How Many Countries Are In The World | List of Countries of the World

There are 195 countries of the world (Sovereign States) according to the UN. 193 Sovereign States of them are UN member and 2 of them are the UN Observer States.

Nowadays “How many countries are there in the world?” is one of the most common questions for all especially for map-lovers. But you’ll get different answers while you raise this question because the number of countries of the world depends on how you define a “country.”A Sovereign State represents A “Country” or “Nation” which is totally independent. It means a place within its own borders and completely independent government. There are actually 195 independent countries according to the United Nations.

Now the question is “which places count as sovereign states?” Yes, we’ll definitely answer this question, but for the beginners, we’ll count all the member and observer countries of the United Nations are sovereign states. There are a total 206 nations are listed in the United Nations system divided into three categories:

  • United Nations Members: 193
  • United Nations Observer States: 2 (Vatican City and Palestine)
  • Other Sates: 11

All of these countries of the world which are listed to United Nations (UN) mostly all accept each other as sovereign states. You can easily find out all of these countries in any world map and in any list of countries in the world.

Please note that Palestine’s approval as a UN Observer State was controversial.

Facts about the number of countries in the world

We have found five most common facts about the number of countries in the world. Now we’ll discuss those common facts.

Partially Recognized States

There are a total 201 states in the world with at least partial recognition. A number of country candidates are left out of the UN itself. However, those eliminated countries are still officially acknowledged by at least one UN member. This type of official acceptance is called “diplomatic recognition”. In the map of the world, these controversial countries (Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Western Sahara, Abkhazia, and Northern Cyprus) are usually labeled as disputed territories, if they’re on the map at all. These controversial countries are claimed as parts of other countries.On the other hand,these states aren’t actually controlled by themselves.

  • United Nations Members: 193
  • United Nations Observer States: 2
  • Partial Recognized States: 6
  • Total: 201

Note: The Cook Islands and Niue are also partially recognized states. Sometimes these states act like independent countries.However, they’ve never actually declared for independence or never tried to join the UN. Generally, they are considered overseas territories of New Zealand.

De Facto Sovereign States

There are also three to six more self-declared countries that haven’t recognized by any UN members but still operate as independent countries. These countries are often called “de facto” sovereign states. This is a fancy Latin way of declaring they’re independent countries, even if not on paper.

Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, and Somaliland are the three places most often considered de facto independent countries. Since 2014 there are also three more contenders on this list. These are the so-called “Islamic State”, the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Lugansk People’s Republic. The last three places are located in active war zones which have only limited government structures and there is some debate over whether they count even as de facto countries.

  • United Nations Members: 193
  • United Nations Observer States: 2
  • States With Partial Recognition: 6
  • Unrecognized de facto Sovereign States: 3 to 6
  • Total: 204 to 207

Olympic Nations

While you’ll see that 206 member nations are on the list of Olympic Games, definitely you might be confused a bit because you’ve found 195 countries in the list of countries in the world. No more confusing about because you’ll happy to get the answer. Olympics didn’t always require applicants to be independent countries. Sometimes, dependent territories with partial self-government have been approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A couple of the partially recognized nations have also mentioned above which also managed it. Several dependent territories in the Olympics Games are overseas possessions of the and of the UK. A few nearly-independent “countries” like the Cook Islands and Aruba are also included in this list.

  • Olympic Nations that are United Nations Member States: 193
  • Olympic Nations that are United Nations Observer States: 1
  • Olympic Nations that are the Partially-recognized States: 2
  • Olympic Nations that are Dependent Territories: 10
  • Total IOC-Recognized Olympic Nations: 206

Note: Every UN member states are also on the list of Olympics.In latest addition, South Sudan have joined in August 2015.  One of the UN Observer State, Palestine is in the list Olympics but Vatican City isn’t interested to participate yet. Two partially-recognized countries are also on this list, Kosovo and Taiwan.

FIFA Countries Eligible for the World Cup

There are a total 211 nations that compete in FIFA matches. The number of countries is more than the number of Olympic Nations. Based on European tradition, the FIFA also permits England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to compete as individual teams, even though these are part of the UK.

  • Teams of United Nations Member States: 186
  • Teams of United Nations Observer States: 1
  • Teams of Partially Recognized States: 2
  • Teams of UK Constituent Countries: 4
  • Teams of Dependent Territories: 18
  • Total FIFA Member Associations: 211

Country Codes in the ISO Standard List

While you’ll see the list of country codes in the ISO standard list (ISO 3166-1), you’ll get 249 country names and their country codes. Lots of organizations adopt this standard list rather than spending their own time compiling one. The standard has also included appropriate two-letter codes for each individual country, like uk for the United Kingdom, us for the United States, and jp for Japan, which you might identify from web addresses specific to those countries. Country codes in the ISO standard list are based on an official list kept by the UN. As there are more countries than the total number of UN member and observer countries, the list has increased.

