The world is an extremely large sphere of land masses and water co-existing together. When someone thinks of the planet as a whole, it is common for people to envision countries or nations as massive parcels of land with abundant populations. However, that is far from the case. There are more than 200 countries that make up the global community. Some of these nations are so small that cities within other nations are enormous in scale compared to them. Many of these small-scale nations are found in places such as Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific region. Most of these countries have an area of less than 400 square kilometers. Along with their petite size, these nations have their own governments, culture, and rich histories. Some of these nations are among the most remote, exotic, and intriguing places on the planet. Here are five of the smallest countries in the world today.
5. Grenada–This Caribbean nation is a mere 344 square kilometers in area and boasts a population of fewer than 100,000 residents. The island nation is also known as “The Island of Spice.” Its capital is St. George’s and the country is the world’s largest producer of mace and nutmeg crops. It was colonized by the French from 1649 to 1763. The small nation continues to maintain its strong influence of French culture and tradition among the inhabitants. Moreover, it also serves as a popular tourist destination. However, it may be best known for the 1983 U.S.-led invasion of Grenada, which overthrew the communist government in place at the time.
4. Malta–This island nation is located in the Mediterranean Sea and it is approximately 316 square kilometers in area. There are three major islands that make up the Republic of Malta, which is its official name. The islands are as follows: Comino, Gozo, and Malta, which is the largest island of the archipelago nation. The capital of Malta is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union. Its population is approximately 450,000 inhabitants, which means it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The nation is also a popular tourist destination, thanks to its exotic locale, balmy weather, gorgeous beaches, exciting nightlife, and rich history.
3. Maldives–This sovereign island nation and archipelago, which is officially known as the Republic of Maldives, is located in the Indian Ocean and approximately 300 square kilometers in area. It boasts a population of fewer than 400,000 people and is the smallest country in Asia in terms of population as well as area. There are nearly 1,200 coral islands that make up the Maldives, which are spread over 90,000 square kilometers, making it one of the world’s most dispersed countries. The country was once a colony of many different empires including the British, Portuguese, and Dutch regimes, but it became an independent nation in 1965. Today, the Maldives has a prosperous economy due to tourism. It is a popular destination because of its beaches and exotic locale.
2. Liechtenstein–This small German-speaking country, which is officially known as the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a landlocked microstate in Central Europe and approximately 160 square kilometers in area. It is the only nation in the world to be completely located in the Alps. The nation is situated between Switzerland and Austria. Moreover, Liechtenstein is one of the world’s richest countries by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and boasts the lowest unemployment rate, which stands at 1.5 percent. Access to the country can be problematic, however, due to the fact it has no airport. As a result, tourists must travel via Switzerland’s Zurich Airport to reach the Alpine nation. The nation is a constitutional monarchy and ruled by the Prince of Liechtenstein.
1. Vatican–The papal state is the world’s smallest nation and less than half a square kilometer in area. It is the home of the Catholic Church and also known as the “Holy See.” This country is situated within the Italian capital city limits of Rome. In addition to being Pope Francis‘ place of residence, it is also home to the world’s largest church, which is St. Peter’s Basilica. Moreover, this landmark also houses some of the most significant artworks of the Renaissance Age, such as the Creation of Adam and The Pieta.The majority of the nation’s income is obtained via the voluntary contributions of over 1 billion members of the Roman Catholic Church around the world. The remainder of its economy is generated via tourism and other related revenue streams.
The world is a big place filled with many countries and nations of varying sizes. In fact, there are more than 200 countries that make up the global community. Some of these nations are so small that cities within other nations dwarf them in comparison. Many of these small-scale countries are found in exotic and/or isolated regions. Most of these diminutive nations have an area of less than 400 square kilometers. Along with their petite size, these countries have their own governments, culture, and rich histories. Some of these nations are among the most remote, exotic, and intriguing places on the planet. While these countries may be small in size, many offer big time appeal in terms of travel and tourism destinations.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
World Atlas–The 10 Smallest Countries in the World
About.com–The World’s Smallest Countries
Maps of the World–Smallest Countries in the World by Area
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