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Talk:Countries of the World

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List of Countries of The World

Worldm.jpg
Cities of Countries, Flags of Countries, Maps of Countries and About the Countries

The list of countries in an alphabetical order.

Below the countries of the world are listed in an alphabetical order within each continent that they are in.

List of African Countries
Algeria flag.gif
Algeria
Angola flag.gif
Angola
Benin flag.gif
Benin
Botswana flag.gif
Botswana
Burkina Faso flag.gif
Burkina Faso

Burundi flag.gif
Burundi
Cameroon flag.gif
Cameroon
Cape Verde flag.gif
Cape Verde
Flag of Central African Republic (WFB 2004).gif
Central African Republic
Flag of Chad (WFB 2004).gif
Chad

Comoros flag.gif
Comoros
Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo flag.gif
Congo, DRC
Flag of the Republic of the Congo (WFB 2004).gif
Congo, Republic of the
Cote D'Ivoire flag.gif
Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Djibouti flag.gif
Djibouti

Flag of Egypt (WFB 2004).gif
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea flag.gif
Equatorial Guinea
Flag of Eritrea (WFB 2004).gif
Eritrea
Flag of Ethiopia (WFB 2004).gif
Ethiopia
Flag of Gabon (WFB 2004).gif
Gabon

Gambia, The flag.gif
Gambia, The
Flag of Ghana (WFB 2004).gif
Ghana
Flag of Guinea (WFB 2004).gif
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau flag.gif
Guinea-Bissau
Flag of Kenya (WFB 2004).gif
Kenya

Lesotho flag.gif
Lesotho
Flag of Liberia (WFB 2004).gif
Liberia
Flag of Libya (WFB 2004).gif
Libya
Madagascar flag.gif
Madagascar
Flag of Malawi (WFB 2004).gif
Malawi

Flag of Mali (WFB 2004).gif
Mali
Flag of Mauritania (WFB 2004).gif
Mauritania
Flag of Mauritius (WFB 2004).gif
Mauritius
Mayotte flag.gif
Mayotte
Flag of Morocco (WFB 2004).gif
Morocco

Flag of Mozambique (WFB 2004).gif
Mozambique
Flag of Namibia (WFB 2004).gif
Namibia
Niger flag.gif
Niger
Flag of Nigeria (WFB 2004).gif
Nigeria
Flag of Rwanda (WFB 2004).gif
Rwanda

Flag of Saint Helena (WFB 2004).gif
Saint Helena
Sau Tome and Princepe flag.gif
Sau Tome and Princepe
Flag of Senegal (WFB 2004).gif
Senegal
Flag of Seychelles (WFB 2004).gif
Seychelles
Sierra Leone flag.gif
Sierra Leone

Flag of Somalia (WFB 2004).gif
Somalia
Flag s africa.gif
South Africa
Sudan flag.gif
Sudan
Flag of Swaziland (WFB 2004).gif
Swaziland
Flag of Tanzania (WFB 2004).gif
Tanzania

Flag of Togo (WFB 2004).gif
Togo
Flag of Tunisia (WFB 2004).gif
Tunisia
Flag of Uganda (WFB 2004).gif
Uganda
Western Sahara flag.gif
Western Sahara

Zambia Flag of (WFB 2004).gif
Zambia
Zimbabwe flag.gif
Zimbabwe

Back to List of Countries

List of Asian Countries
Afghanistan flag.gif
Afghanistan
Armenia flag .gif
Armenia
Azerbaijan flag.gif
Azerbaijan
Bahrain flag.gif
Bahrain
Bangladesh flag.gif
Bangladesh

Bhutan flag.gif
Bhutan
Brunei flag.gif
Brunei
Burma flag.gif
Burma
Cambodia flag.gif
Cambodia
China flag.gif
China

Egypt flag.gif
Egypt-Sinai
Georgia flag.gif
Georgia
Hong Kong flag.gif
Hong Kong
India flag.gif
India
Indonesia flag.gif
Indonesia

Iran flag.gif
Iran
Iraq flag.gif
Iraq
Israel flag.gif
Israel
Japan flag.gif
Japan
Jordan flag.gif
Jordan

Kazakhstan flag.gif
Kazakhstan
Korea, North flag.gif
Korea, North
Korea, South flag.gif
Korea, South
Kuwait flag.gif
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan flag.gif
Kyrgyzstan

