List of sovereign states
The 206 listed states can be divided into three categories based on membership within the United Nations system: 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, of which there are six member states, one observer state and nine other 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 recognised as having 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
|Common and formal names||Membership within the UN System[a]||Sovereignty dispute[b]||Further information on status and recognition of sovereignty[d]|
|UN member states and observer states ↓↓|
|Afghanistan – Islamic Republic of Afghanistan||UN member state||None|
|Albania – Republic of Albania||UN member state||None|
|Algeria – People's Democratic Republic of Algeria||UN member state||None|
|Andorra – Principality of Andorra||UN member state||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 with approval from the Holy See.|
|Angola – Republic of Angola||UN member state||None|
|Antigua and Barbuda||UN member state||None||Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth realm[e] with 1 autonomous region, Barbuda.[f]|
|Argentina – Argentine Republic[g]||UN member state||None||Argentina is a federation of 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city.|
|Armenia – Republic of Armenia||UN member state||Not recognised by Pakistan.||Armenia is not recognised by Pakistan due to the dispute over Artsakh.|
|Australia – Commonwealth of Australia||UN member state||None||Australia is a Commonwealth realm[e] and a federation of six states and 10 territories. The external territories of Australia are:|
|Austria – Republic of Austria||UN member state||None||Member of the European Union.[c] Austria is a federation of nine states.|
|Azerbaijan – Republic of Azerbaijan||UN member state||None||Azerbaijan contains one autonomous region, Nakhchivan [f] The de facto state of Artsakh has been established in the southwest of Azerbaijan.|
|Bahamas, The – Commonwealth of The Bahamas||UN member state||None||The Bahamas is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Bahrain – Kingdom of Bahrain||UN member state||None|
|Bangladesh – People's Republic of Bangladesh||UN member state||None|
|Barbados||UN member state||None||Barbados is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Belarus – Republic of Belarus||UN member state||None|
|Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Belgium is a federation divided into linguistic communities and regions.|
|Belize||UN member state||None||Belize is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Benin – Republic of Benin||UN member state||None|
|Bhutan – Kingdom of Bhutan||UN member state||None|
|Bolivia – Plurinational State of Bolivia||UN member state||None|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||UN member state||None||Bosnia and Herzegovina is a federation of two constituent units:|
|Botswana – Republic of Botswana||UN member state||None|
|Brazil – Federative Republic of Brazil||UN member state||None||Brazil is a federation of 26 states and 1 federal district.|
|Brunei – Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace||UN member state||None|
|Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Burkina Faso||UN member state||None|
|Burma → Myanmar|
|Burundi – Republic of Burundi||UN member state||None|
|Cambodia – Kingdom of Cambodia||UN member state||None|
|Cameroon – Republic of Cameroon||UN member state||None|
|Canada[h]||UN member state||None||Canada is a Commonwealth realm[e] and a federation of 10 provinces and 3 territories.|
|Cape Verde – Republic of Cabo Verde[i]||UN member state||None|
|Central African Republic||UN member state||None|
|Chad – Republic of Chad||UN member state||None|
|Chile – Republic of Chile||UN member state||None|
|China – People's Republic of China[j]||UN member state||Partially unrecognised. Claimed by the Republic of China||China contains five autonomous regions, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, and Xinjiang.[f] Additionally, it has sovereignty over the Special Administrative Regions of:|
|China, Republic of → Taiwan|
|Colombia – Republic of Colombia||UN member state||None|
|Comoros – Union of the Comoros||UN member state||None||Comoros is a federation of 3 islands.[m]|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the[n]||UN member state||None|
