Dauntless JaunterExplore • Educate • Experience • Enlighten

How Many Countries Are There in the World? On Each Continent?


How many countries in the world? How about in Asia? Europe? Africa? North America & South America? And who decides? This post seeks to clear some confusion.

If you ask someone how many countries there are, chances are they’d have a different answer than the next person (if they had an answer at all).

how many countries are there? there are 195 according to the United Nations
Photo of globe taken by K. Glenn via Unsplash.

There are currently 195 countries in the world by the United Nations definition, including 193 countries which are UN member states and 2 for which the United Nations General Assembly has granted observer status: the State of Palestine and the Holy See.

Here is the list of the 195 countries in the world:

How many countries in Africa?

There are 54 countries in Africa. All 54 African countries are fully-recognized members of the United Nations and the African Union.

On top of that, there are 2 other nations:

  • The Sahrawi Republic is a partially-recognized sovereign country; it has no UN member status, but it does enjoy membership in the African Union.
  • Somaliland, or the Republic of Somaliland, has declared itself to be an independent nation from Somalia. However, neither the UN nor the African Union recognize its sovereignty.

For a full list of each country in Africa, check out our Africa Travel Guides.

How many countries in Europe?

There are 50 sovereign states in Europe, 44 which have complete international recognition and 6 more with partial recognition.

Here are the European countries with limited recognition:

  • Kosovo is recognized by a majority (currently 113) of UN members.
  • Abkhazia, an autonomous republic of Georgia, is recognized by 4 UN members.
  • Artsakh, disputed with Azerbaijan, has recognition only by 3 other non-recognized countries.
  • Transnistria, or Trans-Dniester, is claimed by Moldova; it is recognized by only 3 UN members.
  • Northern Cyprus is claimed to be part of Cyprus, but is only recognized as independent by Turkey.
  • South Ossetia is claimed by Georgia, but is internationally-recognized by 4 UN members.

As far as nation organizations, the Council of Europe includes all European countries except for Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Vatican City. The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member nations. Then, the Schengen Area has 26 member states and has one passport control and border for the entire zone.

For a full list of nations in Europe, check out our Europe Travel Guides.

How many in South America?

There are 12 independent nations in South America.

For a full list of each country in South America, check out our South America Travel Guides.

How many in North America?

There are 23 sovereign countries in North America. North America can be further broken down into North America (US, Canada, and Mexico), Central America, and the Caribbean.

Central America includes 7 countries: BelizeCosta RicaEl Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The Caribbean has 13 countries, and you can check out the full list at our Caribbean Travel Guides.

For a full list of countries in North America and Central America, check out our North America Travel Guides.

How many nations in Asia?

There are 49 countries in Asia which are internationally-recognized as sovereign.

There are also two countries with limited recognition:

  • Palestine has been granted observer status by the UN General Assembly.
  • Taiwan is claimed to be part of China, but it is de facto recognized as independent by most of the world.

For a full list of countries in Asia, check out our Asia Travel Guides.

How many countries in Oceania?

There are 16 sovereign countries in Oceania.

Two nations are not members of the UN but are self-governing in free association with New Zealand: the Cook Islands and Niue.

The most populous country, as well as the largest, in Oceania is Australia. For a full list of sovereign states in Oceania, check out our Oceania Travel Guides.

• • • •

If you found this post useful, check out our post on how many continents in the world? and how many oceans are there?, as well. Thanks for reading!

Written by
Christian Eilers
Join the discussion

Dauntless Jaunter