Have you ever wondered how many countries are located on our globe? You will be surprised, but it will not be possible to get an unambiguous answer to this question.
The world political system is a very fluid and fickle phenomenon. The formation of autonomies is still taking place, albeit much less frequently. Today the figure ranges from 193 to 256 countries. Why is that? Because there is no single regulation according to which a young state is adopted at the world level.
What are the youngest countries in the world and how old are they? Let’s take a closer look at these issues later in the article.
10. North Macedonia (1991)
The territory, located on the Balkan Peninsula, was part of various empires and states for many centuries, was part of Yugoslavia after World War II and gained independence only in 1991.
The size of the territory is 25 333 sq. km and occupies the 145th line in the ranking of world powers. The official languages are Macedonian and Albanian, many residents speak English, which contributes to the development of tourism. It is interesting that the Macedonians use the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian tourists will be able to understand some of the inscriptions without knowing the languages. Macedonia is not part of the European Union, but has been applying for membership since 2005.
Excellent climatic conditions allow residents to engage in agriculture. The main areas of the industrial sector are textiles, winemaking and tobacco production.
Ohrid and Lake Ohrid are included in the UNESCO heritage lists, the Slatinsky Izvor Cave, the Markovi Kuli Fortress, the virgin forests of the Carpathians and the archaeological site of Kokino dating back to the Bronze Age are in the queue for this status! Macedonia continues to develop, but has not yet achieved economic success.
9. Croatia (1991)
This fairly young country is located in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula and covers an area of 56,538 sq. km, also owns a large number of islands, the number of which exceeds a thousand.
The centuries-old history of this area is fraught with many more archaeological finds – the earliest of them date back to the Neolithic era. In ancient times, Illyria was located here, later captured by the Romans. Slavic peoples appeared on these lands only in the 7th century AD.
Croatia transferred Hungarian, Turkish, Austrian rule, was partly part of the Venetian Republic, was part of Yugoslavia. Having declared its independence in 1991, Croatia entered hostilities with the forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and only by 1998 gained its integrity.
The economy was in decline for a long time, but still managed to achieve positive indicators. The food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries are developing, but tourism is the main economic industry. The reverent attitude of residents to nature and cleanliness, the existence of a large number of protected areas, national parks and the impeccable blue of the sea are the main signs for Europeans, who call Croatia the best territory for ecotourism.
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992)
One of the parts of the Yugoslav Republic that seceded in 1992. It is located in the southeastern part of Europe, occupies the western territory of the Balkan Peninsula and has access to the Adriatic Sea. On 51 129 sq. km is home to about 4 million people, but the population has declined dramatically after the hostilities of 1992-1995.
The official languages are Bosanian, Serbian and Croatian. The economy is reaching the global average, but this is a great achievement for a power recently ranked next to African countries. Recovery from hostilities took about five years. Correct reform and governance have yielded positive results.
The main industries of the young country are metallurgy, production of electricity and building materials, agriculture, textile, leather and footwear industries.
Some ancient buildings have survived to this day. They trace the times of the Roman era and antiquity, a mixture of Byzantine and Central European stylistics. Ancient mosques, madrasahs and bridges testify to the times of the Turkish rulers. Until the beginning of the 20th century, buildings can be seen imitating the Renaissance and Eastern culture. This extraordinary combination of eras and trends creates an amazing picture against the background of mountain breaks and deep blue waters.
One of the youngest countries in the world, Eritrea, is located in East Africa on the shores of the Red Sea. For more than three decades, she tried to achieve autonomy and secede from the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which led to a large number of armed conflicts. Eritrea’s sovereignty was recognized in 1993. Disputes with Ethiopia continued until the 2000s over disputed border areas.
Archaeological expeditions in Eritrea have discovered human settlements dating back to 8000 BC. Some architectural monuments of different eras have survived to this day: Corinthian columns of the Governor’s Palace, a Catholic cathedral, a city mosque. Many buildings in the capital city reflect the Italian style of architecture.
