Country fast facts
The Vatican is the world’s smallest country, at 0,16 square miles (0,44 square km).
Russia is the largest country in the world, at 6,591,027 square miles (17,075,200 square km).
New Zealand is also the only country that contains every type of climate in the world.
There are 195 countries in the world, of which 193 are members of the United Nations and 2 are non-member observer states (Vatican City and Palestine).
The UN and USA does not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent country.
Taiwan is one of 6 non-UN states with partial recognition (meaning at least one other country recognizes its sovereignty); the others are Abkhazia, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia and Western Sahara.
There are 5 break-away states that have limited recognition as de facto countries: Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic and Somaliland.
There are 61 colonies or territories in the world.
The International Olympics Organization recognizes 206 Olympic nations.
FIFA recognizes 211 countries as eligible for World Cup participation.
The ISO Standards List has 249 country codes, 45 of which are noted as Inhabited Dependent Territories and 6 as Uninhabited Territories. The list also counts Antarctica.
Only 11 people have been recorded as being born in Antarctica… although, according to records, 51 UK citizens claim to have been born there. (Argentinian Emilio Marcos Palma, b. 1/7/1978, is the first documented person born on Antarctica.)
More than 60 million people annually visit France, a country of 60 million people.
Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means “the capital” in the Korean language.
The United States motto, “In God We Trust,” was adopted as the national slogan in 1956.
The flag of the Philippines is the only national flag that is flown differently during times of peace or war.
Since the 2001 US invasion, narcotics production in Afghanistan has increased more than 35 times, generating cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.
From 1978 until 1987, the official name of Afghanistan was the “Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.” The word “Democratic” was dropped and it became the “Republic of Afghanistan” until 1992 and then, in 2001, the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
Japan is the top fishing country; in the 1980s it netted more than 12,000 tonnes of fish per year but due to fish depletion it has dropped to half that.
China has more English speakers than the United States.
Scottish is the language called Gaelic, whereas Irish is actually called Gaeilge.
The top three cork-producing countries are Spain, Portugal and Algeria. Cork comes from trees.
United States is home to less than 5% of the world’s population but nearly 25% of its prisoners.
South Africa is the only country with three official capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.
Zaire is the world leader in cobalt mining.
Canada is an Indian word meaning “Big Village”.
Nauru is the only country in the world with no official capital (its government offices are all in Yaren District).
India used to be the richest country in the world until the British invasion in the early 17th Century.
World’s oldest countries
Egypt – 3150-3500 B.C.
India – 3000 B.C.
Ethiopia – 2500-3000 B.C.
China – 2500 B.C.
San Marino – founded on September 3, 301.
World’s largest countries
- Russia: 6,591,027 mi2 (17,075,200 km2)
- Canada: 3,854,082 mi2 (9,984,670 km2)
- United States: 3,717,727 mi2 (9,631,418 km2)
- China: 3,704,426 mi2 (9,596,960 km2)
- Brazil: 3,285,618 mi2 (8,511,965 km2)
- Australia: 2,967,124 mi2 (7,686,850 km2)
- India: 1,269,009 mi2 (3,287,590 km2)
- Argentina: 1,068,019 mi2 (2,766,890 km2)
World’s most populous countries
- China: 1,382,740,000
- India: 1,314,870,000
- United States: 324,853,000
- Indonesia: 263,510,000
- Brazil 207,390,000
- Pakistan: 196,167,000
- Nigeria: 191,836,000
- Bangladesh: 162,313,000
- Russia: 146,804,372
- Japan: 126,760,000