You, reader, are likely a citizen of one of the world’s larger countries – say, the United States, perhaps? Or Great Britain? It is important that we not neglect the world’s smaller countries; as such this answer looks to shed some lights on countries that are indeed very, very small. Using July 2009 data from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, I will give you the world’s five smallest countries – both by surface area and by population.
Just A Speck On The Globe – The 5 Countries with the Least Surface Area
1) Vatican City (0.44 square kilometers) – “The Vatican” is a walled city-state housed within the city of Rome, Italy. It is only about 70% as large as the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It has 3.2 kilometers of land that borders Rome.
2) Monaco (2.00 square kilometers) – Like the Vatican, Monaco is a small city-state; while the Vatican’s lone neighbor is Italy, Monaco’s is France. Monaco sits on France’s southeastern edge. It is about three times as large as the National Mall. It has 4.4 kilometers of land that borders France.
3) Nauru (21.00 square kilometers) – Nauru is a tiny island in the South Pacific Ocean that lies south of the Marshall Islands and northeast of Australia. Although it is over ten times as large as Monaco, it is still only a tenth the size of Washington, D.C. It has 30 kilometers of coastline.
4) Tuvalu (26.00 square kilometers) – Like Nauru, Tuvalu lies in the South Pacific Ocean and is only a tenth the size of the American capital city. It has a bit more surface area than Nauru, but a bit less coastline – 24 kilometers to Nauru’s 30.
5) San Marino (61.00 square kilometers) – The previous four countries could all fit inside of San Marino – with a few square kilometers to spare. Like the Vatican, San Marino – which “claims to be the world’s oldest republic” – is ensconced within Italy. It has 39 kilometers of borderland with its parent nation.
Could They Field A Baseball Team? – The 5 Countries with the Least Population
1) Vatican City (826) – The Vatican claims top (well, bottom) honors for both surface area and population. It’s only about as populous as a small American town. Bewilderingly, the Vatican has over 70,000 times fewer people than its Italian parent.
2) Tuvalu (12,373) – While Tuvalu is fourth on the area list, it fares a bit worse on this one. Over 4,000 citizens of Tuvalu (so, about five Vatican Cities worth) reside in its capital, the coral atoll of Funafuti.
3) Nauru (14,019) – Tuvalu slipped, but Nauru stays the same. Yaren, its de facto capital district, holds about 4,500 citizens.
4) Palau (20,796) – Palau, with a surface area of 459 square kilometers, is the only member of the top five that doesn’t also reside on the above list. Its capital, Ngerulmud, is far from its largest city. That honor belongs to Palau’s former capital, Koror, which houses about 14,000 citizens – a little over two-thirds of the country.
5) San Marino (30,167) – As with the surface area list, San Marino takes the fifth position.
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