Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
We are used to associating the concept of a country with a large territory inhabited by millions of people, but this does not always correspond to reality. There are 252 countries in the world today, among them there are both huge states, occupying millions of square kilometers, and very tiny ones, inferior in size even to large cities. Below is a ranking of the ten most compact countries on our planet. In terms of their area, all of them together do not even reach St. Petersburg. But despite the modest occupied territory, many of these states are distinguished by a good level of economy, and besides, they are located in very beautiful places.
Rating of the smallest countries in the world
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||Area||Population|
|Rating of the smallest countries in the world||10||Malta||316 km²||493 559|
|9||Maldives||298 km²||392 473|
|8||Saint Kitts and Nevis||261 km²||52 441|
|7||Marshall Islands||181 km²||58 413|
|6||Liechtenstein||160 km²||37 815|
|5||San marino||61 km²||33 422|
|4||Tuvalu||26 km²||11 052|
|3||Nauru||21 km²||11 200|
|2||Monaco||2.02 km²||38 300|
10th place – Malta
The Republic of Malta is a very picturesque Mediterranean country, located between Sicily and Tunisia. The Maltese archipelago includes three inhabited islands: Malta, Camino and Gozo, as well as a number of small, uninhabited islets. The area of the state is 316 square kilometers, and the number of its inhabitants exceeds 493 and a half thousand people. Thus, we can say that this is a very densely populated area. From a geographical point of view, the islands are remarkable in that there are absolutely no natural reservoirs and even rivers here. Malta is a popular tourist destination for its clean beaches, excellent weather almost all year round and an abundance of well-preserved historical sites. Due to its location in the center of the sea routes between Europe, Africa and Asia, the country has always attracted the attention of conquerors who left traces of their cultures in the form of temples, fortresses and ancient palaces. At various times, Malta was owned by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Spaniards. But most of all, the influence of the Knightly Order of the Johannites, now known as the Order of Malta, is noticeable on the island and still exists today.
9th place – Maldives
The Maldives archipelago covers an area of 297.8 square kilometers, it is the smallest country in all of Asia, not only in terms of territory, but also in terms of population. It is located in the waters of the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. A little more than 436 thousand people permanently live on the islands. The archipelago consists of 26 atolls, which include over a thousand islands. Any of them, even the largest, can be walked in a maximum of one and a half to two hours. There is only one city in the country – the capital of Male, and outside of it civilization gives way to pristine nature. The Maldives are known throughout the world as one of the best tropical resorts. Despite the high cost of recreation here, the state receives about two million tourists every year, and most of the residents are involved in the service sector.
8th place – Saint Kitts and Nevis
The country, with an area of 269.4 square kilometers, consists of two islands: Saint Kitts and Nevis, washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea. The smallest state in the Western Hemisphere used to be part of the West Indies, which is reminiscent of colonial-style buildings converted into hotels. These estates were formerly owned by wealthy sugarcane growers and exporters. Gradually, sugar prices began to fall, and the popularity of tropical vacations increased rapidly, eventually becoming the backbone of the state economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The population of the islands barely exceeds 55 thousand people, but because of tourism it is always crowded here, especially in the capital and on the coasts. Visitors bring about 70 percent of the country's total GDP annually. In addition to the beautiful nature, tourists are attracted by the waters near the islands, which are considered a real paradise for divers. In the vicinity there are almost four hundred sunken ships, both old and more modern, in addition, this region of the Caribbean Sea is home to a lot of exotic underwater inhabitants. In addition to the tourism sector, the budget is replenished by providing offshore banking services to foreign clients.
7th place – Marshall Islands
The Pacific Republic of the Marshall Islands covers an area of 181.3 square kilometers and consists of a number of atoll islands. The largest of them are Majuro, where the capital of the same name is located, and Kwajalein. The population of the country is approximately 53 thousand people. Since its discovery in the early 16th century by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Salazar, the islands have for a long time passed from one European country to another as a colony. In the 1950s, the local ecosystem was severely damaged by nuclear tests on the atolls by the US military. Fortunately, the inhabitants have now restored the unique flora and fauna of the Marshall Islands. Despite the broad prospects for the development of diving, sport fishing and other types of tourism, this area employs only about 10 percent of the population. The reason for this is the inaccessibility of the place and the still insufficiently equipped infrastructure. The main role in the economy of the state is played by the export of tuna and copra obtained from coconut trees.
