10 Smallest Countries (Slideshow)


I’m fascinated by tiny countries. Am I the only one?! I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to live in a country with a smaller population than my suburban hometown. What’s more, most of the smallest nations in the world aren’t exactly high profile — when was the last time you read anything about Tuvalu, population 11,640? Well, wonder no more: read on to learn more about the least populated nations in the world.

Earlier: 8 Of the World’s Least Hospitable Places

10. Dominica

Population: 72,660

Location: Lesser Antilles, Caribbean Sea

About: Famous for its lush rainforests and  natural beauty, the Caribbean island of Dominica was populated by native Caribs until the late 18th century, when it came into the possession of France. The British took over the island later in the century, and rendered the native population to the brink of extinction. Today, however, there are 3,000 native Caribs living on Dominica, making it the only Eastern Caribbean island that still has a native population. Most of the population, however, is of African descent. Dominica is more reliant on agriculture, especially bananas, than tourism. With volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls and relatively unspoiled rainforests, eco-tourism is a growing industry.

Fun Fact: Dominica has an unusually high rate of centenarians, or people over the age of 100 — 3 times more than the average for developed countries.

See Also: 8 Funny & Strange Plant Names (Slideshow)


9. Marshall Islands

Population: 59,070

Location: Micronesia, Pacific Ocean

About: The Marshall Islands are perhaps best known to Westerners as a World War II battleground and, in the late 1940s and 1950s, American-led test site for nuclear weapons. As is to be expected, the tests have taken a major toll on the people and environment of the islands. To add insult to injury, the country has few natural resources, and the islands are at serious risk from the effects of climate change.

Image credit: bytemarks via Flickr


8. Saint Kitts & Nevis

Population: 38,960

Location: Caribbean Sea

About: Saint Kitts was the first British colony in the West Indies. Traditionally, the islands were dependent on sugar cane production; more recently, however, the economy has moved more towards tourism, manufacturing and off-shore banking.

Fun Fact: The islands are perhaps known for their unique citizenship practices: for $250,000, anyone can become a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

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7. Liechtenstein

Population: 33,720

Location: Northern Europe

About: There are more companies than citizens in the tiny country of Liechtenstein. Indeed, this economic powerhouse (and tax haven!) is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world.

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6. Monaco

Population: 32,410

Location: French Riviera

About: The constitutional monarchy of Monaco is among the best known on this list. Why? Well, a glamorous royal family with an American movie star among its ranks, casinos in abundance and a well-known car rally have put the spotlight on the tiny nation.


5. San Marino

Population: 28,880

Location: Surrounded by (Northern) Italy on all sides.

About: Believe it or not, San Marino is the oldest continously-run nation in the world. Yep, this tiny country, nestled in the Italian countryside, has been in existence in its present state for over 1,000 years!

Fun Fact: Surprisingly, San Marino has its own military.


4. Palau

Population: 20,300

Location: Pacific Ocean

About: Palau is a good friend to the United States. The tiny island nation has accepted prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and has received generous aid packages from the U.S. government.

Fun Fact: For nearly a decade, only three nations have consistently voted against condemnation of the U.S. embargo against Cuba — The United States, Israel and Palau.


3. Tuvalu

Population: 11,640

Location: Pacific Ocean

About: The highest point in the nation of Tuvalu is only 15 feet — leading to some serious concerns about the effects of climate change. Indeed, many worry that, within the next century, the country will be uninhabitable.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


2. Nauru

Population: 9,322

Location: Pacific Ocean

About: Mining has devastated the country of Nauru. The environment, of course, was severely impacted, but the economy is in shambles as well. A 90 percent unemployment rate exists, with the vast majority of those employed working for the government.

Alarming fact: Nauru has the highest obesity rate in the world, as well as the highest Type II Diabetes rate in the world, with over 40 percent of the population affected.

Image Credit: ARM Climate Research Facility via Flickr


1. Vatican City

Population: 920

Location: Within the city of Rome, Italy

About: Vatican City is the capital of the Catholic Church. Its population is comprised of Catholic Church officials. The leader? Why, the Pope of course!

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Shannon R.
Shannnon R.2 years ago

Absolutely beautiful pictures.

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Great article with wonderful countries.Thanks for sharing

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Great article. Thanks.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago


Molly S.
Molly S.3 years ago


Dale Overall

Interesting and intriguing! So many fascinating places around the world to see with some in small packages. Certainly cuts down on travel time within the country.

Recently the sixteen year old cat that owns me started her own country on my balcony, which she rules with a velvet paw. The capital is Catniptonia. In her spare time she is the Supreme Ruler of the World but likes her own country on the balcony for vacation time.

Wait til Jane finds this article and sees Vatican City...! See how long it takes for her to find it?

Samantha Hodder
Sam Hodder3 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

San Marino is my favorite by FAR. what a history... anyone wanna fund a trip for my little family (hint hint) :)

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.3 years ago


Carmen S.
Carmen S.3 years ago

beautiful, would love to visit most of them, thanks for this