Countries and Sovereign States

General Reference Section

by Jayaram V

The term "country" can refer to a sovereign state or a geographical region which is identified as a distinct entity for political and sovereign purposes. According to modern definitions, there is no hard and fast definition of what regions are countries and which are not. From this perspective, a country may be an independent sovereign state, a political entity or an autonomous part of a larger state. For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states.”

The degree of autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely. Some are possessions of sovereign states, as several states have overseas territories (such as French Polynesia or the British Virgin Islands), with citizenry at times identical and at times distinct from their own. Such territories, with the exception of distinct dependent territories, are usually listed together with sovereign states on lists of countries, but may nonetheless be treated as a separate "country of origin" in international trade, as Hong Kong is.

Because of such fluid definition of what constitutes a country and disputes over the sovereign status of certain regions in the world, there is no universal agreement on the number of "countries" in the world. According to one estimate, there are 206 sovereign states in the world, Of them 193 states are members of the United Nations, two states (the Holy See and Palestine) have observer status at the U.N. and 11 others do not enjoy any these statuses. South Sudan is the latest proclaimed state in 2011.

 Etymology

The word country comes from Old French contrée, which derives from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite"; "(land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite"). It most likely entered the English language after the Franco-Norman invasion during the 11th century.

In English the word has increasingly become associated with political divisions, so that one sense, associated with the indefinite article – "a country" – through misuse and subsequent conflation is now a synonym for state, or a former sovereign state, in the sense of sovereign territory or "district, native land".[5] Areas much smaller than a political state may be called by names such as the West Country in England, the Black Country (a heavily industrialized part of England), "Constable Country" (a part of East Anglia painted by John Constable), the "big country" (used in various contexts of the American West), "coal country" (used of parts of the US and elsewhere) and many other terms.[6]

The equivalent terms in French and other Romance languages (pays and variants) have not carried the process of being identified with political sovereign states as far as the English "country", instead derived from, pagus, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count, a title originally granted by the Roman Church. In many European countries the words are used for sub-divisions of the national territory, as in the German Bundesländer, as well as a less formal term for a sovereign state. France has very many "pays" that are officially recognised at some level, and are either natural regions, like the Pays de Bray, or reflect old political or economic entities, like the Pays de la Loire.

A version of "country" can be found in the modern French language as contrée, based on the word cuntrée in Old French,[6] that is used similarly to the word "pays" to define non-state regions, but can also be used to describe a political state in some particular cases. The modern Italian contrada is a word with its meaning varying locally, but usually meaning a ward or similar small division of a town, or a village or hamlet in the countryside.

UN member states and observer states

Disclaimer: The following list is for information purposes and does not constitute final. Some States which are listed here may not have been recognized by all member states. Nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. Although we have taken every care in preparing it, we cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.