|Congo, Republic of the[o]||UN member state||None|
|Cook IslandsCook Islands →|
|Costa Rica – Republic of Costa Rica||UN member state||None|
|Côte d'Ivoire → Ivory Coast|
|Croatia – Republic of Croatia||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Cuba – Republic of Cuba||UN member state||None|
|Cyprus – Republic of Cyprus||UN member state||Not recognised by Turkey||Member of the EU.[c] The northeastern part of the island is the de facto state of Northern Cyprus.|
|Czech Republic[p]||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea → Korea, North|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo → Congo, Democratic Republic of the|
|Denmark – Kingdom of Denmark||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] The Kingdom of Denmark includes 2 self-governing territories:
The continental territory of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland form the three constituent countries of the Kingdom.[q] The Kingdom of Denmark as a whole is a member of the EU, but EU law does not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
|Djibouti – Republic of Djibouti||UN member state||None|
|Dominica – Commonwealth of Dominica||UN member state||None|
|Dominican Republic||UN member state||None|
|East Timor – Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste[r]||UN member state||None|
|Ecuador – Republic of Ecuador||UN member state||None|
|Egypt – Arab Republic of Egypt||UN member state||None|
|El Salvador – Republic of El Salvador||UN member state||None|
|Equatorial Guinea – Republic of Equatorial Guinea||UN member state||None|
|Eritrea – State of Eritrea||UN member state||None|
|Estonia – Republic of Estonia||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Eswatini – Kingdom of Eswatini[s]||UN member state||None|
|Ethiopia – Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia||UN member state||None||Ethiopia is a federation of nine regions and two chartered cities.|
|Fiji – Republic of Fiji||UN member state||None||Fiji contains 1 autonomous region, Rotuma.[f]|
|Finland – Republic of Finland||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|France – French Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] France contains five overseas regions/departments: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion. France also includes the overseas territories of:|
|Gabon – Gabonese Republic||UN member state||None|
|Gambia, The – Republic of The Gambia||UN member state||None|
|Georgia||UN member state||None||Georgia contains two autonomous republics, Adjara and Abkhazia.[f] In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, de facto states have been formed.|
|Germany – Federal Republic of Germany||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Germany is a federation of 16 federated states.|
|Ghana – Republic of Ghana||UN member state||None|
|Greece – Hellenic Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Greece contains one autonomous area, Mount Athos.|
|Grenada||UN member state||None||Grenada is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Guatemala – Republic of Guatemala||UN member state||None|
|Guinea – Republic of Guinea[u]||UN member state||None|
|Guinea-Bissau – Republic of Guinea-Bissau||UN member state||None|
|Guyana – Co-operative Republic of Guyana||UN member state||None|
|Haiti – Republic of Haiti||UN member state||None|
|Holy See → Vatican City|
|Honduras – Republic of Honduras||UN member state||None|
|Hungary||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Iceland[v]||UN member state||None|
|India – Republic of India||UN member state||None||India is a federation of 29 states and seven union territories.|
|Indonesia – Republic of Indonesia||UN member state||None||Indonesia has five autonomous provinces, Aceh, Jakarta, Papua, West Papua, and Yogyakarta.[f]|
|Iran – Islamic Republic of Iran||UN member state||None|
|Iraq – Republic of Iraq||UN member state||None||Iraq is a federation[m] of 19 governorates, five of which make up the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.[f]|
|Ireland[w]||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Israel||UN member state||Partially unrecognised||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 and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which enjoys majority recognition as sole representative of the Palestinian people, also does not recognise Israel.
