, and many smaller island territories in North America are sought-after vacation destinations, including Aruba, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In alphabetical order, North America’s 23 countries are as follows:

  • Anguilla (UK)
  • Aruba (Netherlands)
  • Bermuda (UK)
  • Bonaire (Netherlands)
  • British Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Cayman Islands (UK)
  • Clipperton Island (France)
  • Curaçao (Netherlands)
  • Greenland (Denmark)
  • Guadeloupe (France)
  • Martinique (France)
  • Montserrat (UK)
  • Navassa Island (USA)
  • Puerto Rico (USA)
  • Saba (Netherlands)
  • Saint Barthélemy (France)
  • Saint Martin (France)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)
  • Sint Eustatius (Netherlands)
  • Sint Maarten (Netherlands)
  • Turks and Caicos (UK)
  • US Virgin Islands (USA)

Oceania and Australia

Oceania has 14 countries and many overseas dependent territories. The largest country by population and land area is Australia, which is home to 25.63 million people and has 2.97 million square miles (7,692,024 square kilometers) of area. Oceania also boasts a large number of territories, many of which are controlled by the United States.

Countries of Oceania

  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia (The Federated States of)
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Territories of Oceania:

  • American Samoa (US)
  • Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Australia)
  • Baker Island (US)
  • Cook Islands (New Zealand)
  • Coral Sea Islands (Australia)
  • Easter Island (Chile)
  • French Polynesia (France)
  • Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
  • Guam (US)
  • Howland Island (US)
  • Jarvis Island (US)
  • Johnston Atoll (US)
  • Kingman Reef (US)
  • Midway Atoll (US)
  • New Caledonia (France)
  • Niue (New Zealand)
  • Norfolk Island (Australia)
  • Northern Mariana Islands (US)
  • Palmyra Atoll (US)
  • Papua (Indonesia) (Not same as Papua New Guinea)
  • Pitcairn Islands (UK)
  • San Andrés and Providencia (Colombia)
  • Tokelau (New Zealand)
  • Wake Island (US)
  • Wallis and Futuna (France)
  • West Papua (Indonesia)

South America

South America has 12 independent nations and a handful of dependent territories. The largest country in South America by population and land area is Brazil, which has about 211 million people and spans over 3.288 million square miles (8,515,7767 square kilometers). Brazil is also the country that contains the largest portion of the Amazon rainforest.

Countries of South America:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Territories of South America:

  • Bouvet Island (Norway)
  • Falkland Islands (UK)
  • French Guinea (France)
  • Nueva Esparta (Venezuela)
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (UK)

Antarctica

There are technically no countries on the continent of Antarctica. However, seven sovereign states have territorial claims in Antarctica, resulting in the following territories:

Territories of Antarctica:

  • Adélie Land (France)
  • Argentine Antarctica (Argentina)
  • Australian Antarctic Territory (Australia)
  • British Antarctic Territory (UK)
  • Chilean Antarctic Territory (Chile)
  • Peter I Island (Norway)
  • Queen Maud Land (Norway)
  • Ross Dependency (New Zealand)

Additionally, the United States, Russia, Peru, and South Africa have all reserved their right to claim territory in Antarctica in the future if they so desire. Similarly, Brazil currently has a "zone of interest" but does not have an actual claim.

