7. Marshall Islands - 70 Square Miles. Population: 68,000.
The Marshall Islands consists of 29 coral atolls and five main islands spread out over 750,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands are located about halfway between Hawaii and Australia.
6. Liechtenstein - 62 Square Miles. Population: 36,000.
European Liechtenstein is doubly landlocked between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps. The country became an independent country in 1806. The country abolished its army in 1868 and remained neutral and undamaged during World War I and World War II. Liechtenstein is a hereditary constitutional monarchy, but the prime minister runs its day-to-day affairs.
5. San Marino - 24 Square Miles. Population: 32, 000.
San Marino is landlocked, completely surrounded by Italy. It is located on Mt. Titano in north-central Italy. The country claims to be the oldest state in Europe, having been founded in the fourth century. San Marino's topography mainly consists of rugged mountains.
4. Tuvalu - 10 Square Miles (Yes, you read that correctly.) Population: 12,000.
This one was new to me. Six of the nine islands or atolls comprising Tuvalu have lagoons open to the ocean, while two have significant non-beach land regions and one has no lagoons. In addition, none of the islands has any streams or rivers and because they are coral atolls, there is no drinkable groundwater. Therefore, all of the water used by Tuvalu's people is gathered via catchment systems and is kept in storage facilities. Ninety-six percent of the population is Polynesian. This small country's capital is Funafuti, which is also Tuvalu's largest city. The official languages are Tuvaluan and English.
3. Nauru - 8.5 Square Miles. Population: 11,000.
This one was also new to me. Nauru is a very small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean in the region of Oceania. The country is known for its prosperous phosphate mining operations in the early 20th century. Nauru became independent from Australia in 1968 and was formerly known as Pleasant Island. Nauru has no official capital city.
2. Monaco - 0.77 Square Miles. Population: 39. 078
The runner up to smallest country doesn't even cover one square mile! it is, however, densely population and is home to some of the world's richest humans. The country has only one official city, Monte Carlo, which is its capital and is famous as being a resort area for some of the world's richest people. Monaco is also famous due to its location on the French Riviera, its casino (the Monte Carlo Casino), several smaller beaches, and resort communities.
And that bring us to the smallest country in the world. Have you guessed it? If not, here's a clue: it is a city located within a city.
1. Vatican City, Rome - 0.02 Square Miles. Population: 800.
Of all the tiny countries, Vatican City is, perhaps, the most influential of them all. It serves as the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic church and home of the Pope. Vatican City, officially called The Holy See, is located within a walled area of the Italian capital city of Rome. None of the people who live and work within this walled-off area are native permanent residents. Many more commute into the country for work. Vatican City officially came into existence in 1929 after the Lateran Treaty with Italy. Its government type is ecclesiastical and its chief of state is, actually, the Pope. Vatican City is not a member of the United Nations by its own choice.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this refresher class in tiny countries. Tomorrow is, of course, Wednesday, which can only mean a visit from my wise friend and teacher, The Dharma Frog. Please stop by and learn what life lesson he has for me this week.
Until then, I wish you