List of countries

This list of sovereign states provides an overview of sovereign states around the world, with information on their status and recognition of their sovereignty.

Membership within the United Nations system divides the 206 listed states into three categories: 193 member states, two observer states, and 11 other states. The sovereignty dispute column indicates states whose sovereignty is undisputed (190 states) and states whose sovereignty is disputed (16 states).

Compiling a list such as this can be a difficult and controversial process, as there is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations concerning the criteria for statehood. For more information on the criteria used to determine the contents of this list, please see the criteria for inclusion section below. The list is intended to include entities that have been recognized to have de facto status as sovereign states, and inclusion should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific claim to statehood in legal terms.

    List of states

    Short and formal names Membership within the UN System Sovereignty dispute Further information on status and recognition of sovereignty
    A AAA A AAA A AAA
    ZZZ↓ UN member states or observer states ↓ A AAA ZZZ
    ZZZAbkhazia → Abkhazia A UN member state A None
     Afghanistan – Islamic Republic of Afghanistan A UN member state A None
     Albania – Republic of Albania A UN member state A None
     Algeria – People's Democratic Republic of Algeria A UN member state A None
     Andorra – Principality of Andorra A UN member state A None Andorra is a co-principality in which the office of head of state is jointly held ex officio by the French president and the bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Urgell, who himself is appointed by the Holy See.
     Angola – Republic of Angola A UN member state A None
     Antigua and Barbuda A UN member state A None Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth realm with 1 autonomous region, Barbuda.
     Argentina – Argentine Republic A UN member state A None Argentina is a federation of 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city.
     Armenia – Republic of Armenia A UN member state Not recognized by Pakistan
     Australia – Commonwealth of Australia A UN member state A None Australia is a Commonwealth realm and a federation of six states and 10 territories. The external territories of Australia are:
     Austria – Republic of Austria A UN member state A None Member of the European Union. Austria is a federation of nine states (Bundesländer).
     Azerbaijan – Republic of Azerbaijan A UN member state A None Azerbaijan contains two autonomous regions, Nakhchivan and Nagorno-Karabakh (Dağlıq Qarabağ). In Nagorno-Karabakh, a de facto state has been established.
     Bahamas, The – Commonwealth of the Bahamas A UN member state A None The Bahamas is a Commonwealth realm.
     Bahrain – Kingdom of Bahrain A UN member state A None
     Bangladesh – People's Republic of Bangladesh A UN member state A None
     Barbados A UN member state A None Barbados is a Commonwealth realm.
     Belarus – Republic of Belarus A UN member state A None
     Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium A UN member state A None Member of the EU. Belgium is a federation divided into linguistic communities and regions.
     Belize A UN member state A None Belize is a Commonwealth realm.
     Benin – Republic of Benin A UN member state A None
     Bhutan – Kingdom of Bhutan A UN member state A None
     Bolivia – Plurinational State of Bolivia A UN member state A None
     Bosnia and Herzegovina A UN member state A None Bosnia and Herzegovina is a federation of two constituent units:

    and Brčko District, a self-governing administrative unit.

     Botswana – Republic of Botswana A UN member state A None
     Brazil – Federative Republic of Brazil A UN member state A None Brazil is a federation of 26 states and 1 federal district.
     Brunei – Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace A UN member state A None
     Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Burkina Faso A UN member state A None
    Burma → Myanmar A UN member state A None
     Burundi – Republic of Burundi A UN member state A None
     Cambodia – Kingdom of Cambodia A UN member state A None
     Cameroon – Republic of Cameroon A UN member state A None
     Canada A UN member state A None Canada is a Commonwealth realm and a federation of 10 provinces and three territories.
     Cape Verde – Republic of Cabo Verde A UN member state A None
     Central African Republic A UN member state A None
     Chad – Republic of Chad A UN member state A None
     Chile – Republic of Chile A UN member state A None Easter Island and the Juan Fernández Islands are "special territories" of Chile in the Valparaíso Region.
     China – People's Republic of China A UN member state Partially unrecognized. B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali The People's Republic of China (PRC) contains five autonomous regions, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Tibet. Additionally, it has sovereignty over the Special Administrative Regions of:

    China is not recognised by 21 UN member states and the Holy See, which instead recognise Taiwan (the Republic of China).

