Microstate

The world's five smallest sovereign states: Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu and San Marino, shown in the same scale for size comparison

A microstate or ministate is a sovereign state having a very small population or very small land area, but usually both. Some examples include Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Nauru, Singapore, and Vatican City.

The smallest fully sovereign microstate is Vatican City, with 829 citizens as of July 2010 and an area of only 0.44 km².[1][2]

Microstates should not be confused with micronations, which are not recognized as sovereign states. Special territories without full sovereignty, such as the British Crown Dependencies, The Chinese Special Administrative Regions and overseas territories of Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, are also not considered microstates.

Contents

List of sovereign nations with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi)

Sovereign states with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi).[3][4]

Rank Country / Territory Area (km²/sqmi) Region
1 Vatican City Vatican City 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi) Europe
2 Monaco Monaco 1.95 km2 (0.75 sq mi) Europe
3 Nauru Nauru 21 km2 (8 sq mi) Oceania
4 Tuvalu Tuvalu 26 km2 (10 sq mi) Oceania
5 San Marino San Marino 61 km2 (24 sq mi) Europe
6 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 160 km2 (62 sq mi) Europe
7 Marshall Islands Marshall Islands 181 km2 (70 sq mi) Oceania
8 Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 km2 (101 sq mi) Caribbean
9 Maldives Maldives 298 km2 (115 sq mi) Asia - Indian Ocean
10 Malta Malta 316 km2 (122 sq mi) Europe - Mediterranean Sea
11 Grenada Grenada 344 km2 (133 sq mi) Caribbean
12 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 km2 (150 sq mi) Caribbean
13 Barbados Barbados 430 km2 (166 sq mi) Caribbean
14 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 442 km2 (171 sq mi) Caribbean
15 Seychelles Seychelles 452 km2 (175 sq mi) Africa - Indian Ocean
16 Palau Palau 459 km2 (177 sq mi) Oceania
17 Andorra Andorra 468 km2 (181 sq mi) Europe
18 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 539 km2 (208 sq mi) Caribbean
19 Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 702 km2 (271 sq mi) Oceania
20 Singapore Singapore 710 km2 (274 sq mi) Asia
21 Kiribati Kiribati 726 km2 (280 sq mi) Oceania
22 Tonga Tonga 747 km2 (288 sq mi) Oceania
23 Dominica Dominica 751 km2 (290 sq mi) Caribbean
24 Bahrain Bahrain 758 km2 (293 sq mi) Asia - Persian Gulf
25 São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 964 km2 (372 sq mi) Africa - Atlantic Ocean

List of sovereign nations with fewer than 500,000 people

Rank Country/territory/entity Population  % of world population Source Region
1  Vatican City 826 0.00001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 [1] Europe
2  Nauru 9,332 0.0001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
3  Tuvalu 10,544 0.0002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
4  Palau 20,956 0.0003% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
5  Monaco 30,539 0.0005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe
6  San Marino 31,817 0.0005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe
7  Liechtenstein 35,236 0.0005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe
8  Saint Kitts and Nevis 50,314 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
9  Marshall Islands 67,182 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
10  Dominica 72,969 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
11  Andorra 84,825 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe
12  Antigua and Barbuda 87,884 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
13  Seychelles 89,188 0.001% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Africa - Indian Ocean
14  Kiribati 100,743 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
15  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 103,869 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
16  Tonga 105,916 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
17  Federated States of Micronesia 106,836 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
18  Grenada 108,419 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
19  Saint Lucia 161,557 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
20  São Tomé and Príncipe 179,506 0.002% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Africa - Atlantic Ocean
21  Samoa 193,161 0.003% CIA Factbook estimate Oceania
22  Vanuatu 224,564 0.003% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Oceania
23  Barbados 286,705 0.004% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
24  Iceland 311,058 0.005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe
25  Bahamas 313,312 0.005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Caribbean
26  Belize 321,115 0.005% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Central America
27  Maldives 394,999 0.006% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Asia - Indian Ocean
28  Brunei 401,890 0.006% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Asia
29  Malta 408,333 0.006% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 Europe - Mediterranean Sea
30  Suriname 491,989 0.007% CIA Factbook estimate 2011 South America

Historical anomalies and aspirant states

A small number of microstates are founded on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law. These types of microstates are usually located on small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism and philatelic and numismatic sales, and are tolerated or ignored by the nations from which they claim to have seceded.

One example is the Republic of Indian Stream, now the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire — A geographic anomaly left unresolved by the Treaty of Paris that ended the U.S. Revolutionary War, and claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. Between 1832 and 1835, the area's residents refused to acknowledge either claimant.

Another example is the Cospaia Republic, which became independent through a treaty error and survived from 1440 to 1826. Its independence made it important in the introduction of tobacco cultivation to Italy.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b CIA - The World Factbook - Holy See (Vatican City)
  2. ^ In Rome, Italy, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) (not to be confused with Malta, an island microstate in the Mediterranean) is an effectively non-territorial sovereign entity that might also be considered to be a microstate; its sovereignty is recognized by 105 states, 100 of which have entered into full diplomatic relations (the Order's official website lists them in this table). However, unlike Vatican City state, the SMOM has no substantive territorial base (though its headquarters hold extraterritorial status, similar to an embassy building). Neither the Vatican nor SMOM are members of the United Nations, although both have permanent observer status at the UN: Vatican City is a "non-member state" under the name of the atypical international entity of the Holy See, SMOM is an "other entity".
  3. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook -- Rank Order - Area". CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2147rank.html. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  4. ^ (pdf) Demographic Yearbook—Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density. United Nations Statistics Division. 2008. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2008/Table03.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 

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