List of sovereign states
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 1
- Criteria for inclusion 2
- See also 3
- Notes 4
- References 5
- Bibliography 6
List of states
|Short and formal names||Membership within the UN System [Note 1]||Sovereignty dispute [Note 2]||Further information on status and recognition of sovereignty [Note 3]|
|UN member states or observer states ↓↓|
|Abkhazia → Abkhazia|
|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 by 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[Note 4] with 1 autonomous region, Barbuda.[Note 5]|
|Argentina – Argentine Republic[Note 6]||UN member state||None||Argentina is a federation of 23 provinces and 1 autonomous city.|
|Armenia – Republic of Armenia||UN member state||Not recognized by Pakistan|
|Australia – Commonwealth of Australia||UN member state||None||Australia is a Commonwealth realm[Note 4] 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. Austria is a federation of nine states (Bundesländer).|
|Azerbaijan – Republic of Azerbaijan||UN member state||None||Azerbaijan contains two autonomous regions, Nakhchivan and Nagorno-Karabakh (Dağlıq Qarabağ).[Note 5] In Nagorno-Karabakh, a de facto state has been established.|
|Bahamas, The – Commonwealth of the Bahamas||UN member state||None||The Bahamas is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|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.[Note 4]|
|Belarus – Republic of Belarus||UN member state||None|
|Belgium – Kingdom of Belgium||UN member state||None||Member of the EU. Belgium is a federation divided into linguistic communities and regions.|
|Belize||UN member state||None||Belize is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|Benin – Republic of Benin[Note 7]||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:
and Brčko District, a self-governing administrative unit.[Note 8]
|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, Abode of Peace||UN member state||None|
|Bulgaria – Republic of Bulgaria||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Burkina Faso[Note 9]||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[Note 10]||UN member state||None||Canada is a Commonwealth realm[Note 4] and a federation of 10 provinces and three territories.|
|Cape Verde – Republic of Cabo Verde||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||Easter Island and the Juan Fernández Islands are "special territories" of Chile in the Valparaíso Region.|
|China – People's Republic of China[Note 11]||UN member state||North Korea Claimed by Serbia Claimed by Somalia Claimed by the People's Republic of China Claimed by the Republic of China||
The People's Republic of China (PRC) contains five autonomous regions, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang and Tibet.[Note 5] Additionally, it has sovereignty over the Special Administrative Regions of:
China claims, but does not control, Taiwan which is governed by a rival administration.[Note 13]
|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.[Note 14]|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the[Note 15]||UN member state||None|
|Congo, Republic of the[Note 16]||UN member state||None|
|Cook Islands → Cook 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.|
|Cuba – Republic of Cuba||UN member state||None|
|Cyprus – Republic of Cyprus||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[Note 17]||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|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.
The Danish Realm includes two self-governing territories:
|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[Note 18]||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.|
|Ethiopia – Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia||UN member state||None||Ethiopia is a federation of nine regions and two chartered cities.|
|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.|
|Fiji – Republic of Fiji||UN member state||None||Fiji contains 1 autonomous region, Rotuma.[Note 5]|
|Finland – Republic of Finland||UN member state||None||
Member of the EU.
