Top 10 Smallest Countries in the World
This is a comprehensive listing of the world’s ten independent smallest countries, from largest to smallest. They each contain less than 200 square miles in area. If we combined the land area of these 17 countries, we would have a country just a bit larger than the state Rhode Island.
15 square miles – Only 200 of the 2000 Indian Ocean islands which make up this country are occupied by 340,000 residents. The islands gained independence from the U.K. in 1965.
107 square miles – The 81,000 residents of this Indian Ocean island group have been independent of the United Kingdom since 1976.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
104 square miles – This Caribbean country of 39,000 gained independence in 1983. Nevis is the smaller island of the two and is guaranteed the right to secede.
7. Marshall Islands
70 square miles – The atolls (including the world’s largest, Kwajalein), reefs, and 34 islands (population 58,000) gained independence in 1986; they were formerly part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (and administered by the United States).
62 square miles – This microstate of 34,000 is located on the Rhine River between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps.
5. San Marino
24 square miles – Located on Mt. Titano in north central Italy, San Marino has 29,000 residents. The country claims to be the oldest state in Europe, having been founded in the fourth century.
9 square miles – Tuvalu is composed of 9 coral atolls along a 360 mile chain in Polynesia. They gained independence in 1978. The former Ellice Islands are home to 12,000.
8.5 square miles – The 13,000 residents of the Pacific island Nauru rely on diminishing phosphate deposits. The state became independent in 1968 and was formerly known as Pleasant Island.
0.7 square miles – The tiny state of Monaco lies along the French Riviera on the French Mediterranean coast near Nice. An impressive 32,000 people live in this state known for its Monte Carlo casinos and Princess Grace. It has been independent off-and-on since the 13th century.
1. Vatican City
0.2 square miles – The world’s smallest country, the Vatican has a population of 770, none of whom are permanent residents. The tiny country which surrounds St. Peter’s Basilica is the spiritual center for the world’s Roman Catholics (over 1 billion strong). Also known as the Holy See, Vatican City is surrounded by Rome, Italy.