The Smallest Countries in the World by Area

March 6, 2024

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Vatican City

Earth has a surface area of 510,072,000 square kilometers. 70.8 percent of this is covered with water, while land makes up the remaining 29.2 percent. This means that Earth’s land coverage is equal to 149 million square kilometers.

Out of the 195 countries in the world, the largest countries by area are Russia, Canada, and the United States. Together, they make up a quarter of Earth’s total landmass. 

At the other end of the scale, the ten smallest countries in the world make up less than 0.1 percent of Earth’s land area.

1. Vatican City – 0.49 km² (0.19m²)

Vatican City
Vatican City

Arguably the most famous country on this list, the city-state of Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, at just under half a square kilometer.

Vatican City has a tiny population of fewer than 800 and consists of members of the clergy and diplomats of the Holy See (the country’s central government). Located in the heart of Italy’s capital, Rome, it is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Around 5 million people visit the country each year to see the world-famous landmarks St. Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums, where the Sistine Chapel is located. This is vital for Vatican City’s economy, as it relies heavily on tourism, as well as donations from the Catholic Church.

Did you know?

Vatican City has no hospitals, which means people can’t become citizens by birth or blood. Instead, citizenship is given to those who live in the country for work or office.

2. Monaco – 2 km² (0.77 mi²)

Port Hercule, Monaco
Port Hercule, Monaco

This tiny principality, located on the French Riveria, is known as the ‘Billionaires Playground’. It’s famous for its wealthy residents, yacht-lined harbor, Monte Carlo Casino, and prestigious Formula One event.

Monaco’s economy is dependent on banking and tourism, with hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the country each year for its gambling facilities, motor-racing events, and mild climate. It also attracts the super-rich — not only for its designer shopping, luxury accommodation, and yacht shows but also because it is a tax haven. Many of the country’s residents are millionaires who choose to live there because business taxes are low and personal Income Tax only applies to French citizens.

Did you know?

At around $2.1 million, Monaco has the highest average wealth per capita in the world. 32 percent of its population are millionaires, almost 3,000 are multimillionaires, and at least half a dozen are billionaires.

3. Nauru – 21 km² (8.11 mi²)

From the coastline of Nauru
Blue waters of the Pacific Ocean around Nauru

With a land area of 21 square kilometers, the island nation of Nauru in the South Pacific Ocean is the third-smallest country in the world. Its population of fewer than 11,000 people also makes it one of the least populous.

This is largely due to the fact that roughly four-fifths of the island is uninhabitable because the land was taken over to mine phosphate. Sadly, Nauru’s phosphate industry is in decline, and its soil has been left uncultivable, which means the country is facing economic and environmental challenges.

Did you know?

Nauru is unable to provide enough goods for its citizens, which means it has to import nearly all food, water, and manufactured items.

4. Tuvalu – 26 km² (10.04 mi²)

Aerial view of Tuvalu
Aerial view of the island of Tuvalu

Like Nauru, this small island nation, consisting of three reef islands and six atolls, is located in the Pacific Ocean.

Tuvalu relies heavily on imports, as there isn’t enough soil on the islands to grow food for its inhabitants. Another of the country’s struggles is that it is a low-lying nation, which means it is at risk of eventually being submerged.

Tuvalu’s economy is dependent on issuing fishing permits to international companies, remittance from Tuvaluan citizens who work on cargo ships, and grant and aid projects. 

Did you know?

Tuvalu is one of the poorest nations in the world due to its limited natural resources and infrastructure, small population, and remote location.

5. San Marino – 61 km² (23.55 mi²)

Fortress of Guaita on Mount Titano in San Marino
The Fortress of Guaita on Mount Titano

San Marino is a landlocked country in central Italy, although it is only about ten kilometers from the Adriatic coast. Surrounded by the Apennine Mountains and known for its striking Medieval architecture, the country is a popular tourist destination.

It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita that’s comparable to the most developed regions of Europe. 

Did you know?

Founded more than 17 centuries ago, San Marino is the oldest republic in the world.

6. Liechtenstein – 160 km² (61.78 mi²)

Village of Balzers and Ratikon Mountains in Liechtenstein
Ratikon Mountains and the surrounding village of Balzers

Liechtenstein, a landlocked country between Austria and Switzerland, is well known for its stunning mountainous landscapes.

For tourists, it offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and cultural attractions, while residents benefit from a high standard of living thanks to a strong economy and low crime rates.

Did you know?

Each year, on August 15, the palace throws a party at Vaduz Castle, inviting all of the country’s 38,000 residents to attend.  

7. Marshall Islands – 181 km² (69.88 mi²)

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands
Bikini Atoll, one of 29 atolls in the Marshall Islands

An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, the Marshall Islands consists of 29 coral atolls and five islands. During World War II, the US invaded the Marshall Islands, and from 1946 to 1958, it conducted 67 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll and Enewetak Atoll. Many indigenous people were displaced, and there were harmful after-effects as a result of this Cold War-era weapons testing.