Laos flag.gif
Laos
Lebanon flag.gif
Lebanon
Macau flag.gif
Macau
Malaysia national flag.gif
Malaysia
Maldives flag.gif
Maldives

Mongolia flag.gif
Mongolia
Nepal flag.gif
Nepal
Oman flag.gif
Oman
Pakistan flag.gif
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea flag.gif
Papua New Guinea

Philippine Flag.gif
Philippines
Qatar flag.gif
Qatar
Russia flag.gif
Russia
Saudi Arabia flag.gif
Saudi Arabia
Singapore flag.gif
Singapore

Sri Lanka flag.gif
Sri Lanka
Syria flag.gif
Syria
Taiwan flag.gif
Taiwan
Tajikistan flag.gif
Tajikistan
Thailand flag.gif
Thailand

Timor-Leste flag.gif
Timor-Leste
Turkey flag.gif
Turkey
Turkmenistan flag.gif
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates flag.JPG
United Arab Emirates

Uzbekistan flag.gif
Uzbekistan
Vietnam flag.gif
Vietnam
Yemen flag.JPG
Yemen

List of Countries in Australia and Oceania
American Samoa flag.gif
American Samoa
Australia flag.gif
Australia
60px
French Polynesia
60px
Guam
60px
Marshall Islands

60px
Micronesia
60px
Nauru
60px
New Caledonia
60px
New Zealand
60px
Niue

60px
Norfolk Island
60px
No. Mariana Islands
60px
Palau
Samoa flag.gif
Samoa
60px
Solomon Islands

60px
Tokelau
60px
Tonga
60px
Tuvalu
Vanuatu flag.gif
Vanuatu
60px
Wallis and Futuna

List of European Countries
United Kingdom flag.gif
Akrotiri
Albania flag.gif
Albania
Andorra flag.gif
Andorra
Austria flag.gif
Austria
Belarus flag.gif
Belarus

Belgium flag sm.gif
Belgium
Bosnia Herzegovina flag.gif
Bosnia Herzegovina
Bulgaria flag.gif
Bulgaria
Croatia flag.gif
Croatia
Cyprus flag.gif
Cyprus

Czech Republic flag.gif
Czech Republic
Denmark flag.gif
Denmark
Estonia flag60x40.gif
Estonia
Faroe Islands flag.gif
Faroe Islands
Finland flag.gif
Finland

France flag.gif
France
Germany flag.gif
Germany
Gibraltar flag.gif
Gibraltar
Greece flag.gif
Greece
Guernsey flag.gif
Guernsey

Hungary flag.gif
Hungary
Iceland flag.gif
Iceland
Ireland flag.gif
Ireland
Italy flag.gif
Italy
Jersey flag.gif
Jersey

Kosovo flag.gif
Kosovo
Latvia flag.gif
Latvia
Liechtenstein flag.gif
Liechtenstein
Lithuania flag.gif
Lithuania
Luxembourg flag.gif
Luxembourg

Macedonia flag.gif
Macedonia
Malta flag.gif
Malta
Moldova flag.gif
Moldova
Monaco flag.gif
Monaco
Montenegro flag.gif
Montenegro

Netherlands flag.gif
Netherlands
Norway flag.gif
Norway
Poland flag.gif
Poland
Portugal flag.gif
Portugal
Romania flag.gif
Romania

San Marino flag.gif
San Marino
Serbia flag.gif
Serbia
Slovakia flag.gif
Slovakia
Slovenia flag.gif
Slovenia
Spain flag.gif
Spain

Sweden flag.gif
Sweden
Switzerland flag.gif
Switzerland
Ukraine flag.gif
Ukraine
United Kingdom flag.gif
United Kingdom
Holy See flag.gif
Vatican City State

List of North American Countries
Anguilla flag.gif
Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda flag.gif
Antigua
Aruba flag.gif
Aruba
60px
Bahamas, The
60px
Barbados

Flag of Belize.svg
Belize
60px
Bermuda
Canada flag.gif
Canada
60px
Cayman Islands
60px
Costa Rica

