This Is the World's Oldest Country

The United States is middle-aged, based on when most nations were founded. Several of Europe’s countries are centuries older. Some of the world’s most populous nations in Africa officially were founded much later. So were some of the largest countries in South America.

The Republic of San Marino, which is located in northern Italy, was founded in 301 BCE. However, there is debate about when it officially became a country. It was recognized by the Pope in 1631. Its constitution was written in 1600.

According to Britannica, San Marino is the second smallest country in Europe, based on square miles covered. Tourism is among the leading drivers of its gross domestic product. It also has a small agriculture sector and some consumer electronics manufacturing. Almost 80% of its imports come from Italy.

The International Monetary Fund recently made an official visit to San Marino, as it does to nearly every country in the world. As part of its report, the IMF observed:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on San Marino’s economy that has, however, shown resilience despite pre-existing challenges. Traditional sectors like tourism and retail have been particularly affected. In this difficult context, the policy support provided by the government has been appropriate and has helped the economy cope with the fallout from the pandemic. The authorities intend to provide further support until the recovery is on a strong footing.

The report also marveled at the financial stability of the country in the face of the pandemic.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of San Marino is 34,467, made up almost entirely of Sammarinese and Italians. The official language is Italian.

Click here to see which countries have the oldest populations in the world.