  1. Afghanistan – Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  2. Albania – Republic of Albania
  3. Algeria – People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
  4. Andorra – Principality of Andorra
  5. Angola – Republic of Angola
  6. Antigua and Barbuda
  7. Argentina – Argentine Republic[g]
  8. Armenia – Republic of Armenia
  9. Australia – Commonwealth of Australia
  10. Austria – Republic of Austria
  11. Azerbaijan – Republic of Azerbaijan
  12. Bahamas, The – Commonwealth of The Bahamas[8]
  13. Bahrain – Kingdom of Bahrain
  14. Bangladesh – People's Republic of Bangladesh
  15. Barbados
  16. Belarus – Republic of Belarus
  17. Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium
  18. Belize
  19. Benin – Republic of Benin
  20. Bhutan – Kingdom of Bhutan
  21. Bolivia – Plurinational State of Bolivia
  22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23. Botswana – Republic of Botswana
  24. Brazil – Federative Republic of Brazil
  25. Brunei – Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace
  26. Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria
  27. Burkina Faso
  28. Burundi – Republic of Burundi
  29. Cambodia – Kingdom of Cambodia
  30. Cameroon – Republic of Cameroon
  31. Canada[h]
  32. Cape Verde – Republic of Cabo Verde[i]
  33. Central African Republic
  34. Chad – Republic of Chad
  35. Chile – Republic of Chile
  36. China – People's Republic of China[j]
  37. Colombia – Republic of Colombia
  38. Comoros – Union of the Comoros
  39. Congo, Democratic Republic of the[n]
  40. Congo, Republic of the[o]
  41. Costa Rica – Republic of Costa Rica
  42. Croatia – Republic of Croatia
  43. Cuba – Republic of Cuba
  44. Cyprus – Republic of Cyprus
  45. Czech Republic[p]
  46. Denmark – Kingdom of Denmark
  47. Djibouti – Republic of Djibouti
  48. Dominica – Commonwealth of Dominica
  49. Dominican Republic
  50. East Timor – Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste[r]
  51. Ecuador – Republic of Ecuador
  52. Egypt – Arab Republic of Egypt
  53. El Salvador – Republic of El Salvador
  54. Equatorial Guinea – Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  55. Eritrea – State of Eritrea
  56. Estonia – Republic of Estonia
  57. Eswatini – Kingdom of Eswatini[s]
  58. Ethiopia – Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  59. Fiji – Republic of Fiji
  60. Finland – Republic of Finland
  61. France – French Republic
  62. Gabon – Gabonese Republic
  63. Gambia Gambia, The – Republic of The Gambia[17]
  64. Georgia
  65. Germany – Federal Republic of Germany
  66. Ghana – Republic of Ghana
  67. Greece – Hellenic Republic
  68. Grenada
  69. Guatemala – Republic of Guatemala
  70. Guinea – Republic of Guinea[u]
  71. Guinea-Bissau – Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  72. Guyana – Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  73. Haiti – Republic of Haiti
  74. Honduras – Republic of Honduras
  75. Hungary
  76. Iceland[v]
  77. India – Republic of India
  78. Indonesia – Republic of Indonesia
  79. Iran – Islamic Republic of Iran
  80. Iraq – Republic of Iraq
  81. Ireland[w]
  82. Israel – State of Israel
  83. Italy – Italian Republic
  84. Ivory Coast – Republic of Côte d'Ivoire[x]
  85. Jamaica
  86. Japan
  87. Jordan – Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  88. Kazakhstan – Republic of Kazakhstan
  89. Kenya – Republic of Kenya
  90. Kiribati – Republic of Kiribati
  91. Korea, North – Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  92. Korea, South – Republic of Korea
  93. Kuwait – State of Kuwait
  94. Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz Republic
  95. Laos – Lao People's Democratic Republic
  96. Latvia – Republic of Latvia
  97. Lebanon – Lebanese Republic
  98. Lesotho – Kingdom of Lesotho
  99. Liberia – Republic of Liberia
  100. Libya – State of Libya
  101. Liechtenstein – Principality of Liechtenstein
  102. Lithuania – Republic of Lithuania
