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The Number of Countries in the World

Updated on October 18, 2017

Here's a question everyone seems to need to know the answer to at one point or another. Whether for research, work, study or just to know in case of it coming up at the pub quiz! The short, and most excepted answer is 195.

Map of the World
Map of the World

The Common Incorrect Answer - 193

Whilst searching for your answer, you may find some confusion, finding the answer to be 193. As there are 193 members of the untied nations, this is often thought as the number of countries in the world. Although this number represents almost all the countries in the world, it doesn't include the countries that remain independent, such as Vatican City and the State of Palestine.

Taiwan & China

Taiwan is a 'country' that has the requirements to be an independent country, however due to political reasons, it is not recognised as so. Taiwan was a member of the Untied Nations until 1971, when mainland China replaced it. Taiwan continues to press for full recognition by all countries but China claims it is simply a province of China.

Locations

The 195 countries are spread as across all seven continents...

  • 54 in Africa
  • 48 in Asia
  • 44 in Europe
  • 33 in Latin America and The Caribbean
  • 14 in Oceania
  • 2 in Northern America

Continents of The World

Source

Fact of the Matter

So with all these facts, it seems that fairly the best current answer (2016) you can get to the question 'How many countries are there in the world?' is, 195.

The Countries

Here, I have divided the countries into the eight geographic regions of the world;

1. Asia

2. Middle East, North Africa, Greater arabia

3. Europe

4. North America

5. Central America & the Caribbean

6. South America

7. Sub-Saharan Africa

8. Australia & Oceania.

Asia

Asia is the Earth's largest continent and covers up approximately 30% of Earth's land surface which equals 8.7% of Earth's total surface area. Asia doesn't just cover a large portion of the Earth though, it also houses a wealth of plant and animal life - notably humans. Asia contains a staggering 4.5 billion people which is equivalent to 60% of the Earth's population (at time of writing, 2017). In addition to those inhabitants, Asia receives nearly 500 million visitors made up of tourists and business travelers.

See below the 27 Countries that make up Asia:

1. Bangladesh
2. Bhutan
3. Brunei
4. Cambodia
5. China
6. India
7. Indonesia
8. Japan
9. Kazakhstan
10. North Korea
11. South Korea
12. Kyrgyzstan
13. Laos
14. Malaysia
15. Maldives
16. Mongolia
17. Myanmar
18. Nepal
19. Philippines
20. Singapore
21. Sri Lanka
22. Taiwan
23. Tajikistan
24. Thailand
25. Turkmenistan
26. Uzbekistan
27. Vietnam

Middle East & North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) houses approximately 6% of the worlds population with an estimated 381 million inhabitants. MENA as it is often referred, as an acronym is not a precise classification as different organisations define the region as being made of different territories.

Below is a list of the most commonly accepted with academia:

28. Afghanistan
29. Algeria
30. Azerbaijan
31. Bahrain
32. Egypt
33. Iran
34. Iraq
35. Israel
36. Jordan
37. Kuwait
38. Lebanon
39. Libya
40. Morocco
41. Oman
42. Pakistan
43. Qatar
44. Saudi Arabia
45. Somalia
46. Syria
47. Tunisia
48. Turkey
49. United Arab Emirates
50. Yemen

Europe

Europe covers just 2% of the Earth's land surface, equal to 6.8% of Earth's total surface area. In that 2% there are around 741 million inhabitants who speak an academically recognised 23 languages and constitute approximately 11% of the population of Earth.

See below the countries that make up Europe:

51. Albania
52. Andorra
53. Armenia
54. Austria
55. Belarus
56. Belgium
57. Bosnia and Herzegovina
58. Bulgaria
59. Croatia
60. Cyprus
61. Czech Republic
62. Denmark
63. Estonia
64. Finland
65. France
66. Georgia
67. Germany
68. Greece
69. Hungary
70. Iceland
71. Ireland
72. Italy
73. Kosovo
74. Latvia
75. Liechtenstein
76. Lithuania
77. Luxembourg
78. Macedonia
79. Malta
80. Moldova
81. Monaco
82. Montenegro
83. Netherlands
84. Norway
85. Poland
86. Portugal
87. Romania
88. Russia
89. San Marino
90. Serbia
91. Slovakia
92. Slovenia
93. Spain
94. Sweden
95. Switzerland
96. Ukraine
97. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
98. Vatican City

North America

North America covers around 16.5% of the Earth's land area or 4.8% of the total surface. It technically contains just 4 countries however is packed with an estimated 565 million residents; 7.5% of the world's population. The USA houses more than half of the nations citizens, around 312 million.