  • United Nations Members: 193
  • United Nations Observer States: 2
  • States With Partial Recognition: 2
  • Inhabited Dependent Territories: 45
  • Uninhabited Territories: 6
  • Antarctica: 1
  • Total: 249

Nowadays, we have 7 continents of the world which surrounded by five oceans. North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia are the 7 continents of the world.Every single of the seven continental land areas is diverse and clearly unique by their own cultures, plants, animals, mountains, deserts, rivers, lakes and weather. Every continent is larger than any island and is generally made up of multiple countries of the world and span millions of square miles.

Europe

Europe is considered to be the richest and wealthiest continent. However, there are some poor regions especially in the eastern parts of the continent. This continent has two smallest countries in the world. Vatican City is one of them located inside Rome (Italy). Monaco is the other one which is bordered (three sides) by France. San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta are also on the list of the ten smallest countries in the world which are on this continent. There are some tiny countries outside Europe are located on islands! Read more about the European continent here.

  • Number of Countries in Europe: 51
  • Land Area of Europe: 7,769,964 (km²) / 3,931,000 (mi²)
  • Population of Europe: 742,312,862 (2017)
  • Largest City in Europe: Istanbul, Turkey (Area: 1,539 km², Population: 14.8 Million)

There are a total 51 countries are on the Europe continent which is recognized for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, environments, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

Alphabetical list of countries in Europe is below:

Asia

Asia is the biggest continent in the world. It has the biggest land area (about 9% of the earth’s surface) and the world’s biggest population (about 60% of the world’s population) living on the continent. Asia has the biggest and most populous cities in the world, such as Delhi, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing. It has some richest nations in the world like Saudi-Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Qatar is the tiny country of Asia which located Arabian Peninsula and one of the richest nations in the world. There are over 2,300 languages commonly used in Asia. Most of these languages are spoken only by small groups of people.

  • Number of Countries in Asia: 50
  • Land Area of Asia: 44,029,797 (km²) / 17,210,000 (mi²)
  • Population of Asia: 4,521,303,457 (2017)
  • Largest City in Asia: Tokyo, Japan (Area: 2,188 km², Population: 9.273 Million)

There are a total 50 countries are in the Asia which is recognized for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

Alphabetical list of countries in Asia is below:

Australia

Australia or Oceania is the smallest continent in the world. Oceania includes Australasia, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. There are total 14 countries in Oceania continent which are known for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, environments, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

  • Land Area of Australia: 5,179,976 (km²) / 2,970,000 (mi²)
  • Population of Australia: 39,901,000 (2016)
  • Largest City in Australia: Sydney, Australia (Area: 12,368 km², Population: 4.029 Million)

Africa

Africa continent has the maximum number of countries. There are a total 54 countries are on the African continent which is known for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, environments, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

  • Land Area of Africa: 28,489,869 (km²) / 11,670,000 (mi²)
  • Population of Africa: 1,269,372,110 (2017)
  • Largest City in Africa: Lagos, Nigeria (Area: 999.6 km², Population: 21 Million)

 Alphabetical list of countries in Africa is below:

North America

North America is entirely located in the northern and western hemisphere. The United States of America (USA), Canada, Mexico, Greenland and the Caribbean islands are in theNorth America continent. North America is home to the biggest Christian population in the world. Nearly 80% population in Canada, the USA and Mexico consider themselves as Christians.There are a total 23 countries are on the North American continent which is known for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, environments, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

  • Land Area of North America: 23,309,892 (km²) / 9,540,000 (mi²)
  • Population of North America: 579,024,000 (2016)
  • Largest City in North America: Mexico City, Mexico (Area: 1,485 km², Population: 8.851 Million)

Alphabetical list of countries in North America is below:

South America

South America continent has many natural superlatives. The longest mountain range – the Andes, the highest waterfalls, the Angel Falls and also the driest place on earth (Atacama Desert) are in the South America continent. The driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert in Chile. There are a total 12 countries are on the South American continent which is known for its enormous diversity in terms of economics, culture, historical background, environments, ethnic groups and also the government systems.

  • Land Area of South America: 15,539,928 (km²) / 6,888,000 (mi²)
  • Population of South America: 425,998,908 (2017)
  • Largest City in South America: São Paulo, Brazil (Area: 1,521 km², Population: 12.04 Million)

Alphabetical list of countries in South America is below:

Antarctica

Antarctica is the smallest continent in the world by population numbers. The continent is only lightly populated as on Antarctica there are only research stations for scientists and no permanent settlements. The Antarctica is covered almost entirely by ice. 90% of the world’s ice is located on this continent, which also makes up 60% – 70% of the world’s freshwater supply.

  • Land Area of Antarctica: 12,949,940 (km²) / 5,405,000 (mi²)
  • Population of Antarctica: 4,912 (2015)
  • Largest City in Antarctica: McMurdo Station (Area: 250 ha, Population: 4,912)

That’s it! If someone tells you the different answer to the question “how many countries in the world?” remember that the actual answer isn’t so simple!

References:

  1. How many countries are in the world” –Metro New
  2. How many countries are in the world” – Stratfor Worldview
  3. Countries in the World” – Worldometers
  4. Country Profiles” – OpenNet Initiatives
  5. List of states with limited recognition” – Wikipedia
  6. List of Dependent territories” – Wikipedia
  7. List of autonomous areas by country” – Wikipedia