The Smallest Countries in the World

smallest countries in the world

Some of the smallest countries in the world are so small that they can fit into large cities several times. Nevertheless, despite their small size, they have so much goodness lying in wait for travelers all over the world.

What’s the smallest country in the world?

The smallest country in the world by population and land size is The Vatican. Its bordered within the city of Rome in Italy.

What are the Smallest Countries in the World?

  1. The Vatican
  2. Monaco
  3. Nauru
  4. Tuvalu
  5. San Marino
  6. Liechtenstein
  7. Marshall Islands
  8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  9. The Maldives
  10. Malta
  11. Grenada
  12. Saint Vincent and the Grenadine
  13. Barbados
  14. Antigua and Barbuda
  15. Seychelles

From pristine beaches to diverse ecosystems, breathtaking landscapes to vibrant cultures, you will be surprised at what lies hidden within the borders of these tiny states. 

This list of 15 countries is a countdown to the smallest country and just a glimpse of what each offers.

15. Seychelles – 175 sq.m

Smallest Countries In The World

When 115 islands come together, expect sandy beaches, coral reefs, natural reserves, and plenty of diverse plant and animal species. Seychelles islands seem to have them all; one of a kind tortoise that weighs 670 pounds, sea coconut whose seed is the largest and heaviest at 33 pounds, and the smallest capital in the world, Victoria.

The previously uninhabited islands located in the western Indian Ocean are also home to over 98,000 people of mixed French, African, and Asian Descents. More than three-quarters of these are Roman Catholics.  

The origins and the Island environment have significantly influenced the country’s art, music, cuisine, and other cultural practices. The tropical oceanic climate gives relatively constant temperatures throughout the year.

14. Antigua and Barbuda – 171 sq.mi

Among the smallest countries in the world, and also one of the countries that start with A is a combination of two islands, Antigua and Barbuda plus other smaller islands. The country is nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Its population, estimated to be 96,929, is predominantly Christian. The state’s culture is a fusion of African and British heritage. It significantly influences the country’s music, food, and entertainment among other things.

The tropical climate causes hot and humid weather that runs through the year. Combine this with sandy beaches, museums, nature trails, and national parks and you are set for a great adventure.

If you don’t want a first-hand experience of the hurricane season, you better keep off the country from June through November.

13. Barbados 167 sq.mi

This is an Island of the West Indies that lies on the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to about 287,000 people and the smallest among countries that start with B

Wet and dry seasons keep it generally sunny and warm. Hurricanes and tropical storms are likely to appear between June and November but the country’s location puts it just off the strike zone. 

The home of singer Rihanna boasts a rich culture influenced by a combination of West African and British origins. These form the basis of architecture, sports, cuisine, and festivals. Additionally, tourists can enjoy the pristine beaches, wildlife, museums, and marine parks.

Interesting Fact: Barbadians and people around the world used to believe that covering yourself with the sand of the Cattlewash beach, could cure a host of illnesses.

12. Saint Vincent and the Grenadine -150 sq.mi

This is an island country in the Caribbean consisting of the Saint Vincent island and the Grenadine islands. It experiences a tropical maritime climate that makes it warm and humid all year long, with a slightly cooler dry season. 

Volcanic landscapes, rivers, beautiful palm beaches, hiking trails, and the oldest botanical gardens dot the islands, making them irresistible for tourists.

The majority of the country’s 110,844 people are Christians but there are other minority religious groups as well. With a mixture of African, European and Carib influence, the country’s culture is vibrant and multi-ethnic.

If you are a fan of The Pirates of the Caribbean, you will be happy to know that chapters I, II, and III were all filmed here.

11. Grenada – 133 sq.mi

This is a combination of islands whose main island is called Grenada. Also referred to as the ‘Spice Isle’, the main island is the county’s capital and home to many nutmeg plantations, hence the name.

Have you ever heard of an underwater sculpture park? Grenada hosts the first one of its kind in the whole world. Other captivating sights include waterfalls, mountains, national parks, and sandy beaches.

Over 80% of the estimated 112,3 81 Grenadians are Christians whose culture encompasses French, African, and more recently, Indian practices. Be sure to sample ‘oil down’ the national dish and some rum right at the oldest functioning water-propelled distillery.

With a tropical climate, expect a dry and a wet season but whatever you do, don’t wear camouflage; it is a crime in Grenada.

10. Malta – 122 sq.mi

How would you like to vacation in a place where it’s always sunny? Welcome to Maltese, a little island country in the Mediterranean Sea. 

It lies between Europe and Africa, just 50 miles from Italy and 178 miles from Tunisia. The population is about half a million and Catholicism is the main religion. 

Maltese and English are the official languages, Italian is, however, just as popular with about 66% of the population being fluent in it. 

Malta’s culture is a mixture of Western, Arabic and African practices from conquerors and immigrants over the centuries. In fact, one of the country’s main attractions is ancient shipwrecks and ruins. 

Fun Fact: Malta is a popular location for film and TV production. The Davinci Code, World War Z, Captain Phillips, Troy, and Game of Thrones had some scenes shot from the island.  

9. The Maldives – 120sq.mi

The Maldives is a South Asian country consisting of 1200 coral islands. It is located in the Indian Ocean, 620 miles from Asia. About 400,000 people live in the 120 square miles country, making it the smallest country in Asia, by area, and by population. 

Apart from being one of the smallest countries in the world, Maldives is the flattest nation in the world. Its highest point is just 17ft from the sea-level. It has a tropical monsoon climate with hot and humid weather, all year round.

The Maldives is essentially an Islamic nation where non-Islams prohibited from becoming citizens. 

