Discovering the hidden gems: World’s smallest countries by population

From pristine tropical isles to bustling urban areas, explore the surprising beauty of the world’s smallest nations.

Discover the world’s smallest countries by population, from tropical paradises to crowded urban areas, and see how even these tiny nations can be exploited and spoiled. Get your passport ready for a surprising journey.

1- Vatican City: Populaation 150

The world’s smallest country by size and population, is home to only a few hundred permanent residents. Located in Rome, Italy, it is surrounded by a wall and serves as the center of the Roman Catholic Church, headed by the Pope. Despite its small size, it attracts millions of tourists, world leaders, and Catholics seeking spiritual blessings. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are just a few of the iconic landmarks that draw visitors to the Vatican. With its significant art, artifacts, and historical documents, the Vatican is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Although Italian is the primary language used for day-to-day business, you’ll likely hear people speaking various languages while wandering around.


2- Tuvalu: Population 11,312

A Pacific Ocean island country with a population of around 11,312, consists of nine coral islands. Despite its small size, Tuvalu is considered one of the most remote countries in the world. Its land area is only about 10 square miles, and rising sea levels due to global warming pose a significant threat. The country primarily relies on fishing rights leasing and remittances from citizens working abroad for income. Tuvalu was a British colony until its independence in 1978 but still recognizes the British monarch as its figurehead of State. English is the second language, but Tuvalu has preserved its language, culture, and traditional skills.

  1. Nauru, population 12,688

However, what makes Nauru unique is that all of its inhabitants live on just one island, making it the least-visited country on Earth, with only around 15,000 people having ever been there. Even Queen Elizabeth II included the island on one of her official tours through the Pacific. Despite its isolation, Nauru was still subject to colonial powers, changing hands multiple times. Initially claimed by Germany, it was later controlled by Japan and eventually became a British, Australian, and New Zealand territory before gaining independence in 1968. The reason for its frequent occupation is due to the island’s valuable phosphate deposit, which was strip-mined for about 100 years until it was depleted in the 1990s, leading to the island’s economic collapse and high unemployment rates. Currently, Nauru relies heavily on assistance from Australia and has been used as an offshore immigrant detention facility. Despite some speculation about relocating the island’s population, no concrete plans have been made.


  1. Cook Islands, population 15,040

The Cook Islands, located in the South Pacific Ocean, is a country comprising 15 islands with a land area of 93 square miles. Despite its small size, the Cook Islands have a vast Exclusive Economic Zone of 756,771 square miles of ocean. The country has a free association agreement with New Zealand, and many of its residents have dual citizenship. In addition to its local population, there are over 80,000 people in New Zealand and 28,000 in Australia who claim Cook Islander heritage, making the population much larger than it appears at first glance. The islands were named after British sea captain James Cook, who explored the area in the late 18th century. The Cook Islands are a popular tourist destination, with almost 170,000 visitors per year. The country’s economy depends on offshore banking, pearl farming, and exports of seafood and fruit.


  1. Palau, population 18,055

Palau, located in the Pacific Ocean, is comprised of about 340 islands and has a population of 18,055 spread over 180 square miles. It shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia and the Philippines, and although many residents speak English, the primary language is Palauan, which has roots in the languages of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Palau’s economy is based on farming, tourism, and fishing. These islands have preserved their unique marine life for generations due to customs and traditions related to environmental stewardship.

Throughout its history, Palau has been under the rule of several colonial powers. Spain was the first to colonize the islands, but after losing a war and some colonies to the United States, it sold Palau to Germany to recoup expenses. After Germany lost World War I, the League of Nations administered Palau until Japan was put in charge. However, Japan’s defeat in World War II led to the United Nations taking over, and Palau and other Pacific Islands were made a Trust Territory under the United States. Palau and other countries have since become independent from this status, but still maintain close ties with the United States. The U.S. provides defense and social services, and Palau uses the American dollar as its currency.


Are you looking for a unique travel destination or maybe even a new place to call home? Look no further than the 10 least populated countries in the world. From tropical islands to mountainous micro-nations, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re a fan of warm weather and crystal-clear waters, you might want to consider visiting one of the Caribbean or Pacific island nations. The Cook Islands, with its stunning coral reefs and pearl harvesting industry, would make for an unforgettable trip. Or perhaps you’d prefer Palau, where the conservation of marine life has been a top priority for generations.

If you’re more of a history buff, you might be interested in checking out one of the micro-nations high up in the mountains. San Marino, for example, is a small country nestled in the Italian countryside that boasts medieval fortresses and quaint villages. Andorra, another mountainous micro-nation, is famous for its skiing and duty-free shopping.

For those interested in culture and politics, there are a few options to consider as well. Vatican City, the spiritual and political capital of the Catholic Church, is filled with some of the finest art and architecture produced by Western civilization. Andorra, with its strong economy and political stability, is also worth checking out.

Of course, visiting any one of these countries would be an amazing experience, but as the saying goes, there’s no place like home. So, whether you’re traveling or looking to relocate, make sure to keep your home base in mind. After all, there’s no place like home, no matter where in the world that might be.Top of Form

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Coverpage’s editorial stance.



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