The definition of a sovereign state. A sovereign nation is one whose central government has absolute authority over the whole country or territory. International law establishes the criteria for what constitutes a sovereign nation: a delineated region ruled by a single central authority.
These states have a consistent population and the ability to form diplomatic ties with other independent states. While the majority of independent states in the globe are household names, many others are largely obscure.
It is quite difficult to pin down an exact figure for the total number of independent states in the globe.
While the United Countries now recognises 206 states (193 member nations, 2 observer states, and 11 other states), there are almost a hundred other territories that are regarded as sovereign nations by some sources but not by others.
Unrecognized nations, disputed territories, dependent territories, autonomous regions, administrative areas, partly recognised territories, royal dependencies, and many other titles apply to these locations.
These areas could or might not be independent nations. 15 of the UN’s 206 member nations, for instance, have raised questions about their authority. Northern Cyprus, with its small 3,355 km2 (1,295 mi2) and population of about 400,000, is one of these places; China, with its 1.38 billion people, is another.
Table of Contents
15 United Nations States With Controversial Sovereignty
- Abkhazia — is claimed by Georgia
- Artsakh — is claimed by Azerbaijan
- China (the People’s Republic of China) — is partially unrecognized and is claimed by Taiwan (the Republic of China)
- Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus) — is not recognized by Turkey
- Israel — is partially unrecognized. As of December 2019, 162 UN nations have recognized Israel as a sovereign nation
- Kosovo — is claimed by Serbia. As of March 2020, UN 115 nations have recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state. However, some have also retracted or declined to confirm their recognition due to political pressure
- North Korea (The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) — is claimed by South Korea
- Northern Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) — is claimed by Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus)
- Palestine — is partially recognized and is disputed by Israel. As of 2019, UN 138 nations have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic — is claimed by Morocco
- Somaliland — is claimed by Somalia
- South Korea (The Republic of Korea) — is claimed by North Korea
- South Ossetia — is claimed by Georgia
- Taiwan (Republic of China) — is claimed by mainland China (the People’s Republic of China). As of 2019, only 14 UN nations have recognized Taiwan as a sovereign nation, largely due to China’s interference.
- Transnistria — is claimed by Moldova
Also See: Smallest Countries 2022
Sovereign nations around the world
The foregoing examples show that it is not always obvious from the context whether a state is being described as sovereign or not. From the perspective of the administration of Somaliland, the country is an independent state.
The government of Somalia, the country that includes Somaliland, however, believes that the territory is not independent but rather a contested region of Somalia.
Complex political situations include the rival claims of North and South Korea to lead to a unified Korea and Taiwan’s claim to represent the legitimate government of China after the former leadership fled there after the communist takeover of the mainland during World War II.
|Papua New Guinea||10142.6190|
|United Arab Emirates||9441.1290|
|Republic of the Congo||5970.4240|
|Central African Republic||5579.1440|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3233.5260|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1531.0440|
|Sao Tome and Principe||227.3800|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||103.9480|
|Antigua and Barbuda||93.7630|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||47.6570|