|France – French Republic||UN member state||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||UN member state||None|
|Gambia, The – Republic of the Gambia||UN member state||None|
|Georgia||UN member state||None||Georgia contains two autonomous regions, Adjara and Abkhazia.[Note 5] In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, de facto states have been formed.|
|Germany – Federal Republic of Germany||UN member state||None||Member of the EU. Germany is a federation of 16 federated states (Länder).|
|Ghana – Republic of Ghana||UN member state||None|
|Greece – Hellenic Republic||UN member state||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||UN member state||None||Grenada is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|Guatemala – Republic of Guatemala||UN member state||None|
|Guinea – Republic of Guinea[Note 20]||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.|
|Iceland – Republic of Iceland||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 provinces with official special autonomy status: Aceh, Jakarta SCR, Yogyakarta SR, Papua, and West Papua.[Note 5]|
|Iran – Islamic Republic of Iran||UN member state||None|
|Iraq – Republic of Iraq||UN member state||None||Iraq is a federation[Note 14] of 18 governorates, three of which make up the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.[Note 5]|
|Ireland[Note 21]||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Israel – State of Israel||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||UN member state||None||Member of the EU. Italy has five autonomous regions, Aosta Valley, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.[Note 5]|
|Ivory Coast – Republic of Côte d'Ivoire||UN member state||None|
|Jamaica||UN member state||None||Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|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||Claimed by South Korea||North Korea is not recognised by two UN members: Japan and South Korea.[Note 22]|
|Korea, South – Republic of Korea||UN member state||Claimed by North Korea||South Korea contains 1 autonomous region, Jeju-do.[Note 5] South Korea is not recognised by one UN member: North Korea.[Note 22]|
|Kosovo → Kosovo|
|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.|
|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||Libya has one self-declared autonomous region:|
|Liechtenstein – Principality of Liechtenstein||UN member state||None|
|Lithuania – Republic of Lithuania||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Luxembourg – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Macedonia – Republic of Macedonia||UN member state||None||Because of the|
|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.|
|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.[Note 5]|
|Mexico – United Mexican States||UN member state||None||Mexico is a federation of 31 states and 1 federal district.|
|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||Morocco claims sovereignty over Western Sahara and controls most of it, which is disputed by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.|
|Mozambique – Republic of Mozambique||UN member state||None|
|Myanmar – Republic of the Union of Myanmar[Note 23]||UN member state||None|
|Nagorno-Karabakh → Nagorno-Karabakh|
|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 14 zones.|
|Netherlands – Kingdom of the Netherlands||UN member state||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||UN member state||None||
New Zealand is a Commonwealth realm,[Note 4] 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||UN member state||None||Nicaragua contains two autonomous regions, Atlántico Sur and Atlántico Norte.[Note 5]|
|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.|
|Niue → Niue|
|Northern Cyprus → Northern Cyprus|
|North Korea → Korea, North|
|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, 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:[Note 24]
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||UN member state||None||Under Compact of Free Association with the United States.|
|Palestine – State of Palestine||UN observer state; member of one UN specialized agency||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||The declared State of Palestine has received diplomatic recognition from and an observer state in the UN.  The State of Palestine is a member state of UNESCO,|
|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[Note 4] with 1 autonomous region, Bougainville.[Note 5]|
|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, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.[Note 5]|
|Poland – Republic of Poland||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Portugal – Portuguese Republic||UN member state||None||Member of the EU. Portugal contains two autonomous regions, Azores and Madeira.[Note 5]|
|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.|
|Russia – Russian Federation||UN member state||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.[Note 5]|
|Rwanda – Republic of Rwanda||UN member state||None|
|Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic → Sahrawi 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[Note 4] and is a federation[Note 14] of 14 parishes.|
|Saint Lucia||UN member state||None||Saint Lucia is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||UN member state||None||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|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.[Note 5]|
|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.[Note 5] 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.|
|Slovenia – Republic of Slovenia||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|Solomon Islands||UN member state||None||The Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth realm.[Note 4]|
|Somalia – Federal Republic of Somalia||UN member state||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), while Somaliland has formed an unrecognised de facto state.|
|Somaliland → Somaliland|
|South Africa – Republic of South Africa||UN member state||None|
|South Korea → Korea, South|
|South Ossetia → South Ossetia|
|South Sudan – Republic of South Sudan||UN member state||None||South Sudan is a federation of 10 states.|
|Spain – Kingdom of Spain||UN member state||None||Member of the EU. Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities and 2 special autonomous cities.[Note 5]|
|Sri Lanka – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka||UN member state||None||Formerly known as Ceylon.|
|Sudan – Republic of the Sudan||UN member state||None||Sudan is a federation of 17 states. Disputes Abyei and Kafia Kingi with South Sudan.|
|Sudan, South → South Sudan|
|Suriname – Republic of Suriname||UN member state||None|
|Swaziland – Kingdom of Swaziland||UN member state||None|
|Sweden – Kingdom of Sweden||UN member state||None||Member of the EU.|
|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 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:
|Taiwan (Republic of China) → Taiwan|
|Tajikistan – Republic of Tajikistan||UN member state||None||Tajikistan contains 1 autonomous region, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province.[Note 5]|