60px
Cuba
60px
Dominica
60px
Dominican Republic
60px
El Salvador
60px
Greenland

60px
Grenada
60px
Guatemala
60px
Haiti
60px
Honduras
60px
Jamaica

60px
Mexico
60px
Montserrat
60px
Netherlands Antilles
60px
Nicaragua
60px
Panama

60px
Puerto Rico
60px
Saint Barthelemy
60px
Saint Kitts and Nevis
60px
Saint Lucia
60px
Saint Martin

60px
Saint Pierre Miquelon
60px
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
60px
Trinidad and Tobago
60px
Turks and Caicos Islands
Us-lgflag.gif
USA

60px
Virgin Islands

List of South American Countries
Argentina flag.gif
Argentina
60px
Bolivia
60px
Brazil
60px
Chile
Colombia flag.gif
Colombia

Ecuador flag.gif
Ecuador
60px
Falkland Islands
60px
Guyana
60px
Paraguay
Peru flag.gif
Peru

60px
Suriname
Uruguay flag.gif
Uruguay
60px
Venezuela

Contents

List of Countries of the World

Facts About the World
  • Background: Globally, the 20th century was marked by: (a) two devastating world wars; (b) the Great Depression of the 1930s; (c) the end of vast colonial empires; (d) rapid advances in science and technology, from the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (US) to the landing on the moon; (e) the Cold War between the Western alliance and the Warsaw Pact nations; (f) a sharp rise in living standards in North America, Europe, and Japan; (g) increased concerns about the environment, including loss of forests, shortages of energy and water, the decline in biological diversity, and air pollution; (h) the onset of the AIDS epidemic; and (i) the ultimate emergence of the US as the only world superpower. The planet's population continues to explode: from 1 billion in 1820, to 2 billion in 1930, 3 billion in 1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1988, and 6 billion in 2000. For the 21st century, the continued exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes (e.g., advances in medicine) and fears (e.g., development of even more lethal weapons of war).
  • Geography Overview: The surface of the earth is approximately 70.9% water and 29.1% land. The former portion is divided into large water bodies termed oceans. The World Factbook recognizes and describes five oceans, which are in decreasing order of size: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. The land portion is generally divided into several, large, discrete landmasses termed continents. Depending on the convention used, the number of continents can vary from five to seven. The most common classification recognizes seven, which are (from largest to smallest): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. Asia and Europe are sometimes lumped together into a Eurasian continent resulting in six continents. Alternatively, North and South America are sometimes grouped as simply the Americas, resulting in a continent total of six (or five, if the Eurasia designation is used). North America is commonly understood to include the island of Greenland, the isles of the Caribbean, and to extend south all the way to the Isthmus of Panama. The easternmost extent of Europe is generally defined as being the Ural Mountains and the Ural River; on the southeast the Caspian Sea; and on the south the Caucasus Mountains, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean. Africa's northeast extremity is frequently delimited at the Isthmus of Suez, but for geopolitical purposes, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula is often included as part Africa. Asia usually incorporates all the islands of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The islands of the Pacific are often lumped with Australia into a "land mass" termed Oceania or Australasia. Although the above groupings are the most common, different continental dispositions are recognized or taught in certain parts of the world, with some arrangements more heavily based on cultural spheres rather than physical geographic considerations.
  • Area: total: 510.072 million sq km
    • land: 148.94 million sq km
    • water: 361.132 million sq km
    • note: 70.8% of the world's surface is water, 29.2% is land
  • Land boundaries: the land boundaries in the world total 251,060 km (not counting shared boundaries twice); two nations, China and Russia, each border 14 other countries
    • note: 45 nations and other areas are landlocked, these include: Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Holy See (Vatican City), Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, West Bank, Zambia, Zimbabwe; two of these, Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan, are doubly landlocked.
  • Coastline: 356,000 km
    • note: 94 nations and other entities are islands that border no other countries, they include: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Baker Island, Barbados, Bermuda, Bouvet Island, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Clipperton Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Greenland, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Howland Island, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jan Mayen, Japan, Jarvis Island, Jersey, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Federated States of Micronesia, Midway Islands, Montserrat, Nauru, Navassa Island, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Palmyra Atoll, Paracel Islands, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Svalbard, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands, Wake Island, Wallis and Futuna, Taiwan
  • Maritime claims: a variety of situations exist, but in general, most countries make the following claims measured from the mean low-tide baseline as described in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: territorial sea - 12 nm, contiguous zone - 24 nm, and exclusive economic zone - 200 nm; additional zones provide for exploitation of continental shelf resources and an exclusive fishing zone; boundary situations with neighboring states prevent many countries from extending their fishing or economic zones to a full 200 nm
  • Climate: a wide equatorial band of hot and humid tropical climates - bordered north and south by subtropical temperate zones - that separate two large areas of cold and dry polar climates
  • Terrain: The greatest ocean depth is the Mariana Trench at 10,924 m in the Pacific Ocean
  • Elevation extremes:

LOWEST POINT

  • Land surface: Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth that is below sea level, at 1,378 feet deep
  • Ocean surface: Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench, is the lowest point, lying -10,924 m below the surface of the Pacific Ocean
    • Glacier Ice: Bentley Sub-glacial Trench is the lowest point at -2,555 m (It is a vast topographic trench in Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica, 80°S, 115°W. At 2,555 meters, or 8,382 feet, below sea level, it is the lowest point on the surface of the earth not covered by land surface, as it is mostly covered by glacial ice. Most academic people do not count it as the lowest point on Earth's land surface, since the underlying permafrost glacier ice sheet makes it essentially subterranean, and, in theory, if the glacial ice "ever" melted, the lowest recorded area would vanish, and [we'd] be under water.)

HIGHEST POINT

  • Land surface: Mount Everest at 8,850 m
  • Ocean surface: Gregg Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain, is the highest (shallowest) seamount that is known to geologists, and its top is about 800 meters (2,600 feet) from the surface of the ocean.
    • A seamount is a submerged mountain that does not rise above the ocean surface. It has been created the same way as other mountains, but remains under water.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an Islamic country. An estimated 80% of the population is Sunni, following the Hanafi school of jurisprudence; the remainder of the population--and primarily the Hazara ethnic group--is predominantly Shi'a. Despite attempts during the years of communist rule to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. In fact, Islam served as a principal basis for expressing opposition to communism and the Soviet invasion. Islamic religious tradition and codes, together with traditional tribal and ethnic practices, have an important role in personal conduct and dispute settlement. Afghan society is largely based on kinship groups, which follow traditional customs and religious practices, though somewhat less so in urban areas. -->>>> Read More >>>

Akrotiri

The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are two British-administered areas comprising a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus administered as Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom. The bases were retained by the British following the granting of independence and the eventual transition of Cyprus from a crown colony to an independent sovereign state. >>> Read More >>>

Albania

Over 90% of Albania's people are ethnic Albanian, and Albanian is the official language. Religions include Muslim (Sunni and Bektashi), Albanian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic. >>> Read More >>>

Algeria

Algeria, the second-largest state in Africa, has a Mediterranean coastline of about 998 kilometers (620 mi.). The Tellian and Saharan Atlas mountain ranges cross the country from east to west, dividing it into three zones. >>> Read More >>>

American Samoa

The territory of American Samoa consists of 7 islands that lie 4700 km (2600 miles) southwest of Hawaii, in the center of the Pacific Ocean and are the oldest of the Samoan Islands. The total land mass for the 7 islands is 197 sq km (76.1 sq miles) with 74% belonging to the island of Tutuila. >>> Read More >>>

Andorra

Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; they make up only approximately 37% of the population or about 31,500 native Andorrans. Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make up the other 63% of the population. >>> Read More >>>

Angola

Angola is located on the South Atlantic Coast of West Africa between Namibia and the Republic of the Congo. >>> Read More >>>

Anguilla

Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants. >>> Read More >>>

Antigua

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people"), whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. >>> Read More >>>

Argentina

Argentines are a fusion of diverse national and ethnic groups, with descendants of Italian and Spanish immigrants predominant. Waves of immigrants from many European countries arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. >>> Read More >>>...