|Italy – Italian Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Italy has 5 autonomous regions, Aosta Valley, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.[f]|
|Ivory Coast – Republic of Côte d'Ivoire[x]||UN member state||None|
|Jamaica||UN member state||None||Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Japan||UN member state||None|
|Jordan – Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan||UN member state||None|
|Kazakhstan – Republic of Kazakhstan||UN member state||None|
|Kenya – Republic of Kenya||UN member state||None|
|Kiribati – Republic of Kiribati||UN member state||None|
|Korea, North – Democratic People's Republic of Korea||UN member state||South KoreaClaimed by||North Korea is not recognised by three UN members, France, Japan, and South Korea, the last of which claims to be the sole legitimate government of Korea.|
|Korea, South – Republic of Korea||UN member state||North KoreaClaimed by||South Korea has 1 autonomous region, Jejudo.[f]|
|Kuwait – State of Kuwait||UN member state||None|
|Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyz Republic||UN member state||None|
|Laos – Lao People's Democratic Republic||UN member state||None|
|Latvia – Republic of Latvia||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Lebanon – Lebanese Republic||UN member state||None|
|Lesotho – Kingdom of Lesotho||UN member state||None|
|Liberia – Republic of Liberia||UN member state||None|
|Libya – State of Libya||UN member state||None|
|Liechtenstein – Principality of Liechtenstein||UN member state||None|
|Lithuania – Republic of Lithuania||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Macedonia → North Macedonia|
|Madagascar – Republic of Madagascar||UN member state||None|
|Malawi – Republic of Malawi||UN member state||None|
|Malaysia||UN member state||None||Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and three federal territories.|
|Maldives – Republic of Maldives||UN member state||None|
|Mali – Republic of Mali||UN member state||None|
|Malta – Republic of Malta||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Marshall Islands – Republic of the Marshall Islands||UN member state||None||Under Compact of Free Association with the United States.|
|Mauritania – Islamic Republic of Mauritania||UN member state||None|
|Mauritius – Republic of Mauritius||UN member state||None||Mauritius has an autonomous island, Rodrigues.[f]|
|Mexico – United Mexican States||UN member state||None||Mexico is a federation of 31 states and one autonomous city.|
|Federated States of Micronesia||UN member state||None||Under Compact of Free Association with the United States. The Federated States of Micronesia is a federation of four states.|
|Moldova – Republic of Moldova||UN member state||None||Moldova has the autonomous regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria, the latter of which has established a de facto state.|
|Monaco – Principality of Monaco||UN member state||None|
|Mongolia||UN member state||None|
|Montenegro||UN member state||None|
|Morocco – Kingdom of Morocco||UN member state||None||Part of the Moroccan-claimed Western Sahara is controlled by the partially recognised Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.|
|Mozambique – Republic of Mozambique||UN member state||None|
|Myanmar – Republic of the Union of Myanmar[y]||UN member state||None|
|Namibia – Republic of Namibia||UN member state||None|
|Nauru – Republic of Nauru||UN member state||None|
|Nepal – Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal||UN member state||None||Nepal is a federation composed of 7 provinces.|
|Netherlands – Kingdom of the Netherlands||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] The Kingdom of the Netherlands includes four areas with substantial autonomy:
The continental part of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten form the four constituent countries of the Kingdom. Three other territories (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius) are special municipalities of the continental Netherlands.[z] 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||UN member state||None||New Zealand is a Commonwealth realm,[e] 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 49 and 18 UN members respectively. They have full treaty-making capacity in the UN, and are members of some UN specialized agencies.
|Nicaragua – Republic of Nicaragua||UN member state||None||Nicaragua contains two autonomous regions, Atlántico Sur and Atlántico Norte.[f]|
|Niger – Republic of Niger||UN member state||None|
|Nigeria – Federal Republic of Nigeria||UN member state||None||Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and 1 federal territory.|
|North Korea → Korea, North|
|North Macedonia – Republic of North Macedonia[aa]||UN member state||None|
|Northern CyprusNorthern Cyprus →|
|Norway – Kingdom of Norway||UN member state||None||
Norway has the dependent territories of:
|Oman – Sultanate of Oman||UN member state||None|
|Pakistan – Islamic Republic of Pakistan||UN member state||None||Pakistan is a federation of four provinces and 1 capital territory. Pakistan exercises control over certain portions of Kashmir, but has not officially annexed any 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 fulfil 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.
