How Many Countries are there in the World for Travelers?

How Many Countries are there in the World for Travelers?
How Many Countries are there in the World for Travelers?

How Many Countries are there in the World for Travelers?

There are travelers who aim to visit all countries in the world. But how many countries is that really? Of course, we should know that here at Expedition Aardbol. The answer depends a bit on who exactly you ask that question, but in this blog, we try to answer it as completely as possible. 

How Many Countries are there in the World?

When we talk about exactly how many countries there are, we usually look at the number of countries that are officially recognized by the United Nations and the vast majority of its member states. 

There are currently 196 internationally recognized independent states, according to the United Nations. That’s the 193 members of the UN plus Vatican City and Palestine. In addition, you can also include Kosovo on this list, because the country is recognized by a majority of the UN member states.

Please note: the world map is in full swing and new countries are added regularly, for example when a certain region splits off and declares independence. A recent example is South Sudan, which declared independence in 2011 and was officially recognized by the UN and its member states.

Which Countries are not Recognized by the UN?

However, the United Nations list is not complete. There are in fact a lot of regions and areas where there is disagreement about, for example, political tensions, administrative agreements, and wars. Like Taiwan for example. Taiwan itself claims to be independent of China, but it is not recognized as such by China and its allies.

Besides Taiwan, there are about 40 more countries that are not recognized by the UN, but that you and I might name as separate countries. This also applies to Hong Kong and Macau, for example. But Curaçao, Aruba, Sint Maarten, and the rest of the Caribbean Netherlands also have no official independent status. The same applies to the Faroe Islands, which officially belong to Denmark, but have their own language, currency and government. 

How Many Countries Does Europe Have?

How many countries does Europe have? And Africa? And Asia? If you look at the number of countries at the continental level, you arrive at the following distribution. 

Africa: 54 countries

Asia: 48 countries

Europe: 45 countries (including Kosovo)

North America: 23 countries

Oceania: 14 countries

South America: 12 countries

Track Which Countries You have Visited:

Do you like to keep track of how many countries you have visited? This can be done very conveniently with the Been app. Available in the App Store and Google Play, this app keeps track of which and how many countries you’ve visited. It shows exactly what percentage of the globe you have already crossed off and does not take the political playing field into account. The list in this app is, therefore, a bit longer than that of the UN, so you can also indicate that you have been to Curaçao, the Faroe Islands, or Greenland.