In the modern world, there are about 250 officially recognized independent countries. In this host, there are giant states with a vast area and a large population. Such countries, for example, include the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Along with them, there are very tiny states, occupying small areas and with a tiny population.
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Dwarf countries have significant differences between themselves: some are rich and prosperous; others are poor and have difficult living conditions. Despite their size, they try to be independent and want to provide their citizens with the best living conditions. We should note that this does not always work out, but independent countries are in no hurry to part with their sovereignty.
However, it sometimes happens that it is precisely such small states that play a significant role in world politics. An example is the Vatican. There is the Holy See, and the spiritual leader of all Catholics in the world comes from. Our ranking contains necessary information about the smallest countries in the world.
10. Grenada (344 km²)
In the Caribbean Sea, there is a small island state – Grenada. It covers an area of 344 km². The population is 89,502 people; the official language is English; the form of government is a constitutional monarchy; the capital city is St. Georges. The country is a member of the British Commonwealth.
The Granada Islands appeared on the map at the end of the 15th century thanks to Columbus’ discoveries. Food and textile industries, tourism, and offshore financial activities are developing in Grenada. Offshore services generate $ 7.4 million annually. The country cultivates and exports avocados, citruses, bananas, and nutmeg. Grenada imports fuel, food, and other products.
9. Maldives (298 km²)
The Maldives are in ninth place in our ranking of the smallest countries in the world. They are located in the Indian Ocean on an archipelago of 1100 islands and cover 298 km². The population is 393,000; the primary language is Maldivian. The president runs the state; the capital of the country is Male.
The primary income to the state treasury comes from the service sector and tourism. In the Maldives, there are the best resorts, famous for their unique climate, pristine beaches, underwater caves for diving, and an abundance of unusual animals.
Surprisingly, there is not a single natural freshwater body of water in the Maldives.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis (261 km²)
The small federal state of Saint Kitts and Nevis is located in the Caribbean. It is situated on an area of 261 km² and covers two islands. The population is 49 898 people. The country belongs to the British Commonwealth and is formally headed by an English queen. The primary language is English. The capital is the city of Buster. In the western hemisphere, Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest dwarf country.
Due to their tropical climate, the islands are rich in exotic plants and a variety of animals. 70% of the state revenue comes from the tourism sector. The main crop cultivated in the country is sugar cane. The state sells citizenship for 250-450 thousand dollars to replenish the treasury. Rich and famous people can get it. So, the social network creator “Vkontakte” Pavel Durov is already a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis’s state.
7. Marshall Islands (181 km²)
The Marshall Islands are the seventh smallest country in the world. They are locating in the Pacific Ocean on five islands and 29 atolls. Cover an area of 181 km². The population is 55,000 people. The main languages are marshals and English; the president governs the country, the capital city is Majuro. The climatic conditions in the state are diverse: in the south – tropics, in the north – semi-desert. Freshwater reservoirs are rare. The archipelago is characterized by stormy windy weather.
The Americans’ nuclear tests have significantly altered the country’s flora and fauna in the postwar years. The main plant for the islanders is the coconut tree. They eat it, use it like wood, and export it. The coastal waters of the ocean are rich in fish and coral.
The tourism business is actively developing in the Marshall Islands. Due to low taxes, the Marshall Islands are an offshore zone for global capital.
6. Liechtenstein (160 km²)
In the center of Europe is the dwarf state of Liechtenstein. It is located on an area of 160 km² and is adjacent to the Swiss and Austrian lands. The population in the country is 38 114 people. The communication medium between people is the German language; there is a monarchical government, Vaduz’s capital city.
All the main attractions of the Principality of Liechtenstein are concentrated in the capital. Nature has created lovely places in this country. There are beautiful mountain landscapes, cut by streams, and the largest river Rhine, reaching in some places up to 50 meters wide. Mountainous areas give way to picturesque alpine meadows.
Liechtenstein is a country with a high degree of economic growth and a well-known financial center with a developed banking sector. The government has created many jobs in the field of precision instrumentation. The population’s standard of living has been raised very high – the GDP reaches $ 141,000 per person. Liechtenstein, despite its size, occupies an important place in politics and economics around the world.