|Palau – Republic of Palau||UN member state||None||Under Compact of Free Association with the United States.|
|Palestine – State of Palestine||UN observer state; member of 2 UN specialized agencies||Partially unrecognised. Disputed by Israel||The State of Palestine, declared in 1988, is not recognised as a state by Israel and has received diplomatic recognition from 137 states. The proclaimed state has no agreed territorial borders, or effective control over 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, UNIDO, and an observer state in the UN.|
|Panama – Republic of Panama||UN member state||None|
|Papua New Guinea – Independent State of Papua New Guinea||UN member state||None||Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm[e] with 1 autonomous region, Bougainville.[f]|
|Paraguay – Republic of Paraguay||UN member state||None|
|Peru – Republic of Peru||UN member state||None|
|Philippines – Republic of the Philippines||UN member state||None||The Philippines contains one autonomous region, Bangsamoro.[f]|
|Poland – Republic of Poland||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Portugal – Portuguese Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Portugal contains two autonomous regions, the Azores and Madeira.[f]|
|Pridnestrovie → Transnistria|
|Qatar – State of Qatar||UN member state||None|
|Republic of Korea → Korea, South|
|Republic of the Congo → Congo, Republic of the|
|Romania||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Russia – Russian Federation||UN member state||None||Russia is 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.[f]|
|Rwanda – Republic of Rwanda||UN member state||None|
|Sahrawi Arab Democratic RepublicSahrawi Arab Democratic Republic →|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis – Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis||UN member state||None||Saint Kitts and Nevis is a Commonwealth realm[e] and is a federation[m] of two islands, St. Kitts and Nevis.|
|Saint Lucia||UN member state||None||Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||UN member state||None||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Samoa – Independent State of Samoa||UN member state||None|
|San Marino – Republic of San Marino||UN member state||None|
|São Tomé and Príncipe – Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe||UN member state||None||São Tomé and Príncipe contains 1 autonomous province, Príncipe.[f]|
|Saudi Arabia – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||UN member state||None|
|Senegal – Republic of Senegal||UN member state||None|
|Serbia – Republic of Serbia||UN member state||None||Serbia contains two autonomous regions, Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija.[f] The latter is under the de facto control of the Republic of Kosovo.|
|Seychelles – Republic of Seychelles||UN member state||None|
|Sierra Leone – Republic of Sierra Leone||UN member state||None|
|Singapore – Republic of Singapore||UN member state||None|
|Slovakia – Slovak Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Solomon Islands||UN member state||None||The Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Somalia – Federal Republic of Somalia||UN member state||None||Somalia has two self-declared autonomous regions, Puntland and Galmudug, while the territory of Somaliland has formed an unrecognised de facto state.|
|South Africa – Republic of South Africa||UN member state||None|
|South Korea → Korea, South|
|South OssetiaSouth Ossetia →|
|South Sudan – Republic of South Sudan||UN member state||None||South Sudan is a federation of 32 states.|
|Spain – Kingdom of Spain||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 special autonomous cities.[f]|
|Sri Lanka – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka[ab]||UN member state||None|
|Sudan – Republic of the Sudan||UN member state||None||Sudan is a federation of 18 states.|
|South SudanSudan, South →|
|Suriname – Republic of Suriname||UN member state||None|
|Swaziland → Eswatini|
|Sweden – Kingdom of Sweden||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c]|
|Switzerland – Swiss Confederation||UN member state||None||Switzerland is a federation of 26 cantons.|
|Syria – Syrian Arab Republic||UN member state||None||The Syrian National Coalition, which is recognised 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: Rojava.
