Dusseldorf Vatican, Malta or Liechtenstein - they are often only as big as cities, but are independent states. In this ranking we show the officially smallest countries in the world measured by their area in square kilometers.
The total area of the earth is around 510 million square kilometers. Of this, 71 percent or 360.6 million square kilometers is water. This contrasts with 29 percent or around 150 million square kilometers of land. The following states are the smallest in the world.
Dwarf states in the 2022 ranking - the ten smallest countries in the world
10th place – Saint Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Navis is an island nation among the smallest countries in the world. A total area of just 261 square kilometers puts the state in tenth place in the ranking. The island nation consists of the two islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, with the former being the larger island in terms of area. St. Kitts is 168 square kilometers, Nevis is 93 square kilometers.
The population of the two states of St. Kitts and Nevis is around 53,000. The average population density of the small state is low at around 202 inhabitants per square kilometer.
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9th place – Niue
The approximately 261.5 square kilometer coral island is isolated in the South Pacific, around 2400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, south of Samoa and west of the Cook Islands. She is ninth in the ranking. Due to the high emigration to New Zealand, the island state with the official languages Niuean and English had only 1784 inhabitants in 2017. The population density is 6.82 inhabitants per square kilometer. Since 1974, Niue has been linked to New Zealand by an association treaty. Around 24,000 Niueans live here.
8th place – Cook Islands
The island state in the South Pacific occupies eighth place in the ranking with an area of 242 square kilometers. The independent archipelago is in free association with New Zealand. With a population of around 17,000, mostly Cook Island Maori, the population density is around 76 people per square kilometer.
7th place – Marshall Islands
The Marshall Islands have an area of 181 square kilometers. The most famous of the 1225 islands in the group is the island of Micronesia. The population of the small state is around 59,000. However, it has been growing continuously since 1950. At that time around 13,000 people lived here. The population has more than quadrupled since then.
The country's average population density is 325 inhabitants per square kilometer and is comparable to a small rural community in Germany.
6th place – Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is around 160 square kilometers in size, making it smaller than the Marshall Islands. The small state comes in 6th place in the ranking. The principality with 38,650 inhabitants is located in Central Europe, bordering Austria to the east and Switzerland to the west. Liechtenstein is 24.77 kilometers at its longest point and only 12.5 kilometers at its widest.
Only eleven percent of the principality's land area is populated. The larger part of the area is used for agriculture (33 percent). 41 percent consists of forest. The remaining 15 percent of the microstate's land area is considered unproductive.
5th place – San Marino
The fifth-placed country in this ranking is also in Europe. San Marino is 61.2 square kilometers in size and is one of the six European mini-states. Similar to the Vatican, it is completely surrounded by the Italian state. The border line is 39 kilometers long.
About 33,598 people live in San Marino, not far from Rimini. The average population density of the republic is 549 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The state was founded on September 3, 301 and became independent from the Roman Empire around 60 years later. Today's territory of the dwarf state is used in particular for agricultural and forestry purposes.
4th place – Tuvalu
Tuvalu made it to the fourth smallest country in the world. The island nation is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and is only 30 square kilometers in size. The Fiji Islands are 1,100 kilometers away.
The microstate belonged to Great Britain until October 1, 1978 and has been independent ever since. The country was previously called the Ellice Islands. Tuvalu today has around 11,650 inhabitants. The population density is 384 people per square kilometer.
3rd place – Nauru
Like Tuvalu, the third smallest country in the world Nauru is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is only 20 square kilometers in size. The island state has about 11,550 inhabitants. It gained independence from Australia on January 31, 1968.
Nauru's population has almost tripled since 1960. At that time, 4,433 people lived in the microstate. The population density is currently 635 inhabitants per square kilometer.
2nd place – Monaco
The second smallest country in the world is Monaco. The Principality is best known as the home of the wealthy and is only a tenth the size of Nauru. The microstate has a total area of more than two square kilometers. Nevertheless, around 39,200 people live in the Principality. Due to the comparatively high population, Monaco is the country with the second highest population density in the world, ahead of Singapore and Hong Kong. It is 18,282 inhabitants per inhabitant. For comparison: 26,900 people live in one square kilometer in Mumbai.
1st place – Vatican
The smallest country on earth is Vatican City – also simply called the Vatican for short. It has a total area of 0.44 square kilometers. The smallest country on earth is an enclave in the middle of the Italian capital Rome.
However, the Vatican is not only the smallest state in the world in terms of area, but also the smallest generally recognized state in the world in terms of population. An estimated 1,000 people currently live in the Vatican. It is an absolute monarchy – as head of state, the Pope exercises full legislative, executive and judicial power.
The ten smallest countries in the world 2020 in the table
|1.||Vatican City State||0.44 km²|
|5.||San Marino||61 km²|
|7.||Marshall Islands||181 km²|
|8th.||Cook Islands||236 km²|
|10||Saint Kitts and Nevis||261 km²|
Source: Statista, World Bank