How Many Countries in North America? Why 3 is The Wrong Answer!
How many countries in North America are there? Well, surprisingly the answer is not 2 (Canada and the USA) or 3 if you think Mexico as well. The correct answer to the “How many countries in North America” question is: There are 23 countries on the continent of North America.
How many countries in North America are there?
I was lucky to visit all the countries of North America, but just like you, I was surprised what is and isn’t a country in the Caribbean region that belongs to the continent of North America.
Let me explain how countries in North America are defined. We start with the three big ones, followed by Central America and then the Caribbean islands/countries.
Some of them are actually not countries of North America, but overseas territories. This is what makes it even harder to answer the question “How many countries in North America are there?” correctly.
How many countries are in North America? USA, Canada and Mexico on the map Credit: Vector Maps
The countries in Central America are countries in North America!
The continent of North America and South America merge together in the region commonly referred to as Central America.
The 7 countries in Central America do however belong to the continent of North America. Confused? Well yes, I can understand why. Central America is definitely seen as its own region and could be called a subcontinent, but when it comes to continents, all countries of Central America are well and truly part of North America.
List of 7 countries in Central America
How many countries in North America are there? 7 Countries of Central America on the map. Credit: Vector Map
I have travelled the length of Central America overland, this journey involved everything from buses, chicken buses and even tricycles to cross borders! It was fun! And I travelled on a 25 USD per day budget!
How many countries in North America are there? So far we have 10 countries, but wait there is more! The Caribbean!
Yes, Caribbean countries do belong to the North American continent!
Ok, I admit. This was the strangest thing to get my head around it. Of course, I know that there are 7 continents in the world so the island countries need to belong somewhere! But as I was island hopping the Caribbean it felt different to my other experiences in North America.
So what are countries in the Caribbean that are considered countries of North America?