|TaiwanTaiwan (Republic of China) →|
|Tajikistan – Republic of Tajikistan||UN member state||None||Tajikistan contains 1 autonomous region, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province.[f]|
|Tanzania – United Republic of Tanzania||UN member state||None||Tanzania contains 1 autonomous region, Zanzibar.[f]|
|Thailand – Kingdom of Thailand||UN member state||None|
|The Bahamas → Bahamas, The|
|The Gambia → Gambia, The|
|Timor-Leste → East Timor|
|Togo – Togolese Republic||UN member state||None|
|Tonga – Kingdom of Tonga||UN member state||None|
|Trinidad and Tobago – Republic of Trinidad and Tobago||UN member state||None||Trinidad and Tobago contains 1 autonomous region, Tobago.[f]|
|Tunisia – Republic of Tunisia||UN member state||None|
|Turkey – Republic of Turkey||UN member state||None|
|Turkmenistan||UN member state||None|
|Tuvalu||UN member state||None||Tuvalu is a Commonwealth realm.[e]|
|Uganda – Republic of Uganda||UN member state||None|
|Ukraine||UN member state||None||Ukraine claims Crimea as an autonomous republic, however it has been annexed by Russia.|
|United Arab Emirates||UN member state||None||The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates.|
|United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.[c] The United Kingdom is a Commonwealth realm[e] 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||UN member state||None||The United States is a federation of 50 states with shared sovereignty, 1 federal district, and 1 incorporated territory. Additionally, the Federal government of the United States has sovereignty over 15 unincorporated territories. Of these territories the following are inhabited possessions:
It also has sovereignty over several uninhabited territories:
It also disputes sovereignty over the following territories:
|Uruguay – Oriental Republic of Uruguay||UN member state||None|
|Uzbekistan – Republic of Uzbekistan||UN member state||None||Uzbekistan contains 1 autonomous region, Karakalpakstan.[f]|
|Vanuatu – Republic of Vanuatu||UN member state||None|
|Vatican City – Vatican City State||UN observer state under the designation of "Holy See"; member of three UN specialized agencies and the IAEA||None||Administered by the Holy See, a sovereign entity with diplomatic relations to 183 states. This figure consists of 180 UN member states, the Cook Islands, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and the State of Palestine. In addition, the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta maintain diplomatic relations with the Holy See. 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||UN member state||None||Venezuela is a federation of 23 states, 1 capital district, and federal dependencies.|
|Vietnam – Socialist Republic of Vietnam||UN member state||None|
|Yemen – Republic of Yemen||UN member state||None|
|Zambia – Republic of Zambia||UN member state||None|
|Zimbabwe – Republic of Zimbabwe||UN member state||None|
|UN member states and observer states ↑↑|
|↓ Other states ↓|
|Abkhazia – Republic of Abkhazia||No membership||GeorgiaClaimed by||Recognised by Russia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Artsakh, South Ossetia and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Georgia as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.|
|Artsakh – Republic of Artsakh[ac]||No membership||AzerbaijanClaimed by||A de facto independent state, recognised only by Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Azerbaijan.|
|Cook Islands||UN specialized agenciesMember of eight||
(See political status)
|A state in free association with New Zealand, the Cook Islands maintains diplomatic relations with 52 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||UN specialized agenciesMember of two||SerbiaClaimed by||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 112 UN member states and the Republic of China, while 10 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition. 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.|
|Niue||UN specialized agenciesMember of five||
(See political status)
|A state in free association with New Zealand, Niue maintains diplomatic relations with 20 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||No membership||Republic of CyprusClaimed by the||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||No membership||MoroccoClaimed by||Recognised at some stage by 84 UN member states, 42 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||No membership||SomaliaClaimed by||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–the State of Alania||No membership||GeorgiaClaimed by||A de facto independent state, recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Nauru, Syria, Venezuela, Abkhazia, Artsakh and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Georgia as the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia.|
|Taiwan – Republic of China[j]||Former UN member (as Republic of China, 1945–1971)
Observer in one UN specialized agency under the name "Chinese Taipei"
|People's Republic of ChinaClaimed by the||A state competing (nominally) for recognition with the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the government of China since 1949. The Republic of China (ROC) 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 ROC is recognised by 16 UN member states and the Holy See as of 21 August 2018. All these states do not recognise the PRC either. Additionally, one UN member (Bhutan) has refrained from recognising either the ROC or the PRC.
The territory of the ROC is claimed in whole by the PRC.[k] The ROC participates in international organizations under a variety of pseudonyms, most commonly "Chinese Taipei" and in the WTO it has full membership. The ROC was a founding member of the UN and enjoyed membership from 1945 to 1971, with veto power in the UN Security Council. See China and the United Nations.
|Transnistria – Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic||No membership||MoldovaClaimed by||A de facto independent state, recognised only by Abkhazia, Artsakh and South Ossetia. Claimed in whole by Moldova as the Transnistria autonomous territorial unit.|
|↑ Other states ↑|
|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
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".[improper synthesis?]
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. Unique political entities which fail to meet the classification of a sovereign state are considered proto-states.
