Officially it is considered that 195 countries exist. The US recognizes 194 independent countries. While sometimes there are territories of colonies erroneously called countries that are not fully independent, such as England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, these are considered The United Kingdom and thus one country.
It depends on who you ask. The U.S. government recognizes 194 indpendent countries; there are 192 countries part of the U.N.; others suggest the real number is 195.
Vatican City and Kosovo are recognized as countries but not part of the U.N. Taiwan meets the criteria for an independent nation, however for political reasons it is not recognized internationally as such.
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