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The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.
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Size: 0.17 sq. mi. (0.44 km²) Cartoon, Comic Home & Garden Sports
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The size of a golf course, the Vatican City [wiki | official website] is the smallest country
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in the world. It’s basically a walled enclave inside of Rome, Italy. It’s so small that the
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entire country does not have a single street address.
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The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful. It is the sovereign territory of the Fashion Misc.
Holy See, or the seat of the Catholic Church (basically its central government), which has
over 1 billion people (about 1 in 6 people on the planet) as constituents. OpEd Cartoons
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The Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty (which was signed by one of
history’s most repressive dictators, Benito Mussolini) and is ruled by the Pope, basically
a non-hereditary, elected monarch who rules with absolute authority (he’s the
legislative, executive and judiciary all rolled into one) - indeed, the Pope is the only
absolute monarch in Europe. Show Comments
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Another unique thing about the smallest country in the world is that it has no permanent RSS Feed by Feedburner
citizens. Citizenship of the Vatican City is conferred upon those who work at the Vatican
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(as well as their spouses and children) and is revoked when they stop working there.
The Vatican City is guarded by the smallest and oldest
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regular army in the world, the Swiss Guard [wiki]. It was

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originally made up of Swiss mercenaries in 1506, now the
army (also personal bodyguards of the Pope) number 100,
all of which are Catholic unmarried male Swiss citizens. The Neatorama by Email.
Swiss Guard’s Renaissance-style uniform was commonly Enter email to subscribe:
attributed as to have been designed by Michelangelo - this
was actually incorrect: the large "skirt" pants were a Go
common style during the Renaissance. Only their uniforms
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The official languages of the Vatican City are Latin and Italian. In fact, its ATMs are the Top Commenters
only ones in the world that offer services in Latin! And here you thought that Latin is a Author Profiles
dead language…
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For a country that has no street address, the Vatican City has a very efficient post office: Maybe NSFW
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Italy just a few hundred yard away - in fact, there is more mail sent annually per Acland Brierty
inhabitant from this country (7,200 mails per person) than anywhere else in the world. All about nothing
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The Vatican City has a country code top level domain of .va - currently there are only 9
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publicly known .va domains [wiki]. It also has a radio broadcasting service, called
Vatican Radio [wiki], which was set up by Guglielmo Marconi (the Father of Radio)
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The country’s economy is unique: it is the only non-commercial economy in the world. BornRich
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(called Peter’s Pence - hey, even the Pope accepts credit cards!), the sale of postage Damn Funny Pictures
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Size: 0.8 sq. mi. (1.96 km²) Unique Daily
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Population: 35,657 (2006 estimate)
Location: French Riviera on the Mediterranean Weird Daily
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Monaco [wiki | official website] is the second smallest country on Earth (it’s roughly the Woosk
size of New York’s Central Park), yet it’s the most densely populated (23,660 people per
k m²). Actually, Monaco used to be much smaller than it is now - about 100 acres were Powered by
reclaimed from the sea and added to its land size. At the narrowest, Monaco is only 382 BlogRolling
yards wide!

The Principality of Monaco, its formal name, means that the
territory is ruled by a prince. For the last seven centuries,
Monaco was ruled by princes of the Grimaldi family from
Genoa. (The whole thing started one night in 1297 when
François Grimaldi disguised himself as a monk and led a

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small army to conquer the fortress guarding the Rock of
Monaco. The coat of arms of the Grimaldi bears the image of
monks with swords!) Now, the Prince shares legislative
authority with a National Council.

In 1861, Monaco relinquished half of its territory to France in exchange for cash and
independence. When the reigning prince realized that most of Monaco’s natural
resources were on the land that got bartered away, he decided to bet the whole
economy on … what else, gambling (see, casinos aren’t only for American Indians, it’s a
time-tested, universal solution!)

And so began Monte Carlo [wiki], a region of Monaco well known for its glamorous
casinos (a setting for Ian Fleming’s first James Bond Novel Casino Royale [wiki]) and its
Formula One Grand Prix.

In 1918, Monaco entered a treaty with France for military
protection - the treaty, however, also stipulated that Monaco
would lose its independence (and become French) should
the reigning Grimaldi prince died without leaving a male
heir! When Prince Rainier III took over, he was a bachelor
and most Monegasques (that means people of Monaco) were
gloomy about the country’s future. However, he ended up
marrying Hollywood actress Grace Kelly [wiki] - the
marriage not only produced a male heir, it also helped
burnish Monaco’s image as a glamorous place to be for the
wealthy. (Monaco can rest easy now, a new treaty with
France stated that the Principality will remain independent
even without a male heir).

