Every Country in the World

Below is a list of what I consider to be every country in the world. Like the most dangerous countries list, naming every country is a debatable subject. I personally consider most dependencies to be countries for example while others may not. My list has varied from 210 countries to 235 and now seems stable at 224 after I carefully made decisions on a case by case basis. See my list below followed by my philosophy!
1) Afghanistan
2) Albania
3) Algeria
4) America Samoa
5) Andorra
6) Angola
7) Antarctica
8) Aruba
9) Argentina
10) Armenia
11) Australia
12) Austria
13) Azerbaijan
14) Bahamas
15) Bahrain
16) Bangladesh
17) Barbados
18) Belarus
19) Belgium
20) Belize
21) Benin
22) Bermuda
23) Bhutan
24) Bolivia
25) Bosnia & Herzegovina
26) Botswana
27) Brazil
28) Brunei
29) Bulgaria
30) Burkina Faso
31) Burundi
32) Cambodia
33) Cameroon
34) Canada
35) Cape Verde Islands
36) Cayman Islands
37) Central African Republic
38) Chad
39) Chile
40) China
41) Christmas Islands
42) Colombia
43) Comoros Islands
44) Congo
45) Congo DR
46) Cook Islands
47) Costa Rica
48) Croatia
49) Cuba
50) Cyprus
51) Czech Republic
52) Denmark
53) Djibouti
54) Dominica
55) Dominican Republic
56) Dutch Antilles
57) East Timor
58) Easter Island
59) Ecuador
60) Egypt
61) El Salvador
62) Equatorial Guinea
63) Eritrea
64) Estonia
65) Ethiopia
66) Falkland Islands
67) Faroe Islands
68) Fiji Islands
69) Finland
70) France
71) French Guiana
72) French Polynesia
73) Gabon
74) Gambia
75) Georgia
76) Germany
77) Ghana
78) Greece
79) Greenland
80) Grenada
81) Guadeloupe
82) Guam
83) Guatemala
84) Guinea
85) Guinea-Bissau
86) Guyana
87) Haiti
88) Honduras
89) Hong Kong
90) Hungary
91) Iceland
92) India
93) Indonesia
94) Iran
95) Iraq
96) Ireland
97) Israel
98) Italy
99) Ivory Coast
100) Jamaica
101) Japan
102) Jordan
103) Kazakhstan
104) Kenya
105) Kiribati Islands
106) Kosovo
107) Kuwait
108) Kyrgyzstan
109) Laos
110) Latvia
111) Lebanon
112) Lesotho
113) Liberia
114) Libya
115) Liechtenstein
116) Lithuania
117) Luxemburg
118) Macedonia
119) Madagascar
120) Malawi
121) Malaysia
122) Maldive Islands
123) Mali
124) Malta
125) Martinique
126) Mauritania
127) Mauritius
128) Mayotte
129) Mexico
130) Micronesia
131) Moldova
132) Monaco
133) Mongolia
134) Montenegro
135) Montserrat
136) Morocco
137) Mozambique
138) Myanmar
139) Namibia
140) Nauru
141) Nepal
142) Netherlands
143) New Caledonia
144) New Zealand
145) Nicaragua
146) Niger
147) Nigeria
148) Niue
149) North Korea
150) Northern Mariana
151) Norway
152) Oman
153) Pakistan
154) Palau
155) Palestine
156) Panama
157) Papua New Guinea
158) Paraguay
159) Peru
160) Philippines
161) Pitcairn Island
162) Poland
163) Portugal
164) Puerto Rico
165) Qatar
166) Reunion
167) Romania
168) Russia
169) Rwanda
170) Samoa

 