    China claims, but does not control, Taiwan which is governed by a rival administration.

    China, Republic of → Taiwan A UN member state A None
     Colombia – Republic of Colombia A UN member state A None
     Comoros – Union of the Comoros A UN member state A None Comoros is a federation of 3 islands.
     Congo, Democratic Republic of the A UN member state A None
     Congo, Republic of the A UN member state A None
    ZZZCook Islands → Cook Islands A UN member state A None
     Costa Rica – Republic of Costa Rica A UN member state A None
    Côte d'Ivoire → Ivory Coast A UN member state A None
     Croatia – Republic of Croatia A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Cuba – Republic of Cuba A UN member state A None
     Cyprus – Republic of Cyprus A UN member state Not recognized by Turkey Member of the EU. The northeastern part of the island is the de facto state of Northern Cyprus. See Foreign relations of Cyprus and Cyprus dispute. Turkey refers to the Republic of Cyprus government as "The Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus".
     Czech Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
    Democratic People's Republic of Korea → Korea, North A UN member state A None
    Democratic Republic of the Congo → Congo, Democratic Republic of the A UN member state A None
     Denmark – Kingdom of Denmark A UN member state A None Member of the EU.

    The Danish Realm includes two self-governing territories:

     Djibouti – Republic of Djibouti A UN member state A None
     Dominica – Commonwealth of Dominica A UN member state A None
     Dominican Republic A UN member state A None
     East Timor – Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste A UN member state A None
     Ecuador – Republic of Ecuador A UN member state A None
     Egypt – Arab Republic of Egypt A UN member state A None
     El Salvador – Republic of El Salvador A UN member state A None
     Equatorial Guinea – Republic of Equatorial Guinea A UN member state A None
     Eritrea – State of Eritrea A UN member state A None
     Estonia – Republic of Estonia A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Ethiopia – Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia A UN member state A None Ethiopia is a federation of nine regions and two chartered cities.
     Federated States of Micronesia A UN member state A None Under Compact of Free Association with the United States. The Federated States of Micronesia is a federation of four states.
     Fiji – Republic of Fiji A UN member state A None Fiji contains 1 autonomous region, Rotuma.
     Finland – Republic of Finland A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
    •  Åland is a neutral and demilitarised autonomous region of Finland.
     France – French Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU. France contains five overseas regions/departments: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion. France also includes the overseas territories of:
     Gabon – Gabonese Republic A UN member state A None
    Gambia  Gambia, The – Republic of the Gambia A UN member state A None
     Georgia A UN member state A None Georgia contains two autonomous republics, Adjara and Abkhazia. In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, de facto states have been formed.
     Germany – Federal Republic of Germany A UN member state A None Member of the EU. Germany is a federation of 16 federated states (Länder).
     Ghana – Republic of Ghana A UN member state A None
     Greece – Hellenic Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU.Mount Athos is an autonomous part of Greece that is jointly governed by the multinational "Holy Community" on the mountain and a civil governor appointed by the Greek government.
     Grenada A UN member state A None Grenada is a Commonwealth realm.
     Guatemala – Republic of Guatemala A UN member state A None
     Guinea – Republic of Guinea A UN member state A None
     Guinea-Bissau – Republic of Guinea-Bissau A UN member state A None
     Guyana – Co-operative Republic of Guyana A UN member state A None
     Haiti – Republic of Haiti A UN member state A None
    Holy See → Vatican City A UN member state A None
     Honduras – Republic of Honduras A UN member state A None
     Hungary A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Iceland – Republic of Iceland A UN member state A None
     India – Republic of India A UN member state A None India is a federation of 29 states and seven union territories.
     Indonesia – Republic of Indonesia A UN member state A None Indonesia has five provinces with official special autonomy status: Aceh, Jakarta SCR, Yogyakarta SR, Papua, and West Papua.
     Iran – Islamic Republic of Iran A UN member state A None
     Iraq – Republic of Iraq A UN member state A None Iraq is a federation of 18 governorates, three of which make up the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.