- 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: Artsakh, Transnistria
- One state that satisfies the declarative theory of statehood and is not recognised by any other state: Somaliland
The table includes bullets representing entities which are either not sovereign states or have a close association to another sovereign state. It also includes subnational areas where the sovereignty of the titular state is limited by an international agreement. Taken together, these include:
- States in a free association relationship to another state
- Two entities controlled by Pakistan which are neither sovereign states, dependent territories, or part of another state: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan
- Dependent territories of another state, as well as areas that exhibit many characteristics of dependent territories according to the dependent territory page
- Subnational entities created by international agreements
- ISO 3166-1
- Adjectivals and demonyms for countries and nations
- Gallery of country coats of arms
- Gallery of sovereign state flags
- List of countries and capitals in native languages
- List of national capitals in alphabetical order
- List of country-name etymologies
- List of dependent territories
- List of international rankings
- List of ISO 3166 country codes
- List of micronations
- List of rebel groups that control territory
- List of states with limited recognition
- List of territorial disputes
- Sovereign state
- List of administrative divisions by country
- Member states of the United Nations
- Template:Clickable world map
- Terra nullius
- This column indicates whether or not a state is a member of the United Nations. It also indicates which non-member states participate in the United Nations System through membership in the International Atomic Energy Agency or one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations. All United Nations members belong to at least one specialized agency and are parties to the statute of the International Court of Justice.
- This column indicates whether or not a state is the subject of a major sovereignty dispute. Only states whose entire sovereignty is disputed by another state are listed.
- The member states of the European Union have transferred part of their sovereignty in the form of legislative, executive, and judicial powers to the institutions of the EU, which is an example of supranational union. The EU has 28 member states.
- Information is included on:
- The extent to which a state's sovereignty is recognised internationally. More information can be found at List of states with limited recognition,
- Membership in the European Union,[c] where applicable,
- Any dependencies, if applicable, which are generally not part of the territory of the sovereign state,
- federal structure of the state, where applicable. More information can be found at Federated state,
- Any autonomous areas inside the territory of the sovereign state,
- Any situations where one person is the Head of State of more than one state,
- Any governments in exile recognised by at least one state.
- Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations in which the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The realms are sovereign states; see Relationship of the realms.
- For more information on divisions with a high degree of autonomy, see List of autonomous areas by country.
- The Argentine Constitution (Art. 35) recognises the following denominations for Argentina: "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata", "Argentine Republic" and "Argentine Confederation"; furthermore, it establishes the usage of "Argentine Nation" for purposes of legislation.
- The legal name for Canada is the sole word; an officially sanctioned, though disused, name is Dominion of Canada (which includes its legal title); see: Name of Canada, Dominion.
- The government of Cape Verde declared "Cabo Verde" to be the official English name of the country in 2013.
- The People's Republic of China (PRC) is commonly referred to as "China", while the Republic of China (ROC) is commonly referred to as "Taiwan". The ROC is also occasionally known diplomatically as Chinese Taipei, or by another alternative name.
- In 1949, the Republic of China government led by the Kuomintang (KMT) lost the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and set up a provisional capital in Taipei. The CPC established the PRC. As such, the political status of the ROC and legal status of Taiwan (alongside the territories under ROC jurisdiction) are in dispute. In 1971, the United Nations gave the China seat to the PRC. In the view of the United Nations, no member of the organisation withdrew as a consequence of this but the ROC representatives declared that they were withdrawing. Most states recognise the PRC to be the sole legitimate representative of all China, and the UN classifies Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China". The ROC has de facto relations with most sovereign states. A significant political movement within Taiwan advocates Taiwan independence.
- See also Dates of establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and Foreign relations of China.
- More information on more or less federal structures can be found at a List of federations.
- Also known as Congo-Kinshasa. Formerly referred to as Zaire, its official name from 1971 to 1997.
- Also known as Congo-Brazzaville.
- A simpler official short name has been encouraged by the Czech government, "Czechia". This variant remains uncommon, but has been adopted by several companies and organisations. See Name of the Czech Republic.
- The designation "Denmark" can refer either to continental Denmark or to the short name for the entire Kingdom (e.g. in international organizations).
- The government of East Timor uses "Timor-Leste" as the official English name of the country.
