20 Smallest Countries in the World at a Glance

The smallest countries in the world may be alike in terms of area or population, but their landscapes and cultures differ quite a bit. Some small countries are located on remote tropical islands, while others can be found inside even larger countries! Learn more about the 20 smallest countries in the world, including which country is actually the smallest on the globe.

outlines of countries Vatican City, Monaco, and Nauru as smallest countries outlines of countries Vatican City, Monaco, and Nauru as smallest countries
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What Is the Smallest Country in the World?

At only 0.17 square miles, Vatican City tops the list of the smallest countries in the world. Its official name is Vatican City State, and it is also referred to as the Holy See. While you may think of Vatican City State as being part of Rome, it is actually a sovereign nation.

20 Smallest Countries by Area

Vatican City State is the same size as four average city blocks. In fact, it’s over 7,000 times smaller than the smallest U.S. State, Rhode Island! The 20 smallest countries by area include independent city-states located in landlocked enclaves, islands in the Caribbean, independent republics in the continent of Oceania, and other locations around the world.

Country

Location

Area in Square Miles

Vatican City State

Enclave of Rome

0.17

Monaco

French Riviera

0.78

Nauru

Oceania

8.1

Tuvalu

Oceania

10

San Marino

Enclave of Italy

24

Liechtenstein

Europe

52

Marshall Islands

Oceania

70

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Caribbean Sea

101

Maldives

Indian Ocean

115

Malta

Mediterranean

122

Grenada

Caribbean Sea

133

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Caribbean Sea

150

Barbados

Caribbean Sea

166

Antigua and Barbuda

Caribbean Sea

171

Seychelles

Indian Ocean

176

Palau

Oceania

177

Andorra

Europe

181

Saint Lucia

Caribbean Sea

234

Singapore

Asia

265

Micronesia

Oceania

271

20 Smallest Countries by Population

Some of the smallest countries by area also have the smallest populations. For example, just over 800 people live in Vatican City, making it the smallest city by both area and population.

However, many countries with small populations have large areas because much of the country’s territory is uninhabitable. While birth rates, immigration and other demographic changes can change a country’s population, these 20 countries generally have the lowest populations in the world.

Country

Location

Population (as of 2021)

Vatican City State

Enclave of Rome

801

Nauru

Oceania

10,824

Tuvalu

Oceania

11,792

San Marino

Enclave of Italy

33,931

Liechtenstein

Europe

38,128

Monaco

French Riviera

39,242

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Caribbean Sea

53,199

Marshall Islands

Oceania

59,190

Dominica

Caribbean Sea

71,986

Andorra

Europe

77,265

Antigua and Barbuda

Caribbean Sea

97,929

Seychelles

Indian Ocean

98,347

Tonga

Oceania

105,695

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Caribbean Sea

110,940

Grenada

Caribbean Sea

112,523

Kiribati

Oceania

119,449

St. Lucia

Caribbean Sea

183,267

Samoa

Oceania

198,414

Sao Tome and Principe

Gulf of Guinea

219,159

Barbados

Caribbean Sea

287,375

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Facts About the Smallest Countries

These countries may be small, but they’re not short on interesting facts! Learn more about the smallest countries in the world.

Explore the World’s Countries, Big and Small

Whether you’re planning to travel to these tiny areas or you’re curious about the people who live there, understanding the range of countries around the world can be helpful and educational. Now that you’ve seen the smallest countries in the world, check out a list of the largest cities in the world. Many of them are as large (or larger) than entire countries!