Having visited 6 of the countries on this list including 5 in the top 10 I thought I would compile the ultimate list of the world’s tiniest countries from 20 down to 1.
20 Singapore 719km² (278 miles²)
Singapore is in South East Asia and lies at the tip of the Southernmost tip of continental Asia and is the World’s only island city-state and lie 1 degree north of the Equator. It has been independent since 1963 when it gained independence from Britain after 137 years of rule. The highest point in Singapore, Bukit Timah, is 163m high which means that a number of its skyscrapers are taller than this natural peak. It is also the second most densely populated country in the world with about 7600 people per square kilometre compared with Mongolia which has just two.
19 Federated States of Micronesia 702km² (271 miles²)
Federated States of Micronesia/FSM/Micronesia is an independent island nation situated in the West Pacific Ocean and is comprised of 607 islands, spread across more than 2,600,000km2. The official language is English but many of the islands have their own languages.
18 Saint Lucia 616km² (238 miles²)
Saint Lucia is a sovereign island nation in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. France were the first European Settlers in 1660 but the English took control in 1663 and then for the next 150 years it changed hands between the French and English 14 times with Britain finally taking control in 1814 and only gained independence in 1979. Naturally both French and English are widely spoken on the island.
17 Andorra 468km² (181 miles²)
Officially called the Principality of Andorra or the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, it is a landlocked country in South West Europe, between France and Spain, in the Pyrenees. It is the 6th smallest country in Europe and the capital, Andorra la Vella is the highest capital in Europe at an altitude of 1023m. It is not a member of the EU but does use the Euro as currency and in 2013 its residents had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years. Andorra is probably the most peaceful country on Earth having not been at war for almost 1000 years although Andorra did declare war on Germany in WWI but never sent anyone into the conflict. Given Andorra’s lack of participation in WWI they were forgotten about in the Treaty of Versailles and didn’t officially declare peace with Germany until 1957!
16 Palau 459km² (177 miles²)
An island country located in the Western Pacific, it is made up of 250 islands which its population of 21,000 is spread across. In 1947 it was assigned to US administration and was tied economically to the States until 1994 when they gained full independence, they still use the US dollar.
15 Seychelles 452km² (175 miles²) – Smallest country in Africa
The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The 115 island country’s capital is Victoria and lies 1,500km east of mainland Africa. James Bond author Ian Fleming visited the Seychelles in 1958 looking for adventure and inspiration for his then-latest collection of stories, For Your Eyes Only. It was granted independence in 1976 as a republic within the commonwealth.
14 Antigua and Barbuda 442km² (171 miles²)
A twin island country situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and has a population of just over 90,000. The culture and governance have been strongly influenced by the British Empire, of which it was formally part of until 1981 and they still have God Save the Queen as their National Anthem.
13 Barbados 430km² (170 miles²)
Barbados is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, East of the Caribbean Sea. It was settled by the British in 1625 and flew the British flag until its independence in 1966. A little known fact is that the singer Rhianna was born here before she moved to the USA aged 16.
12 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389km² (150 miles²)
Like Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies in the Windward Islands and lies where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic. Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world it still boasts 5 airports on its 32 islands.
11 Grenada 344km² (133 miles²)
Yet another Caribbean/Atlantic border country Grenada is made up of 7 islands. Grenada is a leading producer of several different spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice, orange/citrus peels, wild coffee used by the locals, and especially nutmeg, providing 20% of the World’s supply.
10 Malta 316km² (122 miles²)
Malta is a Southern European island country comprising an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, 80km south of Italy. King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the country’s bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Malta’s national flag.
9 Maldives 300km² (120 miles²) – Smallest country in Asia
Republic of Maldives is an island nation and archipelago in the Indian Ocean, South West of India and Sri Lanka. Not only is this the smallest country in Asia but it also has the smallest population of any Asian country. Even though it was part of the British Empire until 1965 it is a predominantly Muslim country and with rising sea levels the whole country might find itself underwater as the country’s highest point is just 2.4m high, the lowest high point of any country in the world.
8 Saint Kitts and Nevis 261km² (101 miles²) – Smallest country in the Americas
This country situated in the West Indies is the smallest country in size and population in the Americas. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with the British Monarch as its head of state. People on St Kitts are called Kittitians and on Nevis they are called Nevisians and the islands are separated by 3km of water.
7 Marshall Islands 181km² (70 miles²)
Republic of Marshall Islands is an island country located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line comprised of 1,156 individual islands and islets. The motto of the country is jepilpilin ke ejukaan (don’t ask me for a pronunciation), which means “accomplishment through joint effort.”
6 Liechtenstein 160km² (62 miles²)
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a German speaking microstate in Central Europe and one of only two double landlocked countries (the other being Uzbekistan). Randomly it is the World’s largest producer of false teeth, producing more than 20% of total worldwide sales. It’s not a very violent country with the last murder being in 1997.
5 San Marino 61km² (24 miles²)
The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is an enclave microstate in Italy. San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301. Most people have only heard of San Marino if they have followed the Euros, they are famous for being one of the lowest raking clubs in the World. Embarrassing for me (and any other Englishman) is that San Marino have only ever scored 21 goals but do hold the record for the fastest goal in the World Cup in Fifa history when they scored in 8.3 seconds against England, they went on to lose the match 7-1.
4 Tuvualu 26km² (10 miles²) – Smallest Commonwealth realm
Tuvalu formerly known as the Ellice Islands is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. In 1978 independence was granted by the British but remains a Commonwealth realm. On 5 September 2000 Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations.
3 Nauru 21km² (8.1 miles²) – Smallest Island Nation
Formally known as Pleasant Island Nauru has managed to squeeze an airport as well as 30km of roadways onto the island. Nauru is officially the World’s fattest nation with Nauru’s average citizen having a BMI of between 34 and 35. It is also the least visited country in the world. It had only 200 tourists in 2011.
2 Monaco 2.02km² (0.78 miles²) – Smallest country with a coast line
The Principality of Monaco is in Western Europe, bordered by France on 3 sides and the Mediterranean on the 4th. A well-known microstate which hosts a Formula 1 race on its streets each season and is also the home of the World renowned Monte Carlo Casino which has been the filming location for 3 James Bond films (Casino Royal, Never Say Never Again and Golden Eye).
1 Vatican City 0.44km² (0.17 miles²) – Smallest country in the world
With a population of 842 it is unsurprising that Vatican City is the smallest country in size and population. The Vatican City is only one of two countries in the World (the other being the Philippines) which has no procedure for divorce. In these two countries, laws only allow annulment of marriages. The Vatican City has a football team but isn’t a member of Fifa, its team is made up of police officers, postal workers, government officials (unfortunately I don’t think you will see the Pope donning a kit anytime soon).