     Ireland A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Israel – State of Israel A UN member state Partially unrecognized Israel exerts strong control over the territory claimed by Palestine. Israel annexed East Jerusalem, an annexation not recognised by the international community. Israel maintains varying levels of control over the rest of the West Bank, and although Israel no longer has a permanent civilian or military presence in the Gaza Strip, following its unilateral disengagement, it is still considered by some to be the occupying power under international law. Israel is not recognised as a state by 32 UN members (including most Arab states) and by the SADR.
     Italy – Italian Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU. Italy has five autonomous regions, Aosta Valley, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.
     Ivory Coast – Republic of Côte d'Ivoire A UN member state A None
     Jamaica A UN member state A None Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm.
     Japan A UN member state A None
     Jordan – Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan A UN member state A None
     Kazakhstan – Republic of Kazakhstan A UN member state A None
     Kenya – Republic of Kenya A UN member state A None
     Kiribati – Republic of Kiribati A UN member state A None
     Korea, North – Democratic People's Republic of Korea A UN member state B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali North Korea is not recognised by two UN members: Japan and South Korea.
     Korea, South – Republic of Korea A UN member state B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali South Korea contains 1 autonomous region, Jeju-do. South Korea is not recognised by one UN member: North Korea.
    ZZZKosovo → Kosovo A UN member state A None
     Kuwait – State of Kuwait A UN member state A None
     Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz Republic A UN member state A None
     Laos – Lao People's Democratic Republic A UN member state A None
     Latvia – Republic of Latvia A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Lebanon – Lebanese Republic A UN member state A None
     Lesotho – Kingdom of Lesotho A UN member state A None
     Liberia – Republic of Liberia A UN member state A None
     Libya – State of Libya A UN member state A None Libya has one self-declared autonomous region:
     Liechtenstein – Principality of Liechtenstein A UN member state A None
     Lithuania – Republic of Lithuania A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Macedonia – Republic of Macedonia A UN member state A None Because of the Macedonia naming dispute, the country is referred to by the UN and a number of states and international organizations as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
     Madagascar – Republic of Madagascar A UN member state A None
     Malawi – Republic of Malawi A UN member state A None
     Malaysia A UN member state A None Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories.
     Maldives – Republic of Maldives A UN member state A None
     Mali – Republic of Mali A UN member state A None
     Malta – Republic of Malta A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Marshall Islands – Republic of the Marshall Islands A UN member state A None Under Compact of Free Association with the United States.
     Mauritania – Islamic Republic of Mauritania A UN member state A None
     Mauritius – Republic of Mauritius A UN member state A None Mauritius has an autonomous island, Rodrigues.
     Mexico – United Mexican States A UN member state A None Mexico is a federation of 31 states and 1 federal district.
     Moldova – Republic of Moldova A UN member state A None Moldova has the autonomous regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria, the latter of which has established a de facto state.
     Monaco – Principality of Monaco A UN member state A None
     Mongolia A UN member state A None
     Montenegro A UN member state A None
     Morocco – Kingdom of Morocco A UN member state A None Morocco claims sovereignty over Western Sahara and controls most of it, which is disputed by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
     Mozambique – Republic of Mozambique A UN member state A None
     Myanmar – Republic of the Union of Myanmar A UN member state A None
    ZZZNagorno-Karabakh → Nagorno-Karabakh A UN member state A None
     Namibia – Republic of Namibia A UN member state A None
     Nauru – Republic of Nauru A UN member state A None
       Nepal – Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal A UN member state A None Nepal is a federation composed of 14 zones.
     Netherlands – Kingdom of the Netherlands A UN member state A None Member of the EU. The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four constituent countries:

    The monarch and his ministers form the government of the kingdom as well as the government of its constituent country, the Netherlands. Following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have become constituent countries, which, alongside Aruba, enjoy considerable autonomy. The other three islands (Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius) became special municipalities of the Netherlands.

