It seems like a simple question to answer. But it’s not. Including a simple question “How many countries in the world are there?” to your trivia night will result in a great debate or confusion.

The answer can be 193, 195, 207 or to some people, even 327. 

How many countries are there in the world

How many countries in the world are there?

Countries of the world according to UN – 195

A place with its own borders and fully independent government. This is the definition of a sovereign state or a country by the UN. According to the UN, there are 193 countries in the world and 2 observer states (Palestine and Vatican City).

So in total, there are 195 countries in the world.

The newest country is South Sudan (since 2011). 

Countries of the world with at least partial recognition – 201

In order to become a country recognised by the UN, all nations of the UN must recognise it as a country. This of course often results in countries that are not recognised by all nations.

A few examples include Kosovo (disputed by Serbia), Taiwan (disputed by China), Western Sahara (disputed by Morocco), South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Northern Cyprus (disputed by Greece).

How many countries are there in the world - the globe

How many countries in the world are there? According to the United Nations, there are 195 countries in the world.

Countries of the world including self-declared states – 205

We also have to mention countries with their self-proclaimed independence. These countries are not recognised internationally; often their claim to sovereignty is disputed from the beginning.

These include Somaliland claiming independence from Somalia. They have their own currency, flag, as well as passports. Transnistria claiming independence from Moldova and Artsakh claiming its own independence from Azerbaijan.

The last is the tiny nation of Sovereign Military Order of Malta with its seat in Rome.

Countries of the world recognised by the Olympic committee – 206 

If you are a lover of sport or at least a fan of the Olympics, the countries competing at these games might seem like the logical list.

To qualify, you do not have to be a country that is fully recognised, hence why the list includes the following: Palestine, Kosovo, Taiwan as well dependent territories such as Porto Rico (USA), Cook Islands (New Zealand), Bermuda, American Samoa or Aruba.

How many countries are there in the world - FIFA recognises 211 countries

How many countries in the world are there? FIFA recognises 211 nations that can compete in the World Cup.

Countries of the world recognised by FIFO committee – 211

The list gets even longer when looking at the qualifying countries by FIFO.  This organisation added Kosovo and Gibraltar in 2016 as countries competing in football to their already extensive list.

Given the popularity of this sport in this corner of the world is not surprising to see Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland compete separately as opposed to under the country name of the United Kingdom.

How many countries in the world - traveller

How many countries in the world are there? Travellers’ Century Club’s official list of countries and territories adds up to a total of 327 as of Jan. 1, 2018

Countries of the world according to Travellers Century Club – 327

327 countries in the world? Sounds like a lot, right? Not according to the Travellers Century Club and their list.

Although some are not actually countries in their own right, they are included because they are removed from the parent country. Travellers have disputed the list of countries ever since wanderlust took them to explore the world…. And it’s easy to see why.

If you go to Scotland does it really feel like the United Kingdom? Is Alaska or Hawaii really the USA? Greenland is Denmark? And Ibiza is Spain?

So there you have it.  If you ask a member of the UN How many countries are there in the world, the answer is 195. If you ask a sports fan, the answer can be 206 or 211. And if you ask a traveller, he will tell you there are possibly 327 countries in the world.

For now, we are aiming to visit all 195 countries according to the UN. We have 9 remaining countries to visit every country in the world.

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