  103. Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  104. Madagascar – Republic of Madagascar
  105. Malawi – Republic of Malawi
  106. Malaysia
  107. Maldives – Republic of Maldives
  108. Mali – Republic of Mali
  109. Malta – Republic of Malta
  110. Marshall Islands – Republic of the Marshall Islands
  111. Mauritania – Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  112. Mauritius – Republic of Mauritius
  113. Mexico – United Mexican States
  114. Micronesia – Federated States of Micronesia
  115. Moldova – Republic of Moldova
  116. Monaco – Principality of Monaco
  117. Mongolia
  118. Montenegro
  119. Morocco – Kingdom of Morocco
  120. Mozambique – Republic of Mozambique
  121. Myanmar – Republic of the Union of Myanmar[y]
  122. Nagorno-Karabakh → Artsakh
  123. Namibia – Republic of Namibia
  124. Nauru – Republic of Nauru
  125. Nepal – Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  126. Netherlands – Kingdom of the Netherlands
  127. New Zealand
  128. Nicaragua – Republic of Nicaragua
  129. Niger – Republic of Niger
  130. Nigeria – Federal Republic of Nigeria
  131. North Macedonia – Republic of North Macedonia[aa]
  132. Norway – Kingdom of Norway
  133. Oman – Sultanate of Oman
  134. Pakistan – Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  135. Palau – Republic of Palau
  136. Palestine – State of Palestine
  137. Panama – Republic of Panama
  138. Papua New Guinea – Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  139. Paraguay – Republic of Paraguay
  140. Peru – Republic of Peru
  141. Philippines – Republic of the Philippines
  142. Poland – Republic of Poland
  143. Portugal – Portuguese Republic
  144. Qatar – State of Qatar
  145. Romania
  146. Russia – Russian Federation
  147. Rwanda – Republic of Rwanda
  148. Saint Kitts and Nevis – Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
  149. Saint Lucia
  150. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  151. Samoa – Independent State of Samoa
  152. San Marino – Republic of San Marino
  153. São Tomé and Príncipe – Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
  154. Saudi Arabia – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  155. Senegal – Republic of Senegal
  156. Serbia – Republic of Serbia
  157. Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles
  158. Sierra Leone – Republic of Sierra Leone
  159. Singapore – Republic of Singapore
  160. Slovakia – Slovak Republic
  161. Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia
  162. Solomon Islands
  163. Somalia – Federal Republic of Somalia
  164. South Africa – Republic of South Africa
  165. South Sudan – Republic of South Sudan
  166. Spain – Kingdom of Spain
  167. Sri Lanka – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka[ab]
  168. Sudan – Republic of the Sudan
  169. Suriname – Republic of Suriname
  170. Sweden – Kingdom of Sweden
  171. Switzerland – Swiss Confederation
  172. Syria – Syrian Arab Republic
  173. Tajikistan – Republic of Tajikistan
  174. Tanzania – United Republic of Tanzania
  175. Thailand – Kingdom of Thailand
  176. Togo – Togolese Republic
  177. Tonga – Kingdom of Tonga
  178. Trinidad and Tobago – Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  179. Tunisia – Republic of Tunisia
  180. Turkey – Republic of Turkey
  181. Turkmenistan
  182. Tuvalu
  183. Uganda – Republic of Uganda
  184. Ukraine
  185. United Arab Emirates
  186. United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  187. United States – United States of America
  188. Uruguay – Oriental Republic of Uruguay
  189. Uzbekistan – Republic of Uzbekistan
  190. Vanuatu – Republic of Vanuatu
  191. Vatican City – Vatican City State
  192. Venezuela – Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  193. Vietnam – Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  194. Yemen – Republic of Yemen
  195. Zambia – Republic of Zambia
  196. Zimbabwe – Republic of Zimbabwe

