10 Smallest Countries in the World

Countries are expected to be large; however there are some countries who are quite small. Here is a list of the top 10 smallest countries in the world.

The World is a vast place, so it is easy to imagine that countries, in which the world is politically and geographically divided, are also large and vast. This is an easy misconception to have, after all to most people countries are landscapes filled with mountains, hills, valleys, lakes, cities, states or districts, etc. All of which take space, and a lot of space. However, most people are often surprised to hear that there are countries that are smaller than cities of other countries, and not even larger cities, but smaller than even modest cities.  

Here are the 10 Smallest Countries in the World (according to area):

  1. Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest country in world. It is so small in fact that the entire country is located in the middle of the Italian city, Rome. It is smaller than New York City’s Central Park. Vatican City is also known as the Holy See, and it is the center of the Catholic Church. It is also where the Pope resides. The country has many beautiful sites, such as the world’s biggest church, St. Peter's Basilica, as well as many Renaissance buildings and art, including Michelangelo’s The Pieta and the Creation of Adam, which is part of his masterpiece, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Fun fact, the major source of the Vatican’s income comes from voluntary contributions from Catholics around the world.

  1. Monaco

Officially known as The Principality of Monaco, it is approximately the size New York City’s Central Park. The small country is a territory that is ruled by a prince. For decades, Monaco has been known as a holiday paradise, full of marinas, yachts, and casinos. It is also quite famous for its Formula 1 races. It is located on the Mediterranean Sea, adjacent to France, which is why most natives speak French. It was also known as a tax haven, which just added to its popularity as the rich man’s playground, but it has recently started income taxes for every non-native.

  1. Nauru

Nauru is a small island country located in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the country is made up of coral islands. The country also does not have a capital city. The benefits of living on Nauru is that the electricity is free, also citizens do not have to pay income taxes. The majority of the country’s income came from phosphates from thousands of years' worth of guano or bird droppings. However, after the phosphate reserve ran dry, the country became a tax haven and a center for money laundering. Today, the country is mainly known for the Nauru detention centre, a detention camp for people applying for asylum to Australia.

  1. Tuvalu

Tuvalu is also located in the South Pacific, and is a string of low-lying coral islands. The country is in serious risk of disappearing if sea levels continue to rise due to global warming. Tuvalu was an Allied base during World War II and it still has various rusting wrecks that function as a constant reminder of the War. The country’s primary income comes from domain registrations, as its Internet country code top-level domain .tv, functions as the abbreviation of the word 'television'

  1. San Marino

The formal name of Sam Marion is The Most Serene Republic of San Marino. It is located in North Italy near the Adriatic coast. San Marino is the world's country and the oldest republic. It was settled by a small group of Christians who were seeking escape from religious persecution. It has been called a model republic. It was once considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world; however, today it is one of the world’s richest. Majority of its income actually comes from tourism.

  1. Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a micro-state located between the borders of Switzerland and Austria. It is the only country that lies solely in the Alps. It is officially known as the Principality of Liechtenstein and is headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. It is considered to be one of the richest countries in the world, and has the lowest unemployment rate. It is also known for its many banking and tax benefits.

  1. Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands is located in the central Pacific Ocean. It is a set of 34 islands. Technically, they are coral atolls, which are ring-shaped coral reefs encircling a lagoon. The islands garnered fame when they were used for nuclear testing by the United States of America. Today, they are a tourist destination that is known for their crystal blue bays and sandy beaches. They also don’t have strict administrative regulations, which makes them quite interesting.

  1. Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis are a federation of two islands that are located in the West Indies. They are officially known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis and lie in the crossroads of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by the Europeans. Saint Kitts is the larger of the two islands, making Nevis the smaller one. While the islands were a major sugar exporter for decades, its economy is now dependent on tourism, agriculture, and small manufacturing industries. Its large sugar plantations have now been converted to hotels and resorts.

  1. Maldives

Maldives is a favorite tourist destination that is made up of 1,192 coral islands. It is located in the Indian Ocean, and is the smallest country in Asia in terms of both area and population. Maldives has been in control of various empires, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. However, it gained its independence in 1965, and thrived as a tropical resort destination made famous for its white sand beaches and crystal blue waters.

  1. Malta

Malta is yet another island country that is located in Mediterranean Sea. The country consists of three major islands, Gozo, Comino, and Malta, which is the largest. Despite its size, it has a large population, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Malta has become a popular tourist destination due to its sunny weather, attractive beaches, and a pulsating nightlife. The country also has a rich and vibrant history that dates back 7000 years.

Image Courtesy: dustinland.com

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