171) Sao Tome
172) Saudi Arabia
173) Senegal
174) Serbia
175) Sierra Leone
176) Singapore
177) Slovakia
178) Slovenia
179) Solomon Islands
180) Somalia
181) South Africa
182) South Korea
183) South Sudan
184) Spain
185) Sri Lanka
186) St. Helena
187) St. Kitts & Nevis
188) St. Lucia
189) St. Vincent & Gren.
190) Sudan
191) Suriname
192) Swaziland
193) Sweden
194) Switzerland
195) Syria
196) Taiwan
197) Tajikistan
198) Tanzania
199) Thailand
200) Togo
201) Tokelau Islands
202) Tonga
203) Trinidad
204) Tunisia
205) Turkey
206) Turkmenistan
207) Turks & Caicos
208) Tuvalu
209) UAE
210) Uganda
211) Ukraine
212) United Kingdom
213) United States
214) Uruguay
215) Uzbekistan
216) Vanuatu
217) Venezuela
218) Vietnam
219) Virgin Islands US
220) Virgin Islands UK
221) Wallis & Futuna
222) Western Sahara
223) Yemen
224) Zambia
225) Zimbabwe
When it comes to official lists of every country in the world, almost all major governments agree there are about 195 countries. Which territories should be considered countries is when things begin to become debatable. Some have come up with strict definitions on when to consider a territory a separate country. One example says any geographically isolated area that has a population of over 100,000. With these rules this would name Puerto Rico a separate country from the United States which I would agree with. But this also suggests that both Hawaii, Alaska, and even Canada’s Prince Edward Island are countries which I would not agree with. This rule might work most of the time but I don’t think it can be universally applied.Usually I look at each dependency or territory on a case by case basis focusing on culture, size and the distance from the mainland. In my opinion the easiest way to look at which territories should be considered countries is from a natives perspective. I don’t think any American would fly from California to Alaska and consider themselves visiting another country since it is one of the 50 states and the language and culture is similar to the that of the mainland. With Puerto Rico, a different language is spoken, there are clear cultural differences, and even though it is a US territory for the most part Puerto Rico is run by its own local government.
  • Culture: Culture is one of the easiest ways to determine if what territories should make it on my every country list. Take some obvious examples like France and its territory of French Guiana in South America. I wouldn’t expect a traveler to do a amazon trek, meet with tribal natives and return home to discuss his amazing trip to France.
  • Distance: The cultural example is more straight forward and distance can be more difficult. I consider the Falkland Islands a separate country because their location is on the other side of the world from the UK. Going back to Hawaii or Alaska you could argue the same. But Hawaii and Alaska are considered part of the US by both those who live in these stands and by the mainland. It may be a long flight but these states aren’t distant territories in opposite hemispheres. Furthermore there aren’t dozens of countries in between the mainland and these two states.
  • Size: It might sound easier to simply include every territory as a separate country, but most territories extremely small areas with low populations. Wake Island which is near Hawaii is a territory that I do not consider a country because it has only a small base of 50 people working on the islands. Another example is the Rock of Gibraltar in Spain which is considered British territory which is so tiny it can hardly be considered a country.
  • Rebel Territories: When it comes to determining every country, I generally don’t consider rebel territories. Of course the rebels consider themselves independent of whoever they are fighting but they rarely achieve independence. Normally rebels occupy a small region and their disputes are resolved in time, even if that takes a decade. One exception is Taiwan which I consider a separate from China. Taiwan is an island with an extremely large population that is not engaged in military conflicts with the mainland. Plus it has been living independently and running its own government for over half a century. Had Taiwan been completely controlled by the Chinese government and recently broke away through fighting and a long drawn out conflict then my opinion on this would be different.
Ancient Comments
Ron from Netherlands: Interesting list of countries! While debates seems inevitable, I will not try to participate in controversial discussions. Undebated IMHO on the other hand are that the Dutch Antilles does not exist as a country, these officially contain of three separate countries (Aruba, curacao and Sint Maarten), and Vatican state, Seychelles and San Marino (while similar countries like Singapore, Liechtenstein and Monaco are on the list).
George: Thanks for your post; you’ve brought up some interesting points. This list I’ve created is still something I can’t be completely confident in but at the moment it seems the most reasonable assessment of what is a country and what isn’t. Perhaps Sint Maarten should be considered separate from Aruba and Curacao, but it’s difficult for me to consider Aruba and Curacao as separate countries. Does a local from Aruba who travels less than 100km to Curacao really believe or consider they have left their country when both are Dutch territories? It is especially hard for me to judge since I haven’t been to any of these places yet. I feel you’ve brought up some good points so I will have to reconsider my list!

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