Smallest Country in the World: A Closer Look at the World’s Smallest Country

Height Comparison Team

The world is home to various countries, each unique in size, culture, and history. Among these, the smallest country in the world stands out not just for its diminutive size but for its immense cultural and historical significance.

Vatican City, an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy, is the epitome of a micro-nation, covering a mere 0.49 square kilometers. Despite its tiny footprint, Vatican City wields significant influence, being the spiritual and administrative heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

It houses some of the most renowned religious and artistic treasures, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums. This smallest country in the world attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists annually, drawn by its profound religious heritage and unparalleled artistic masterpieces.

Join Height Comparison as we take a closer look at the smallest country in the world, uncovering its rich history and enduring legacy.

A Closer Look at the Smallest Country in the World

smallest country in the world

1. Vatican City

Area: 0.49 square kilometers (0.19 square miles)

Population: Approximately 800


The Vatican City is an independent city-state in Rome, Italy. It serves as the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican is home to the Pope and numerous significant cultural and religious landmarks, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.

These sites house some of the world’s most famous artworks, such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and Pietà. The Vatican’s rich history, religious significance, and architectural marvels attract millions of visitors annually.

2. Monaco

Area: 2.02 square kilometers (0.78 square miles)

Population: Approximately 38,000


Monaco, nestled on the French Riviera, is renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, glamorous casinos, and the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. The principality, ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century, is a hub for the wealthy due to its favorable tax laws.

Landmarks include the Prince’s Palace, Monte Carlo Casino, and the Oceanographic Museum. Monaco’s stunning Mediterranean climate, high-end shopping, and vibrant nightlife make it a premier destination for the rich and famous.

3. Nauru

Area: 21 square kilometers (8.1 square miles)

Population: Approximately 10,000


Nauru is an island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia. Known for its phosphate mining history, Nauru once had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

However, the depletion of phosphate resources has led to economic challenges and environmental degradation. Despite these issues, Nauru offers beautiful beaches and a warm, tropical climate. The country needs an official capital, with government offices across various districts.

4. Tuvalu

Area: 26 square kilometers (10 square miles)

Population: Approximately 11,000


Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation in the Pacific Ocean. It comprises nine small islands and is known for its low elevation, which makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

The economy relies on fishing, remittances from overseas workers, and revenue from its internet domain (.tv). Tuvalu’s pristine lagoons, coral reefs, and traditional culture attract a niche group of eco-tourists and researchers.

5. San Marino

Area: 61 square kilometers (24 square miles)

Population: Approximately 34,000


San Marino is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy. It was founded in AD 301 and claims to be the world’s oldest republic. San Marino boasts picturesque landscapes, medieval architecture, and a rich history.

Key attractions include the Three Towers of San Marino, Guaita, Cesta, and Montale, perched atop Mount Titano. The country also hosts numerous festivals and events, reflecting its vibrant cultural heritage. Tourism and banking are significant contributors to its economy.

6. Liechtenstein

Area: 160 square kilometers (62 square miles)

Population: Approximately 39,000


Nestled between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is a mountainous principality known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes, and vibrant financial sector. It is one of the world’s wealthiest countries per capita and has a high standard of living.

Vaduz Castle, the residence of the princely family, overlooks the capital. Liechtenstein’s economy is diversified, with strong industries in finance, manufacturing, and services. Its well-preserved natural beauty also makes it a destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Marshall Islands

Area: 181 square kilometers (70 square miles)

Population: Approximately 59,000


The Marshall Islands, located in the central Pacific Ocean, comprise a group of atolls and islands. They are known for their marine biodiversity, WWII history, and strategic military importance.

The islands face significant challenges related to climate change and rising sea levels. Bikini Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is famous for its atomic testing history and is now a diving destination. The Marshall Islands’ economy is supported by aid from the United States, fishing, and tourism.

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis

Area: 261 square kilometers (101 square miles)

Population: Approximately 53,000


Saint Kitts and Nevis are twin islands in the Caribbean known for their lush landscapes, mountains, beaches, and vibrant culture. St. Kitts is home to the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and hosts the annual St. Kitts Music Festival.

The smaller island of Nevis is known for its tranquil beaches and historical sites. The country has a growing tourism industry, bolstered by its citizenship-by-investment program.

9. Maldives

Area: 300 square kilometers (116 square miles)

Population: Approximately 540,000


The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean renowned for its stunning coral atolls, white-sand beaches, and luxurious overwater resorts. Due to its rich marine life, it is a popular honeymoon destination and a significant attraction for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

The Maldives faces critical challenges from climate change, with many islands being only a few meters above sea level. Tourism is the backbone of its economy, supplemented by fishing and agriculture.

10. Malta

Area: 316 square kilometers (122 square miles)

Population: Approximately 514,000


Malta, located in the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a rich history influenced by various civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, and Knights of St. John. Known for its historic sites, such as the Megalithic Temples (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Malta has a vibrant culture and beautiful coastlines.

The country’s strategic location has made it a hub for maritime trade and a growing financial center. Tourism is a significant industry, attracting visitors to its warm climate, cultural festivals, and historic landmarks.


This smallest country in the world may cover a minimal land area but is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the religious heart of Vatican City to the luxurious streets of Monaco and the idyllic beaches of Tuvalu and Maldives, each country offers a unique glimpse into the diverse tapestry of our world.

Despite their size, these smallest country in the world significantly contribute to global culture, economy, and heritage, reminding us that even the smallest places can have a significant impact.

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