How Many Countries are in the World

Most modern scholars and international authorities believe that there are 194 nations in existence; nevertheless, different international entities disagree substantially on the number of countries. The 194 countries does not include Kosovo (disclaimer), or  Palestine or Kashmir, Western Sahara or Taiwan or  Greenland or many other partly recognized states .

There are few questions more difficult to answer than “How many countries are there in the world?” since there is no one accurate answer. When this figure is compared to official figures from various federal and international agencies throughout the world, there is a significant disparity. Depending on the source, there might be 189, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, or 196 independent countries on our planet now.

How Many Countries are in the World

How Many Countries are in the World
How Many Countries are in the World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Member States In The United Nations

The United Nations had 193 formal members as of May 1, 2008. This figure excludes Palestine and the Vatican/Holy See (who act as non-member observers), Taiwan (whose credentials have been widely rejected by the UN since 1971), and Kosovo (which is not a UN member but actively participates in the UN’s International Monetary Fund and World Bank).

How Many Countries Does The United States Recognize?

The United States State Department recognizes 195 sovereign nations worldwide, but that list reflects the political agenda of the United States of America. For example, it includes Kosovo but not Taiwan, because China maintains that Taiwan (the ROC) is merely a province of China. Such recognition is intended to placate the US’s economic partners while also furthering its diplomatic ambitions. Such geopolitical issues are largely responsible for the difficulty in determining the official number of independent countries throughout the world.

Is Taiwan An Independent Country?

Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China (ROC)) is a sovereign, semi-presidential constitutional republic. Its authority is nearly completely constituted of the island of Taiwan, where the capital Taipei is located, as well as lesser holdings over neighboring islands within the East China, South China, and Philippine Seas, as well as the Taiwan and Luzon Straits. The nation was created in 1949, following the defeat of the then-in-power Nationalists by the Communists (who took over the Chinese mainland and most of Mongolia) and subsequent relocation to Taiwan. Although the Taiwanese (ROC) government is the last legitimate government in place before the Communists established the People’s Republic of China (PRC), many countries have refused to recognize its claims to sovereignty as a self-governing independent nation, citing the PRC’s threat to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on those countries that do.

Is Western Sahara An Independent Country?

Western Sahara is an area in northwest Africa whose government has been contested for more than 40 years by the local Sahrawi and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Is Palestine An Independent Country?

The State of Palestine, which bears the name of the British territory prior to the founding of the State of Israel in 1947, is recognized by 136 UN members. In 1988, an exiled government in Algeria declared Palestine’s independence from Israel, and diplomatic disputes and conflict between the two continue to this day.

READ MORE: Top 10 Vodka Countries In The World

Is Kosovo An Independent Country?

Kosovo may have some of the least obvious national boundaries and status in terms of autonomous sovereignty of any political entity in the world today. After the disintegration of the Communist nation of Yugoslavia in 1991, Kosovo became a member of the newly created Serbia and Montenegro in 1992. After Serbia and Montenegro separated in 2006, the Serbian province of Kosovo’s Parliament, with a majority Albanian population, voted two years later to become its own country. Today, international attitudes of the Republic of Kosovo are diverse, with Kosovo, 108 UN member nations, and Taiwan seeing it as its own sovereign nation, while Serbia and others see it as an autonomous Serbian province.

Is The United Kingdom One Country Or 4 Countries?

Many observers regard England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to be separate countries, although they are in reality constituent portions of the United Kingdom (UK), as recognized by the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union. As a result, they are all listed in our list below as a single country, the United Kingdom.

Is Greenland An Independent Country?

Greenland, what about it? In a nationwide referendum held in November 2008, the people overwhelmingly voted in support of enhanced self-government. Greenland gained total control of its internal affairs in June 2009 after a vote. Denmark, on the other hand, retains responsibility of Greenland’s foreign affairs, security, and finance policies in cooperation with Greenland’s Home Rule Government, and the Danish monarch is still recognized as the country’s head of state. Greenland is still considered a part of Denmark and is not recognized as an official separate country. Technically, it is a constituent autonomous state: a self-governing political unit that remains under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Denmark.

Internationally Recognized Countries

National borders and sovereignties are continuously evolving, but our list of independent states below offers a pretty thorough view of the world’s geopolitical demarcations as they now stand. Please keep in mind that we do not claim that this list is the ONLY answer; rather, it is the best answer we can provide given the facts we have.

NOTE: Only countries recognized (as such) by the United Nations are listed, not dependencies and/or territories.

England, Scotland, and Wales are all regarded independent nations, yet they are all part of the United Kingdom (UK), a European country, and are so included on the list below.

Note: South Sudan is the planet’s newest country, which brings Africa’s country to a total of 54.


  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

ASIA (44)

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • East Timor
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea, North
  • Korea, South
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen


  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City


  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States


  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu


  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *