List of countries

2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography

This list of countries, arranged alphabetically, gives an overview of countries of the world. It includes territories that are independent states (both those that are internationally recognized and generally unrecognized), inhabited dependent territories, and areas of special sovereignty.

Such inclusion criteria means the list does not treat the word "country" as synonymous with "sovereign state," as one may often find in colloquial usage. Note, that in certain circumstances and in certain languages the term country is understood in the most restrictive sense, thus including only the 193 entities mentioned under the first item below.

The list covers all areas under the jurisdiction of the listed countries, namely territory, territorial waters (including internal waters and contiguous zones), exclusive economic zone, continental shelf, and airspace.

The names of countries in the list are given in English and include both an English version of the short official or normative names (e.g. Afghanistan) and an English version of the (longer) official names (e.g. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan). The listing of any name in this article is not meant to imply an official position in any naming dispute.

Types of political entities included

On this list are 245 entities of the following types:

In the 'Entities not included', an outline is given on the entities not included in this list. This includes distinct political and legal entities which are known as countries, but are integral parts of a sovereign state - notably the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, and the Länder of Germany.

Key of country names

  • Afghanistan (bold) - States with general international recognition
  • Abkhazia (bold and italic) - States lacking general international recognition
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia (unbold) - Other non-state countries

List of countries


  • Flag of Abkhazia Abkhazia – Republic of Abkhazia
  • Flag of Afghanistan Afghanistan – Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Flag of the United Kingdom Akrotiri and Dhekelia – Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (UK overseas territory)
  • Flag of Åland Islands Åland – Åland Islands (Autonomous province of Finland)
  • Flag of Albania Albania – Republic of Albania
  • Flag of Algeria Algeria – People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • Flag of American Samoa American Samoa – Territory of American Samoa (US territory)
  • Flag of Andorra Andorra – Principality of Andorra
  • Flag of Angola Angola – Republic of Angola
  • Flag of Anguilla Anguilla (UK overseas territory)
  • Flag of Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda
  • Flag of Argentina Argentina – Argentine Republic
  • Flag of Armenia Armenia – Republic of Armenia
  • Flag of Aruba Aruba (Self-governing country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  • Flag of the United Kingdom Ascension Island (Dependency of the UK overseas territory of Saint Helena)
  • Flag of Australia Australia – Commonwealth of Australia
  • Flag of Austria Austria – Republic of Austria
  • Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan – Republic of Azerbaijan








  • Flag of Haiti Haiti – Republic of Haiti
  • Flag of Honduras Honduras – Republic of Honduras
  • Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Area of special sovereignty)
  • Flag of Hungary Hungary – Republic of Hungary





  • Flag of Laos Laos – Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Flag of Latvia Latvia – Republic of Latvia
  • Flag of Lebanon Lebanon – Republic of Lebanon
  • Flag of Lesotho Lesotho – Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Flag of Liberia Liberia – Republic of Liberia
  • Flag of Libya Libya – Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Flag of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein – Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Flag of Lithuania Lithuania – Republic of Lithuania
  • Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


  • Flag of Macau Macao – Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Area of special sovereignty)
  • Flag of the Republic of Macedonia Macedonia – Republic of Macedonia
  • Flag of Madagascar Madagascar – Republic of Madagascar
  • Flag of Malawi Malawi – Republic of Malawi
  • Flag of Malaysia Malaysia
  • Flag of the Maldives Maldives – Republic of Maldives
  • Flag of Mali Mali – Republic of Mali
  • Flag of Malta Malta – Republic of Malta
  • Flag of the Marshall Islands Marshall Islands – Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Flag of Mauritania Mauritania – Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • Flag of Mauritius Mauritius – Republic of Mauritius
  • Flag of Mayotte  Mayotte – Departmental Collectivity of Mayotte (French overseas collectivity)
  • Flag of Mexico Mexico – United Mexican States
  • Flag of the Federated States of Micronesia Micronesia – Federated States of Micronesia
  • Flag of Moldova Moldova – Republic of Moldova
  • Flag of Monaco Monaco – Principality of Monaco
  • Flag of Mongolia Mongolia - Republic of Mongolia
  • Flag of Montenegro Montenegro – Republic of Montenegro
  • Flag of Montserrat Montserrat (UK overseas territory)
  • Flag of Morocco Morocco – Kingdom of Morocco
  • Flag of Mozambique Mozambique – Republic of Mozambique
  • For "Myanmar", see Burma