Armenia

Ethnic groups in Armenia include Armenians (98%), Kurds, Russians, Greeks, and others. More than 90% of the population is nominally affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is considered to be the national church of Armenia. Languages are Armenian (96%), Russian, and others. >>> Read More >>>

Aruba

Although Aruba conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government, it also has strong relations with other Caribbean governments. Aruba is an observer in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an associate member of the World Trade Organization through the Netherlands, and is a full member of the Association of Caribbean States. >>> Read More >>>

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, became a marine reserve in 2000. >>> Read More >>>

Australia

Australia's indigenous inhabitants, a hunting-gathering people collectively referred to today as Aboriginals and Torres Straits Islanders, arrived more than 40,000 years ago. >>> Read More >>>

Austria

Austria has a well-developed social market economy with a high standard of living and close ties to other EU economies, especially Germany's. >>> Read More >>>

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan combines the heritage of two venerable civilizations--the Seljuk Turks of the 11th century and the ancient Persians. Its name is thought to be derived from the Persian phrase "Land of Fire," referring both to its petroleum deposits, known since ancient times, and to its status as a former center of the Zoroastrian faith. >>> Read More >>>

Bahamas, The

Eighty-five percent of the Bahamian population is of African heritage. About two-thirds of the population resides on New Providence Island (the location of Nassau). Many ancestors arrived in The Bahamas when the islands served as a staging area for the slave trade in the early 1800s. Others accompanied thousands of British loyalists who fled the American colonies during the Revolutionary War.

Bahrain

Bahrain is one of the most densely populated countries in the world; about 89% of the population lives in the two principal cities of Manama and Al Muharraq.

Baker Island

Uninhabited island, 1 sq mi (2.6 sq km), central Pacific, near the equator, c.1,650 mi (2,660 km) SW of Honolulu. The arid coral island was discovered in 1832 by Capt. Michael Baker, an American, and was claimed by the United States in 1856. Like Jarvis Island and Howland Island, Baker was worked for guano by both American and British companies during the 19th cent. In 1935 it was colonized by Americans from Hawaii in order to establish U.S. control against British claims. The colonists were removed during World War II. Baker Island is administered under the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a low-lying, riparian country located in South Asia with a largely marshy jungle coastline of 710 kilometers (440 mi.) on the northern littoral of the Bay of Bengal.

Barbados

The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished.

Belarus

  • Area: 207,600 sq. km. (80,100 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than Kansas.
  • Cities: Capital--Minsk.
  • Terrain: Landlocked, low-lying with thick forests, flat marshes and fields.
  • Climate: Cold winters, cool and moist summers, transitional between continental and maritime.

Belgium

Belgium is located in Western Europe, bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the North Sea. Although generally flat, the terrain becomes increasingly hilly and forested in the southeast (Ardennes) region.

Belize

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a constitutional monarchy, and the northernmost Central American nation.

Benin

Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom that rose in the 15th century. The territory became a French Colony in 1872 and achieved independence on 1 August 1960, as the Republic of Benin.

Bermuda

  • Area: 58.8 sq. km. (22.7 sq. mi.).
  • Cities (2000 census): Capital--Hamilton (pop. 3,461). Other city--St. George (pop. 3,306).
  • Terrain: Hilly islands.
  • Climate: Semi-tropical.

Bhutan

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India.

Bolivia

Flag Description of Bolivia: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with the coat of arms centered on the yellow band

Bosnia Herzegovina

The three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, and languages are Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian. Religions include Islam, Serbian Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, some Protestant sects, and some others.

Botswana

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. More than four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.>>>Read More....

Brazil

Pedro Alvares Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal in 1500. The colony was ruled from Lisbon until 1808, when Dom Joao VI and the rest of the Portuguese royal family fled from Napoleon's army, and established its seat of government in Rio de Janeiro. Dom Joao VI returned to Portugal in 1821. His son declared Brazil's independence on September 7, 1822, and became emperor with the title of Dom Pedro I.

Brunei

The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria shares a border with Turkey and Greece to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, Romania to the north, and the Black Sea to the east. The capital, Sofia, lies in the western region of the country. Ethnic groups include Bulgarian, Turkish, Roma, and others. The official language is Bulgarian.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in the middle of West Africa's "hump." It is geographically in the Sahel--the agricultural region between the Sahara Desert and the coastal rain forests. Most of central Burkina Faso lies on a savanna plateau, 200 meters-300 meters (650 ft.-1,000 ft.) above sea level, with fields, brush, and scattered trees.

Burma

A majority of Burma's people are ethnic Burmans. Shans, Karens, Rohingya, Arakanese, Kachins, Chins, Mons, and many other smaller indigenous ethnic groups form about 30% of the population. Indians and Chinese are the largest non-indigenous groups.

