20 Smallest Countries in the World at a Glance

The largest countries in the world get a lot of attention, but considering the smallest ones is also quite interesting. You just might be surprised to find out what's the smallest country in the world by population and area both. It's a place you've almost definitely heard of, but you may not even realize that it's actually a country. Ready to find out?

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Smallest Country in the World

With just over 800 residents, Vatican City is the smallest country in the world by population, as well as by area. Its official name is Vatican City State, and it is also referred to as the Holy See. While you may think of Vatican City as being part of Rome, it is actually a sovereign nation.

20 Smallest Countries by Population

Vatican City is not the only small country on planet Earth. Discover the top 20 smallest nations in order by population. When you review the following list, keep in mind that population statistics can shift from time to time. Things like birth rates and the number of people moving in or out of a country can quickly cause population statistics to change. The data used to compile the lists below are current as of mid-2021.

Country

Continent

Population

1. Vatican City State/Holy See

Europe

801

2. Tokelau

Oceania

1,357

3. Niue

Oceania

1,626

4. Falkland Islands

South America

3,480

5. Montserrat

North America

4,992

6. Saint Pierre and Miquelon

North America

5,794

7. Saint Helena

South America

6,077

8. Saint Barthelemy

North America

9,877

9. Republic of Nauru

Oceania

10,824

10. Wallis and Futuna

Oceania

11,239

11, Tuvalu

Oceania

11,792

12. Anguilla

North America

15,003

13. Cook Islands

Oceania

17,564

14. Palau

Oceania

18,094

15. Caribbean Netherlands

South America

26,223

16. British Virgin Islands

North America

30,231

17. Gibraltar

Europe

33,691

18. San Marino

Europe

33,931

19. Liechtenstein

Europe

38,128

20. Saint Martin

North America

36,666

20 Smallest Countries By Area

Considering country size by area requires looking at the actual amount of land within the borders of each nation. This generally remains constant, unless a nation annexes land from another country or part of it is annexed. Notice that the top two smallest countries by area are also the top two by population. Beyond that, the population and area lists do not mirror each other.

Country

Continent

Area (in square kilometers)

1. Vatican City State/Holy See

Europe

less than 1

2. Monaco

Europe

1

3. Gibraltar

Oceania

10

4. Tokelau

Oceania

20

5. NauruOceania20

6. Saint Barthelemy

North America

21

7. MacauAsia30

8. Tuvalu

Oceania

30

9. BermudaNorth America50

10. Saint Martin

North America

53

11. San Marino

Europe

60

12. Anguilla

North America

90

13. Montserrat

North America

100

14. Wallis and Futuna

Oceania

140

15. British Virgin Islands

North America

150

16. Liechtenstein

Europe

160

17. ArubaSouth America180
18. Marshall IslandsOceania180

19. Channel Islands

Europe

190

20. American Samoa

Oceania

200

Insights About the Smallest Countries

Were you surprised by what nations are on this list of the smallest countries? Isn't it interesting that the order isn't the same for area and population? That means that some countries have more people per square kilometer than others. This could indicate that a country tends to be very crowded, or it could mean that the majority of the land in the country is inhabited. When the reverse is true, such that a country with a large area has fewer people per square kilometer, that could mean that much of the land in the country is wilderness or otherwise unpopulated.

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Learning About the World's Countries

Now that you know what is the smallest country in the world by both area and population, it's a great time to learn more interesting facts about different countries. Start by exploring this interesting list of all of the countries in the world. After you've familiarized yourself with that list, review the various abbreviations used for different nations. You may also be interested in finding out about the most common languages spoken in the world. When the entire world is your topic, there is plenty to learn and explore.