The Ultimate Guide to the Complete List of Countries in the World for Travelers and Geography Enthusiasts

The world is home to a vast array of countries, each with its own unique culture, history, and geography. From the bustling cities of the United States to the remote villages of Bhutan, there are countless destinations waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, discovering the diversity of our planet’s nations is an enriching experience that can broaden your perspective on life. Join us as we explore some of the most fascinating countries in the world.

How Many Countries Are There in the World?

The Definition of a Country

The answer to this question depends on how one defines a country. The United Nations recognizes 193 member states, but some sources may include other entities that are not recognized by all countries or international organizations. For example, Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, but it is recognized as a sovereign state by some countries.

The Debate Over the Number of Countries

There is ongoing debate over the number of countries in the world and which entities should be included. Some sources may include territories or dependencies that are not fully independent, while others may exclude certain regions that have declared independence but are not widely recognized. This can lead to varying numbers depending on the source.

List of Countries by Continent

Here is a list of countries by continent according to the United Nations:

Africa: 54
Asia: 48
Europe: 44
North America: 23
Oceania: 14
South America: 12

It’s important to note that this list includes only those countries recognized by the United Nations and does not necessarily reflect other definitions of what constitutes a country.

The History and Membership of the United Nations

The Founding of the United Nations

The United Nations was founded in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II as an international organization dedicated to promoting peace and cooperation among nations. It replaced the failed League of Nations, which had been established after World War I but was unable to prevent another global conflict.

The Role and Structure of the UN

The UN has several main bodies, including:

– The General Assembly: Comprised of all member states, it serves as a forum for countries to discuss and coordinate on international issues.
– The Security Council: Responsible for maintaining international peace and security, the Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) with veto power over resolutions.
– The International Court of Justice: The principal judicial organ of the UN, it settles legal disputes between states.

Membership in the UN

The United Nations currently has 193 member states. To become a member state, a country must follow certain procedures outlined in the UN Charter. This includes submitting an application to the Secretary-General and being recommended by the Security Council before being approved by a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly.

Newest Countries in the World and Their Independence Dates

South Sudan

South Sudan is currently recognized as the newest country in the world. It gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011 after decades of conflict. South Sudan’s independence was recognized by most countries around the world.


Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. While Kosovo is recognized as an independent country by many countries around the world, including the United States and most European Union member states, Serbia still considers it a province within its borders.


Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) gained independence from Indonesia on May 20, 2002 after years of struggle against Indonesian occupation. Today it is recognized as an independent country by most nations around the world.

Geopolitical Changes: How Borders and Countries Have Shifted Over Time

The Breakup of Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was a socialist state in southeastern Europe that existed from 1945 until its breakup in the early 1990s. The country was made up of six republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Following the death of longtime leader Josip Broz Tito in 1980, tensions between the various ethnic groups within Yugoslavia began to rise. This eventually led to a series of wars and conflicts that resulted in the breakup of Yugoslavia into several independent countries.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was a communist state that existed from 1922 until its collapse in 1991. It was made up of several republics located primarily in eastern Europe and Asia. The collapse of the Soviet Union was largely due to economic problems and political unrest within the country. After its collapse, many new countries emerged from within its borders, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and others.

The Creation of Israel

Israel is a small country located in the Middle East that was established as a homeland for Jewish people following World War II. Its creation was controversial and led to conflict with neighboring Arab countries who opposed its existence. Today Israel is recognized as an independent country by most nations around the world.

Factors That Affect a Country’s Ranking on Global Indices

Economic Indicators

A country’s economy is often one of the primary factors used to rank it on global indices. Economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment rate, inflation rate, and income inequality can all impact a country’s ranking. Countries with strong economies are often seen as more stable and attractive for investment.

Social Indicators

Social indicators such as education level, healthcare access, life expectancy, and crime rates can also affect a country’s ranking on global indices. Countries with strong social indicators are often seen as more developed and desirable places to live.

Political Indicators

Political stability, government effectiveness, and corruption levels can also impact a country’s ranking on global indices. Countries with stable political systems and effective governance are often seen as more attractive for investment and development. Low levels of corruption are also seen as important for creating an environment that is conducive to economic growth and social progress.

In conclusion, the list of countries in the world is extensive and diverse, showcasing the unique cultures, histories, and geographies of each nation. It serves as a reminder of the vastness and complexity of our global community.


Are there 256 countries in the world?

The world has 195 countries, with 193 being member states of the United Nations and 2 being non-member observer states (the Holy See and the State of Palestine).

Are there 195 countries in the world today?

The number of total countries in the world is a matter of debate, with some sources stating there are 195 countries recognized by the United Nations. These 195 countries are considered UN member states. However, there are two additional countries, Palestine and Vatican City, that are not UN members but are still widely recognized as countries.

How many countries are in A to Z?

From A to Z, there are currently 195 independent sovereign nations in the world (excluding Taiwan, which is disputed but de facto independent, as well as about 60 dependent areas and a few disputed territories like Kosovo) since South Sudan gained independence on July 9th, 2011.

How many countries in america?

There are 35 countries in the Americas, along with several dependent territories.

Why is there no 2nd world countries?

Less developed countries with lower per capita income are considered developing countries. While the term “First World” is still used to describe powerful Western economies, the term “Second World” is no longer commonly used since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Is there a 2 world country?

Second-world countries, as defined by this classification, include a majority of Latin and South American nations, Turkey, Thailand, South Africa, and several others. When referring to second-world countries that are on the path towards becoming first-world nations, investors may use the term “emerging markets” instead.

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