The world’s largest countries by population have been in the news a great deal recently. Russia, the ninth largest country in the world, with a population of about 145 million, attacked Ukraine, the 35th largest with 43 million residents.
China, the world’s largest with a population of 1.4 billion, has largely kept quiet about the war. It is presumed it will continue to be an ally of Russia. India has a population of 1.4 billion, which places it second in the category, and it has stayed on the sidelines, not issuing sanctions as many other countries have. The United States, leading the world’s efforts to blunt Russia’s attack, ranks third in a population at 331 million.
According to the United Nations Population Division, as published by Worldometers, 235 nations in the world have available population counts. Fourteen have populations of over 100 million. Twenty-nine have populations of over 50 million and 91 have populations of over 10 million. There is no particular pattern to where they are located, especially when it comes to the 10 largest in the world.
The smallest country in the world is the Holy See, home of the Vatican. It has a population of 821. It is also home to the Pope, who presides over the Catholic religion, which has 1.34 members around the world. The country was founded in 1929.
Also known as Vatican City, it covers about one square mile, which ranks it 257th in the world. It is entirely surrounded by Italy. The World Factbook describes Vatican City’s government as an “ecclesiastical elective monarchy; self-described as an ‘absolute monarchy’.” While most of its economy is supported by the Catholic Church, it gets a small amount of revenue from the sales of coins and medals. It also has its own banking system, which contributes a modest amount to the economy as well.
While Italy provides the defense of the Holy See, it has a small police force of its own, known as the Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps. Interestingly, its workforce at 4,822 is larger than its population.
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