|Tanzania – United Republic of Tanzania||UN member state||None||Tanzania contains 1 autonomous region, Zanzibar.[Note 5]|
|Thailand – Kingdom of Thailand||UN member state||None|
|Timor-Leste → East Timor|
|Togo – Togolese Republic||UN member state||None|
|Tonga – Kingdom of Tonga||UN member state||None|
|Transnistria → Transnistria|
|Trinidad and Tobago – Republic of Trinidad and Tobago||UN member state||None||Trinidad and Tobago contains 1 autonomous region, Tobago.[Note 5]|
|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.[Note 4]|
|Uganda – Republic of Uganda||UN member state||None|
|Ukraine||UN member state||None|
|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. The United Kingdom is a Commonwealth realm[Note 4] 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, 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:
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.[Note 5]|
|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 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||Claimed by Georgia||Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.|
|Cook Islands||UN specialized agenciesMember of eight||
(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||UN specialized agenciesMember of two||Claimed by Serbia||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[Note 25]||No membership||Claimed by Azerbaijan||A de facto independent state, recognised only by Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria. Claimed in whole by Azerbaijan.|
|Niue||UN specialized agenciesMember of five||
(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||No membership||Claimed by Cyprus||Republic of Cyprus.|
|Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic||No membership||Claimed by Morocco||Recognised at some stage by 84 UN member states, 39 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||Claimed by Somalia||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||No membership||Claimed by Georgia||A de facto independent state, Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia.|
|Taiwan – Republic of China[Note 11]||UN specialized agency under the name "Chinese Taipei"Observer in one||Claimed by the People's Republic of China||A state competing for recognition with 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||No membership||Claimed by Moldova||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.|
|↑ Other states ↑|
Legend "Membership within the UN system" column
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".
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:[Note 27]
- 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 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
- Terra nullius
- List of rebel groups that control territory
- 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.
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, where applicable,
- Any overseas 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 the 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.
- Formerly referred to as Dahomey, its official name until 1975.
- For more information about the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, see Dayton Agreement and the text of The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (14 December 1995). Office of the High Representative. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- Also known as Burkina; formerly referred to as Upper Volta, its official name until 1984.
- 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 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, along with other names.
- See also Dates of establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China.
- 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 the 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 and the ROC withdrew from the UN. 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.
- 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-form name has been encouraged by the Czech government: the English variant Czechia remains uncommon, but variants in Czech (Česko) and some other languages are more popular. See Name of the Czech Republic
- The government of East Timor uses "Timor-Leste" as the English translation.
- 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.
- "Ireland" is the official name 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; this is officially deprecated. See names of the Irish state.
- Both North Korea and South Korea claim to be the sole legitimate government of Korea. See also Foreign relations of North Korea and Foreign relations of South Korea.
- The government changed the state's official name in English from "Union of Myanmar" to "Republic of the Union of Myanmar" in October 2010.
- Sovereignty over Kashmir is disputed between India and Pakistan; smaller parts are disputed by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. Kashmir is divided between India, Pakistan and the PRC. See the List of territorial disputes.
- The Constitution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Art. 1.2) recognizes "Artsakh Republic" as an alternative denomination.
- The sovereignty over the Spratly Islands is disputed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and in part by Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Except for Brunei, each of these countries occupies part of the islands (see List of territorial disputes).
- The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is not included, as despite being a sovereign entity it lacks territory and doesn't 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.
- Nilufer Bakhtiyar: "For Azerbaijan Pakistan does not recognise Armenia as a country" 13 September 2006 [14:03] – Today.Az
- Europa, retrieved 28 February 2011
- Constitution of Comoros, Art. 1.
- See Republic of Turkey Ministry for European Union Affairs Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Constitution of Greece, Art. 105.
- Source: Iraqi constitution
- Knesset website, Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel
- For more information, see Foreign relations of the Cook Islands.
- Constitution of Pakistan, Art. 1.
See the following on statehood criteria:
- "...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 fulfill the requisite state practice".
- "It is possible, however, to argue for Palestinian statehood based on the constitutive theory".
- "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."
- Вице-спикер парламента Абхазии: Выборы в НКР соответствуют всем международным стандартам: "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."
- See : Nagorno-KarabakhRegions and territories (17 January 2006). BBC News. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- See The World Factbook|Cyprus (10 January 2006). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- See : SomalilandRegions and territories (30 December 2005). BBC News. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- 'See : Trans-DniesterRegions and territories (13 December 2005). BBC News. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
- 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.