List of Countries by Continent 2021

Country 2021 Population
China1,444,216,107
India1,393,409,038
United States332,915,073
Indonesia276,361,783
Pakistan225,199,937
Brazil213,993,437
Nigeria211,400,708
Bangladesh166,303,498
Russia145,912,025
Mexico130,262,216
Japan126,050,804
Ethiopia117,876,227
Philippines111,046,913
Egypt104,258,327
Vietnam98,168,833
DR Congo92,377,993
Turkey85,042,738
Iran85,028,759
Germany83,900,473
Thailand69,950,850
United Kingdom68,207,116
France65,426,179
Tanzania61,498,437
Italy60,367,477
South Africa60,041,994
Kenya54,985,698
Myanmar54,806,012
South Korea51,305,186
Colombia51,265,844
Uganda47,123,531
Spain46,745,216
Argentina45,605,826
Sudan44,909,353
Algeria44,616,624
Ukraine43,466,819
Iraq41,179,350
Afghanistan39,835,428
Canada38,067,903
Poland37,797,005
Morocco37,344,795
Saudi Arabia35,340,683
Uzbekistan33,935,763
Angola33,933,610
Peru33,359,418
Malaysia32,776,194
Mozambique32,163,047
Ghana31,732,129
Yemen30,490,640
Nepal29,674,920
Venezuela28,704,954
Madagascar28,427,328
Cameroon27,224,265
Ivory Coast27,053,629
North Korea25,887,041
Australia25,788,215
Niger25,130,817
Taiwan23,855,010
Sri Lanka21,497,310
Burkina Faso21,497,096
Mali20,855,735
Malawi19,647,684
Chile19,212,361
Romania19,127,774
Kazakhstan18,994,962
Zambia18,920,651
Syria18,275,702
Guatemala18,249,860
Ecuador17,888,475
Senegal17,196,301
Netherlands17,173,099
Cambodia16,946,438
Chad16,914,985
Somalia16,359,504
Zimbabwe15,092,171
Guinea13,497,244
Rwanda13,276,513
Benin12,451,040
Burundi12,255,433
Tunisia11,935,766
Bolivia11,832,940
Belgium11,632,326
Haiti11,541,685
South Sudan11,381,378
Cuba11,317,505
Dominican Republic10,953,703
Czech Republic10,724,555
Greece10,370,744
Jordan10,269,021
Azerbaijan10,223,342
Portugal10,167,925
Sweden10,160,169
Honduras10,062,991
United Arab Emirates9,991,089
Tajikistan9,749,627
Hungary9,634,164
Belarus9,442,862
Papua New Guinea9,119,010
Austria9,043,070
Israel8,789,774
Switzerland8,715,494
Serbia8,697,550
Togo8,478,250
Sierra Leone8,141,343
Hong Kong7,552,810
Laos7,379,358
Paraguay7,219,638
Libya6,958,532
Bulgaria6,896,663
Lebanon6,769,146
Nicaragua6,702,385
Kyrgyzstan6,628,356
El Salvador6,518,499
Turkmenistan6,117,924
Singapore5,896,686
Denmark5,813,298
Republic of the Congo5,657,013
Finland5,548,360
Norway5,465,630
Slovakia5,460,721
Oman5,223,375
Palestine5,222,748
Liberia5,180,203
Costa Rica5,139,052
Ireland4,982,907
Central African Republic4,919,981
New Zealand4,860,643
Mauritania4,775,119
Panama4,381,579
Kuwait4,328,550
Croatia4,081,651
Moldova4,024,019
Georgia3,979,765
Eritrea3,601,467
Uruguay3,485,151
Mongolia3,329,289
Bosnia And Herzegovina3,263,466
Jamaica2,973,463
Armenia2,968,127
Qatar2,930,528
Albania2,872,933
Puerto Rico2,828,255
Lithuania2,689,862
Namibia2,587,344
Gambia2,486,945
Botswana2,397,241
Gabon2,278,825
Lesotho2,159,079
North Macedonia2,082,658
Slovenia2,078,724
Guinea Bissau2,015,494
Latvia1,866,942
Bahrain1,748,296
Equatorial Guinea1,449,896
Trinidad And Tobago1,403,375
Timor Leste1,343,873
Estonia1,325,185
Mauritius1,273,433
Cyprus1,215,584
Eswatini1,172,362
Djibouti1,002,187
Fiji902,906
Reunion901,686
Comoros888,451
Guyana790,326
Bhutan779,898
Solomon Islands703,996
Macau658,394
Luxembourg634,814
Montenegro628,053
Western Sahara611,875
Suriname591,800
Cape Verde561,898
Maldives543,617
Malta442,784
Brunei441,532
Belize404,914
Guadeloupe400,020
Bahamas396,913
Martinique374,745
Iceland343,353
Vanuatu314,464
French Guiana306,448
New Caledonia288,218
Barbados287,711
French Polynesia282,530
Mayotte279,515
Sao Tome And Principe223,368
Samoa200,149
Saint Lucia184,400
Guam170,179
Curacao164,798
Kiribati121,392
Micronesia116,254
Grenada113,021
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines111,263
Aruba107,204
Tonga106,760
United States Virgin Islands104,226
Seychelles98,908
Antigua And Barbuda98,731
Isle of Man85,410
Andorra77,355
Dominica72,167
Cayman Islands66,497
Bermuda62,090
Marshall Islands59,610
Northern Mariana Islands57,917
Greenland56,877
American Samoa55,100
Saint Kitts And Nevis53,544
Faroe Islands49,049
Sint Maarten43,412
Monaco39,511
Saint Martin39,234
Turks And Caicos Islands39,231
Liechtenstein38,250
San Marino34,017
Gibraltar33,698
British Virgin Islands30,421
Palau18,169
Cook Islands17,565
Anguilla15,117
Tuvalu11,931
Wallis And Futuna11,094
Nauru10,876
Saint Barthelemy9,907
Saint Pierre And Miquelon5,766
Montserrat4,977
Falkland Islands3,533
Niue1,619
Tokelau1,373
Vatican City800

List of Countries by Continent 2021