• Question: how many countrys and citys are in the world

    Asked by shanae to Austin, Kirsty, Nike on 21 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Nike Dattani

      Nike Dattani answered on 21 Jun 2012:

      There’s 204 countries in the world.
      The definition of a city is different depending on who you ask.
      There are 2851 cities with population more than 150,000 (which is about the population of the city where I live, Oxford, UK).

      But if you want to include smaller cities, no one know how many exist !

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 22 Jun 2012:

      The United States’ State Department recognizes 195 independent countries around the world. Their list of 195 countries reflects the political agenda of the United States of America and its allies. Missing from the State Department’s list is one entity that may or may not be considered a country, depending on who you talk to.

      Taiwan meets the requirements of independent country or state status. However, due to political reasons, it fails to be recognized by the international community as independent. Nonetheless, it should be considered as independent. Taiwan was actually a member of the United Nations (and even the Security Council) until 1971, when mainland China replaced Taiwan in the organization. Taiwan continues to press for full recognition by other countries, to become “part of the club” and fully recognized worldwide but China claims that Taiwan is simply a province of China. So I could consider there to be 196 countries in the world, which is probably the best current answer to the question, “How many countries are in the world?”


      It is important to recognize that there are dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes erroneously called “countries” but don’t count at all – they’re governed by other countries. Places commonly confused as being countries include Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England – they’re not fully independent countries, states, or nation-states).

      In addition to this, civil wars can lead to the breakup of existing countries into two or more states. A recent example would be the formation of Northern and Southern Sudan.