Have you ever wondered how many countries locate on our globe? You will be surprised, but it will not be possible to get a definite answer to this question.
The world political system is a very fluid and fickle phenomenon. The formation of autonomies is still occurring, although much less frequently. Today the figure ranges from 193 to 256 countries. Why is that? Because there is no single regulation according to which a young state adopts at the world level.
What are the youngest countries in the world, and how old are they? Let’s take a closer look at these issues later in the article.
10. North Macedonia (1991)
The territory, located on the Balkan Peninsula, was part of various empires and states for many centuries, was part of Yugoslavia after World War II, and gained independence only in 1991.
The area is 25,333 sq. km and occupies the 145th line in the ranking of world powers. The official languages are Macedonian and Albanian, many residents speak English, which contributes to the development of tourism. Interestingly, the Macedonians use the Cyrillic alphabet, and Russian tourists will understand some of the inscriptions without knowing the languages. Macedonia is not part of the European Union but has been applying for membership since 2005.
Excellent climatic conditions allow residents to engage in agriculture. The main areas of the industrial sector are textiles, winemaking, and tobacco production.
Ohrid and Lake Ohrid include in the UNESCO heritage lists. The Slatinsky Izvor Cave, the Markov Kuli Fortress, the Carpathians’ virgin forests, and the archaeological site of Kokino dating back to the Bronze Age more than 3800 years old are in the queue for this status! Macedonia continues to develop but has not yet achieved economic success.
9. Croatia (1991)
This reasonably young country is located in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula and covers 56,538 sq. km, also owns a large number of islands, the number of which exceeds a thousand.
This area’s centuries-old history is fraught with many more archaeological finds – the earliest of them date back to the Neolithic era. In ancient times, Illyria has located here, later captured by the Romans. Slavic peoples appeared on these lands only in the 7th century AD.
Croatia transferred Hungarian, Turkish, Austrian rule, was partly part of the Venetian Republic, was part of Yugoslavia. Having declared its independence in 1991, Croatia entered hostilities with the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and only by 1998 gained its integrity.
The economy has been in decline for a long time but still managed to achieve positive indicators. The food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries are developing, but tourism is the primary economic industry. The inhabitants’ respectful attitude to nature and cleanliness, the existence of many protected areas, national parks, and the sea’s impeccable blue are the main signs for Europeans, who call Croatia the best territory ecotourism.
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992)
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a part of the Yugoslav Republic that seceded in 1992. It is located in the southeastern part of Europe, occupies the Balkan Peninsula’s western territory, and has access to the Adriatic Sea. On 51 129 sq. km is home to about 4 million people, but the population declined dramatically after the hostilities of 1992-1995.
The official languages are Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian. The economy is reaching the global average, but this is an excellent achievement for power recently ranked next to African countries. Recovery from hostilities took about five years. Correct reform and governance have yielded positive results.
The young country’s primary industries are metallurgy, electricity production and building materials, agriculture, textile, leather, and footwear industries.
Some ancient buildings have survived to this day, and they trace the Roman era and antiquity times, a mixture of Byzantine and Central European stylistics. Ancient mosques, madrasahs, and bridges testify to the times of Turkish rulers. Until the beginning of the 20th century, we can see buildings imitating the Renaissance and Eastern culture. This extraordinary combination of eras and trends creates a fantastic picture against the backdrop of mountain breaks and deep blue waters.
7. Eritrea (1993)
One of the world’s youngest countries, Eritrea, is located in East Africa on the Red Sea’s shores. For more than three decades, she tried to achieve autonomy and secede from the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which led to many armed conflicts. Most of the countries around the world recognized Eritrea’s sovereignty in 1993. Disputes with Ethiopia continued until the 2000s over disputed border areas.
Archaeological expeditions in Eritrea have discovered human settlements dating back to 8000 BC. Some architectural monuments of different eras have survived to this day: the Corinthian columns of the Governor’s Palace, the Catholic Cathedral, the city mosque, and many buildings in the capital city reflect the Italian architecture style.
