What are the World's Smallest Countries?

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  • Written By: Mary Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2018
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The world's smallest countries can be judged by size or population. Considered either way, the smallest countries are to be found in areas classified as belonging to Europe, Oceania, and North America.

Here are the world’s smallest countries by land mass. Notice that many of them are islands or island groups, and some of these have only relatively recently come into self governance, while San Marino, established in 301 CE, claims to be the world’s oldest republic. Nauru is the world’s smallest independent republic.

Order Country Name Area Island(s)? Date of Self-Rule
1. Holy See/Vatican City 0.17 sq miles (0.44 sq km) No 1929
2. Monaco 0.75 sq miles (1.95 sq km) No originally - 1489
3. Nauru 8.1 sq miles (21 sq km) Yes 1968
4. Tuvalu 10 sq miles (26 sq km) Yes 1978
5. San Marino 23.6 sq miles (61.2 sq km) No 301
6. Liechtenstein 62 sq miles (160 sq km) No 1806
7. Marshall Islands 70 sq miles (181.3 sq km) Yes 1986
8. Cook Islands 93 sq miles (240 sq km) Yes 1965
9. Niue 100 sq miles (260 sq km) Yes 1974
10. Saint Kitts and Nevis 101 sq miles (261 sq km) Yes 1983
11. Maldives 116 sq miles (300 sq km) Yes 1968
12. Malta 122 sq miles (316 sq km) Yes 1964

Looking at the population chart, we see that some of the world's smallest countries by population are not represented on the chart of smallest countries by land mass: namely Palau and Dominica – while Malta and the Maldives don’t appear. The explanations are, firstly, that Palau and Dominica, while not that much bigger – 177 sq mi (458 sq km) and 291 sq mi (754 sq km), respectively, they have relatively small populations; and secondly, the Maldives and Malta each have a relatively large population for their size compared to the others: 359,008 and 400,214 respectively.

Order Country Name Population (July, 2006 estimate)
1. Holy See/Vatican City 932
2. Niue 2,166
3. Tuvalu 11,810
4. Nauru 13,287
5. Palau 20,579
6. Cook Islands 21,388
7. San Marino 29,251
8. Monaco 32,543
9. Liechtenstein 33,987
10. St. Kitts and Nevis 38,129
11. Marshall Islands 60,422
12. Dominica 68,910

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Post 2

Actually the smallest country in the world is Sealand six miles off of the Suffolk coast and has its own flag, coins, newspaper, passports.

Post 1

How many people does Vatican city have and what currency and what language do they use?

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