What is a sovereign nation? A sovereign nation is a nation that has one centralized government that has the power to govern a specific geographic area. Under the definition set by international law, a sovereign nation has a defined territory with just one government. These nations have a permanent population and can enter into relations with other sovereign countries.
The United Nations has a list of all of the world’s sovereign states. There are 206 total states, broken down into 193 member states, two observer states, and 11 classified as “other” states.
Of these states, 191 states have undisputed sovereignty. There are 15 states with disputed sovereignty.
All sovereign nations, in alphabetical order, include:
- Abkhazia, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Artsakh, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan
- Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi
- Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic
- Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic
- East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia
- Fiji, Finland, France
- Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana
- Haiti, Honduras, Hungary
- Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast
- Jamaica, Japan, Jordan
- Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, North Korea, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
- Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
- Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar
- Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Northern Cypress, Norway
- Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal
- Romania, Russia, Rwanda
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Ossetia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria
- Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Transnistria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu
- Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan
- Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam
- Zambia, Zimbabwe
Of these states, there are 15 with disputed sovereignty.
- The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is claimed by South Korea.
- The Republic of Korea is claimed by North Korea.
- Abkhazia is claimed by Georgia.
- Artsakh is claimed by Azerbaijan.
- Kosovo is claimed by Serbia. As of March 2020, UN 115 nations have recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state.
- Northern Cyprus is claimed by the Republic of Cyprus.
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is claimed by Morocco.
- Somaliland is claimed by Somalia.
- South Ossetia is claimed by Georgia.
- Taiwan is claimed by the People’s Republic of China. As of 2019, only 14 UN nations have recognized Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
- Transnistria is claimed by Moldova.
- Cyprus is not recognized by Turkey.
- Israel is partially unrecognized. As of December 2019, 162 UN nations have recognized Israel as a sovereign nation.
- China is partially unrecognized and is claimed by the Republic of China.
- Palestine is partially recognized and is disputed by Israel. As of 2019, UN 138 nations have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state.