How Many Countries Are There in the World?
If you have been studying international affairs, you might have heard about the question, “How many countries are there in the world?” This is a good question, as there are currently 200 or so countries that are self-governing or members of the United Nations. However, the number of self-governing countries in the world has actually decreased in recent years. As of 2010, there were about 175 countries that are considered to be independent. Several of these have become dependent on other territories or are members of the U.N., such as China, India, and Brazil.
The number of countries in the world varies, depending on how it is counted. For instance, the United Nations counts 193 member states and two non-member observer states. However, there are several potential countries that are recognized by one or more UN members but are not considered full members.
A country is a political unit consisting of people, territory, and government. Countries are considered legitimate in relation to how much recognition they receive by other countries, the international community, and the citizens themselves.
Among the most significant problems is determining the status of countries. Sovereignty is decided based on geographical boundaries, taxation, budgeting, and the degree to which they are recognized by other nations.
Some of the most well-known countries in the world are the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands. These countries have diplomatic ties with more than half of the other UN member states. They are also among the most influential on the global economic front.
Another major area of conflict is national sovereignty. Countries are governed by the decisions of their citizens, as well as by the governing body of their country. In many cases, the governments of self-governing areas do not agree on how to govern their country.
The smallest country in the world is San Marino. Niue is a free association state with New Zealand. Greenland is a huge island in the Arctic Ocean. And dozens of other territories are ascribed to a country by various organizations.
Despite its rocky history, South Africa has been an active member of the UN since 1994. It has played an instrumental role in the development of international human rights laws.
A non-self-governing territory is a territory that has not yet attained full self-government. The criteria used by the United Nations General Assembly to determine a territory’s status have been changing since the mid-1960s. Some territories have become incorporated into the legal framework of a controlling country, and some are financially dependent on their administering power.
The following countries have officially received diplomatic recognition by the United Nations. This type of endorsement, known as formal recognition, is not without controversy.
A de facto country is a nation that has achieved independence but does not have official diplomatic recognition. Some organizations consider this to be the smallest of all the world’s nations, while others use a more rigid definition.
Countries that are not recognized by the United Nations include Taiwan, which is a tiny island on the Chinese mainland thousands of miles away. It is also one of eight non-UN states that has some sort of partial recognition. Another example is the Holy See, which is represented by the Vatican.
Other countries with non-official status include Abkhazia, Kosovo, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. These territories have de facto independence but do not have full diplomatic recognition from the U.N. In addition, a number of territories have been removed from the list. Often, this is done under pressure from their administering countries.
As of 2011, there are 195 member countries of the U.N., of which 193 are members of the United Nations and two are observer states. This is a lot of countries, but it is not an exhaustive list. There are many more potential countries that are left out.
Almost every country in the world is a member of the U.N.
The United Nations is a group of countries that agree to be sovereign states and that work to preserve peace and security around the world. There are 195 member countries and two observer states.
There are also eight non-member states with partial recognition. These are: Kosovo, Abkhazia, and Lugansk People’s Republics.
In addition, there are specialized branches of the UN. One is the Economic and Social Council, which oversees matters of economic importance. Another is the General Assembly, which allows member nations to vote on global issues.
The Security Council is one of the most important UN organs, as it is responsible for maintaining peace and security. Five World War II-victors, including the United Kingdom, serve as permanent members. Each has a veto power.
Other specialized branches include the Economic and Social Council, the Environmental and Social Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the International Trade Commission. The General Assembly is an elected body that oversees the U.N. and its operations.
Two states that are not full UN members are Northern Cyprus and the Holy See. They are also members of the Olympic Nations.
Other countries not full UN members include: Benin, Congo, Niger, and Vanuatu. Some of these countries have suffered due to wars and other conflicts.
Belize, a small island in the South Pacific, became an independent nation in 1981. After its independence, New Zealand joined the UN in 2006.
The United Kingdom is one of the largest donors to the UN. It also has a long history of serving on the Security Council.
Guatemala is a Central American country. Eritrea and Ethiopia are both African countries.
Number of independent countries
Many sources have different ways of determining the number of independent countries in the world. Some use the UN’s list and others rely on a more loose definition. It is important to determine which criteria you will use to determine the total number of countries.
The UN lists 193 member countries. Of those, 198 are considered full members. There are also two non-member observer states and Vatican City.
While the UN’s list is comprehensive, it is not flawless. Kosovo and Taiwan are sometimes recognized by the UN, but not fully endorsed. Other areas, such as Palestine, are considered unrecognized.
For example, Israel is a member of the UN, but 28 other nations do not recognize it. Similarly, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is not recognized by any of its peers.
As a result, the number of independent nations is difficult to determine. These areas are often classified as “dependencies” or “offshore territories,” although they may or may not meet any of the criteria for country status.
Some of the world’s newest countries include the Cook Islands, South Sudan, and East Timor. However, several other countries are also under discussion for independence.
Depending on whom you ask, the number of independent countries in the world ranges from 194 to 196. This number does not take into account Antarctica and other small islands, which are not under the control of a nation.
A good place to start is the United States’ State Department’s list of recognized nations. Here are some of the countries and their countries.
The United Nations’ list of independent nations includes 194 nations, but does not include Kosovo, which has declared independence. That is, the UN does not have the authority to reject the sovereignty of any country, although it does vote on issues that affect humanity.
Dependency on other territories
A large segment of the world’s population lives in territories that are not yet self-governing. Human power is the major hindrance to full development of these territories. The most notable among these are the poorer Caribbean islands, the Indian subcontinent and the western hemisphere. These regions have an assortment of social, economic and political challenges. Among other things, a lack of transportation facilities is a major impediment to boosting productivity in these nations. Fortunately, there are various schemes aimed at improving the welfare of dependent territories.
As a matter of fact, the United States has a role to play in improving the lot of dependent territories. This should not be underestimated. While the United States may not be on the radar of every administering state, a concerted effort to woo one or more of them to the US fold would be a swell idea. Whether or not the aforementioned goal materializes will depend on the resources that are available.
Aside from the obvious, the best way to do this is through general consultations with the powers that be. There are several Specialized Agencies that would be interested in such a partnership, including the USIE, the Bureau of State Services and the Department of Commerce. In particular, the Bureau of State Services should be the lead off for coordinating the endeavor. Some of these Specialized Agencies are staffed by people who have a special interest in dependent areas, so the Department of State should look into ways to expand these agencies’ portfolios.
It is no secret that the United States is interested in the welfare of its non-self-governing neighbors. In particular, it is keen to learn more about the status of its benefactors and the potential benefits of international cooperation.