Burundi

At 206.1 persons per sq. km., Burundi has the second-largest population density in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil. The population is made up of three major ethnic groups--Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa

Cambodia

Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Cameroon

The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry.

Canada

Canada's forests supply the country's building and paper products industries and contribute one fifth of all the nation's exports. In the 1990s the national forest inventory recorded a total of 1.3 million square miles (3.4 million square kilometers) of forest land, of which 83 percent had been surveyed and almost 60 percent was in production.

Cape Verde

The uninhabited islands were discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century; Cape Verde subsequently became a trading center for African slaves and later an important coaling and resupply stop for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Following independence in 1975, and a tentative interest in unification with Guinea-Bissau, a one-party system was established and maintained until multi-party elections were held in 1990. >>>Continue to read about Cape Verde

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries and were administered by Jamaica after 1863. In 1959, the islands became a territory within the Federation of the West Indies. When the Federation dissolved in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British dependency.

Central African Republic

There are more than 80 ethnic groups in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), each with its own language. About 75% are M’Baka-Mandjia and Banda (40% largely located in the northern and central parts of the country), and 4% are M'Baka (southwestern corner of the C.A.R.). Sango, the language of a small group along the Oubangui River, is the national language spoken by the majority of Central Africans. Only a small part of the population has more than an elementary knowledge of French, the official language.

Chad

GEOGRAPHY Chad is a landlocked country in north central Africa, with a territory twice the size of Texas.

Chile

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche were brought under central government control. >>> Read More

China

There are seven major Chinese dialects and many subdialects. Mandarin (or Putonghua), the predominant dialect, is spoken by over 70% of the population. It is taught in all schools and is the medium of government.

Colombia

Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A 40-year conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups and illegal paramilitary groups - both heavily funded by the drug trade - escalated during the 1990s.

Comoros

The Comorans inhabiting Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli (86% of the population) share African-Arab origins. Islam is the dominant religion, and Koranic schools for children reinforce its influence.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA.Read more about Congo, DRC

Congo, Republic of the

Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. Read More About The Republic of Congo...>>>

Costa Rica

In 1502, on his fourth and last voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus made the first European landfall in the area. Settlement of Costa Rica began in 1522.

Cote D'Ivoire

Close ties to France following independence in 1960, the development of cocoa production for export, and foreign investment all made Cote d'Ivoire one of the most prosperous of the West African states but did not protect it from political turmoil. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government. Junta leader Robert GUEI blatantly rigged elections held in late 2000 and declared himself the winner. >>> Read More

Croatia

The Croats are believed to be a Slavic people who migrated from Ukraine and settled in present-day Croatia during the 6th century. After a period of self-rule, Croatians agreed to the Pacta Conventa in 1091, submitting themselves to Hungarian authority.

Cuba

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule eventually provoked an independence movement >>> Read More

Cyprus

A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control >>>Read More

Czech Republic

At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, having rejected a federal system, the new country's predominantly Czech leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the increasingly strident demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Slovaks, the Sudeten Germans, and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the Czech >>> Read More

Denmark

Denmark: Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. It joined NATO in 1949 and the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. However, the country has opted out of certain elements of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), European defense cooperation, and issues concerning certain justice and home affairs.

Djibouti

The Republic of Djibouti gained its independence on June 27, 1977. It is the successor to French Somaliland (later called the French Territory of the Afars and Issas), which was created in the first half of the 19th century as a result of French interest in the Horn of Africa. However, the history of Djibouti, recorded in poetry and songs of its nomadic peoples, goes back thousands of years to a time when Djiboutians traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, India, and China. Through close contacts with the Arabian Peninsula for more than 1,000 years, the Somali and Afar tribes in this region became the first on the African continent to adopt Islam. >>>More

Dominica

Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by >>>Read More

Dominican Republic

The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; >>>Read More

Ecuador

What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors....Read More

Egypt

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. >>> Read More...

El Salvador

El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms. >>> Read More..

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule. This tiny country, composed of a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands, is one of the smallest on the African continent. President Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO has ruled the country since 1979 when he seized power in a coup. >>> Read More...

Eritrea

Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the northeast and east by the Red Sea, on the west and northwest by Sudan, on the south by Ethiopia, and on the southeast by Djibouti. The country has a high central plateau that varies from 1,800 to 3,000 meters (6,000-10,000 ft.) above sea level. A coastal plain, western lowlands, and some 300 islands comprise the remainder of Eritrea's landmass. Eritrea has no year-round rivers. >>> Read More...