    The designation "Netherlands" can refer either to one of the Kingdom's constituent countries or to the short name for the Kingdom (e.g. in international organizations). The Kingdom of the Netherlands as a whole is a member of the EU, but EU law applies only to parts within Europe.

     New Zealand A UN member state A None New Zealand is a Commonwealth realm, and has the dependent territories of:

    New Zealand has responsibilities for (but no rights of control over) two freely associated states:

    The Cook Islands and Niue have diplomatic relations with 39 and 11 UN members respectively. They have full treaty-making capacity in the UN, and are members of some UN specialized agencies.

     Nicaragua – Republic of Nicaragua A UN member state A None Nicaragua contains two autonomous regions, Atlántico Sur and Atlántico Norte.
     Niger – Republic of Niger A UN member state A None
     Nigeria – Federal Republic of Nigeria A UN member state A None Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and 1 federal territory.
    ZZZNiue → Niue A UN member state A None
    ZZZNorthern Cyprus → Northern Cyprus A UN member state A None
    North Korea → Korea, North A UN member state A None
     Norway – Kingdom of Norway A UN member state A None

    Norway has the dependent territories of:

     Oman – Sultanate of Oman A UN member state A None
     Pakistan – Islamic Republic of Pakistan A UN member state A None Pakistan is a federation of four provinces, 1 capital territory, and tribal regions. Pakistan disputes Indian sovereignty over Kashmir. It exercises control over some areas, but does not explicitly claim any part of it, instead regarding it as a disputed territory. The portions that it controls are divided into two territories, administered separately from Pakistan proper:

    Azad Kashmir describes itself as a "self-governing state under Pakistani control", while Gilgit-Baltistan is described in its governance order as a group of "areas" with self-government. These territories are not usually regarded as sovereign, as they do not fulfill the criteria set out by the declarative theory of statehood (for example, their current laws do not allow them to engage independently in relations with other states). Several state functions of these territories (such as foreign affairs and defence) are performed by Pakistan on their behalf.