For a long time, Monaco had no income taxes and was a tax haven for wealthy
foreigners and international corporations. This caused a unique thing about Monaco’s
population: most of its residents are not native - in fact, only about 1 in 5 people are
native Monegasques. After a long dispute with France, Monaco started to impose income
taxes on all of its residents who are not born there. Its natural citizens are forbidden
from entering casinos, but to make up for it, they do not have to pay any income taxes.

3. Nauru

Size: 8 sq. mi (21 km²)
Population: 13,005 (2005 estimate)
Location: Western Pacific Ocean

Nauru [wiki] is the world’s smallest island nation, the smallest independent republic, and

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the only republic in the world without an official capital.

Nauru only has one significant source of income: phosphates from thousands of years’
worth of guano or bird droppings. This proved to be both a boon and a bane for
Nauruans - for a long time, its residents enjoyed a relatively high level of income as the
country exported its phosphate like there’s no tomorrow.

The government employed 95% of Nauruans, and lavished free medical care and
schooling for its citizens. Most didn’t take advantage of this offer: only one-third of
children went on to secondary school. The adults didn’t really work, either - office hours
were flexible and the most popular pastime was drinking beer and driving the
20-minute circuit around the island. For a while, Nauru was a paradise - for a brief
moment in 1970s, Nauruans were even amongst the richest people on the planet.

Nothing lasts forever and sure enough, Nauru’s phosphate reserves soon dried up and
left 90% of the island as a barren, jagged mining wasteland. Wasteful investments (like
buying hotels only to leave them to rot) and gross incompetence by the government
(former presidents used to commandeer Air Nauru’s planes for holidays, leaving paying
customers stranded on the tarmac!) didn’t help either.

As if that’s not bad enough, Nauru is also beset by obesity problem. Decades of leisurely
lifestyle and high consumption of alcohol and fatty foods have left as many as 9 out of 10
people overweight! Nauru also has the world’s highest level of type 2 diabetes - over
40% of its population is affected.

So now, Nauruans are poverty-stricken and fat - but they are trying to turn things
around. With no natural resource left, in the 1990s, Nauru decided to become a tax
haven and offered passports to foreign nationals for a fee. This attracted the wrong kind
of money (but a lot of it): the Russian mafia funneled over $70 billion to the tiny island
nation. Things got so bad that most big banks refused to handle transactions involving
Nauru because of money laundering problems.

This led Nauru to another extraordinary money-making scheme: it became a detention
camp for people applying for asylum to Australia!

4. Tuvalu

Size: 9 sq. mi. (26 km²)
Population: 10,441 (2005 estimate)
Location: South Pacific

Tuvalu [wiki] is basically a chain of low-lying coral islands, with its highest elevation
being 16 feet or 5 meters above seal level. With total land area of just 9 square miles,
Tuvalu is not only a teeny tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, it may not even exist in the
next 50 years if sea level continue to rise (a controversial claim, nonetheless there were
evacuation plans to New Zealand and other Pacific Islands). Even if the sea level does
not rise, other problems such as population growth and coastal erosion still make Tuvalu
a very vulnerable country.

During World War II, thousands of American troops were stationed on the islands of

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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.

Tuvalu and the island became an Allied base. Airfields were quickly constructed and
after the war, abandoned. In fact, today rusting wrecks can be found on the islands, a
constant reminder of its role in the War.

Today, Tuvalu also derives income from renting out its Internet country code top-level
domain .tv, as it is the abbreviation of the word ‘television’. This scheme got off to a
rocky start (the original company who tried to do it failed to raise the necessary funds),
but finally proved to be the largest source of income for the country.

5. San Marino

Size: 24 sq. mi. (61 km²)
Population: 28,117 (2005 estimate)
Location: North-central Italy near the Adriatic coast.

With the formal name of The Most Serene Republic of San Marino [wiki], it’s not
surprising that San Marino has got lots of charms. Founded in AD 301 by a Christian
stonecutter named (what else) Marino (or Marinus, depending on who you ask), who
along with a small group of Christians, was seeking escape from religious persecution,
San Marino is the world’s oldest republic.

