Microstate: Wikis

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The world's five smallest sovereign states: Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu and San Marino, shown in the same scale for size comparison

A microstate or ministate is a sovereign state having a very small population or very small land area, but usually both. Some examples include: Nauru, Singapore, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Vatican City.

The smallest fully sovereign microstate is Vatican City, with 911 citizens as of July 2003 and an area of only 0.44 km²[1]. In Rome, Italy, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) (not to be confused with Malta, an island microstate in the Mediterranean) is an effectively non-territorial sovereign entity that might also be considered to be a microstate; its sovereignty is recognized by 105 states, 100 of which have entered into full diplomatic relations,[2] but unlike the Vatican City state, it has no substantive territorial base (the SMOM's only property, its headquarters buildings, holds extraterritorial status, similar to an embassy building). Neither the Vatican nor SMOM are members of the United Nations, although both have permanent observer status at the UN: Vatican City is a "non-member state" under the name of the atypical international entity of the Holy See, SMOM is an "other entity".

Microstates should not be confused with micronations, which are not recognized as sovereign states. Special territories without full sovereignty, such as the Channel Islands, are not considered microstates either.

Contents

List of sovereign nations with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi)

Sovereign states with a non-sea area less than 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi).[3][4]

Rank Country / Territory Area (km²/sqmi) Region
1 Vatican City Vatican City 0.44 km2 (0 sq mi) Europe
2 Monaco Monaco 1.95 km2 (1 sq mi) Europe
3 Nauru Nauru 21 km2 (8 sq mi) Oceania
4 Tuvalu Tuvalu 26 km2 (10 sq mi) Oceania
5 San Marino San Marino 61 km2 (24 sq mi) Europe
6 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 164 km2 (63 sq mi) Europe
7 Marshall Islands Marshall Islands 181 km2 (70 sq mi) Oceania
8 Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 km2 (101 sq mi) Caribbean
9 Maldives Maldives 298 km2 (115 sq mi) Asia - Indian Ocean
10 Malta Malta 316 km2 (122 sq mi) Europe - Mediterranean Sea
11 Grenada Grenada 344 km2 (133 sq mi) Caribbean
12 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 388 km2 (150 sq mi) Caribbean
13 Barbados Barbados 430 km2 (166 sq mi) Caribbean
14 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 442 km2 (171 sq mi) Caribbean
15 Seychelles Seychelles 455 km2 (176 sq mi) Africa - Indian Ocean
16 Palau Palau 459 km2 (177 sq mi) Oceania
17 Andorra Andorra 468 km2 (181 sq mi) Europe
18 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 539 km2 (208 sq mi) Caribbean
19 Bahrain Bahrain 694 km2 (268 sq mi) Asia - Persian Gulf
20 Singapore Singapore 700 km2 (270 sq mi) Asia
21 Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 702 km2 (271 sq mi) Oceania
22 Kiribati Kiribati 726 km2 (280 sq mi) Oceania
23 Tonga Tonga 747 km2 (288 sq mi) Oceania
24 Dominica Dominica 751 km2 (290 sq mi) Caribbean
25 São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 964 km2 (372 sq mi) Africa

List of sovereign nations with fewer than 500,000 people

Rank Country/territory/entity Population Date  % of world population Source
1  Vatican City 900 0.00001% UN estimate
2  Nauru 10,000 0.0001% UN estimate
3  Tuvalu 11,000 0.0002% UN estimate
4  Palau 20,000 0.0003% UN estimate
5  San Marino 31,000 0.0005% UN estimate
6  Monaco 33,000 0.0005%

UN estimate

7  Liechtenstein 35,365 December 31, 2007 0.0005% Statistik Liechtenstein
8  Saint Kitts and Nevis 50,000 0.001% UN estimate
9  Marshall Islands 59,000 0.001% UN estimate
10  Dominica 67,000 0.001% UN estimate
11  Andorra 84,484 2008 0.001% Andorra Departament d'Estadística
12  Antigua and Barbuda 85,000 0.001% UN estimate
13  Seychelles 87,000 0.001% UN estimate
14  Kiribati 95,000 0.001% UN estimate
15  Tonga 100,000 0.001% UN estimate
16  Grenada 106,000 0.002% UN estimate
17  Federated States of Micronesia 111,000 0.002% UN estimate
18  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 120,000 0.002% UN estimate
19  São Tomé and Príncipe 158,000 0.002% UN estimate
20  Saint Lucia 165,000 0.002% UN estimate
21  Samoa 188,540 2008 0.003% Samoa Statistics Department
22  Vanuatu 226,000 0.003% UN estimate
23  Belize 288,000 0.004% UN estimate
24  Barbados 294,000 0.004% UN estimate
25  Maldives 306,000 0.005% UN estimate
26  Iceland 316,252 April 1, 2008 0.005% Hagstofa Íslands
27  Bahamas 331,000 0.005% UN estimate
28  Brunei 390,000 0.006% UN estimate
29  Malta 407,000 0.006% UN estimate
30  Suriname 458,000 0.007% UN estimate
31  Luxembourg 483,800 January 1, 2008 0.007% Le portail des statistiques du Luxenbourg

Historical anomalies and aspirant states

A small number of microstates are founded on historical anomalies or eccentric interpretations of law. These types of microstates are usually located on small (usually disputed) territorial enclaves, generate limited economic activity founded on tourism and philatelic and numismatic sales, and are tolerated or ignored by the nations from which they claim to have seceded.

One example is the Republic of Indian Stream, now the town of Pittsburg, New Hampshire — A geographic anomaly left unresolved by Treaty of Paris that ended the U.S. Revolutionary War, and claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. Between 1832 and 1835, the area's residents refused to acknowledge either claimant.

See also

References

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