The smallest wonders
This is an interesting listing of the world’s seven smallest independent countries. These are the only countries which contain an area of less than 100 square miles. If we combine the land area of these seven countries, it will be less than 175 square miles. These countries are not only the smallest countries in the world, but also have some unique aspects as well.
Vatican City - Capital: Vatican City
- Size: 0.17 sq. miles (0.44 sq kms)
- Population: 780 approx.
- Location: Rome, Italy
- Official Language: Latin, Italian
- Currency: Euro
- Internet TLD: .va
Vatican City is the smallest country in the planet. It is a landlocked sovereign city-state having a territory of walled enclave within the city of Rome. Vatican is officially known as the State of the Vatican City.
It is also the least populated country in the world. Vatican also has the smallest army in the world known as Swiss Guard consisting of young unmarried Swiss Christian males.
The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful as it is the seat of the Catholic Church which has over 1 billion people as constituents.
Vatican is so small that the entire country does not have a single street address. Another unique thing about Vatican is that it has no permanent citizens.
Citizenship of the Vatican City is issued to those who work at the Vatican and their spouses and children and is revoked as and when they stop working there.
The country economy is the only non-commercial economy in the world. But, the Vatican City is supported financially by contributions of Catholics worldwide. Vatican has no taxes as well.
Monaco - Capital: Monaco
- Size: 0.76 sq. miles (1.96 sq kms)
- Population: 35,650 approx.
- Location: French Riviera on the Mediterranean
- Official Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Internet TLD: .mc
Monaco, the second smallest country on earth is also the most densely populated sovereign country on the earth.
Actually, Monaco was much smaller than it is now. It became to the present size as about 100 acres were reclaimed from the sea and added to its land size.
At the narrowest portion, Monaco is only 382 yards wide. Monaco is formally known as The Principality of Monaco, means that the territory is ruled by a Prince. For the last seven centuries, Monaco was ruled by princes of the Grimaldi family from Genoa.
The Prince shares legislative authority with a National Council. Monte Carlo in Monaco is well known for its glamorous casinos and its Formula One Grand Prix. Avenue Princess Grace in Monaco is the costliest street in the world.
- Capital: Yaren (unofficial)
- Size: 8.1 sq. miles (21 sq kms)
- Population: 10,000 approx.
- Location: Western part of Pacific Ocean
- Official Language: English, Nauruan
- Currency: Australian Dollar
- Internet TLD: .nr
Nauru is the world smallest island nation, the smallest independent republic, and the only republic in the world without an official capital. Nauru was formerly known as “Pleasant Island”.
Nauru was a colony of Germany in the late 19th century, and after the First World War became a mandate territory administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
During Second World War it was invaded by Japan. It achieved independence in 1968. Nauru is a phosphate rock island, and its primary source of income has been the export of phosphate mined from the island. Nauruwas a rich country for a brief moment in 1970s, Nauruans were even amongst the richest people on the planet.
But it did not last long as the island’s phosphate deposits dreid up and made the island a mining wasteland. Nauruans are among the most obese people in the world with 90% of adults having a higher BodyMassIndex than the world average.
Tuvalu - Capital: Funafuti
- Size: 10 sq. miles. (26 sq kms)
- Population: 12,300 approx.
- Location: South of Pacific
- Official Language: Tuvaluan, English
- Currency: Tuvaluan Dollar, Australian Dollar
- Internet TLD: .tv
Tuvalu, the fourth smallest country in the world is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and Hawai. Tuvalu was formerly known as Ellice Islands.
It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. It is the third-least-populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having lesser inhabitants.
The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. The islands came under the UK’s influence in the late 19th century.
The then Ellice Islands were administered by Britain from 1892 to 1974. Tuvalu became fully independent in 1978. Tuvalu is basically a low lying coral island with a highest elevation of only 5 meters above the sea level.
San Marino - Capital: City of San Marino
- Size: 23.5 sq. miles. (61.2 sq kms)
- Population: 28,150 approx
- Location: North-central Italy
- Official Language: Italian
- Currency: Euro
- Internet TLD: .sm
San Marino is the oldest republic and sovereign state in the world. It was founded on AD 301 by a Christian stonecutter Marino.
The Constitution of San Marino, enacted in 1600, is the world’s oldest constitution still in effect.
San Marino was conquered only twice in the history and that too for only a brief period of a month each in the 16th century and the 18th century. Even Napoleon praised San Marino as a model republic when he left San Marino alone while he invaded most of the Europe. Half of San Marino’s total income is derived from tourism as more than 3 million tourists visiting every year.
Liechtenstein - Capital: Vaduz
- Size: 62 sq. miles. (160 sq kms)
- Population: 34,500 approx.
- Location: Alps
- Official Language: German
- Currency: Swiss Franc
- Internet TLD: .li
Liechtenstein is the smallest country in the world to share its border with more than one country. Liechtenstein is a country which is unique in some aspects.
It is the smallest German-speaking country in the world as well as the only German-speaking country not to share a frontier with Germany. It is also the only alpine country to lie entirely within the Alps.
Most of Liechtenstein’s terrain consists of mountains and so it is a great winter sports destination. The country has a strong financial sector located in its capital.
Marshall Islands - Capital: Majuro
- Size: 69.8 sq. miles.(181 sq kms)
- Population: 61,500 approx.
- Location: Middle of Pacafic Ocean
- Official Language: Marshallese, English
- Currency: US Dollar
- Internet TLD: .mh
Marshall Islands is the seventh smallest country in the planet with an area of 69.8 square miles. It is officially called as the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
It consists of 34 islands and is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just north of the Equator. It got independence from the United States on 21st October 1986.
Financial assistance from the United States is the mainstay of the country economy.