6th place – Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is located in the middle of the Alpine mountains, it borders on Switzerland and Austria. The area of the country with a population of 38.5 thousand people is 130 square kilometers. Liechtenstein is one of the few states where the constitutional monarchy is the official form of government. With its very small territory, the principality boasts a developed industry, especially in high-tech areas and a high level of citizens' well-being. It is also considered a major European financial center. The unemployment rate among citizens reaches only 1.5 percent. There is no airport in the country (they usually get there only from neighboring Switzerland), but this does not at all prevent a large influx of tourists who visit Liechtenstein every year. The principality boasts a first-class alpine resort, a major museum of modern art and several ancient castles.
5th place – San Marino
The dwarf state of San Marino is located in southern Europe and is surrounded on all sides by the lands of Italy. The country covers an area of 61.2 square kilometers, with 33.4 thousand permanent residents. It is one of the three smallest European countries. San Marino is considered the oldest sovereign state in this part of the world, it was founded back in 301. With such a small size, the country has more than 30 settlements, the largest of which is Serravalle, with almost 8 thousand inhabitants. San Marino's economy is based on tourism, accounting for 60% of all income, the financial sector and industry. The state is rich in architectural landmarks, the main of which are three fortress towers: Guaita, Chesta and Montale. About three million visitors visit local tourist sites annually.
4th place – Tuvalu
Tuvalu is located in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of the Australian continent. The country includes three reef islands and six atolls located at a considerable distance from each other – from 70 to 170 kilometers. The total area of Tuvalu is 25.9 kilometers, the population slightly exceeds 11 thousand people. Before gaining its independence in 1978, the islands belonged to Great Britain. The Polynesian state has all the prerequisites to become a popular tropical resort, there are long clean beaches, beautiful palm groves, and an abundance of exotic fish in the surrounding waters. But so far Tuvalu is not very attractive to foreign visitors due to the weak tourist infrastructure and high cost of flights. And global warming even threatens to wipe the islands off the face of the earth, since even a slight rise in the world ocean level can be catastrophic for a country that rises only five meters above sea level.
3rd place – Nauru
Nauru is the smallest independent republic in the world, covering an area of 20.98 square kilometers. The state is located almost at the equator itself, 4000 kilometers from Australia. The local population is just over 13.5 thousand people. It is the only country that does not have an official capital. The newest history of Nauru is curious and instructive – in just a few decades, the state has turned from a prosperous, rich paradise into a devastated territory with poor people. The reason for this was the thoughtless mining of phosphate deposits in the 1970s, for which 80 percent of the vegetation on the island was destroyed. By the early 2000s, mineral reserves were depleted, and Nauru, in addition to the tainted nature, faced bankruptcy. The tourist potential of the island remains practically unexploited, although there are many interesting places for scuba diving nearby. The number of visitors who decide to visit Nauru, despite factors such as almost no infrastructure, abandoned quarries and difficulties with air connections, reaches only a few hundred a year.
2nd place – Monaco
The miniature independent principality of Monaco stretches along the coast of the Ligurian Sea, on the land side it borders on France. It is the most populous country in the world with a population of 38.6 thousand people on just 2.02 square kilometers. The state includes three communes, the most famous of which is the famous Monte Carlo, where the resort area and the most luxurious residences are concentrated. According to statistics, 100 percent of the residents here are provided with work and almost 30 percent of them have a fortune of a million or more. Monaco owes its immense wealth to numerous casinos, where representatives of the elite from all over the world come to spend huge sums of money. The country is also known for the fact that every year the Formula 1 Grand Prix race is held on its streets. Thanks to the maritime climate, ecology and the highest level of well-being, the average life expectancy in this state is a record 90 years.
1st place – Vatican
The dwarf country-enclave is located inside the capital of Italy, it covers an area of 0.44 square kilometers. The Vatican is home to about a thousand people, and 95 percent of them are males. These are mainly ministers of the Catholic Church and representatives of the Swiss guard. Vatican workers are most often of Italian citizenship. The state has a theocratic form of government in which all power is concentrated around the Holy See, headed by the Pope. The World Center of the Catholic Church lives largely on voluntary contributions from Catholic parishioners from around the world. In addition, the budget is replenished with profits from the sale of tourist souvenirs and entrance tickets to museums, which contain numerous masterpieces of Renaissance art. In general, given the small area and population, the Vatican can be confidently called a very rich state. The independent city's own army consists of more than a hundred guardsmen who have undergone military training in the armed forces of Switzerland. In addition to them, the Papal Gendarmerie, also in the number of over a hundred people, is keeping order.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.