  • Flag of Oman Oman – Sultanate of Oman



  • Flag of Qatar Qatar – State of Qatar








  • Flag of Yemen Yemen – Republic of Yemen


Entities not included

  • Anarchist movements and communities.
  • Confederations, supranational unions (such as the European Union) and international / intergovernmental organizations which are associations of countries.
  • Sovereign entities without territorial possessions, all permanent observers of the United Nations:
    • Holy See, a unique sovereign entity under international law vis-à-vis Vatican City with the Pope as the head of both, maintaining diplomatic/official relations with over 170 states/entities and participating in various international organizations either in its own capacity or on behalf of Vatican City.
    • Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), a sovereign entity under international law that maintains diplomatic/official relations with over 100 states/entities and participating in various international organizations.
    • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an independent non-state entity under international law which maintains delegations worldwide, founding body of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and guardian of international humanitarian law in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
    • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), an independent non-state entity under international law which, together with the ICRC, assists and coordinates between National Societies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • Mount Athos (Regime of Aghion Oros or Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain), a monastic republic in Greece politically self-governed by the Holy Community of the 20 Monasteries of the Holy Mountain Athos and its Holy Executive and spiritually under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch in accordance with the constitution of Greece.
  • Entities considered integral part of other countries:
    • Component states of federations, such as states of Australia, provinces of Canada, Bundesländer of Germany, estados of México, estados of Brazil, and states of the United States.
    • Constituent countries of the United Kingdom, i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    • Substate units of federacies that enjoy considerably more independence than the majority of others, like Zanzibar (Tanzania).
    • Condominiums like Pheasant Island (sovereignty of which jointly shared by France and Spain).
    • Autonomous areas legally part of sovereign states, such as Catalonia (Spain), Tibet (People's Republic of China) and Chechnya (Russia); but excluding Åland, which is recognized by international treaties.
    • Special Administrative Regions established within countries, like Aceh (Indonesia), excluding Hong Kong and Macau which are recognized by international treaties.
    • Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in sovereign states with economic laws different from the rest of the states, such as Shenzhen SEZ of the People's Republic of China.
    • Areas leased by countries like Russian part of Saimaa Canal and Malyj Vysotskij Island (leased by Finland from Russia).
    • Enclaves / Exclaves that belong to one country but are not connected to it by land (islands are not included) and are surrounded by other countries, like Alaska (United States) and Kaliningrad (Russia).
    • Overseas regions of countries legally integrated into the country, like:
    • Other subnational entities of countries.
  • Places where extraterritoriality is applied such as embassies, consulates and military bases of foreign countries, and most notably:
    • United Nations United Nations headquarters at New York which is an international zone governed under its own rules.
    • The SMOM headquarters in Rome.
    • The ICRC headquarters in Geneva.
    • The specified Properties of the Holy See in Italy.
    • Pavillon de Breteuil in France used by the General Conference on Weights and Measures.
    • Guantanamo Bay, a territory of Cuba under the permanent control (with no claim of sovereignty) of the United States which pays rent under terms of treaties with Cuba.
  • International waters and corresponding airspace, international seabed area and outerspace that are open to all countries.
  • Territorial claims of sovereign states to Antarctica and its outlying islands south of 60°S which are held in abeyance under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty:
    • Argentina: Argentine Antarctica (25°W to 74°W, overlapping British and Chilean claims).
    • Australia: Australian Antarctic Territory (160°E to 142°02' E and 136°11' E to 44°38' E).
    • Chile: Antártica Chilena Province (53°W to 90°W, overlapping Argentine and British Claims).
    • France: Adélie Land (142°02' E to 136°'11 E)
    • New Zealand: Ross Dependency (150°W to 160°E).
    • Norway: Queen Maud Land (44°38' E to 20°W) and Peter I Island (at 68°50' S, 90°35'W).
    • United Kingdom: British Antarctic Territory (20°W to 80°W, overlapping Argentine and Chilean claims).
    • (No formal claims have been made in the sector between 90°W and 150°W, except for the Norwegian claim to Peter I Island.)
    • Brazil's Zone of Interest: Brazilian Antarctica (28°W to 53°W, overlapping Argentine and British claims, informal claim).
  • Territorial claims to the Arctic made by sovereign states which are all members of the Arctic Council.
  • Various disputed or occupied territories, see the List of territorial disputes.
  • Demilitarized or neutral zones between two warring countries (the two sides of the demarcation line in the zones are considered parts of the respective warring countries, with the exception of the neutral ground between Gibraltar and Spain which does not belong to either country.
  • Places under the control of UN Peacekeeping Missions.
  • Places under the control of secessionist or guerrilla movements.
  • Entities not claiming sovereignty with de facto control over their territory.
  • Governments in exile.
  • Surviving monarchs and pretenders of abolished monarchies.
  • Subnational traditional monarchies, tribes and indigenous peoples, with their heads holding traditional (mostly ceremonial) roles and/or exercising limited jurisdiction.
  • Nations without their own states, many of which are members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).
  • Self-proclaimed micronations that are not recognized internationally, see the List of micronations.
  • Extinct political entities.
  • All forms of land claims, including claims to the so-called terra nullius.
  • Organizations that attempt to establish a world government.
  • Pirate utopias.
  • Places under the control of terrorist organizations.
  • Fictional, imaginary and proposed countries as well as space and ocean colonization projects and extraterrestrial real estate that do not exist in the real world.
  • Cruise ships and other passenger vessels in international waters.
  • Multinational corporations.

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