It’s true that large countries such as Russia, US, China, Australia, Canada, etc. are the real movers and shakers of the world. These countries have huge economies and occupy large areas, which is why they are among the most powerful nations in the world. However, our world is full of diversity, which is why we also have countries that are extremely tiny. It goes on to show that nations can exist even in small packages and don’t necessary need to be giant sized. To better understand these seemingly insignificant dots on the world map, here’s a quick look at some of the world’s smallest countries by area.
San Marino – An independent state in Southern Europe, San Marino is almost entirely enclosed within the boundaries of Italy. It is spread over an area of 61 km2 (24 sq. mi) and has a population of more than 33k residents. San Marino is among the prosperous countries in Europe with budget surplus, no national debt, and low unemployment rate.
Tuvalu – Earlier known as Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is located in the Polynesian sub region of Oceania. As a rough measure, one can say that it’s almost equidistant from Hawaii and Australia. Tuvalu has an area of 26 square kilometers (10 sq. mi), comprising reef islands as well as atolls. It has a population of more than 10k residents.
Nauru – Earlier known as Pleasant Island, Nauru is located in Oceania, in the Central Pacific Ocean. Nauru is spread across an area of 21 km2 (8.1 sq. mi) and has a population of more than 19k residents. The island is strategically located in the Pacific, which is why it has changed owners several times. The island had been ruled by various countries such as German Empire, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Nauru became an independent state in 1968.
Monaco – A sovereign city state located along the French Riviera, Monaco is flanked by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and France on the north, east and west. The city state is spread over an area of just around 2.1 km2 (0.81 sq. mi). However, in comparison to its size, the state has a large population of more than 38k residents. This makes it one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Vatican City – Located in Europe, Vatican City is an independent city state, fully owned and administered by the Holy See. Vatican City is spread across an area of 49 hectares (121 acres), making it the smallest sovereign state in the world. With just around 825 residents, Vatican City is also the smallest country in terms of population. Vatican City is governed by an absolute elective monarchy, where the pope is the primary decision maker.