Neutral Countries in World War II

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During World War II, there were two groups of countries on opposing sides. The Axis and the Allies. Not all countries in the world fought in the war. In fact, there was another group – the neutral powers – that chose not to take sides during the war.

These nations took a neutral position in order to avoid attacks and invasion. However, despite their efforts, many of these nations were attacked. For example, Nazi Germany invaded Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in 1940. Later that year, the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia in just three days.

Other nations claimed to be neutral, but still helped or rallied behind one side or the other. An example of this is Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland, all of which helped the Allies by providing the United Kingdom with voluntary brigades. The United States also remained neutral at the beginning of the war but became involved following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

In Europe, there were several nations that were neutral during the war. Those nations include:

  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

There were also microstates that were neutral during the war including:

In the Americas, Nicaragua and the United States remained neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In Asia, the neutral countries during World War II were:

Neutral Countries in World War II

Rank Country 2021 Population
1Turkey85,042,738
2Iran85,028,759
3Spain46,745,216
4Afghanistan39,835,428
5Saudi Arabia35,340,683
6Yemen30,490,640
7Nepal29,674,920
8Portugal10,167,925
9Sweden10,160,169
10Switzerland8,715,494
11Ireland4,982,907
12Lithuania2,689,862
13Latvia1,866,942
14Estonia1,325,185
15Andorra77,355
16Monaco39,511
17Liechtenstein38,250
18San Marino34,017
19Vatican City800

Neutral Countries in World War II