Hello! Time for Ben’s list again! Today I’ll be telling you about the 5 smallest countries in the world.
5. San Marino: 61.2 km2.
This tiny country in the north-west of the Italian peninsula is literally a circle. It remained a separate country from Italy as when Giuseppe Garibaldi (one of Italy’s founding fathers) was uniting the Kingdoms of Italy, his enemies were chasing him. When he was hiding in San Marino, his enemies couldn’t find him. When Italy was united, Garibaldi said that San Marino could remain independent due to their help. So they did.
San Marino has no debt and is a country with one of the lowest unemployment rate in the world.
4. Tuvalu: 26 km2
Tuvalu is one of the 1 million or so tiny island countries in the East Indies. The island’s first inhabitants were Polynesians and in the 16th century, Spanish explorers discovered the islands and named them the Ellice Islands. The islands then became part of the British Empire but in 1978, the islands decided to become independent.
3: Nauru: 21 km2
Another East Indies island, Nauru is the world’s smallest republic and is the second least populated country in the world (you’ll find out what the least populated country is later). It was claimed by the German Empire in the 19th century but after World War I, when the German Empire collapsed (yet ANOTHER reason WWI sucked), the island was protected by Australia until their independence in 1968.
2: Monaco: 2.02 km2
This tiny principality at the bottom of France is ironically the most densely populated country in the world. Its famous casino Monte Carlo has appeared in tons of films and the country is a tourist hot spot. The country is ruled by a prince but if there’s no male heir to the throne, Monaco will become part of France. The citizens pay no tax and have the highest life expectancy in the world.
OK, not going to lie, Vatican City isn’t a city, it’s a church, some flats and that’s about it. The church is the headquarters of the Pope and he runs a huge empire called the Catholic Church. Outside the church there’s St Peter’s Square, the place where Catholics went to see the new Pope yesterday. The Square is constantly full of tourists, Catholic or otherwise.
Inside the church, the Sistene Chapel, there are some of the most famous pieces of art. The Vatican Library and Museum are connected to the Sistene Chapel, where the Pope lives.
All his bishops live in flats around the Vatican Gardens, which takes up most of the country (seriously). The Vatican is literally inside Rome, in a little wall separating Italy from the Vatican. Oh, and it has no hotels.
Vatican City is also the only country in the world with no women and there is zero birth rate. It has just over 800 people living in it and isn’t a member of the European Union or the United Nations. It also is the only European country which has not entered the Eurovision song Contest.
So that concludes another Ben’s list. Have any questions about any of the countries? If so, just leave a comment.