If you’re from Russia, Canada, China, the United States, Australia, or some other humongous country, most countries would seem small to you. But there are some countries across the globe that are really small, with their total areas being smaller than that of certain zoos, airports, and university campuses. Eager to know more about these countries? Check out the list of the 10 smallest countries in the world below.
List of Smallest Countries in the World
1. Vatican City State
The Vatican City State is the tiniest countries on the face of the planet. How small is it exactly? Well, its area is about 0.17 square miles, or 109 acres, making it nearly two and a half times smaller than the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
Enclaved entirely within the Italian capital of Rome, the city-state came into being in 1929 as a result of the Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Holy See. It is ruled by the Pope himself, and has a population of little over 600. Hence, the Vatican is also the least populated among all independent countries in the world.
With an area of 0.78 square miles, the Principality of Monaco is more than four and a half times as big as the Vatican, yet about the size of the main campus of Princeton University in New Jersey. It has a 2.38-mile coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, with the remaining three sides bordered by France. Hence, it holds the title of the smallest country with a coastline.
Monaco has a population north of 38,000, making it the most densely-populated country in the entire world. For centuries, this small country has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi. Thanks to its virtually non-existent tax laws, the European country has been attracting millionaires from across the globe, who make up about 30 percent of its population today.
The world’s third-smallest country is the Republic of Nauru, a Micronesian country with an area of 8.1 square miles. That’s about the size of the San Francisco International Airport. Unlike the Vatican and Monaco, it lacks a land border and isn’t located in Europe. Hence, you can call it the world’s smallest island country as well as the smallest non-European country.
Currently home to around 11,000 people, Nauru has been inhabited by humans for no less than 3,000 years. Although the oval-shaped island gained its independence in 1968, it still remains heavily dependent on Australia economically. Like the Vatican and Monaco, this country too doesn’t have an official capital city.
Located about halfway between Australia and Hawaii, Tuvalu is a Polynesian country smaller in size than the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. It consists of nine miniature islands, covering a total area of 10 square miles.
Like Nauru, Tuvalu too saw its first human settlements around 3,000 years ago. At present, the country has a population of around 10,200, making it the second-least populated country on Earth. More than half of its people dwell in its capital Funafuti.
5. San Marino
Like the Vatican, the Republic of San Marino is a microstate surrounded by Italy on all sides. Its area is 24 square miles, which makes it smaller than Manhattan. The country has a population of around 33,000.
San Marino consists of nine castelli or municipalities. Its eponymous capital lies on the western slopes of its highest peak, Monte Titano. It is the world’s only country where you’ll find more motorized road vehicles, excluding motorcycles and other two wheelers, than people.
With an area of 62 square miles, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world. Its size is comparable to that of Staten Island. The country is home to over 38,500 people, around one-seventh of whom reside in its capital Vaduz.
Liechtenstein is a landlocked country bordered by Switzerland and Austria, both of which are landlocked countries as well. Hence, it is often referred to as a doubly landlocked country. There are only two such countries in the world, with the other being Uzbekistan.
7. Marshall Islands
Like Nauru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is another Micronesian island country that makes it to the list of the 10 smallest countries in the world. It has an area of 70 square miles, which is about the same as that of Brooklyn. But unlike Brooklyn, it consists of more than 1,100 islands.
The population of the Marshall Islands slightly exceeds 58,000. Its capital Majuro and the island of Ebeye together house more than two-third of the Marshallese population.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
With an area of 101 square miles and a population of nearly 52,500, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is the Western Hemisphere’s smallest country, in terms of both area and population. The West Indian country has two major islands separated from each other by a two-mile shallow channel known as The Narrows.
The larger of these islands is Saint Kitts, where the nation’s capital Basseterre is located. The other island is named Nevis. The two islands were among the first Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans.
The Republic of Maldives consists of as many as 1,192 islands, but they together cover no more than 122 square miles of land. That makes it the smallest country in Asia and the ninth smallest in the world. The country’s population is around nearly 400,000, more than one-third of whom live in its capital Malé.
Over 80 percent of the Maldivian land is made up of coral islands rising less than one meter above sea level. Hence, the country is at high risk of sinking beneath rising sea in the foreseeable future.
The Republic of Malta is yet another incredibly small country in Europe. The 122-square-mile country is an archipelago consisting of dozens of islands positioned in the central Mediterranean Sea. Only three of these islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino – are inhabited.
Unlike the Vatican, Monaco, San Marino, and Liechtenstein, Malta is a member of the European Union. Hence, you can call it the smallest EU member state. Its population is close to 500,000, around 80 percent of whom reside in the metropolitan area of Valletta, the Maltese capital.
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