About 99% of its territory is water. To highlight this fact and bring attention to climate change, its leadership held the world’s first underwater cabinet meeting in 2009.

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – 101 sq.mi

Are you a good swimmer? St. Kitts and Nevis hold an amateur swimming competition during spring break. The race is 2 miles long across the waters that separate the sister islands that make the country.

It is located in the West Indies with Saint Kitts as the larger island. The population is a little over 50,000. Most of the islanders take part in huge carnivals from mid-December to January. 

The country enjoys sunny and warm weather all year, with temperatures almost never below 75 0F. 

This island nation takes position eight among the smallest countries in the world and as the smallest country in the western hemisphere. Over 95% of its inhabitants are Africans with Christianity as their main religion.

7. Marshall Islands – 70 sq.miles

Marshal Islands lie right in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines. The country has over 1000 islands, with a population of about 59,000. 

This is home to numerous plant and animal species. The clear blue water and numerous fish and coral species are great for divers and snorkelers.

After being colonized four times, the Marshallese have adopted some western cultural practices. However, far from western influence, the islanders have always valued family and community ties. Most of them practice Christianity.

The country has a dry and a wet season and also experiences tropical storms once every 4-7 years. Unfortunately, the islands face the danger of submersion due to the possible rise of sea level.

6. Liechtenstein – 62 sq.mi

How would it feel to live in a place that is so safe that you don’t need to lock your doors? Well… that’s the kind of life that Leichtensteins have. 

This is the smallest landlocked nation that borders two countries; Switzerland and Austria. It is known for having one of the strongest financial structures in the world.

Like its neighbors, Liechtenstein is a mountainous country within the Alps. Its population is around 38,557 with most Liechtensteiners practicing Christianity.

The country’s official language is German and most of its culture is influenced by practices from Austria, Bavaria, and Switzerland.

Fun Fact: Liechtenstein has 1 prison that holds 20 prisoners only. If you are sentenced to more than 2 years, you are handed over to Austria.

5. San Marino – 24 sq.mi

This is a European microstate that is completely surrounded by Italy. It is one of the oldest nations and has retained much of its ancient and scenic architecture.

This Italian-speaking country has a population of about 33,500 people, most of whom are Catholics. It experiences a humid subtropical climate, with cool winters and relatively warm summers.

Since it has open borders with Italy, its culture is heavily influenced by Italian traditions. Sammarinese are friendly and have remained neutral in global conflicts including both world wars.

To get a better view of almost the entire country, visitors hike two of San Marino’s famous peaks; Guaita and Cesta. The peaks also come with century-old towers that are open to the public.

4. Tuvalu – 10 sq.mi

Photo by Leigh Blackall

Tuvalu is an island nation located south of the equator in Oceania, right in the middle of the Pacific. 11,192 people live in the country. Almost half the number of people who work in the Pentagon!

Tuvaluans are mostly Christians with about 97% of them being members of the state’s church. The majority speak Tuvaluan with English being the national language.

The country has a hot and humid climate with extreme rains and droughts. Temperatures average at about 860 F, with little variation. 

Tuvalu has a beautiful coastline that is easy to explore. The highest point on the island is 15 ft. In some places, the island is so narrow, that only a road can fit and no other development.

3. Nauru – 8.1 sq.mi

Photo by ARM Climate Research Facility

Nauru is third amongst the smallest countries in the world and the smallest island nation. Located in the Central Pacific, it borders Tuvalu, Solomons Island, Marshall Islands, and a few other Pacific islands.    

The population of Naura is around 11,200 with about 96% of them speaking Nauruan. English is also common, especially for trade and governance. Christianity is the island’s main religion.  

This island is so tiny that no rivers or streams exist. Water is harvested from the rain, or shipped from the surrounding much larger neighboring countries.

Like most islands near the equator, Nauru is hot and humid all year long. Temperatures range from about 860 F to 950 F.

Fun Fact: Nauru does not have an army. It depends on Australia for defense. On top of that, 71% of Nauruans are obese.

2. Monaco – 0.78 sq.mi

In this list of the smallest countries in the world, Monaco is arguably one of the most famous nations. It is located in Europe, where it borders France and the Meditteranean Sea. 

Monaco is a fun-filled country with a beautiful coastline and hot-summer Mediterranean climate. About 38,400 people live in the country.

Interestingly though, Monégasques (Yes, that’s what Monaco’s natives are known as) are the minority in their own country; French and Italian nationals are over twice the number of the natives. 

How fast do you want to live? Monaco hosts one leg of the Formula One Grand Prix, the famous AS Monaco football club, and high-class casinos. As far as travel destinations go, I have found it to be among the most popular.

1. Vatican City – 0.17 sq.mi

The Vatican is number one among the smallest countries in the world. About 1000 people, mostly the clergy, live in The Vatican. This makes it the smallest country in the world by population and land size. It is under the leadership of the pope as the head of the Catholic Church. 

Its borders are within the city of Rome, Italy. The region’s climate is the temperate Mediterranean, with dry summers and rainy winters.  

The official language is Italian, although Latin still persists- including a Vatican Bank’s ATM with instructions in Latin. Its infrastructure is minimal with its railway network being 300m, the shortest in the world 

For a country so small, about13% of the population is composed of the army. Do not be blinded by the renaissance-looking uniforms though, the army is trained in the art of modern warfare.

Final Thoughts

There goes the list of the smallest countries in the world! Did you notice that most of them are Islands? As more and more islands get discovered and inhabited, some of the countries are likely to change in size. Also, these Islands offer great filming sites for films and TV productions.

All that aside, travelers get to enjoy the best there is to see, explore and discover in the miniature states.

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