     Palau – Republic of Palau A UN member state A None Under Compact of Free Association with the United States.
     Palestine – State of Palestine A UN observer state; member of one UN specialized agency Partially unrecognized. B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali The declared State of Palestine has received diplomatic recognition from 136 states. The proclaimed state has no agreed territorial borders, or effective control on much of the territory that it proclaimed. The Palestinian National Authority is an interim administrative body formed as a result of the Oslo Accords that exercises limited autonomous jurisdiction within the Palestinian territories. In foreign relations, Palestine is represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization. The State of Palestine is a member state of UNESCO, and an observer state in the UN.
     Panama – Republic of Panama A UN member state A None
     Papua New Guinea – Independent State of Papua New Guinea A UN member state A None Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm with 1 autonomous region, Bougainville.
     Paraguay – Republic of Paraguay A UN member state A None
     Peru – Republic of Peru A UN member state A None
     Philippines – Republic of the Philippines A UN member state A None The Philippines contains one autonomous region, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
     Poland – Republic of Poland A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Portugal – Portuguese Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU. Portugal contains two autonomous regions, Azores and Madeira.
    Pridnestrovie → Transnistria A UN member state A None
     Qatar – State of Qatar A UN member state A None
    Republic of Korea → Korea, South A UN member state A None
    Republic of the Congo → Congo, Republic of the A UN member state A None
     Romania A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Russia – Russian Federation A UN member state A None Russia is officially a federation of 85 federal subjects (republics, oblasts, krais, autonomous okrugs, federal cities, and an autonomous oblast). Several of the federal subjects are ethnic republics.
     Rwanda – Republic of Rwanda A UN member state A None
    ZZZSahrawi Arab Democratic Republic → Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic A UN member state A None
     Saint Kitts and Nevis – Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis A UN member state A None Saint Kitts and Nevis is a Commonwealth realm and is a federation of 14 parishes.
     Saint Lucia A UN member state A None Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth realm.
     Saint Vincent and the Grenadines A UN member state A None Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a Commonwealth realm.
     Samoa – Independent State of Samoa A UN member state A None
     San Marino – Republic of San Marino A UN member state A None
     São Tomé and Príncipe – Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe A UN member state A None São Tomé and Príncipe contains 1 autonomous province, Príncipe.
     Saudi Arabia – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia A UN member state A None
     Senegal – Republic of Senegal A UN member state A None
     Serbia – Republic of Serbia A UN member state A None Serbia contains two autonomous regions, Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija. The latter is under the de facto control of the Republic of Kosovo.
     Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles A UN member state A None
     Sierra Leone – Republic of Sierra Leone A UN member state A None
     Singapore – Republic of Singapore A UN member state A None
     Slovakia – Slovak Republic A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
     Solomon Islands A UN member state A None The Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth realm.
     Somalia – Federal Republic of Somalia A UN member state A None Somalia is presently divided with the official Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) controlling only part of the country. Puntland and Galmudug have declared themselves as autonomous regions of Somalia (a claim that the FGS does not recognise),[need quotation to verify] while Somaliland has formed an unrecognised de facto state.
    ZZZSomaliland → Somaliland A UN member state A None
     South Africa – Republic of South Africa A UN member state A None
    South Korea → Korea, South A UN member state A None
    ZZZSouth Ossetia → South Ossetia A UN member state A None
     South Sudan – Republic of South Sudan A UN member state A None South Sudan is a federation of 10 states.
     Spain – Kingdom of Spain A UN member state A None Member of the EU. Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 special autonomous cities.
     Sri Lanka – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka A UN member state A None Formerly known as Ceylon.
     Sudan – Republic of the Sudan A UN member state A None Sudan is a federation of 17 states. Disputes Abyei and Kafia Kingi with South Sudan.
    ZZZSudan, South → South Sudan A UN member state A None
     Suriname – Republic of Suriname A UN member state A None
     Swaziland – Kingdom of Swaziland A UN member state A None
     Sweden – Kingdom of Sweden A UN member state A None Member of the EU.
      Switzerland – Swiss Confederation A UN member state A None Switzerland is a federation of 26 cantons.
     Syria – Syrian Arab Republic A UN member state A None The Syrian National Coalition, which is recognized as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people by 20 UN members, has established an interim government to rule rebel controlled territory during the Syrian civil war.

    Syria has one self-declared autonomous region:

    ZZZTaiwan (Republic of China) → Taiwan A UN member state A None
     Tajikistan – Republic of Tajikistan A UN member state A None Tajikistan contains 1 autonomous region, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province.
     Tanzania – United Republic of Tanzania A UN member state A None Tanzania contains 1 autonomous region, Zanzibar.
     Thailand – Kingdom of Thailand A UN member state A None
    Timor-Leste → East Timor A UN member state A None
     Togo – Togolese Republic A UN member state A None
     Tonga – Kingdom of Tonga A UN member state A None
    ZZZTransnistria → Transnistria A UN member state A None
     Trinidad and Tobago – Republic of Trinidad and Tobago A UN member state A None Trinidad and Tobago contains 1 autonomous region, Tobago.
     Tunisia – Republic of Tunisia A UN member state A None
     Turkey – Republic of Turkey A UN member state A None
     Turkmenistan A UN member state A None
     Tuvalu A UN member state A None Tuvalu is a Commonwealth realm.
     Uganda – Republic of Uganda A UN member state A None
     Ukraine A UN member state A None
     United Arab Emirates A UN member state A None The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates.
     United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland A UN member state A None Member of the EU. The United Kingdom is a Commonwealth realm consisting of four constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The United Kingdom has the following overseas territories:

    The British monarch has direct sovereignty over three self-governing Crown dependencies:

     United States – United States of America A UN member state A None The United States is a federation of 50 states, 1 federal district, and the incorporated territory of Palmyra Atoll. The United States has sovereignty over the following inhabited possessions and commonwealths:

    It also has sovereignty over several uninhabited territories:

    Three sovereign states have become associated states of the United States under the Compact of Free Association:

    •  Marshall Islands – Republic of the Marshall Islands
    •  Micronesia – Federated States of Micronesia
    •  Palau – Republic of Palau

    It also disputes sovereignty over the following territories:

     Uruguay – Oriental Republic of Uruguay A UN member state A None
     Uzbekistan – Republic of Uzbekistan A UN member state A None Uzbekistan contains 1 autonomous region, Karakalpakstan.
     Vanuatu – Republic of Vanuatu A UN member state A None
      Vatican City – Vatican City State A UN observer state under the designation of "Holy See"; member of three UN specialized agencies and the IAEA A None Administered by the Holy See, a sovereign entity with diplomatic ties to 180 states. The Holy See is a member of the IAEA, ITU, UPU, and WIPO and a permanent observer of the UN (in the category of "Non-member State") and multiple other UN System organizations. The Vatican City is governed by officials appointed by the Pope, who is the Bishop of the Diocese of Rome and ex officio sovereign of Vatican City.
     Venezuela – Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela A UN member state A None Venezuela is a federation of 23 states, 1 capital district, and federal dependencies.
     Vietnam – Socialist Republic of Vietnam A UN member state A None
     Yemen – Republic of Yemen A UN member state A None
     Zambia – Republic of Zambia A UN member state A None
     Zimbabwe – Republic of Zimbabwe A UN member state A None
    ZZZ↑ UN member states and observer states ↑ A ZZZ ZZZ
    ZZZ AB B
    ZZZ↓ Other states ↓ D AAA ZZZ
     Abkhazia – Republic of Abkhazia D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali Recognised by Russia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Georgia as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.
     Cook Islands D Member of eight UN specialized agencies A None
    (See political status)
    A state in free association with New Zealand, the Cook Islands has relations with 41 other states. The Cook Islands is a member of multiple UN agencies with full treaty making capacity. It shares a head of state with New Zealand as well as having shared citizenship.
     Kosovo – Republic of Kosovo D Member of two UN specialized agencies B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo was placed under the administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo in 1999. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, and it has received diplomatic recognition from 108 UN member states and the Republic of China. Serbia continues to maintain its sovereignty claim over Kosovo. Other UN member states and non UN member states continue to recognise Serbian sovereignty or have taken no position on the question. Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. The Republic of Kosovo has de facto control over most of the territory, with limited control in North Kosovo.
     Nagorno-Karabakh – Nagorno-Karabakh Republic D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali A de facto independent state,recognised only by Abkhazia,South Ossetia and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Azerbaijan.
     Niue D Member of five UN specialized agencies A None
    (See political status)
    A state in free association with New Zealand, Niue has relations with 12 other states. Niue is a member of multiple UN agencies with full treaty making capacity. It shares a head of state with New Zealand as well as having shared citizenship.
     Northern Cyprus – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus D No membership Claimed by Cyprus Recognised only by Turkey. Under the name "Turkish Cypriot State", it is an observer state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organization. Northern Cyprus is claimed in whole by the Republic of Cyprus.
     Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali Recognised at some stage by 84 UN member states, 38 of which have since withdrawn or frozen their recognition. It is a founding member of the African Union and the Asian-African Strategic Partnership formed at the 2005 Asian-African Conference. The territories under its control, the so-called Free Zone, are claimed in whole by Morocco as part of its Southern Provinces. In turn, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic claims the part of Western Sahara to the west of the Moroccan Wall controlled by Morocco. Its government resides in exile in Tindouf, Algeria.
     Somaliland – Republic of Somaliland D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali A de facto independent state,not diplomatically recognised by any other state, claimed in whole by the Federal Republic of Somalia.
     South Ossetia – Republic of South Ossetia D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali A de facto independent state,recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Nauru, Venezuela, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Georgia as the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia.
     Taiwan – Republic of China DFormer UN member (as Republic of China, 1945-1971) Observer in one UN specialized agency under the name "Chinese Taipei" B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali A state competing for recognition with the People's Republic of China as the government of China since 1949. The Republic of China controls the island of Taiwan and associated islands, Quemoy, Matsu, the Pratas and parts of the Spratly Islands, and has not renounced claims over its annexed territories on the mainland. The Republic of China is recognised by 21 UN member states and the Holy See as of 2013. The territory of the Republic of China is claimed in whole by the People's Republic of China. The Republic of China participates in international organizations under a variety of pseudonyms, most commonly "Chinese Taipei" and in the WTO it has full membership. The Republic of China was a founding member of the UN and enjoyed membership from 1945 to 1971, with veto power in the security council. See China and the United Nations.
     Transnistria – Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic D No membership B Claimed by Georgia Claimed by North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China Claimed by South Korea Claimed by Azerbaijan Claimed by the Republic of Cyprus Disputed by Israel Claimed by Morocco Claimed by Moldova Claimed by Mali A de facto independent state,recognised only by Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. Claimed in whole by Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit.
    ZZZ↑ Other states ↑ D ZZZ ZZZ
    ZZZZ ZZZZ ZZZZ
    Legend "Membership within the UN system" column
      UN Member states
      UN Observer states
      Member of a UN Specialized Agency
      Observer in a UN Specialized Agency
      No membership in the UN system
    Legend "Sovereignty dispute" column
      Undisputed sovereignty
      Sovereignty disputed

