The Vatican City, Monaco, and Nauru are some of the smallest countries in the world.
Many of the smallest nations are found in tropical locations on coral atolls and some are being swallowed by the sea due to global warming.
Some of the world’s countries are located on less than one square mile.
You may think of a nation as being a large area full of cities, towns, wide-open fields, lakes, and rivers.
Many countries on Earth do fit this description.
Some others are so small geographically, however, they present unique landscapes that may redefine your ideas of what constitutes a nation.
From European city-states to remote tropical islands, and castle-filled valleys, here are the ten smallest countries in the world by total land area.
1. Vatican City
Vatican City is the world’s smallest nation-state, also called a city-state.
It also has the distinction of being the global headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
Located in the middle of Rome, Italy, this historical enclave is home to the Holy See, which is another name for the government of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Pope is the head of this administration, and his authority extends over all Catholics worldwide.
So, specifically how small is this country?
Vatican City actually occupies less than one square mile and has a population of between just 800 and 900 people.
Yes, it is amazingly tiny, covering just 49 hectares.
As an independent country, Vatican City does boast of its own post office as well as a telephone system, a banking system, and a radio station, among other signs of nationhood.
Its currency is the Vatican Euro, which is now accepted throughout Eurozone.
Vatican City is a hub of iconic art and culture.
Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed Laocoon and His Sons as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.
Monaco is a sovereign principality situated within the Mediterranean Sea, in the French Riviera.
France covers Monaco by land, and the Mediterranean is on its eastern coast. Known as a tax haven for the very rich, Monaco is also so small geographically.
The country occupies less than one square mile, covering 02 hectares.
Its main industry is tourism, and people flock to its quarters to gamble in Monaco’s popular casinos, lie on its luxurious beaches, go boating, and see the car racing events like the Grand Prix de Monaco.
The country is a center to strong banking, real estate, and finance sectors, and is ruled by Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi, also known as Prince Albert II.
The Grimaldi family has ruled Monaco off and on since the late 1200s.
Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera close to the Italian region of Liguria, in Western Europe.
Bordered by France to the north, east, and west, it is lapped by the Mediterranean Sea close to the south.
The principality is home to 38,6682 residents, of whom 9,486 are Monegasque nationals.
It is widely recognized for being one of the most expensive and wealthiest places in the world.
The official language is French, although Monegasque ( a dialect of Ligurian), Italian, and English are spoken and understood by a sizeable group
Just 25 miles south of the equator, Nauru is a raised coral island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
Containing about 12 square miles (20 square km), this country has a population of between 12,000 and 13,000 people, most of whom are indigenous Nauruans.
Nauru is commonly considered to be one of the highly westernized islands of the South Pacific, and about four-fifths of its people describe themselves as Christian, the result of missionaries who arrived on the island in the late 1800s.
Phosphate mining dominated this country’s economy for much of the 20th century, with Britain, New Zealand, and Australia running the industry within Nauru’s borders.
Almost all the manufactured items, food, and even water on Nauru are imported, namely from Australia.
Phospate is their only exporter.
Tuvalu has been called the sinking country.
It consists of a small archipelago of coral islands in the west-central Pacific Ocean that covers about 420 miles (676 km) from northwest to southwest.
Rising ocean levels are slowly covering its land due to how global warming is increasing water levels and because Tuvalu’s coral is dying and coastlines are eroding into the sea.
Scientists predict that this island country could become inhabitable in the next 50 to 100 ears.
Ironically, the nation suffers from drought, and can no longer sustain itself through crops grown on its land as the heat continues.
Most people from its population of about 11,500 now choose to immigrate to nearby countries like New Zealand for a better future.
Tuvalu, in the South Pacific, is an independent island nation within the British Commonwealth.
Its islands comprise small, thinly populated atolls and reef islands with palm-fringed beaches and WWII sites.
Off Funafuti, the capital, the Funafuti Conservation Area offers calm waters for diving and snorkeling among sea turtles and tropical fish, plus several uninhabited islets sheltering sea birds.
5. San Marino
Located as a landlocked republic in the center of Italy, Sam Marino is home to about 33,785 Sammarinese people.
Italian is the official spoken language, and many people living there are Roman Catholics, although the country has no official religion.
Tourism and culture are very important to this country that I largely urban.
Prominent social programs ensure all citizens get quality medical care, free education up until 16 years of age, and even help with owning a home.
Surprisingly, San Marino dates back to before the Renaissance and is a remnant of Italy’s self-governing city-states.
It started as a refugee camp for Christians escaping persecution.
San Marino is a mountainous microstate surrounded by north central Italy.
Among the world’s oldest republics, it retains much of its ancestral architecture.
On the slopes of Monte Titano sits the capital, also called San Marino, known for its medieval walled old town and narrow cobblestone streets.
The Three Towers, castle-like citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighboring peaks.
Situated between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein covers about 0 square miles (160 sq km) and contains around 38,000 and 39,000 people.
The Alps characterize this small nation headed by a constitutional monarchy.
Tourism, sponsored by the government, is a heading part of its economy, as well as foreign banking, is known for maintaining the secrecy of its clients.
7. Marshall Islands
Just as the other island nations on our list, the Marshall Islands are chains of coral atolls situated near the Equator.
Taking up just 70 sq miles (181 sq km), these islands that sum up to more than 1,000 contain about 58,500 people.
The US gives support to the Marshall Islands and controls the area’s security and defense while using the territory as a military base and missile test range.
Like Tuvalu, these islands are also sinking into the sea.
8. Saint Kitts and Nevis
A tropical paradise, this small country is located in the eastern Caribbean sea covering 104 square miles (269 sq km) spread across two islands.
Surrounded by coral reefs, most residents are of African ancestry.
The sugarcane industry was once dominant in the country bt now tourism is the leading force.
The British and French have ruled this country at different points in history but Saint Kitts is now a sovereign member of the Commonwealth.
Also another luxurious tropical spot, the Maldives is known for its top notch beaches, urban landscapes, resorts, and snorkeling.
Found in the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Africa, this country claims its spot as the lowest-lying nation in the world at just four feet above sea level.
There are 26 atolls in the Maldives, and over 1,100 islands, of which less than one-third are inhabited by people.
Over 500,000 people live in the Maldives, which contains 114 square miles (297 sq km).
If you love the idea of turbulent history, the Mediterranean Sea, foreign traditions, and a confirmed location in terms of World Wars, along with hospitable people, Malta is your destination.
Found in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta Is an island country that has been ruled by everyone from the Romans and Greeks, to the Arabs, Sicilians, French, British, and more.
Accepted to the European Union in 2004, today Malta has one of the highest population densities in the world.
Shipbuilding and repair, finance, tourism, agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing form its diverse economy.
The smallest nations in the world make up a thrilling and varied group.
Most of them are tropical locations found far out at sea, but some are landlocked countries formed on tiny pockets of land in mountains or on coastlines.
Strongly holding onto their sovereignty, these small spaces strive with old histories in a modern world.