- Formerly referred to as the Kingdom of Swaziland, its official name until 2018.
- Åland was demilitarised by the Treaty of Paris in 1856, which was later affirmed by the League of Nations in 1921, and in a somewhat different context reaffirmed in the treaty on Finland's admission to the European Union in 1995.
- Also known as Guinea-Conakry.
- While sometimes referred to as the "Republic of Iceland" and sometimes its counterpart Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic, the official name of the country is simply "Iceland". One example of the former is the name of the Constitution of Iceland, which in Icelandic is Stjórnarskrá lýðveldisins Íslands and literally means "the Constitution of the republic of Iceland". However, note that in this usage "republic" is not capitalised.
- "Ireland" is the official name of the country in English. "Republic of Ireland" (the official description in English) and "Éire" (the official name in Irish) have sometimes been used unofficially to distinguish the state from the larger island of Ireland, however, this is officially deprecated. See names of the Irish state.
- The government of Ivory Coast uses "Côte d'Ivoire" as the official English name of the country.
- The country's official name of Myanmar, adopted in 1989, has been mixed and controversial, with the former name Burma still being used in many cases. See Names of Myanmar.
- The designation "Netherlands" can refer either to the continental Netherlands or to the short name for the entire Kingdom (e.g. in international organizations).
- Formerly known constitutionally as the Republic of Macedonia from 1991 to 2019 and under the international designation of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) from 1993 to 2019 due to the Macedonia naming dispute with Greece. Following the Prespa agreement going into effect in February 2019, the country was renamed to North Macedonia.
- Formerly known as Ceylon until 1972.
- Formerly known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, its official name from 1991 to 2017
- The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is not included, as despite being a sovereign entity it lacks territory and does not claim statehood. Entities considered to be micronations are not included. It is often up to debate whether a micronation truly controls its claimed territory. Also omitted from this list are all uncontacted peoples, either who live in societies that cannot be defined as states or whose statuses as such are not definitively known.
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We are the only country not recognizing Armenia as a state.
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- Constitution of Comoros, Art. 1.
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Turkey stands alone in violation of the will of the international community. It is the only country to recognize the "TRNC" and is the only country that does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and its government.
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- Constitution of Greece, Art. 105.
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- Palestine Liberation Organization. "Road For Palestinian Statehood: Recognition and Admission". Negotiations Affairs Department. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
- See the following on statehood criteria:
- Mendes, Errol (30 March 2010). "Statehood and Palestine for the purposes of Article 12 (3) of the ICC Statute" (PDF). 30 March 2010: 28, 33. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011: "...the Palestinian State also meets the traditional criteria under the Montevideo Convention..."; "...the fact that a majority of states have recognised Palestine as a State should easily fulfil the requisite state practice".
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- McDonald, Avril (Spring 2009). "Operation Cast Lead: Drawing the Battle Lines of the Legal Dispute". Human Rights Brief. Washington College of Law, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. 25. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2011: "Whether one applies the criteria of statehood set out in the Montevideo Convention or the more widely accepted constitutive theory of statehood, Palestine might be considered a state."
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In addition to the four cases of contested statehood described above, there are three other territories that have unilaterally declared independence and are generally regarded as having met the Montevideo criteria for statehood but have not been recognized by any states: Transnistria, Nagorny Karabakh, and Somaliland.
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- Вице-спикер парламента Абхазии: Выборы в НКР соответствуют всем международным стандартам Archived 11 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine: "Абхазия, Южная Осетия, НКР и Приднестровье уже давно признали независимость друг друга и очень тесно сотрудничают между собой", – сказал вице-спикер парламента Абхазии. ... "...Абхазия признала независимость Нагорно-Карабахской Республики..." – сказал он."
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Considering each of these factors, Somaliland has a colorable argument that it meets the theoretical requirements of statehood. ... On these bases, Somaliland appears to have a strong claim to statehood.
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- The following bullets are grouped according to the availability of sources for the two criteria ((a) and/or (b)). This arrangement is not intended to reflect the relative importance of the two theories. Additional details are discussed in the state's individual entries.
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