Despite all its beauty and uniqueness, Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world. The central economic sector is the agricultural sector. Bananas, sesame seeds, corn, papayas, vegetables, grain crops, cotton are grown here. Cattle breeding and fishing became widespread. There are also enterprises of folk crafts (weaving of reed baskets, plates), jewelry business, glass production, gold, copper, and zinc mining. Salt is extracting from seawater on an industrial scale.
Most enterprises need to rebuilt: oil refining and textile industries, footwear, and food industries. Many countries provide financial support.
6. The Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia (1993)
Two halves of one whole, separated by interethnic problems of the intelligentsia. Czechoslovakia collapsed in 1993 without shedding a drop of blood and without even ruining the relationship between citizens. Historians have called this event a “velvet divorce.”
The Czech Republic and Slovakia support the development of their economies at a high level. They are attractive for European and Russian tourists, have many attractions, ancient and medieval cultural monuments, and are examples of cozy, clean towns.
The variety of Gothic cathedral spires in Prague, Charles Bridge, ancient castles, quality beer, and savory cuisine – this is what teases the imagination when it comes to the Czech Republic. European standards consider it one of the safest areas, as it has a low crime and corruption rate.
The Czech Republic is located on 78,866 sq. km in the historical regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and partly in Silesia. The terrain is varied: forests, mountains, fields, rivers, and hills. The period from May to September is considered a comfortable time for tourism, but it is glad to receive tourists in other months. Here you can taste dumplings, garlic, grilled cheese, and many types of frothy drinks.
Slovakia is territorially smaller than its second half – 49,043 sq. km. Panoramic views of the area adorn the Western Carpathians, while the High Tatras in the northern part of Slovakia form alpine reliefs. Oak, beech, and coniferous forests cover rocky terrain and hills, shading ancient architectural monuments. Castles, town halls, churches, theaters, and other buildings combine Romanesque and Gothic styles.
The most visited tourist cities are the capital Bratislava, the city of Kosice with the famous Gothic Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, the town of Devin with a view of the intersection of the Danube and Morava rivers, and an overview of the landscapes of three states: Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. Tourists remember their trips to Slovakia due to the unusual spicy cuisine: schnitzels, shepherd dumplings, trout, donuts with butter and garlic “Longoshe” and Slovak still and sparkling wines. There are also plenty of leisure options here: the world center of skiing in the High Tatras, golf courses, cave trips, mud baths, thermal water parks, and noisy parties in the Tatranska Lomnica resorts.
5. Palau (1994)
Palau is a young island nation with an area of 458 sq. km. It was part of Spain, Germany, the USA, and Micronesia and tried to achieve sovereignty for a long time. In 1994 it gained its long-awaited independence.
The island location contributes to tourism development: the waters of the Pacific Ocean, evergreen tropical forests, high green islands scattered chaotically in the seas, an equatorial climate with an average monthly temperature of 24-28 degrees, beaches with clear water, a low crime rate. The primary industries are fishing, animal husbandry, timber and mineral extraction, coconut trees, bananas, citrus fruits, and sweet potatoes. A handicraft sector (mainly artistic) is developing; the population is engaged in the manufacture of products from shells and pearls. But Palau still has a high need for financial assistance from the United States, as its budget barely covers the deficit.
The main plus for Palau is the interest of foreign investors. They use the tourism boom, invest heavily in the hotel business, construct administrative facilities, and promote transport links.
4. East Timor (2002)
East Timor, one of the world’s youngest countries, is located in Southeast Asia, formerly considered a Portuguese colony. Occupies an area of 15,007 square kilometers with a population of 1.3 million people.
After the secession of Portugal in 1975, the confrontation with Indonesia began, which lasted until 2002. The civil war of 1976-1999 had a profound effect on Timor’s economic system. The destruction of the course was enormous. To date, the level of the economy is equal to a poorly developing agrarian state.