Despite all its beauty and uniqueness, Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector is the central economic sector. Bananas, sesame seeds, corn, papaya, vegetables, grain crops and cotton are grown here. Cattle breeding and fishing became widespread. There are also enterprises of folk crafts (weaving of reed baskets, plates), jewelry business, glass production is developing, gold, copper, zinc mining is established. Salt is extracted from sea water on an industrial scale.
Most of the enterprises require restoration: oil refining and textile industries, footwear and food industries. Many countries provide financial support.
6. Czech Republic and Slovakia (1993)
Two halves of one whole, separated by interethnic problems of the intelligentsia. Czechoslovakia disintegrated in 1993 without shedding a drop of blood, and without even ruining the relationship between citizens. Historians have called this event a “velvet divorce”.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia support the development of their own economies at a high level. They are attractive for European and Russian tourists, have a large number of attractions, ancient and medieval cultural monuments, are examples of cozy clean towns.
The variety of Gothic cathedral spiers in Prague, Charles Bridge, ancient castles, quality beer and savory cuisine – this is what teases the imagination when it comes to the Czech Republic. By European standards, it is considered one of the safest areas, as it has a low crime and corruption rate.
The Czech Republic is located on 78,866 sq. km in the historical regions of Bohemia, Moravia and partly in Silesia. The terrain is varied: forests, mountains, fields, rivers and hills. The period from May to September is considered a comfortable time for tourism, but in other months it is glad to receive tourists. Here you can taste dumplings, garlic, grilled cheese and many types of frothy drinks.
Slovakia is territorially smaller than its second half – 49,043 sq. km. Panoramic views of the area adorn the Western Carpathians, and the High Tatras in the northern part of Slovakia form alpine reliefs. Oak, beech and coniferous forests cover the rocky terrain and hills, shading the ancient monuments of architecture. Castles, town halls, churches, theaters and other buildings combine Romanesque and Gothic styles.
The most visited tourist cities are the capital Bratislava, the city of Kosice with the famous Gothic Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, the city of Devin overlooking the intersection of the Danube and Morava rivers and an overview of the landscapes of three states: Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Tourists remember their trips to Slovakia due to the unusual spicy cuisine: schnitzels, shepherd’s dumplings, trout, donuts with butter and garlic “Longoshe” and Slovak still and sparkling wines. There are also plenty of leisure options here: the world ski center in the High Tatras, golf courses, cave trips, mud baths, thermal water parks and noisy parties in the Tatranska Lomnica resorts.
5. Palau (1994)
A young island nation with an area of 458 sq. km. At various times it was part of Spain, Germany, USA, Micronesia and for a long time tried to achieve sovereignty. In 1994 it gained its long-awaited independence.
The island location contributes to the development of tourism: the waters of the Pacific Ocean, evergreen tropical forests, high green islands scattered chaotically in the waters, an equatorial climate with an average monthly temperature of 24-28 degrees, beaches with clear waters, and a low crime rate. The main industries are fishing, animal husbandry, timber and mineral extraction, the cultivation of coconut palms, bananas, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes. The handicraft sector (mainly art) is developed, the population is engaged in the manufacture of products from shells and pearls. But Palau still has a high need for financial assistance from the United States, as its own budget barely covers the deficit.
The main plus for Palau is the interest of foreign investors. They use the tourism boom, investing heavily in the hotel business, the construction of administrative facilities, and contribute to the development of transport links.
4. East Timor (2002)
One of the youngest countries in the world, East Timor, is located in Southeast Asia and was formerly considered a Portuguese colony. Occupies an area of 15 007 sq. km with a population of 1.3 million people.
After secession from Portugal in 1975, a confrontation with Indonesia began, which lasted until 2002. The civil war of the 1976-1999 period strongly affected the economic order of Timor. The destruction of the system was colossal. Until today, the level of the economy is equal to a poorly developing agrarian state.
The agricultural industry is focused on export supplies of coffee, rubber plants, coconut trees, rice, cane, legumes, and corn are grown for the needs of the population. Livestock breeding is aimed at breeding buffaloes, goats and horses. Oil and gas production, fishing, forestry, handicrafts are of secondary importance in the development of the economy. Pearl fishing remains the most common way to make quick money.