Listed below are the countries within North America.

99. Canada
100. Greenland
101. Mexico
102. United States of America

Central America and the Caribbean

The population of Central America is around 45 million, based on last estimates established by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2015. Those inhabitants share 0.1025% of the Earth's land and speak typically one of four languages as their mother tongue; Spanish, English, Brazilian Portuguese and French.

The Caribbean covers 92,541 square miles which is surprisingly just 0.047% of the Earth's land surface. Nearly 44 million people live and work in the Caribbean. The region itself compromises of more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays,

Listed below are the countries contained in Central America and the Caribbean:


103. Antigua and Barbuda
104. The Bahamas
105. Barbados
106. Belize
107. Costa Rica
108. Cuba
109. Dominica
110. Dominican Republic
111. El Salvador
112. Grenada
113. Guatemala
114. Haiti
115. Honduras
116. Jamaica
117. Nicaragua
118. Panama
119. Saint Kitts and Nevis
120. Saint Lucia
121. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
122. Trinidad and Tobago

South America

South America covers a colossal 17,840,000 square kilometres, equal to 9.06% of the Earth's surface. Containing almost 208 million people, Brazil holds over half the continent's population, followed closest by Colombia housing 49 million. The majority language spoken in South America is Portuguese, with slightly fewer people who speak Spanish.

Listed below are the countries included:


123. Argentina
124. Bolivia
125. Brazil
126. Chile
127. Colombia
128. Ecuador
129. Guyana
130. Paraguay
131. Peru
132. Suriname
133. Uruguay
134. Venezuela

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is exactly what you might think. It is the part of Africa that lies south of the Sahara desert. It covers nearly 7.5% of the worlds surface at 14,675,483 square kilometers. The three major languages of Sub-Saharan Africa are Swahili, Lingala, and Zulu.

Listed below are the countries included:


135. Angola
136. Benin
137. Botswana
138. Burkina Faso
139. Burundi
140. Cameroon
141. Cape Verde
142. Central African Republic
143. Chad
144. Comoros
145. Republic of the Congo
146. Democratic Republic of the Congo
147. Cote d'Ivoire
148. Djibouti
149. Equatorial Guinea
150. Eritrea
151. Ethiopia
152. Gabon
153. The Gambia
154. Ghana
155. Guinea
156. Guinea-Bissau
157. Kenya
158. Lesotho
159. Liberia
160. Madagascar
161. Malawi
162. Mali
163. Mauritania
164. Mauritius
165. Mozambique
166. Namibia
167. Niger
168. Nigeria
169. Rwanda
170. Sao Tome and Principe
171. Senegal
172. Seychelles
173. Sierra Leone
174. South Africa
175. South Sudan
176. Sudan
177. Swaziland
178. Tanzania
179. Togo
180. Uganda
181. Zambia
182. Zimbabwe

Australia/Oceania

Australia and Oceania is a continent made up of thousands of islands dotted throughout the South Pacific Ocean. With a square footage of 8,525,989km, Australia and Oceania has a population density of 8 people in each square foot. A massive 20% of the continent is classified as desert. The remaining 80% is made up of tropical rain forests, hills and grasslands. The remaining space after you count them in is shared by an approximate 36.25 million people.

Listed below are the countries within Australia and Oceania:


183. Australia
184. East Timor
185. Fiji
186. Kiribati
187. Marshall Islands
188. Federated States of Micronesia
189. Nauru
190. New Zealand
191. Palau
192. Papua New Guinea
193. Samoa
194. Solomon Islands
195. Tonga
196. Tuvalu

The Flags

Below are the flags of the world's countries, in no particular order.

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