A lack of natural resources means the Marshall Islands’ wealth is based on a service economy, as well as agriculture and fishing.

Did you know?

In 2011, the Marshall Islands became home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary when it banned commercial shark fishing in all 1,990,528 km² of its waters. This was to protect the high diversity of sharks that live there, many of which are under threat of extinction.

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – 261 km² (100.77 mi²)

View of Saint Kitss and Nevis half covered by cloud
Cruise ship docked close to Saint Kitts and Nevus

This small island country consists of the two islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, both of which are located in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Like most places in the Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis is a popular tourist destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year thanks to its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and majestic mountains.

While Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, the territory only gained independence from the British in 1983.

Did you know?

If you want to become a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis, you must either make a minimum investment of $250,000 into the Sustainable Growth Fund or buy real estate valued at $400,000 or above. 

9. Maldives – 298 km² (115.06 mi²)

Tropical holiday resort in the Maldives
Tropical holiday resort in the Maldives

The Maldives is the ninth-smallest country in the world and the smallest country in Asia. With a population of around 540,000, it is also one of Asia’s least populated countries.

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives consists of a double chain of 26 atolls that stretch across the equator.

Fishing is by far the country’s largest industry, followed by the rapidly growing tourism sector. The country is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, which consists of white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life.

Did you know?

With an elevation of just 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is the world’s lowest-lying country and is at risk of completely disappearing due to climate change and rising sea levels.

10. Malta – 316 km² (122.01 mi²)

Boats moored in Sliema Bay, Malta
Sliema Bay, Malta

Comprising five islands — two of which are uninhabited — Malta is situated in the Mediterranean Sea, making it the fifth European country to appear on this list.

Malta’s history dates back thousands of years, serving as a strategically important naval base thanks to its location at the center of the Mediterranean. Today, Malta positions itself as the gem of the Mediterranean in terms of tourism — which its economy is heavily reliant on. The country prides itself on its warm climate (compared to the rest of Europe), sandy beaches, and historical monuments — some of which are among the oldest in the world.

Did you know?

While its constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and religious worship, Malta is an extremely religious country that’s home to 365 churches.

