It may sound like a scary simple question, but answering how many countries there are in the world is an almost impossible task.
The problem is that there is no proper unambiguous definition of what a country agrees with.
In fact, it is as difficult as finding out what is the world’s largest city.
For example, would you say that the United Kingdom is one country? Or three? Or four? And are countries like Canada, Australia, Jamaica independent countries, or are they really controlled by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Commonwealth?
What is what?
But let’s try anyway:
The UN officially has 193 Member States that must be considered as their own countries, with the last new membership being South Sudan in 2011. (In this definition, the United Kingdom is one country – but Canada, Australia and Jamaica are, of course, listed as independent).
It is not straightforward, however, since some of the UN member states are also debated. For example, Turkey does not recognize Cyprus, and neither South nor North Korea recognize each other.
On the list of member states, on the other hand, you will not find a country “everyone” recognizes, namely the Vatican City. However, this is because they do not want to be a full UN member state.
Kosovo will definitely claim to be a country of its own, but Serbia is strongly opposed. They are recognized by most Western countries as a separate country, but not by Russia and China, for example.
Then we end up in 195 countries, which is a relatively widely accepted definition, but as we shall see at the very bottom, the UN actually uses a list of 200 countries.
Of the more high-profile conflicts, we find the island of Taiwan, once recognized by the United Nations as a representative of “real” China, but which has lost that status. Unofficially has been considered a separate country for many years by most, but with its longstanding conflict with China, few are recognized as a country.
According to Countryaah, many countries have something similar to embassies in the country, and it is currently somewhat uncertain whether the country now really wants full freedom from China.
There are also a large number of areas that want to be their own countries, but who simply do not receive the necessary recognition.
Palestine is a crown example, which has received much recognition, but is still such a contentious area that its legal status is difficult to establish.
Western Sahara remains a significant source of conflict, with Morocoo claiming to have control.
South Ossetia – the country that caused Russia to take action against Georgia in 2008 – is recognized as its own by a handful of countries, including Russia. The status of Abkhazia in the same area is about the same.
At the other end of the scale we find Somaliland who claims to have broken out Somalia, without anyone acknowledging them for that at all.
Territories, administrative regions and cooperation agreements
It becomes even more complicated when you look at miniature states and small islands that have more or less cooperation with other countries.
For example, Puerto Rico is subject to the United States as a territory, but does not have voting rights in the United States. Indeed, the United States has control over a large number of smaller islands and lands.
The Cook Islands are often referred to as a country, but what they call in a “free association” with New Zealand. Yet they are UN members.
The Netherlands, for its part, has formal control over a pile of islands in the Caribbean – and the United Kingdom still has full control over islands and territories over much of the world – including Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the Falkland Islands.
China, for its part, has half-separated two areas, Hong Kong and Macau, as separate administrative regions with very special status.
The largest island in the world, Greenland, on the other hand, is a Danish island with self-government.
And so you can continue almost infinitely with different forms of almost-land. Pirate Bay even tried to gain control of Sealand – which was simply an old rig off the coast of Northern Ireland.
The UN cooperates with 200 countries
Although the UN currently has 193 member countries, on its websites it lists a total of 200 countries referred to as member countries.
On this list we find countries such as Kosovo, the Vatican and Cook Islands which are not actually full UN countries.
Countries in Africa
Countries in Asia
Countries in Europe
Countries in Oceania
Countries in North America
Countries in South America
The 50 countries with the highest gas consumption in the world
|Rank||Country||Gas consumption (million cubic meters)|
|1||United States of America (North America)||629.100|
|5||Canada (North America)||90,000|
|7||Great Britain (Europe)||88,180|
|10||Saudi Arabia (Asia)||66,720|
|11||Mexico (North America)||61,000|
|15||United Arab Emirates (Asia)||38.110|
|16||China, People’s Republic (Asia)||38,100|
|17||Argentina (South America)||35,950|
|23||Venezuela (South America)||27,200|
|29||Brazil (South America)||22,600|
|39||Trinidad and Tobago (North America)||12,960|
|41||Czech Republic (Europe)||9,690|
|43||Syria, Arab Republic (Asia)||9,560|
|49||Chile (South America)||7,460|
|Consumption of natural gas.|
- Soria, Castile-Leon (Spain) July 1, 2022 - The small provincial capital of Soria is located on the banks of the Duero River in northern Spain. The province of Soria is part of the autonomous region of Castile-Leon. Before our era, the Celtiberian… Continue Reading
- Attractions in Samara, Russia June 24, 2022 - According to Calculatorinc, in the northern part of the old city is the Glory Square, where the administrative buildings of Samara are located. The basis of the square complex is the Glory monument. The monument… Continue Reading
- Travel to Montenegro June 17, 2022 - Sights of Montenegro An interesting excursion program has been prepared for the services of vacationers. The main excursions that introduce the main sights of the country: Tour "Mini-Montenegro" (sightseeing tour of Montenegro): a panoramic view… Continue Reading
- General Information About Nepal June 10, 2022 - GEOGRAPHY According to Animalerts, Nepal is a sovereign independent state, bordered in the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, and in the southeast and west by India. The length of the kingdom is… Continue Reading
- Georgia Architecture and Cinema June 3, 2022 - Architecture. - From independence from the Soviet Union (1991) until 2005, due to separatist conflicts, architecture in Georgia was confined to small renovation projects. In 2007, the first real intervention involving an internationally renowned architect,… Continue Reading
- North Korea – New Scenarios May 27, 2022 - On April 20, 2003, Easter Day, the Indian Defense Minister, George Fernandes, the first supporter of the 'Chinese threat' theory and the one who decided to carry out India's first nuclear tests in 1998, arrived… Continue Reading
- Holidays in Cyprus May 20, 2022 - Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean that offers its guests luxury hotels, pristine blue flag beaches and plenty of decent entertainment. The island is divided into two parts: the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish… Continue Reading
- Popular Destinations in United Arab Emirates May 13, 2022 - Dubai Dubai is the country's most visited metropolis by tourists, without which it is impossible to imagine a single trip to this oriental fairy tale. Giant skyscrapers, white-sand beaches and kilometers of shopping streets -… Continue Reading
- Slovakia Attractions May 6, 2022 - Levoca Levoca was proclaimed the capital of the Spissachsen in 1271 and a free royal city in 1323. The city center is now a listed building and offers many sights, such as St. James' Church with… Continue Reading
- Canada Geography and Climate May 1, 2022 - Canada is located in North America and is considered a multicultural country. The culture has been influenced by the indigenous culture of indigenous peoples as well as by the British and French. There are still… Continue Reading