As of 2021, there were 195 recognized sovereign states in the world. However, it’s important to note that the number of countries can be a matter of debate and subject to change due to geopolitical developments, recognition by other countries, and shifts in international relations. Here’s a breakdown of the 195 countries:
- 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN): The United Nations is an international organization that comprises 193 member states. These countries are recognized as sovereign nations by the majority of the world’s nations and have representation in the UN General Assembly.
- 2 Observer States in the UN: The Holy See (Vatican City) and Palestine have observer status at the United Nations. While they are not full member states, they have a limited diplomatic presence and participate in certain UN activities.
It’s worth noting that there are several regions and territories with varying degrees of autonomy and recognition that are not considered fully sovereign states. These include:
- Dependent Territories: These are territories that are under the sovereignty of another country. Examples include Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory), Guam, and the British Virgin Islands.
- Unrecognized States: Some regions or entities declare themselves independent but are not universally recognized as sovereign states. Examples include Taiwan, Kosovo, and Western Sahara.
- Special Cases: Special regions like Hong Kong and Macau are considered Special Administrative Regions of China, with a high degree of autonomy but not full sovereignty.
- De Facto States: There are regions with de facto independence and functioning governments but lack widespread international recognition. Examples include Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Northern Cyprus.
The number of recognized countries can change over time due to factors such as changes in government, declarations of independence, and shifts in international recognition. It’s important to consult current and authoritative sources for the most up-to-date information on the number of countries in the world.
Please note that developments may have occurred since September 2021, so it’s advisable to verify the current number of countries through official sources or reputable references for the latest information.