List of Countries and Territories Ranked by Area

Non-UN member states are indicated with *

RankCountryTotal Area (km²)Total Area (mi²)
1Vatican City00
2Monaco21
*Coral Sea Islands31
*Ashmore and Cartier Islands52
*Clipperton Island62
*Gibraltar73
*Tokelau125
*Cocos (Keeling) Islands145
3Nauru218
*Saint Barthelemy2510
4Tuvalu2610
*Macao2811
*Sint Maarten3413
*Norfolk Island3614
*Pitcairn Islands4718
*Saint Martin5019
*Bermuda5421
*British Indian Ocean Territory6023
5San Marino6124
*Guernsey7830
*Anguilla9135
*Montserrat10239
*Jersey11645
*Christmas Island13552
*Wallis and Futuna14255
*British Virgin Islands15158
6Liechtenstein16062
*Aruba18069
7Marshall Islands18170
*American Samoa22486
*Cook Islands23691
*Saint Pierre and Miquelon24293
*Niue260100
8Saint Kitts and Nevis261101
*Cayman Islands264102
9Maldives298115
10Malta316122
11Grenada344133
*U.S. Virgin Islands346134
12Saint Vincent and the Grenadines389150
*Saint Helena394152
*Heard Island and McDonald Islands412159
13Barbados430166
14Antigua and Barbuda443171
*Curacao444171
15Seychelles455176
16Palau459177
*Northern Mariana Islands464179
17Andorra468181
*Guam544210
*Isle of Man572221
18Saint Lucia616238
19Micronesia702271
20Singapore719278
21Tonga747288
22Dominica751290
23Bahrain760293
24Kiribati811313
*Turks and Caicos Islands948366
25São Tomé and Príncipe964372
*Hong Kong1,108428
*Faroe Islands1,393538
26Mauritius2,040788
27Comoros2,235863
28Luxembourg2,586998
29Samoa2,8311,093
*South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands3,9031,507
30Cabo Verde4,0331,557
*French Polynesia4,1671,609
31Trinidad and Tobago5,1281,980
32Brunei5,7652,226
33Palestine6,2202,402
*Puerto Rico9,1043,515
34Cyprus9,2513,572
35Lebanon10,4004,015
*Kosovo10,8874,203
36Jamaica10,9914,244
37Gambia11,3004,363
38Qatar11,5864,473
*Falkland Islands12,1734,700
39Vanuatu12,1894,706
40Montenegro13,8125,333
41Bahamas, The13,8805,359
42Timor-Leste14,8745,743
43Eswatini17,3646,704
44Kuwait17,8186,880
45Fiji18,2747,056
*New Caledonia18,5757,172
46Slovenia20,2737,827
47El Salvador21,0418,124
48Israel21,9378,470
49Belize22,9668,867
50Djibouti23,2008,958
51North Macedonia25,7139,928
52Rwanda26,33810,169
53Haiti27,75010,714
54Burundi27,83010,745
55Equatorial Guinea28,05110,831
56Albania28,74811,100
57Solomon Islands28,89611,157
58Armenia29,74311,484
59Lesotho30,35511,720
60Belgium30,52811,787
61Moldova33,85113,070
*Taiwan35,98013,892
62Guinea-Bissau36,12513,948
63Bhutan38,39414,824
64Switzerland41,27715,937
65Netherlands41,54316,040
66Denmark43,09416,639
67Estonia45,22817,463
68Dominican Republic48,67018,792
69Slovakia49,03518,933
70Costa Rica51,10019,730
71Bosnia and Herzegovina51,19719,767
72Croatia56,59421,851
73Togo56,78521,925
*Svalbard62,04523,956
74Latvia64,58924,938
75Lithuania65,30025,212
76Sri Lanka65,61025,332
77Georgia69,70026,911
78Ireland70,27327,133
79Sierra Leone71,74027,699
80Panama75,42029,120
81Serbia77,47429,913
82Czechia78,86730,451
83United Arab Emirates83,60032,278
84Austria83,87132,383
85Azerbaijan86,60033,436
86Jordan89,34234,495
87Portugal92,09035,556
88Hungary93,02835,918
89South Korea99,72038,502
90Iceland103,00039,769
91Guatemala108,88942,042
92Cuba110,86042,803
93Bulgaria110,87942,811
94Liberia111,36943,000
95Honduras112,09043,278
96Benin112,62243,484
97Eritrea117,60045,406
98Malawi118,48445,747
99North Korea120,53846,540
100Nicaragua130,37050,336
101Greece131,95750,949
102Tajikistan144,10055,637
103Nepal147,18156,827
104Bangladesh148,46057,321
105Tunisia163,61063,170
106Suriname163,82063,251
107Uruguay176,21568,037
108Cambodia181,03569,898
109Syria187,43772,370
110Senegal196,72275,955
111Kyrgyzstan199,95177,202
112Belarus207,60080,155
113Guyana214,96983,000
114Laos236,80091,429
115Romania238,39192,043
116Ghana238,53392,098
117Uganda241,03893,065
118United Kingdom243,61094,058
119Guinea245,85794,926
*Western Sahara266,000102,703
120Gabon267,667103,347
121New Zealand268,838103,799
122Burkina Faso274,200105,869
123Ecuador283,561109,484
124Philippines300,000115,831
125Italy301,340116,348
126Oman309,500119,499
127Poland312,685120,728
128Côte d'Ivoire322,463124,504
129Norway323,802125,021
130Malaysia329,847127,355
131Vietnam331,210127,881
132Finland338,145130,559
133Congo, Republic of the342,000132,047
134Germany357,022137,847
135Japan377,915145,914
136Zimbabwe390,757150,872
137Paraguay406,752157,048
138Iraq438,317169,235
139Morocco446,300172,317
140Uzbekistan447,400172,742
141Sweden450,295173,860
142Papua New Guinea462,840178,704
143Cameroon475,440183,568
144Turkmenistan488,100188,456
145Spain505,370195,124
146Thailand513,120198,117
147Yemen527,968203,850
148Kenya580,367224,081
149Botswana581,730224,607
150Madagascar587,041226,658
151Ukraine603,550233,032
152Central African Republic622,984240,535
153Somalia637,657246,201
154France643,801248,573
155South Sudan644,329248,777
156Afghanistan652,230251,827
157Myanmar676,578261,228
158Zambia752,618290,587
159Chile756,102291,933
160Turkiye783,562302,535
161Pakistan796,095307,374
162Mozambique799,380308,642
163Namibia824,292318,261
164Venezuela912,050352,144
165Nigeria923,768356,669
166Tanzania947,300365,755
167Egypt1,001,450386,662
168Mauritania1,030,700397,956
169Bolivia1,098,581424,165
170Ethiopia1,104,300426,373
171Colombia1,138,910439,736
172South Africa1,219,090470,693
173Mali1,240,192478,841
174Angola1,246,700481,354
175Niger1,267,000489,191
176Chad1,284,000495,755
177Peru1,285,216496,225
178Mongolia1,564,116603,909
179Iran1,648,195636,372
180Libya1,759,540679,362
181Sudan1,861,484718,723
182Indonesia1,904,569735,358
183Mexico1,964,375758,449
184Saudi Arabia2,149,690830,000
*Greenland2,166,086836,331
185DR Congo2,344,858905,355
186Algeria2,381,740919,595
187Kazakhstan2,724,9001,052,090
188Argentina2,780,4001,073,518
189India3,287,2631,269,219
190Australia7,741,2202,988,902
191Brazil8,515,7703,287,957
192China9,596,9603,705,407
193United States9,833,5173,796,742
194Canada9,984,6703,855,103
195Russia17,098,2426,601,668

Data Sources:
Area: The World Factbook

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