Its history belies its simple motto: "Liberty." Indeed, San Marino was such a good
neighbor that it was hardly ever conquered by larger enemies (it was briefly conquered
in the 1500s and the 1700s, for like a month each). Even when Napoleon gobbled most
of Europe, he left San Marino alone, saying it was a model republic!

San Marino takes its government seriously: for such a tiny country, San Marino has a
very complex government structure, based on a constitution written in 1600. The country
is ruled by an elected Council of 60, who appoints 2 captain regents (from opposing
political parties, no less) to administer governmental affairs for six-month term. Talk
about preserving liberties through division of authority!

Before World War II, San Marino was amongst the poorest countries in Europe. Today,
with more than 3 million tourists visiting every year (half of San Marino’s income is
derived from tourism), the people of San Marino are amongst the world’s richest people.

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Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2007 at 4:50 am by Alex
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57 Comments to “The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.”

1. Miss Cellania Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 6:26 am

How does Sealand stack up against these?

2. Chris Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 8:51 am

Umm what about Bermuda were only 21sq miles?

3. bob Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 9:24 am

this list is wrong.. all wrong.

you missed out sealand

the knights hospitaller

and Bassas Da india

4. Dave Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 9:30 am

Nauru has also become known as the Tele marketing scam capital of the world along
side Sao Tome! There are believed to be potentially 100’s of scam opperations
directly linked to online gambling and porn that operate out of Nauru. Don’t be
suprised to see 1000’s in long distance charges on your phone bill if you are still on
dial up internet. Your local phone company won’t help you with these charges either.

5. yayo Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 9:58 am

And Andorra?

6. brem Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 11:24 am

Yeah, was going to say, you forgot Sealand!!!!

7. Shane Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 11:34 am

But what of Liechtenstein? What? I beg of you- think of the poor Liechtensteinianers.

8. Luxe Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Luxemburg??? And Liechtenstein and Andorra indeed! I think they are not realy
country’s but some kind of states?!

9. Andrew Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

do your research. Andorra is 181 sqMiles

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10. Alex Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Luxembourg is 999 sq. mi., so it’s a giant compared to these tiny countries.
Liechtenstein is 62 sq. mi., so it would have been #6 on this list (I only listed the Top
5). Andora is 181 sq. mi. - it’s also small, but not as small.

Bermuda is not a country - it’s a territory of the UK. Plus, it’s not a single island, but a
collection of 138 islands comprising of 27.7 sq. mi.

Had Sealand been recognized as a real country, it would have been the smallest (at
550 550 m²!). But alas, it’s only an old sea fort in the UK.

Ditto Sovereign Military Order of Malta, it’s not a “true” sovereign, i.e. it has no

Bassas da India, in addition to not being a country, is just a tiny island. It’s
uninhabited, to boot. Plus at 80 km², it wouldn’t have made it anyway.

11. Alex Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Here’s the list of the 17 smallest countries: Link.

And here’s the list of countries and territories by area: Link.

12. Rob Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

The casino in Casino Royale is in Montenegro, not Monaco.

13. Jacob Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Sealand is a micronation, not a country.

14. bob Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 12:55 pm

sealand is recognised by both the UK government and the UN.

15. dead_red_eyes Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Sealand is a joke, and we all know it.

16. Shelley Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Would everyone leave this person alone. The list is right, and really kind of cool.

17. Joel Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Err… Gibraltar?

2.5 sq miles.

18. Chris Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Bermuda is not a country??? Umm I live here and yes we are a territory of the UK but
we are also a country.

19. Chris Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 3:30 pm

20. Michael Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Err … Gibraltar is not a country. It’s a colony of the United Kingdom!

21. Malos Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.

Bermuda doesn’t count because your damn triangle killed off all the explorers…

22. mo Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Great article.. Bermuda sux and is not a country..

23. Michael Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 4:54 pm

You forgot Petoria.

24. Robert Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Great list. Some people just like to heckle. Anyways, as you should know Michael,
Petoria is no longer a country. After its attack on the United States Peter (President of
Petoria) was forced to surrender to the United States and give up his country’s
independence. The inhabitants of the small country inside Rhode Island included only
1 person at the time and 1 talking dog. (The first lady and 3 children had all left the

25. Matt Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 5:59 pm

What, no Paris Hilton’s vagina? Or is that only a city-state?

