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The Number of Countries in the World

The Number of Countries in the World

The total number of countries in the world is widely debated for various reasons, hence the answer varies. The total number of countries in the world was 57 in 1900's, which has now increased manifold. Know all the countries along with their capitals in this ScienceStruck write-up.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
The number of countries in the world depends on, to put it simply, the counting authority. Some put the figure at 192, while others have it at 196. What leads to this confusion?

Even in these modern times, fighting for independence is not unheard of. Successful entities then become a new country, though it takes a while to be recognized. This is one of the major reasons that leads to confusion when the total number is considered. The other main reason is politics, where one or more countries refuse to acknowledge another as being independent.

How Many Countries are there in the World?

There are 192 members that constitute the United Nations, hence often the answer is 192. However, there are two countries who have chosen not to become a part of the United Nations. The Vatican City and Kosovo, although independent, are not included in the total tally of 192.

The U.S. Department of State recognizes 195 countries in the world. Taiwan is not recognized as an independent country. It is considered to be a part of The People's Republic of China. Due to political reasons, United States refuses to accept Taiwan as an independent country. Till 1971, Taiwan was not only a member of the United Nations, but also part of the Security Council. China replaced Taiwan as part of the United Nation's membership and since then Taiwan has been fighting its lone battle. Although it has been pressing for recognition as an independent country, the People's Republic of China simply claims it to be just a province of China. In the list of 195, however, Kosovo does find a place.

There are many provinces which are erroneously mentioned as countries, but they do not count in the total tally, as these are colonies set up by other countries. Some of these are Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Northern Cyprus. Parts of United Kingdom like Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England are not fully independent countries.

Added to the above mentioned issues, there always remains the question about the countries like Palestine, Greenland, Western Sahara and South Sudan. Although Greenland has declared its independence from Denmark way back in 2008, some of the key areas are yet governed by Denmark. Therefore, often it does not find a place in the list of countries in the world. For the uninitiated, the latest country to declare its independence is South Sudan. South Sudan declared its independence after six years of civil war in July 2011. Taking all these arguments into consideration, the tally of total number of countries in the world is 196.

Name of the Country Capital
North America
Antigua and Barbuda Saint John's
The Bahamas Nassau
Barbados Bridgetown
Belize Belmopan
Canada Ottawa
Costa Rica San José
Cuba Havana
Dominica Roseau
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo
El Salvador San Salvador
Grenada St. George's
Guatemala Guatemala
Haiti Port-au-Prince
Honduras Tegucigalpa
Jamaica Kingston
Mexico Mexico
Nicaragua Managua
Panama Panama
Saint Kitts and Nevis Basseterre
Saint Lucia Castries
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Kingstown
Trinidad and Tobago Port-of-Spain
United States of America Washington, DC
South America
Argentina Buenos Aires
Bolivia La Paz, Sucre
Brazil Brasília
Chile Santiago
Colombia Bogotá
Ecuador Quito
Guyana Georgetown
Paraguay Asunción
Peru Lima
Suriname Paramaribo
Uruguay Montevideo
Venezuela Caracas
Australia
Australia Canberra
Fiji Suva
Kiribati South Tarawa
Marshall Islands Majuro
Micronesia Palikir
Nauru Yaren District
New Zealand Wellington
Palau Ngerulmud
Papua New Guinea Port Moresby
Samoa Apia
Solomon Islands Honiara
Tonga Nuku'alofa
Tuvalu Funafuti
Vanuatu Port Vila
Europe
Albania Tirana
Andorra Andorra la Vella
Austria Vienna
Belarus Minsk
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo
Belgium Brussels
Bulgaria Sofia
Croatia Zagreb
Cyprus Nicosia
Czech Republic Prague
Denmark Copenhagen
Estonia Tallinn
Finland Helsinki
France Paris
Germany Berlin
Greece Athens
Hungary Budapest
Iceland Reykjavík
Ireland Dublin
Italy Rome
Kosovo Pristina
Latvia Riga
Liechtenstein Vaduz
Lithuania Vilnius
Luxembourg Luxembourg
Macedonia Skopje
Malta Valletta
Moldova Chişinău
Monaco Monaco
Montenegro Podgorica
Netherlands Amsterdam
Norway Oslo
Poland Warsaw
Portugal Lisbon
Romania Bucharest
Russia Moscow
San Marino San Marino
Serbia Belgrade
Slovakia Bratislava
Slovenia Ljubljana
Spain Madrid
Sweden Stockholm
Switzerland Bern
Ukraine Kiev
United Kingdom London
Vatican City Vatican City
Asia
Afghanistan Kabul
Armenia Yerevan
Azerbaijan Baku
Bahrain Manama
Bangladesh Dhaka
Bhutan Thimphu
Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan
Cambodia Phnom Penh
China Beijing
Cyprus Nicosia
East Timor Dili
Georgia Tbilisi
India New Delhi
Indonesia Jakarta
Iran Tehran
Iraq Baghdad
Israel Jerusalem
Japan Tokyo
Jordan Amman
Kazakhstan Astana
Korea, North Pyongyang
Korea, South Seoul
Kuwait Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan Bishkek
Laos Vientiane
Lebanon Beirut
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Maldives Malé
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar
Myanmar (Burma) Naypyidaw
Nepal Kathmandu
North Korea Pyongyang
Oman Muscat
Pakistan Islamabad
Philippines Manila
Qatar Doha
Saudi Arabia Riyadh
Singapore Singapore
South Korea Seoul
Sri Lanka Colombo
Syria Damascus
Taiwan Taipei
Tajikistan Dushanbe
Thailand Bangkok
Turkey* Ankara
Turkmenistan Ashgabat
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
Uzbekistan Tashkent
Vietnam Hanoi
Yemen Sana'a
Africa
Algeria Algiers
Angola Luanda
Benin Porto-Novo
Botswana Gaborone
Burkina Faso Ouagadougou
Burundi Bujumbura
Cameroon Yaoundé
Cape Verde Praia
Central African Republic Bangui
Chad N'Djamena
Comoros Moroni
Congo, Republic of Brazzaville
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa
Côte d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro
Djibouti Djibouti
Egypt Cairo
Equatorial Guinea Malabo
Eritrea Asmara
Ethiopia Addis Ababa
Gabon Libreville
The Gambia Banjul
Ghana Accra
Guinea Conakry
Guinea-Bissau Bissau
Kenya Nairobi
Lesotho Maseru
Liberia Monrovia
Libya Tripoli
Madagascar Antananarivo
Malawi Lilongwe
Mali Bamako
Mauritania Nouakchott
Mauritius Port Louis
Morocco Rabat
Mozambique Maputo
Namibia Windhoek
Niger Niamey
Nigeria Abuja
Rwanda Kigali
Sao Tome and Principe São Tomé
Senegal Dakar
Seychelles Victoria
Sierra Leone Freetown
Somalia Mogadishu
South Africa Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
South Sudan Juba
Sudan Khartoum
Swaziland Mbabane, Lobamba
Tanzania Dodoma, Dar es Salaam
Togo Lomé
Tunisia Tunis
Uganda Kampala
Zambia Lusaka
Zimbabwe Harare
* - Turkey has been mentioned in the Asian continent, for geographically the major portion lies in Asia, while there is a minor part, which is a part of the European continent.

Antarctica is a continent by itself and does not come in the list of countries. Therefore, it does not find mention in the table above.

As mentioned above, the exact number cannot be accurately stated. New countries might get added, like in the case of South Sudan, or when looked at from a neutral perspective, countries like Scotland and Taiwan might be considered independent. For all general purposes and means, however, the above list should do very well indeed.