There are over 200 countries across the world scattered on six of the seven continents. The planet has a land surface area of 510.1 million km2. Nonetheless, there exist some nations that make up less than 0.0001% of the total earth’s surface.
With small land areas and limited population growth, small countries must utilize every opportunity that surrounds them to grow their economy and cater to the overall need of their citizens.
This article lists the world’s smallest countries by land area.
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World’s smallest countries by land area
|1.||Vatican City||0.4 km2|
|5.||Cocos Islands||14 km2|
|6.||Saint Barthelemy||21 km2|
|10.||Sint Maarten||34 km2|
1. Vatican City
Land area: 0.4 km2
The Vatican is a landlocked European country covered by the Italian capital, Rome. The world’s smallest country is located in the South of Europe with an area of 0.4 km2. The Vatican also doubles as one of the world’s top 20 most densely populated countries with over 2000 persons per square kilometre.
The small country has a population of a few thousand people and is the seat of power to the Pope of the Catholic Church, serving as a holy pilgrimage to most Catholics all over the world.
Land area: 2.0 km2
Monaco is a wealthy country located in Western Europe off the Mediterranean coast of France. The country has a land area of 2.0 km2 and a marine area of 4 km2. With a population of 39, 520 people and a density of 19,564 people per square kilometre, Monaco is the world’s second most densely populated country after Macao.
Monaco’s economy is largely influenced by tourism and a strong financial sector, attracting the richest people from across Europe.
Land area: 6.8 km2
Yet another European country on the list, the nation of Gibraltar is a British held territory peninsula located at the Spanish southern tip. The country is situated in Southern Europe and is bordered by Africa to its south, Spain to its north and the Atlantic ocean to its east and west. Gibraltar is also 21 km2 away from the African continent. Gibraltar’s size is similar to the length of fifty football fields. The country is one of the most densely populated nations on earth with about 4,955 people per square kilometre.
Gibraltar has a population of 33, 691 people and is one of the few countries in Europe with a subtropical climate.
Land area: 12 km2
Tokelau is the world’s smallest island nation and the smallest nation outside Europe. The country consists of three separate small islands with a total population of 1,647 people, it is located at the far end of the southern Pacific and is bordered by Australia to the west.
The nation is accessed by boat through Samoa and has a marine area, almost ten times the size of its land area, at 101 km2.
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5. Cocos Islands
Land area: 14 km2
Cocos Islands is a non-self-governing territory of Australia. The country consists of 27 islands archipelagos scattered in the Indian Ocean. The country’s closest neighbour is Indonesia, which is over a thousand kilometres from the islands.
The country has a population of 596 people and a low population density of 41.97 people per square kilometre. The country has a tropical climate with increased rainfall during the year. The Cocos islands have a marine area of 12 km2.
6. Saint Barthelemy
Land area: 21 km2
Saint Barthelemy is a French-held territory on the Caribbean coast. The country is the smallest in the Caribbean and consists of 11 islands in total. Saint Barthelemy has a coastline of over 30 km2.
The country has a population of over 7000 people living on 21 km2 with a population density of 338.2. Just like the Cocos islands, Saint Barthelemy has a tropical climate. Tourism plays a significant role as a major contributor to the country’s GDP.
Land area: 21 km2
Nauru has the same size as Saint Barthelemy. The island nation is situated south of the Pacific Ocean with a marine area of 30 km2. Nauru is the second smallest country in Oceania having a population of 10,873 people and is one of the world’s most densely populated countries with 515 people per square kilometre.
According to the World Health Organization, over 90% of Nauru’s population is overweight.
Land area: 26 km2
Tuvalu is another small Oceania country located in the Pacific at the east of Australia. The country is an archipelago with a marine area of 24 km2.
The island has a population of 11,925 people with a low density of 458.7 population per square kilometre.
Land area: 30 km2
Macao is the smallest country in Asia. Macao is situated on the tip of the pearl river at the west of Hong Kong. The country has a marine area of 41 km2 and a land area of 30 km2. Macao is a highly urbanized country with a large population of over 600,000 people and a 21,658 population per square kilometre density, making it the most densely populated country in the world.
China is the closest neighbour to Macao, lying west of the Island. Macao is made of two islands and is a special administrative region in China.
10. Sint Maarten
Land area: 34 km2
Sint Maarten is an island peninsula nation located in the south of the Caribbean. The country has a land area of 34 km2 and a marine area of 59 km2. Sint Maarten doubles as the most densely populated country on the continents of North and South America combined with a population of 42,846 people living on a 1,260 per square kilometre density.
Sint Maarten consists of seven islands with the French territory of Saint Martin being the closest country to the island.
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Smaller nations battle the need to conserve their spaces for the benefit of their citizens and the wildlife living in them. These nations possess small relative sizes compared to their larger counterparts with great attention being paid to the conservation of land spaces.
The list details the top ten smallest countries in the world with some of the nations being the size of 10 football fields.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Seychelles is Africa’s smallest country with a land area of 460 km2, which is more than 10 times the size of Sint Maarten.
Russia is the biggest country in the world by land area, having a land area of 17.1 million km2, which is over 2% of the total earth’s surface.
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