26. Nicolae Guta Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 9:15 pm

lol rob aka. 12. casino royale was in monaco, if you have actually read the original
book from which all the bond movies were made then you would know this. nice try
lil guy…. oh and alex good job on this i loved reading the part when you actually got
the info for all these countries that people think were smaller. i commend you, way to
make people look stupid for acting like they know what theyre talking about…… good

27. Aslan Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

what about Narnia?!

28. Frodo Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 10:11 pm

what about The Shire!? We got big feet!

29. no one Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 10:12 pm


30. someone Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 10:14 pm


31. yourmom Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

what about your wienerland? its one square centimeter!

32. Luigi ! Says:
January 4th, 2007 at 11:43 pm


33. Napolean Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:00 am


34. Napolean Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:02 am


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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.

35. Pedro Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:06 am

ive got a sledgehammer man its gnarly stuff

36. Name (required) Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:08 am


37. dev Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:39 am

yah petoria! come on the once great citisens!Peter and Brian,the first lady on
petoria,lois(and wife of the presadent)(and first lady),meg,chris(space program)AND
STEWIE!!Wolrd conqering child genious!

38. Thomas Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 2:50 am

If the Vatican City was created in 1929, then how is it that it has been guarded by the
Swiss Guard for 500 years?

39. Nick Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 8:00 am

K Sealand is not a micronation, because that would count as a micronation is just a
small country. It is a principality which means nothing for this. Bassas Da india is an
uninhabited island which makes it hard to be country because there are no people.
And it means the Swiss Gaurd is 500 years old, not that the Swiss Guard has been
protecting the Vatican for that long.

40. yayo Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

“How sweet is to be an idiot” Monty Pythons sang

41. jony Says:
January 5th, 2007 at 2:13 pm

The Swiss gaurd have been protecting the Vatican since 1506 (according to a vatican
website). However, the Vatican hasn’t been a nation since 1506. Just as there was a
King of France long before France became a nation-state. Before 1929 the Vatican
might have been a part of Italy (though still defended by its own military) or it might
simply have not been defined as a nation. Having focused my studies on the middle
ages I’m not sure on the matter.

42. babbu Says:
January 7th, 2007 at 7:07 am

where is MALTA!!

43. REmdco Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 12:36 pm


44. AW Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Land van Ooit

45. Err... Says:
January 10th, 2007 at 5:28 am

Pangaea!! smallest evar!

46. Yonda Says:
January 12th, 2007 at 3:45 am

Spam spam. Please flame me.

47. Shoop Shoop Says:
January 13th, 2007 at 7:26 am

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Neatorama » Blog Archive » The 5 Smallest Countries in the World.

You’re all wrong, China is the smallest country in the world. Bloody retards!!!

48. Phil Says:
January 21st, 2007 at 12:43 am

go sealand!!! yes it is a country and you all know it. when i am famous i will buy it.
umm ya everyone that reads this has no life. ok byby

49. the gnat Says:
January 21st, 2007 at 3:28 am

i love how everyone is freaking about this list. you all need to build yourself a little
bridge and get over it!!! your all freaks. thanx to whoever wrote that

50. Cody Says:
January 21st, 2007 at 4:12 am

******* hell! who cares about this?!Alex Trebek should slap you, child!

51. ^_^ Says:
January 25th, 2007 at 10:43 am

That list was awesome I definitely learned alot.

And Sealand really is a joke. Don’t try to promote it. It’s just pathetic. The “royal”
family doesn’t even live there.

52. Chacal Says:
January 30th, 2007 at 6:11 am

Sealand will be regarded as a real country only when its ruler marries into
Hollywood royalty. Maybe Jennifer Lopez. How long must he wait before his number
eventually comes up? Not long.

53. afroncioni Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 11:57 am

Bermuda is a country by the way, we have our own curency and national anthem. We
are the oldest british colony in the world though we are considered a country and are
part of the comonwealth. If we were not a country we would be part of englnd when
we went to the olympics and any other big games.

54. afroncioni Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 12:02 pm

to make it clear we are an INDEPENDANT british terretory

55. AUK Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Bermuda is not a country. Just because they come out on their own during the
Olympics means nothing. Puerto Rico does the same and they are not a country.
Bermuda is a colony that reject independence from the U.K. in 1994.
Check the link.

56. Snor Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Hey! You Forgot Poland!

57. lowang Says:
January 31st, 2007 at 7:09 pm

People of Monaco are Monegasques?
Man that’s cool.

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