Currently, the world has over 195 countries but it is very easy to assume every country is as big as they sound. Some nations are in fact, so small that they equate to the size of some cities or golf courses in other nation. Countries like Russia, USA, Canada and China are well known as the biggest countries in world in terms of the land area however which countries rank as the smallest?
Travel Fact: The top 10 smallest countries in the world cover a total area of 1491.4 km² which is smaller than the area of the city of Houston, Texas (1625.2 km²)
Let’s take a look at the top 10 smallest countries in the world today:
10. Malta – 316 km2
The Republic of Malta is a small, island country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, just 96 km south of Sicily. The island nation is an archipelago of 18 islands but only three – Malta, Gozo and Comino, are inhabited by the Maltese population which stands at over 450,000 people. Foreigners from all over the world visit Malta annually for its sunny weather, attractive beaches and vibrant nightlife.
9. Maldives – 298 km2
Comprising 26 coral atolls and over 1200 islands, the overall land area of the Maldives archipelago is just twice the size of Washington DC. Origin of the Maldivians is lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 3,000 years ago. Today, the Maldives has a vibrant tourism economy due to its famous white sand beaches and crystal blue waters.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – 261 km2
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Both islands are about 3km apart and offer visitors a relatively authentic island and aquatic experience. The man-made Brimstone Hill Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Marshall Islands – 181 km2
The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is located in the northern Pacific Ocean midway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. The island nation with a population of over 58,000 people; is made up of two archipelagic chains, with a total of 29 separate atolls, containing a total of 1,225 islands, 870 reef systems, and 160 species of coral.
6. Liechtenstein – 160 km2
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a German-speaking country situated on the banks of the Rhine in Central Europe and landlocked by both Switzerland and Austria. It is known for its medieval castles, alpine chalets and villages linked by a network of trails. Despite its limited natural resources, Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world with more registered companies than citizens.
5. San Marino – 61 km2
Surrounded completely by Italy, San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is the oldest state in Europe and the third smallest in Europe along the likes of Monaco and the Vatican City. The mountainous microstate sits atop the Mt. Titano in north central Italy, has 29,000 residents and is also one of the wealthiest in terms of GDP per capita.
4. Tuvalu – 26 km2
Formerly a British Territory, Tuvalu is an independent island nation which was known under the name – Ellice Islands. The Polynesian island nation is composed of 9 coral atolls along a 360 mile chain in Polynesia and sits midway between Hawaii and Australia. Tuvalu is a pretty difficult place to get to and unlike other islands, Tourism is not very significant to the economy.
3. Nauru – 21 km2
Formerly known as the Pleasant Island, Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia and is the smallest Island nation in the world. Now off the radar of tourists and its diminishing phosphate resources; only about 10% of the 13,000 residents of this quiet Pacific island are employed and the rocky outcrop of Command Ridge is the island’s highest point. Nauru is also known as the country with the most obese people in the world.
2. Monaco – 2 km2
The Municipality of Monaco lies along the French Riviera on the French Mediterranean coast near Nice in France. With a population of over 36,000 people, this micro-nation is well known as a tax-free haven and home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world. Monaco plays host to the annual Formula One motor race – Monaco Grand Prix and is recognised for its gambling and luxury goods and services industry.
1. Vatican City – 0.44km2
Also known as Holy See and surrounded by the city of Rome, Italy; the Vatican City is undoubtedly the world’s smallest country with a population less than 800, none of whom are basically permanent residents. The tiny country is the spiritual centre of the Catholic Church and is home to both the Pope and the biggest church in the world – St. Peter’s Basilica.