5. San Marino (61 km²)
The small country of San Marino is locating next to Italy. Occupies an area of 61 km², the population is 33,000 people. The medium of communication in the country is the Italian language; the governing body is the parliament of the republic, the capital is San Marino.
The state was founded in the IV century and received the name of San Marino’s saint-founder. 80% of the country is rocky. The settlements are scattered along the slopes of Monte Titano. The state has developed industrial production, tourism, and services.
4. Tuvalu (26 km²)
The small island country of Tuvalu is locating in the Pacific Ocean. Its area is 26 km². The population is 11,052 people; the official language is Tuvalu and English; the form of government is monarchical, the capital is Funafuti. Tuvalu locates on an archipelago of five atolls and four islands. The distance over which the islands are scattered is 350 km. One island from another, maybe 100 km away.
Climatic conditions are complicated; the rainy season gives way to the dry season. Often there are tropical cyclones that destroy everything in their path. The flora is not rich, represented by coconut palms, breadfruit, bananas. Humans mainly introduce animals. The country has developed agriculture, fishing, and construction, as frozen fish and copra are exported. Tuvalu is one of the poorest countries in the world.
3. Nauru (21 km²)
The dwarf state is locating on a Pacific coral island – Nauru. Its area is 21 km², the population is 11 359 people. The main languages are Nauruan and English; a parliament governs the country, Yaren’s largest city. There is no official capital city in Nauru.
The island is hot and humid enough with many dry years. The main problem is the lack of freshwater bodies. The island is extremely poor in flora and fauna, like Tuvalu. The state treasury is replenished due to the extraction of phosphorites, but their reserves are decreasing, and with them, the well-being of the people decreases. The ecological system of the island is heavily polluted with waste from phosphorite mining. For this reason, the tourism business in the country is not developing.
2. Monaco (2.02 km²)
The European dwarf state of Monaco. Neighbors with France occupied area – 2.02 km². The population is 37 863 people—the business language and means of communication in French. The government is monarchical, the central city in Monaco.
The country is famous for the gaming area of the resort town of Monte Carlo and the holding of the Formula 1 championship, the Monaco Grand Prix, in these places. The primary means of replenishing the treasury is the tourism business, construction, and real estate trade. Monaco has low taxes, and many wealthy people trust their savings to local banks. Monaco’s Principality’s regular troops serve 82 people (three people less than in the regimental band).
1. Vatican (0.44 km²)
The smallest country in the world is the Vatican. The occupied area is 0.44 km², the population is 1000 people. The state is located in Rome and is the center of government of the Catholic Church. The main languages are Italian and Latin; the government of the country is theocratic monarchical. The Pope concentrates all power in his hands. Under his leadership, laws are issued, and their implementation is monitored. He also serves as a judicial body of the state. Due to the small area of the country, many institutions of government are located in Roman territory.
The Vatican does not produce anything but exists on donations, tourism, and the service sector. Money is transferred to the country from Catholics worldwide; a large number of tourists come. The state treasury is replenished with funds from visits to magnificent art museums, souvenirs, and literature. The Vatican cooperates with the UN, makes great efforts to preserve peace on earth, and, whenever possible, tries to resolve military conflicts.
- Eurasia: the smallest state is the Vatican. Its area is 0.44 km².
- Africa: the smallest state – Seychelles. Its location is 455 km².
- North America: the smallest state is Saint Kitts and Nevis. Its area is 261 km².
- South America: the smallest state in Suriname. Its size is 163 821 km².
According to some society members, the Order of Malta is worthy of “the smallest country in the world.” The Knightly Order is a statelike formation with an area of 0.012 km². To participate in the rating, he has all the required state attributes. However, there is no unity in recognition of the Order of Malta by the world community.
The Principality of Sealand would also like to be included in the ranking of the smallest countries. It is located on a platform in the North Sea near the UK. Its area is 550 km². The Principality is legally registered and conducts economic activities, but it is not recognized by any state globally and cannot participate in the ranking.