How many countries are there in the world? What makes a country anyway? To know the entire number of countries in the world, read this article.
You may have asked this question because it is an essential general knowledge.
Maybe it is your desire to travel to all the countries of the world, and to start off you have to know the total number of countries in the world.
There are a lot of ways on how to come up with a total number – based on definition, based on politics, based on agreements… the list can go on.
In order to determine the number of countries, you have to take into consideration the sources that back up your list and how they come up with the total number of countries in the world.
What is a country?
According to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, these are the four things which should be met when defining a country or a state:
1. It must have a permanent population.
2. It must have a defined territory.
3. It must have a government.
4. It must have the ability to enter into agreements with other states.
These categories act as guidelines on how to define a country, but more aspects (such as political) need to be considered.
In conclusion, there is no universally-accepted definition of a country, that is why one country can simply recognize (or opt not to) others.
There are 193 countries – According to the United Nations
The United Nations Member States index lists down 193 states as its members.
Only sovereign states can become members of the UN, so judging from this definition alone, you can say that the total number of countries in the world is 193.
How about nonmember states?
How about states in dispute regarding their sovereignty?
The UN also recognizes 2 Observer States
When counting how many countries are there in the world, it is important to note the two nonmember observer states that the United Nations recognizes.
When one is an observer state, it has the authority to be present in meetings of the General Assembly but it does not have the power to vote.
The Vatican City and the State of Palestine are the two observer states in the UN.
The Vatican City was given the opportunity to join as a member in 1919, but it declined.
On the other hand, the State of Palestine applied for membership in 2011 and it has yet to be voted upon.
Do we count the Holy See and the State of Palestine as countries?
I believe – yes.
Is Taiwan a country?
In your search about how many countries are there in the world, you are sure to find conflicting answers regarding Taiwan.
Is Taiwan its own country?
Yes, Taiwan is a country if you go back to the core definition of being one.
However, with the political unrest that prevents the world from coming up with a unified description, we accept the statement that Taiwan is a self-governing island.
China strongly declares that Taiwan is a province belonging to the Republic of China (ROC.)
Is Kosovo a country?
Yes, Kosovo is a country – it is self-declared, to be exact.
A lot consider it as one, including the United States and other members of the European Union.
Serbia, though, rejects its declaration of independence and claims ownership over it.
Number of countries in the world = 197?
So, how many countries are there?
The United Nations lists down 193 sovereign countries. Two states, The Vatican City and the State of Palestine, are described as observer states.
Within the UN, some members recognize the countryships of Taiwan and Kosovo while others do not. This is a highly political subject to take on.
Personally and technically, I am counting 193 of the sovereign countries, adding in the two observer states and including both Taiwan and Kosovo.
That makes it 197: There are 197 countries in the world.
Complete list of all 193+4 countries in the world according to the UN
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- The central African Republic
- Congo (Republic of the)
- Costa Rica
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Czechia (Czech Republic)
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia (the Federated States of)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Republic of Korea
- Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- Timor Leste
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United of Republic of Tanzania
- United States
- The Vatican City