Depending on the basis of measurement, some countries are over 1,000 years old. The Kingdom of France started around 987. France, as it is currently constituted, was founded in 1792, about the same time as the United States was.
Many of the world’s “newest” nations were part of other countries or controlled by them. This is true of modern India, which the British left in 1947. The Soviet Union was broken into seven countries between 1988 and 1991. These independent states were Russian, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and Georgia.
The newest country in the world is South Sudan, according to Britannica. It was declared independent on July 9, 2011, and recognized by the United Nations. It was part of Sudan, which became independent in 1956.
The CIA World Factbook puts the South Sudan population at 10,984,074. Its gross domestic product (purchasing power parity) is $20 billion, which ranks it 153 among all nations in the world. It is as close to a single-source economy as any country in the world. The Factbook notes: “Sudan is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the world, with 98% of the government’s annual operating budget and 80% of its gross domestic product (GDP) derived from oil.”
The World Bank recently said that almost any improvement to the South Sudan economy must start locally. Husam Abudagga, World Bank Country Manager for South Sudan, commented: “Agriculture is a big employer in towns, with high potential for more productivity and for linkages up and down the value chain – jobs like making tools, transporting goods, and processing crops. Providing inputs remains relevant to restoring production.”
Recently, there has been outside help for the South Sudan economy. The International Monetary Fund recently made it a loan of $174 million, at which time the organization commented: “The economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic activity is projected to contract by 4.2 percent in FY20/21. The pandemic-related oil price shock and devastating floods have led to an economic downturn.”