    Criteria for inclusion

    The dominant customary international law standard of statehood is the declarative theory of statehood, which was codified by the Montevideo Convention of 1933. The Convention defines the state as a person of international law if it "possess[es] the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) a capacity to enter into relations with the other states" so long as it was not "obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure".

    Debate exists on the degree to which recognition should be included as a criterion of statehood. The declarative theory of statehood argues that statehood is purely objective and recognition of a state by other states is irrelevant. On the other end of the spectrum, the constitutive theory of statehood defines a state as a person under international law only if it is recognised as sovereign by other states. For the purposes of this list, included are all states that either:

    • (a) consider themselves sovereign (through a declaration of independence or some other means) and are often regarded as satisfying the declarative theory of statehood, or
    • (b) are recognised as a sovereign state by at least one UN member state

    Note that in some cases, there is a divergence of opinion over the interpretation of the first point, and whether an entity satisfies it is disputed.

    On the basis of the above criteria, this list includes the following 206 entities:

    • 203 states recognised by at least one UN member state
    • Two states that satisfy the declarative theory of statehood and are recognised only by non-UN member states: Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Transnistria
    • One state that satisfies the declarative theory of statehood and is not recognised by any other state: Somaliland
    • ISO 3166-1
    • Adjectivals and demonyms for countries and nations
    • Sovereign state
      • List of sovereign states and dependent territories by continent
      • List of shortest lived sovereign states
      • List of sovereign states by date of formation
        • Lists of sovereign states by year
    • List of countries and capitals in native languages
    • List of national capitals in alphabetical order
    • Gallery of country coats of arms
    • Gallery of sovereign state flags
    • List of country-name etymologies
    • List of international rankings
    • List of micronations
    • List of states with limited recognition
    • List of dependent territories
    • List of territorial disputes
    • Table of administrative divisions by country
    • Template:Clickable world map
    • Terra nullius
    • List of rebel groups that control territory

    Notes

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