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How many countries are there in the world?

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 essential general knowledge.

Maybe you desire to travel to all the countries of the world, and to start, you have to know the total number of countries in the world.

There are many ways to come up with a total number – based on definition, politics, agreements… the list can go on. 

To determine the number of countries, you have to consider the sources that back up your list and how they come up with the total number of countries in the world.

How Many Countries Are There In The World2 1
©Porapak Apichodilok via

What is a country?

According to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, these are the four things that 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 be able to enter into agreements with other states.

These categories act as guidelines for defining a country, but more aspects (such as politics) need to be considered.

In conclusion, there is no universally accepted definition of a country; that is why one country can recognize (or opt not to) others. 

There are 193 countries – According to the United Nations

The United Nations Member States index lists 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?

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©Jacob Lund via

The UN also recognizes 2 Observer States

When counting how many countries are in the world, it is essential 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 allowed 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 in the world, you will find conflicting answers regarding Taiwan.

Is Taiwan its own country?

Yes, Taiwan is a country if you return 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 that Taiwan is a self-governing island.

China firmly declares that Taiwan is a province of the Republic of China (ROC.)

Is Kosovo a country?

Yes, Kosovo is a country – it is self-declared, to be exact.

Many consider it as one, including the United States and other members of the European Union.

Serbia 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 country ships 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 the two observer states and including Taiwan and Kosovo.

That makes it 197: There are 197 countries in the world.

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Complete list of all 193+4 countries in the world according to the UN

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Albania
  3. Algeria
  4. Andorra
  5. Angola
  6. Antigua and Barbuda
  7. Argentina
  8. Armenia
  9. Australia
  10. Austria
  11. Azerbaijan
  12. Bahamas
  13. Bahrain
  14. Bangladesh
  15. Barbados
  16. Belarus
  17. Belgium
  18. Belize
  19. Benin
  20. Bhutan
  21. Bolivia
  22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23. Botswana
  24. Brazil
  25. Brunei Darussalam
  26. Bulgaria
  27. Burkina Faso
  28. Burundi
  29. Cambodia
  30. Cameroon
  31. Canada
  32. Cape Verde
  33. The Central African Republic
  34. Chad
  35. Chile
  36. China
  37. Colombia
  38. Comoros
  39. Congo (Republic of the)
  40. Costa Rica
  41. Côte d’Ivoire
  42. Croatia
  43. Cuba
  44. Cyprus
  45. Czechia (Czech Republic)
  46. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  47. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  48. Denmark
  49. Djibouti
  50. Dominica
  51. Dominican Republic
  52. Ecuador
  53. Egypt
  54. El Salvador
  55. Equatorial Guinea
  56. Eritrea
  57. Estonia
  58. Ethiopia
  59. Fiji
  60. Finland
  61. France
  62. Gabon
  63. The Gambia
  64. Georgia
  65. Germany
  66. Ghana
  67. Greece
  68. Grenada
  69. Guatemala
  70. Guinea
  71. Guinea-Bissau
  72. Guyana
  73. Haiti
  74. Honduras
  75. Hungary
  76. Iceland
  77. India
  78. Indonesia
  79. Iran
  80. Iraq
  81. Ireland
  82. Israel
  83. Italy
  84. Jamaica
  85. Japan
  86. Jordan
  87. Kazakhstan
  88. Kenya
  89. Kiribati
  90. Kuwait
  91. Kyrgyzstan
  92. Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  93. Latvia
  94. Lebanon
  95. Lesotho
  96. Liberia
  97. Libya
  98. Liechtenstein
  99. Lithuania
  100. Luxembourg
  101. Madagascar
  102. Malawi
  103. Malaysia
  104. Maldives
  105. Mali
  106. Malta
  107. Marshall Islands
  108. Mauritania
  109. Mauritius
  110. Mexico
  111. Micronesia (the Federated States of)
  112. Monaco
  113. Mongolia
  114. Montenegro
  115. Morocco
  116. Mozambique
  117. Myanmar
  118. Namibia
  119. Nauru
  120. Nepal
  121. Netherlands
  122. New Zealand
  123. Nicaragua
  124. Niger
  125. Nigeria
  126. Norway
  127. Oman
  128. Pakistan
  129. Palau
  130. Panama
  131. Papua New Guinea
  132. Paraguay
  133. Peru
  134. Philippines
  135. Poland
  136. Portugal
  137. Qatar
  138. Republic of Korea
  139. Republic of Moldova
  140. Romania
  141. Russian Federation
  142. Rwanda
  143. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  144. Saint Lucia
  145. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  146. Samoa
  147. San Marino
  148. Sao Tome and Principe
  149. Saudi Arabia
  150. Senegal
  151. Serbia
  152. Seychelles
  153. Sierra Leone
  154. Singapore
  155. Slovakia
  156. Slovenia
  157. Solomon Islands
  158. Somalia
  159. South Africa
  160. South Sudan
  161. Spain
  162. Sri Lanka
  163. Sudan
  164. Suriname
  165. Swaziland
  166. Switzerland
  167. Sweden
  168. Syria
  169. Tajikistan
  170. Thailand
  171. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  172. Timor Leste
  173. Togo
  174. Tonga
  175. Trinidad and Tobago
  176. Tunisia
  177. Turkey
  178. Turkmenistan
  179. Tuvalu
  180. Uganda
  181. Ukraine
  182. United Arab Emirates
  183. United Kingdom
  184. United of Republic of Tanzania
  185. United States
  186. Uruguay
  187. Uzbekistan
  188. Vanuatu
  189. Venezuela
  190. Vietnam
  191. Yemen
  192. Zambia
  193. Zimbabwe
  194. The Vatican City
  195. Palestine
  196. Kosovo
  197. Taiwan
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