The World's Smallest Countries

Countries of Less Than 200 Square Miles in Area

Vatican City
Vatican City is the world's smallest state, with an area of only 0.2 square miles. Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The 17 smallest countries in the world each contain less than 200 square miles in area, and if one were to combine the land area of them, their total size would be just a bit larger than that of the state of Rhode Island.

Still, from Vatican City to Palau, these small countries have maintained their independence and established themselves as contributors to the worlds' economy, politics, and even human rights initiatives.

Although these countries may be small, some of them rank amongst the most influential on the world's stage. Be sure to check out this photo gallery of the world's smallest countries, listed here from smallest to largest:

  1. Vatican City: 0.2 square miles
  2. Monaco: 0.7 square miles
  3. Nauru: 8.5 square miles
  4. Tuvalu: 9 square miles
  5. San Marino: 24 square miles
  6. Liechtenstein: 62 square miles
  7. Marshall Islands: 70 square miles
  8. Saint Kitts and Nevis: 104 square miles
  9. Seychelles: 107 square miles
  10. Maldives: 115 square miles
  11. Malta: 122 square miles
  12. Grenada: 133 square miles
  13. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 150 square miles
  14. Barbados: 166 square miles
  15. Antigua and Barbuda: 171 square miles
  16. Andorra: 180 square miles
  17. Palau: 191 square miles

Small But Influential

Of these 17 smallest countries in the world, Vatican City — which in fact is the smallest country in the world — is perhaps the most influential in terms of religion. That's because this serves as the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic church and home of the Pope; however, none of the 770 people that account for the population of Vatican City, or the Holy See, are permanent residents of the city-state.

The independent Principality of Andorra is co-governed by the President of France and the Spain's Bishop of Urgel. With just over 70,000 people, this mountainous tourist destination tucked in the Pyrenees between France and Spain has been independent since 1278 but serves as a testament to multinationalism celebrated throughout the European Union.

Tiny Destination Countries

Monaco, Nauru the Marshall Islands, and Barbados can all be considered destination locations, popular for tourists' vacations and honeymoon getaways due to their location in the middle of large bodies of water.

Monaco is home to an impressive 32,000 people in just under one square mile as well as a number of Monte Carlo casinos and fabulous beaches; Nauru is a 13,000-population island nation formerly known as Pleasant Island; both the Marshall Islands and Barbados play host to a variety of tourists hoping for warm weather and coral reefs.

Liechtenstein, on the other hand, is located in the Swiss Alps, which provides tourists with a chance to ski or ride along the Rhine River between Switzerland and Austria.

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Rosenberg, Matt. "The World's Smallest Countries." ThoughtCo, Jun. 5, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-worlds-smallest-countries-1433446. Rosenberg, Matt. (2017, June 5). The World's Smallest Countries. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-worlds-smallest-countries-1433446 Rosenberg, Matt. "The World's Smallest Countries." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-worlds-smallest-countries-1433446 (accessed November 21, 2017).