Top 10 Smallest Countries in the World 2020

By contrast, the total population of the world's smallest countries is only just under 300,000. The smallest country in the world is Vatican City, the small enclave within the Italian city of Rome that is ruled by the Pope and home to just over 800 people.


1. Vatican City


Vatican City

Population: 1,000 (2017)

Official languages: Italian. Latin

Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It's home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.


2. Nauru


Nauru

Population: 13,649 (2017)

Official languages: English, nauruan

Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia. It features a coral reef and white-sand beaches fringed with palms, including Anibare Bay on the east coast. Inland, tropical vegetation surrounds Buada Lagoon. The rocky outcrop of Command Ridge, the island's highest point, has a rusty Japanese outpost from WWII. The underground freshwater lake of Moqua Well lies amid the limestone Moqua Caves.


3. Tuvalu


Tuvalu

Population: 11,192 (2017)

Official languages: English, Tuvaluan

Tuvalu, in the South Pacific, is an independent island nation within the British Commonwealth. Its 9 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 snorkelling among sea turtles and tropical fish, plus several uninhabited islets sheltering sea birds.


4. Palau


Palau

Population: 21,729 (2017)

Languages: English, Palauan

Palau is an archipelago of over 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean. Koror Island is home to the former capital, also named Koror, and is the islands’ commercial center. The larger Babeldaob has the present capital, Ngerulmud, plus mountains and sandy beaches on its east coast. In its north, ancient basalt monoliths known as Badrulchau lie in grassy fields surrounded by palm trees.


5. Monaco


Monaco

Population: 38,695 (2017)

Official language: French

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is about 15 km from the state border with Italy.


6. San Marino


San Marino

Population: 33,400 (2017)

Official language: Italian

San Marino is a mountainous microstate surrounded by north-central Italy. Among the world’s oldest republics, it retains much of its historic 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, castlelike citadels dating to the 11th century, sit atop Titano’s neighboring peaks.


7. Liechtenstein


Liechtenstein

Population: 38,557 (2019)

Official language: German

Liechtenstein is a German-speaking, 25km-long principality between Austria and Switzerland. It’s known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes and villages linked by a network of trails. The capital, Vaduz, a cultural and financial center, is home to Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, with galleries of modern and contemporary art. The Postmuseum displays Liechtenstein’s postage stamps.


8. Saint Kitts and Nevis


Saint Kitts and Nevis

Population: 55,345 (2017)

Official language: English

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It's known for cloud-shrouded mountains and beaches. Many of its former sugar plantations are now inns or atmospheric ruins. The larger of the 2 islands, Saint Kitts, is dominated by the dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, home to a crater lake, green vervet monkeys and rainforest crisscrossed with hiking trails.


9. Marshall Islands


Marshall Islands

Population: 53,127 (2017)

Language: Marshallese

The Marshall Islands are a sprawling chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in the central Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and the Philippines. In the northwest, Bikini Atoll’s largely undisturbed waters, used as a ship graveyard after World War II, are now a popular wreck dive site. Near Majuro Atoll, which holds the islands' capital and largest settlement, the coral reef at Kalalin Pass teems with marine life.


10. Dominica


Dominica

Population: 73,925 (2017)

Vernacular languages: Dominican Creole French

Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the volcanically heated, steam-covered Boiling Lake. The park also encompasses sulphur vents, the 65m-tall Trafalgar Falls and narrow Titou Gorge. To the west is Dominica’s capital, Roseau, with colorful timber houses and botanic gardens.

See also: Top 10 Best Countries in the World 2020: World Report.


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