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Ali Ghadamkheir
Ali Ghadamkheir

World Regions and Countries: A Comprehensive Guide - Nations Encyclopedia




All Countries: A Guide to the World's Nations




Have you ever wondered how many countries there are in the world? Or what makes a country different from other political entities? Or what are some of the most interesting facts about different countries? If you are curious about the world and its diversity, this article is for you. In this article, you will learn what a country is, how many countries there are in the world, how countries are classified, and some fascinating facts about different countries. You will also find some resources to help you learn more about different countries. So, let's get started!


What is a country?




A country is a political entity that has a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and the ability to enter into relations with other countries. A country is also known as a state, a nation, or a sovereign state. However, not all political entities that meet these criteria are considered as countries by the international community. For example, Taiwan, Kosovo, and Palestine are not recognized as countries by some or all of the other countries in the world. On the other hand, some political entities that do not meet these criteria are considered as countries by the international community. For example, Vatican City, Monaco, and Nauru are recognized as countries even though they have very small territories and populations. Therefore, the definition of a country is not always clear-cut and may depend on various factors such as history, culture, politics, and law.




all countries



How many countries are there in the world?




The official list of countries




The most widely accepted list of countries in the world is based on the membership of the United Nations (UN), an international organization that aims to maintain peace and security, promote cooperation, and protect human rights. As of June 2023, there are 193 member states of the UN. However, this list does not include two observer states of the UN: the Holy See (the seat of the Catholic Church) and the State of Palestine (a partially recognized state that claims sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip). Therefore, if we include these two observer states, there are 195 countries in the world according to the UN list.


The disputed and unrecognized countries




However, the UN list does not reflect the reality of some regions in the world where there are disputes or conflicts over sovereignty and recognition. There are several political entities that claim to be independent countries but are not recognized by most or all of the other countries in the world. Some of these entities have de facto control over their territories and have established their own governments, while others have limited or no control over their territories and rely on external support. Some examples of these disputed and unrecognized countries are:


  • Taiwan: A self-governing island that is claimed by China as part of its territory. Taiwan has its own constitution, president, parliament, military, and currency. However, it is only recognized by 15 other countries.



  • Kosovo: A landlocked region in Southeast Europe that declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 after a violent conflict. Kosovo has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is only recognized by 98 other countries.



  • Somaliland: A self-declared republic in East Africa that broke away from Somalia in 1991 after a civil war. Somaliland has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is not recognized by any other country.



There are many other disputed and unrecognized countries in the world such as Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria: A narrow strip of land between Moldova and Ukraine that declared its independence from Moldova in 1990 after a brief war. Transnistria has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is not recognized by any other country.


Northern Cyprus: A self-proclaimed republic in the northern part of the island of Cyprus that split from the Republic of Cyprus in 1974 after a Turkish invasion. Northern Cyprus has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is only recognized by Turkey.


South Ossetia: A mountainous region in the South Caucasus that declared its independence from Georgia in 1991 after a violent conflict. South Ossetia has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is only recognized by Russia and four other countries.


Western Sahara: A disputed territory in North Africa that was colonized by Spain until 1975 and then claimed by Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a self-proclaimed state led by the Polisario Front, a liberation movement. Western Sahara has its own government, flag, anthem, and currency. However, it is only recognized by 40 other countries.


These are just some of the examples of the complex and dynamic situation of the world's countries. There are many other factors that affect the recognition and status of countries such as historical ties, cultural affinities, geopolitical interests, economic benefits, and human rights issues.


List of countries in the world in alphabetical order[^1^]


Alphabetical list of countries and their population[^2^]


Countries and regions of the world with official names and alternative designations[^3^]


World map showing all countries and their capitals


List of countries by continent and subregion


Countries and territories of the world by area and population density


List of countries by GDP (nominal) and GDP (PPP) per capita


Countries and dependencies of the world by human development index (HDI)


List of countries by life expectancy and health indicators


Countries and regions of the world by political system and type of government


List of countries by literacy rate and education level


Countries and territories of the world by languages spoken and official languages


List of countries by culture and religion


Countries and regions of the world by natural resources and environmental issues


List of countries by climate and weather patterns


Countries and territories of the world by tourism attractions and destinations


List of countries by international rankings and global competitiveness


Countries and regions of the world by history and origin of name


List of countries by national symbols and flags


Countries and territories of the world by currency and exchange rate


List of countries by military expenditure and armed forces


Countries and regions of the world by foreign relations and alliances


List of countries by trade balance and export/import partners


Countries and territories of the world by internet usage and penetration