Other states

  1. Abkhazia – Republic of Abkhazia
  2. Artsakh – Republic of Artsakh[ac]
  3. Cook Islands
  4. Kosovo – Republic of Kosovo
  5. Niue
  6. Northern Cyprus – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  7. Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
  8. Somaliland – Republic of Somaliland
  9. South Ossetia – Republic of South Ossetia–the State of Alania
  10. Taiwan – Republic of China[j]
  11. Transnistria – Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic

The World Factbook

Posted below are links to the Central Intelligence Agency's most popular publication -- The World FactbookThe World Factbook, which provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Afghanistan || Albania || Algeria || American Samoa || Andorra || Angola || Anguilla || Antarctica || Antigua and Barbuda || ArcticOcean || Argentina || Armenia || Aruba || Ashmore and Cartier Islands || Atlantic Ocean || Australia || Austria || Azerbaijan || Bahamas,The || Bahrain || Baker Island || Bangladesh || Barbados || Bassas da India || Belarus || Belgium || Belize || Benin || Bermuda || Bhutan || Bolivia || Bosnia and Herzegovina || Botswana || Bouvet Island || Brazil || British Indian Ocean Territory || British Virgin Islands || Brunei || Bulgaria || Burkina Faso || Burma || Burundi || Cambodia || Cameroon || Canada || Cape Verde || Cayman Islands || Central African Republic || Chad || Chile || China || Christmas Island || Clipperton Island || Cocos (Keeling) Islands || Colombia || Comoros || Congo, Democratic Republic of the || Congo, Republic of the || Cook Islands || Coral Sea Islands || Costa Rica || Cote d'Ivoire || Croatia || Cuba || Cyprus || Czech Republic || Denmark || Djibouti || Dominica || Dominican Republic || Ecuador || Egypt || El Salvador || Equatorial Guinea || Eritrea || Estonia || Ethiopia || Europa Island || Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) || Faroe Islands || Fiji || Finland || France || French Guiana || French Polynesia || French Southern and Antarctic Lands || Gabon || Gambia, The || Gaza Strip || Georgia || Germany || Ghana || Gibraltar || Glorioso Islands || Greece || Greenland || Grenada || Guadeloupe || Guam || Guatemala || Guernsey || Guinea || Guinea-Bissau || Guyana || Haiti || Heard Island and McDonald Islands || Holy See (Vatican City) || Honduras || Hong Kong || Howland Island || Hungary || Iceland || India || Indian Ocean || Indonesia || Iran || Iraq || Ireland || Israel || Italy || Jamaica || Jan Mayen || Japan || Jarvis Island || Jersey || Johnston Atoll || Jordan || Juan de Nova Island || Kazakhstan || Kenya || Kingman Reef || Kiribati || Korea, North || Korea, South || Kuwait || Kyrgyzstan || Laos || Latvia || Lebanon || Lesotho || Liberia || Libya || Liechtenstein || Lithuania || Luxembourg || Macau || Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of || Madagascar || Malawi || Malaysia || Maldives || Mali || Malta || Man, Isle of || Marshall Islands || Martinique || Mauritania || Mauritius || Mayotte || Mexico || Micronesia, Federated States of || Midway Islands || Moldova || Monaco || Mongolia || Montserrat || Morocco || Mozambique || Namibia || Nauru || Navassa Island || Nepal || Netherlands || Netherlands Antilles || New Caledonia || New Zealand || Nicaragua || Niger || Nigeria || Niue || Norfolk Island || Northern Mariana Islands || Norway || Oman || Pacific Ocean || Pakistan || Palau || Palmyra Atoll || Panama || Papua New Guinea || Paracel Islands || Paraguay || Peru || Philippines || Pitcairn Islands || Poland || Portugal || Puerto Rico || Qatar || Reunion || Romania || Russia || Rwanda || Saint Helena || Saint Kitts and Nevis || Saint Lucia || Saint Pierre and Miquelon || Saint Vincent and the Grenadines || Samoa || San Marino || Sao Tome and Principe || Saudi Arabia || Senegal || Seychelles || Sierra Leone || Singapore || Slovakia || Slovenia || Solomon Islands || Somalia || South Africa || South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands || Southern Ocean || Spain || Spratly Islands || Sri Lanka || Sudan || Suriname || Svalbard || Swaziland || Sweden || Switzerland || Syria || Tajikistan || Tanzania || Thailand || Togo || Tokelau || Tonga || Trinidad and Tobago || Tromelin Island || Tunisia || Turkey || Turkmenistan || Turks and Caicos Islands || Tuvalu || Uganda || Ukraine || United Arab Emirates || United Kingdom || United States || Uruguay || Uzbekistan || Vanuatu || Venezuela || Vietnam || Virgin Islands || Wake Island || Wallis and Futuna || West Bank || Western Sahara || World || Yemen || Yugoslavia || Zambia || Zimbabwe || Taiwan ||

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Attribution: Part of this information has been taken from Wikipedia's article "List of sovereign states" under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License