Tourist rest has not yet been established: guests can only stay with local residents, since there are simply no comfortable hotels. Even in the capital city of Dili, it is difficult to find normal living conditions. The situation is the same with restaurants and cafes. Resorts of East Timor is a rather abstract concept, since the state does not differ in a large number of attractions. The main attractions will be beaches, hiking in the mountains or sandalwood forests and contemplating beautiful landscapes.
Dili resembles a provincial town in Portugal – the result of the colonial past, the image of which is complemented by statues of Jesus Christ and Catholic churches. But this young power also has its own “zest”: health resorts. They are not medical institutions, but a rest for the soul in the peaceful bosom of untouched nature.
3. Montenegro and Serbia (2006)
After the collapse of the Yugoslav Republic, Serbia and Montenegro tried to become its successors, but did not receive support from other powers. In 2002, they signed an agreement, according to which each of the parties has an independent economy and legislation, state symbols and attributes, and also at any time has the right to withdraw from the partnership.
In 2006, Montenegro initiated a referendum to gain independence. Despite a well-thought-out agreement providing for such moments, the situation ended in a huge scandal and the division of property.
The main segments of the economy in both countries are industry, agriculture and the service sector. The main problems of young states can be identified as a high level of corruption, a weak resource base and an aging population.
2. Kosovo (2008)
The Republic of Kosovo has remained a partially recognized state since 2008. She gained independence, but is conditionally considered part of Serbia. A small young country with an area of only 10,887 sq. km does not allow the Serbian authorities to dictate conditions and control the activities of the state. The unresolved problem with international status does not provide an opportunity to attract foreign investment.
Kosovo has a population of about 1.7 million, mostly Albanians. The largest city is Pristina. It is home to about 200 thousand people. The second major center is the city of Prizren with a population of just over 100 thousand people.
Kosovo is considered one of the poorest European states, fueled by unemployment, low living standards and low wages for the working class. Most of the working population leaves for work in other countries and sends money to their families. Despite this, Kosovo has great economic potential.
There are mineral deposits on the territory of Kosovo: brown coal, zinc, bauxite, lead, nickel and others. The industry is developing slowly. Metallurgy and mining, energy, textile and food industries are considered the most developed areas. But, along with these industries, shadow business, smuggling and drug trafficking are flourishing. According to UN estimates, about 80% of all illegal shipments to Europe are carried out through the territory of Kosovo.
The peaceful environment is conducive to economic recovery, but the lack of recognition from the world powers greatly aggravates the situation, depriving Kosovo of investments and plunging the country into stagnation.
1. South Sudan (2011)
At the moment, South Sudan is considered the youngest country in the world. The area is 620 thousand square meters. km. There are only 30 km of paved roads on the territory of South Sudan, and there is not even a running water in the capital. Nevertheless, the population does not lose heart and hopes for the prosperity of their homeland.
In the summer of 2011, South Sudan gained sovereignty through civil war, protracted armed conflicts and thousands of civilian deaths. But the autonomy was not ready for independent existence, having lost most of its economic projects.
The Nile River stretches across the entire territory of South Sudan, the southern territory is covered with tropical monsoon forests.There are many protected areas and protected areas, as the government tries to preserve the richness and diversity of its nature, which has created ideal conditions for elephants, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, African antelopes, etc.
The main problems of the young state are considered to be a high percentage of infant mortality, poor-quality nutrition, lack of drinking water, and lack of developed medicine.
The economic condition of the state has been undermined by many years of hostilities, but the possibility of rehabilitation exists. The state budget is 98% dependent on oil sales. Copper, zinc, gold and silver are also mined. The population grows cotton, sugarcane, peanuts, mangoes, bananas, wheat, camels and sheep. The country’s only attraction is its natural wealth. A paradise for tourists dreaming of safari, and on the border with Congo in the National Park, you can meet wild animals and observe their life in their natural habitat.