Estonia

Estonians belong to the Finno-Ugric peoples, as do the Finns and the Hungarians. Archaeological research confirms the existence of human activity in the region as early as 8000 BC; by 3500 BC the principal ancestors of the Estonians had arrived from the east.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan.

Falkland Islands

Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between >>> Read More...

Faroe Islands

The population of the Faroe Islands is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The islands have been connected politically to Denmark since the 14th century. A high degree of self-government was granted the Faroese in 1948, who have autonomy over most internal affairs while Denmark is responsible for justice, defense, and foreign affairs. The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union. >>> Read More...

Fiji

Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century).

Finland

Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. It won its complete independence in 1917. During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union >>> Read More...

France

France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing de Gaulle's 1966 decision >>> Read More...

French Polynesia

The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were halted in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded. >>> Read More...

Gabon

El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009) following independence from France in 1960. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. >>> Read More...

Gambia, The

The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. >>> Read More...

Gaza Strip

Inhabited since at least the 15th century B.C., Gaza has been dominated by many different peoples and empires throughout its history; it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the early 16th century. Gaza fell to British forces during World War I, becoming a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. >>> Read More...

Georgia

The region of present day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D., and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. >>>Read More >>>

Germany

As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. >>>Read More>>>

Ghana

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. >>>Read More >>>

Gibraltar

Strategically important, Gibraltar was reluctantly ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a referendum held in 1967, Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. >>> >>> Read More >>>

Greece

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); >>> >>> Read More >>>

Greenland

Greenland, the world's largest island, is about 81% ice capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland was made an integral part of Denmark in 1953. >>> >>> Read More >>>

Grenada

Carib Indians inhabited Grenada when Christopher COLUMBUS discovered the island in 1498, but it remained uncolonized for more than a century. >>> >>> Read More >>>

Guam

Spain ceded Guam to the US in 1898. Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the US three years later. The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important US bases in the Pacific. >>> >>> Read More >>>

Guatemala

The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, >>> >>> Read More >>>

Guernsey

Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. >>> Read More >>>

Guinea

Guinea has had a history of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. >>> Read More >>>

Guinea-Bissau

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. >>> Read More >>>

Guyana

Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations.

Haiti

  • Ethnic groups: African descent 95%, African and European descent 5%.
  • Religions (2003 data): Roman Catholic 55%, Protestant 28%, voudou (voodoo) practices pervasive.
  • Languages: French (official), Creole (official).

Holy See

Honduras

Once part of Spain's vast empire in the New World, Honduras became an independent nation in 1821.

Hong Kong

Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997.

Hungary

Ethnic groups in Hungary include Magyar (nearly 90%), Romany, German, Serb, Slovak, and others. The majority of Hungary's people are Roman Catholic; other religions represented are Calvinist, Lutheran, Jewish, Baptist, Adventist, Pentecostal, and Unitarian.

Iceland

Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930. Independent for over 300 years, >>>Read More...

India

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. >>>Read More...

Indonesia

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan's surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. >>> Read More ...

Iran

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah KHOMEINI established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, >>>Read More...

Iraq

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. >>> Read More ...

Ireland

Isle of Man

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jersey

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Lesotho

Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled the country during its first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, >>> Read More >>>

Liberia

Portuguese explorers established contacts with Liberia as early as 1461 and named the area Grain Coast because of the abundance of "grains of paradise" (Malegueta pepper seeds). In 1663 the British installed trading posts on the Grain Coast, but the Dutch destroyed these posts a year later. There were no further reports of European settlements along the Grain Coast until the arrival of freed slaves in the early 1800s.

Libya

The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. >>> Read More >>>

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macau

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malawi

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. >>> Read More >>>

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Malta

Marshall Islands

Mauritania

Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. >>> Read More >>>

Mauritius

Although known to Arab and Malay sailors as early as the 10th century, Mauritius was first explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century and subsequently settled by the Dutch - who named it in honor of Prince Maurits van NASSAU >>> Read More >>>

Mayotte

Mexico

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. About 76% of the people live in urban areas.

