Population explosion is a major problem facing the world. China and India together are home to more than 2.7 billion people. We all know that China and India are the most populous countries on the planet, followed by the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. But most of us don’t know the names or population sizes of the least populated countries in the world.
Ranked: The least populated countries
Here we take a look at the least populated countries in the world. The ranking is based on data from the most recent estimate by the national census authority. For countries where the latest national census data was not available, we have used projections by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
It’s extremely difficult to give an accurate picture of the population data because each country publishes census data at different times of the year. These are the least populated countries on the planet:
10- Dominica. Population: 76,419
According to the United Nations, Dominica has a population of 76,419. The island nation in the Caribbean Sea attracts more than 70,000 tourists every year. Christopher Columbus named it Dominica (meaning Sunday in Latin) because he passed the island on a Sunday in 1493. Its original name was Wai’tukubuli, meaning tall in her body.
9- Saint Kitts and Nevis. Population: 56,345
Located just 150 miles away from Dominica in the West Indies, Saint Kitts and Nevis is also among the least populated countries. Its capital city of Basseterre has a population of around 13,000 people. The country attracts nearly twice as many tourists as its population. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the state.
8- Marshall Islands. Population: 55,500
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is located in the island group of Micronesia, near the equator in the Pacific Ocean. According to the Atomic Energy Commission, the Marshall Islands is one of the most contaminated places in the world because of more than five dozen nuclear tests conducted by the United States between 1946 and 1958. More than half of the country’s population lives on Majuro island.
7- Liechtenstein. Population: 38,380
One of the smallest countries in Europe by size and population, Liechtenstein is home to 38,380 people. The landlocked nation in Central Europe has an area of only 100 square miles. Liechtenstein is double-landlocked, meaning you have to travel through at least two countries to reach the sea. It was the last country in Europe to grant women the right to vote in 1984.
6- Monaco. Population: 38,300
Monaco’s population is only slightly lower than Liechtenstein. Though Monaco is a Principality, it is a fully recognized country and a member of the United Nations. The country is surrounded by France on three sides and faces the Mediterranean Sea on the other side. With an area of just 2.02 square kilometers, it’s the second smallest country in the world. Monaco is famous for its casinos and grand prix circuit.
5- San Marino. Population: 33,420
Surrounded on all sides by Italy, San Marino is a microstate on the Italian peninsula. It has an area of only 24 square miles. San Marino is one of the oldest countries in the world. It was founded way back in 301 CE as the Republic of San Marino by a stonemason-turned saint named Marinus. Marinus had to leave his home in modern-day Croatia to escape persecution for his Christian beliefs. However, the Republic was not recognized by the Pope until 1631 AD. The Statute of 1600 acts as San Marino’s de facto constitution. It was the first such document in the world.
4- Palau. Population: 17,900
The island nation of Palau is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country consists of 340 islands, which collectively have an area of 177 square miles. The government is the biggest employer in the country. Palau is famous for its beaches, attracting over a hundred thousand tourists every year. The first migrants from Insular Southeast Asia settled in Palau more than 3,000 years ago.
3- Nauru. Population: 11,000
Nauru has a population of only 11,000, making it one of the least populated countries on the planet. It is the third smallest country in the world with an area of just 8.1 square miles. Once known as Pleasant Island, it is located in the Central Pacific in Micronesia. The country has a sky high unemployment rate of 90%. Due to its remote location, Nauru is one of the least visited countries in the world.
2- Tuvalu. Population: 10,200
Tuvalu is also an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean. The country has a total land area of just 10 square miles. Tuvalu offers free and compulsory education for children aging 6 to 15 years. Tourism is almost non-existent in the country due to its remote location. It attracts only about a thousand tourists every year. The United Nations has declared it the least developed country in the world.
1- Vatican City. Population: 800
According to the official estimate, the total population of the Vatican City is only about 800 people, less than any other country on the planet. It is also the smallest country with an area of just 110 acres. Though it’s an independent city-state, Vatican City is located entirely within the Italian capital city of Rome. Most citizens of the Vatican City are clergymen, the Swiss Guard, or the officials of the state. It attracts more than five million tourists every year.