The agricultural industry focuses on the export of coffee, rubber, coconut palm for the population’s needs to grow rice, reeds, legumes, and corn—livestock aims at breeding buffalo, goats, and horses. Oil and gas production, fishing, forestry, handicrafts – have secondary roles in economic development. The most common way to make money fast is to catch pearls.
Tourist vacation does not yet establish: guests can stay only with locals, as there are simply no comfortable hotels. Even in the capital city of Dili, it isn’t easy to find normal living conditions. The same situation with restaurants and cafes. East Timor resorts is a rather abstract concept, as the state does not have many attractions. The leading entertainment will be beaches, hiking in the mountains or sandalwood forests, and contemplation of beautiful scenery.
Dili resembles a provincial town in Portugal – the result of the colonial past, the image of which is complemented by statues of Jesus Christ and Catholic churches. But this young power also has its “highlights”: health resorts. They are not medical institutions but rest for the soul in the peaceful bosom of untouched nature.
3. Montenegro and Serbia (2006)
After the Yugoslav Republic break-up, Serbia and Montenegro tried to become their successors but did not receive support from other powers. In 2002, they signed an agreement according to which each party has an independent economy and legislation, state symbols and attributes, and has the right to withdraw from the partnership at any time.
In 2006, Montenegro initiated a referendum to gain independence. Despite a well-thought-out agreement providing such moments, the situation ended in a great scandal and property division.
The main segments of the economy in both countries are industry, agriculture, and services. The main problems of young states are high levels of corruption, a weak raw material base, and an aging population.
2. Kosovo (2008)
The Republic of Kosovo has remained a partially recognized state since 2008. It gained independence but is conditionally considered part of Serbia. A small young country with only 10,887 square kilometers does not allow the Serbian authorities to dictate conditions and control the state’s activities. The unresolved problem with international status does not allow attracting foreign investment.
Kosovo has a population of about 1.7 million, mostly Albanians. The largest city is Pristina, and it is home to about 200,000 people. The second major center is the city of Prizren, with a population of just over 100,000 people.
Kosovo is considered one of the poorest countries in Europe, fueled by unemployment, low living standards, and low working-class wages. Most of the working population goes to work in other countries and sends money to their families. Despite this, Kosovo has great economic potential.
Kosovo’s mineral deposits are brown coal, zinc, bauxite, lead, nickel, and others. The industry is developing slowly. Metallurgy and mining, energy, textile, and food industries are considered the most developed areas. But, along with these industries, the shadow business, smuggling, and drug trafficking are thriving. Kosovo does about 80% of all illegal supplies to Europe, the UN estimates.
The peaceful situation helps rebuild the economy, but the lack of recognition by world powers makes the situation much more difficult, depriving Kosovo of investment and bringing the country to a standstill.
1. South Sudan (2011)
South Sudan is currently considered the youngest country in the world. The area is 620 thousand square kilometers. There is only 30 km of asphalt roads in South Sudan, and there is not even a water supply system in the capital. However, the population is not discouraged and hopes for the prosperity of their homeland.
In the summer of 2011, South Sudan gained sovereignty after going through civil war, protracted armed conflicts, and thousands of civilians killed. But autonomy was not ready for independent existence, having lost most of its economic projects.
The Nile flows through the entire territory of South Sudan; the southern region covers with tropical monsoon forests. There are many protected areas and protected areas. The government tries to preserve the richness and diversity of its nature, which has created ideal living conditions for elephants, lions, giraffes, antelope, etc.
The young state’s main problems are the high mortality rate, poor nutrition, lack of drinking water, and lack of advanced medicine.
The state’s economic condition undermines by many years of hostilities, but rehabilitation is a possibility. The state budget is 98% dependent on oil sales. Copper, zinc, gold, and silver are mining as well. The population grows cotton, sugar cane, peanuts, mangoes, bananas, wheat, breeds, camels, and sheep. The only attraction of the country is its natural wealth. A paradise for tourists is dreaming of a safari, and on the border with the Congo in the National Park, you can meet wild animals and observe their life in their natural habitat.
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