Micronesia

Moldova

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

Montserrat

Morocco

In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad al-MANSUR (1578-1603) >>> Read More >>>

Mozambique

Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid 1990s. >>> Read More >>>

Namibia

The San are generally assumed to have been the earliest inhabitants of the region. Later inhabitants include the Nama and the Damara or Berg Dama. The Bantu-speaking Ovambo and Herero migrated from the north in about the 14th century A.D. >>> Read More >>>

Nauru

Nepal

Netherlands

Netherlands Antilles

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. >>> Read More >>>

Niue

Norfolk Island

Northern Mariana Islands

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Palau

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

The history of The Philippines can be divided into seven very distinct phases: 1. the pre-Spanish period (before 1521); 2. the Spanish period (1521-1898); 3. the Filipino Revolution period; 4. the American period (1898-1946); 5. the Japanese occupation period; 6. the Philippine Independence and 7. the post-Independence period (1946-present). >>> Read More...

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Qatar

Natives of the Arabian Peninsula, most Qataris are descended from a number of migratory tribes that came to Qatar in the 18th century to escape the harsh conditions of the neighboring areas of Nejd and Al-Hasa.

Romania

Russia

Rwanda

In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. >>> Read More >>>

Saint Barthelemy

Saint Helena

Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory consisting of Saint Helena and Ascension Islands, and the island group of Tristan da Cunha. >>>Read More...

Saint Kitts

Saint Lucia

Saint Martin

Saint Pierre Miquelon

Saint Vincent and Grenadines

Samoa

San Marino

Sau Tome and Princepe

Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with African plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. While independence was achieved in 1975, >>>Read More...

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. >>>Read More...

Serbia

Seychelles

A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. >>>Read More...

Sierra Leone

Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about a third of the population). >>>Read More...

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

Somalia

Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule characterized by the persecution, jailing, and torture of political opponents and dissidents. >>>Read More...

South Africa

South Georgia

Spain

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Suriname

Swaziland

The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. >>>Read More...

Sweden

Switzerland

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania

Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. >>>Read More...

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Togo

French Togoland became Togo in 1960. Gen. Gnassingbe EYADEMA, installed as military ruler in 1967, ruled Togo with a heavy hand for almost four decades. >>>Read More...

Tokelau

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. >>>Read More...

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Turks and Caicos Islands

Tuvalu

Uganda

The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) >>>Read More...

Ukraine

Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries >>>>Read More

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

USA

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Venezuela

Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. >>>Read More...

Vietnam

The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South. >>Read More about Vietnam

Virgin Islands

During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by African slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. >>>Read More...

Wallis and Futuna

The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842, and took official control of them between 1886 and 1888. >>>Read More...

West Bank

From the early 16th century through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank fell under Ottoman rule. Following World War I, the Allied powers (France, UK, Russia) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. After World War II, the UN passed a resolution to establish two states within the Mandate, and designated a territory including what is now known as the West Bank as part of the proposed Arab state. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the area was captured by Transjordan (later renamed Jordan). >>>Read More...

Western Sahara

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, >>>Read More...

Yemen

Yemen was one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Between the 12th century BC and the 6th century AD, it was part of the Minaean, Sabaean, and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade, and later came under Ethiopian and Persian rule. >>> Read More....

Zambia

About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. Per capita annual incomes are well below their levels at independence and, at $1,500, place the country among the world's poorest nations.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's wide range of natural resources makes agriculture and mining the main pillars of the economy. In 2009 agriculture and industry accounted for about 19% and 24% of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively. Zimbabwe has an important percentage of the world's known reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite.

How many Countries in the world?

The US State Department recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but that list of countries reflects the political agenda of the United States of America. As an example, it includes Kosovo, but does not include Taiwan, as China claims that Taiwan (the ROC) is simply a province of China.



"As humans, it is our nature to be on a quest. Our origin is our past and we are heading for the future with multitudes of stopovers. There is no destination, just stopovers in our journey to discover ourselves. It is the journey that makes us who we are. The more emotion we pour into our journey the more we improve. Without emotion, we are nothing. Positive or Negative, we have to give it our all. We have the freedom of choice and the power to reason. The "Positive" or the "Negative" are simply the tools of our journey. Explore your surroundings. Experience the journey. Discover yourself. Be balanced and share because in the end, there is always accountability." Franklin Harry Maletsky